Our Interview with Mercer – Global CMO Jeanniey Mullen and on the M1 Podcast
- Podcast /
- Product Leadership /
Looking at the Possibilities of Digital Transformation in Marketing (Ep. 49)
Jeanniey is Mercer’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, focused on building a more agile and transparent marketing operation accountable for driving revenue growth through demand creation and strong brand reputation. She believes in leveraging innovative and digital initiatives to help achieve her goals, and her background in education fuels her passion to inspire both consumers and the teams she works with.
Prior to her role at Mercer, Jeanniey was Head of Marketing and Growth for Barnes & Noble, where she drove the transformation of the NOOK business from hardware to app based. Her previous experience includes launching the world’s first digital newsstand for Zinio, growing the business to more than 20 million active consumers. She also launched and ran the global Digital Dialogue business for Ogilvy and Grey Direct’s Global Email Marketing business, establishing the world’s first email marketing practice inside an advertising agency.
Jeanniey holds a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Pittsburgh. A recognized “Woman in Business” and an entrepreneur, she has authored three books and launched five companies, including Ringblingz and the Email Experience Council. Jeanniey was recently named Networker of the Year by the Internet Marketing Association and is the Chairwoman of their Women’s Leadership Group. She also serves on the board of MarketingEDGE and as an advisor for select high-potential start-ups.
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Key Insights from our Conversation
- Jeanniey shares that she is at her happiest when she inspires people. She enjoys teaching new tricks and help people in general thereby she constantly finds innovative ways to do this. She mentions about a story when she was in 7th grade when she pitched the idea to create homemade fortune cookies for a bake sale. It was a smashing success (and a grand team effort) which revealed her entrepreneurial approach.
- Jeanniey shares how she loves problem-solving, looking at ways she can bring improvement, making people happy, reach an end goal or changing the world for the better. She is also a very practical person and is always excited in getting involved in anything new. This speaks as to why she had five businesses in the past.
- Mercer makes a difference in the lives of more than 110 million people every day by advancing their health, wealth and careers. This focus creates more secure and rewarding futures for their clients and their employees — whether designing affordable health plans, assuring income for retirement, or aligning workers with workforce needs. They are like the Intel Inside of HR companies. It is a phenomenal company in terms of impact as it drives organizations to provide employees a better life.
- Jeanniey is Mercer’s Global Chief Marketing Officer and her job focuses on two areas: increasing brand visibility and driving growth. They market themselves as strategic partners to their clients rather than a vendor or a solutions provider. Part of her role is to look at possibilities of digital transformations in marketing. They look at how they can integrate digital strategies, best practices and the coolest initiatives they see into what they are doing in a daily basis and how it can impact user experience.
- Their focus for growth for product and services is in user experience and how it is happening in all relevant channels. What they are seeing making a bigger impact is understanding user journey and how it starts the search for answers in those various channels.
- Time is currently their only challenge right now as they are now on their last five months in putting all of their initiatives together. They are now analyzing impacts and after that, they’ll go back to their CEO to share the results and see how they can leverage on this data for their growth.
- A few months ago, they had launched a new initiative called Mercer Digital where they are marrying all the incredible insights that they have in the people side of their house with consulting services and everything related to HR, technology and the future of work. They are creating an ecosystem which places companies ahead of the curve as far as solutions are concerned.
Rapid Fire Questions
- What is your definition of innovation?
Innovation is trying something that solves the biggest challenge you can think of.
- Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them and why?
I would give 85% on the idea and 15% on the execution. It’s idea over execution because during the idea generation process, you will probably change your mind multiple times and this will lead to the most incredible idea which, at this point, should be very simple and easy to flawlessly execute.
- What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
Understanding how to build respect with a team and influence and engage them in a way that inspires them to be better.
- What is your favorite business book?
Switch by Chip Heath
The Cheat Code by Brian Wong
The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins
- What is your favorite digital resource?
- What are your favorite apps?
Beach Body on Demand