Sammie Walker: An Energetic Leader in Marketing

Sammie Walker, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Infoblox | CIOLook | Business Magazine
Sammie Walker, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Infoblox | CIOLook | Business Magazine

Nowadays organizations are evolving with proper planning and marketing strategies. To formulate these procedures the role of the marketing officer comes into the picture. To promote the company globally, the job of marketing officer becomes crucial. The marketing officer represents the organization with activities like campaigns, advertisements, conferences, technology trends, communication with customers and others. It proves as a motivation for a marketing officer to work with these responsibilities, as they are involved with people’s demands and needs. One such inspiration, Sammie Walker, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer at Infoblox oversees the company’s global marketing organization. She joined Infoblox in April 2016, bringing 20 years of industry marketing experience in defining, launching and growing companies in the Networking, Analytics, Security, Digital Advertising, Telecom, and Collaboration markets. Previously, Sammie held senior management roles at Aerospike, Actian, Vidyo, Zenprise, and Transera Communications. CIO LOOK admires such leaders and takes pride in featuring Sammie in its special issue.

Below is her story, 

Sammie’s first managerial role was at a start-up where she had to wear many hats and cover a wide variety of responsibilities. In the beginning, she was the only person in Marketing and was tasked with building the Marketing team. She had to think beyond her role and responsibilities and instead be more strategic about what the organization needed in a Marketing team and then go and bring on those people who could execute upon the vision. Shortly, after building the Marketing team, the start-up was acquired by a publicly held company which gave her the opportunity to expand her role even further. She was promoted and took on additional responsibilities of overseeing a large global team. It was during a meeting with the CEO of another company that she later joined, where they were discussing her career aspirations and decided her goal to become a VP of Marketing. She earned an MBA from the School of Economics & Business Administration from St. Mary’s College and began the journey to accomplishing her goal. From there, she had a mentor who believed in her and gave her opportunities to try new roles and expand her learnings and responsibilities in order to grow her career.

In the new hyper-connected world, opportunities are coming faster than before with smart apps, IoT, machine learning, blockchain, and more. To keep up with these changes, creativity, innovation, vision, collaboration, effective communication among stakeholders/customers, and the ability to break down barriers to gain cross-functional alignment is essential. According to her, as a leader, it’s crucial to have a team rallied behind you so that everyone is aligned and feels they have a purpose and are inspired to reach a mutual goal. “It’s really important to focus on the WHY”, says Sammie. Too often we get lost in the company message, or the product features that we forget what is most important; “Why is your product/service important to the customer?” The ‘why’ is critical when it comes to reaching your target audience.

One of the CMO’s primary challenges is getting strong alignment between sales and marketing. It is essential to have aligned goals and execute against a common strategy. A lot of Marketing’s work is in the background, which means every marketer needs to be a data jockey for their business. Sammie is regularly learning, whether it’s from her peers, attending conferences, or reading the latest market trends. And staying abreast of how to communicate with customers and target audience as well as across different generations is critical You need to understand the demographics of the customer and how they want to engage. It’s all about how customers want to receive information. “If anything, technology trends have created an opportunity for marketers to have more channels to better communicate with customers and reach target audiences,” says Sammie.

When it comes to strategizing game plans, she considers the sales, product, and engineering teams to be her key partners in developing a strategic game plan. The sales team engages directly with customers and can provide valuable feedback on how the company’s offerings are meeting customer needs. The product and the engineering teams are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to understanding the competitive landscape and the organization’s unique product differentiators and capabilities. Additionally, getting third-party feedback from customers themselves and industry analysts helps to validate the message is resonating with them. Sammie’s mission is successfully executing on Infoblox’s vision and strategy.

About Infoblox 

As technology is rapidly evolving with the introduction of Cloud, IoT, machine learning and more – organizations are faced with a hyperconnected world that requires next level networking and cybersecurity. Infoblox solutions allow organizations to strengthen and optimize their security posture from the foundation up with highly accurate threat intelligence and advanced analytics based on machine learning. Network Security Solutions from Infoblox, secures every connection to the Internet, regardless of network, device or location, while improving the effectiveness of the company’s entire security ecosystem. Infoblox empowers organizations to securely manage their on-prem, cloud and hybrid networks through a single pane of glass. The networking company delivers the next level of DDI to 8,000 customers around the world, including 350 of the Fortune 500. It operates in more than 25 countries and counts as its customers some of the world’s largest businesses, including more than 74% of the Forbes 1000..