Tell us about your company and role.
I’m the VP of Alliances and Marketing at Fēnom Digital (A Wunderman Thompson Company), an award-winning digital agency that specializes in delivering enterprise commerce, order management, supply chain, marketing, and customer experience solutions to retailers and brands using Salesforce. While I’m focused on growing revenue through our partner and marketing channels, meaningful partnerships extend beyond creating joint business together. One of the greatest gifts my career has brought me are the lifelong friendships I’ve made in the eCommerce ecosystem.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a resilient and authentic contributor who tries to lead with creativity, kindness, and humor. My career is incredibly important to me, but so is taking the time to be grateful for simple pleasures and seeking out new challenges, experiences and adventures with family and friends. I’m wife to a remarkable husband, Joe, and pet mom to Elwood the dog and Sweetie Pie the cat.
What qualities do you think a good leader needs to have?
There are so many qualities that make a good leader, but for me, it’s very much about hiring. If you entice the right talent and provide them with the right tools, your job as a leader is simply to empower your people to do their best work and remove any obstacles in their way.
I also believe in providing support personally and professionally. Life happens, and leaders should be in tune to what’s happening with their employees and support them as needed. Additionally, I think it’s important to reward and celebrate success.
Finally, I prefer to be a sponsor rather than simply a mentor. I didn’t really know the difference until I was farther along in my career, but it’s important to me to help advance the careers of everyone on my team. If mentorship is recognizing potential, sharing knowledge and providing guidance, then sponsorship is the sequel. Sponsors are personally vested in the upward movement of their mentees regardless of where it leads.
What has been your biggest professional success so far?
I have been so fortunate to work with exceptional people in my career, but every so often just the right role comes along that allows you to build something special with people you adore and respect while leveraging your strongest talents. My position at Fēnom Digital has been that role and has brought my greatest personal success as part of a leadership team of eCommerce veterans that set out to redefine how an agency works with its clients and partners.
We believed that if we put the right people, methodology and technology partners in place, we would be able to deliver the exceptional outcomes that our clients deserve. My role is about communicating our message and success stories to our partners and prospects, so I was gratified that Fēnom Digital was awarded the “Best Up and Coming Salesforce Commerce Cloud Partner” by Salesforce in June 2022. In 2023, WPP acquired Fēnom Digital, so I’m not just proud of what we have accomplished, but also excited about our future with a world-class, global commerce capabilities team.
What causes are you most passionate about?
I’ve been passionate about animal rights my whole life, and protective of anything from wayward insects to turtles crossing the road. Our dog, Elwood, was rescued just moments before he was going to be euthanized in a shelter, so I always encourage people to adopt from their local shelters.
Many of us have also been touched by cancer as a patient or caregiver, and I think it’s important to be of service to anyone going through a cancer journey, so I am committed to advancing cancer research and advocating for patients to make sure they have the information they need to get the right support.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing eCommerce brands?
Brands upgrading their eCommerce platform or re-platforming are facing a new landscape as composable approaches are under heavy promotion. It’s a big shift for an eCommerce brand to move from a monolithic platform that contained front- and back-end functionality to implementing a more flexible solution that decouples the front-end experience from back-end services. There are ways to ease this transition, like implementing a hybrid approach, but it requires having the right teams in place, including the right partner, for these projects to be successful.
What's your favorite loyalty program or subscription offering from an eCommerce brand?
I love BarkBox. In fact, my family believes the BarkBox is for me, not Elwood. This may be true. Between their themed packaging, influencer marketing efforts, and partnerships, they have created superb brand loyalty.
What do you geek out over?
My new obsession is Formula 1 racing. Joe and I binged Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix late last year, and we’re currently planning to attend our first race in 2023.
Also my Peloton. As someone who has experienced some health challenges over the years, notably several surgeries on my left foot, exercise took a backseat for several years. The bike changed that for me. I love the instructors and the overall community that works to encourage riders at all levels in their fitness journeys. I’m not at the top of the leaderboard, but I’m not at the bottom either — something I’m very proud of. Ride with me: @jenrgizer!