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MarketingMasters Luncheon Seminar

For GE’s Marketers, It’s Education at Work

He’s been called one of the top consumer marketers in the United States by Advertising Age and BrandWeek, and with good reason. In the 1980s and 1990s, Steve Liguori played a large role in the resurgence of the Oscar Mayer® and Doritos® brands at CPG giants Kraft Foods and PepsiCo, respectively.

But these days Liguori’s focus is all business-to-business. Join the executive director of global marketing at General Electric Co. when he keynotes BMA’s next MarketingMasters Luncheon Seminar on
Thursday, Oct. 1, at The Standard Club. Liguori is on a mission to achieve

b-to-b marketing excellence at GE through its “Gold Standard” education program, which is helping the company optimize for today and build for the future.
This second luncheon seminar of the program year is the kickoff event for the first-ever BMA Chicago Day networking extravaganza, which also includes an afternoon tour and presentation at Google’s Chicago offices and an evening mini-golf outing in Grant Park.
Liguori was named to his current, newly created position last November after spending three years in senior marketing roles at GE Money - Americas, part of GE Capital. Today he is working to bring GE’s global marketing expertise into line with the growth the company has experienced in recent years.
GE is now a $183 billion infrastructure, finance and media company with more than 300,000 employees worldwide, and Liguori aims to hold its marketing function to a “Gold Standard” by embedding best-in-class capabilities and talent.
“Expertise has to match growth,” Liguori told attendees at the 26th annual member meeting of the Institute for the Study of Business Markets at Penn State University in August. “We have outgrown the capabilities of the past.” After studying the skill sets of GE’s marketing force, Liguori said he found pockets of great expertise, but also found inconsistent and disjointed approaches that were not in synch with changing needs in the marketplace.
As a result, he is developing a functional education curriculum for GE’s marketing executives at all levels. A key element of this program is the “Marketing Rock Star Awards,” which will be given to individuals who best exemplify the following traits:
·         Instigator: Incites a “better way” using a unique vantage point to see around corners
·         Integrator: Drives customer-centered thinking across functions and silos
·         Innovator: Turns unique insights into something tangible to meet customer needs
·         Implementer: Executes against customer needs to drive profitable growth
GE’s marketing education program stresses eight Gold Standard skills that all of its marketers must master, including segmentation and targeting, market knowledge, and strategy and innovation. After matching the right people with the right skill sets, the program calls for continuous evaluation and measurement to ensure that up-to-date disciplines and competencies are being integrated to drive growth for the company.
Liguori is also championing the use of social media through the MarkNet program, which builds on the concepts of LinkedIn and Facebook. Six initial GE marketing-function affinity groups were established to create a virtual community for GE marketers. About 40% of GE’s marketers joined in the first 100 days.
Ultimately, Liguori said, these efforts will “make b-to-b marketing a new source of sustainable competitive advantage at GE.”
BMA’s October luncheon seminar is expected to reach capacity early, so please sign up soon. To register, go here, email Marla Schrager or call her at 312-943-8040.
About Steve Liguori
Stephen J. Liguori was named executive director of global marketing at General Electric Co. in November 2008, reporting to Beth Comstock, GE's senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
In this newly created role, Liguori leads marketing transformation and customer-centric efforts across GE. He is also driving the GE-wide marketing vision and embedding best-in-class capabilities and talent. As a result, he is developing and guiding marketing functional curriculum and is the executive sponsor of the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program and GE’s various regional marketing councils.
Prior to this role, Liguori was senior vice president of marketing for GE Money - Americas and CEO of GE Money Services, part of GE Capital. He led the development of marketing and programs that helped reinforce GE Americas’ go-to-market strategy for more than 50 million consumers served throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America.
Liguori joined GE Money in 2005 with significant experience in senior marketing and general manager roles at such premier corporations as Citigroup, PepsiCo and Kraft Foods. In his most recent role as chief retail marketing officer for Morgan Stanley, Liguori led the conceptualization and implementation of client-focused marketing strategies for the Global Wealth Management Business.
Leading industry publications Advertising Age and BrandWeek have recognized Liguori as one of the top consumer marketers in the United States, and he has been quoted in various business publications. He has also been a guest lecturer at Cornell University and Michigan State University.
Liguori holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He is married with three children.


Steve Liguori, Executive Director, Global Marketing, General Electric Co.
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