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I grew up in an entrepreneurial world and developed a love of marketing and technology through an always on, always connected lifestyle.

Today, I'm the Vice President of Marketing at TUNE, a mobile marketing technology company whose products are used by marketers responsive for driving results for the most successful mobile apps. A few of our customers include Supercell, LINE, DraftKings, Sony, Nickelodeon, Staples, eBay, Zillow, Expedia, and Starz.

I've been at TUNE for three and a half years. During that time TUNE has raised $34 million from premier venture capital firms Accel Partners and Icon Ventures, launched six international offices, made three strategic acquisitions, seen a 714% increase in revenue growth, ending 2015 with $60.4M in annual revenue.

As TUNE's marketing executive, I lead Marketing which includes: corporate messaging, public relations, media, creative, analytics, demand gen, content, product marketing, and events. Right now I'm focused on expanding TUNE's global presence and investing in my team of passionate, fearless and knowledge-seeking marketers.

High on my todo list this year is to get more involved in TUNE’s philanthropic programs. These include TUNE Cares, which supports education, the environment and diversity, and TUNE House, a University of Washington scholarship program that provides free housing, professional mentors and resources to support female students likely to pursue software development careers.

I love what I do and often spend most of my time wrapped up in marketing even outside the office whether it's reading new business/marketing/strategy/leadership books, downloading the latest apps, snapchatting crazy marketing ideas or screenshotting eye-catching ads. During Winter Quarter, I'm an instructor in the at the University of Washington for the Marketing Certificate program. I put together a curriculum to teach students how to develop the skills for success as a marketer in a mobile-first world.

I'm pretty easy to find online if you want to connect with me. Search for 'Jenerationy' on all your favorite social networks. 

Looking forward to all your questions whether it's about marketing, tech, mobile, startup life, leadership, travel, or something else. Let's make this interesting. :)

I will be live on September 20 starting 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which I will answer as many questions as possible.

  • CC

    Christian Calderon

    about 1 year ago #

    From a marketing perspective, where do you pull your inspiration from? Any companies out there you would recommend to keep an eye on?

    • JW

      Jennifer Wong

      about 1 year ago #

      Hey Christian -

      Thanks for the first question!

      This is probably the easiest and most difficult question to answer. New ideas? Anywhere and everywhere. More specifically I’m always inspired by the people I work with and the world around me.

      At work: We have a passionate team at TUNE that loves to share ideas with each other. We have several company-wide open meetings for anyone to learn about what other teams are working on. There are always new marketing ideas from those. When we connect with our global teams, they always share new perspectives from how they work together and connect with customers and the community in that region.

      In the world: Anyone that glances at my laptop always comments on how messy my desktop is with hundreds of screenshots across the entire screen. :flushed: The photo gallery on my phone is the same. When I’m checking out my social media feeds or traveling to new cities, I’m inspired by the world around me. When I come across a great idea - whether it’s imagery style, a headline, artwork, event styling, architecture, streetwear - I take a screenshot or photo to add that as an inspiration piece to potentially build off of later.

      A few brands that I always keep an eye on: Refinery 29, Spotify, Dailymail, Delta.

      2 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        about 1 year ago #

        Delta - the airline?
        Curious as to what they are doing so well that others are not?

  • HQ

    Hila Qu

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer,

    It is a treat to have you on GH, so I have a few questions for you :)

    1) What do you think are the biggest challenges in mobile marketing? What does Tune do to help?
    2) It's pretty cool that you also teach, how do you like the experience? Also what do you think are the biggest skill set difference between web-marketers and mobile-first marketers? How should one fill the gap?
    3) Lastly, can you share some of your faviroute apps and books for you to learn about marketing outside your job :)

    Hila

    • JW

      Jennifer Wong

      about 1 year ago #

      Hi Hila -

      Thanks for joining this AMA! Great questions to kick things off.

      1. Mobile accounted for more than half of digital advertising spend in 2015. This proves the value of mobile in marketing but there are still challenges.

