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HERstory: Meg Sakakibara, Director of Marketing, Unbounce

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Hi ladies!  This week's #marketHER is Meg Sakakibara, Director of Marketing, Unbounce. Her intervie
 
May 8 · Issue #16 · View online
HERstory by marketHER.org
Hi ladies! 
This week’s #marketHER is Meg Sakakibara, Director of Marketing, Unbounce. Her interview is chock-full of great advice, like how to influence your own career growth. Take 5 minutes to get to know HERstory. You won’t regret it. 😉
Oh, and stay tuned next week! Christine Warner, former Regional Marketing Manager, United States and Canada, Uber will share tips on breaking into leadership, how to stay motivated at work, and more. 💪
Cheers,
Jes Kirkwood
marketHER.org 

With over 11 years of experience, primarily in B2B SaaS, Meg Sakakibara helps drive the strategy and objectives for a team of 20 incredibly talented marketers at Unbounce on a mission to bring great marketing to the world. Best known for building high-performing teams, Meg has been instrumental in building out the company’s marketing funnel and creating a team environment that feeds creativity and boundary-pushing work.  
Follow Meg on Twitter and LinkedIn

How did you break into leadership?
“Early on in my career, I was lucky to have an amazing manager who had a strong work ethic and set a high bar for marketing excellence. I soaked up as much as I possibly could from her, and tried to anticipate her every ask and comment in advance. I quickly learned that paying attention to even the smallest detail was what pushed average marketing over the edge into memorable territory. When she accepted a new opportunity, she left large shoes to fill. Even though I was much less experienced, my vice president of marketing (at the time) decided to give me a shot—and promoted me to Marketing Manager. I was in a bit over my head, but I was able to get up to speed pretty seamlessly with everything that I had learned from my manager. This opportunity set me on a solid path, and I was able to gain a lot of valuable experience early on.”

How do you influence your own career growth?
“Having a clear goal of what you want next and discussing it with your manager often is critical [….] It’s important to have this dialogue multiple times a year—and it shouldn’t be a surprise to your manager. Hopefully, they have been helping you get there and are making the recommendation on your behalf before you need to ask. However, if you feel you deserve that promotion or raise and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen organically, then find your confidence and make sure you do ask [….] Don’t be afraid of getting shut down. In the worst-case scenario, if the answer is no, at least your manager will know where you’re at and what you want. If anything, you should be more afraid of being held back because you didn’t even try.”
There’s so much more to the story…

If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
“I don’t regret any of the choices I’ve made throughout my career. Each experience has helped me grow and learn. However, if I were to go back in time, I would tell my younger self to give my gut feeling more credit.”
There’s so much more to the story… In fact, I’m going to insist that you click through and keep reading. We can all learn from Meg’s experience. 

What's been the highlight of your career thus far?
“For me, the highlight of my career was when Elastic Path decided to expand its partnership program, and we began to pursue Adobe as a strategic partner. We hosted elaborate multi-quarter campaigns around Adobe Summit, which included emails, cold calls, online ads, direct mail, and even billboards. We had a gigantic booth, secured a speaking slot, and hosted a partner luncheon as well as a legendary after-party [….] We definitely got some attention from Adobe—and, later that year, I was honoured to be named MVP of the Year by the executive team at Elastic Path.”
There’s so much more to the story…

Meg's parting gift
“To lead people, walk beside them…
As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate…
When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, 
‘We did it ourselves!’” 
Lao-Tzu, Ancient Chinese Philosopher

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