CMO Summit 2015


Ken Wincko

SVP, Marketing
PR Newswire 


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What It Takes To Be Successful in the Rapidly Changing Landscape We Call Marketing

The CMO Council sat down with Ken Wincko, Senior Vice President of Marketing for PR Newswire, to hear his thoughts on the changing role of the CMO.

Why do you what you do?

I’ve been in my position at PR Newswire for two years now, and what I love about the PR industry and marketing is the storytelling aspect. We’re bombarded with information daily, and finding the ability to make a story stand out is fascinating because the mediums used to share those stories are changing, particularly with the growth of video and how it’s making shared material increasingly interactive.

In today’s day and age, what do you believe are the key factors that drive CMO success?

I think that, if you believe that the CMO is responsible for being the voice of the customer in the organization, there’s nobody better to help transform the business. Doing this requires the right skill set, team, people, processes and technology because the demands are higher, and all of these pieces are needed to grasp why your business exists for the customer to find value in what you do.

What are the challenges or opportunities for businesses in light of how technology is now so immersed in our day-to-day lives?

There are three challenges that I encounter when it comes to the technology in our day-to-day lives.

First, both B2B and B2C consumers are more empowered than ever before because they can see reviews and connect via social, and this impacts the need for transparency within organizations. The downside for businesses is that brands have less control.

Second, technology is accelerating at a rapid rate, with the emergence of many new platforms that didn’t exist five years ago. If you consider how quickly technology is evolving around artificial intelligence, holograms and wearable technology, additional advancements will provide even more channels to interact with consumers. But at the same time, this opens the door for more fragmentation. In order to stay on top of these advancements, organizations need to be flexible to adjust quickly to the changing landscape, and this is where the CMO needs to be the driver of change.

Third, technology allows companies to access a great deal of personal data, so we need to balance privacy and valuable experiences. As we go forward into the future, if your company is providing value by making consumers’ lives easier and better, then the collection of data won’t be viewed as such a bad thing.

What do you believe should be the primary areas of focus for CMOs?

CMOs have traditionally focused on branding and advertising as areas of expertise. However, the new CMO must be able to think holistically about the business and understand technology and data analytics, as well as how to use that information to transform an organization when a product goes to market. These skills, when mastered, give CMOs the ability to create clear and compelling stories around their offerings.

At PR Newswire, I work with other areas of business—from product development to sales and customer service—to make a greater impact across the company. Making that impact within the company flows over to my specific role, where my goals are to add growth to the business in terms of ROI and revenue.

The second step when launching a product is to be sure that everyone from all departments is on the same page; it improves the quality of the product exponentially, which creates a much better experience for our customers. We live in a social world, and we need to create exceptional experiences from all aspects of the business to ensure success. Otherwise, consumers will look somewhere else.


The CMO Council is offering unlimited access for a single user to the 2015-2016 CMO Summit Video Library for $199 USD. The library contains un-edited views of all general session keynotes, panel discussions, as well as the culmination and output of the CMO Summit’s working group sessions that tackled issues ranging from reshaping the role of the CMO to redefining the core KPIs and impact metrics used at the executive level.