Sonar, the top-rated Change Intelligence platform, recently named Jennifer Hopkins as the first-ever SVP of Marketing.
Jennifer brings over a decade of experience in marketing to Sonar, most recently having served as the Chief Marketing Officer at AVOXI here in Atlanta. We sat down with Jennifer to discuss her new role, where her marketing journey started, and how she plans to accelerate Sonar’s growth! Check out our conversation below.
So Jen, tell me a little about your career path.
Well, if I’m being honest, I was the kid that always knew I wanted to be in marketing. I knew what I wanted to go to college for, and what I wanted to be able to walk out of there to do – and it was marketing.
My career has always been in the tech industry, but spanned different categories. I first started in Payments & Compliance after graduating, made the move to Media & Advertising and then most recently to Cloud Communications before joining Sonar.
One of the most exciting things about my work is being able to be a catalyst for growth. Sometimes not everyone gets to see the spark that ignites the machine, but in my career I’ve been fortunate to see it from the front row – to be a part of it, and wow does it feel good!
It’s been so rewarding to build new teams, influence new processes, give brands a refresh and strengthen their performance in the market.
What’s your overall approach to marketing?
My overall approach to marketing is two-fold. First, it’s always putting the customer experience at the forefront of whatever I do. Second, it’s ensuring that the work that’s getting prioritized is making an impact on the growth of the organization. Oftentimes, marketing departments are overwhelmed with competing priorities from different departments. In order to move the needle, we’ve got to elevate the work that can make the biggest impact, all while providing a top-notch user experience.
Who or what has influenced you the most throughout your career?
I’ve been fortunate to work alongside, and under some phenomenal leaders who have each inspired me in different ways throughout my career. At the core of what each of them did best, was their leadership.
To be successful – whether it’s scaling a company or building a department, it’s all about surrounding yourself with the right people. It’s a delicate formula of mixing personalities and talent, but if it’s done right – that’s where the magic happens. At the end of the day, people work for people, not companies.
On a personal front, my mom. ♥️ She’s always instilled in me an entrepreneurial spirit while constantly being my biggest supporter.
What brought you to Sonar?
Sometimes in your career you make strategic moves because you believe in an idea or the possibility of what something can become. With the adoption of revenue operations growing as much as 55% in recent years, the need for a platform like Sonar is obvious.
RevOps teams are often the glue that holds everything together, especially for high growth companies. I’ve been on the receiving end of talented ops teams and it’s empowering what GTM teams can do when they’re able to trust the data and ensure all their technologies and flows are working effectively.
Sonar’s platform will make a big impact for the tech stack ecosystem and I wanted to be a part of it!
What are some ways marketing can contribute to a company’s culture?
Such a good question. I personally think that a company’s brand and culture go hand in hand.
While marketing is the creator of a brand, it also influences how that same brand attracts and retains our most important customers – our employees! Sonar has done a great job of aligning the brand with the culture, and then including their customers in on the fun as well.
Now that you’ve been here a week, what are some things you like about Sonar’s culture?
Well, any office that allows you to bring your dog to work is always a good place to be in my opinion!
Joking aside, culture isn’t an easy thing to get off the ground, especially for startups post-COVID. You can tell that Brad, Jack, and the entire leadership team have been very intentional about how they are lighting Sonar’s “culture flame,” nurturing it and safeguarding it.
Another benefit….their GIF game is strong!
Do you have any practices that help guide your decision making?
Another good question! For me decision making is based on data and your gut feeling. Let the facts guide you to a confident point in your decision-making process, but if you’re left with two best options, go with your gut and let your know-how and intuition guide you the rest of the way.
The older I get in my career I look back at opportunities where I had a gut feeling about which direction to lean and ignored it. Each of those instances cost me time and money.
What do you like to do outside of work?
When I’m not marketing, you’ll usually find me enjoying time with family and friends. From helping my husband Josh market his veteran owned-and-operated business, trying to slow down time so my 10-year old daughter Livi doesn’t become a teenager too fast, or endlessly playing fetch with my 2-year old lab, Gunner – I wouldn’t change a thing.
Squeezing travel in wherever we can is important as well. Our most recent trip pre-COVID was to Cassis, France sipping wine in their vineyard while overlooking the Mediterranean. It was spectacular!