THE BLOG
09/10/2014 08:36 am ET Updated Nov 10, 2014

Women in Business: Q&A with Jennifer LoBianco, Chief Strategic Officer at 8fold

Jennifer LoBianco is a veteran marketing strategist, experienced in developing integrative marketing plans on both the client and agency side for 20 years. She's directed the strategic growth initiatives for all kind and size clients, from business-to-business and business-to-consumer, from international companies to local shops - regardless of the size or industry, the same amount of thinking and passion she brings to the table every time. She is currently the Chief Strategic Officer at 8fold.

Oh and back in the day, she really liked learning too, she received her BS from The College of New Jersey and a BA from Kean University. She also holds an MBA in Marketing from Seton Hall University.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Leading is about setting an example and doing things, everything and anything to show the people that work for you and with you that you are in the trenches with them and it's a real team effort. The way I lead and act as a team member comes a lot from my younger years playing team sports, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts mentality.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position at 8fold?
My previous jobs working for other companies not only laid the foundation for my marketing expertise, but also helped me define what type of leader I wanted and didn't want to be. I often noted to myself what worked and what didn't in the companies I worked for and try not to repeat that in my own firm, whether as a leader or mentor.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at 8fold?
Winning and losing business. It's always a wonderful feeling when you work so hard pitching a client and the outcome is a contract, of course on the flip side you can spend weeks writing an RFP and not win an account and when you know you left everything on the table it's hard to understand sometimes why it didn't work out, but you have to move on.

Why did you want to open your company?
I wanted a marketing firm that operated a certain way, attracting a certain type of client and employee, a real team effort, no finger pointing, collaboration, challenging one another, no egos. I love the process of brainstorming and the passion that comes from creating new ideas, that's what drives 8fold.

What advice can you offer women who are seeking to become entrepreneurs?
Finding the balance between work and family is not easy, it never is, but when you own your own business it's even more challenging. Figure out what works for you, it's not a one size fits all thing.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Reminding myself continually that my kids will only want my attention for so many years since they are still young, so I try to carve out time to have real in the moment time with them. It's so hard with technology, but sometimes I leave my phone home on purpose when we go to the park, etc. it matters to them that I am present and it matters to me.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
I never minded competing with men in the workplace since I was used to it from playing sports and having a tough mentality, but it's hard for women to find the balance between being strong yet feminine and not coming across harsh and nasty, it's a fine line.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
I had a few mentors early in my career that were helpful in urging me to follow my gut and dreams, but mostly I had to seek out mentors and because of that I try to mentor others as much as possible, it's mutually rewarding.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
I don't have any specific famous person I admire per se, there are so many business leaders that are doing amazing things and just amazing people in general, not business owners. Having watched the paraolympics this year, the athletes blew my mind, anything is possible. I do admire my Mom greatly for working and having kids when most women were staying home, she's still working at 71.

What do you want 8fold to accomplish in the next year?
It would be wonderful to continue to attract clients that are open to growth and have the patience to stay with a strategic marketing plan to see it through, it's hard to wait for results I know, but marketing takes time to build momentum.