Russ Mann, Newly Named CMO at Nintex, Talks The Future of Digital Marketing


Nintex, the world leader in workflow automation, today announced that Russ Mann has joined the company as chief marketing officer. Mann will oversee Nintex’s strategic marketing, brand and demand initiatives as it continues to deliver its workflow automation platform to organizations worldwide. Mann’s appointment comes on the heels of the recent additions of Josh Waldo as vice president of channel strategy and channel programs, of Jeffrey A. Christianson as general counsel and of Steve Largent, Brian V. Turner and Mark Woodward to the Nintex board of directors.

Before joining Nintex, Mann was the chairman and CEO of Covario and Rio SEO, a combined global search, social and content marketing software company and agency that he co-founded, which was recently acquired by Dentsu Aegis. Through Mann’s leadership, the company was recognized as the leading enterprise SEO automation platform by Forrester, and as the three-time search agency of the year by OMMA. With its high growth, the company was also listed in the Inc. 500 and the Deloitte Fast 500 multiple times. Mann built a global team of 225 digital marketing professionals and technologists, achieved recognition of the company as a “best place to work” and also acquired and integrated three digital marketing and analytics companies.

Mann took a moment to sit down with Adotas to talk about his marketing plans for Nintex and the ever-changing roles of CMOs in digital media companies.

Question: After a career as a successful CEO and Chairman of Covario, why did you decide to lead Nintex’s marketing team as CMO?

Russ Mann: Nintex is the world leader in the workflow automation software category, which was recently estimated to grow to over $5.5B by 2019.   It’s a dynamic and competitive space and going “in-house”/”client-side” as CMO gives me the opportunity to practice what I preached at Covario and Rio SEO.  It was fun and exciting as CEO building Covario into a leading digital marketing agency and the 3-time OMMA search agency of the year and also building Rio SEO into Forrester’s leader in SEO Automation.  With both groups, I and the team got to work with some of the leading CMOs and VPs of Digital at B2B and B2C companies like Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Accenture, McAfee, Mitel and many others.

Question: In a new report, Forrest expects the typical CMO tenure to last 5 years by 2015– what are some of your 5 year goals for Nintex?

Russ Mann: That’s great to know because AdAge used to say the average CMO tenure was only 1.5-2 years, so I guess I just got 2-3 more years in my job! More seriously, I plan to expand Nintex’ global brand and demand functions through a combination of digital and traditional media- but you can guess there will be a heavy emphasis on B2B digital, based on my background with Covario and Rio SEO.  The original Australian founders of Nintex (Brian Cook, Brett Campbell and Steve Heaney) built a tremendous platform and John Burton, our CEO, has already done a lot with the brand and the website over the past year, so I am very fortunate to come in at a time of exciting and dynamic growth for the company.

Question: As the marketing ecosystem changes, what trends are you seeing that are delivering successful campaigns?

Russ Mann: Covario and Rio SEO are both early innovators in search, social and content marketing, as both B2B and B2C CMOs and Digital execs look to be more analytical, more ROI focused and to move away from traditional media and also away from traditional display media.  I see those trends continuing, as well as better integrated offline to online campaigns and attribution tracking, again with software like Rio SEO and also Chirpify, another company I am an advisor to.  On the horizon, I see a greatly expanded use of short form and mid-length video, targeted for mobile devices, for both B2B and B2C audiences.

Question: How do you plan to pave the way for other CMOs in your new role?

Russ Mann: Back in 2009 I wrote a blog called “The Introduction of the GenX CMO” predicting that “in the next 5 years, Baby Boomer CMOs would start to retire and GenX CMOs would take office and be more digitally oriented, more financially oriented, more technically oriented and more quantitative-results oriented.  Little did I know back then that I would be one of them!  I updated it last year in the “GenX CMO, Smarter Search and Smarter Content” where I covered more recent trends.   If there’s anything I can do for other CMOs, it’s to help further spread the word and help them understand and embrace the rapid and radical changes that are happening in the world of marketing, and help other CMOs learn to work with their CEOs, CFOs and CIOs as respected business partners.


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