      The biggest challenges in mobile marketing today:

      Lack of transparency in attribution - marketers still don’t always have the right technology to understand the impact of their marketing campaigns on mobile. Typically their current marketing technology solves for attribution across the web but loses sight when a user interacts in the mobile world. At TUNE, we built the only mobile first marketing tech stack to solve for this problem so marketers can understand which campaigns and channels are driving the best results.

      Lack of standard performance or success metrics across mobile environments and devices - in digital marketing there are a pretty standard set of metrics, KPIs and reports marketers use to evaluate performance. Mobile introduces a whole new set of metrics that aren’t always standard across every advertising partner and/or technology partner. This leads to marketers trying to measure performance side by side, using different scales and numbers. One way to solve this is by working with a partner that can aggregate and reconcile all the data to give a complete view in one place. Again, something that we have built for marketers to easily understand their data to make better marketing decisions.

      A complex landscape - there are so many types of partners that marketers can work with to help them achieve their goals in mobile. But the landscape is complex. I’m in the technology industry and when I look at a new lumascape or vendor report, I think about all the marketers that don’t live in this everyday that have to make sense of it. Today, we see a lot of consolidation in the different areas of mobile and more education across the industry on how partners can help marketers solve specific challenges. To solve for complexity and make things simpler for marketers, we built and launched the TUNE Marketing Console, a marketer’s complete mobile marketing technology stack, with one integrated solution for mobile measurement, engagement, and optimization across the entire customer journey.

      2 Share
      • JW

        Jennifer Wong

        about 1 year ago #

        2. I had a really engaging instructor in college during a Sales Program I completed who supported me in becoming an instructor for the University of Washington. This Winter Quarter will be my third year teaching MARCOM 350, a hand-on class that teaches students how to plan, set-up and execute integrated marketing campaigns across 10 different marketing channels.

        I always feel like I end up learning more than I teach. :) I learn how to simplify and clearly communicate the theory and execution of marketing. Everyday I work with expert marketers, on my team and our clients, when I step into the classroom, I learn a lot about patience. :) But as far as the whole experience, it’s really fulfilling to help someone learn how to join this field. At the end of the quarter I’m always proud and highly impressed with the initiative each student takes in developing marketing skills. I keep in touch with several students after the quarter - and the number of them keeps growing!

        The biggest skill-gap between web-marketers and mobile-first marketers is understanding new technology. That’s one of the reasons I was excited to join TUNE three years ago. As a marketer (in the web/digital world) I believed that mobile would be the game changer for a marketer to effectively deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Mobile is the most personal way for a marketer to connect to a person. The fundamentals of how to plan out the strategy are the same. Both types of marketers need to be amazing story tellers to really connect with an audience. However, the execution is very different when marketers need to understand how to deliver their message to the right person, and report on the effectiveness.

        2 Share
      • JW

        Jennifer Wong

        about 1 year ago #

        3. Favorite books

        I read ~a book a month on my Kindle app. Here are a few of my favorite Marketing ones:
        Trust me, I’m lying by Ryan Holliday
        Outliers and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
        Contagious by Jonah Berger
        Behind the cloud by Marc Benihoff
        Hooked by Nir Eyal
        Without their permission by Alexis Ohanian
        Designing brand identity by Alina Wheeler
        It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be by Paul Arden

        I'm always looking for recommendations! I would love to hear if there are any great books you've read recently.

        Lately, I've been reading more on Medium when I get the chance. There are so many great ideas and inspired moments people are publishing on there.

        Favorite apps

        I don’t have any apps that are specifically about marketing but I usually have the Top 10 apps on my phone to learn what role their app plays in their marketing strategy.

    • HQ

      Hila Qu

      about 1 year ago #

      Hi Jennifer, thank you for your answers, and love your book list. Will definitely check some of those. I have recently started reading the book sprint, it's about a 5-day design sprint process Google Ventures, a lot of practical ideas and methodology there. Also fun to read.

  • AA

    Aldin A

    about 1 year ago #

    Hey Jennifer,

    Thanks for doing this AMA!

    1)What do you think are the top skills/traits that a manager needs to have to bring out the best in their employees?

