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Employee Spotlight: Juniper VP of Marketing Sarah Mount

Juniper by IMC is a startup environment above all, and marketing in a startup environment requires employees to wear a lot of hats. That’s true for each of our creative and marketing roles, and especially at the executive level. Just ask Sarah Mount, the Vice President of Marketing here at Juniper.  

One of the longest-tenured employees on our team of experts, Sarah’s done a little bit of everything as a marketing executive. She has evolved with the company through mergers and innovative changes to the product lineup. She has forged new social media initiatives that drove eyes and business to our brand. She’s contributed heavily to what she calls a “design-as-you-go” working environment where innovation and creativity are the standard. 

Sarah’s also been fortunate enough to see a role—and associated responsibilities—that evolves along with the company, giving her a vital range of impressive and highly fulfilling professional achievements to look back on. 

“Even though I’ve been at this company a very long time, every few years, my role has changed in a big way,” she said, noting specifically the support that colleagues Karen Olson, Dorothy Belshaw, and others have given her throughout her path to the executive seat.  

In this month’s employee spotlight, we’ll look at Sarah’s career, her personal interests—including, if you ask her son, her love of leaf-blowing her back porch—and her impressive experience shaping the direction of an industry-leading SaaS company. Read on for more fun!  

Early career: A solid marketing foundation 

sarah-mount-top-golfSarah (center) enjoys a meetup with her Juniper teammates.  

Every career trajectory in tech is different—and in Sarah’s case, she’s been a marketer from the start. Her early career saw her working at a California-based marketing agency; a little later, she’d move to the Las Vegas area to pursue her new career as a Marketing Coordinator at the Las Vegas Market.  

“I did a little bit of everything back then,” Sarah said. She carried an impressive range of responsibilities there and in her digital marketing role, which she moved to shortly after. That meant putting her personal touch on several of our most important publications, including market directories and previews, plus several other recurring and single-objective projects. 

One of Sarah’s first signature moves within the company came right around this time. Realizing the immense power of the social media platforms at the business’s disposal—still an unknown tool in many industries—she launched an early take on the now widely used influencer campaign: a “takeover” program that allowed designers to post on our official social accounts for an entire day, giving viewers a look at the Markets through a designer’s unique perspective.  

“It’s so simple now looking back, but we were kind of doing everything for the first time,” she said. Although it’s hard to measure firsts in a world as diverse as digital marketing, that undoubtedly makes Sarah and her team at the time among the first to use platforms such as Instagram in such an innovative, crowd-pleasing, effective way.  

Changing business objectives and a changing career focus 

sarah-mount-jonv2Sarah talks with Juniper Director of Sales Jon Vanderberg at one of our Markets.

The “takeover” initiative proved a small window into the larger digital plans Sarah would take over as IMC continued its tech-company evolution. As a marketer, she caught rumblings of her parent company making major moves to make its web properties more innovative and was eventually tasked with bringing news of the change to media and mass market.   

“We were part of helping pull together the launch announcements for what was going to be IMC_DI,” she said, referencing the initial name we used for our SaaS division and offerings. “It sounded very cool.”  

It wasn’t long after that Covid-19 changed the world and accelerated digital adoption and expansion plans for many businesses, IMC included. And as the exciting new digital division “grew, evolved, and changed,” per Sarah, she knew she wanted to be a part of it. It’s another reflection of Sarah’s constant desire to step outside her professional comfort zone and try new things. 

“It’s a big part of what appealed to me about the Juniper team—being part of building something new,” she said.  

Today: Shaping a growing SaaS company’s direction 

sarah-mount-window-selfieSarah takes a selfie with an employee who doesn’t realize the building’s mirrored windows are one-way. 

In the high-level exec’s chair, a lot of Sarah’s time is spent shaping the company in the (virtual) meeting room. She said she only had “about five” meetings on the day we sat down to talk to her via Zoom, for instance, which she said was a light day—understandable for a marketing exec in her multifunctional position!  

That said, working virtually has not diminished Sarah’s appetite for co-work! As the person responsible for bringing facts and data about our platform to market, she spends much of her time working with departments like product, physical Market teams, and (of course) marketing. The seasonal needs of the Market events she oversees also puts her work on an exciting rotational schedule that mixes up her projects and responsibilities, and always gives her something new to look forward to.  

And despite the meetings, her always-ready attitude means she’s consistently there to help team members in need of support or guidance.  

“I have the opportunity to do a lot of different things, and I like doing all of it,” she said. One moment she might be helping decide on the carpet in a showroom, then working on a technical topic with the dev team, then fielding a marketing meeting that decides the terms of a heftily priced ad campaign or sales promotion.  

Sarah also gets plenty of chances to express her creativity outside of work. She jokes that her cat gets a different themed collar on every holiday. She also enjoys holiday-themed baking, and has been known to make a phenomenal lemon-ricotta cookie.  

Sarah's creativity and humor must run in the family, because when asked about her hobbies, her son came up with this gem:  

“On Mother’s Day, my son put a little about-my-mom booklet together,” she said. “One page was about hobbies. And he drew a picture and wrote… my mom’s favorite hobby is leaf-blowing the back yard… that’s what my child thinks my hobby is. I don’t like dead leaves on the deck, I want to clean them!”  

Professional wins—and how to excel in technology 

sarah-mount-teamA big part of Sarah’s job involves interacting with celebrities and influencers Juniper does business with—including famed interior designer Nate Berkus, pictured. 

While Sarah buys the idea of investing blood, sweat, and tears into one’s work in a metaphorical sense, she says she doesn’t often cry at work—save for one event that had her shedding tears of joy in appreciation of a job well done.  

“When Sarah Jessica Parker finally got on stage to give her talk at the Atlanta Market,” Sarah said. “That was a huge moment. I’d never worked so hard on a Market in my whole career as when we did that AmericasMart Live programming series. I did cry, but those were happy tears.”  

On a broader scale, Sarah said picking up the skills, knowledge, and professional competencies needed to thrive in a tech-related role has been a source of fulfillment for her.  

“I’m someone who doesn’t come from [a technology] background,” she said. “So when the opportunity [to lead Juniper by IMC’s marketing] came up I needed to do some of my own research to understand what we were doing.”  

By immersing herself in the platform and the larger technological concepts governing it, she was able to lock into the role and continues to learn its intricacies as she goes.  

“I was like a sponge, absorbing it in meetings at the early onset,” she said. “Someone would say the name of a platform, I would immediately go look it up. But now that’s it’s been a year and a half with the team, it’s not nearly as intimidating as it seemed at the beginning. 

“If you’re a strong marketer you can market anything, and I think a lot of salespeople would feel that way too. There’s a lot of smart people, and that is exciting and exhilarating to be around.” 

For someone who excels when stepping out of her comfort zone and finding new ways to support her team and its initiatives, it’s another sign of the qualities it takes to thrive as a creative leader. And whatever changes come to IMC’s model in the future, it’s visionary leaders like Sarah that will make sure the market knows exactly what we are up to!