Rochelle Vincent

Lessons in team building and leadership development

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your family.

I am Rochelle Vincent. I was born in Brisbane, Australia, where I live now. Over the course of my life, I've moved around quite a bit.

Unlike many, I stayed close to home during university, nurturing my love for languages through studies in German and Japanese. An exchange program in Germany—where I majored in International Business and Marketing—fueled my passion for international experiences.

After graduation, I worked inPoland and the UK, where I met my husband, an Australian with Melbourne roots. Settling in Australia, I embarked on a tech career two decades ago, defying trends. Today, I'm deeply involved in marketing and we have two daughters. One turns 17 next week, and I cannot wait for her to get her license so I don't have to drive her everywhere. And the other is turning 15, she is very active in sport as well as academics.

Our household is lively also thanks to our pets: Monty, a pet bird who occasionally joins my calls, a blue-tongue lizard, and some fish. This unique journey, from education to tech and family life, continues to shape my path in remarkable ways.

What led you to work in EdTech?

Starting out in tech, I was knee-deep in engineering software. I had a stint at IBM for six years, exploring various industries. From there, I jumped into library automation technology, touching on education. Australia's top tech provider, TechnologyOne, then welcomed me, where I led the product marketing team. While not always in EdTech, whenever I delved into it, I found immense satisfaction.

Blackboard twice beckoned, but the timing wasn't right until it was. Now, with Anthology for five and a half years, I've never looked back. Working across different sectors helped me understand what truly fulfills me. EdTech, particularly higher ed, brings a unique sense of accomplishment. You witness the tangible impact of technology on students and administrators.

✨ Pearl of wisdomBeyond technology, it's the people who make this journey exceptional. The camaraderie in EdTech is unlike any other industry I’ve been in. It's a place where you find purpose-driven, wonderful individuals.

The rewarding personal experiences and connections are why I'm rambling about my passion for EdTech.

My time at IBM I mainly focused on security. I understood its significance, but it didn’t resonate with me as much as what I see in EdTech. Unlike these corporate giants, working with an LMS gives me a sense of purpose. We unveil new perspectives, predict student performance, and pinpoint those at risk. To me, that's such a big part of how we can help.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Being a parent, especially raising girls in this era of limitless possibilities, has profoundly impacted me. Witnessing their unbound potential is awe-inspiring. On a personal level, motherhood holds a special place as my eldest ventures into university choices.

Professionally, my pride lies in my team. They fuel my passion and are my true inspiration at work. Their growth and success, nurtured through mentorship, bring me immense satisfaction. Hearing their acknowledgment of guidance offered reaffirms my purpose.In marketing, inbound or outbound?

What's your day-to-day like in your current role?

As the Senior Director of International Marketing, I oversee teams spanning Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa - essentially everywhere but North America. My focus ranges from demand generation for new business to client retention and cross-selling. While I cherish contributing marketing insights, much of my current role entails HR management, ensuring the team's growth and alignment.

My responsibilities encompass strategic planning, budgeting, staffing, and professional development. I delve into reporting and analysis, gauging our progress against KPIs. Additionally, I'm deeply involved in crafting our marketing plans, steering our path forward.

Engaging in day-to-day campaigns remains a passion. Immersing myself allows me to better understand my team's challenges and seek ways to enhance processes. Even in a senior leadership role, hands-on involvement fosters improvements that ultimately benefit the entire team.

Is there a particular strategy that you apply to coordinate different time zones and cultures?

Time zones are definitely my enemy. By far. If I need to do a team call with my entire team, 11:00 PM is the optimum time. So it's not optimum for me or anyone in Australia, but it's a compromise for a united online presence.

If you're eyeing a global role like mine, consider a practical tip: being based in Asia-Pacific might not be ideal due to time differences. Relocating to the UK or Northern Europe could facilitate smoother coordination.

Our success at Anthology stems from understanding the unique aspects of diverse markets - cultural nuances, language, and the evolution of education technology. Certain countries, like Australia and the UK, share similarities in their mature education technology landscapes.

How do you create campaigns that work for different markets?

We find striking similarities between campaigns across Australia and the UK, as well as potential synergies within regions like Africa and Latin America. Our approach begins with a core message, though we understand the importance of adapting it for varied regions. Language nuances and differing levels of maturity demand such adjustments.

✨ Pearl of wisdomIn the EdTech landscape, we're not only dealing with emerging and mature markets. A third aspect emerges - countries that are just beginning to explore education technology or even embarking on their technological journey. In some places, secure WiFi is a luxury. Our strategy encompasses these diverse scenarios to ensure a holistic impact.

How do you inform yourself of those differences and nuances?

My approach involves extensive reading and analyzing data, which is another facet that resonates with me.

We leverage research from sources like IDC and Gartner, supplemented by our strategy team's expertise. This collective effort informs our campaigns and ensures relevance in the different markets.

Is there a particular skill or competency that you feel is important for someone working in marketing in general?

The shift toward digital is undeniable and ever-evolving. Email campaigns have evolved into comprehensive strategies, like account-based marketing. SEO and SEM play a crucial role, informing keyword choices and research for effective campaigns. The reliance on technology in marketing is significant, making digital proficiency essential for success. As technology advances, even psychological profiling becomes a potential tool, albeit with ethical considerations. Understanding digital marketing's growth is key for all marketers to excel in this dynamic landscape.

