Currently holding the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Cherwell, Scott Gainey earned his first leadership opportunity while working at NetApp in a combination product management/solutions marketing role. At the time, Scott was working within a small incubation team tasked with navigating NetApp’s entrance into a new market adjacency around data protection. Like many new leaders, he entered the role with little formal leadership training. That came a few years later at Cisco, which backed Scott’s desire to attend the executive education program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

It was at Cisco, where he was given his first significant opportunity to lead a marketing organization, responsible for Cisco’s new cloud computing and data center networking portfolio. Scott took on that role pre-revenue and remained with the team until they achieved a billion-dollar revenue run rate, that fastest growing portfolio in Cisco’s history. Later he moved over to take on Cisco’s multibillion-dollar security business and played a vital role in the $2.7 billion acquisition of SourceFire.

After the integration, Scott decided to take on a new leadership challenge at Palo Alto Networks where they were evolving the marketing organization to support explosive 55- 60 percent year over year growth demands. His first CMO role came at SentinelOne then continued on to Cherwell Software.

Expanding Focus

Scott asserts that Cherwell has developed a unique service management architecture that allows the company to deliver broad service experiences for both employees and customers of mid to large enterprises. Since its early history, however, Cherwell primarily focused its go to market efforts strictly on IT operations, delivering IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions. Under marketing’s leadership, it has since expanded that position and extended Cherwell’s focus to include the much larger enterprise service management market, a market estimated to be four times the size of ITSM. These efforts resulted in a strong acknowledgment from Forrester who named Cherwell, a leader in its 2018 Wave for Enterprise Service Management.

What Defines a CMO?

According to Scott, the role of CMO has expanded dramatically over the last 6-7 years. Today more than ever, CMOs must deliver on a comprehensive, investorvisible, strategy that defines and builds the company’s brand, creates efficient and qualified demand, and drives high productivity across the field. He states, “To succeed a CMO must have command of its target market, key buyers, and influencers. She/he must have command of what makes the company genuinely unique.” These capabilities must inform every decision CMOs make. Today’s CMO must have a thirst for intelligence. She/he must have the means to organize data across different team and system sources into meaningful information so she/he can use unobstructed retrospective views to drive sound, forward-looking decisions.

Moreover, CMOs must be inherently curious about technology, but also have the capability to look at choices through an architectural level lens. Like CIOs at a company level, they must think more holistically about building a marketing technology platform and how that platform must come together to deliver connected experiences for the broader marketing team and ultimately, their customers. The technology available to CMOs today is incredibly vast. Hence, a CMO must be able to navigate through sound decisions so as not to compromise the continuity of their technology platform.

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