As head of global marketing and communications for Qontigo, Molly is responsible for global brand and market positioning, product marketing and go-to-market campaigns, corporate communications, media and advertising, global conferences and events. She recently offered her perspective on what is most challenging and rewarding about her role, inclusive leadership and engaging clients in a post-pandemic world.
Q: What is the most rewarding – and challenging – aspect of your role at Qontigo?
While Qontigo brings together the decades of experience of STOXX, DAX and Axioma, as a global index and analytics brand we’re still a little shy of our fourth birthday. As Chief Marketing Officer, I’ve had the opportunity to tell the story of Qontigo from its launch and how we can deliver value to our clients. It’s been so encouraging to see the vision we shared in the initial press release announcing Qontigo in September 2019 come to life through our global growth, reinforcing and validating our narrative and value proposition.
Integrating and launching something completely new – while preserving the best of our established product brands – requires constant movement. I read somewhere that Marketing and Communications can serve as the “connective tissue” tying an organization together. That analogy resonated with me as it pinpoints what I enjoy most – interacting with colleagues across the organization to unify the message of who we are and what we offer, and to share that with our clients and the industry more broadly through our external channels.
Of course, the role is not without its challenges! With the online landscape already rapidly changing, and accelerating in the COVID era, we need to meet our clients where they are and create content and information about our products and services that’s helpful in their work. For example, we saw significant growth in consumption of video content during the pandemic, which was a trend across B2B brands. Accordingly, we’ve ramped up our video production significantly. Keeping up with change has been a challenge, but also one of the reasons my role always feels fresh. The playbook is never finished.
Q: How do you think the index industry is doing with inclusive leadership and opportunities for women?
The fact this is even a question now is so encouraging to me as it was not part of the conversation when I started my career in finance. At Qontigo, inclusivity is part of who we are. We’re a very international company with 14 offices globally and an employee base reflecting a broad set of backgrounds. Diversity of experience and perspective is core to our culture. For me, it is one of the most rewarding aspects of being here.
We’ve recently started a Qontigo Women’s Network, and I am one of the executive sponsors. We provide a forum for connection, discussion and support – for topics in and outside of the workplace. We discuss issues related to women but encourage employees of all genders to attend. For example, I myself am a mother of three and recently hosted a roundtable on issues facing working parents. I was thrilled to see a mix of moms and dads at the table. The Network has been incredibly rewarding for me and I am always learning something new in our dialogues.
In working with my marketing counterparts at many of our clients, and through the IIA, I’ve also met many incredibly talented women working across our industry at all different levels and areas of expertise. Of course, inclusivity is a long journey, and we are still walking it. When I was starting out in my career, I was happy to just have my foot in the door. Now my goals are much higher, and I want to see many more women with seats at the leadership table.
Q: What do you think is one of the key challenges – or opportunities – facing the index industry?
We are in the midst of a technology and data revolution in our industry. This brings enormous, new possibilities, at the same time as it disrupts the way we do things and conceive our products. Incorporating new trends and technologies at such a fast pace will feel challenging for some, but for providers who are flexible and think outside the box, there are huge opportunities.
A tangible example of this trend is the use of new types of data to create Thematic indices, a growing category for Qontigo. In the recently launched STOXX Global Metaverse Index, we used patent data as a yardstick for innovation to help identify companies that have an edge in metaverse-related technologies. We work closely with our Product and Applied Research teams to bring product stories to life through our marketing – whether it is a video about industrial uses of the metaverse or an infographic explaining what types of technologies are relevant for it.
Q: How do you define leadership?
There is an old proverb “Success has many parents, but failure is an orphan.” I work hard to create an environment where people can show up with their talents and ideas and not be afraid to reach for success in a way that may potentially fail. We win together, but we also learn from missteps together – not alone.
This rings especially true in Marketing, where the ways in which we reach our audiences are changing rapidly. We can’t be afraid to try, to test and, possibly, to fail to ultimately find a winning formula. It’s important to embed that mentality and a culture of continuous improvement in our teams. For me, leadership is about culture and connection – ensuring we all work together as one team, collaborating and communicating, and yes, serving as the company’s connective tissue.
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