Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™

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104: Shaku Atre Takes Over Legends & Losers

December 21, 2017

Most new CMOs find themselves in a trap of trying to earn the right to do a category strategy before they even do the basics. What changes has the digital age brought to the role of the CMO? Why is it so insane to rebrand without the context of category design? Where is marketing headed, and who will succeed in that age? On this episode, Shaku Atre is back, but this time she puts Chris in the hot seat as he gives insights on marketing and category design.

Any branding strategy absent a category strategy is a waste of money, because you don’t know what you’re doing. -Christopher Lochhead


  • The best venture money is customers.
  • The value of a creative and strategic mind increases everyday.
  • Social media is only as good as the content.

At the start of the show, we talked about how Chris stayed ahead as a CMO, and why you’re toast if you don’t have the ability to capture attention. Next, we talked about some of the mistakes companies make with their venture funding and the magic triangle of becoming a category king. Towards the end, we talked about the future of marketing, and the value of creative and strategic marketers.

We also discussed:

  • Why the average CMO’s tenure is 44 months, and why it’s even shorter in tech
  • How digital has changed the role of the CMO
  • Why rebranding isn’t always the best thing

We’ve lived through direct mail, online marketing and now we’re in age of social media, content marketing and marketing automation. Where we’re going promises to bring us more surprises, innovations, legendary categories and the companies that will reign over them. We don’t serve anything or anyone when we play small, so as we continue to live in the greatest age to work in marketing, we have to always aim to play bigger and have the courage to be legendary.

Guest Bio 

Shaku is the founder and managing partner of the Atre Group, Inc. Santa Cruz, California, and New York City, NY- a business intelligence and data warehousing corporation. She is an internationally renowned expert who lectures on business intelligence, data warehousing, data mining, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and database technology. Atre is also the author of six highly regarded books. She has worked with a number of organizations including financial institutions, manufacturing companies, Insurance organizations and health industry in resolving a number of business related issues by implementing appropriate technology. Shaku has worked for IBM in Germany and the USA and she was a partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers for a number of years. She has been an entrepreneur and has founded a number of IT companies in New York and California. Go to for more information and follow her on Twitter @ShakuAtre.