The Banking CMO Report

10 Leaders on Priorities, Challenges, and Opportunities

Executive Summary

Today’s banking CMOs are redefining their role as digital becomes the default banking channel for customers. With CMOs being responsible for customer retention as well as acquisition, they are seeking to exert influence over more stages of the customer journey.


  1. How is digitization reshaping the role of the banking CMO? 
  2. What are the top priorities on the agendas of banking CMOs?
  3. What challenges do banking CMOs face in delivering on their top priorities?  

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? We synthesize exclusive interviews with 10 CMOs at some of the largest and most innovative banks, credit unions, and neobanks in the US and Canada. We provide insights into how CMOs define their roles and responsibilities; how trends are shaping their strategic priorities; and how a changing consumer and competitive environment is changing the CMO role more fundamentally. 

KEY STAT: Eighty percent of CMOs believe that they are either entirely responsible for or play a leading role in their organization’s digital business transformation strategy, per a May 2021 Gartner survey—illustrating the increased intertwining of marketing and digital.

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    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. Key Points
    3. Introduction
    4. Emerging Internal Priorities for CMOs
    1. Emerging Customer-Facing Priorities for CMOs
    2. CMOs’ Pandemic Adaptations
    3. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    4. Read Next
    1. Sources
    2. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Mary DePaoli
    Executive Vice President and CMO
    Interviewed August 18, 2021
    Carolyn Feinstein
    Varo Bank
    Chief Marketing, Growth, and Design Officer
    Interviewed June 9, 2021
    Laura Curtis Ferrera
    Global CMO
    Interviewed August 18, 2021
    Adam Hadi
    Vice President, Marketing
    Interviewed May 10, 2021
    Francesco Lagutaine
    M&T Bank
    Chief Marketing, Communications, and Digital Officer
    Interviewed July 8, 2021
    Justin Morcelle
    Interviewed June 24, 2021
    Pam Piligian
    Navy Federal Credit Union
    Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
    Interviewed June 3, 2021
    Ben Stuart
    Bank of the West
    CMO and Head of Growth and Transformation
    Interviewed August 17, 2021
    David Thuma
    Executive Vice President and CMO
    Interviewed July 21, 2021
    Ivan Wicksteed
    Chief Growth and Revenue Officer
    Interviewed May 26, 2021

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    Maria Elm, Matthew Gaughan, and Tyler Brown


    Paul Briggs
    Principal Analyst
    Dave Frankland
    Principal Analyst, Marketing
    Daniel Ramirez
    Researcher, Financial Services
    Jillian Ryan
    Principal Analyst
    Daniel Van Dyke
    VP, Content
    Julia Woolever
    Senior Report Editor

    "Behind the Numbers" Podcast