Q&A with Leela Srinivasan, CMO at SurveyMonkey | Reuters Events - Media 7 Keynote Speaker Interviews

MEDIA 7 | September 18, 2020

Q&A with Leela Srinivasan
Leela Srinivasan, CMO at SurveyMonkey is a marketing leader whose journey has included significant stints in sales and management consulting.

She specialises in B2B marketing, customer marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, marketplace businesses, messaging/positioning development, demand generation programs, business unit strategy, pricing, strategic selling, content development, quantitative customer research, qualitative customer insights, global product marketing, field marketing, public speaking, building thought leadership, managing a team while working remotely. Also known to bust out a haiku or two and lead the karaoke charge.

Media 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
Leela Srinivasan:
I went to Tuck Business School laser-focused on landing an investment banking internship. I reasoned that if I spent a couple of years post-MBA in equity research, I’d deeply understand the investment community and be well-positioned to move into my ultimate dream job: running investor relations for a public company.

In pursuing my plan, I ignored the very obvious signs that I should be in Marketing. I could do the quantitative work required for financial services — but the way I leaned into class assignments was a dead giveaway that Marketing better aligned with my passions than Finance. I love the blend of art and science, of strategy and creativity, and the need to drive actions while developing empathy for the customer. On the science part, we're continually improving our ability to measure and understand through tools and technology. The art part is harder to measure, but the importance of creating an emotional connection with your audience has only increased given the challenges of 2020.


"It’s about innovating for the customer and adding value to help them navigate the perfect storm of a global public health crisis, a global economic crisis, and a global shift in the world’s consciousness around racism. If ever there was a time for marketers to help, not sell, it’s now."

M7: How does a feedback-driven approach help you attain the desired results?
LS:
SurveyMonkey’s first real brand campaigns provide a good illustration of the power of feedback in building high-performing campaigns. From previous market research, we knew our brand was well-known, but too many professionals were unaware of our enterprise capabilities. Our goal was to get the word out: SurveyMonkey is for business.

So, we designed an out-of-home campaign in key cities from San Francisco to London. Before we funneled money into wrapping buses and putting up our first billboard, we wanted to concept test what we were going to market with. Essentially, we used our potential creative assets as the survey stimulus.

We dove into messaging, imagery and color, and we surveyed our target audience to zero in on what resonated. In the end, our research showed that people were drawn to green over blue and they found our “superhero” imagery persuasive. We saw strong results from the campaign, including a 103% lift in brand search interest from those exposed to campaign video ads. By tapping into feedback at scale, we were able to follow the winning creative direction with confidence.



M7: Could you share with us some tools and techniques you’ve learned in the past years, and what your takeaway was?
LS:
I studied History and English Literature at college, then wore a variety of hats at a startup (including that receptionist/board meeting notetaker job) before moving into sales. By the time I made it to business school, I was long on soft skills, and a little embarrassed about my lack of quantitative chops—not to mention having ‘wasted’ five years selling.

While quant skills and business acumen have been vital to my growth as a leader, I could argue that the softer skills have played a bigger role in my career. Now I’d tell my younger self to embrace every opportunity to grow, and strive for balance between hard and soft skills.

M7: What factors do you take into consideration in order to design different types of survey packages?
LS:
Two million people ask and answer questions with SurveyMonkey every single day. Right now, COVID-19 and racial justice are top of mind for companies and individuals alike, so we developed several new resources to help organizations navigate these crises. Our COVID-19 resources page features work-from-home surveys and employee well-being surveys, and our racial equity resources page offers templates for checking in on employees after incidents of racial violence and a whole host of diversity, inclusion, and belonging templates to help organizations build stronger, more diverse teams.

The marketing strategy here, if you want to call it that, is straightforward. It’s about innovating for the customer and adding value to help them navigate the perfect storm of a global public health crisis, a global economic crisis, and a global shift in the world’s consciousness around racism. If ever there was a time for marketers to help, not sell, it’s now.


"People generally crave context and visibility, and especially in the current environment I find they want real, honest conversations."

M7: How does a transparent work culture help you boost up the productivity rate of your employees?
LS:
Over the years, I’ve steadily grown to appreciate the power of transparency. People generally crave context and visibility, and especially in the current environment I find they want real, honest conversations. Our employees join SurveyMonkey looking for a career, not a cult where everything is uniformly rosy. The more transparency we can provide - into how things are going, where we could be doing better, and - especially this year - how we’re all coping as human beings, the more engaged our workforce becomes. That in turn boosts their connectedness to our mission and vision as well as their productivity.