    2)How do you go about empowering employees? What does empowerment look like at Tune? How do you instill an ownership mentality in them?

    Thanks

    • JW

      Jennifer Wong

      about 1 year ago #

      Hey Aldin -

      Great questions. These are topics I think more about as my focused shifted over my career from building marketing campaigns to building a team of marketers.

      1. I believe that great managers have one job: to get the very best out of the people they manage. It sounds simple but I've found that the execution is hard.

      Throughout my career I been able to learn from and work with great managers. I have also had exposure to bad leaders who have shown poor management. I always look to past experiences and learn from other great managers to implement the best tactics at TUNE. One trait that stands out from my great managers is great communication. They know how to start a collaborative conversation in a light situation and also when to drive certain situations with a high degree of urgency. Their communication is not hard to read or understand.

      3 Share
      • JW

        Jennifer Wong

        about 1 year ago #

        2. I love when I see people across the company and on my team take initiative and solve problems. I see my role as giving direction and clearing roadblocks. To do that I always try to be transparent with information so everyone on the team knows how to make the right decision that's best for the business.

        Ownership is sometimes frustrating for me because I want everyone to know - to feel - like they can influence and make decisions. We've grown pretty quickly as a company (~300 in 3 years) that I forget some people join and think we are a 'big' team so there are processes or approvals in place before they can get work done. That's definitely not the case at TUNE. Everyone is so open to new ideas, ways to do things better. Anyone has the opportunity to take ownership and make an impact. I try to remind my team that I trust their judgment. They were brought onto the team for a reason, I trust the decision they make and how they hold themselves accountable. My role is to help support them in achieving that.

  • SA

    Shaker A

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer,

    Excited to have you here.

    1)What are the most valuable lessons you've learned in your career about growth and business in general?

    2) In your opinion what are things early stage startups have to do to not only survive, but thrive? Conversely what do you see startups messing up that they can't afford to, and how do they fix them?

    3)What, in your opinion, are the top qualities founders need to succeed?

    Thanks

  • MM

    martín medina

    about 1 year ago #

    Jennifer,

    Great to have you here doing this AMA.

    What was your favorite campaign you’ve ever worked on? Why?

    What are some of your favorite books?

    What is your favorite aspect of marketing? Where do you see marketing in the future?

    Thanks!

  • VM

    vivek muralee

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer

    Congrats on the phenomenal growth of TUNE. Nice of you to share your time to help other growthHackers.

    1)What was most instrumental in the growth of TUNE?
    2) What is the most essential trait of a leader according to you?
    3)What mistake do you see entrepreneurs making most often?
    4)How do you manage your time well enough to balance your professional and personal life?
    5)What do you think will be the next big thing in mobile marketing?

    Thanks for your time Jennifer
    All the best

  • RG

    Robert Gibb

    about 1 year ago #

    Hey Jennifer.

    We interviewed your CTO last year and had fun learning about the tech stack behind Tune (https://www.maxcdn.com/blog/maxscale-tune/). It's awesome that you're on here now to talk marketing!

    My question is a hard one about sacrifice and meaning, but first, a little backstory:

    I just started a side project that has REAL meaning to me, though it doesn't make me money (yet). I'm also passionate about what I do for my job, but it lacks that meaning. Don't get me wrong: At work we build amazing things with amazing people, but, you know, you can't force something to have REAL meaning to you.

    But if I want to get promoted to a role with more authority, I feel like I have to make my job my PRIMARY passion. I know I would crush that role but not sure if I want to give up other passions with REAL meaning (my side project, learning new languages, reading and writing fiction - not just reading marketing/business books, etc.).

    I'm a content marketer now - a job I really love - but know I could go further. However I'm not sure if I want to because there's enough to do right now and going further would mean more time away from those things with REAL meaning.

    So my hard question is: How do you justify giving up time on things with REAL meaning to have a role like VP of Marketing? Or maybe TUNE does have REAL meaning to you, either because it lets you do what you love (teach) or because you were truly born to further this thing called mobile. But then why not teach full time?

