New CMO Hires: Q2 2021

April 1, 2021

There are hundreds of C-suite shakeups every day across industries. It can be easy to miss these moves — and the awesome opportunities that come with them. In particular, a new CMO often signals large-scale sweeping changes within an organization. Rebranding! New website! Request for proposal!


Download 25 Brands with New CMOs – Q2 2021 list


First-time CMOs and new hires are the top trigger for agency changes, media spending shifts, and new martech investments. New hires evaluate these areas and begin making adjustments within a 3-12 month window. In fact, a Winmo study shows that on average, a new AOR is typically named 6-18 months after the CMO is hired.

From a prospecting perspective and with such a short turnaround, it’s crucial to stay up to date on any new hires or promotions, and have pitches prepared in order to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Our latest list, 25 Brands with New CMOs: Q2 2021, provides the names, titles, contact information, and previous job information for marketing executives who have taken on a new role in the last few months. Below, we’ve highlighted even more information from four of these newbies. Keep reading to discover seller, agency, and martech opportunities and uncover a deeper knowledge of what’s going on behind-the-scenes at these big brands (then, download the full list).

1)  Phil Bienert: CMO and president, 1-800-CONTACTS

The contact lens retailer promoted Phil Bienert, its CMO of nearly three years, to CMO and president. Ad spend at 1-800-CONTACTS increased significantly last year and will likely continue to do so with Biernert’s responsibilities expanded. However, we may not see many other changes since this promotion reflects that Bienert is doing a good job with the marketing help he already has.

Pathmatics reports 1-800-CONTACTS’ 2021 digital ad spend is already on the rise; so far this year, it has allocated $2.9m toward this channel, a third of the $9.5m it allocated in 2020. This estimated full-year 2020 spend marked a 46% increase from that of $6.5m in 2019. It may also invest in OTT and/or podcast advertising in order to reach Gen-Z. The company’s D2C model appeals to consumers still stuck at home.

  • Agency and martech readers: Given Bienert’s marketing background, his promotion could lead to agency reviews. Right now, Rain is the company’s creative and media AOR.

2)  Kieran Donahue: CMO, IHOP

The International House of Pancakes hired Kieran Donahue to replace former CMO Brad Haley earlier this year. She most recently served as Marriott’s brand, digital, and marketing VP. In her new role, Donahue manages marketing, digital innovation, communication, brand experience, and menu development.

Per Pathmatics, IHOP earned 102.4m impressions YTD through Instagram ads (45%), desktop video ads (28%), and Facebook ads (27%). It placed the majority (99%) of these ads site direct onto sites such as instagram.com, facebook.com, youtube.com, yahoo.com, and wowhead.com. Full-year spend dropped significantly (74%) from $9.5m in 2019 to $2.4m in 2020.

  • Sellers: IHOP seems to mainly target millennials and Gen-X with a female and Hispanic skew. It reaches these demographics through digital display and national TV ads. Even though the restaurant has decreased ad spend, it still invests significantly in marketing. Sellers should reach out offering relevant ad space.
  • Agency and martech readers: Keep an eye on IHOP as Donahue will have control over the marketing strategy and agency roster. You will face competition from Droga5 (creative AOR) and Initiative (media buying and planning).

3)  Tyler Anderson: CMO, Lume Deodorant

The D2C deodorant brand promoted Tyler Anderson to the newly-created CMO role. Since Anderson joined the company in 2019 as a senior performance marketing and CRM director, he has increased Lume’s teams of producers, email marketers, social and creative. The expansion of Anderson’s responsibilities could easily result in shifts in Lume’s ad spending and/or agency roster.

Last year, Pathmatics reported Lume earned 733.4m digital impressions, utilizing desktop video (51%), Facebook (29%), Instagram (18%), desktop display (2%), and mobile video (1%) ads. Its full estimated spend of $7.5m nearly quadrupled that of an estimated $2.2m in 2019.

This sharply increased digital ad spend, heavy usage of paid social channels, D2C model, and customizable bundle options appeal to Gen-Z. Additionally, its eCommerce products and unique products (which help areas other than just one’s armpits) have helped keep the company afloat despite the pandemic.

  • Agency and martech readers: This promotion raises Lume’s chances of seeking new agencies even more; contact soon to see what work may be available.

4)  Matt Heitmann: CMO, USA Cycling

Last month, USA Cycling named Matt Heitmann, an 18-year industry veteran with experience in digital and growth marketing, as its CMO. In his most recent position in the same role at The Pro’s Closet, Heitmann led the company to become the world’s largest pre-owned bike eCommerce business. The brand awareness and marketing he spearheaded drove all eCommerce sales across several digital paid, earned, and owned channels. He replaces incumbent marketing leader Guillermo Rojas, who departed at the end of 2019.

According to Adbeat, USA Cycling hasn’t invested in digital display since the global pandemic became more of a problem in April 2020, which makes sense considering how many of its events it had to cancel. However, Q1 2020 was the only time from March 2019-2021 during which USA Cycling utilized this channel, so it will likely return to it under this new marketing leader, especially once its events kick off again.

  • Agency and martech readers: USA Cycling targets organizations that could be brand partners, along with potential corporate sponsors. Considering its past focus on YouTube advertising, it also targets athletic Gen-Z and millennials. Get in touch soon to see what work, if any, is available.

Download 25 Brands with New CMOs – Q2 2021 list

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If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. Emerging Industries Report: Q1 2021
  2. Shortened CMO Tenures & Why Sales Should Be Watching
  3. List of Agencies in the Omnicom Network

Economic recovery is in full swing, which means budgets are back, baby. Subscribe to the Winmo blog to receive actionable insights you can use now.

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