Introducing Sisu’s new VP of Demand Marketing, Gina Chen!

By Sun Lee - April 23, 2021

It’s my pleasure to introduce Sisu’s new Vice President of Demand Marketing and Marketing Operations, Gina Chen. Gina is an instrumental leader who is passionate about great technology that makes a difference in people’s lives. With over ten years of experience leading demand marketing and marketing strategy, Gina brings competencies to lead B2B technology companies through the hyper-growth stage. She will be critical to accelerating Sisu’s growth and strengthening our position as a leader in the modern analytics space.

Gina joins us most recently from Perimeter X, where she was Vice President of Demand Marketing and Marketing Operations. I had the pleasure of working with Gina years ago at Citrix, and I’m looking forward to partnering with her here at Sisu. To introduce Gina in her own words, I sat down to hear her thoughts on building a demand engine and making data-driven decisions.

To kick this off, what interested you in joining the Sisu team?  

I wanted to join the Sisu team as soon as I saw the product in action. It was exciting because, as a marketer, I know the challenges that come with analyzing data and getting to actionable insights. In demand marketing and marketing operations, we work with a large amount of dynamic data and struggle to work with it efficiently and effectively. In the past, we’d run analyses, watching traditional BI tools spin while processing the data with the hope that it wouldn’t time out before the results were revealed.

But when I saw Sisu analyze billions of combinations and factors in seconds, I knew this would be a game-changer for how I worked with data and how other marketers would in the future. I wanted to be a part of bringing Sisu’s augmented intelligence solution to market.

That’s awesome. I had the same feeling when I saw it for the first time too. As we both know, customers’ buying behaviors have been changing drastically and accelerated by the pandemic. How do you approach building a marketing engine that is robust yet flexible?

Demand generation used to be a relatively simple engine to build. But with new ways to interact with technology, consume content, and learn about companies, demand generation has evolved and continues to change rapidly. People wonder if what I do is growth marketing or revenue marketing or digital marketing—the reality is it’s all-encompassing.

With that in mind, I approach building a demand engine with two components. First, I think about how we can give prospects and customers the right content at the right time. That means investing in the technology to ensure it’s available to people when and where they want it while also keeping an eye on how we handle and protect customer data during these interactions. Second, demand generation is all about tracking and reporting. With more ways to consume content and learn about new products, attribution is significantly more complicated. Our ability to measure ROI on our demand programs starts with making sure we have the right tools for collecting and analyzing data—and I’m looking forward to using Sisu to analyze data—Sisu had me at “billions of permutations in seconds.”

With that being said, I’m curious how will you use data to make decisions on our marketing programs at Sisu?

It won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. Every company uses different influence and attribution models to understand their demand marketing programs performance, depending on if they’re more product-led or sales-led in their growth. At Sisu, I want to focus on how we interpret the data and build our reporting so we can act on the early insights we’re getting from our data.

You’re joining us from Perimeter X and Imperva, but you’ve also had a chance to work across a number of leading companies in your career. What are some of the most interesting projects you were involved in?

Across my career, I’ve been fortunate to work on cool cutting-edge projects that have shaped my approach to marketing.

At Apple, I was part of the team starting the first online Apple Store. It used to be that you could only buy Apple products at brick-and-mortar stores like Comp USA or Fry’s, but Apple decided to sell directly online. I was very fortunate to work at Apple during this pivotal time. I worked with amazing analysts with access to reliable customer data that helped to drive business decisions.

I was working at Intuit when the Intuit Developer Network was really starting to grow. This was a pivotal time for me because I started spending significant time with technical leaders and practitioners, not just Intuit colleagues but also third-party developers. The concept of an ecosystem where applications work together to address customer problems really came together for me at Intuit.

When we were at Citrix, I had my first exposure to working in the enterprise space. I took that interest in learning the minutiae of how technology works from my time at Intuit, and used it to learn how enterprise products work and the value they bring to end-users. I worked with amazing leaders at Citrix. They took the time to teach me how to market to enterprise customers.

With these different experiences and guidance from amazing leaders, I was given the opportunity to build out demand marketing and marketing operation teams. At Imperva, I really learned about tools and systems and how complicated and challenging data can get. Comparatively, Imperva is a much smaller organization than the previous companies. I couldn’t rely on a data and analytics team to give me the reports I needed. This forced me to roll up my sleeves and dive deep into systems, data, and analytics. Believe it or not, I enjoyed it. However, the more I worked with the legacy systems and existing structures and tools, the more I wanted to build something from scratch. So much so, when I was asked to join PerimeterX, I jumped at the opportunity because I would get to build from the ground up.

Now that you’re at Sisu, what challenges are you looking forward to tackling?

No surprise, I really enjoy the building process. As I mentioned, typically when you join a big company, you’re working with legacy systems and processes. It is often not about building but rather adjusting, adding, and optimizing what’s already there.

At Sisu, I’m looking forward to building a foundation for a successful go-to-market strategy. This includes developing demand campaigns that will engage new prospects and drive them to try our product. This also means rethinking things like lead flow, working with Revenue Operations, determining ways to measure success, setting our key metrics, and building a strong attribution model so we can understand the impact of our work.

In the end, I want to be able to track and build all of the data we collect from marketing programs, social, customer success, and sales. With this, I’ll be able to use “Sisu on Sisu” and finally get real visibility into what’s working, where we need to act, and how we should improve our programs.

From a team perspective, what are you looking forward to building?

Anyone who knows me or who has worked for me knows that I think it’s critical to foster growth and development within the teams I managed. At the end of the day, our job is our job; it’s unrealistic to think we’ll be here forever. I want to help my team be thinking about where they’re headed next. We all grow and evolve, and I want those who work with me to be considering what they’ll take with them along the way.

As a leader, besides making Sisu successful, I care about building friendships and relationships and making sure I’m helping the people I work with succeed and grow. For me, success is knowing that anyone who works with me can become a leader.

That’s awesome. I totally agree. Last question—outside of work, what are some things you unabashedly nerd about? What topics intrigue you outside of your day-to-day responsibilities?

I would say my children.

Given that my children are a top priority and seeing how the pandemic has affected education, I’m obsessed with schooling and the policies surrounding it. I have a degree in Education Policy, and as I’ve become heavily involved with my kids’ schooling, it’s rekindled a passion for studying education and the beliefs and philosophies that come with it.

A little more fun, recently my daughters and I have been getting into archery. I just bought my first bow and arrow, and we’re learning how to put it together and improve our shots.

Interested in helping build the technology and systems that will help every business operationalize its data? We’re hiring across the company.