ChannelAdvisor employees are at the heart of our work. We’re excited to introduce you to one of our newest leaders, Melissa Sargeant, chief marketing officer (CMO), who will be spearheading ChannelAdvisor’s global marketing efforts.
Welcome, Melissa! Could you tell us a little about your background? What were you doing before ChannelAdvisor?
I’m a proud marketing nerd! I’ve worked in software marketing for more than 20 years, spanning a variety of roles from product marketing, demand generation, digital, PR, branding, analyst relations, market analysis, etc. — basically every role a person could have in marketing. Most recently, I was VP of marketing at Avalara, a SaaS-based tax automation compliance vendor, where I ran the go-to-market strategy and execution for three of the company’s fastest growing business units. Prior to that, I was at CA Technologies (formerly Computer Associates) for 10 years, where I ran the go-to-market strategy for multiple business units.
What excites you the most about ChannelAdvisor?
The market opportunity and our solutions are what excite me most about ChannelAdvisor. Our solutions help retailers and branded manufacturers increase e-commerce sales across hundreds of online channels to reach new consumers, grow their businesses and achieve their goals.
What trends do you see influencing the future of e-commerce?
There are several key trends shaping the e-commerce landscape. First, as the number of consumers buying online continues to grow, we see increased e-commerce technology investments to keep up with this demand. According to Forrester Research, online sales in the US are expected to reach $530 billion in 2020, up 56% from $338 billion in 2015.
Historically, consumers have used mobile devices to research products, but improvements in mobile shopping experiences and wireless networks make mobile a growing driver for online purchases. Forrester says that mobile devices influenced more than $1 trillion in total purchases in 2015, between online and offline transactions.
The rapid growth in e-commerce also creates new opportunities for branded manufacturers. To capitalize on these opportunities, they’re investing in technology to help create strong, strategic connections to retailers, deliver high-quality product content across all their channels and deliver an exceptional experience for their consumers.
In a nutshell, describe your role as CMO.
As CMO, my job is to create market demand for our solutions to help drive profitable growth for ChannelAdvisor.
Do you remember the first thing you bought online?
My first online purchase likely was a book on Amazon. This is a shopping habit that continues today. Now, I buy more things online than I do in store. My current shopping obsessions are Stitch Fix, Michael Kors and any vendor that sells shoes.
Now for the important questions. Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who have a strong work ethic. When I was growing up, my parents woke up at 3 a.m. and drove 60 miles to work. My dad was a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and my mom worked for commercial airlines for 35+ years. When they came home, my dad would change clothes and go to his second job at a grocery store, and return home at 11 p.m. My mom would come home and take me around to my activities — after I completed my homework, of course. My dad worked two jobs for 30+ years, and he never took a weekend or holiday off during that time. After he retired for the first time, he went back to work for the U.S. Marshals Service as a contractor and worked until he was 78 years old.
As soon as I turned 16, my dad helped me get internships in Washington, DC. So I would get up at 3 a.m. and ride to work with him. Given my upbringing, I guess it’s not surprising why a strong work ethic is something I value and am inspired by in other professionals.
What’s on your favorite playlist right now?
My tastes in music are very eclectic. I listen to almost anything, from classic rock, blues, ’80s and top 40.
Fill in the blank: When I’m not working, you can find me _______.
Running or walking my dogs. I wish I could find a way to combine running and walking my dogs, but my dogs are terrible jogging buddies. They insist on stopping without notice and sniffing everything in sight.
And last but certainly not least, who’s your all-time favorite Star Wars character?
Yoda, because my dog Piper is a dead ringer.
I don’t want Ozzy to get jealous, so I’m including a photo of him, too. I guess he kind of looks like Darth Vader, but he’s really a big hunk of love, so that’s not a fair comparison.