Quantum Media Team

media guru beth comstock ges chief marketing officer

Quantum Media Team

media guru beth comstock ges chief marketing officer

Quantum Media

http://www.quantummedia.com/event/media-guru-beth-comstock-ges-chief-marketing-officer | Printed on: February 23, 2018


Media Guru: Beth Comstock, GE’s Chief Marketing Officer

Chief Marketing Officer, GE

December 10, 2014

Beth comstock

Beth Comstock is GE’s Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer. Comstock describes GE’s mission as solving big problems in scale and that marketing helps this effort by creating the narrative. Comstock is passionate about change and innovation. She leads GE’s growth efforts via marketing, sales, licensing and communications and oversees GE Ventures. Comstock’s current priorities include partnering with and investing in start-ups, developing new markets in analytics, energy and affordable health through GE’s industrial internet, “ecomagination” and “healthymagination” initiatives, and making connections that spur a culture of inventiveness and grow brand value.

Her talk, not typical for Media Guru, was “on the record.” Gretchen Grant, an advisor for Quantum Media was there and wrote the following story:

In a company as diverse as GE, what is the CMO’s role? Beth Comstock explained that the heart of her role is developing new market opportunities for GE. GE Ventures, which reports to her, evaluates new ventures, analyzes emerging markets, and develops sales and marketing programs for start-up initiatives. One venture that Comstock spearheaded was an ultrasound-in-your-pocket device in Indonesia. To get this venture off the ground, she embedded marketers in the field along with technologists who together looked at how local medical services were delivered, and how GE could improve on that system. The ultrasound device resulted from that ethnographic study.

Her group serves as GE’s chief futurist, and Comstock hires 150 MBAs a year to fuel GE’s ability to “innovate from the market back” in response to emerging trends. The biggest trend that she sees happening now relates to big data. “What happens when 50 billion machines come online?” Technology has become more widespread and accessible. “I want the right ones.” Kaggle, a data science platform, and Quirky, an open innovation and fast prototype platform, are examples of companies that GE is partnering with in its search for the right technologies of the future.

Social media is important for GE as a laboratory for staying relevant. Content marketing helps GE “shout louder than we spend.” Comstock characterized GE’s involvement with BuzzFeed as a way for GE to learn how to become “more creative…”

Marketing has long proven a focus at GE. Jeffrey Immelt, GE’s {CEO}, started out in marketing. GE employs 3500 marketers, along with 40,000 salespeople and 350,000 people in total. How does Comstock organize GE’s marketing efforts over this broad scope? Three tiers provide a framework: Tier 1 programs are for master brand-building; Tier 2 programs target consumer and industrial segments; and Tier 3 programs are specific offers.

Beth Comstock started out with a degree in biology. Her background in science has proven relevant for leading marketing at a company where “[GE] has to know how to change” and keep evolving as a “brand in motion.”

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