Joanna Segesser

A hands-on marketer, Segesser lives very much in the moment and sees possibilities where others would see barriers.

These skills were instrumental when she was working as the brand manager for Tanqueray gin across Western Europe, co-ordinating the launch of a campaign in the UK, Spain and Germany – all without the support of a creative agency. 

"We had identified that out-of-home would be a key channel, but had no budget or creative assets. So we rolled up our sleeves and shot the campaign ourselves, casting local bartenders as the stars.

It taught me that ideas really can come from anywhere and that if you’re really tenacious and have a desire to make an impact, you can achieve brilliant results."

Which is exactly what she did, as the ‘Tonight we Tanqueray’ campaign beat both the competition and Diageo’s internal norms on every measure, the most notable being that 81% of consumers were "more likely to purchase" afterwards.

As a result, Segesser won a ‘Spirited Women’ award for Diageo globally, as well as an internal marketing excellence award. 

Because of a natural tendency to embrace anything new while thinking big, she is highly adaptable and likes to be kept busy and learning.

"Marketing is moving at such a pace and the function needs to evolve, so having the desire to grow and adapt is really important," she says.

"So is being self-motivated, determined and resourceful. I want to make a difference and an impact."

While she’s ambitious, Segesser, unlike some in this list, hasn’t earmarked a specific job to target.

The most important thing for me is to understand when I am at my best, so I can stay there. I don’t look to portray a certain personal brand, I just have values I hold close to my heart.

Neither is she obsessive about managing her personal brand. For her, success is much more about finding meaning at work than chasing the money. "If I’m passionate, I’ll work harder and – hopefully – success and money will follow.

The most important thing for me is to understand when I am at my best, so I can stay there. I don’t look to portray a certain personal brand, I just have values I hold close to my heart."

Segesser feels strongly that marketing must be relevant and personalised, particularly for Generation Z: "They will be less tolerant of things that aren’t relevant to where they are and what they’re doing. Brands need to show up authentically, then be consistent."

"Jo is a big thinker, but also has a brilliant skill set and is able to move from strategy into creative execution seamlessly.

There’s no doubt that she can ‘do’ data and is incredibly bright, but what sets top marketers apart is a heightened level of creativity, which she definitely has. This is not only in terms of marketing output, but how she generally approaches the job by thinking differently.

Jo is also great at nurturing the right relationships and having the right level of tension in the conversation; so it’s not just about being nice, but about how to work with people to get the right outcome. She’s very unassuming and modest, with a steely determination."


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