    If you could put a title to this question it may be titled: Money, Meaning, and the Balance :p

    Any advice is appreciated. Thank you so much!

    • JW

      Jennifer Wong

      about 1 year ago #

      Hey Robert -

      That's amazing you had a chance to get to know Niek! He is one of the most insightful people I know.

      You're right. This is a pretty hard and REAL question to answer. I don't know that I have an answer but I can certainly give you my perspective.

      I’ve never felt like I’ve had to give up one passion for another or make a significant life trade off. You mention "At work we build amazing things with amazing people, but, you know, you can't force something to have REAL meaning to you." I love all aspects of marketing and am excited that I get to be part of the team and take the lead on solving problems that have real meaning to me. Being at a company that builds solutions that solve problems for marketers is close to my heart as marketer myself. Doing that with amazing people around also is really meaningful to me. I've learned it's much more enjoyable and satisfying when something was accomplished with others, not just by yourself.

      I have so much passion and energy for what I do it never seems like a waste of time. Today, I lead a marketing team at a company that builds marketing technology for marketers, teach marketing classes, and read marketing books for fun. It’s so meta, ha. I believe in the “10,000” hours concept Malcolm Gladwell speaks to in Outliers of putting in time to practice and become an expert. I know I’ve spent well over 10,000 hours learning and executing marketing and because if it’s evolving nature, there will always be more to learn.

      Passion for what I do has always been important for me because if I’m going to dedicate time and energy to something, I’m all in and committed to making it great.

      You mention that you feel like you have to make a trade off with you other passions such as learning new languages, side business etc. I think dedicating time to those other things you are excited about adds real meaning to whatever you are doing. Outside of Marketing, I love spending time grabbing lunch with friends, binge-watching shows on Netflix, traveling to new cities, brushing up on my Mandarin, and checking out new bars in Seattle. I think it all adds up to who I am as a person and translates to a unique perspective for the ideas and stories I share back in the Marketing world.

      Hope that give you a bit of my perspective on this topic. I'd be happy to chat more about it sometime.

      2 Share
      • RG

        Robert Gibb

        about 1 year ago #

        Hey Jennifer. I really appreciate your thoughtful reply. It makes a lot of sense to me. I have the tendency to over-analyze things sometimes. (I was exercising that tendency when I left that comment lol). Thanks for making everything meaningful seem fun and doable - because it is.

  • RB

    Ry B

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for being here!

    1)Can you talk about the some of the challenges of scaling TUNE and how you've overcome said issues?

    2)How do you look at hiring? Can you talk about some of the mistakes you've made hiring (and also seen others make)? What have you learned about hiring A+ talents?

    3)How do you look at balance in your professional and personal life? When it comes to work, how do you decide what you have to work on today (I'm sure you have a lot of fires to put out every day)?How do you seperate your professional and private life? Is there a separation?

    • JW

      Jennifer Wong

      about 1 year ago #

      Hi Ry -

      Let's start with 2.

      Hiring is SO important to the success of TUNE. There have been plenty of learnings in hiring my team from writing the a clear job description to asking insightful interview questions to setting up an onboarding path for success. One mistake I've made when meeting candidates is overweighting marketing skills vs team fit. It's really important to not only find the right person based on the skill set they can bring to the team but finding a person that the team enjoys working with everyday.

      I've learned that A+ talents hire other A+ talents. It's advice that's shared often, and I've also experienced it. I think it's something about the confidence and selflessness to hire someone better then yourself to help elevate the team.

  • CC

    Cassandra Chernin

    about 1 year ago #

    Hey Jennifer,

    I'm excited to have found this AMA as I'm currently searching for different opportunities in the mobile app world.

    1) How do you differentiate TUNE from all the other companies doing similar things?

    2) When you are looking to market TUNE for demand gen how do you pick the companies you work with? What are the deciding characteristics of companies you chose to work with?

    And on a personal note:

    1) If you could narrow it down what are the three traits you look for in a marketer?
    2) How did you achieve the success you have now?

    Thanks!

