The CMO Files: Blake Cahill, Philips
on March 15 2017
Name: Blake Cahill
Job title: SVP of Global Digital Marketing & Media
- Where were you born and raised?
I was born in the US, and then raised in Portugal and Spain, before moving back to the US. I caught the travelling bug at an early age – which is probably why I have always enjoyed such global roles and have enjoyed working in both Belgium and now the Netherlands.
- What was your first job?
I started out my working life in a greenhouse/nursey. Although it’s a world away from my current role, it certainly developed my green thumb and passion for growing things outside of the office!
- What was the first product you got really excited about?
There are two that really stick in my mind: my Atari game consul and HP 15C Calculator.
- Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
Across my career I have followed many digital and tech companies – focusing on those with strong leaders that have made a lasting impression on me, but to name a few I would have to say the likes of Steve Jobs - Apple, Jeff Bezos - Amazon and Marc Benioff – Salesforce.
- What has been your greatest achievement?
Without a doubt, my family. I owe a huge amount of my successes to them and their ongoing support.
- What has been your biggest mistake?
Once I did a 3 mile open water swim and didn’t wear a wetsuit – that was undeniably one of the worst ideas I have ever had!
- What is your greatest strength?
I have a real passion for everything that I do, so when things get tough I always have that to fall back on – which I find gets me out of most fixes.
- What is your biggest weakness?
If I’m going to be completely honest, it would have to be my inability to say ‘no’ more.
- What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?
Data driven insights – it’s so important to get this right as it can be the sole decider between a campaign succeeding or failing.
- Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
I would say that the phrase ‘What got us here, likely won’t get us there” would be my mantra. In terms of words that make me squirm, I don’t really have any, although the use of too much marketing jargon can sometimes get under my skin.
- What makes you stressed?
Being double or triple booked – there’s always an important meeting that clashes with another and working through which is the priority can seem impossible at times.
- What do you do to relax?
Swimming is something I look forward to in my day to clear the head and get a bit of exercise in whilst I’m at it. It’s also where I do some of my best thinking.
- What is your favourite song?
There’s no way I could answer that questions – there’s just too many!
- Which book taught you most?
Good to Great by Jim Collins – I’d recommend it to everyone.
- Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
I don’t have a particular team but do enjoy watching road cycling when I have the time.
- Which country would you like to work in?
None at the moment – what could be better than the Netherlands?
- Which company do you think has the best marketing?
Nike would have to take that accolade – they have done some truly brilliant marketing over the years.
- What do you love most about your job?
I love pushing boundaries, driving customer focus, the re-invention of an organisation, and getting to demonstrate the results that can only be achieved through hard work and sheer determination.
- What is your favourite book?
The Great Gatsby
- What keeps you awake at night?
Unanswered emails, texts, WhatsApps, Voicemails – so many things to do and not enough time!