Q&A with the Newest Task Force for Global Health Board Member: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Jackson
Jim is a 28- year veteran of the IT industry and has spent the last two decades driving change and creating results in Information Technology (IT) Marketing. Since joining HP in 1998, he’s worked in a variety of marketing roles, including services, software and communications. As Chief Marketing Officer, he oversees brand, web, ecommerce, digital marketing, sales enablement, messaging, and several other core marketing functions.
Jackson’s humble roots on a northeastern Ohio farm instilled in him small town values and taught him the virtues of grit, perseverance and hard work. At Muskingum University and the Miami University Farmer School of Business, he developed a passion for marketing and the brand-enhancing opportunities it provides. Today, he’s a firm believer that marketing is a driving force behind a company’s strategy, direction, and trajectory.
As the newest member of The Task Force’s Board, Jackson hopes to use the power of marketing as a tool to improve global health.
What is your primary role as Hewlett Packard CMO?
Marketing is a lot of things encompassing brand, digital, demand generation, events and multiple other strategic capabilities. But a key focus area is around positioning. I position the company and the brand—what we stand for as a company. Our purpose statement is to “advance the way that people live and work.” I spend a lot of time determining how we can best frame ourselves to the market. What is our story to customers, partners, and other audiences? I partner with our sales teams and business units. Marketing is really the connective tissue between the teams that make the products, and the teams that take the products to our customers and stakeholders.
What have been some of your greatest accomplishments at Hewlett Packard?
Companies and brands either evolve, or they fade away. On multiple occasions during the time that I’ve been here, the company has needed to evolve and marketing has played a key role in transforming the trajectory of the company and our market. Every time it has evolved, we’ve needed to refresh our positioning. I’ve helped to determine how HP and HPE should frame itself to the marketplace: Showcasing how we’re unique, we’re differentiated, we’re visionary, but always tightly connected to what we sell.
A couple of years ago, Hewlett Packard went through a massive transformation. We separated into two companies: HP Inc., which is comprised mostly of PCs and printers, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). For HPE, we had to generate a completely new brand, and I was a key part of that transformation.
How did you first become aware of The Task Force for Global Health?
I wanted to get much more involved in being a part of something that I felt could help make the world a better place. As I looked for board opportunities, I told the people who were helping me that I really wanted to be part of something in which I could make a positive impact. They came back to me pretty quickly and said, “What do you think about The Task Force for Global Health?” I spent a lot of time digging into the organization, and I realized that this was where I could help make that positive impact.
Which Task Force issues in particular interest you?
Eradicating blindness. Blindness impacts millions of people in Africa and other areas. The fact that we’re able to offer a treatment that can fix it really struck me. When I look at things like polio and smallpox and all of the progress we’ve made, I want to be a part of how we, as a society, address some of the diseases that still affect so many people today.
What do you bring to The Task Force Board?
I don’t have a medical background, but I understand that marketing and technology can have an amazing impact in terms of bringing awareness to the things we’re doing, to help drive an emotional connection which will get more people involved and engaged. The kinds of things we’re doing today with technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are amazing. I want to help connect people using technology and sophisticated software to proactively help hundreds of thousands of people.
How can marketing help forward The Task Force’s mission?
What I want to do is elevate the brand so that it brings more awareness to the impact that The Task Force is having, so that we can help more people, and also bring in more funding so we can help even more people in the future. How do we take these advancements this uniqueness that we have, target people who are interested in this, and connect it to them? The way to do that is by finding amazing success stories, and then segmenting the audiences and getting the right messages to the right people at the right time. This is what I have spent my career doing and with the right messaging, even more people can be impacted by the amazing work that our Task Force is doing on a daily basis.