Lori Wright understands the elusive nature of excellence, and has learned when and where the pursuit of this slippery adjective is viable. She also is clear about her priorities, and that clarity has allowed her to excel where it counts in her marketing career. Professionally, this keen sense of self has led to pivotal professional relationships, and substantial progress at TIBCO, where Wright has helped grow the company’s leads by 30%.
Marketing strategy: Know who your customers are, and who you want your future customers to be, then tell them why your products serve their needs better than anything else. Finally, make sure you have the systems in place to be able to tell whether your message is resonating, and your existing customers are staying with you and buying more from you.
Winning ways: On the personal side, I’m most proud of being here with you right now to have this conversation. I had my second child five months ago, and being both an executive in the fast-paced IT industry and a mom to two energetic boys at home is not for the faint of heart.
On the professional side, I’m really proud of the work we did in 2014 to launch a new brand identity for the company, improve demand-generation processes, and deliver the most successful user conference in the history of the company.
Defining moment: The defining moment of my career came when I got a call from John W. Thompson one day to work with him as his business operations leader while he was the chairman and CEO of Symantec. Beyond learning from someone extraordinary like John, this was the inflection point in which I moved my family from Florida to California. This afforded me the opportunity to take on a series of roles where I met a lot of people, did a lot of different things, and honed my skills in areas that I was passionate about.
Trend watching: The expectations of marketing to be a revenue driver for the company are stronger than ever before. As this trend continues to develop, marketing has to be able to demonstrably show the contribution it is making to the organization in a quantifiable way.
Words to live by: I’m naturally wired to want to be a straight-A student, but I realized that if I try and live my life getting straight As, I’m going to either be pretty miserable, or not last too long during the journey. A friend helped me put this in perspective once by devising a system each day where I determine where I want to get an A and where I’m willing to take a C. Being the control freak that I am, this is an empowering system.
Good read: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
Good advice: Be bold. Don’t do a lot of little stuff that makes minimal impact. Come up with one big platform idea each year and swing for the fences—you won’t always connect, but when you do, it makes all the difference in the world. People won’t remember the little things—but they’ll remember the big bangs.