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It's rare for chief marketing officers to make it to the CEO level. But you would expect that those who do make it to have strong opinions about the role of marketingand maybe even take a heavy hand in marketing execution. Well, with Rob Chen, CEO at Brightlink and the former CMO of CEB (now Gartner), you'd be half right. In our interview below, Chen offers important insights into marketing strategy while noting that his "day job" keeps him from being too meddlesome. Brightlink's services include voice, messaging, analytics and cloud-based solutions.

On the top of Chen's strategic priorities is "drinking our own champagne" which in the case of Brightlink means using their latest telecommunications technology (enabling any number to be used as SMS) as a sales tool. He is also a believer in partnerships to extend reach, particularly when it comes to engaging with small businesses. Finally, Chen advises current CMOs to bring their marketing mentality when it comes to building culture and think of it as an "extension of your brand."

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