Prior to joining Chief Outsiders, Kirk Thompson was the CMO/SVP of Marketing & Culinary Development for IHOP restaurants, where he led marketing & media strategy, digital/social/mobile experience and menu innovation. He’s a seasoned marketing executive with expertise across a range of consumer hospitality & retail businesses, in brand development, customer segmentation & growth strategies, product innovation and commercialization, integrated marketing, retailing & experience strategies.
He had held senior marketing positions in both ad agency and client environments and he is a frequent speaker at retailing, digital and advertising conferences, as well as a number of universities. He has worked with a wide range of regional, national and global companies including Hilton Worldwide and The Coca-Cola Company (with McDonald’s). As well, he currently serves as a strategic business advisor to several start-up/growth companies in hospitality, beauty/spa, retail and customer loyalty. Across all organizations, he has been a progressive cross-functional leader, working closely with design/architecture, technology, operations and development teams.
As CMO for IHOP, Kirk led both the marketing and promotional calendar teams, as well as the menu innovation and development teams – building an 18-month pipeline of new food concepts from insights and segmentation, through testing, restaurant piloting and commercialization for rollout across IHOP’s 1700+ restaurants in the US. As well, Kirk set the strategy for IHOP’s successful social media approach & content to drive category-leading engagement and fan/follower base among millennial families and young adults.
As VP Marketing for Westfield, Kirk relaunched the WFAMILY platform, building loyalty & share of visits among Moms & Family Shoppers, with concierge-style services, amenities, monthly programs and partner-sponsored events for the key Holiday, Easter & Back to School shopping seasons.
As VP Global Marketing for Hilton, Kirk relaunched each of the full-service and luxury brands (Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, DoubleTree), with new service propositions, advertising & lifestyle partnerships, driving REVPAR and increasing market share among new customer segments for each. Kirk also joined cross-functional teams in introducing new fitness and spa partnerships, lobby concepts and building out a new boutique hotel brand for Hilton.
Kirk is a marketing change agent whose focus on brand strategy, competitive opportunities, product innovation and innovative consumer & customer marketing began with his work at The Coca-Cola Company, working closely with McDonald’s on daypart and merchandising strategies and new proprietary beverages for Kids and Young Adults in Europe, Asia, Canada and the US.
Kirk has an MBA in Marketing from Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta; and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science & French from Duke University in Durham NC.
Let's talk about your business.