Pictured (L-R): Dejan Cusic (Comtrade), Linda Davis (Next Generation), Kenny Jacobs (Ryanair)
Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs was the keynote speaker at launch of inaugural Business & Finance CMO 100 edition
The elite of Ireland’s marketeers convened in The Marker hotel, Dublin, last night for the launch of the inaugural Business & Finance CMO 100 edition.
Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer of Ryanair, currently the ninth largest airline in the world, was the guest of honour and gave the keynote address at the launch of Business & Finance CMO 100. Recently returned from a roadshow in the USA, his address turned to the topic du jour, the presidential election. Jacobs had watched the results in Times Square in New York. Jacobs detailed to the crowd how, although he would not be a Trump supporter, in his view, it was clever marketing by Trump that won the election: differentiation, playing to his strengths (fame) and a great slogan in “Make America great again.” He made some comparisons to Ryanair’s marketing strategy and spoke of their commitment to maintaining their differentiation on price. He said, “We are a functional business; we don’t want people to love us, but we want them to use us.” The entertaining and insightful address ended with him joking (or maybe not joking) about the possibility of Michael O’Leary running a presidential campaign wearing a green baseball cap, saying “Make Ireland great again!”
The evolving role of CMO
Also speaking on the night, Linda Davis, CEO of Next Generation specialist recruitment consultancy reflected on the evolution of the role of chief marketing officers. She underlined how CMO is a relatively new title that is still settling into what it should be, and discussed how the disruption of industry with data analysis is making an aptitude for data an integral string to the marketing executive’s bow.
Deanna O’Connor, Group Head of Content at Business & Finance Media Group, spoke about the growing strength of the voice of the marketer, and the place of marketing executives on boards. She noted that, “Marketers today need to be creative, strategic and data literate. They need to be an artist, a politician and a scientist all at once.”
The CMO 100 edition of Business & Finance is available to read online here.