CMO Q&A: Sara Spivey, Bazaarvoice

What led you to a career in marketing?  Was it an early decision or a more recent event?  

After business school, I spent some time in management consulting and realized that the marketing function was where all the magic happened at the companies we consulted to, so that’s where I wanted to be. My first marketing job was in 1990. 

Have you always been a marketer, or did you train for a different role prior to that (and if so, what)? 

I’m a career marketer, but I’ve had a few stints in operations and product management along the way.

If you could pick out one thing you find most challenging about marketing, what would it be? 

Staying relevant when change is happening every second.

How important is it for anyone joining your team today to be comfortable with data-driven marketing?

It’s critical. Every function in marketing can be measured in some way, and should be. Without measurement, it’s very hard to adapt your marketing strategy or your tactics.

What’s the single most important component of your marketing stack (by description and/or vendor name)? 

At Bazaarvoice, we employ a “best-of-breed” technology strategy, so it’s difficult to single out just one solution —they are all critical in the role that they play for their particular part of the stack. However, we have put a data governance system in place to ensure that data is being utilized across the whole company and we’re eliminating redundant data. All functions have a seat at the table, and whenever a department wants to purchase a new component for our marketing stack, the entire committee evaluates the proposal to ensure we’re not investing in something we already have a solution for.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?  

The first female GM in Major League Baseball.

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