Vineet Mehra

Alicia Tillman

Alicia Tillman

Marketing and Technology


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Trendsetters: SAP's CMO Alicia Tillman Looks at Technology and Purpose in a New Light....

Alicia Tillman is very clear about what it takes for a CMO to champion a purpose-driven agenda at a sprawling global organization. "SAP," she says, "has always had a mission to help the world run better and improve people's lives. Now, more than ever, our customers are not only solving the practical challenges of business—to run and optimize more efficiently while saving costs—but they are also looking for technology to help support their own purpose-driven agendas."

She outlines that SAP, a company with European origins founded over 40 years ago, "has always innovated by building technology to serve the agenda of our customers. SAP's products enable change across three pillars at large – economy, environment and society. Purpose-driven businesses can ignite innovation to solve the most pressing issues of our time and as marketers we have a responsibility to take the lead when it comes to communicating our company's vision to the customer."

Alicia started making tremendous strides in helping the world run better, while at SAP Ariba, where she served as the company's CMO until this past summer, when she was named as the global CMO of SAP. As the world's largest business network, transacting more than US$1.25 trillion of annual commerce every year, SAP Ariba gathers extraordinary levels of data. This same data could be used to bring increased levels of transparency into the supply chain and determine whether an organization was engaging with companies using unethical sourcing practices, including forced labor. Through new technology innovations, SAP Ariba is now enabling those individuals in their network to make new choices about their vendors and sources, through the lens of "purpose"—so they can make a difference through these essential purchases for their organizations.

"How you run your company matters today," she asserts. "To become an employer of choice, you must be making a difference in the world. Customers and suppliers too are increasingly becoming purpose-driven in their actions.  Today's customers—without question— see differentiation and preference among those organizations that recognize the obligation they have to step up and solve issues of higher purpose. As a responsible, forward-thinking company, this is the point where we can build affinity and trust with our customers."  

As the Chief Marketing Officer, Alicia Tillman also strives to determine measures of success for SAP. "We want to be one of the world's most valued brands. Brand value today is a measure of experience, authenticity, clarity and making a true difference in helping the world run better. This is also reflective of what we are seeing in the industry, with purpose fast becoming the number one driver of brand value. My job is to tell the SAP story, and make it clear that purpose is not a side project, but a core part of our business strategy."

In 2018, Alicia Tillman will work to expand the story of how SAP helps customers drive social good, with its technology and business solutions.  She will start by energizing SAP's 87,000 employees worldwide, and then shape the brand narrative around purpose.  She knows it's a big task, but she's clearly up to the challenge.  "Purpose is a key driver of value," she says. "And that's my north star to make our goals achievable."   

As the Chief Marketing Officer at SAP, Alicia Tillman is responsible for creating and accelerating the company's marketing strategy and brand recognition across the globe. She is focused on driving the company vision of helping the world run better and improve people's lives by building marketing programs and thought leadership to promote SAP's exceptional product innovation and purpose driven initiatives.   

Alicia is a graduate of the prestigious Chief Marketing Officer program at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and holds a BA in Mass Communications with an emphasis in International Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising from Lycoming College.

She was named an Internationalist of the Year in 2017.