Amy Fuller, CMO of Accenture, on Creativity and Purpose
The inspiration for innovation can strike at any time. For Amy Fuller, CMO of Accenture, inspiration came at a young age – and in a highly unusual location.
After Amy’s parents purchased one of the Thousand Islands in upstate NY when she was seven years old, her mom arranged a weekend trip for the Girl Scout troop. Things went horribly awry, and Amy, her sister and two other scouts were left to fend for themselves for countless hours during a driving rainstorm as night fell. The only available shelter was the outhouse and, thanks to Amy’s ingenuity, the girls kept themselves from being swept away with a towel rack tied to the door.
The years Amy spent fishing, swimming, building fires and developing lifelong skills on that off-the-grid island were some of the most formative of her life. Though she jokes about her innovative outhouse hack, she takes the lessons learned very seriously. “We all need to hang on to our seven-year-old selves: look around and make use of what’s available to you.”
It was a golden opportunity to do something different and equipped me then to be where I am right now.
Since then, Amy has harnessed numerous experiences to drive innovation in an enviable career that has seen her work with some of the world’s top B2B and B2C brands on both the agency and client side. Those experiences gave her insight into what stands brands apart. “In marketing, creativity is the competitive driver and differentiator. And making unexpected connections is a wonderful description of both innovation and creativity.”
After helping build brands for some of the world’s best known companies during her agency days, Amy earned her “master’s degree” in B2C at Mastercard while developing the iconic “Priceless” campaign across channels and markets. She then took a seemingly unexpected career turn by joining Deloitte. “It was a golden opportunity to do something different and equipped me then to be where I am right now.”
Right now Amy is CMO of Accenture, where she leads a global team of approximately 2,000 marketing and communications professionals focused on strengthening the Accenture brand and helping grow the business. In reinvigorating the brand, Amy is presiding over the company’s largest-ever growth in brand value. And it all starts with Accenture’s purpose. “These days, you need to know your company’s purpose and be able to articulate it. Otherwise, don’t count on lasting credibility.”
Some of Amy’s other keys to success:
- Respecting the creative process. Amy knows things can turn on a dime and that meetings seemingly devoid of value can be the source of marketing gold.
- Relying on data analysis. In Amy’s experience, data provides the true story when it comes to discerning how customers make decisions.
- Understanding what drives lasting change. According to Amy, having your CEO at the table is the only way to define an enduring purpose.