How GE Power's Monique Elliott Drives Marketing Innovation

By Ginger Conlon

Creativity, determination, and evangelism. ​Those are Monique Elliott's preferred tools to drive innovation.


During Elliott's presentation at EnergizeGrowth's CMOs Leading Innovation Conference 2017 (CLIC 2017), the global head of digital commerce at GE Power  shared an example of how her approach led to significant business growth for the division.


Elliott saw an opportunity to “innovate” and increase online revenue by taking a more B2C approach to e-commerce. “I didn’t invent anything new; it was just new for the space,” she said. To get the initiative moving, Elliott looked for the distributor partners who wanted to come along on the journey and involved them in the process.


Elliott approached internal constituents creatively when she was trying to build her team and get investments for the e-commerce site. Taking a page from the sales playbook, she reframed marketing: “I stopped talking about projects, which have a budget and an end-date,” Elliott said. “I started talking about product, which has a lifecycle and ongoing investment and a product owner and a dedicated team.”


She also stopped talking about testing and started talking about experiments. “Testing is pass/fail,” she explained. “Experimentation is learning.” This one change helped her team get more comfortable taking risks.


Elliott even changed her title from CMO to global head of digital commerce. “Language matters,” she said.


Her advice for other CMOs looking to move innovation forward:


  • Own the number – Elliott and her team have quarterly operating plans
    and targets.

  • Form a cross-functional team – Elliott’s team is a fully staffed digital commerce team that includes expertise in IT, marketing, communications, and finance.

  • Establish operating rigor – The team works within a weekly pacing, hosts monthly operations reviews, and uses real-time reporting.

  • Put the customer first – Elliott and her team define their strategies by customer ecosystems and based on customers’ preferred order entry methods. Plus, they take the time to understand their customers and competition: “We gather feedback, listen, and act,” she said.

  • Keep a startup mentality – Speed to market matters, so Elliot and her team embody a Fastworks approach every day. This means taking a new offering to market and asking for opinions before it’s perfect. “Bring it to market at 70%, instead of 98% or 100%,” she advised.


“We were not first among our competitors. We had become somewhat complacent in our online technology, ” Elliott admitted. “So, when we came out with the latest version of our e-commerce site, we had learned from competitors’ sites and from customers and leapfrogged many of our competitors as a result.”

MKTGinsight Chief Editor Ginger Conlon with GE Power's Monique Elliott, global head of digital commerce

MKTGinsight Chief Editor Ginger Conlon with GE Power's Monique Elliott, global head of digital commerce

About the Author

Ginger Conlon, chief editor and marketing alchemist at MKTGinsight, catalyzes change in marketing organizations. She is a frequent speaker on marketing and customer experience, and serves in advisory or leadership roles for several industry organizations. Ginger was honored with a Silver Apple lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the marketing industry.

Find her at @customeralchemy and on LinkedIn.