Marketing Veteran Jill Cress Tapped as New CMO of H&R Block

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H&R Block It was announced today that Jill Cress will be taking over as chief marketing officer of the company as at H&R Block as of May 2nd. 

H&R Block It was announced today that Jill Cress will be taking over as chief marketing officer of the company at H&R Block as of May 2nd. 

Jill is a well-respected player in industry, having spent time at Mastercard, National Geographic, and most recently PayPal, in senior marketing and leadership roles.

In her new role as CMO of H&R Block, she will report to Jeff Jones, another known entity in marketing circles, having spent four years as chief marketer of Target, before joining Uber, and now serving as president & CEO of H&R Block.

According to the press release issued by H&R Block, “Cress will lead all aspects of the company’s performance marketing and communication efforts, driving the company’s transformation, delivering growth, and increasing the brand’s relevance.”

I had a chance to briefly catch up with Jill to chat with her about the new role.

David: What are you most excited about with the opportunity at H&R Block?

Jill: I love being a part of brands that do important jobs for their customers and also stand for something. H&R Block is an iconic brand that does so much to serve its clients, small businesses and the communities they are a part of. I am excited to join the leadership team and continue to create a culture of innovation and transformation in marketing. It is exciting to be moving back into a holistic marketing and experience role to further build the brand and contribute to its ongoing growth and transformation strategy. 

David: The press release highlighted both "Brand Relevance" and "Transformation," as part of your remit. Are there any specific means - new technologies, media channels, or tactics - that you are going to want to focus on, as you work toward those goals?

Jill: Transformation and Innovation will be a big focus for marketing as we look for ways to continue to drive growth at scale. There has been significant investment in technology and digital capabilities to drive a high quality experience for the customer and drive more preference. I am excited to continue to unlock the value of personalization and understand the opportunity to build community through content and channel optimization. I am looking forward to getting to know the team and understanding what our customers find useful so we can bring more help to more people. 

David: You’ve had a lot of success in financial services with MasterCard and most recently PayPal. How does that translate into this world of H&R Block?

Jill: I am extremely customer focused. My experience at Mastercard and PayPal was very grounded in who our audience was and what was on their hearts and minds specific to their relationship with shopping, paying and money to unlock a meaningful role for those brands to create more affinity from their customers. It is an exciting time to be at Block as we seek to bring more value to our customers through what we do in tax as well as delivering more financial products to our clients and support to small businesses. There is a lot of choice for customers so making it easier to choose our brand while building an emotional connection is an exciting opportunity.

Jill has spoken at numerous Brand Innovators events, and has made the Brand Innovators Top 100 Women in Brand Marketing list in 2021 and 2015.

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