We’re pleased to announce our first class of ThinkNW Marketing All-Stars. Chosen by the ThinkNW board and executive team, this program kicks off a tradition of recognizing the unique marketing talent that drives our industry and region forward.
We asked our honorees to share a bit about their work, lives and what the Pacific Northwest means to them.
Here’s what Aimee Johnson, CMO of Zillow, had to say.
How long have you been in your current role?
What do you value most in your work in this role, and what do you consider your biggest accomplishment in your current role?
I very much value the great people and culture to work with every day. The impact every person can have on a customer’s real estate journey/transaction.
Biggest accomplishment? Co-creating “Customer as our North Star” value. This concept is meant to help all employees strive to understand what the customer problems are that we are solving and solve them in a real and meaningful way.
What do you like to do outside of your work?
I like to spend time with my family and friends and typically go on long weekend outings. I enjoy boating, road biking, and long walks that end with a trip to the ice cream store.
What impact does the Pacific Northwest have on your work?
First, the style of working here: I’m an innovative person at heart. I love solving meaty customer and business problems. What stands out to me here is how people lead with optimism, innovation and experimentation. The can-do mentality surrounding you in the PNW is freeing from the weight of more traditional thinking or the risk avoidance and baggage of older companies. That said, the “Seattle Nice” / passive-aggressive communication style is real and takes a while to get used to navigating.
Additionally, the access to the outdoors is pretty unparalleled—jump on a bike, head to the water, ski down a mountain. You can do any of these things and still have half your day left. I often go on a walk by the Sculpture Garden to free up my brain and get the creative juices flowing.
How would you characterize the Pacific Northwest marketing/creative community? In your mind, what makes it unique?
Compared to other major U.S. business hubs, Seattle is a small city for marketing and creativity. Seems like everyone is, at most, one degree of separation from each other. This can actually be very advantageous b/c you can literally pick up the phone and find someone who knows someone to help you think through ideas locally. To get a broader marketing view, I make sure I’m part of organizations like Marketing50, the ANA, the MMA, Marketers That Matter and Forbes CMOs.