At 19 years, and counting, Emerson Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Button Bell is an anomaly. Outlasting the average Fortune 500 CMO tenure by as much as five times, it’s obvious that she holds a few secrets to survival, especially as martech has continually (and radically) reshaped B2B marketing. Notably, Bell has had the same supportive CEO, David Farr, for all those years. And she’s made a habit of cross-departmental collaboration, actively seeking out peer input and avoiding turf wars.
But even that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Bell’s endurance can also be linked to her ability to push forward new initiatives at just the right moment—and then back those up with research data her engineer cohorts will respect. In the last two years, she has led a “Values Initiative” that helped pull the company out of a difficult period. In fact, February marked the launch of a new marketing campaign that spoke to these values in action for Emerson’s clients. A big fan of reducing complexity, in our interview, Bell offers multiple insights with staying power.