If you asked Jeff Schmitz 30 years ago what he imagined his career looking like in 2020, it probably wouldn’t have been anything close to what it is today. In fact, the word “marketing” probably wouldn’t have been in his vocabulary. He was an engineer with visions of building products – not marketing teams and strategies.
Yet, here he is – Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of a Fortune 1000 company – being recognized as one of the Most Notable Executives in Marketing for 2020 by Crain’s Chicago Business and, a month later, receiving a Global CMO Leadership Award from Enterprise IT World. You just never know where life will take you – or what it will throw at you. Fortunately for Zebra, Jeff’s agility, inventiveness and steadfast leadership has empowered us to continue moving forward during a time when the world around us is essentially standing still.
For example, when the COVID-19 outbreak began, Jeff inspired Zebra’s nearly 300 (now virtual) marketers to build and execute one of the most impactful marketing campaigns in company history – and in record time, no less. With Jeff’s guidance and input, the marketing team also collaborated with Zebra Sales to host 500+ virtual events between March and July that reached 43,000+ partners and end-users with personalized digital experiences. As if that wasn’t enough, Jeff and his team engaged with employees, customers and partners on a daily basis to maintain fully transparent communications about how Zebra was adapting operations throughout the global pandemic to support all stakeholders. Did I mention that, throughout all of this, he also managed to identify new business opportunities to drive revenue?
He truly is a rock star! (Although, he is fast to credit his success to his team.)
Take a few minutes to listen to our latest podcast discussion to learn:
- What changed the trajectory of Jeff’s career and, eventually, helped propel him to the top of his field.
- How Jeff was able to maintain Zebra’s strategic marketing efforts in the middle of a global pandemic without skipping a beat.
- How Zebra’s marketing strategy evolved in the past four years since Jeff joined Zebra.
- The digital tools and market trends that most influence Zebra’s marketing strategy and tactics.
- The biggest challenge Jeff has faced as CMO.
- What advice Jeff would give to those either just now starting to build a strategic marketing program or trying to optimize their programs to become more effective in today’s cluttered marketplace.
- What Jeff has been doing in his spare time since the COVID-19 outbreak began.