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As Tile makes a long-term B2B play, its CMO says he’s right where he loves to be
Get to Know: Tile CMO Simon Fleming-Wood
In November of last year, Simon Fleming-Wood was named CMO of Tile, the company behind RFID hardware devices designed to help users keep track of things like lost keys or phones. In his role, the CMO oversees all marketing and communications efforts for the brand, including brand strategy, growth marketing, advertising and PR.
“It’s an exciting time to be in the role as the company is really expanding their retail footprint, introducing new products, making a long-term B2B play and really owning their category,” says Fleming-Wood. “That’s right where I love to be.”
Currently, Fleming-Wood’s team is focused on a brand strategy campaign that will launch during the holiday season.
“Tile has roughly 90 percent share of a category they created, but it’s still a category with low awareness overall, so there’s a real opportunity to build a meaningful brand here.”
Tile is also planning promotions around its Smart Location Platform. Launched last year, the new platform makes it possible for companies to embed Tile’s technology into their own products.
“It’s our vision for the future — where other brands can easily integrate our tech into their products,” says Fleming-Wood.
Before joining Tile, Fleming-Wood served as Pandora’s CMO, taking the music site’s marketing organization from a team of two to a team of 50. The CMO says the six months he took off between leaving Pandora and joining Tile was the first time in his career he had taken time for himself.
In today’s “Get to Know” column, Fleming-Wood shares why those six months were so special, as well as the business leaders he most admires, and the last book he read that impacted his ideas around marketing.
What was the first thing you checked on your phone today?
Which apps do you use most often for work?
Calendar, then email.
What was the last thing you shared on one of your social networks?
A photo from my daughter’s graduation.
What’s the first thing you tackle when you get to the office?
I get through my inbox and take stock of what I need to accomplish that day and prioritize my time.
Take me through your typical work day.
It’s filled with a lot of meetings — at all levels of the company.
I usually kick it off with meetings, then take a break to refresh by taking a run during lunch in our office gym. Then more meetings with the leadership team, cross-functional teams, as well as external partners.
I work on balancing short-term and long-term objectives every day, and am also currently focused on a lot of team building, interviewing and looking for the right people to join our team and culture at Tile.
How much of your work-time is actually completed in your office?
I’d say 70 percent in the office and 30 percent outside of the office. Again, my time at the office is typically spent in meetings, so my thinking time happens during the evening and on the weekends.
I do my best thinking when I have my quiet time, and sit at the kitchen table at home and really think.
What’s your favorite martech?
We’re still building out our marketing tech stack, but for now, it’s Google Analytics. It provides great insights on website performance and our digital marketing performance.
Do you have a sentimental item that you keep on your desk or in your office?
Photos of my daughters.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled for work?
The most memorable trip was to Cannes. I went when we were launching Flip Video and we gave out Flips to all the attendees at the AMFAR dinner.
It was a who’s-who of Hollywood at this dinner, and I had the opportunity to talk to celebrities in a setting where they were just real people. It was fun to see George Clooney, Madonna and many others joyfully using the product we created.
It was also memorable because it is one of the few “work” trips that my wife was able to come along.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
I’m always balancing three things:
- What needs to happen to make the business successful today and tomorrow.
- Building a team and an environment that inspires people to want to come work.
- Balancing all that while maintaining the importance of my family time.
Can you tell us about a campaign or work project you’d like to do over?
When I was at Flip, we had to execute a campaign coming off of a hugely successful holiday.
Instead of coming up with something new and different, we evolved a previous campaign. I dislike rinsing-and-repeating, and wish we would have pushed more to do something fresh and new.
What has been the most pleasantly surprising thing that’s happened to you in the past year?
Taking six months off between Pandora and Tile. It was the first time I took some time off since starting my career.
I was able to spend a lot of time with my family. It was my last summer with my high school senior at home, so it meant a lot to spend that time with her.
I also got to do activities I love but don’t often have time for, like paddle boarding on Fallen Leaf Lake in Tahoe.
What marketing leader do you most admire?
There isn’t one person that stands out in totality to me. But I’m inspired by pieces of a number of different leaders.
Typically, I respond to humility, humanity and those who deliver results. I admire Elon Musk for innovation, Bezos for betting large, Howard Schultz’s commitment to Starbucks being more than just a company, and Sheryl Sandberg for her openness and realness.
How do you de-stress or clear your head when you’re away from work?
Run, exercise and laugh.
What’s the last thing you read that impacted how you think about marketing?
“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
Honestly, I’m a pretty open book. I’ve shared more about myself than my team probably wanted to know!
Why did you go into marketing?
I graduated from Stanford with a degree in political science. At the time, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer; but I went into management consulting and strategy and joined Clorox as part of their brand program.
As part of that program, I got to test the waters of marketing, and I fell in love. Marketing requires both the head and the heart. There’s a place for emotion and analysis, and that’s something I love.
What did you want to be when you were young?
NHL hockey player
What was your best work dinner ever?
Maybe not dinner, but there have been many memorable meetings. Two that come to mind are visiting with Howard Schultz at Starbucks while I was at Pandora and presenting to Joe Montana while I was at Pure Digital (Flip Video).
In particular, Howard Schultz was an inspiring guy to be around. I was drinking a Venti Iced Green Tea — unsweetened!
Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign caught your eye recently?
I thought the recent Volkswagen ad promoting their new full-size vehicle was extremely powerful.
It’s all about a family that comes together to fulfill a dying wish from the grandfather. It takes them on a road trip across the US, and it just tugs at your heartstrings. It was beautifully shot and emotionally driven.