  • RM

    Raquel Mascot

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer,

    I am glad that you will join the AMA.
    As a VP of a marketing tune, how do you budget your time according to your emphasis in the work?( in short- what is your daily activities at office)

    • JW

      Jennifer Wong

      about 1 year ago #

      Hi Raquel -

      I just peeked at my calendar to give you an idea of what my day typically looks like:
      Analyst call with Gartner
      Another analyst call with Gartner
      1:1 with a direct report
      Meeting with my executive coach
      Design review meeting for an upcoming campaign
      1:1 with a direct report
      + a lot of email replies in between

      Overall I spend the week:
      20% in meetings
      20% in 1:1's with direct reports
      30% replying or writing emails
      20% reviewing and giving feedback on work
      10% casually connecting with others around the office

  • JL

    Julien LE COUPANEC

    about 1 year ago #

    Hey Jennifer :-) What would be your best piece of advice for a startup before product/market fit? (and after?)

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    about 1 year ago #

    Hey Jennifer - it's impossible for me not to resist after you mentioned you're an avid reader. What books have you read in the last year which have significantly impacted the way you approach business and/or life?

    Thanks!

  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for doing this AMA. I see in your bio that you may have a strong interest in Snapchat as a channel.

    Would you share with us some of the growth experiments you may have tested on this channel and some of the outcomes you are the most proud about?

    Merci!

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer,

    Impressive bio! Thanks for joining us for the AMA. :)

    How does your team prioritize the many projects and initiatives you oversee? And how important is the growth mindset at TUNE?

    Really looking forward to reading your response.

    Dani

  • TO

    Tim O'Neil

    about 1 year ago #

    Who are some of your biggest professional influences in your career?

    Where do you draw your inspiration from?

  • ES

    Edward Stephens

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer,

    Awesome to have you on you've had an amazing career already!

    A couple of questions from me:

    1) What is your personal technology stack to help you with marketing professionally and what tools do you use personally (e.g. chrome plugins for gmail) to speed up your workflow?

    2) Do you think Snapchat will continue to evolve into a platform that supports ideas/advice expertise and how has the uptake from your own audience been?

    3) What have you found the major differences been between countries when expanding TUNE's global reach?

    Can't wait to hear your answers.

  • JH

    James H.

    about 1 year ago #

    As a tech and product focused team - we sometimes undervalue the importance of marketing. With limited time, budget, and expertise what are the top things (ie, strategy vs acting) a startup should do to maximize returns on a micro budget (under $5k).

    • JW

      Jennifer Wong

      about 1 year ago #

      Hi James -

      Proving the value of Marketing is something I always love chatting about.

      A startup that is product and tech focused is my favorite recipe for success. There are a lot of low budget, high impact marketing activities you can do right away.

      The first thing I would do is focus on current customers. Learn why they chose your company - over anything out there, to help solve their problem. Then dive deeper to understand what makes the product indispensable. Capturing these stories and sharing them is one of the most powerful things you can do develop a market presence. Paring authentic stories with strong brand positioning is something I'll always have a marketing priority.

      So much of the buying decision is done through discovery today. Discovery through recommendations from peers and people you follow are still at the top of the list. We've even done research at TUNE to show word of mouth is a top channel for why people download apps.

      3 Share
      • JH

        James H.

        about 1 year ago #

        Thanks for the reply. It makes sense to create content around our existing customers (video interview/Q&A). Seems like a win-win for product and marketing (we get client insights, marketing gets content).

  • JM

    Joe Montana

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you for being here.
    How do you know when an idea is worth your time? How to know "this is the right one" and I´m going to put full effort on it.
    How do you know when you are working on an idea and is nor worth it? How do you know when to quit or pivot?
    Thanks and all the best!
    JLP

  • JW

    Jennifer Wong

    about 1 year ago #

    That seriously flew by. I couldn't type fast enough to answer all the questions but I'll reply to all of them by the end of the week. Appreciate your time in joining. Would love to connect anytime after - @Jenerationy

  • KD

    Kjell De Raad

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Jennifer! What's your biggest succes work related and what is your biggest failure? (- and what did you learn from this)

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