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Marketers: Dare to Dream and Disrupt Yourself

Ten lessons from Fernando Machado, CMO of NotCo

  • March 2023

Fernando Machado is a marketer whose reputation for seeing around the corner precedes him. So it’s no surprise that the recent announcement of Fer’s move to NotCo, where he will be global CMO, generated a lot of interest in the marketing world and beyond. A mechanical engineer by training, his career has taken him from the factory floor in Brazil to the top of the marketing world. His hallmark ability to disrupt, no matter the industry, is borne of a thirst to disrupt himself along the way. In 2021, Fernando was the keynote of our Kellogg Marketing Leadership Summit, during which he shared ten key lessons that any marketer can learn from. In light of his new role, we thought we’d recap them here:

1. Be curious: Fernando’s start in marketing came from the notion that it sounded exciting, and he thought, “Maybe I can do that.”

2. Take yourself out of your comfort zone: It’s how you grow.

3. Raise your hand for the job no one else wants: You’ll be surprised where the road less traveled can take you. In his case, to his dream job of leading brand development for Dove globally.

4. Make yourself redundant: Hiring great teams is the stuff of legacy and when it’s time to move on, you can do so knowing the success is sustainable.

5. When you achieve your dream, change your dream: His dream job attained and success achieved, Fernando sought out Burger King to embark on a new dream.

6. Dream big: Don’t just think about the company. Move the industry forward. And have fun doing it.

7. But start small: Don’t compare the first year in a new job with the last year in your old job. Start with the bread and butter, build credibility, and then push.

8. Ignore the imposter syndrome: No one knows anything anyways and making a wrong decision is better than not making one at all. If you approach things the right way, it’ll all work out. 

9. Keep learning: Learn. Do it again. And do it better. And if it goes well, be humble.

10. Expand your impact beyond marketing: Be a force for culture change both in and outside of company walls.

As for what’s around the corner: you can rest assured that Fernando will be disrupting the world through plant-based foods soon enough.

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