In M2M and the IoT (Internet of Things), “the sell” is incredibly important. In order for more companies in more vertical markets to benefit from the IoT, they first have to understand it. In many cases, this is easier said than done. This is why Connected World has launched the 2016 Women of IoT in Marketing, a sister list to the annual Women of M2M, which recognizes 42 top women executives who are paving the way in M2M and the IoT.
Traditionally, nominees in marketing positions have been disqualified from the Women of M2M list because the judges felt that comparing a CEO or a CTO to a CMO was a little too much like comparing apples to oranges. However, the editors realize how important it is to recognize those women who play an incredibly integral role in the space as heads of marketing.
In their marketing leadership roles, the following 10 executives help guide technology adoption through targeted messaging and tireless market education. In doing so, the 2016 Women of IoT in Marketing are not only helping their customers and their companies, they’re helping the industry as a whole.
A true marketing genius possesses intuition, creativity, and business sense, coupled with stellar communication and people skills. These women are often in charge of translating technology mumbo-jumbo into real dollars and cents. They tell the story of M2M and the IoT and make it relevant to potential adopters. In doing so, they help raise the IoT to new heights.
Each one of the following women deserves commendation for her service and leadership in the IoT industry. We are proud to honor these 10 executives as part of Connected World’s inaugural group of top IoT marketers.
Senior Director of Marketing
It’s one of Sara Brown’s callings in life to guide clients through the murky waters of IoT technology. Rather than perpetuating the dreaded IoT hype cycle, Brown dedicates herself to providing actionable market intelligence to her clients. For nearly 20 years, she has boosted the visibility and revenue of numerous organizations, from small non-profits to global enterprises, by driving quantifiable business results via data-driven marketing communications that are on point for each client. Brown’s natural ability to turn “tech speak” into something digestible and relatable helps customers see the real potential in adopting IoT solutions to solve their most pressing pain points.
Maeve McKenna Duska
SVP of Marketing
Maeve McKenna Duska is in a unique position to help drive an industry-wide, data-driven conversation about moving toward a retail environment with 100% connected machines. As the senior vice president of marketing for USAT (USA Technologies), Duska engages with customers on why connecting their machines for data and payment will increase operating efficiencies and revenue—a paradigm shift contributing to the increasingly connected world. Her programs have provided turnkey solutions, built awareness, educated, and incentivized in ways that have fueled adoption and acceptance of cashless payment solutions for self-serve retail businesses nationwide, while simultaneously growing USAT’s footprint and increasing its marketshare—even as others enter the market.
As a partner, Margaret Hoerster has helped Finn Partners create the IoT as a pillar of key strength. Hoerster has been working with marketing teams in the M2M space for more than a decade. Her passion for tech has made her a subject matter expert in communicating several aspects of the IoT, including home automation, standards, mobile, and data analytics. She leads creative strategy and planning, while ensuring the day-to-day execution of programs maps back to client objectives. Hoerster has a successful track record of building thought leadership and media relations programs for clients, some as longstanding as 10 years, across numerous vertical markets.
Throughout her seven years at Icontrol Networks, Letha McLaren has helped the company build and grow its product portfolio, including B2B product lines and D2C (direct-to-consumer) products. As CMO, McLaren has guided Icontrol in defining its connected home platform strategy for multiple product lines servicing cable, telco, and traditional security providers. She interacts regularly with service providers and product developers to ensure products are conducive to consumer needs. Through her work in product development, McLaren has helped Icontrol create and integrate technology in the emerging connected home market. She regularly speaks at technology and industry events and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative.
Director of Marketing Management
Megan Nivens has taken a fundamentally straightforward approach to ensuring Synapse Wireless’ success in an evolving IoT marketplace: “Deliver our message to target IoT customers.” Her execution has been thorough and successful, culminating in a refreshed Website and branding guidelines, new collateral, the adoption of an inbound marketing automation system, increased tradeshow participation, and a 500% increase in social media interactions in 2015. Nivens communicates solutions in a way that allows others to quickly develop IoT products and services that make the world a better place. She exudes and conveys genuine excitement in seeing creative technology solutions solve real-world problems.
Director of Global Marketing
Widely regarded as one of the most well-connected marketing executives in the automotive industry, Manuela Papadopol has dedicated her career to increasing awareness of advanced technologies in vehicles that support connected-car features and autonomous driving, including V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) communications. Under Papadopol’s leadership, Elektrobit’s global presence has both expanded and matured. She has been instrumental in forming strategic partnerships with Daimler, Ford, and Audi, among other automakers. Papadopol serves as an advisory board member for the Connected Car Expo and is an active member of the Women in Automotive Technology organization. She holds a patent in voice-activated acquisition of non-local content.
SVP, Global Marketing
Responsible for personally developing and evolving her company’s brand and the Quote-to-Cash ecosystem it has created, Maria Pergolino is helping companies’ traditionally plodding B2B operations function at more “Amazon.com-like” speeds. Heading up all demand, lead generation, field events, corporate communications, and other facets of communication across the Apttus organization, Pergolino’s successful outreach to new prospects, customers, and partner organizations has resulted in the company growing in leaps and bounds. By creating awareness about Apttus’ cloud-delivered, category-defining software that drives vital business processes, Pergolino continues to help enterprises leverage technology to create new levels of speed and efficiency throughout their entire organizations.
VP of Marketing
When Sarah Prinster joined the team at Apprion, it was a modest startup of less than 15 people. Since then, she has contributed to the company’s 70%+ growth year-to-year, in part by helping to grow Apprion’s product portfolio from two IIoT (industrial IoT) applications to more than 22 today. Prinster was an early pioneer in the IoT space, having led product definition of IoT technologies for more than 20 years at other companies. She has represented Apprion at technology steering committees, frequently presents at IIoT conferences, and serves as a mentor to young women within her team and as part of philanthropic groups such as Girls on the Run.
VP of Marketing
Christina Richards began her career as an electrical engineer and has since been involved in the development of cutting-edge technologies with experience in the wireless telecommunications, hardware, and services industries in both startup and corporate settings. In her most recent role at AOptix, she has created a new technology space for Laser-Radio technology, which combines advanced optics with millimeter wave radio to create a high-capacity connection. Richards drives the company’s vision for Laser-Radio technology, including its role in the infrastructure of IoT. She writes and presents on IoT topics, including mobility, 5G wireless networks, and long-term data strategies.
VP of Sales and Marketing, Europe
Ruth Wilson joined DSP Group in 2002 and is responsible for the company’s technical marketing activities in Europe. Thanks to her leadership, DSP Group has become a major supplier of DECT (digital enhanced cordless telecommunications)-based solutions, particularly in Wilson’s region. Since early 2006, Wilson has also served as deputy-chair of the DECT Forum Board, an international industry association for the wireless home and enterprise communications industry. As a board member, Wilson promotes IoT solutions based on DECT ULE (ultra-low energy) technology. Wilson was also instrumental in founding the ULE Alliance and continues to champion the adoption of IoT and M2M technology.
Peggy Smedley is the editorial director for Connected World magazine.