• The SiriusStars blog series is a collection designed to share the personal and professional world of your B2B peers. SiriusStars is an exclusive community of high-performing and highly influential clients that have been hand-picked for their exceptional work
  • In this edition, we continue our conversation with Cyrille Brisson, EMEA Marketing VP at Eaton Electrical
  • We sat down with Cyrille to discuss how working in many different countries has shaped his role as a CMO, what he thinks the future of marketing looks like and how he would summarize the value of SiriusDecisions

SiriusStars is an exclusive community of high-performing and highly influential clients selected for their exceptional work leveraging and implementing SiriusDecisions research and advice. The SiriusStars blog series is designed to share the personal and professional world of your B2B peers. In this post, we continued our discussion with Cyrille Brisson, EMEA Marketing VP at Eaton Electrical.

SiriusDecisions: What is one marketing technology platform you can’t live without?

Cyrille Brisson: The scale of the geographies, markets, product lines and business models we manage in a diversified industrial company like ours becomes quickly overwhelming as we try to serve it. Without the technology we have come to rely on to automate our content flows and processes – for product data repositories, the web back-end, marketing automation, content and campaigns orchestration – we would not be able to function properly, or we would have to enormously degrade our velocity and capability. A modern marketing function with high adoption of digital technologies resembles a modern order processing function – if its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and marketing resource planning (MRP) stopped functioning, it would go back 30 years. Our content curation and digital asset management systems (Percolate), as well as our distribution systems (Eloqua, AEM, and soon Bigtincan), are therefore at the center of our operations.

SD: I know you worked in many countries and lived in Japan for some time – what was your experience, and how did it shape your role as CMO?

Cyrille: Working in South America and Europe, and then Israel, Japan and then across Asia-Pac – learning languages and cultures – brought me a deep understanding of the business and of the great cultural variability toward interpersonal relationships, change, problem-solving and the notion of quality in such diverse civilizations. But one of the constants was business.

These experiences have helped me learn to quickly identify a true cultural or market difference vs. what is only a perceived difference in the way the marketing and sales organizations need to operate in a specific market. This means I can decide when we need to regionalize and when we do not, and can clearly articulate why. It provides a certain perspective when a country sales or marketing leader who has always worked in his or her own country wants to argue that “You don’t understand – here, it’s different.”

SD: What influences in your life are most beneficial in your current role?

Cyrille: Obviously my very diverse working experience has had a great impact in my current role. For instance, my years running logistics in Japan give me a different angle on how to efficiently run a large, matrixed organization at scale.

Having said that, it is amazing how in life some people can have an unexpected influence. I did my MBA at one of the best business schools in France, and among all the modules and lecturers I had the pleasure to study and work with, there was one lecturer who focused on marketing fundamentals. He was very knowledgeable,yet practical, and so impressive that even though I spent only a few dozen hours attending his lectures in total, I can remember everything he taught and I can say that I am still following the same basic principles behind the modern wizardry.

SD: If you were to summarize the value of SiriusDecisions, what would your top three value points be?

Cyrille: The first value point is being able to uncover how the marketing organization may need to change to support company growth. The second is providing a structured approach to resolve challenges. The third is creating a common language and integrated model between the various functions of the marketing team.

SD: What separates SiriusDecisions from other companies you’ve worked with?

Cyrille: I work with SiriusDecisions to create the structure to address business needs. I find the way you help people implement your research to be unique – it separates you either from consultants who specialize in resolving very technical issues, or from those who run one-off projects that do not help in building our capability. When we work with your analysts, we look at the bigger picture – we look at the process of change and its implication, and together we create a path to move forward.

SD: What do you think the future of marketing looks like?

Cyrille: I think that the future of marketing is in the true alignment and even integration between the marketing and sales, so that acquisition, nurturing and conversion become highly integrated and effective efforts. One of the places to start improving marketing would be to stop looking at the marketing operations and sales operations teams as two different units. I would advocate that joining these two entities would force CMOs and CSOs to work together in defining a common language, or a single version of the truth of marketing and sales contributions.

We also need more courage in taking risks on cross-pollination not only among product, sales and marketing functions, but also among multiple business units and geographies. Often the recruitment process relies too much on results of psychometric tests and candidates being judged solely on their past experiences and not their potential. A square peg in a round hole may be what the marketing organization needs to succeed in the future.

SD: Finally, what’s the next goal in your cycling career?

Cyrille: I just bought a Tour de France static bike to extend the cycling season in Switzerland, so I’ll have the opportunity to run all the stages of the Tour in my apartment when I can’t take my bicycle on the roads anymore.