young cell phone addict man in bed using smartphone

Chief marketing officers are certainly active on LinkedIn–it was the single most valuable resource at my disposal for contacting CMOs for my book Chief Marketing Officers at Work. Twitter was also handy. I was able to easily create a Twitter list of almost 4,000 CMOs who are fairly active on that network. One would assume that Instagram, with greater active monthly users than Twitter, higher engagement levels, and its ease of use would be just as widely used by CMOs, and yet CMO activity on the network seems to be far, far lower than on Twitter. When I had my assistant create lists of the Fortune 500 CMOs on Twitter and the Global 500 CMOs on Twitter she had no problem creating very full lists. But as you can see from the list below, only 66 of Fortune 500 CMOs have Instagram accounts. There is a chance we were unable to track down the Instagram accounts of a few CMOs, but one would assume that if a marketing professional wanted his or her Instagram profile to be found then it wouldn’t be hard to find.

Of the 66 Fortune 500 CMOs with Instagram accounts, even fewer can be called anything close to “active.” Tony Floyd, for example, the highest ranking Fortune 500 CMO on all of Instagram, has only one post and follows one other user. Tim Mahoney, the second highest ranking Fortune 500 CMO on Instagram, has exactly 0 posts and only follows 6 other users. It gets better when you get down to Diego Scotti, CMO of Verizon, who has 674 posts…except his account is private so apparently it’s just for family and close friends. The findings are similar for Paul Latham and Jon Iwata who are also active on Instagram, but only privately. In aggregate, the top 10 Fortune 500 CMOs only have a total of 51 publicly visible posts. Of those 51 posts not a single one appears to be directly related to business or marketing. Not that there is anything wrong with photos of food and grandkids, but I’d expect the CMO of a Fortune 500 company to be posting regularly about their employer, the marketing work they’re doing there, what it’s like to be CMO, spotlights on marketing team members, and 100 other things people who follow CMOs and marketing in general might be interested in.

I feel a post about “What CMOs Should Be Posting to Instagram” coming on, but as a preview here is a short list of CMO organizations and marketing influencers who are getting it right on Instagram:

I was surprised how many of even these marketing influencers who are killing it on Twitter haven’t even made an attempt to transfer their audience to Instagram. Take Vala Afshar, for example, who Leadtail ranked as the #1 CMO influencer on Twitter. He has 136,000 followers on Twitter, he tweets great marketing content, and a LOT of it is visual–perfect for Instagram. I know he’s a busy guy, and I respect that people can’t be everywhere, but he could hire someone for a few dollars per week to copy his visual content from Twitter over to Instagram and he’d have 10,000 Instagram followers overnight. In some cases it takes so little time and effort to simply copy over what you’re doing on one network to another I’m stunned people don’t do it, especially people who can afford to pay someone else $100/week to do it for them.

What do you think? What opportunities are CMOs missing out on when it comes to their own Instagram accounts? What kind of content should they be posting? What are CMO related accounts you follow that are doing a great job? Tell us in the comments below.

And by the way, you can follow me on Instagram here.

2015 Fortune 500 Chief Marketing Officers With Instagram Accounts

Company 2015 Fortune 500 Rank Chief Marketing Officer
Berkshire Hathaway 4 Tony Floyd
General Motors 6 Timothy Mahoney
General Electric 8 Linda Boff
CVS Health 10 Norman de Greve
Verizon 15 Diego Scotti
Costco 18 Paul Latham
Hewlett Packard (HP) 19 Antonio Lucio
JP Morgan Chase 21 Kristin Lemkau
IBM 24 Jon Iwata
Wells Fargo 30 Jamie Moldafsky
Microsoft 31 Chris Capossela
Walgreens 35 Kelly Baranko
Coca-Cola 63 Marcos de Quinto
Johnson Controls 66 Kim Metcalf-Kupres
Honeywell International 74 Rhonda Germany
Safeway 84 Diane M. Dietz
American Express 90 Leslie Berland
INTL FCStone 93 Michael Antman
General Dynamics 100 Mark Meudt
Macy’s 105 Martine Reardon
McDonald’s 110 Silvia Lagnado
Rite Aid 117 David Abelman
Emerson Electric 120 Kathy Button Bell
US Foods 128 Marshall Warkentin
Aflac 132 Gail A. Galuppo
Progressive 153 Jeff Charney
AutoNation 156 Marc Cannon
Dollar General 159 Colby Swann
Hartford Financial Services Group 160 Kathy Bromage
General Mills 171 Ann W.H. Simonds
Thermo Fisher Scientific 181 Rich Oprison
Jabil Circuit 191 Joanne Moretti
NRG Energy 196 Sicily Dickenson
Loews 211 Jim Cone
CBS 212 Colleen Kenny
Facebook 242 Gary Briggs
Automatic Data Processing 251 Kevin Bryla
Bed Bath & Beyond 260 Eric Steinberger
L Brands 262 Ed Razek
Liberty Interactive 263 Chad Hollingsworth
First Data 265 Gretchen Garrigues
Assurant 285 Francesca Luthi
W.W. Grainger 290 Parvez Patel
Discover Financial Services 303 Julie Loeger
MasterCard 308 Raja Rajamannar
GameStop 311 Eric Oria
CBRE Group 321 Paul Suchman
Franklin Resources 335 Vijay C. Advani
AECOM 343 Tara McAdam Kassal
Coca-Cola Enterprises 368 Marcos De Quinto
Williams 370 Frank E. Billings
Blackstone Group 373 Joan Solotar
Ralph Lauren 374 David Lauren
Pacific Life 387 Chris van Mierlo
Live Nation Entertainment 392 Deirdre McCready
Celanese 395 Randall Skattum
Anixter International 420 Dan Panattoni
J.B. Hunt Transport Services 434 Shelley Simpson
Dr Pepper Snapple Group 437 Regan Ebert
Mattel 439 Juliana Chugg
TEGNA 441 Nicholas Lehman
JetBlue Airways 454 Marty St. George
Expedia 458 David Doctorow
Wynn Resorts 477 Nehme E. Abouzeid
Jones Lang LaSalle 478 Jill Kouri 483 Lynn Vojvodich


Note: This list represents CMOs of the respective companies at the time of the 2015 Fortune 500 rankings. Some of these CMOs may have moved on to other companies since then. If I missed the Instagram account of someone who was a Fortune 500 CMO in 2015 please let me know so I can add them.