Prediction Series 2019: Interview with Jackie Palmer, GVP of Strategy and Solution Management, SAP Marketing Cloud
Tell us about your role at SAP.
I lead the Strategy and Solution Management team for SAP Marketing Cloud. In this role, I am responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the product including long-term roadmap, partnerships, acquisitions, analyst and influencer interactions. I have more than two decades of experience in the marketing and customer experience space and have held various leadership positions in product management and marketing for software vendors such as Teradata, Infor and Epiphany. I was also a founding member of Accenture’s Customer Relationship Management Group and consulted for Fortune 500 companies across many industries.
What opportunities and challenges did you and/or SAP identify at the start of 2018? What has been your progress to date?
At the beginning of 2018, SAP Marketing Cloud narrowed its focus to bring intelligent marketing top of mind, create opportunities for marketers to connect with customers in the moment, and automate customer engagement based on what was driving performance in real time. I’m proud to say that we have delivered upon this vision throughout 2018 with new releases and enhancements, such as, deeply embedding SAP Leonardo Machine Learning into SAP Marketing Cloud, where intelligent marketing is an integral piece of the overall intelligent enterprise story. Over the course of 2018, we have also introduced capabilities to grow lead conversion rates and predict customer churn using Machine Learning, which enabled us to deliver individualized experiences through multichannel marketing and drive growth while simultaneously keeping customers satisfied.
What are your predictions on the “role of AI” in IT and Cloud?
Artificial Intelligence is already a part of our present, and is going to be an integral part of our future. Moving forward in 2019 and beyond, marketers will be faced with more customer data than ever before, and an expanding number of channels and programs with which to contact targeted customers. Artificial Intelligence will enable marketers to focus on the right engagements and the right messages while simultaneously driving business revenue and accountable ROI. This technology will be able to help marketers drive the best results through intelligent measurement and automated closed-loop planning. Since marketers are already focused on how to do more with fewer resources, AI will only help marketers hone in on valuable, actionable data and provide them with tools to improve agility, optimize demand and maximize revenue.
What is the most impactful lesson you learned in 2018? How do you plan to implement the lesson this year?
One of the most impactful lessons in the marketing world in 2018 was General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the intensified focus on data privacy and protection. The lessons marketers learned from the early experiences with consent-based marketing are now being fully implemented as they roll out plans for 2019. Now and because of this regulation, the relationships that marketers have with customers are likely much more meaningful than they were before.
As marketers look ahead to 2019, the major implementation of lessons learned will be around relationship-based marketing and driving a one-to-one relationship with a given customer — when they want to and how they want to — in a way that is mutually beneficial to the brand and the customer. At SAP, we place high importance on consent and privacy protections when it comes to providing value for our customers. Taking the lessons learned from GDPR, we are even more committed to being a role model and helping our customers market in today’s privacy-oriented world.
Are there any industry leaders you’ve worked with that are particularly of note? How have they informed your own leadership skills?
I’ve always admired Jon Miller, current CEO and founder of Engagio, both personally and professionally. He and I worked together years ago at Epiphany and I have always seen him as a true visionary in the marketing technology space. At SAP, I’ve learned a multitude about leadership from Marcus Ruebsam who can juggle a lot of different moving parts and navigate smoothly across various teams!
Name a leader in the industry whose predictions you would like to see here.
We’ve been working with a number of companies lately as part of the SAP Marketing Cloud partner ecosystem. I’d love to see predictions from the teams at Demandbase, Terminus, Pathfactory, Uberflip, Newscred, Percolate, etc.
What is one piece of advice for all of the CMOS and marketing leaders in your community?
My biggest piece of advice for CMOs and marketing leaders would be: be flexible! While you may want to plan everything out, it’s crucial to have the ability to adapt to multiple situations, and from there, adjusting priorities and re-examining past decisions. We’ve had the opportunity this year to readjust our strategy and vision in small ways that have made us more flexible and more open to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers, both internally and externally. Being agile and flexible is a must in marketing today!
Jackie leads the Strategy and Solution Management team for SAP Marketing Cloud. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the product including long term roadmap, partnerships, acquisitions, analyst and influencer interactions. Jackie has more than two decades of experience in the Marketing and Customer Engagement space and has held various leadership positions in product management and marketing for software vendors such as Teradata, Infor and Epiphany. She was also a founding member of Accenture’s Customer Relationship Management Group and consulted for Fortune 500 companies across many industries. Jackie has a degree in Economics and Mathematics from Northwestern University.
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