Matthew Benner joined Chief Outsiders in 2009 as a proven leader with a knack for delivering results and growing both volume and profits above expectations. Benner’s strengths, which he has applied to great effect in the financial services, telecom, Internet hosting and energy industries, include innovative strategic problem solving, customer insight, cross functional execution, and organizational development, all aligned to deliver breakthrough performance.
Before joining Chief Outsiders, Benner served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at The Planet, a market leading $160 million Internet hosting business. His leadership of the marketing, product management and P&L functions boosted monthly sales volume by more than 20%, lowered cost per sale by almost 80% and almost tripled new opportunity volume. He also was on the integration team for the company's successful acquisition by Softlayer.
As Senior Vice President of Retail at Reliant Energy, Benner directed overall P&L, strategy, and all customer-facing functions for the $5.5B retail electric business with a team of 2000 employees. Responsible for marketing, sales, operations, customer care, new product development, and PR, Benner increased the retail contribution margin by 85%, reaching record levels. Benner successfully navigated and implemented major legislative and regulatory changes involving the opening of new markets to competition, integration of renewable energy, and environmental issues. He also improved the Reliant brand's reputation for the first time ever, increasing customer likelihood to purchase by nearly 40%, growing customer count to an all-time high.
Prior to his position at Reliant Energy, Benner acted as Director of Marketing at Barclays Bank PLC in London. Responsible for the firm's international retail and commercial marketing, he introduced new branding strategy and marketing campaigns that resulted in best-in-class brand strength and recognition. Benner managed all marketing and product development for the retail banking, wealth management, and private banking businesses across 40+ countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He also helped direct the $5.5 billion acquisition and integration of the South Africa’s largest bank ABSA, enabling Barclays to re-enter South Africa. His introduction of Barclays' first multi-channel and online marketing strategy increased average sales flows by more than 300%.
Benner was also Senior Vice President at Fidelity Investments where he led both B2B and B2C business units and marketing efforts, supporting business units with nearly $200 billion in assets. He introduced an integrated direct marketing strategy that tripled the number of marketing-generated sales in less than two years. Benner led the team that introduced the industry’s first online service offerings and drove a 45% increase in plans sold for the small market unit overall. He was a key driver of dramatic growth for Fidelity, increasing the ECM revenue from 3% to 55% of the company’s total net equity sales.
Matt has extensive training in classic business general management, brand management, and marketing from his roles as: Vice President at AT&T, Category Manager at Kraft Foods, and Brand Management at Procter and Gamble.
He has also started and successfully grown, and sold several small businesses.
Benner holds a BSE degree in Chemical and Nuclear Engineering from Princeton University.
"Chief Outsiders has redefined marketing, and my business for me. When I first contacted them, my business was successful, but I could not see a way to scale to my desired level. I thought marketing was just about the lists, campaigns, and website changes that needed to get done. As it turns out, Marketing is the key strategic driver that GCS Technologies needed to move to the next level. The customer-driven marketing strategy really is the only thing that needs to get done to make everything else work to drive revenue. When Matt Benner and Mary Doizé first engaged with us, I never expected to get help at this level on my core strategy and business architecture. Matt and Mary guided me through a process that is reinventing my business."
- Joe Gleinser, CEO, GCS Technologies, Austin, TX