Sean Burke (@sean_burke), CMO of GE Healthcare IT, shared his insights on marketing with me recently. As we talked about how to build a high performance marketing organization, he shared some of the work GE has done on the subject. Beth Comstock, CMO of GE, also shared these ideas in a recent Harvard Business Review article, Unleashing the Power of Marketing. You can also hear an interview with Beth at http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2010/09/remaking-marketing-at-ge.html.
According to Sean, GE believes there are four characteristics of an effective marketer.
1. Innovator: Someone who is constantly looking for new ways to improve a product or a marketing program.
2. Instigator: A person who is willing to challenge the status quo and be an agent of change.
3. Integrator: A leader who connects the cross-functional members needed to execute new programs.
4. Implementer: Someone who takes responsibility for getting things done.
A GE success story highlighted in the HBR article is the development of jet engines for Very Light Jets, a category of aircraft that did not exist several years ago. By listening to aviators and pioneers of the “air taxi” service, GE marketers identified an opportunity to develop a new class of jet engine that would support this new segment of the aviation industry. In the process they have become the leader in this new and growing market.
How do you stack up against GE’s four characteristics? Who do you know that represents all of these and has had success as a result? We’d like to hear about them.