CMO Q&A: Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo

Jamie Moldafsky boasts an impressive résumé. Before working for Wells Fargo ─ where she currently serves as CMO ─ she worked for Whirlpool, Charles Schwab, and American Express. 

Here, the 2016 Marketing Hall of Femme honoree, shares what led her to a career in marketing and what she considers to be her biggest industry challenge.

What led you to a career in marketing? Was it an early decision or a more recent event?

Very early on, I was very intrigued by advertising. I was captivated by brands ─ how they tell their stories and how they engage and connect with their customers. I specifically remember my fascination with Tony the Tiger and the Pillsbury Doughboy – iconic brand “mascots.” As time wore on, I was attracted to marketing because of the intersection of business, customer behavior, and creativity.

Have you always been a marketer, or did you train for a different role prior to that (and if so, what)?

I’ve always been either a general manager/business person with a strong marketing orientation, or a marketer with a strong business orientation. I am fortunate because marketing has enabled me to take on a broad range of roles, including product management, advertising, research, and digital sales.

If you could pick out one thing you find most challenging about marketing, what would it be?

First and foremost, I’d say understanding the customer as an individual and where they are at that moment in time when engaging with our brand and content. And, as you can imagine, the multitude of ways to engage and interact with our customers create added complexity.

How important is it for anyone joining your team today to be comfortable with data-driven marketing?

Because data drives our ability to understand our customers and how to best engage them, it’s critical to know how to best use data. Importantly, it’s never data for data’s sake; it’s about the insights into the marketplace and our customers that [data] provides, [as well as] the strategies that it informs.

What’s the single most important component of your marketing stack (by description and/or vendor name)?

We have a number of key partners. It’s an ecosystem of interlinked capabilities and partners that enable us to bring together our customers, data, and messaging. We work together and operate as one team to ensure that we are agile, operating in real time, and optimizing.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?

I would probably be a general manager and run a business, or, ideally, run a non-profit that is focused on improving individuals’ lives. 

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