We’d like to congratulate Julia White and the SAP team on an outstanding first quarter.
In Q1 2022, SAP cloud revenue increased by 31%. The company’s current cloud backlog jumped 28%.
And S/4HANA revenue rose by a whopping 78%.
Further, SAP reaffirmed its 2022 guidance even in these challenging economic times.
“We are off to a solid start to the year and our outlook remains strong,” said Luka Mucic, CFO. “Despite the current macroeconomic environment, cloud revenue growth accelerated further, fueling total revenue growth. Current cloud backlog grew at a healthy rate and continues to support our confidence in our long-term plans and outlook for the year.”
That’s the kind of success you can expect with Julia White as your CMO.
Julia White’s Move to SAP
White joined SAP just a little over a year ago. Before that, she handled Azure product marketing at Microsoft.
And before that, she served as General Manager, responsible for Microsoft Office 365 marketing. That was when Microsoft transitioned the product to the cloud.
White is also a well-educated marketer. She holds an MBA from Harvard and earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford.
“SAP is going through a critical transformation,” she said as she took on her new role at SAP. “It has a unique opportunity to help redefine how successful businesses run, and the leadership team has made bold and courageous commitments to accelerate their cloud innovation to this end. I am excited to contribute to that journey and thank the Supervisory Board for their confidence in me.”
Exploring Other Hobbies
Believe it or not, Julia White once did synchronized swimming.
It seems like most of the retired synchronized swimmers end up landing a gig with “O,” the Cirque du Soleil musical comedy at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
But not White. She left it behind.
She does, however, say that the sport taught her a lot about hard work, teamwork, and dealing with subjective judging.
According to her, there’s probably no greater teamwork sport than synchronized swimming.
Why? It’s literally eight people matching each other’s movements to perfection.
“So, it was a huge lesson in trusting others, betting on each other, building connections, and having fun,” she says.
Julia White’s Take on Storytelling in Marketing
When it comes to marketing, White likes to take a page from Seth Godin’s playbook.
She says storytelling is a powerful tool for marketers.
White believes that telling a story is the most basic form of human communication. It’s something that everybody can relate to.
Humans told stories even before we had written formats. So the idea of listening to, and telling, stories is ingrained in our psyches after thousands of years of development.
“As a marketing leader, storytelling is our art form and is the most powerful tool we have,” she says. “When done well, a story is authentic, memorable, and influential.”
That’s why she asks herself the following question in every form of communication: “What story am I telling?”
And I mean, she does that for everything. Whether she’s communicating with email, a blog post, or a keynote address.
White particularly likes to use stories as memorization tools. She says that just giving people a bunch of data is overwhelming. They’ll forget too much.
But a simple story? Ah, that’s much more memorable.
Further, she also uses stories to identify pain points and prescribe their solutions. Of course, their solutions always involve the product or service she’s trying to sell.
Family Makes an Impact
White says that her father had a huge influence on her life. He was an engineer turned executive.
During family dinners, he would discuss topics like people management and leadership. He even bounced a few board meeting ideas off of her.
Unsurprisingly, she grew up to become a business executive.
But she really fell in love with tech while she was a student at Stanford. That whole university is surrounded by high-tech innovation.
As an undergrad, she participated in a project sponsored by Melinda Gates. It focused on computer and human interaction.
Her group had some great ideas for making UIs more social. But alas, technology wasn’t ready for those ideas yet.
So the project didn’t work out. But she got some insight into how technology could change our lives.
After that, she took her first job at a software company and never looked back.
Wrapping It Up
Julia White was raised for leadership. Then she focused on a particular discipline. In this case, high tech.
And she earned her keep working for two companies that are household names in the space: Microsoft and SAP.
But more than that, she knows how to sell. Her professional background is more than just her pedigree.
I look forward to seeing where she takes SAP from here.