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Chief Marketing Officer

Marketing | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles called Saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We are busy building the world's largest high-resolution ocean datasets, working with governments and private companies around the globe. We believe that better inputs in planetary models in turn yield better outputs and that the new insights gained in weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing and climate change will have tremendous impact on humanity. We are based in Alameda, CA and are backed by Social Capital, The Capricorn Investment Group, Lux Capital, Horizons Venture and The Schmidt Family Foundation.

About the Role

Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Marketing Officer will assume responsibility for Marketing strategy with forward-looking business goals while scaling our story-telling and tactical execution globally. This role encompasses leadership of all strategic and operational Marketing functions, including strategic planning story-telling and multi-stakeholder messaging. You will lead content development and channel management while stewarding the development of our corporate brand, and our press coverage. You will take the tactical execution of our global events and conferences to the next level, work to support sales campaigns and generally help Saildrone achieve maximum impact in support of our planetary mission.

The CMO will be a seasoned leader and she/he will need to continually assess the company’s ability to meet its marketing potential with the existing talent pool, and where needed  grow an A+ team capable of executing at the next level of company growth.

The CMO candidate will be a strong action-oriented leader who has the credibility to partner with the leadership team while building the necessary team, tools and assets to enhance marketing performance.  The right leader will be able to build an in-house team as we scale, but importantly will be a “hands on” leader who can roll up their sleeves and teach by showing and doing rather than just telling the team what to get done. 

The right candidate will be an executive with strong ability to collaborate, think strategically, build systems and teams, and have unquestioned integrity, experience and presence to effectively communicate the Saildrone mission and solution specific details to various different and sometimes highly technical audiences. They will have the ability to work confidently and comfortably in a management team of high achievers and be accustomed to a fast-paced, yet thoughtful and inclusive, culture and leadership style.  

Key Responsibilities

Reporting directly to the CEO, the CMO will be based at our company’s headquarters in  Alameda, CA and include frequent travel and/or remote work.  Integral to the success of the position will be close collaboration across teams, from our Sales/BD team, to our Product and Engineering teams, and our business operations teams (e.g., Finance and Legal).

Responsibilities will include but not be limited to:

Strategic marketing

  • Own storytelling for key global Saildrone audiences (eg. science/impact customers, private enterprise, defense and civil government agencies, investors, and the general public)

  • Work with Sales to define high level performance goals (awareness,  lead generation, customer acquisition)  and provide data-driven analysis of results

  • Work with Product to translate engineering roadmaps into customer facing materials (eg solutions web pages, capabilities statements, spec sheets, vertical marketing campaigns)

  • Work with Operations to translate operational achievements and assets into customer facing materials (eg mission blog posts, past performance sections for proposals)

  • Work with Executive team to translate company achievements into investor facing materials (including board summaries, pitch decks etc)

Press relations

  • Respond to inbound press inquiries

  • Outbound media coverage strategy/pitching of stories

  • Press relationship building

  • Manage announcement workflow (blog post, press release)

Content management

  • Media asset creation (field photography and videography, data visualization)

  • Media asset curation (digital asset management platform management)

  • Content creation (copywriting, blog posts, videos, social media posts)

  • External partners relations (contractors, customer interviews)

Channel management

  • Own and manage the main Saildrone website and associated SEO

  • Social media (twitter, instagram, linkedin, youtube, facebook, etc)

  • Partner channels (eg customer blogs)

  • Presentations (working with Product and BD teams)

  • Paper brochures

  • Strategic partner and industry events for cost effective positioning 

  • Monitor channel audience/ traffic / conversion performance / effectiveness

  • Work cross-functionally with partners and their key stakeholders to build Industry Marketing, Leads, Sales Enablement, Geo/ regional/ global content 

Event management

  • Manage calendar of external events and conferences, strategic priorities

  • Secure speaking engagements in high visibility locations

  • Manage resource planning (speakers, collaterals, logistics for 12+ events per year)

  • Support speakers with story-telling and presentation shaping

  • Manage budget and contractors

  • Track effectiveness of events / lead generation / customer acquisition 

Sales campaigns

  • Create global sales campaigns by vertical market

  • Create Enterprise and Industry targeted programs and solution packages

  • Create Marketing and Sales Qualified Lead (MQL and SQL) demand generation and tracking mechanisms 

  • Creating and managing the go-to-market (GTM) content to support and scale these programs and packages out to sellers

