Interview with Maggie Chan Jones, Former Global CMO of SAP and Founder & CEO of Tenshey, Inc.

In anticipation of our upcoming Transformational CMO Assembly, we had the chance to hear from our Gala Dinner Keynote Speaker, Maggie Chan Jones, on her newest venture, Tenshey, Inc., as well as her thoughts on where the marketing industry is heading and how C-Suite Executives should be approaching diversity. Read on!

Millennium Alliance: In your time at SAP, you led global advertising and brand experience campaigns and truly transformed the SAP brand. How did you build a strong brand identity that is consistent on a global scale but also targeted?

Maggie Chan Jones: A strong brand begins with its purpose – the problems the brand solves and for whom – and how its existence helps to create a better world. Having spent my entire career in the tech industry, I love what technologies can do to make our lives better.

When launching a global campaign, your employees and stakeholders are your best brand ambassadors. First, creating the awareness and evangelism inside the organization will carry a multiplier effect when the campaign is launched externally. To gain global consistency that is effective, do not just replicate what you created in your home country, but “trans-create” (translate and recreate) the campaign by infusing it with local cultures and languages. Contextual experience is important to driving engagement with local audiences.

How did your experience at SAP help to build your current venture, Tenshey, Inc.?

As a C-suite exec in the tech industry and an executive sponsor for diversity and inclusion, I realized that my ascension into the C-Suite as a woman of color was rare and it should not be rare. Women continue to remain underrepresented in the C-Suite. According to the McKinsey and study, only 19% of the C-suite in corporate America are women and an even fewer 4% are women of color. I want to change that.

I always say that career growth is a team sport. Your own hard work isn’t going to be enough. You need a strong support system both personally and professionally. One of the best kept secrets for leadership development and acceleration is executive coaching. I have benefited from it through the sponsorships of my employers from Microsoft to Level 3 and SAP. I started working with my executive coach in 2011 when I was a Director of Marketing at Microsoft. Working with a coach early in my career enabled me to have clarity about my career roadmap, accountability for my steps toward reaching my career north star, and most importantly, a trusted advisor who’s always in my corner through my leadership growth. I wish more leaders, especially women, can have the same opportunity that I had – to work with an executive coach early in their careers.

In November 2017, I founded Tenshey, Inc., a tech-enabled startup with a mission to advance gender diversity through Executive Coaching. We match leaders, primarily women, from their early professional years to CEOs, with certified executive coaches who can help them achieve their professional goals.

Tenshey is all about advancing gender diversity and leadership development. How should C-Suite Executives be approaching diversity and inclusion to empower and enable their organization?

I recommend three actions C-suite executives should take to create a diverse and inclusive organization. First, they must lead by example with actions when it comes to approaching diversity and inclusion, beginning with their own leadership teams. Studies have shown that a more diverse team drives better results, so it just makes business sense.

Second, diversity means “getting invited to the party,” whereas inclusion means “getting invited to dance.” You may have a good mix of diversity across gender, race, age, experience and thoughts, but do they all feel their voices are being heard? Being inclusive will truly unleash the potential of the organization.

Third, place accountability across the organization, not just at the top of the company. 4 out of 5 CEOs have declared gender diversity as a priority, yet the pipeline to the top continues to shrink at every level. To gain traction, there needs to be clear accountability for diversity and inclusion just like accountability for our business priorities.

During this digital revolution, what strategies can CMOs be using to stay on top?

The digital revolution allows CMOs to supercharge creativity with data-driven decision making, further integrating the art and science of marketing in the quest to deliver a delightful customer experience. Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) takes experiential marketing to a new level, while big data and artificial intelligence significantly increase our ability to predict and understand what customers may want to experience or buy next.

During this digital revolution, marketers will require data-driven skill sets combined with the ability to tell stories in artful and compelling ways. It is important to understand the point at which art meets commerce to create marketing experiences that are both personally and commercially appealing.

We are really excited you will be joining us at our upcoming Transformational CMO Assembly as Keynote Speaker. What do you think are the benefits for C-Suite Executives to attend small, intimate programs such as ours at The Millennium Alliance?

CMOs are constantly running at hundreds of miles per hour to drive growth for their companies. But it is so important to take a pause to meet with your industry peers, both as a way to learn from and to support one another. The intimacy of an event like The Transformational CMO Assembly allows leaders a safe space to exchange some of the toughest challenges that they face and to discuss best practices. I am honored to be invited as your Keynote Speaker, and I am excited about how this collective force can impact the industry positively.

About The Transformational CMO AssemblyCMO9 Updat Banner (1)

The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between individual consumers and brands. This need to think “customer first” has made the marketing function more vital than ever before.

C-Level executives around the world are anticipating that digital technology will continue to drive business. We’ve put together The Transformational CMO Assembly – a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions with our industry experts and advisory board.

Are you a CMO interested in attending this event? Inquire here today to find out if you qualify for Millennium Membership >>


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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!

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