Smooth Operator

Sometimes the void shouts back

Welcome to The Beat by Rockstar CMO. I’m Ian Truscott, a 3xCMO, trusted advisor, strategy consultant and Chief Bottle Washer at Rockstar CMO. In this newsletter, I’d like to share a mix of what’s caught my eye from our community, our podcast and our street knowledge blog.


Thanks for opening this email, I hope you’ve had a good week.

A decade ago or so, I once described what I do with my blog to my family, and one of my daughters said, “So Daddy, you are shouting into the void”.

Ah, as they say, “from the mouth of babes,” and it was hard to disagree. If you create content, you might feel the same.

But sometimes, that void speaks back, which is absolutely splendid! And not because I might win some family debate.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my chums read this newsletter and suggested that when I was banging on about CMOs being losers, CMOs are not losers. They are smooth operators. (Thank you, Peter!),

Peter is a smart fella. Then, on the This Old Marketing podcast, my chum Robert Rose (an hour and one minute into the last episode), in a conversation about the CMO tenure, made a really good point about the CMO role.

In large organisations, the primary job of the CMO is not marketing.

CMOs are not the chief do-er of the marketing things, it is “politicians job”. They are a diplomat and the sales representatives of marketing at the C suite, there to be the liaison between the marketing done by the team four levels below and the leadership team.

Robert even opined that some big company CMO’s can’t roll up their sleeves and do the work, both from the expectations of the role and simply had lost those smarts.

And I’ve definitely seen that, in particular, the marketing leaders that outsource their marketing brain to an agency.

It seems that Peter was onto something, suggesting that marketing leaders need to be smooth operators.

Me, I love the work, which might be why I find myself working with a start-up right now, but I certainly recognise the need to invest in marketing the marketing and play that role that Robert talks about. I’ll be honest, it is not my strength but it is good advice for you if you are on the greasy pole that is a marketing leadership career.

So, yes, Peter, we need to be smooth operators.

No shocks on what tune gave this email its subject line - a classic by Sade. A gentle start to get your marketing mojo working.

Thanks again for opening and reading this far, I hope you like the links below and please hit reply if you have any ideas or feedback.

Enjoy your week!



Ian Truscott | Chief Bottle Washer Rockstar CMO

Street Knowledge

Some good stuff on this week’s topic….

Our Beat

Some content from closer to home.

Get your Monday Marketing Mojo Working

A chilled-out start to the week, remember you are a Smooth Operator…