Michael Brenner has been a leading voice and thought leader in the marketing space for several years — a frequent author and speaker, he’s well respected across the content marketing, digital marketing, and e-commerce spheres.

Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner presents at Content Marketing World (Source)

In 2017, Michael was named a Top Business Speaker by The Huffington Post and a top CMO Influencer by Forbes. He is an accomplished author — penning more than 1,000 articles in top publications. As CEO of Marketing Insider Group, he’s consulted with 60+ Fortune 500 brands, helping them delivering amazing customer experiences and setup their marketing strategies.

In our second installment of “What I Want Marketers to Know,” Michael tells us a little more about himself, and how he sees the world of marketing.

Related Content: What I Want Marketers to Know: Ohad Hecht, CEO, Emarsys

Current Location: Philadelphia, PA
Current Role: Speaker, Author and CEO of Marketing Insider Group
One word that best describes how you view the state of marketing today: Challenged
Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I started my career in sales and really enjoyed helping my customers succeed. I got into marketing to try and do that at scale. After 20 years in marketing I decided to go on the speaking circuit to help marketers transform in this age data, digital, and AI so we can all learn to focus on delivering amazing customer experiences that lead to business growth.

What do you wish marketers knew (but you’re pretty sure they don’t)?

Most marketers are just taking orders. They think their boss is in charge. I wish marketers knew that their customers are fully in charge. Most marketers create marketing that their customers hate. If they changed their perspective, marketing wouldn’t be so challenged as it is today.

“Most marketers create #marketing that their customers hate — to change that, change your perspective,” says @BrennerMichael CLICK TO TWEET

What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by marketers today?

The biggest challenge facing marketers today is demonstrating ROI, or some quantifiable business results.

How can they overcome this challenge?

It’s counter-intuitive. Focus on the customer and you grow the business and can show your boss results. Focus on what your boss wants and you deliver marketing people hate. And you probably can’t measure it!

If you could tell all marketers just one thing, what would it be?

Focus on customer value.

Technology has already transformed marketing in so many ways. How do you see tech continuing to revolutionize the marketer’s role?

I am so excited about the technology we are seeing emerge and the role it will play in marketing. For one, analytics, reporting and AI will tell us what doesn’t work and what we should stop doing. Second, it will tell us what works and what we should invest more in.

“I’m excited about the role technology will play in #marketing — #AI, for example, will tell us what works and what doesn’t,” says @BrennerMichael CLICK TO TWEET

What are you currently reading, or what would you recommend for marketers?

I’m currently reading Creativity Inc by Pixar’s Ed Catmull. It’s an amazing book on how to scale creativity inside any organization and deliver scalable success. Want to know Ed’s secret? It’s ‘build amazing teams and make your customer the hero of your story.”

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ________ answer these same questions. Steve Olenski, Forbes contributor and CMO whisperer.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to marketers?

My prediction for marketing in 2018 is that this is the year when CMOs will take ownership of culture across the company because employees represent the greatest source of content and the largest power of distribution. The most authentic and engaging content will not come from ad campaigns; but from the experts inside their own company, sharing what they know and what they love. HR is the new marketing.

Michael BrennerConnect with Michael! LinkedIn @BrennerMichael Website

Special thanks to Michael Brenner for his time, energy, and insight.

Know someone who would be a great fit for this series? Email: Michael.Becker@Emarsys.com.

Marketing is in a constant state of change. Are you keeping up? No sweat — we’ve got you covered. We’re revealing 5 big predictions for the next 5 years, straight from the desk of the CMO: “5X5: 5 Marketing Predictions for the Next 5 Years.”

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