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The CMO Files: Edward Marcheselli, Chief Marketing Officer, ShopperTrak

Get inside the mind of the world's top marketing professionals. In 20 questions we find out what they love most about their job, what their biggest achievements are... and what keeps them awake at night. Read 'The CMO Files'...

 

  Name:  Edward Marcheselli

  Organisation: ShopperTrak

  Job title: Chief Marketing Officer

  Location: Chicago, IL

 

(1)           Where were you born and raised?

Easton, Massachusetts

 

(2)           What was your first job?  

Engineer, Sargent & Lundy Consulting Engineers

 

(3)           What was the first product you got really excited about? 

The original Apple Macintosh.  I thought the ease of use and the graphical user interface was a stroke of genius that opened up a whole range of possibilities.

 

(4)           Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

My non-traditional path into marketing has had many influences, from extremely smart and driven people that I worked with at Microsoft and other stops along the way, to mentors and teachers.  However, the biggest influence on my career and my life has been my wife who has been supportive of me every step of the way.  It has truly been a great partnership.

 

(5)           What has been your greatest achievement?

My greatest professional achievement has been to see the people that have worked for me go on to greater things and be inspired about their work.   I have been fortunate to work with people who have started their own successful companies, to others who have risen to be leaders at Fortune 500 companies.  I still keep in contact with them and share ideas and look for advice.

 

(6)           What has been your biggest mistake?

I have made a bunch of big mistakes but I view that as a result of taking risks.  One that stands out is joining a small start-up in the healthcare industry without fully understanding the industry dynamics.  Healthcare is one of the few industries where you navigate between the triumvirate of a buyer, seller and payer.

 

(7)           What is your greatest strength?

My greatest strength is to be able to focus on the critical path of what needs to get done and minimize the distractions for both myself and my team.

 

(8)           What is your biggest weakness?

 My biggest weakness is being too paranoid about what could go wrong.  As I have progressed throughout my career I am more comfortable with knowing that no plan is perfect and dealing with the unexpected is part of the fun.

 

(9)           What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?  

Execution is the one aspect that I have found has been the nagging issue of many of my peers.  As a marketing leader the further you get away from the front lines with the customer the easier it is to assume that things are working properly.   I have found that diving in deep throughout a campaign helps you understand whether the marketing strategy is actually being executed.  This tactic helps avoid difficult conversations later on down the line.

 

(10)       Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?

My Mantra is "It's time to fish or cut bait".  Indecisiveness caused by unending analysis is destructive in an organization.

A phrase that makes me squirm "We can't do that here" is an acceptance of the status quo and indicative of an organization that has ossified.

 

(11)       What makes you stressed?

The first 30 seconds of any public speaking engagement.  Even though I had the opportunity to speak thousands of times, those first 30 seconds as you size up your audience and they size you up in return I still get stressed.

 

(12)       What do you do to relax?

I am an avid sailor and enjoy being by the seashore.  I also enjoy walking and doing crossword puzzles to keep the mind sharp.

 

(13)       What is your favourite song?

As I am a big Frank Sinatra fan my favourite song is "Luck be a Lady"

 

(14)       Which book taught you most?

"The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen; it helped crystallize a lot of things that I had actually lived through in my career.

 

(15)       Do you have a team or sport that you follow?

I am a big American Football fan and have strong allegiances toward the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the New England Patriots.

 

(16)       Which country would you like to work in?

Throughout my career I've had the opportunity to visit and work in over 15 countries throughout Europe and Asia.  Having had that opportunity to sample many of the cultures I would relish the opportunity to work Europe and finish learning the German and Italian languages.

 

(17)       Which company do you think has the best marketing?

While there are certainly some companies that excel at marketing over others it would not make sense to choose one given the diversity of industries, products, customers and cultures that each company must consider.   I do however point to examples of some companies that have mastered aspects of marketing such as P&G with stewardship of multiple brands, Apple with simplicity of message and focus on product, Microsoft with its use of channels, ITW with its mastery of pricing.   I have found that a lot can be learned from the strengths each of these companies project.

 

(18)       What do you love most about your job?

I love the competitive nature of business and the fact that Marketing done right can have a significant impact toward a team and company's success.

 

(19)       What is your favourite book?

I think all books are great, some better than others.  That being said my favourite's right now:

I am currently reading Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman and realizing what a great economic mind Mr. Friedman was for the world.

I am also reading "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" by John Le Carre, primarily because I love historically based spy novels.

 

(20)       What keeps you awake at night?

Figuring out how I can be in three places at once to watch my Son's band performance, my daughter's volleyball game and my other son's soccer match.

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