Leader’s Corner: Sarah Wilkinson

Watch now: Interview with Sarah Wilkinson, EMEA LATAM & CXO Marketing Manager, Palo Alto Networks


EMEA LATAM & CXO Marketing Manager at Palo Alto Networks, Sarah Wilkinson, discusses her role and customer experience in this Leader’s Corner interview.


Meet Sarah Wilkinson–the marketing leader steering the ship of customer experience at Palo Alto Networks.


At the core of her responsibilities, Wilkinson fosters customer relationships through advisory boards and executive councils, empowering regional teams to engage seamlessly with the C-suite and leverages data insights to shape the narrative of the organisation’s marketing campaigns. In this exclusive Leader’s Corner interview, Wilkinson shares her insights into the rapid evolution of the marketing sector, the growing challenge of attracting and retaining talent and her unwavering commitment to customer engagement.


Watch the Leader's Corner interview highlights with Sarah Wilkinson below:


Leader’s corner insights with Sarah Wilkinson

As EMEA LATAM & CXO Marketing Manager at Palo Alto Networks, Wilkinson is primarily responsible for CXO marketing and looking after the organisation’s customer Advisory Board and executive Advisory council programs, with the occasional summit event.


Aside from this, she regularly provides guidance and best practices to Palo Alto’s regional teams, giving advice on how they can strategise to better engage C-suite audiences. “We just want to be that guiding light”, she said, emphasising that her role involves looking at the organisation’s data and performance analytics to derive insights and create a better understanding of the relationship with their target audience–the C-suite.


With this in mind, how does a senior marketing leader keep up with the latest trends to inform her team? “I always encourage my team to look at webinars”, she said. In addition to this, Wilkinson keeps a watchful eye on key publications that their C-suite audience are following to stay informed on the latest trends. This involves “trying to keep on top of what other companies are doing to engage with the CXO audience”.


Wilkinson admits that she has learnt much throughout her career as a marketing leader by taking on a proactive role in her marketing team. “My biggest learning is from a book written by an author called Bev Burgess… she wrote a book about engaging the C-suite… that’s a book I refer to quite often”.


In light of this, Wilkinson discussed her priorities for the next year, detailing her 12-month plan to increase customer engagement and satisfaction within the organisation. “100 percent, within my role it is to build better relationships with our C-suite audience. That’s my number one priority… [to] bring new, impactful and innovative ways that we can do that.”


Challenges. Every leader encounters them – especially senior marketing leaders. Wilkinson goes in-depth on her own experiences as a marketer in the technology sector. “Things are very fast-paced in technology. Over the years it is getting faster… you’re always trying to keep up”.


What solutions does Wilkinson consider when it comes to preventing and controlling the challenges encountered in senior marketing and leadership roles? “[Have] the time to be able to really think about your strategy–sometimes it feels like it gets less and less time to do that. But it’s so important to keep going back to what’s the bigger picture”.


While these challenges are prevalent, the spotlight now shines on talent attraction and retention. More specifically, the talent shortage organisations are undergoing. In the last three years, Wilkinson has found hiring the right talent to be a challenge–with the process becoming longer and more arduous. “I remember a few years back hundreds of CVs coming in…the process has taken a lot longer than it would have done 10 years ago.”


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