Jackie Yeaney, SVP and CMO, Ellucian

As SVP and CMO, Jackie Yeaney is responsible for the full breadth of Ellucian’s marketing efforts, including corporate, product, and field marketing. She leads a global team responsible for brand, marketing strategy, marketing communications, solutions marketing, digital, and marketing operations.

Prior to Ellucian, Yeaney held CMO roles at several companies, including, Red Hat, PGi, EarthLink, and HomeBanc. She was also the MD of consumer marketing for Delta Air Lines.

Marketing strategy: I believe marketing has four primary responsibilities: builder and guardian of the brand, customer advocate with deep insight, curator of sales pipeline, and a long-term driver of corporate growth.

Defining moment: I consider myself an accidental marketer. After 9/11, I was asked to join Delta. I was an engineer who had been consulting on e-commerce initiatives when the CFO asked me to lead consumer marketing. I had no experience in marketing, but I knew our success hinged on improving the customer experience. I applied my entire budget to that effort. Lo and behold, I found my passion in life — being the customer advocate. I’ve been leading marketing teams ever since.

Advice to young marketers:
Don’t focus on moving up. If you want to be a CMO one day, focus on getting new skills and experiences across all aspects of marketing.

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