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CM Summit: Help Me Interview Amex CMO John Hayes

By - June 04, 2010


The CM Summit kicks off next week on Monday morning with an interview of John Hayes, CMO for American Express. I’ve come to know John through my work at Federated, and I am certain this session will be lively and full of insights.  

American Express is one of the world’s premiere brands, consistently ranked in the top 25 by marketing and business publications. Hayes has overseen the brand for 15 years, or put another way, since the Netscape IPO and through the rise of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. I’m looking forward to our conversation Monday. Here are a few topics I plan to cover:

– Hayes has said “the chief challenge for brands today isnโ€™t customer awareness; itโ€™s customer engagement.” What does he mean by that?

– Has the American Express brand changed in the past ten years? How?

– How has the rise of digital changed American Express’ approach to marketing? What mistakes does he see brands making in the context of digital?

– How does Hayes keep American Express “in the conversation” when that conversation is increasingly dominated by online chatter, as opposed to popular culture tent pole events like sports and cultural events?

– The past two years have been particularly challenging for financial services brands. But Amex seems to have come out pretty well. Why? And what has American Express learned in the past two years?

– American Express purchased Revolution Money late last year. Why?

– Along the same lines, how has the rise of online payment – Facebook Credits, Google Checkout, PayPal – challenged or spurred American Express?

– American Express has launched a number of new online services for card members. How do they play into the brand promise?   

Open Forum has been a major success – winning awards, growing traffic. Why? What has American Express learned from that program?

– Stepping back, what do you make of the economy right now? What are your card members telling you, in aggregate, through their purchases?

– What do you expect from your agency relationships? What lessons might you impart about how to work best with agency?

– Publishers and content creators are in the midst of a major disruption. What are you looking for from your publishing and content partners?

So what do you want to hear from John Hayes?

And don’t forget to add your comments for Dick Costolo, Hilary Schneider, Arianna Huffington, Tony Hsieh, Tim Armstrong, Omar Hamoui, and Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. See you in NYC, or online!

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3 thoughts on “CM Summit: Help Me Interview Amex CMO John Hayes

  1. Dan says:

    John, my buddy/biz partner Andy Gadiel, said I should meet you at WOMMA, but you missed the trip.

    Anyway, I think you should ask the AMEX CMO about the opportunities to leverage purchase behavior data to deliver the most relevant email messages to customers that want to receive them. Seems to me they ought to be able to do a great job here, but I don’t see it from them.

  2. Q @Hayes: What does “” mean to American Express? Have you encountered different views of this concept, and how have you engaged with those who hold such alternative interpretations? Are there any other / related concepts which are of central interest to the company? Which other foci of attention is the company considering becoming more engaged with?

    ๐Ÿ™‚ nmw

  3. Belinda says:

    I am interested in American Express’s new creative agenda, of which we are seeing evidence in Australia.

    American Express are currently sponsoring a range of events and initiatives that encourage creativity and enjoyment (these are not usually words associated with credit card companies). For example, AMEX recently arranged to have 50 easels set up for adults and children, with free paint and canvases, in a central park in St Kilda, Melbourne’s arts and bohemian centre. No catch, minimal branding. Very impressive.

    Is this a trend and if so, what new image is this helping reposition AMEX for, and to which demographic?

    PS It’s worked on me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Belinda Foulds