In this edition of Marketer of the Week, Ignite Visibility spotlights Bozoma Saint John, Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix.
Ignite Visibility applauds her and the Netflix team for the growth of the company’s stock price during the past year.
Since Oct. 2019, shares of Netflix have almost doubled, rising from $282 to $539. Not a bad run-up in the middle of a global pandemic!
In fact, many analysts argue that the COVID-19 outbreak helped Netflix. Millions of people who found themselves locked down in their houses and turned to the streaming service for entertainment.
During 2020, Netflix went from “nice to have” to “essential service.”
Further, an analyst over at J.P. Morgan says that Netflix added more than 5 million subscribers for the quarter that ended this past September. That’s about double what the company had previously predicted.
Also, Netflix is winning with teens. According to a survey by Piper Sandler, 34% of teens polled prefer Netflix, compared to 32% who go for YouTube.
That means Netflix is poised for future growth.
And now, with a great Chief Marketing Officer at the helm, the company is more ready than ever to reach new heights.
Bozoma Saint John (or, casually, “the Boz” or just “Boz”) is an executive whose personal brand outshines many of her peers. Yes, even in marketing.
She’s flamboyant. She’s classy. She’s outspoken.
And yes, she can sell.
She first gained attention as Pepsi’s head of music and entertainment marketing. That’s when she landed a $50 million deal with an artist you might have heard about: Beyoncé.
Pepsi sponsored Beyoncé’s 2012 tour and her 2013 Superbowl halftime show.
Putting the Entertainment in Marketing
Her efforts in reaching out to celebrities didn’t stop there, though. She also landed deals with Eminem, Nicki Minaj, and Kanye West.
Further, she broke new ground in entertainment marketing. In 2012, Pepsi became the first brand to livestream a concert on its Twitter page.
Talk about thinking out of the box.
Oh, and the headline for that concert? Katy Perry.
She also promoted the Pepsi brand via awards shows like the VMAs, the Grammy Awards, and the CMA Awards.
Advancing to Apple
After Pepsi, Boz landed a gig with Beats by Dre. But that was right before Apple bought the company.
Was that a problem for her? Nope.
She went on to become the head of global consumer marketing at Apple Music and iTunes. That’s where she created the famous “Taylor Swift sings Drake on a treadmill” ad.
Boz also helped cut a series of ads featuring The Weeknd. Then, she recruited Mary J. Blige, Taraji P. Henson, and Kerry Washington to cut an ad in which they’re singing Puff Daddy while air-drumming to Phil Collins.
Additionally, Boz put another larger-than-life figure in one of her ads: herself. She appeared with James Corden in an Apple Music ad.
Putting Passion in the Brand
Those campaigns at Apple helped the brand stand apart from its competitors.
Other music streaming services, like Spotify, use algorithms to tell people what they want to hear.
Boz’s strategy put a human face on Apple. She also threw in plenty of image marketing for good measure.
Regarding the spot with Blige, Henson, and Washington, she once commented: “You have these three Black women who are mature and who are listening to music much in the same way you do with your friends, and you don’t look anything like them. The passion and the emotion of that interaction is universal.”
Putting out Fires
Boz went on to Uber and Endeavor. During both of those stints she had to deal with major PR nightmares.
In the case of Uber, Boz had to help the company move beyond its reputation of creating a hostile working environment.
At Endeavor, she helped the Papa John’s brand navigate through a PR nightmare after it was revealed that the company’s founder once used a racial epithet on a conference call.
She made emotional appeals in both cases and showed she can manage a crisis.
On to Netflix
Boz joined Netflix just this past June. She’s not giving us any sneak previews of the direction she’s planning to take the company’s marketing programs, though.
But we don’t need previews. Her track record speaks for itself.
She brings the right personality and the right background to the right company at the right time.
It’s going to be great to watch her take Netflix to the next level.