Throughout her nearly 20-year career in marketing, Melissa Wallace has attempted to accomplish one thing: do only what she loves. “Since the beginning of my career, I’ve taken all kinds of marketing roles, mainly in entertainment,” Wallace says. “I kept thinking, ‘If I’m going to market something, it’s got to be something that I love.’ And I love entertainment. I love music. I love sports. I love film. So, I was determined to work in entertainment. I just didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go.”
Wallace says that she discovered her love for marketing entertainment brands about 15 years ago in the role of senior marketing manager for communications giant DIRECTV. “Over time I learned that I love marketing to marketers,” she says. Since her time at DIRECTV, Wallace has taken on several senior marketing roles with marquee companies such as A&E Television Networks, URL-shortening service Bitly, and Salesforce.com, which in 2012 bought Buddy Media for nearly $750 million, in part due to the successful marketing campaigns led by Wallace, who was the VP of marketing at Buddy Media at the time: “My role today [at Splash] is now to get the public on board. From the branding, to PR, to driving awareness, I get to do all the fun stuff in this new job. It’s everything fun about marketing.”
Marketing strategy: When I was starting out, digital marketing was emerging. So, the idea that you could associate something like ROI with your marketing efforts became something that I was focused on. But I’m also very split between being creative and analytical. I believe that when you’re marketing to consumers, and even to other marketers, creativity is extremely important. So my approach in this B2B space is to find a way to entertain the marketer.
Winning ways: I want to talk about my time at Buddy Media. I came in to basically do a relaunch of their product. We had only about eight weeks, and we took a creative approach on tools for social media marketers. We recruited five artists from around the world, and let them create a digital and social campaign that told a message of power and connections through their artwork. The result was not just an effective campaign, but we also helped create a new category: social media marketing.
Defining moment: Early in my career I actually thought that I was going to law school. While I was applying to law school as an undergrad, I began temping at the company that my father worked for. I was just in the marketing department kind of helping out. I had never been exposed to marketing in any real way. But immediately I decided not to go to law school and went to grad school to study marketing communications. I decided that this is the path that I wanted to go down.
Trend watching: I’m watching the integration of all of these SaaS companies. It’s interesting to see how they’re working together.
Words to live by: From Star Wars: “Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Good read: Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
Good advice: I think that women forget to focus on themselves; focus on yourself and what’s important to you.