Bozoma Saint John gives advice

By Samantha Smith

Youngstown State University hosted a lecture Wednesday, Oct. 20 at Stambaugh Auditorium. The lecture was presented in the form of an interview with Bozoma Saint John, chief marketing officer of Netflix.

Along with her role as the CMO of Netflix, Saint John has also worked as the CMO of Endeavor, chief brand officer of Uber and head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes. 

Besides job titles, Saint John has accumulated multiple achievements within her career. She was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame in 2014, was named Executive of the Year in 2016 by Billboard’s Women in Music and recognized by Forbes as World’s Most Influential Chief Marketing Officer.

She came to YSU to discuss and answer questions about marketing and how she got to where she is today.

Betty Jo Licata, dean of Williamson College of Business Administration, began the lecture by introducing Saint John and giving a brief summary of her career so far.

Christina Saenger, associate professor of marketing; Judin Balella, senior marketing major; and Jenna Binsley, graduate student, were then brought to the stage to conduct an interview and discussion with Saint John.

While answering questions, she gave her insight as to what her approach to marketing is and how that makes her successful.

“I truly have a love of people,” she said. “That’s really at the center of everything marketing. They’re the idea of how people integrate, what makes a community, what makes somebody like this versus that, the history of their stories and the places they come from.”

Saint John brought laughter and awe from the audience when speaking. From discussing personal life to advice for those in the field of marketing, she gave tips on teamwork and inspired thoughts for those listening.

“Teamwork is not about just being the one who’s always motivating — sometimes we need to be motivated,” she said. “We’re not all going to be on all the time. So how you encourage and motivate your team, they also have the power to do that, and that is what also helps with the creative ideas. It’s what helps with solutions.”

For more information on the lectures produced by YSU, go to