Digital Marketing Interview Series with Marketing Communications Manager at Microsoft
Jennifer Henshaw is a Marketing Communications Manager at Microsoft. Here are her thoughts on digital marketing:
What do you consider essential skills for a marketing team these days?Technical skills are helpful and necessary. But there is a lot to be said for more traditional skills: acute attention to detail, the ability to listen and be accountable, and the ability to build relationships with other teams. The current marketing industry focuses a lot on being scrappy, being uber-creative, and doing something no company has ever thought of. While those skills are great, may get you promoted, and are essential, I wouldn’t want to see more traditional skills get lost. If someone has the ability to make significant accomplishments in a diverse workplace while working with people across a variety of disciplines, I think that person is worth their weight in gold to any employer. My current team fields a huge amount of pressure from many angles and thanks to the professionalism of those on the team, we are able to create and ship some outstanding campaigns.
What do you feel are the most underrated skills in a marketing team these days?See above. :)
How did you get the background and skills necessary for your role?So much of what I learned and am learning was and is on the job and through my experiences working with some incredibly talented, seasoned veterans. I also learn through my mistakes. I hate making mistakes but I rarely make the same one twice. As I’ve been given added responsibility, much more has been expected and this development over the years has given me a strong background and marketing sense in brand stewardship, design and creative campaigns, and digital marketing (See Jill Fratianne of HubSpot's interview to gain more insights about digital marketing). Additionally, Microsoft provides some world-class marketing training such as a partnership with the Kellogg School of Management where the course was so intense that I felt like I got an Marketing MBA in five days. (Smartt offers full-day digital marketing training workshop where you can learn SEO, AdWords, and Google Analytics and more)
What excites you the most about your industry?Excitement breeds excitement and tech moves so fast that I can hardly breathe. This is exactly where I want to be urgently today: I find myself at the intersection of working in a role where I can be creative, solve hard problems, and also contribute to an incredible company. Doing digital marketing for the world’s premier corporate research lab is enough to propel me out of bed each morning. But then I get to do so much more. And I work with some of the brightest minds in the world – in multiple areas of research, in communications, and in engineering. There is so much exciting work to be done.
Jennifer Henshaw is a Marketing Communications Manager at Microsoft, specializing in digital marketing communications. In addition to being a brand steward for the research arm of the company, she spends her days writing, editing, and producing narratives to amplify Microsoft’s research technology and the brilliant minds behind the research. Jennifer is also married, a mom, and the keeper of a zillion little details such as what her kids ate for snack last Tuesday (yes, it could be important) and when her husband’s car needs new tabs.