An insider’s view: Akino Chikada, MarkMonitor

Akino Chikada from MarkMonitor, a Clarivate Analytics company, reflects on her role and how the company has developed over time

Akino joined Clarivate five years ago as Portfolio Marketing Manager for MarkMonitor. In just five years she has been promoted a number of times before taking on the role of Senior Portfolio Marketing Director, responsible for domains, brand protection, anti-fraud and anti-piracy. Akino is ideally placed to talk about how the brand protection space has evolved over the last two decades and how Clarivate has been at the forefront of those changes.

A return to marketing

When I joined Clarivate five years ago, I was running my own business, which meant that I was responsible for everything from finance to operations and product development. Prior to that, I had always worked in the marketing world, doing everything from corporate marketing to PR and events management.

Being an entrepreneur is hard work but there’s no doubt that it gives you a great deal of professional and life skills. Having decided to return to my background in marketing, I was keen to apply this experience to a more structured marketing role in blue-chip organisation where I knew there would be even more opportunity for me to develop professionally and add value.

It was the right decision. Looking back on the last five years, I’ve enjoyed such tremendous opportunities at Clarivate and developed so much professionally. Of course, in that time I also got married, got a dog, had two children and moved from San Francisco to Philadelphia and back again, which also demonstrates the great work-life balance the company offers.

A 20-year reputation

Our company has been protecting brands for the past 20 years and in that time, it too has evolved, developing its solutions in-line with the way the industry is changing. Clarivate has helped shaped the industry evolving into a global leader in enterprise brand protection, focusing on safeguarding its customers from threats such as piracy, counterfeiting, IP protection and fraud.

Looking just at the last five years since I started, there’s been a lot of restructuring and reward in the business and in my case, that’s been a huge opportunity, taking on new responsibilities and growing my capabilities. It’s amazing to reflect on the fact that Clarivate is now publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange!  The growth and development have benefited both staff and our customers as we remain committed to boosting our skills, capabilities and solutions to remain at the forefront of brand protection.

Growth, opportunity and support

In my first role at Clarivate I shared many of my responsibilities with a colleague. I was promoted to Senior Portfolio Marketing Manager, then Portfolio Marketing Director and I recently became Senior Portfolio Marketing Director, managing all the portfolios including domain, brand protection, anti-fraud, and anti-piracy.

I’m so proud of what I have accomplished in my career with the brand, from becoming a people manager to developing clear go-to-market strategies, messaging, competitive intelligence and thought leadership and a solid infrastructure for the marketing team.

I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in industry groups and speak as a product evangelist at events, which I’ve really enjoyed.

Change is an important part of life and I’m proactive about professional development; in my early days with the business I jumped at the opportunity to join leadership management training. I’ve also taken part in pragmatic marketing classes, as well as online classes in change management and becoming a better leader.

Secret to success

I’d attribute part of my success to the positive environment we enjoy here. All my colleagues are nice people to work with and I love the culture that we have.

Looking to the future, my ultimate career aspiration is to become chief marketing officer but, as I recently became a Senior Director, I still have a lot of learning to do before I’m ready for that. In the next few years, my focus will be to continue to develop our team and create a structure for the whole portfolio marketing department, making the most of working with great colleagues and continuing to embrace change as it happens.

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