Our biweekly Troop Town Hall (as we call our company all-hands) has become a great platform for providing transparency. During shelter-in-place, we’ve had members of the executive team deliver updates with toddlers clambering all over them, because that’s how life is. We take real-time questions from employees on any and every topic, and we try to answer as many as we can. Recently we even piloted a town hall segment called ‘Keepin’ it Real’, in response to the feedback that employees wanted to hear more about initiatives that had failed and what we’d learned from them. This desire for transparency is the healthy byproduct of building a culture of curiosity and emphasizing a growth mindset.

M7: What are the major advertising and marketing tools you use to hike up the brand awareness of your company?
LS:
SurveyMonkey has been around for 21 years, and we’ve built up significant brand awareness over that period. Rather than hiking up brand awareness, this current phase of our journey is about shifting brand perception so our target audiences really understand the value that SurveyMonkey provides, particularly to enterprise customers.

I use the plural ‘target audiences’ because SurveyMonkey delivers value through three distinct product pillars. Our Surveys platform is our largest and oldest pillar, with millions of customers leveraging us for use cases ranging from employee engagement through COVID symptom tracking to student and patient feedback. Our second pillar, GetFeedback, provides customers with an agile, powerful customer experience management platform to collect, analyze and act on customer feedback across multiple channels. Our third pillar provides agile Market Research Solutions to marketers, product leaders and others in consumer goods, retail, financial services to tap into real-time feedback from the market.

For all three pillars, we choose channels based on where our ideal customers spend time; arguably the bigger focus is on the stories we tell. We continue to look to our customers for storytelling inspiration. It’s one thing for me to tell you that SurveyMonkey Enterprise is a robust platform used by 98% of the Fortune 500. You may or may not remember that. If, on the other hand, I tell you that the State of Rhode Island has been using SurveyMonkey Enterprise to survey thousands of residents weekly via SMS as part of their COVID tracking initiatives, or that my favorite shoe brand Allbirds relies on SurveyMonkey Market Research for ongoing brand tracking across key markets, those are stories that might stick with you. They’re certainly stories I’d rather tell.


"There’s no faster path to understanding than asking."

M7: What are the top challenges you see for SurveyMonkey in the next few years?
LS:
Shifting perception after 20 years of being a predominantly self-serve company doesn’t happen overnight, so we have plenty of hard work ahead of us. If anything though, the circumstances of 2020 - most notably the COVID-19 pandemic and the renewed push for racial equity - have accelerated our progress, because more business leaders have come to understand feedback as mission-critical in 2020, and seek us out as part of the solution. 

More broadly, we face the same challenges as many others around attracting and retaining amazing talent with highly sought-after skill sets. We are also focused on reaching our long-term goals related to diversity, equity and inclusion. We’ve worked really hard to develop a culture where everyone can belong and do their best work - but in 2020 it’s become evident how far we still have to go to create a truly equitable workplace. It’s a journey that will take years, and the road ahead will be challenging - but we are prepared to do the work.

M7: How do you anticipate what people want?
LS:
You develop empathy for them, you look at the data to understand their needs, and you ask a lot of questions. This year every leader on the planet has had to work overtime to adjust to and anticipate the needs of key stakeholders. Whether you are trying to grasp how your employees are feeling and what they need from you, how your customers are faring, how your students are adjusting to remote learning, or what’s on the mind of future customers - there’s no faster path to understanding than asking. SurveyMonkey’s mission plays right into this: we enable organizations to ask the important questions, and turn that feedback into action.

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ABOUT SURVEYMONKEY

SurveyMonkey is a leader in agile software solutions for customer experience, market research, and survey feedback. The company’s platform empowers over 17 million active users to analyze and act on feedback from employees, customers, website and app users, and market research respondents. SurveyMonkey’s products, enterprise solutions, and integrations enable more than 335,000 organizations to deliver better customer experiences, increase employee retention, and unlock growth and innovation. Ultimately, SurveyMonkey's vision is to raise the bar for human experiences by amplifying individual voices.

