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37: Deloitte CMO Diana O’Brien believes marketing comes to life on the front lines

Diana OBrien

Diana O’Brien is the first-ever CMO at Deloitte. In that role, she believes she’s lucky because she’s been given responsibility for everything from traditional brand elements to clients, markets, sales, thought leadership, policy, and corporate citizenship, among other things. Basically, everything she “…needs to be successful.”

She touches on many topics in the conversation, but, for her, thought leadership for marketers is key: “We all need great thought leadership. We all need to be looking toward the future, helping and sharing insights that are meaningful to the marketplace.” She goes on to add, “But what I do think can be different and what can help people is understanding how to capture the hearts and minds of people, because that’s what marketers need to do.”

She also touches on sense of purpose and the big picture. “I think it’s aligning around your purpose. What is it that you’re all there to do. For us, that’s to make an impact that matters. That’s our purpose. We want to do that for our people, our clients and in our communities.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • O’Brien discusses her unconventional path to CMO. (1:03)
  • Breaking down silos: the interconnection of marketing and sales. (7:39)
  • Content and thought leadership: capturing the hearts and minds of people. (10:50)
  • People and place: what’s important in O’Brien’s marketing mix. (14:10)
  • The strategic decision to use acquisitions to enhance identity and increase capabilities. (18:16)

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