‘We give power to marketers’: CEO Joanna Milliken on how Emarsys is driving smart growth in 2023
Since being purchased by SAP 2.5 years ago Emarsys still calls Indianapolis home, running its North American Headquarters from Market Tower.
The leading omnichannel customer engagement platform is making waves with its speed of growth, expanding a customer base that already includes world-famous brands in Gibson Guitars and Estée Lauder, alongside industry disruptors such as Reformation and Saks OFF 5TH. This success is domestically driven, with 150+ employees in the Indy HQ range blending international talent and expertise with leading local hires.
“Emarsys has always had a global remit; international involvement from SAP was a natural step for us,” said CEO Joanna Milliken. “And it’s been so important to us to use that involvement to accelerate our development at home in Indy. Indy is an important part of the Emarsys story and the wealth of talented innovators in the state continues to be a driving force in our success.”
After coming to Indiana to attend IU, CEO Joanna Milliken never left and is equally passionate about bringing technology to Indiana and the future of Emarsys.
Milliken has enjoyed an acclaimed career in tech in Indianapolis, stretching back to when she was hired as the first employee of ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud). As a leader Joanna is known for developing and building strong teams, which has helped attract some of the brightest local talent. But she says, “it’s more that people see the opportunity with SAP and Emarsys and want to sustain the strong martech community we have locally”. With an impressive leadership team and the backing of SAP, Emarsys has “the scale to prevail” as Milliken said it.
One of the biggest opportunities Milliken and her team at Emarsys have is the enterprise deals they are being invited into with SAP and vice versa. Emarsys has enjoyed a great reputation as the mid-market leader for marketing automation and cross-channel campaigns for many years. Now with the partnership of SAP and the local enterprise software experience, it can move up market quickly, demonstrated through partnership with giants like Ferrera.
“CIOs and CMOs are much savvier than they were five years ago, and that has accelerated post-pandemic,” Milliken said. “Meetings with both at the table used to be a rare occurrence but now it is the norm. Emarsys is in the unique position to meet both their needs and help them work better together connecting the front and back office. The result? The best possible customer experience, increased order value, fewer returns, and improved lifetime value.”
Emarsys was a powerful platform before the acquisition, but ongoing integration with SAP has brought new engineering resources to the table for both existing Emarsys customers and SAP customers that were potentially new to the technology.
“We’re going to establish SAP Emarsys as the defining omnichannel solution of choice,” Milliken said. “Our vision and rallying cry is to give power to the marketer. As consumers we have high expectations, and Emarsys provides marketers with solutions to make it much easier to exceed those expectations, now and in the future.”
“To deliver on that promise, we’ll keep hiring the best talent locally, domestically, and overseas.”
The company’s engineering team is led by CTO Byron Pitney, who also has a long Indianapolis tech market resume. Emarsys was primarily a North American sales office when it was established. However, Milliken brought with her a vision to quickly ramp up U.S.-based engineering, product management, and user experience organization. Hiring Pitney was a key hire to making that vision a reality.
“We now have full engineering roles and responsibilities out of the Indianapolis office and Byron has made impressive hires of his own,” Milliken said.
“Emarsys is exceeding expectations and just had its biggest quarter in company history. We are in increasingly important part of SAP’s strategy. It’s an exciting time to be working with so many brilliant, diligent, and creative Hoosiers as we drive real outcomes for marketers globally.”