The CMO of People

This post is submitted by Joyce Maroney, Executive Director of the Workforce Institute.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing David Creelman and Peter Navin, authors of the new book The CMO of People: Manage Employees Like Customers with an Immersive Predictable Experience that Drives Productivity and Performance. David is a longtime Workforce Institute board member, speaker and author focused on leadership and HR. Peter is Chief Human Resources Officer at Grand Rounds, a leading provider of employer-based technology that connects members and their families to high-quality healthcare. Peter joined me for a podcast in 2017 to talk about why more executives should consider the role of CHRO as a career path.

In this book David and Peter propose a new model for HR leaders to consider that borrows heavily from marketing disciplines and urges them to think about talent management in terms of maximizing the lifetime value of employees. Just as the CMO thinks in terms of the acquisition and lifetime value of customers, Peter Navin’s Talent Funnel “cocktail napkin” chart here summarizes the analogous concepts for how CHROs can think about talent.

Talent Funnel Model
Peter Navin’s Talent Funnel Model

In our wide ranging conversation, we talked about:

  1. How HR leaders can use this model to up their brand from Personnel Department to strategic partner.
  2. Why HR should approach curating the employee experience the way a Chief Marketing Officer does the customer experience.
  3. Why the “predictable and immersive employee experience” is so important and what tools an HR leader can use to achieve this.
  4. The need to find unconventional people to staff this unconventional model.


You’ll learn a lot more by listening to the podcast below, and even better, by reading the book. And please consider adding your own thoughts by commenting on this post.

Please share your comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.