Q&A with Tara O'Sullivan, CMO at SKILLSOFT

Q&A with Tara O'Sullivan, CMO at SKILLSOFT
Tara O’Sullivan, the CMO of Skillsoft shares her insights on the impact of digital transformation on marketers and the need to focus on slashing the wide gender pay gap. With over 25 years of experience including B2B marketing in Ireland, EMEA and the US, Tara has extensive expertise in using marketing to effect change.

Here are her thoughts on women in marketing and the changing dynamics of the profession.

MEDIA 7: Tara, how old were you when you had your first paying job?
TARA O'SULLIVAN:
14 – I worked for my Dad photocopying manuals for software training. I loved the work, I loved being in amongst the team of people who were there. There was a lot of fun with the other people who worked there, and I learnt a lot of lessons on dealing with people, working on end user manuals which were like 500 pages thick, making sure they were all collated properly, the cover looked good – all to provide a real sense of the importance of the training.

"Marketing teams are not aligned to what technology can do for them and how it can transform the business."



M7: What do you consider the biggest challenges for a CMO these days?
TS: Digital transformation. I believe the impact of digital transformation is impacting the CMO even more than other areas of the business. There are so many tools that can help the CMO get the data s/he needs, but it is figuring out which ones are the most relevant, timely and useful. I think a lot of marketing teams are not aligned to what technology can do for them and how it can transform the business.
The other major challenge is around proving to the business the benefit of marketing. As well as the funnel, and marketing sourced OI, we also need to better measure the branding impact on the business and how it supports revenue.


"Agile marketing is becoming more and more the standard, and in order to be agile, you need to be able to pivot."



M7: How important is learning and unlearning in today’s digital age of data and automation?
TS: Learning is the most important thing in my view. From figuring out what the new version of Excel can do for you (LOADS) to determining the best tech stack your marketing organization needs – we need to be learning. Agile marketing is becoming more and more the standard, and in order to be agile, you need to be able to pivot. This means that you need to be continually changing your approach in order to make the company more successful. Agile marketing is a brand new mindset for marketing people – there isn’t an annual budget, the team decides what to spend it on a quarterly basis, so sometimes you will be investing in SEO, or investing in demand generation depending on the needs of the business.


"The gender pay gap is wide and people think about it as being 80 cents on the dollar."



M7: Is Skillsoft closing the gap between the number of men and women in marketing? What are your views on gender equality in the present corporate world?
TS: Well I always thought marketing is different – I assumed that the majority of people entering marketing are women, but that’s not strictly true. Research from Axonn shows that women are only slightly more likely than men to enter the marketing world (21% vs 16%).
Marketing Week (a UK-based publication) carried out a survey and found that  female marketers earn less than male marketers in every sector and in every role, except that of marketing assistant.
Let’s remember though that the gender pay gap is wide and people think about it as being 80 cents on the dollar.  This is awful – but think about it over the lifetime of the female worker. Recent research analyzed a longitudinal dataset which shows total earnings across the most recent 15 years for all workers who worked in at least one year. The study found that women workers faced a wage gap of 51% in the 2001-2015 period. The research also found that the cost of taking time out of the labor force is exorbitant for women. For those who took just one year off from work, their annual earnings were 39% lower than women who worked all 15 years between 2001 and 2015.

ABOUT SKILLSOFT

SKILLSOFT is a global leader in corporate learning, delivering beautiful technology and engaging content that drives business impact for modern enterprises. Skillsoft comprises three award-winning systems that support learning, performance and success: Skillsoft learning content, the Percipio intelligent learning experience platform and the SumTotal suite for Human Capital Management.

Skillsoft provides a comprehensive selection of cloud-based corporate learning content, including courses, videos, books and other resources on Business and Management Skills, Leadership Development, Digital Transformation, Technology and Developer, Productivity and Collaboration Tools and Compliance. Percipio’s intuitive design engages modern learners and its consumer-led experience assists in accelerating learning. The SumTotal suite features four key components built on a unified platform: Learning Management, Talent Management, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management.

Skillsoft is trusted by thousands of the world’s leading organizations, including 65 percent of the Fortune 500. Learn more at www.skillsoft.com.

