#44 The seasoned executive’s guide to becoming a CMO ft. Mychelle Mollot
Mychelle took a slightly unorthodox route into marketing. A trained engineer in geophysics, specialised in gold mining, Mychelle suffered a knee injury which caused her to rethink her career path. Searching for a desk job after reconstructive knee surgery, a couple of companies in the engineering space contacted her with open roles in their marketing departments.
Mychelle had a zero background in marketing. What she did have was a deep understanding of technology. So she took her technical skills and communication skills and combined them. With this skills mix, she was soon hired for a product management role, which quickly turned into product marketing.
Many of today’s marketers aspire to be the CMO. So was that true of Mychelle? Not necessarily. When it comes to career moves, Mychelle’s always been someone who’s been interest-based. And her scope of interest just kept growing. Product marketing led to analyst relations, which led to PR and so on. Mychelle’s a strong advocate for making lateral moves in order to broaden your offering. For that, you need an organization which believes in your ability to learn, one that’s willing to give you a chance. Fundamentally, Mychelle believes it’s not about chasing a title. It’s about following your interests.
Being CMO is a tough job. Statistically, it’s the executive role with the shortest tenure. One of the hardest aspects is communicating to the rest of the business what you’re doing in a way that others understand through internal marketing. It’s also about setting realistic expectations around what’s achievable with the budget and resources available. A CMO needs to constantly strike a balance between proficiency and creativity. A proficient campaign without creativity is not going to be successful. Creativity is the difference between good and great.
Follow Mychelle Mollot on LinkedIn.
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Co-Founder & CEO, Knak
Pierce is a career marketer who has lived in the marketing trenches at companies like IBM, SAP, NVIDIA, and Marketo. He launched Knak in 2015 as a platform designed to help Marketers simplify email creation. He is also the founder of Revenue Pulse, a marketing operations consultancy.