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CMO Files: Jason Wesbecher, EVP & CMO, Mattersight

CMO Files: Jason Wesbecher, EVP & CMO, Mattersight

Get inside the mind of the world's top marketing professionals. In 20 questions we find out what they love most about their job, what their biggest achievements are... and what keeps them awake at night. Read 'The CMO Files'.

Name:  Jason Wesbecher

Organisation Mattersight

Job title: EVP and CMO

Location: Austin, TX, United States 


(1) Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Dayton, OH. I’m not sure that I have been fully raised yet. But I did spend some quality early years living in Potomac, MD, Albuquerque, NM, Oakton, VA, and Philadelphia, PA.

(2) What was your first job?  

It’s a cliché: paperboy.

(3) What was the first product you got really excited about?

Pong on Atari, of course!  

(4) Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

Easy – Joe Liemandt, CEO of Trilogy. Joe plucked me out of Wharton undergrad in 1996 and taught me the software business. While each of my peers was moving to New York to work for Goldman or McKinsey, I moved to Austin, TX to work for an obscure software company. I think of those times often.

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?

Last week, I was driving my daughter to school. She asked me why my company was “important to the world.” My greatest achievement is raising an 8-year-old who can stump me with questions like that.

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?

I make so many that it’s hard to identify one! As a risk-taker with an entrepreneurial spirit, I don’t really think in terms of “mistakes.” I’m just always learning.

(7) What is your greatest strength?

I ask more questions than I offer answers.

(8) What is your biggest weakness?

Impatience and impulsiveness.

(9) What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?  

Entrepreneurship. I spent the last two years of my life as the CEO of a venture-backed start-up. During this time I learned so much about disruption, messaging and scrappiness.

(10) Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?

Committee.

(11) What makes you stressed?

Committees.

(12) What do you do to relax?

I live in Austin, TX so I have ample outlets for relaxation. Hiking, biking, swimming, and people-watching are standard weekend activities.

(13) What is your favourite song?

“Don’t Stop Believing’ is a karaoke favourite, date song, corporate rallying cry, and the end of the Sopranos.

(14) Which book taught you most?

I’m going to get in trouble for this, but “SPIN Selling” is literally the best business book I have ever read. I know that sounds pedestrian. But the book teaches a system for diagnosing a customer’s need that is second to none.

(15) Do you have a team or sport that you follow?

I follow the NFL, but feel increasingly uncomfortable with that admission.

(16) Which country would you like to work in?

Brazil. I have done business there for a few years now and it is a dynamic, mysterious place.

(17) Which company do you think has the best marketing?

Hands-down the greatest living marketer is Vince McMahon of the WWE. He built the idea of storytelling + content + rich visuals. Vince does not get the respect he deserves as a marketer.

(18) What do you love most about your job?

The ability to tell a story. Storytelling is part of the human fabric since the beginning of time. I am lucky enough to get to do that every day.

(19) What is your favourite book?

“A Confederacy of Dunces” is my absolute favourite book ever.

(20) What keeps you awake at night?

The unknown unknowns. What am I missing and how can that lead to failure?

 

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