The CMO Files: Craig Beddis, CMO, Automic Software

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:  Craig Beddis

Organisation: Automic Software

Job title: CMO

Location: Global (London)


(1)   Where were you born and raised?
I was born in a small mining town in Wales where I grew up living with my grandparents (opposite my parent's house) in a close-knit family. My childhood instilled in me many of the principals I still live by today and especially my work ethic.

(2)   What was your first job?
I started out my career in sales. Firstly, in the leisure sector before moving into IT as ecommerce was taking off in the late 90s. I saw the move from bricks & mortar to online, and knew the future was in technology and innovation.

(3)  What was the first product you got really excited about?
WebPerform was the first product I got genuinely excited about.  At the time, it was developing industry-leading technologies to measure, monitor and manage web performance. It was so ahead in its thinking on analytics and insights that I really believed in the power of online and the advancements that are coming through today.

(4)  Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
Bill Carr was a former investor and business angel in my first business. He was an older gentleman from the post war generation with a background similar to my family upbringing. Both his approach to business and philosophy that you can do anything you put your mind to have stood me in good stead throughout my career. I also love the new generation of digital start-up entrepreneurs who have this confident mentality to challenge the status quo.

(5)   What has been your greatest achievement?
During my career, I've supported five successful turnarounds and built four start-up businesses but my greatest success has been picking fantastic people to work with and helping them reach their best. Business is all about people.

(6)  What has been your biggest mistake?
While doing business in Asia, I tried to adapt to the culture by eating snake - and then spent the next two days being very ill and missing my flight in Hong Kong. My host was horrified and couldn't apologise enough. I learned then that sometimes it's ok to say no and not offend people.

(7)  What is your greatest strength?
Motivating people. I am truly fascinated by people and interested in them. I'm passionate about connecting and motivating people to get the greatest results.

(8)  What is your biggest weakness?
If I'm not interested in something, then I find it very hard to be passionate or commit.

(9)  What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?
The pace of change happening at the CMO level. It's now the one function that can own and contribute the most to an organisation but few CMO's are aware of its power or how to harness it across functions.

(10)  Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
My most used mantra is "Do what's right, not what's easy." And what I dislike the most are condescending people with a lot of jargon and little experience in delivering results.

(11) What makes you stressed?
I thrive on stress and pushing myself to the next level. Stress can be good if managed correctly as it makes you feel alive. Business is tough and stress comes with the territory. It's the reason I like start-ups so much as it allows you to look back and say "I did that".  Nothing in life worth having comes easy - my wife taught me that after every birth of our children.

(12)  What do you do to relax?
I have always played competitive sports. Notably, I'm a semi-pro rugby player and a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. However, I recently decided to give up the bruises and take up tennis instead.

(13)  What is your favourite song?
Wonderwall by Oasis, for personal reasons related to a time in my life.

(14)  Which book taught you most?

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

(15)  Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
Liverpool Football Club and the Welsh Rugby Team.

(16)  Which country would you like to work in?
I've worked extensively in Asia and the US and love both. I would be keen to do more in both regions in the future.

(17)  Which company do you think has the best marketing?
Currently, Hubspot - they invented inbound marketing in my opinion.

(18)  What do you love most about your job?
I love the sector - it's a hot space. I find innovation exciting and only getting more so.

(19)  What is your favourite book?

Too many to mention - I read a lot especially business and literary classics, plus historical pieces.

(20)  What keeps you awake at night?
Business and the thought of the next great thing. I'm lucky though as I don't need much sleep. Life is for living.


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