  • Create and maintain a consistent GTM bill of materials (BOM) / solutions library

  • Ensure content maximizes the sellers’ productivity and ability to self-serve in preparing for initial customer discussions

  • Create mechanisms to empower sales to build scalable high-quality presentations 

  • Manage content localization requirements into strategic global geographies

  • Use data to regularly report on the effectiveness of content initiatives and iterate based upon learnings

  • Build Account-Based Marketing programs for select top accounts

Brand management

  • Own the brand values and their embodiments

  • Ensure brand guidelines defined and shared

  • Ensure templates for each medium readily available (word, ppt, google docs, keynote, etc)

  • Manage sourcing of branded stationary and give-aways 

  • Leverage partnerships to reinforce brand by association with our partners/customers

Team leadership

  • Attract and motivate an A+ team (full-time employees, contractors, partners)

  • Work closely with existing Saildrone teams (executive, sales, product, operations, legal)

  • Help drive Saildrone culture with passion

Function ownership

  • Own Marketing budget

  • Do less with more - leverage incredible daily stories, videos, images to build international awareness of Saildrone to the level of best practice. 

  • Dare to be different. 

  • Build teams through partnerships

  • Implement the plan leveraging shared services, virtual teams, and agencies as needed

Examples of real projects you would be owning from cradle-to-grave

  • Work with a key customer’s marketing team to set up a day of video capture using helicopters and UAVs to capture footage of a fleet of Saildrones sailing under the Golden Gate bridge. Working closely with Operations, BD and local authorities.

  • Work with  a global ocean conference’s organizers to secure a large high visibility placement for a Saildrone booth, shipping a complete saildrone and all accessories to a remote location, overseeing installation and staffing of the booth during a week long conference. Secure high visibility speaking slots for Saildrone executives and ensuring professional content prep and delivery.

  • Work over a period of months to pitch a large multipage story in a national news outlet, including overseeing messaging, interviews, photography towards desired outcome

  • Architect a visually appealing, multi-audience, cost-efficient website as a digital storytelling platform to hit sales conversion objectives, HR recruiting and other goals.

  • Create an outreach campaign for a large scale saildrone project (think the first autonomous antarctic circumnavigation)- complete with curriculum compliant educational content, digital delivery strategy and global audience goals.

  • Work with the proposal team to transform a sales pitch into a world class deck for a leading philanthropic organization resulting in  successful conversion.

  • Help create the right collateral for high-level government agency or defense contract meeting with input from the BD and Product teams

Skills & Qualifications

  • Demonstrated track record with a minimum of 15 years of experience

  • Ability to work as a Business Partner with the CEO and the Executive team.  

  • An outstanding communicator who possesses excellent verbal and written skills as well as the ability to present views in a clear and compelling manner to a wide variety of audiences.

  • A strategic thinker, you must be able contribute to the current agenda and help drive new initiatives, while being able to manage operational issues through your team.

  • Must be a bright individual who clearly combines analytical reasoning, creativity, conceptual ability, empathy and solid judgment.  

  • A quick study, who can handle complex matters with multiple initiatives going on simultaneously. 

  • Unquestionable ethical standards.

  • A natural leader, with a strong presence who has an open and direct communication style who is adaptable, flexible and adjusts to varied personalities and audiences effectively.

  • This position is located in Alameda, CA. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States can be considered. 


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents

  • Active sailing classes: become a certified skipper on boats up to 35ft!

  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents

  • Enhanced paternity / maternity programs

  • Competitive benefits including discounted gym, life insurance, 401k plan

This is an exciting new opportunity to drive your function at a fast-growing post series-B startup at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of an A+ multi-disciplinary team scaling a high-performance business while delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

Our waterfront office offers beautiful views over San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Your commute could be a short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mixing software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar that was once used to film 'The Matrix'.

You can read what the press says about us:

NOAA: NOAA ramps up use of drones to collect fish, seafloor and weather data

Bloomberg: Saildrone’s Journey Around Antarctica Uncovers New Climate Clues

WLOX: First study of 3-D seabed imagery in Gulf by remote drone celebrated

Forbes: The Real Cloud Wars: The $6 Billion Battle Over The Future Of Weather Forecasting

Or watch the Saildrone mission being presented on the TED stage and our latest progress presented at re:Invent 

Saildrone is an equal opportunity workplace dedicated to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce.

Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.