Stephanie Buscemi, Salesforce CMO
Stephanie Buscemi
EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Salesforce logo

Salesforce’s CMO On Driving Inclusivity From the Inside Out

Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi first started her career in radio and TV, but as a native "Bay Area gal," she soon came back to her roots and set her sights on tech. Her broadcast journalism background has proven valuable, giving her the perfect footing to humanize seemingly complicated technologies and use storytelling to bring to life the company's core values of trust, customer success, innovation and equality.

In her role, equality is a value Stephanie takes to heart, leading the charge to ensure there's real action behind it – whether that's ensuring diversity is reflected in decision-making, helping secure a diverse pool of candidates in the hiring process or incorporating their six principles of inclusive marketing into everything they do.

"We did the six principles of inclusive marketing because we looked and said, how can we make sure in all of our marketing communications, from events to campaigns, that we're really driving inclusivity in there? It was really important to us that we didn't make that one person's job, or create a department or a team that did that. We felt that we really needed to make it something that was within the DNA of the marketing team and everyone's responsibility." -Stephanie Buscemi

Listen to this episode to find out how Stephanie got to where she is today, how she's driving equality in Silicon Valley and what this almost $16 billion tech company believes drives true innovation.

Stephanie's Playbook For Success

Audit Internally for Equality

"We look across all levels in the company and ask ourselves, what are you doing to support equality in your role and everything that you do? We came together as a marketing organization and audited everything we're doing and said, could we be doing more? And we all agreed that we could... The first thing was making sure that we have diversity reflected in our meetings and decision-making. Then, making sure that in all of our recruiting and talent development, we are ensuring a diverse population. To elaborate, that's not quotas in hiring. That means making sure there's diversity in the interview pools."

Build Inclusivity Into Your DNA

"We did the six principles of inclusive marketing because we looked and said, how can we make sure in all of our marketing communications, from events to campaigns, that we're really driving inclusivity? It was really important to us that we didn't make that one person's job, or create a department or a team that did that. We felt that we really needed to make it something that was within the DNA of the marketing team and everyone's responsibility. It's in all of our workflows in marketing. People are looking at things like tone, representation and making sure we're avoiding cultural appropriation."

Co-create With Your Customer

"The very best content, the very best product, the very best services are when you co-create together with your customers. So, we look at this group and they want to be engaged every step of the way – they want us to bring them closer. We have things like our ideas exchange – our forum and community to work with all of our customers on how to prioritize product innovation and delivery. So we have the benefit of the wisdom of crowds influencing and we have complete transparency so they can see exactly how decisions were made, what's coming and why."

Stress Test Your Values

"People want to work with companies that they trust and value. You could have all the data and have the right message, but if somebody doesn't trust your brand, you're not going to breakthrough. I think every company out there right now is going to have to really do some soul searching and say, what are our core values as a company and then through their actions, stress test them to say, wow, is that hard for us to do? We might say that's our value, but are we really operating that way? That’s becoming increasingly important."

Demystify Through Better Storytelling

"At times, tech can be seen as sterile – so, I can take my love for storytelling and help tell the story of how tech can make lives better. I can demystify it so that you don't need a science degree… I flipped my thinking and gave myself permission to say, when you're in a meeting with product managers, engineers and development developers, what is the essence of what this innovation can do? Why should I care about AI? Why should I care about blockchain? I love being at the epicenter of new technology innovations and figuring out how to present the value."

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