Jill Rowley | The Innovator 25 2014 | Holmes Report


The Innovator 25: Jill Rowley

Founder & chief evangelist at #SocialSelling since 2014
San Francisco Bay Area
Influence & Engagement, 12 to 20 years

"When you send an invite to connect on LinkedIn, you recognize that this is about building a relationship. To be interesting to that person, I have to be interested in them, something other than myself."

For turning traditional B2B marketing away from emails and webinars, and instead, towards more authentic exchanges, like using Twitter and LinkedIn to connect and engage. For becoming the cautionary tale of what can happen when big companies, immersed in their way of doing things, are challenged by outside forces. And for pointing out that when executives are on social media, they should use these platforms for true engagement.



In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Social media & online marketing

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
About the same as other marketing disciplines

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Social media & online marketing

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?

How do you define innovation?
The opposite of autopilot.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
charity: water

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
I love what GE is doing to embrace innovation in a 130 year old company.  They work with Eric Riess, author of The Lean Startup. They also work with Vayner Media and have embraced digital and social is a BIG way.  I love the My Mom Works at GE video!!

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
I spent 13 years in Software Sales at Salesforce.com & Eloqua.  I was also an individual quota carrying rep, but I built my Personal Brand — I was the EloQueen and Jilloqua — and then a Social Selling expert as a practitioner. Oracle acquired Eloqua and asked me build a Social Selling program for its 23k Sales professionals. I lasted 10 months and 17 days before I was fired for speaking with a reporter (for the 2nd time). Immediately prior to launching my own company Jill Rowley LLC #SocialSelling, I gave my story to two reporters — Julie Bort at BusinessInsider and Thomas Lee at San Francisco Chronicle.

"I kept fighting the fight. I kept trying. But I was not a C-suite sucker up. Change is hard. You think Larry thinks Oracle needs to change?"

Who is your mentor and why?
I have many mentors including my husband. He knows my strengths, weaknesses, passions and constraints.  He is an amazing businessman, husband and father to four. Many of my mentors don’t actually know me personally.  I use the web and Social Networks to learn from successful and inspirational business people.

How do you get inspired?
Always Be Learning is one of my mantras. Always be Listening, Always be Learning, Always be Curious.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Have the mindset “I’m NOT here to do what’s been done, but to do what’s POSSIBLE and right.”

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
I live in the heart of innovation – Silicon Valley

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
My favorite time of the day is when I’m evangelizing and enabling — when I’m communicating my ideas to others and they’re listening and learning.  I also really enjoy my morning routine of reading articles, watching videos, listening to podcasts….that come to me via my Social Networks. I do this over coffee b/c Coffee is for Connectors.

"Your sales force is on the brink of EXTINCTION. They have been replaced by search engines and social networks. It’s time to adapt or die."