What should aspiring marketing leaders strive to master?

Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each team member is crucial. Understanding their motivations, drivers, and personal profiles can unlock their full potential. Taking the time to connect with team members, from specialists to managers, fosters a caring and supportive environment.

✨ Pearl of wisdomBuilding programs for mentorship and learning opportunities empowers growth. By truly knowing your team, you can guide them toward new career paths they might not have considered. In the end, investing in your team's development benefits everyone involved.

Has working remotely changed your perception on that?

While remote work has its benefits, there's something truly valuable about coming together in person. Weekly catch-ups, even if just for an hour, help address important topics, but often sideline peripheral matters. Physical gatherings provide a chance to observe team dynamics and body language, fostering synergy and inspiration.

✨ Pearl of wisdomFace-to-face interactions re-energize and counter the potential isolation of remote work. The hybrid model strikes a balance - allowing focused work from home while benefiting from collaborative office days. This mix ensures both connection and productivity, creating a well-rounded and efficient working environment.

What do you expect from leaders of marketing functions for big brands like Anthology?

In my role reporting to the CMO, maintaining a close rapport is key. Weekly catch-ups and larger team meetings, despite the time zone difference, keep us connected. Leadership involves a reciprocal relationship. While they offer vision, our on-ground insights are crucial. We collaborate closely to shape strategies, aligning the vision with actionable plans.

✨ Pearl of wisdomFeedback loops are vital for growth, especially in a leadership capacity, as interactions span across departments. Setting clear goals and reinforcing them aids progress tracking, even amidst challenges like mergers.

Agility is essential, adapting when needed. Strong relationships, honesty, and transparency foster a secure environment, aligning actions with purpose.

What’s important to keep in mind to build messages for the education sector?

✨ Pearl of wisdomIt’s very important to understand that you’re engaging with well-informed academic buyers. They possess deep knowledge and insight, demanding us to match their expertise. To be regarded as true partners, we must immerse ourselves in their sector.

Precision is paramount, even in minor details like grammar in social media posts. In the educational realm, errors are not trivial; they erode credibility. Properly referencing sources and respecting their institutional roles showcases our commitment. Tailoring our communication to their level of expertise acknowledges their hard-earned position and fosters genuine partnership.

Early in my Blackboard journey, we devised a unique approach to bridge the gap with remote institutions. Given the challenges of bringing Australian institutions together physically, we hit the road with a branded truck. Our journey took us across the country, offering engaging experiences like games and virtual reality. This creative initiative extended to trade shows, where our truck served as a standout booth. Not only did it inject fun and inspiration into my role, but the impact was tremendous. Exploring unconventional avenues not only keeps you motivated but also yields impressive ROI.

✨ Pearl of wisdomA creative mindset is crucial, but it's equally important to translate it into tangible outcomes. This is where marketers truly need to concentrate. While creative ideas flow naturally, the key lies in their execution and the actual results they yield.

It's essential to constantly analyze and monitor campaign performance. If something isn't delivering the expected results, swift adjustments and changes are necessary.

What do you like most about your current role?

For me, it all boils down to people – I'm a true collaborator at heart. Despite its evolving nature, EdTech offers immense room for creativity. Take your work with the LAC team, for instance – it's clever and exhilarating. Technology, once considered uncool, has transformed into an exciting arena. Unleashing the human touch in this space can be incredibly rewarding. Don't be discouraged by preconceptions; it's a world of fun and innovation. Thinking unconventionally is key. Besides relishing teamwork, I'm enthralled by the potential for unique endeavors. My team attests to the remarkable outcomes born from our collaborative efforts. The satisfaction of achieving the extraordinary is truly astounding.

What career advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Taking risks can yield unexpected lessons and personal growth. Venturing into new experiences, even if they don't always turn out as planned, offers valuable insights about yourself and your abilities. Reflecting on a backpacking mishap in Europe, I learned that challenges can shape you. So, when opportunities arise, seize them, even if they seem unconventional. These risks could lead to unforeseen doors opening or connections with people who might guide you later on. Embrace the unknown – it's where true growth often resides.

In your view, what are the most interesting EdTech events?

I gravitate towards roundtables. Gathering leadership minds for collaborative think tanks yields significant benefits. For instance, alongside events like Times Higher Education, we host parallel roundtables. These discussions generate insightful research pieces that reflect the collective insights.

Why roundtables? They align with our goal of establishing a strong institutional partnership. This approach fosters mutual learning and showcases our commitment to their success.

✨ Pearl of wisdomFrom a marketing standpoint, roundtables not only yield valuable insights but also generate abundant content for us to utilize. It's a win-win strategy that effectively serves our objectives.

🔥 Rapid fire questions
In marketing, inbound or outbound?
Outbound, because you've got to be way more creative to get outbound.
Marketing or sales?
Marketing, by far.
Hubspot, Pardot or Eloqua?
Specialist or generalist?
Ed or Tech?
Tech. I'm more tech.
Thinking or doing?
This one is a hard one. I think there's a place for both but I'm going to say thinking because ultimately everything involves thinking.
Agency or in-house?
There's a place for both but I'm going to say agency only because that's where we do some specialist work that really is out of the ordinary.
In-person or virtual?
In-person. It still makes such a difference.
Events or content?
Content. Because content still needs to go into events, so you've got to start with content first.
Direct or through channels?
I'm going to say direct. You have much more control doing direct.

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