Marketing Legend

Heidi Melin, Strategic Marketing Leader, On Relationships and Trust

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Heidi Melin
Heidi Melin

Board Director and Advisor at SailPoint

Heidi Melin might be one of the few – if not only – senior executives that has been part of four companies acquired by Oracle…including two within a 12-month period. And that list of acquisitions includes category-defining companies: PeopleSoft, Hyperion, Taleo, and Eloqua. That unique experience – along with seven years at an ad agency – sets Heidi apart.But those aren’t the only markers of the highly personalized career path that Heidi has journeyed. After graduating college with a dual major in German and political science, she worked for a national sorority organization. “It was one of the best experiences and foundational to everything I’ve done since. I learned great business skills and gained a true understanding of how a multi-billion dollar organization operates.”When her one-year gig was up, Heidi was drawn to San Francisco and the world of advertising. Agency experience working on campaigns for some of the most formidable technology brands at the time gave Heidi insight into the transformational role of technology in business.

It’s not just the number of connections you have on LinkedIn but how many people you can call upon for guidance, input, or advice. Those relationships are truly important.

Her entry into the world of technology came when Godfrey Sullivan, then CEO of Hyperion, hired Heidi into her first CMO role. “He took a risk on me when Hyperion was a public company generating over $700 million in revenue. I learned so much from Godfrey. He has an outstanding ability to listen and build teams.”It was in her next CMO role that Heidi realized her passion was marketing software. She joined Polycom in its early stages, fascinated by the opportunity to shift from software to hardware. While there, she mastered the art of channel marketing. But she missed the fast pace of a software company.Heidi jumped back into the software world as CMO for Taleo and never looked back, ultimately holding another three CMO roles and serving on two advisory boards.Along the way, relationships played a key role in Heidi’s career. “I’ve always chosen to work for people I know and trust.” Heidi is also conscientious about nurturing important connections. “It’s not just the number of connections you have on LinkedIn but how many people you can call upon for guidance, input, or advice. Those relationships are truly important.”Heidi’s other keys to success include:

  • Putting people first. When building out a marketing organization, Heidi first focuses on getting the right people and skills on the team. 
  • Creating categories. Heidi is energized leading the marketing charge for growth companies that are either disrupting or reshaping a market. 
  • Valuing customer advocates. Heidi believes advocacy is a powerful competitive weapon for companies that have invested in strong customer relationships.

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