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The Pyramid Platform provides instant access to any data, enables automated governed self-service for any person, and serves any analytics need, from the simple to the sophisticated. By uniquely combining Data Prep, Business Analytics, and Data Science with AI guidance in a single environment, the Pyramid Platform reduces cost and complexity while accelerating growth and innovation. This enables a strategic, organization-wide approach to Business Intelligence and Analytics. Quotes Bill Clayton, Vice President of Global Partner Sales, Pyramid Analytics: “Amplifi has a proven record of building solid data foundations for customers in a variety of industries. This partnership brings additional vertical expertise and services to Pyramid customers across the UKI and Europe. Importantly, analytics is the catalyst that turns data into intelligent decisions. The combination of the data infrastructure architected, deployed, and managed by Amplifi and the decision intelligence capabilities of the Pyramid Platform are highly complementary and will deliver added value to joint customers.” Mike Evans, Chief Innovation Officer at Amplifi: “Our partnership with Pyramid Analytics is a strategic step for Amplifi as we advance our capabilities and services along the Data Value Chain. Until now, our focus has been on the foundational management of data – from data strategy through to implementation of MDM, PIM and data governance frameworks. Mike Evans, Chief Innovation Officer at Amplifi: “Our partnership with Pyramid Analytics is a strategic step for Amplifi as we advance our capabilities and services along the Data Value Chain. Until now, our focus has been on the foundational management of data – from data strategy through to implementation of MDM, PIM and data governance frameworks. Being able to offer the Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform to operate on top of that foundation means we’re able to provide increased value to our customers when they’re making business decisions with their data.” About Amplifi Amplifi is the go-to consultancy for Enterprise organizations that want their success to be driven by data. We establish and deliver data strategies that enable global brands to manage, govern and analyse their most important data so they can innovate, grow and succeed. Consistently recognized as a leader by Gartner on the Market Guide for MDM External Service Providers report, Amplifi provides strategic consulting and implementation services for industry leading B2B and B2C companies through its global offices in North America, the UK and Northern Europe. About Pyramid Analytics Pyramid is what’s next in analytics. Our unified decision intelligence platform delivers insights for anyone to make faster, more informed decisions. It provides direct access to any data, enables governed self-service for any person, and serves any analytics need in a no-code environment. The Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform uniquely combines Data Prep, Business Analytics, and Data Science in a single environment with AI guidance, reducing cost and complexity while accelerating growth and innovation. The Pyramid Platform enables a strategic, organization-wide approach to Business Intelligence and Analytics, from the simple to the sophisticated. Schedule a demo. Pyramid Analytics is incorporated in Amsterdam and has regional headquarters in global innovation and business centers, including London, New York City, and Tel-Aviv. Our team lives worldwide because geography should not be a barrier to talent and opportunity. Investors include H.I.G. Growth Partners, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Sequoia Capital, and Viola Growth. Learn more at Pyramid Analytics.

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MULTI CHANNEL MARKETING

CrowdStrike Accelerates Partner Business Growth with New CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider Program

