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Marketing Innovators Luncheon Seminar

The Curious CMO

Emerging from the financial crisis, Fifth Third Bank was reenergized by its strategic planning exercise, but realized that banks were still viewed as a commodity, while the industry’s reputation itself was under attack. 

Join Larry Magnesen, Chief Marketing Officer, as he shares how the bank and its strategic partner, Leo Burnett, developed a differentiated positioning and are now bringing it to life for consumer and business audiences. Arguably, banks have been one of the least-differentiated business categories for decades, and the lessons learned in creating a meaningful point of difference are instructive for any business marketer looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The “Curious CMO – Building a Purpose-Driven Brand” will reveal bold steps that “the Curious Bank” is now taking to move a 155 year old bank through unprecedented changes in both marketing and banking. Larry will also share his insights about the critical linkage between external brand building and internal employee understanding and engagement. 

In his discussion of the bank’s repositioning, for the BMA audience he will place particular emphasis on how Fifth Third Bank generated resonance with decision-makers at small businesses and middle market companies.

Finally, Larry will provide an easy-to-remember mnemonic device to gain inspiration about potential marketing strategies to both engage customers and keep a brand top-of-mind with existing clients and prospects. Most businesses have far more assets at their disposal than they realize, and a simple framework can help identify them for greater leverage.



As chief marketing officer, Magnesen directs the advertising, marketing and communications activities across all the bank affiliates .

“We are excited to have Larry in such a strategic position within the Bank,” said Kevin T. Kabat, president of Fifth Third Bancorp. “He is, without a doubt, the best person to drive us forward as we showcase new products, services and initiatives.”

Prior to his relocation to Cincinnati and promotion to senior vice president for marketing in 2005, Magnesen directed all marketing efforts for Fifth Third’s Western Michigan affiliate, headquartered in Grand Rapids. He joined Fifth Third in 2001 with the acquisition of Old Kent Financial Corporation. At the time of acquisition, Magnesen served as senior vice president of marketing for that company. Before joining Old Kent, he was vice president and Regional Marketing Executive for the former Banc One Corporation, headquartered in Columbus.

Magnesen has a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and International Business from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Magnesen is a member of the board of directors of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

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