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Reseller Technology Partnership Breakthrough Award – The Joint Corp., the nation’s largest provider of chiropractic care through The Joint Chiropractic® network, in partnership with Sugar partner Faye, are recognized for driving significant improvements in healthcare operations after transitioning to SugarCRM and Amazon Web Services, with a 40 percent increase in web transaction speed. This transformation allowed The Joint to focus on integrating AI to elevate SugarCRM from a functional tool to a strategic platform for competitive differentiation in the chiropractic care sector. Judges’ Choice Award – RTCR, the public transit provider in La Rochelle, France, operating under the Yélo brand, is recognized for significantly enhancing customer service with Sugar Serve, with implementation support by Sugar partner Synolia. 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TripleLift and Reset Digital Forge Partnership to Help Advertisers Meet Diverse Spending Goals All The Way Through The Programmatic Ecosystem

PR Newswire | January 05, 2024

TripleLift, the ad tech platform elevating digital advertising across every screen, and Reset Digital, a first-of-its-kind platform that gives brands and publishers broader and deeper audience reach across all communities, today announced a partnership to significantly expand diverse spend and representation across the programmatic ecosystem. Together, the companies are offering advertisers multiple pathways to ensure a greater portion of their digital budgets can be directed toward diverse-owned media companies. The partnership allows advertisers to buy quality inventory from minority-owned businesses throughout the programmatic ecosystem: TripleLift (a SSP) and Reset Digital (a DSP), and TripleLift's UNREP (Underrepresented Voices) deal package of impressions directing dollars straight to minority-owned media publishers. This way of buying media is available immediately across display, online video, and CTV and will be launched with Native this year. In 2023, an ANA survey of certified diverse suppliers found that while a majority say that interest from the media and advertising community in supporting diverse suppliers has increased in the past year, there is still a gap between intent to spend and actual spend. TripleLift and Reset Digital are helping all stakeholders bridge the gap quickly by making it easy for them to access diverse-owned media at scale. "This partnership allows advertisers to achieve their diverse spend goals with an end-to-end solution that is more aligned with their corporate supplier diversity reporting requirements," said Thomas Brandon, VP of Agency Strategy and Economic Inclusion at TripleLift. "Importantly, it allows them to use their media spend to impact the economic growth of the diverse communities they serve." Over the last 12 years, TripleLift has cultivated a vast inventory of publishers that includes access to 220 billion monthly impression avails across diverse-owned sites as part of its UNREP curated packages. These packages include inventory among publishers owned by Women, LGBTQ+, Blacks, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and can be accessed as a whole or individually depending on client goals. "TripleLift has been on our radar for a partnership for some time," said Charles Cantu, founder and CEO of Reset Digital. "Specifically, our marketplace combined with their offerings like UNREP now provides a single pathway to diverse spending across the programmatic ecosystem – a solution we are excited to finally have in the market together." Reset Digital, the industry's only verified, black-owned and operated DSP, has been long recognized for its neuroprogrammatic capabilities, which allow advertisers to engage audiences based on what they desire versus what they look like, its ability to help connect brands and multicultural audiences around the world and its partnerships with brands like P&G, GM and Verizon, as well as the leading global media and creative agencies. In 2023, Reset Digital launched a new programmatic marketplace for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a trade organization that represents more than 200 Black-owned newspapers in the U.S. along with the NABOB (National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters); these entities created a path to connect large advertisers with publications that previously did not have the capabilities to run national programmatic advertising campaigns. This partnership stands to benefit any of the buy-side clients working with these companies. "TripleLift and Reset Digital have both been great partners to Horizon Media for many years," said Karina Dobarro, EVP, Multicultural at Horizon Media. "We've long worked with DSPs and SSPs to better direct investment to diverse-owned media, but partnerships like this one make it a much more seamless endeavor." TripleLift works with 80%+ of comScore 200 ad-supported publishers and delivers over 2 trillion monthly global impressions across North America, EMEA, LATAM, APAC, and MENA. To learn more about this partnership, please visit www.triplelift.com. About TripleLift We're TripleLift, an advertising platform on a mission to elevate digital advertising through beautiful creative, quality publishers, actionable data, and smart targeting. Through over 1 trillion monthly ad transactions, we help publishers and platforms monetize their businesses. Our technology is where the world's leading brands find audiences across online video, connected television, display, and native ads. Brand and enterprise customers choose us because of our innovative solutions, premium formats, and supportive experts dedicated to maximizing their performance. We are part of the Vista Equity Partners portfolio. As an NMSDC certified minority-owned business, we qualify for diverse spending goals and are committed to economic inclusion. Find out how TripleLift raises up the programmatic ecosystem at triplelift.com. About Reset Digital Reset Digital's Neuroprogrammatic™ advertising platform is a first-of-its-kind programmatic platform that allows brands to engage omnichannel audiences based on what motivates them as people versus targets and gives brands and publishers much broader and deeper audience reach across all communities, including underrepresented audiences they could not reach in the past. The results are radically better outcomes. Reset Digital's partners include the world's top brands, agencies, and publishers, including P&G, GM, Verizon, Dentsu, IPG, Publicis, GroupM, NABOB, Newsweek, NNPA, and others.

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