Jill Cress joined National Geographic Partners in 2016 after nearly a decade at Mastercard. In a few short years, she’s helped position the publishing warhorse as a nimble content engine (and an award-winning one, at that – NatGeo’s climbing doc Free Solo nabbed an Oscar). Her innovative approach to that process has already earned her a spot on last year's Forbes CMO Next list.
To see Cress’ innovative thinking in action, look no further than WeWork. To promote the Nat Geo show Valley of the Boom, an account of the 90s internet explosion, Cress partnered with the coworking company, transforming WeWork locations into replicas of 1990s offices.
Cress is also building up the company’s already sizable social media presence: Nat Geo boasts over 100 million followers on Instagram alone. “Understanding that we aren’t going to necessarily engage a younger new audience coming to our traditional channels, we are creating content in platform-specific ways,” she explained to Digiday. The work Cress has done to build Nat Geo’s relevance for younger, digital-savvy audiences makes her a key marketer to watch.