Breaking Barriers & Transcending Industries with CMO at Superscript, Mai Fenton – Episode 16

As an Asian woman, Mai Fenton has leapt over her fair share of hurdles through her rich and varied career, and as Superscript’s CMO she’s illustrating the opportunities available for multi-skilled female marketers like herself.

Mai’s 20-year career includes stints with Unidays, TKMaxx & Pentland Brands; she’s taken the industry-specific skills from wildly different sectors and channelled them into her role at this rapidly growing startup. 


In this month’s episode of Scale of One to Tech, we learn how Mai has developed her conversational interview style, the emphasis she puts on collaborative, T-shaped marketeers, and the inspiring self-confidence that will see more women finding success in CMO roles.

This episode covers:

  • Superscript’s unique take on flexibly de-bundling insurance
  • The transferrable skills permeating Mai’s extensive and diverse history in marketing
  • The barriers that Mai has broken as a successful, Asian, female CMO
  • How creating T-shaped marketing team encourages better collaboration
  • Tips for finding success with a more conversational interview style


This episode of Scale of One to Tech is sponsored by eOpinion, who are on a mission to change the face of the survey industry by captivating and entertaining your users and customers. They use 30 seconds speedy polls to create interesting stories, actionable insights and increase engagement. Get a half-price Speedy Poll at


Links & references


Alex Marriner:


Acquire Digital Talent:


Mai Fenton:




Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl:


Episode highlights


“So when you think of the pivots businesses have had to make during the pandemic, I think it’s clear to see how relevant & valuable our proposition is to SMEs. It’s not just the global distillery that’s moving from gene production to hand sanitizer production. It’s the restaurant that turns into a grocery supplier, a yoga teacher that moves fully online. What makes us unique is we provide customizable, flexible, subscription-based insurance designed for the ever-changing needs of small businesses.” – 5:30 – Mai Fenton


“Throughout my career I’ve made quite significant changes, moving from CPG, to bricks and mortar retail, then to e-commerce, and wholesale. I’ve done a bit of everything, so I guess I’m used to adapting and bringing with me key skills and talents that transcend industries and are valuable in my next job.” – 8:10 – Mai Fenton


“More and more now, the lines between B2B and B2C are blurring because we’re starting to recognise that what matters to a B2B buyer is not just rational factors like technology features or price. They are human after all, and they don’t just focus on the product. Decision makers are also people, so they’re influenced by how they can emotionally connect with your business.” – 11:30 – Mai Fenton


“I think that because I’m Vietnamese, I was brought up with a certain culture of humility – I’m not the one to boast, I don’t like to be in the limelight, that kind of stuff. Other people are pretty good at that, at being heard. So I had to overcome that personal hesitation of stepping in and being heard, and to be honest, I struggled in the early years of my career.” – 15:10 – Mai Fenton


“Even if I’m not the one to push myself in the limelight, I know that if I’m out there and people can see that an Asian woman can make an impact in insurance, it’s a good thing. So things like speaking on this podcast with yourself is an example of being more active in networks in LinkedIn, or putting myself forward even for some awards which I wouldn’t naturally do. I think it’s important that young females can see that you can have a very nice career in insurance or in a tech business.” – 17:55 – Mai Fenton


“With scaling, you tend to bring some experts in individual channels as you as you grow your team. But what I didn’t want is for them to work in silos. So there’s a big emphasis on collaborations, I tend to focus on team wins, not individual wins, and I think that’s really helped.” – 24:15 – Mai Fenton


“People are very open with each other, everybody can contribute to any area of marketing. In fact, the whole team contributes to our social content. If you’ve got a great idea, let’s do it, there’s no sense of it not being their territory. That’s really enabled the collaboration and the engagement. We get excited about everything, not just what you’ve done in your individual channel.” – 26:50 – Mai Fenton


“For me, it’s important to let people speak freely, and ask some open enough questions for them to talk. This is where you can really read more into a candidate; the way they talk about their experience and about themselves, then you can build on the conversation to tease out what is most relevant.” – 30:55 – Mai Fenton


“Tableau allows you to pool your data, analyse it and visualise it in a way that provides you very useful insights and actionable insights. For us in marketing, it’s been fantastic because we all have access to Tableau. It’s self-serve so we can pull different datasets and run all sorts of analysis. It’s been amazing how we could pull some of the data back into some of our channels.” – 33:40 – Mai Fenton