Q&A with Mobile Growth Leader Tammy Nam

February 17, 2020

Tammy Nam is the Chief Marketing Officer & Chief Operating Officer at PicsArt—but she’s also much more than that. As her nominator for the MGS mBolden Women of the Year Awards said, “Tammy is an exemplary example of what a winning leader is—she strengthens others by developing their competence, she fosters collaboration by building an all-star team that trusts one another, and she shows appreciation for individual excellence by always providing feedback—even going as far as personalizing recognition for results. Tammy goes above and beyond by igniting passion and purpose among the team and the larger org.”

It’s for this and so much more that MGA would like to congratulate Tammy on winning the MGS mBolden Women of the Year Mobile Growth Leader Award. We chatted with Tammy about her early career, how the industry has changed for women, and the trends she’s watching.

 

Q: Congratulations on winning the MGS mBolden Women of the Year Award! Can you tell us a little about how you got to where you are now? Did you have any mentors that helped you along the way?

A: Early in my career, I wanted to be a writer. I studied journalism in college but quickly realized that the print news business would continue its precipitous decline and that I should find another path. I accidentally stumbled onto tech marketing when I moved back to San Francisco in 1995, the same year that Yahoo! launched (and three years before Google).

I loved living and working in the Bay Area, the birthplace of modern tech, because it was so new, fast-paced and smart. I loved marketing for the same reasons; everything was innovative. Even SEO wasn’t a thing at the time, and it would be years before the rise of social networks, the app stores, paid UA (at least in the way we know it today). What mattered most in the marketing mix at the time—at least for consumer tech—was corporate positioning and your company’s overall story. Interestingly, I see that we’re coming full circle again to the importance of a brand’s storyline.

I’ve had quite a few people help me along my career journey. Until recently, however, there were very few female executives to emulate or even talk with. That is definitely not the case today.

 

Q: Have you seen the industry change for women over the years?

A: Absolutely. A record number of women are starting tech companies and getting funded; they’re joining—and even dominating—VC firms; they’re joining boards (both public and private); and of course, they’re running companies of all stages in all executive roles. At PicsArt, 51% of the staff are female, including about 30% of engineering and 40% of our executive team.

I would say that these changes are fairly recent—maybe in the last five years, or so, but the rate of change has been incredibly rapid. More girls are seeing visible role models, which will, in turn, inspire future generations. Companies and boards are also realizing that it’s good business to have women at the helm!

 

Q: What industry mobile growth trends are you watching in 2020?

A: I think you’ll continue to see the growth of short-form video platforms like TikTok, Byte, and others. These visual platforms help to reach global audiences without having to localize the content, which is a bonus. And the “ugly cool” or “authentic” aesthetic will continue to have its moment.

 

Q: If you could share just one tip with other mobile growth marketers, what would it be?

A: Investing in your core users/community is always a winning tactic. They’ll give you free, relevant, fast product feedback. And if they feel like you’re paying attention to what they have to say, they’ll be the most loyal and vocal advocates, both online and offline. While it may be harder to measure the immediate value of Community Development, investing here will pay longer-term dividends.

 

Q: Let’s end this on a fun note! Tell us a little about yourself outside of the office. What do you do in your spare time?

A: If I were 30 years younger, I think I’d be a professional tennis player. I try to play every chance I get, though it’s a bit tough these days with so much travel and other priorities!

 



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