Now leading Global Marketing and Communications at Peloton, Dara Treseder discusses how the fitness brand is cultivating an organic community and internal team for better cross-functionality. Find out why Dara’s greatest advice from our CMO Moves 150 episode is to spend time in different community groups, build relationships, and understand what makes the company tick.
When we first met, you were the CMO of GE Business innovations and GE Ventures. And you had a portfolio of a hundred companies that you were working with. You had some great advice then on what does growth look like from perspective of hundreds of companies so would love to talk to you about that a little bit.
I think that one of the things that is consistent across every company and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a startup trying to disrupt a category or you’re a large organization trying to reinvent yourself, I think the thing that was consistent across all of those companies was that they they had to figure out: what phase are we in our trajectory? Are we trying to reinvent ourselves? And are we trying to reintroduce ourselves to the market or are we trying to double down on who we are?
Just having that clarity of understanding of what you’re trying to do in the marketplace really provided that North star that the marketers and their cost functional partners could rally around. Very often, when I was having discussions with the CMOs of the companies or the CEOs, we were always coming back to “what’s our number one?” Are we in the process of reinvention?” And sometimes that even happened at a startup. You could have started out making a technology that was supposed to do X and all of a sudden what you find is really gaining traction is why Y. So you have to course correct and that means you actually have to reintroduce yourself to the market. So I think really being clear on what stage are we in our journey can really be a powerful force for rallying the marketing team and cross functional partners to drive growth.
You talked a lot about what makes success or what does success look like between a COO and a CEO? What are some of your tips around that relationship?
If you’re leading marketing, it’s really important that you and your CEO or president are aligned with what you’re trying to do. It starts out at the very beginning establishing what success look like. What’s our definition of success, what are we trying to accomplish? And also making sure that you take the time upfront to be clear about what you need to get the job done. Many times people don’t want to have those conversations or forget or don’t feel like we need to have the conversation, but the fact is you have to have that conversation and make sure that you have those things so that you can really succeed. I’ve been blessed in all the different roles I’ve been in. Someone gave me this advice before I took my very first year CMO role at GE for the Business Innovations and GE Ventures. I’ve carried that with me to all the other roles that I’ve been at, where I’ve been really clear and able to have those discussions upfront. It enables me to do my job better because I’m a servant leader.
The way I believe in leadership is creating an environment where my teams can shine and really bring out unlocking their potential to achieve greatness. Not only does it create the right environment for me, but it allows me to create the right environment for my team. So it’s sort of this important chain of reaction that is really critical. Especially as marketing evolves and changes. This year has tested how we’re expected to respond, how quickly we’re expected to change to agile. So having that deep connection and partnership is important.