Interview With Jen Sey, CMO Of Global Brands At Levi Strauss & Co

We sat down with Jen to discuss all things digital marketing


Jen Sey has been with LS&Co. for 18 years, holding a variety of leadership positions within the Marketing, Strategy and Ecommerce teams. In 2013, Sey became the Global Chief Marketing Officer for the Levi’s® Brand and most recently in 2016 was appointed CMO Global Brands, Levi Strauss & Co., overseeing marketing for the Levi’s® and Dockers brands. Sey has received numerous awards, including the distinction of AdAge’s Top 40 Marketers Under 40 in 2006, one of the Top Women in Retail by Total Retail in 2014, one of Brand Innovators’ Top 50 Women in Marketing in 2015, and one of Hot Topic’s Top 100 Retail Marketers in 2016. Most recently, Sey was named one of Billboard Magazine’s ‘Top 25 Most Powerful People in Music and Fashion,’ recognizing her work with Alicia Keys and the Levi’s® Music Project. She lives in San Francisco, California with partner Daniel and her four children Virgil, Wyatt, Oscar and Ruth.

Ahead of her presentation at the Chief Marketing Officer Summit in San Francisco this March 20 & 21, we discussed the development of digital marketing with Sey, from engagement metrics to GDPR. 

1. Some look to the size of their audiences, others look at engagement metrics - how do you judge the success of your social channels? 

Both. We also look at the quality of the content (which drives engagement) – are we posting content that is leading, authentic and distinguishes our brand from others rather than uninteresting trend following content? We of course also look at ROI on paid social media.

2. Today, it seems everyone wants to be making video content. Do you think there’s a chance of marketing becoming oversaturated with video? 

The consumer desire for content seems to be unending. I think as long as you provide quality content – and you have a story to tell that people are interested in, your brand will rise to the top and continue to engage.

3. What emerging technology can you see having a major impact on digital marketing going forward? 

Virtual reality as well as the broader category of immersive content experiences.

4. How can brands best merge data with creativity in their marketing efforts? 

I think creativity/storytelling must come first. All the data in the world won’t get you where you need to go if you don’t have a great and compelling story to tell. Data can provide insight and validation. And enable efficient targeting.

5. What can attendees expect from your presentation or panel participation at the summit? 

Hopefully they’ll find it fun and entertaining. I’m going to talk about the power of great storytelling.

6. Do you think all brands should be considering influencer marketing going forward? 

I assumed they already were! Yes. A must. But 'influencers' aren’t just cool kids. They are people that have influence. That isn’t always the people with the biggest Instagram following.

7. How are you and your team preparing for the impact of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)? 

We have a diverse portfolio of media mix investments, so will continue to focus and prioritize on storytelling. While some data-driven opportunities will be limited/scaled back, we think that this type of governance is necessary for maturation of the digital media space, specifically around accountability and transparency. We’re taking steps to ensure that all media vendors we work with are compliant, and we’re ensuring both brand safety and consumer privacy.

You can hear more from Jen Sey, along with other leading marketing executives, at the Chief Marketing Officer Summit this March 20 & 21 in San Francisco. To see the full schedule, click here.

BONUS CONTENT: Email Marketing may be perceived as an 'old school' marketing platform yet it has proven time after time that it is here to stay. Here's how you can ensure you get the fundamentals in order before it's too late and invest in this space to get instant growth in results through personalization and automation. Watch Vanessa Collars, Digital Marketing Manager at Havaianas, discuss the issue at last year's Chief Marketing Officer Summit in Sydney.

Smart manufacturing small

Read next:

The Business Case For Smart Manufacturing