VidMob may have a new CMO, but don’t expect her to rest on the laurels of the company that built a creator network, a suite of tools to manage video production and the ability to turn them into online ads during the height of the pandemic last year.
The company in May named Andrea Ward CMO. Ward leads VidMob’s marketing function as the company expands its Intelligent Creative business globally.
Ward isn’t your average CMO. She’s all about talking numbers and translating concepts into business performance. She loves numbers, data, and historical fiction.
“When I was in middle school and high school, I was extremely mathy,” she said. “I was on the math team. I either thought I would be a high school math teacher or a scientist.”
Her father worked as an aeronautical engineer in the space program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He started in jet propulsion and moved to satellite technology. One of his last projects was the Hubble space telescope.
It’s not surprising that Ward started college as a math major, but changed to history, because of all the travel she did. Based on that traveling, storytelling became her passion, which led her to advertising.
“It’s about learning about the past and applying it to how you think about the future,” Ward said. “That’s why I naturally slid into a marketing role. A lot is about creative and storytelling. I did go back to business school to get a MBA in International finance. Statistics was my easy A grade, and I loved finance.”
Ward has more than two decades of marketing experience at some of the largest and most successful software-as-a-service companies. She most recently led Adobe’s enterprise marketing team, after joining from Magento, which Adobe acquired.
Prior to Magento, she served as global vice president of marketing at Oracle, where she launched the Oracle Marketing Cloud business and led the unit’s global marketing function.
Marketing has changed quiet a bit in the past 10 to 20 years. Apple’s privacy changes make performance marketing more important. The move from automation into intelligence has been interesting to watch, she said, but still believes in artificial intelligence as an enabler rather than a replacement. Technology that helps automate the stuff we don’t want to do 200 times, or provides the data to be more creative is what drove Ward to VidMob.
“Creative technology is the next frontier,” Ward said. “I really love that VidMob looks at data and creativity to enable creative to do higher-performing work.”
CMOs would love to prove creative matters. She said Google has a stat that estimates 70% of the marketing performance is in the creative. What VidMob does is helping to provide measurement and value to the creative, she said.
Ward also loves to read historical fiction, and can see a clear link between the type of genre she reads and her work as a CMO.
“Great marketing is about great storytelling, and there’s a difference between messaging and persuasive messaging,” she said. “Storytelling has an emotional and factional component.”
Ward also loves to travel, and made a point to share that while on her first business trip since the COVID-19 lockdowns. “it’s such a joy to meet people in person again.”