Bozoma Saint John, or “Boz” as she’s known by many, is the epitome of a marketing powerhouse. The former head of music and entertainment marketing at PepsiCo, where she inked its $50 million sponsorship deal with Beyoncé, explains her current job with one simple sentence: “I create magic.”
Saint John leads the marketing efforts of Apple Music as Head of Global Marketing at the technology juggernaut. She joined the company in 2014 under the Beats brand. As secret weapon turned face of Apple Music, she explains, “I take the business priorities that we have for all the entertainment platforms whether it’s music by an artist, a movie, a book, or a piece of news, and basically let the world hear it.” Saint John and her team use vehicles such as advertising and media, combined with live events, commercials, billboards, emails—all of the marketing channels in their arsenal—to let the world know about that particular piece of entertainment.
With a vibrant personality and heels to boot, self-described “execumommy” Saint John is the first black woman to present at an Apple event—the Worldwide Developers Conference last June. There, she presented the all-new Apple Music interface and rocked the crowd by playing “Rapper’s Delight” while navigating the app.
Her magic, combined with the technical ease of the app, apparently works. Revenue from Apple services, which includes Apple Music, grew by 24% in the third quarter, to an all-time quarterly record of $6.3 billion. Apple CEO Tim Cook cited Apple Music as a driver; in January 2016, 10 million users subscribed to Apple Music, and that number grew to around 20 million by the end of year.
Saint John frequently finds that the most fascinating part of her job is meeting with the creators behind the work, from musicians to actors, producers, and writers. “It just keeps you so fresh and connected to the world.” She also finds that engaging with creatives helps keep her own creative juices flowing, especially when it comes to delving into the analytical part of her job and problem-solving.
Throughout her career trajectory and the subsequent success she encounters, Saint John trusts her gut and it proves to be a constant factor that works in both career pursuits and in life. “I trust my intuition implicitly. I don’t talk myself into anything and I don’t cut myself out of anything,” she says. “My first reaction is the truest one.”
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