Human Resources

CMO Files: David T. Scott, CMO, Gigya

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:  David T. Scott

Organisation: Gigya

Job title: Chief Marketing Officer & Author

 Location:  Mountain View, CA


(1)  Where were you born and raised?

Sacramento, CA    

(2)  What was your first job?

My first job out of university was General Electric. I was part of their prestigious Management Training Program.

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

Years ago, I worked at AT&T in the Mobile Data Services division. This was before data was big, but you could see the possibilities of mobile data.

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

Phil Kotler – the father of modern marketing. I had the privilege of having him as a mentor early in my CMO career.

(5)  What has been your greatest achievement?

I’m a competitive board gamer. One year I was national champion in the board game RISK, beating out thousands of competitors.

(6)  What has been your biggest mistake?

I’ve made thousands of mistakes, but the trick is learning from them and not making them again.

(7)  What is your greatest strength?

My greatest strength is that I learn from my mistakes. I love constructive feedback because it only makes me better.

(8)  What is your biggest weakness?

Impatience. When I put a plan in place, I want to see the results immediately. Luckily marketing automation is making this more and more of a possibility.

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

The CMO is in the most unique position to provide strategic perspective in the boardroom. No other position touches all aspects of the business. By default, we become experts in the customer, the product, and our competitors – a full 360 degree view.

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

“The only constant is change” is my mantra. Marketing is constantly evolving and it’s important to stay on the new trends. The only words that make me squirm are business jargon that makes no sense, like “walk the walk.” Isn’t it supposed to be “walk the talk?”

(11) What makes you stressed?

I get stressed over uncertainty and lack of communication. I once heard a great saying. “When times are good, communicate. When times are bad or uncertain, communicate more.” These are words I try to live by.

(12) What do you do to relax?

I love to travel to parts unknown. For me, being on the beach is the most relaxing in the universe. There is something calming about being next to the ocean.

(13)  What is your favourite song?

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Isn’t that the greatest song of all time?

 (14)  Which book taught you most?

“Good to Great” by Jim Collins. This book is chock full of perennially great advice.

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

Loyal to my hometown, I’m a huge fan of the Sacramento Republic – the next great Major League Soccer (football) team in the US.

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

I recently spent a summer in Brazil and I’m a huge fan of the people and the culture. If I could work anywhere, it would probably be somewhere in Brazil.

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

As a marketer, I’m pretty to be critical about other people’s marketing. I think the does a great job of putting their clients first in the marketing. At the end of the day, if you don’t have happy clients, then you have nothing.

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

I love the fact that marketing allows me to use both my creative and analytical sides at the same time.

(19)  What is your favourite book?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It’s an amazing story about perseverance and one mans love for his son.

(20)  What keeps you awake at night?

The unyielding proliferation of emails building up in my inbox 24 hours a day. 


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