Michael Baer is a transformational marketing leader and growth-driven innovator with over 35 years of marketing and operational leadership experience, and a proven record of driving creativity, strategic and executional excellence, and growth. Michael leverages his diverse end-to-end experience to help companies drive greater value from their marketing. He applies holistic strategies to elevate and bring into balance both strategy and execution so that they build off each other to deliver results.
While Michael has worked with B2C brands, including industry leaders like LEGO, Porsche and Walgreens, he has more recently been focused on marketing leadership, transformation, and growth with healthcare/life sciences, B2B, and, Media and Professional Services companies. He is most frequently called upon by VC and PE-backed investors, Boards and senior management teams in these industries to act an interim and fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and General Manager and develop and activate comprehensive brand and marketing strategies and help align their go-to-market plans, functions, technologies, and organizations in order to generate growth.
Michael is expert at helping companies at key inflection points – helping turn-around stagnant brands with new strategies and approaches, professionalizing small-to-midsize growth companies to achieve their next phase, and helping unify private equity-backed mergers and acquisitions with new, more powerful and holistic strategies.
Interim & Fractional CMO & CGO Engagements
Michael’s interim and fractional Chief Marketing Officer engagements have included companies at various life stages, from start-ups, to scale-ups, to SMB turn-arounds, to billion-dollar brands. These included:
- Digital Factory – a geo-location mobile start-up
- Laughlin Constable and Fathom Communications – independent marketing services companies
- Hospital for Special Services (HSS) – World’s #1 Orthopedic hospital
- GE Healthcare Ultrasound
- Relevate Health – omnichannel healthcare engagement solutions
- Haymarket Communications – privately-held global media company
- My Diabetes Tutor – Telehealth education start-up
Case Studies from Michael’s Clients
During his distinguished career, key leadership positions included:
Chief Marketing Officer, MJH Life Sciences – MJH Life Sciences is the largest, privately held healthcare media company in North America, delivering content, events, education and creative services to healthcare professionals and the healthcare industry. Michael overhauled the marketing organization, oversaw and scaled a new team including over 110+ FTE’s and across 60+ healthcare brands. He drove the development of optimized processes, best practices and playbooks, led innovation in journey-based GTM approaches, and installed a new full-stack marketing approach.
Senior Vice President | Head of Brand & Marketing, Ipsos North America – Michael was called on to provide dynamic, growth-oriented leadership to the audience measurement business after years of decline and stagnation. He developed and implemented new strategies, including a new sales GTM and prospecting plan, new products, and robust marketing programming. He also developed and instituted a comprehensive Content Marketing and thought-leadership program that resulted in doubling the sales pipeline and closed new brand clients including Cadillac, Hyundai, Northwestern Mutual, Travelers, Capital One, JPM Chase, Mastercard, Kohler, Haier, Shiseido.
EVP Managing Director, Starcom – Michael led a diverse team of strategy, digital, broadcast, print, search and analytics specialists, driving integrated, creative programs across media channels that increased consumer engagement and sales. He also provided executive leadership on Walgreens, LEGO and Hallmark accounts.
He is also an industry thought-leader and accomplished writer on the topics of media, marketing and advertising, primarily for the industry-leading publication MediaPost. You can read Michael’s insights on his blog, Stratecution, and on LinkedIn.
Michael received a BA in History and Psychology from the University of Virginia.
Case Studies from Michael’s Clients
Testimonials from Michael’s Clients
We found his approach to ‘stratecution’ to be substantial and effective, aided by empathy and experience both broad and deep, and finished with valuable, practical impact. I recommend Michael and would be happy to expound upon reasons to any who are considering working with him. – John Englehart, SVP, Chief Communications & Marketing officer, HSS
Michael led a successful re-launch, including a new brand strategy and a comprehensive B2B lead generation marketing plan. – Peter Minnium, President, Ipsos US
Michael is a data-driven marketing executive with extensive experience that helped Relevate go from next to no marketing to a comprehensive strategy that was in market in under three months… Michael did not feel “fractional”. He was embedded in the team, cared deeply about the results of our efforts, and was proactive at providing additional value. – Sharon Bittner, SVP Marketing, Relevate Health
Michael is an insightful, action-oriented leader, who explores the landscape of options, prioritizes what matters most to the brand and its customers, and then delivers with excellence. – Bob Brooks, VP Customer Success
Michael is a talented executive. He quickly helped us kick up our game and turn our idea into a reality, really fast. He’s a brilliant strategist, an inspiring leader, and a general, all-around roll-up-your-sleeves and do whatever it takes guy. I’d go into battle with him, anytime. – Lawrence Griffith, Founder, Digital Factory
Michael’s leadership and strategic vision were instrumental in getting to a strong, consumer-focused brand strategy. Michael brings energy and strategic insight to everything he does and combines that with some of the strongest collaboration I have experienced. – John Neilson, CMO, Hunter Fan Company
Michael went the extra mile to gain a holistic understanding of all the dynamics of our business. In the process, he became a trusted business advisor. He was also exceptionally action-oriented – I really valued the degree to which he would follow through on his word. Finally, he leveraged his wealth of experience by connecting dots between our business situation and those of other clients he’s worked on to generate out-of-the-box ideas that were a great source of inspiration. Among people I’ve worked with, Michael really stands out. – Michael Moynihan, SVP Brand, Marketing & Insights, LEGO
I brought Michael in to act as Fractional Chief Marketing officer for Relevate Health, shortly after we had acquired 3 additional companies and added multiple new capabilities and sales/marketing approaches. We needed outside help to put all these elements together into a holistic, powerful narrative and go-to-market approach that aligned all of our resources and business lines. Michael immediately dug in and helped build the foundations for growth. He drove the creation and validation of our unified positioning, he helped us enrich and formalize our customer understanding and targeting, and he built a comprehensive marketing plan including content strategy, social media plan, PR, and a new website. But he went beyond strategy – he helped build our capabilities in these areas and drove immediate implementation. In a very short amount of time, we went from 0-60 from a marketing standpoint and drove immediate results, including new leads, lots of new followers, and even greater press opportunities. – Jeff Spanbauer, Chairman of Relevate Health
Michael Baer in the News
Michael is a long-time contributor at MediaPost and other Marketing industry publishers. Some of his contributing articles are as follows:
- Focus On Your MVA: Minimum Viable AUDIENCE
- Data-Rich, But Insight-Poor
- Start With ‘Who,’ Rather Than ‘Why’
- Calling Your Content ‘Thought Leadership’ Doesn’t Make It So
- Define Your Ideal Customer — Or Be Magnetic To No One
- Stop Making Content Only YOU Care About
- Marketing Is A System
- The Purpose Of Purpose
- What is Marketing? Connective Tissue
- Are Your Strategy And Execution Out Of Balance?
- The Risks Of Being Too Data-Driven
- Marketing Is A Story