Interviews

Interview with Global VP of Growth, Sitecore – Wanda Cadigan

 

“Our natural tendency is to go wide and try and do it all at once. It’s better to take a step back, narrow your initial focus, and define success roadmarkers that will help guide you along the way in terms of when to go broader/make more investment, etc. “

1. Tell us about your role in Sitecore?
I originally joined Sitecore to build and execute a go-to-market strategy for a new e-commerce software acquisition. However, my recent mandate has expanded to also include another new acquisition – Content Hub as well as our Cloud offering. Sitecore’s Commerce, Cloud and Content Hub offerings are considered our strategic growth pillars.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I started out in the digital agency space and upon reflection, it was the best job for a new university grad. It gave me exposure to a range of customers and ultimately a crash course on business challenges and priorities in many different verticals. It would have taken me years to get that type of broad industry exposure otherwise. We helped take some of our customers online for the first time. More recently before joining Sitecore, I spent seven years working for a digital commerce agency and a strategic joint development partner of Microsoft’s. There, we helped customers move beyond basic marketing websites to helping create new business models by the launch of their first online storefronts.

3. How do you think technology is upgrading marketing Sector?
Technology and more specifically the ability to harness content, data and insights is transforming marketers’ ability to build more meaningful relationships with customers. Marketers can offer real time personalization with the most relevant content, while streamlining and simplifying the traditionally complex content creation and orchestration process across all channels.

4. Can you explain how data-powered content management system optimized the performance of marketers?
Data-powered content management systems optimize performance by enabling more intelligent, precise and effective personalization of marketing content. Having the data to drive optimization allows us to test new ideas, messaging and offers.

5. How has personalization in marketing methods helped in delivering better customer experience?
Personalization enables brands to know the customer better, determine what they like or dislike and know the context and the journey. It allows for the delivery of relevant message and content and lets marketers engage directly with customers, especially for brands that have traditionally relied on a more indirect route to market.

One great is example is the success Pet Supplies Plus is seeing with Sitecore Experience Platform™ and Experience Commerce. Pet Supplies Plus prides itself on being a welcoming, neighborhood pet supply store, so when we partnered with them, we wanted to create an engaging web platform that complements the high-touch, in-store experience their customers, or as they call them “neighbors,” experience. Pet Supplies Plus can now tailor content most suitable for individual site visitors, leveraging a repository of 40,000 pet photos uploaded by owners and narrowed by store location. Our content management displays a vast library of education and something their customers really love – a dog-food finder filtered by breed and birth year.

6. How do you define your Experience Commerce platform?
Our platform is designed and optimized to deliver great digital experiences, unlike other commerce platforms that focus primarily on the shopping cart. We help our clients build customers for life through personalized content. It’s built on a modern digital experience platform which includes our industry-leading CMS with built-in personalization and marketing automation. It does all of this while still providing core commerce features.

7. How do you differentiate your CMS & Customer experience solutions from others?
We offer end-to-end content lifecycle management. We help customers plan, create, collaborate, and manage content to drive customer engagement while seamlessly enabling transactions as part of the personalized customer journey. It’s a continuous loop. We’ve evolved to offer much more than a content management system (CMS) that simply orchestrates content across channels.

8. What advice would you like to give to the technology Start Ups?
You have to establish a really good product-market fit. It’s so easy to go too wide too soon before you’ve proven your use case and gained critical mass.

Our natural tendency is to go wide and try and do it all at once. It’s better to take a step back, narrow your initial focus, and define success roadmarkers that will help guide you along the way in terms of when to go broader/make more investment, etc.

9. What is the Digital innovation in sales technology according to you that will mark 2019?
From a B2B perspective, I think it’s being able to digitize product content. According to Gartner, when B2B buyers are considering a purchase, they spend only 17 percent of their time actually meeting with potential suppliers.

The nature of B2B sales is changing, it’s just as important (if not more so) to have an integrated content strategy as it is for consumer brands. Allowing sales teams to have access to relevant content when meeting with prospective or current customers is a game changer. We have several B2B customers where their initial priority for a new platform was not necessary to encourage transactions for phase one, but rather help their traditional salesforce be more effective with prospects and customers in the field.

10. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
You need to take stock of the data you have. Identify what data might be needed to enable the artificial intelligence and machine learning processes you are targeting and start collecting those data points. It’s also a great idea to recruit “data-fluent” talent.

11. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
We’re working to simplify headless commerce deployment, build the next generation UI for both back-office operations and storefront, enhance and introduce new promotion capabilities, and explore other pre-built integrations.

12. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
I have a phenomenal team. The most important thing I can do is to hire the smartest people I can find and then let them do their jobs. I believe in servant leadership, so I focus on how I can support them to be as successful as possible. I have senior product specialists spanning from commerce to cloud to DAM and the emerging Content Marketing Platform (CMP) space. I learn something new every day from them – it’s fantastic.

13. What movie inspires you the most?
I’d actually prefer to flip the question to books. I’m an avid reader. In a typical year I read about 30 books, in part because I travel frequently and books are my happy place on a plane. There are so many good ones, but one that always stands out in my mind is How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt. I read it a few years ago but it stands out because it’s a book about music, which I also love, but ultimately a book about digital disruption and transformation. Its subtitle is “The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Privacy”. Sums it up nicely.

14. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
We are a very geographically dispersed company. This is a huge benefit, and something I love about working at Sitecore. I have a global role, so I work with teams all over the world. The best teams and initiatives are those that cross borders and bring colleagues together from different cultures.

15. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
I love Tripit, it helps me keep track of all of my travel details. I also use SleepStream – it helps me fall asleep while traveling and also helps block out unwanted noise. GoodReads is a social cataloging tool for books, and it also helps you find your next favorite – definitely one of my most consistently used apps overall. I enlist people to download it so I can keep track on their good reads as well!

Wanda Cadigan is the GVP, Strategic Growth at Sitecore. She is the global business lead for Sitecore’s growth portfolio of new products and offerings, including the Content Hub, Commerce and Cloud business. Leading a global interdisciplinary team, she helps customers achieve digital transformation by leveraging Sitecore’s end-to-end content management, always-on personalization, and connections that drive commerce.

Sitecore delivers a digital experience platform that empowers the world’s smartest brands to build lifelong relationships with their customers. A highly decorated industry leader, Sitecore is the only company bringing together content, commerce, and data into one connected platform that delivers millions of digital experiences every day. Leading companies including American Express, ASOS, Carnival Cruise Lines, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oréal and Volvo Cars rely on Sitecore to provide more engaging, personalized experiences for their customers.

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