Building Better CMOs
Building Better CMOs

Andrea Brimmer, CMO of Ally: Great Privilege, Great Pressure

Full transcript

As recently as the late 2000s, if you wanted to launch a new banking brand you needed brick-and-mortar branches. But GMAC, a spinoff of GM that was bought by private equity firm Cerberus, didn’t have the liquidity to build or buy a network like that. Joining the company as a brand executive and later becoming its CMO, Andrea Brimmer recalls how risky it felt to debut GMAC’s new identity, Ally Financial, as an online-only firm.

“It sounds funny to say that now, 15 years later when everybody's banking in the palm of their hand, but it was a huge challenge to convince people to send their money to the internet, and that was exactly what we had to do,” Brimmer says. “We really underestimated how big this franchise could really be … I think it's one of the best turnaround stories in American business history."

Today on Building Better CMOs, Andrea talks with MMA Global CEO Greg Stuart about the research Ally and the MMA have done together on "brand as performance marketing,” sharing data with marketing leaders at other companies, and what it takes to make the leap from account manager to marketing leader. They also talk about Ally’s commitment to investing equally in men’s and women’s sports, and why no responsible company can ignore generative AI.