1. Interviews with Experts

An interview with Jenna Tiffany: Gender diversity in email marketing

Marketing has been widely considered a welcoming industry for women. This year’s Email Geeks Survey Salary suggests that women are well-represented in director roles and earn healthy incomes for their expertise.

Yet on the panels and stages of international industry conferences, the female species are not so well-represented. And in an effort to address this balance, in recent years more and more women are putting themselves forward as speakers.

One of those women is Jenna Tiffany, a chartered marketer, business founder and digital marketing expert. Over the years, she’s spoken at countless marketing events, clocking up an impressive 30 plus talks in 2017 alone.

Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day, I caught up with Jenna through the wonderful medium of email to learn more about her experience as a keynote speaker in the marketing industry.

You’ve been a marketing tutor for a couple of years – how important do you think mentoring is for women in this industry? 

Incredibly essential to building confidence, network and knowledge. Tutoring and teaching are hugely rewarding to me, something that I lacked at times during my career but definitely would have been beneficial. It provides the opportunity to share and develop ideas, experiences and develop skills. For a single marketer that doesn’t have a team to learn from a mentor can also be brilliant support. Women of Email have built a great community with mentoring options available. 

Jenna delivering a talk at the Email Innovations Summit

What inspired you to become a speaker at email marketing industry events, and what have you learned from doing this? 

I got into speaking by being pushed into the deep end! I joined an ESP as Lead Strategist, and within the first six weeks, my name had been put down to speak at an email event. Not only was this one of my first speaking engagements, but it was also videoed! As you can imagine, I was incredibly nervous in my new role but thrived off the new challenge. I’d be lying if I said after speaking at over 100 conferences that I didn’t get nervous. I still get butterflies right before and during my first step onto the stage.

I’ve learnt an enormous amount from speaking, such as how to deliver, how to convey a message, how to engage others, and how to control my nerves. Speaking has also provided the most incredible opportunity of meeting many marketing geeks along the way! 

Many speakers talk about confidence and that is crucial. This is something you build up over time. As part of my training, I had to get used to watching myself back from a recorded talk, critique myself to improve. And let’s be honest you will always be your worst critique. So try not to give yourself too hard a time. For me, I try to focus on the value my talk will bring an audience and the insightful experience I can share. 

In the marketing industry, women are generally under-represented as keynote speakers at conferences – what do you think can be done to address this imbalance?

As the Chair of the Email Innovations Summit London, I have experienced this first hand. It is an issue, and unfortunately, typically more men apply as speakers than women. I was lucky enough that a previous employer-provided presentation and speaker training. More companies offering this would help build confidence. 

Jenna Tiffany speaking at the Email Innovations Summit

And finally, what advice would you give other women interested in speaking at conferences and events?

DO IT! Don’t put off applying, submit your talk idea. I’m always looking for new speakers to join the Email Innovations Summit London conference. Get in touch or submit your ideas on the website. 

If you need help with your digital marketing, contact Jenna through her site letstalkstrategy.co.uk or follow her on Twitter.

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