Skip to main content

The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

What's the Secret to Marketing Innovation?


Marketing Horizons: What's the Secret to Marketing Innovation?

Michael McCathren, innovation lead at Chick-Fil-A, and author of a new book: 6Ps of Essential Innovation, is an expert on the “innovation organization.” In this episode, he shared with us specifics about how marketing departments can develop the capabilities and the culture needed to implement new ideas. Listen in to learn how marketing leaders should adopt an innovation mindset, to make new ideas welcome, and to stimulate “idea equity” in their companies. Michael explains why an innovation organization is NOT the same as an innovative organization, and why it matters. His secret weapon for innovation: Stay close to your customers and let them speak for themselves.

Three Takeaways

  • Companies often try to incorporate new capabilities without building a culture that is able to accept them.
  • Marketing leaders can create an innovative culture by asking questions instead of making statements.
  • The voice of the customer can be the “rocket fuel” to drive growth through innovation.

About our Guest

Michael McCathren

Michael McCathren, best-selling author of 6 Ps of Essential Innovation, is a strategic innovation expert who has spent more than 30 years leading efforts across operations, supply chain, finance, strategic planning, and marketing. Currently, he oversees Enterprise Innovation in the Innovation & New Ventures group at Chick-fil-A where he and his team are responsible for helping the organization transform its ideas into business value.

A curious, creative problem solver by nature, Michael approaches life with an innovation mindset and dedicates time to fostering that potential in others. Outside his work with Chick-fil-A, he is an adjunct professor of Innovation Management for the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

Michael holds a Master of Science in Innovation from Northeastern University. He's deeply devoted to his faith and family, and enjoys seeing the world on his motorcycle or camping with his wife, Dena.

Meet the Hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.

WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications. Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!