Strategic Thinking and Execution

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On this episode, Jill Thomas, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer of PGA TOUR Superstore, discusses the challenges and opportunities of marketing in the golf retail industry. She highlights the shift in the golf consumer landscape and the need to reach diverse audiences with different motivations for playing the game. Jill also shares her experience of building a high-functioning marketing organization with limited resources and the importance of trust and credibility in implementing a multi-year transformation plan.

Key Takeaways:

  • The golf consumer landscape has evolved, with diverse audiences playing the game for different reasons, creating new marketing challenges and opportunities.
  • Building a high-functioning marketing organization with limited resources requires strategic thinking and the ability to prioritize and execute effectively.
  • Trust and credibility are crucial in implementing a multi-year transformation plan and gaining support for major investments in marketing technology.
  • Surrounding oneself with strong executional team members is essential for translating strategic ideas into tangible results.
  • The need for both data and analytics and creativity in marketing, and the importance of balancing short-term sales with long-term brand building.

About the Guest:

“Jill Thomas is a dynamic, strategic-minded marketing executive with more than 25 years of senior leadership experience across channels and several industries, including retail, e-commerce, restaurants, travel and hospitality, and consumer goods. Jill is a results-driven leader with a consistent record of growing sales revenue and brand performance with some of the world’s most admired companies, including The Walt Disney Company, Bloomin’ Brands, Cinnabon, Yum! Brands, and PepsiCo. Most recently, Jill was the SVP/Chief Marketing Officer for Atlanta-based Edible Arrangements.

In her role as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Jill is responsible for directing all strategy and execution of our marketing and advertising plans, creative promotions, campaign planning, national and grassroots plans, social media, sponsorships and our loyalty program. Jill also heads up the eCommerce business and be responsible for our eCommerce P&L along with eCommerce operations.

In addition, Jill oversees a variety of our key partnerships including the PGA TOUR, Golf Channel, the First Tee, marketing and research work with the National Golf Foundation (NGF).

Jill’s history of success is not predicated on large marketing budgets and investments, but rather her knack for objectively understanding financial data and numbers and ability to link and align this data with consumer needs. This skill has led to repeated recognition and reward in each organization she has been employed. She is a respected traditional and digital marketing leader with broad business acumen, proven ability to develop and implement winning strategies, and a leadership style develops talent, high-performing teams and agencies. She has a knack for objectively understanding financial data and numbers and the ability to link and align this data with consumer needs.

Jill has volunteered and collaborated with various organizations to strengthen their voice and results. She currently serves on the Woodruff Art Center’s Alliance Theatre Board of Directors and the Executive Advisory Board for the AMA, both based in Atlanta. She previously served for two years as an elected Board Member for The Retail Gift Card Association, the prepaid industry’s premier association representing issuing brands along with leaders from Starbucks, Best Buy and Walmart to name a few.

In 2019, she was recognized by Brand Innovators as one of the top 100 women in Brand Marketing.”

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Episode 426