CrowdStrike | September 21, 2022

CrowdStrike (Nasdaq: CRWD), a leader in cloud-delivered protection of endpoints, cloud workloads, identity and data, today announced the new CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider (CPSP) program. The CPSP program will help service providers unlock broader value-added solution bundles, enhance profitability and expand their routes to market. In addition, CrowdStrike is establishing a new Elite tier (currently invitation-only) that incentivizes CPSP partners with campaigns, capabilities and expanded market opportunities. Adversaries move fast, and service providers need technologies that drive predictable and scalable security and business outcomes for their customers. Purpose-built in the cloud with a single lightweight agent, the CrowdStrike Falcon platform enables partners to rapidly deliver solutions spanning endpoint security and XDR, cloud security, identity protection, data protection, managed threat hunting, security and IT operations, threat intelligence and log management at scale and without friction. The CPSP program will: Offer flexible choice of solutions aligned to a customer’s business needs: CPSP partners can choose to incorporate CrowdStrike package bundles or individual Falcon platform modules into their security offerings to their customers. Provide opportunity to enhance profitability with new incentive structures: CPSP partners will have a variety of discount options including: CPSP partner discount for specialized package bundles and add-on modules, powered by the Falcon platform. Volume-based discounts for CPSP package bundles, which enable partners to accelerate their speed to market with industry-leading CrowdStrike products. Optimize go-to-market with new Elite tier: Elite CPSP partners are incentivized with new value-added bundles, new discounts, additional partnership and technical support, enhanced go-to-market support, executive sponsorship and unique CPSP-focused partner campaigns to help increase customer satisfaction with advanced security capabilities. “Partners love the value that they get from the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, as it provides the highest level of protection for customers and is easy to implement and manage. We wanted to make sure that service providers got additive value when introducing the CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider program. To that end, we developed the CPSP program in partnership with GSIs, MDR vendors, MSPs, MSSPs and Telcos to ensure we were meeting their needs and empowering them to grow their businesses,” said Michael Rogers, vice president, global alliances at CrowdStrike. The CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider program recognizes and rewards partners who are committed to uphold CrowdStrike’s mission of stopping breaches through the delivery of their services underpinned by the Falcon platform. Elite CPSP partners for the CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider program include: Cyber Defense Labs, Deloitte, eSentire, Marco Technologies, Orange Cyberdefense and Sirius. Elite CPSP Partner Quotes Robert Anderson, Jr., Chairman and CEO at Cyber Defense Labs: “As cyberthreats keep evolving and getting more complex, companies require specialized expertise in cyberattack prevention. Combining CrowdStrike’s world-class, advanced CrowdStrike Falcon platform with Cyber Defense Labs’ comprehensive cybersecurity solutions and world-class service enables us to stop breaches in real time, as well as maintain our forward-looking approach to protecting organizations from sophisticated cyberthreats they face today and in the future.” Curt Aubley, MXDR by Deloitte leader and a Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory managing director, Deloitte & Touche LLP: “Helping our clients achieve meaningful cyber resiliency outcomes is important—and our Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR) by Deloitte platform can help clients benefit from a broad offering of XDR services and solutions. By combining our industry-leading security capabilities with innovative technology from our alliances such as the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, we can assist clients with their current and future cyber needs. As such, we’re excited to collaborate with CrowdStrike further and be named one of their Elite CPSP providers.” Kurtis Armour, VP of Product Management at eSentire: “eSentire is proud to be an Elite CPSP partner and one of its leading Managed Detection and Response partners, securing the critical data and applications of more than 650 mutual customer organizations globally with 24/7 multi-signal MDR. As a result of being powered by CrowdStrike, we can protect organizations where they are targeted most – across their endpoint, network, cloud and identity data sources. No matter where their data or users reside, security leaders can trust in eSentire to deliver the added value of 24/7 threat hunting, investigation, containment and remediation expertise – all with a Mean Time to Contain of just 15 minutes.” Mike Burgard, CISO of Marco Technologies: “Marco prides itself in providing best-in-class services to our clients. One of the ways we achieve this is by powering our services with the CrowdStrike Falcon platform. The CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider program allows us to expand our security services to adapt quicker to changes in the industry and ultimately better meet our client’s needs.” Benjamin Serre, Chief Development Officer, Orange Cyberdefense France: “SMB customers are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks and need cybersecurity solutions that constantly adapt as the threats evolve. We are delighted to have chosen CrowdStrike for our managed services Cyber Protection. Combined with the Orange Cyberdefense expertise, especially pro-active hunting, it provides them with the next-generation of cybersecurity services.” Tom DeCoster, Vice President of Managed Services at Sirius, a CDW company: “Joining the CrowdStrike Powered Service Provider Program recognizes CDW’s proven track record of helping Customers achieve their outcomes. By harnessing the power of the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, we are able to help customers meet their security needs with unrivaled speed and reduced complexity.” Robert Anderson, Jr., Chairman and CEO at Cyber Defense Labs: “As cyberthreats keep evolving and getting more complex, companies require specialized expertise in cyberattack prevention. Combining CrowdStrike’s world-class, advanced CrowdStrike Falcon platform with Cyber Defense Labs’ comprehensive cybersecurity solutions and world-class service enables us to stop breaches in real time, as well as maintain our forward-looking approach to protecting organizations from sophisticated cyberthreats they face today and in the future.” About CrowdStrike CrowdStrike (Nasdaq: CRWD), a global cybersecurity leader, has redefined modern security with one of the world’s most advanced cloud-native platforms for protecting critical areas of enterprise risk – endpoints and cloud workloads, identity and data. Powered by the CrowdStrike Security Cloud and world-class AI, the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform leverages real-time indicators of attack, threat intelligence, evolving adversary tradecraft and enriched telemetry from across the enterprise to deliver hyper-accurate detections, automated protection and remediation, elite threat hunting and prioritized observability of vulnerabilities. Purpose-built in the cloud with a single lightweight-agent architecture, the Falcon platform delivers rapid and scalable deployment, superior protection and performance, reduced complexity and immediate time-to-value.

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