Any industry is as strong as the people in it. The leaders in the industry strengthen the position of their companies by delivering transformative solutions. They fuel the growth of their companies by continuously driving innovation across the businesses to provide an enriching experience to customers. They celebrate the success of each other and learn from their failures. They propel the vision, ideas, and strategy of their companies forward. An ingenious leader, Leigh Dow, is an epitome of the characteristics mentioned above.
Leigh is the Vice President of Global Marketing at Identiv, a global leader in seamless authentication and security solutions that digitally secures the physical world. Leigh and her team design strategic marketing initiatives for Identiv that drive the market leadership that propels the company’s vision and strategy forward. Identiv’s ultimate goal is to position the company as a leader in transformative technology solutions for security, safety, and identity management.
Being More Agile to Capitalize on Opportunities
The most challenging aspect for Leigh has been restructuring and retooling the marketing department to fuel Identiv’s growth and continue driving innovation across the business while establishing a great brand experience for its customers. In her role, Leigh has to be agile enough to capitalize on opportunities while executing to plan and delivering a return on marketing investment.
Leigh usually follows an 80/20 rule of leaving 20 percent of her capacity open for fresh ideas, running experiments, and seizing a share of voice on trending topics in the security industry. This group isn’t just about marketing campaigns; her team has a direct impact on growth and market transformation.
Asking the Right Questions and Being a Lifelong Learner
One of Leigh’s favorite quotes is from General Eric Shinseki: “If you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevance even less”. That quote has always stuck with Leigh because marketing constantly changes, requiring one to commit to being a lifelong learner.
Leigh recently read “Everybody Lies” by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, an economist and former Google data scientist. The book is about the traces of information people leave across the internet. It taught Leigh more about how to ask the right questions and research trends in a brand-new way. Marketing pros used to say, “content is king”, but today’s marketing reality is “data is king”.
Shifting to Essential Anywhere Operations
Sharing her views on the impact of the pandemic, Leigh mentions that security is an essential part of Identiv’s infrastructure, and while the pandemic has impacted everyone in every industry, security has become even more important in many ways. Security was at the forefront of the work from home discussion. COVID-19 demonstrated how important securing remote workers are and how important access control is in creating a safe return to the work environment.
Identiv doesn’t think about it as “work from home”; it is looking at “anywhere operations”. The pandemic reshaped its ideas about where work happens, creating a shift to anywhere operations. Anywhere operations is an IT-based organizational model that supports customer service, worker motivation, and deployment of products/services from anywhere, regardless of physical location.
Creating Culture of Trust, Respect and Gratitude
Culture is one of the most important ingredients of employee retention. Positive work cultures are more productive and create an environment with lower turnover. When hiring, Leigh looks for highly skilled marketers for Identiv’s team, but she also values being a team fit.
In Identiv’s culture, teams take time to celebrate their wins and examine their losses to learn from them. Because marketing includes creative direction, it’s important to Leigh that they have a culture of trust, respect and gratitude. Leigh says, “It’s very difficult to feel truly creative and safe to share your ideas if you don’t have those values. This is an important component for us to inspire each other and drive continuous improvement via campaigns that get noticed.”
Aligning with Needs of Customers and Building on Evolving Tech
Leigh’s MBA program was focused on technology management and new product development. Over the years, she has learned that road-mapping emerging technology trends is important in order to stay competitive or leapfrog competition. However, she believes that alignment with the needs of customers is equally important.
Trends and customer needs can evolve in unexpected ways. Thus, Leigh tries to look for the micro and macro trends that build on evolving tech. She also studies how technology impacts human experience – is it filled with friction, does it create a positive or negative experience, does it push the boundaries of human rights, and does it support or challenge ethical considerations?
Strengthening Position of Women in Security Industry
According to Leigh, the role of women in security is evolving. Women are continuing to establish their voice, so in many ways, the change is already happening. There are very educated, capable women who are going to fill security leadership roles; Leigh is awaiting the tipping point. She mentors several women in tech and security industries through SIA and the Business Journals programs. She believes that one fundamental change toward strengthening the progress of women in security is providing more early breakthrough career opportunities.
Leigh would also like to see more companies create a support system around establishing a culture for identifying and advancing talented women. She advises aspiring women entrepreneurs in the security industry to develop their circle of support and exhaustively nurture it.
Sustaining Industry Leadership Position
In conclusion, Leigh states that Identiv’s primary areas of focus in the next five years are growing its RFID business and solidifying its position as an industry leader. It also aims to deliver on the great demand strength of the federal market and increase its revenue predictability with customer retention, expanded use of consumables, and recurring revenues. Identiv is adding exciting new talent to its team this year, and Leigh is looking forward to a very bright future for Identiv.
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