The First 100 Days of a Marketing Capability Leader

<p>The First 100 Days of a Marketing Capability Leader</p>

About the playbook

Marketing capability building is seemingly more prevalent – and more important – than ever. So, as a new capability leader, what should you do first?

The rate of change in marketing has never been so intense. New touchpoints, new channels, new category-redefining competitive entrants. And internally, marketing talent has more options and more mobility than ever before. One of the ways CMOs are navigating this is through marketing capability development. Building marketing capability equips marketers with fit-for-purpose tools and approaches, provides a roadmap through change, and attracts and retains talent. As a result, CMOs are tapping their brand or business leaders to take the lead on marketing capability.

But, unlike brand leadership roles where relevant skills and experience are built up through role progression, new capability leaders can find themselves rotating into the role with little transferable experience of what capability building is or how to do it. If this sounds familiar, this article is for you.

Based on the advice and learnings from over 15 seasoned capability leaders from brands such as P&G, AB InBev and Reckitt, and marketing capability consultancy Oxford, it is intended to provide a practical playbook for new capability leaders. It outlines the activities to prioritise during the first 100 days (or more realistically, the first year in role) along with a few watchouts and words of advice.

“Marketing capabilities are becoming increasingly important as advertisers seek to ensure their teams have the right tools and ways of working. This builds competitive advantage and allows them to deliver great results as well as attracting and retaining brilliant talent. Thanks to our network of experienced leaders and our partnership with Oxford, we’ve been able to condense the critical first steps in this process,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA.

“Talent…. It all boils down to this at the end of the day. Making sure we attract the right talent, nurture that talent and keep that talent. The quality of our marketing talent is paramount to brand growth but these days that talent is under more and more pressure to cover a myriad of skill sets. Securing a leader lead sustainable learning culture is therefore paramount today but can be a daunting task. As a relative newbie myself to the world of marketing capabilities I am thrilled to see this playbook come to life as I can see the value it can bring to so many people facing the same challenges. The playbook provides some really practical advice on where to start, the potential pitfalls along the way as well as clear examples from leaders who have a vast amount of experience to share. I only wish it had been published a year ago when I started in my new role,” said Becky Verano, Global VP Marketing Operations and Capabilities at Reckitt, and Chair of WFA's Capability Forum.

“Unlike brand leadership roles where relevant skills and experience are built up through role progression, new capability leaders can find themselves rotating into the role with little transferable experience of what capability building is or how to do it. This playbook is designed to give them a roadmap to success and outline the steps to build a coalition for change, engage teams, and start to positively impact the business.,” said Matt Wardle, Head of Capability, North America at Oxford.

About the Marketing Capability Forum

The Marketing Capability Forum is a network for senior global marketers that lead or are involved in the capability building of their marketing teams. The group looks to share learning in relation to raising the marketing capability bar within WFA member organisations, including how to create a culture for learning, upskill on the digital ecosystem, as well as measure the performance of engaging capability building programmes. Value is delivered through critical research and reports, physical and remote forums, and online tools and benchmarking services. The group is chaired by Becky Verano (Global VP Marketing Operations and Capabilities, Reckitt).

If you would like to engage or learn more, please get in touch with WFA’s Marketing Capability Forum lead: Julia Kraft.


  • Michelle Atkinson
    Michelle Atkinson Michelle Global Head, Marketing Capability, Diageo
  • Homi Battiwalla
    Homi Battiwalla Homi Senior Marketing Director - Global Marketing Excellence, Pepsico
  • Marie Chan
    Marie Chan Marie Global Head of Marketing Capability, GSK
  • Karine Chik
    Karine Chik Karine Vice President, Global Marketing Transformation and Excellence, Mondelez International
  • Neil Collins
    Neil Collins Neil Brand Building Capability Director, Coty
  • Jeanette Cutler
    Jeanette Cutler Jeanette VP Brand Experience and Capability, Beam Suntory International
  • Yannis Dramis
    Yannis Dramis Yannis Nestlé Vietnam Ltd - Head of Marketing & Communications
  • Joanna Earl
    Joanna Earl Joanna Head of Global Marketing Excellence, Sanofi
  • Ales Konieczny
    Ales Konieczny Ales Senior Director, Global Brand Learning, P&G
  • Prachi Prasad
    Prachi Prasad Prachi Global Learning and Development Academies Lead, Vodafone
  • hilary Pulver
    hilary Pulver hilary Global Marketing Operations Brand Director, Jacob Douwe Egberts
  • Nicola Thomson
    Nicola Thomson Nicola Global Marketing Capability Lead, Edrington Group
  • Becky Verano
    Becky Verano Becky Chair, WFA Marketing Capability Forum and Global VP Marketing Operations and Capabilities, Reckitt
  • Ryan Verschoor
    Ryan Verschoor Ryan Head of Global Marketing Capability, Anheuser-Busch Inbev
  • Matt Wardle
    Matt Wardle Matt Author and Head of Capability, North America, Oxford