How CMOs Can Capitalize on the Changing Marketing Landscape

WEVO Founder and CEO Nitzan Shaer was recently a guest on the Mission Matters Marketing podcast. On this episode, he discussed with host Adam Torres why having the right customer insight tool is critical for marketers who want to deliver a digital experience that keeps pace with rapidly evolving customer expectations. 


The transcript is below, edited for clarity. Listen to the episode here

Adam Torres: I’d like to welcome you to another episode of the Mission Matters marketing podcast, your source for all things marketing. Today I have Nitzan Shaer on the line. He is the CEO and Founder of WEVO Conversion. Nitzan, welcome to the show.

Nitzan Shaer Thank you very much, Adam. It’s a pleasure to join you.

Adam Torres: Fantastic. I’m excited to get into today’s topic. We’re going to talk about how CMOs can really capitalize on a changing marketing landscape. But before we do that, let’s go a little bit further into WEVO. Tell us more about the company and how you got started.

Nitzan Shaer: Absolutely. WEVO is a platform for optimizing customer experiences before they even launch. Through the experiences that my co-founder and I had before at Skype, Constant Contact, and other places, we saw how challenging it is to rapidly understand changing customer needs and to design websites, online experiences, and campaigns that truly target them in a meaningful way. There are a lot of tools out there, such as A/B testing and market research tools, that help with this problem, but there really hasn’t been a tool that enables you to optimize those experiences before going live, which is what WEVO is all about. 

Adam Torres: At the end of this interview I’ll give people the opportunity to connect with you and do a deeper dive on WEVO. There’s only so much we can cover in this podcast episode, but I do want to make sure that the right types of organizations connect with you. Who is a good client for WEVO? 

Nitzan Shaer: The clients that we find gain the most from WEVO are customers or companies that sell to consumers, typically Fortune 5000. Fairly large companies use us most — just to mention a few, MasterCard, Intuit, PayPal, Fidelity, and others. The groups that use us are typically the marketing teams, the product teams, and the customer experience teams, the ones that want to hear from their customers and understand what is going to be the most meaningful experience for them online.

Adam Torres: Let’s go a little bit further into some of these people because I know the business landscape is changing rapidly, and platforms like WEVO are becoming more and more crucial for the client type that you describe. Tell us a little bit more about what you’re seeing in the overall business landscape.

Nitzan Shaer: There are two changes that are very apparent. One is that more and more people are going online to do everything from shopping to dating to finding the right

experiences and products and communities they want to engage in. This process is accelerating over the past few years, both in the United States and internationally. The second phenomenon we’re seeing is that user needs and user expectations are changing all the time as well. It’s not like they go online and everybody is shopping and behaving the same way. If i showed you a website from three years ago, you’d probably be able to differentiate it very quickly from a website that was created yesterday. Those needs and expectations that are changing all the time create a real challenge for marketers and for product owners that need to keep up to speed with what it is that their customers need. What they created two years ago is likely out of date and sub-optimal at this point. 

Adam Torres: If somebody’s listening and they’re thinking, “we haven’t really refreshed, we’re falling a little bit behind,” while there’s no magic bullet, I do know that there’s a mindset or a strategy around how to start getting back up to date. What are some things that somebody should be thinking about or discussing with their team in terms of coming to the present day?

Nitzan Shaer: First of all, it’s a mindset in an organization to say, we are not our customers, we know probably a hundred times more than our average customer about our product. We understand our marketing materials a hundred times better than they do, and we recognize that it’s really hard for us, however talented we may be, to get into the minds of our customer. You just have to look at the fact that 64% of Americans believe that their intelligence is higher than average. We have an internal bias to believe that we know better. The first thing we recommend, and the first thing we see amongst the customers that approach WEVO, is that modesty and recognition that we need to hear from our customers and understand from them what is going to be most effective. The typical area that we see come up first in that engagement and that discussion is, clarity of the materials. How and to what extent do users that are new to the product, or potentially new to the brand, understand the messaging and the differentiation of the brand? I’m sure you’ve experienced going to a different website and seeing what we refer to as marketing gobbledygook. You see all these words, but you don’t understand what they mean. The second area is appeal. Competition is out there, changing continuously. New products are coming out, alternatives are coming out. The rate of innovation is accelerating, and in making sure that the customer finds your product to be appealing is a key point. The third area, especially in the past few years, is credibility and trustworthiness. They need to believe that you will take care of their needs and deliver on your promise, and that if they work with you they can be secure. 

Adam Torres: I want to talk to the CMOs that are listening. I feel like their role is becoming more and more complex and they’re getting more on their plate than ever before. When you think about what digital used to mean, it keeps evolving and it’s evolving rapidly. A new platform comes out and all of a sudden, digital is different, and we have to think about 15-second videos, and does that make sense for our company? Whereas in the past, we were making decisions on an advertising budget for magazines. It moves fast, the new platforms launch, and all of a sudden the CMO is taxed with figuring it out. Can you talk a little bit more about the evolving role of the CMO? We don’t talk about that enough and you have a unique vantage point considering that you work with so many of them.

Nitzan Shaer: You know that statistic that the role of the CMO is the shortest-lived position in the C-suite? A lot of it is due to the fact that they have a very challenging role. There’s more and more data that they have access to, but it’s not always obvious what the signal is versus the data. What’s the signal versus the noise? I love a quote from Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise, in which he talks about the fox versus the hedgehog. The hedgehog has one tool at its disposal that it uses time and time again. The fox, on the other hand, is cunning and is willing to look at different options and assume that it doesn’t know the first answer from the get-go. It’s willing to take in new tools and new challenges and new data continuously. The CMOs of today need to be closer to the fox. They need to understand that there are multiple sources of information. They have to listen closely to the stakeholders in their organization, but more than ever in this world’s competitive landscape, they have to be close to their customers. What we try to do at WEVO is provide them that insight and the ability to pinpoint why it is that their customers are not engaging with their material–why that is, and where that is on the page or during the experience. We even give them the tools to optimize those experiences and choose, A is better than B, or to create options C and D that are better than what they have currently. Even before launching the next campaign; even before launching the next product.

Adam Torres: Wonderful. Well Nitzan, I know we just warmed up and I could talk to you all day, but we’re about out of time on this episode so if somebody’s listening to this and they want more information on WEVO or to connect with you and your team, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Nitzan Shaer: You can sign up or engage with the chat on our website or just write me an email at Nitzan@WEVOconversion.com and I’ll be happy to talk.

Adam Torres: Nitzan, thanks for coming on the show today and I appreciate you telling us about your journey. It’s been a pleasure. 
Nitzan Shaer: Thank you, Adam.