Talking B2B Tech: Einat Weiss
The Chief Marketing Officer for NICE knows that you can’t build brand fame by settling for the standard way of doing things. For Einat Weiss, it’s the combination of originality, innovation and attention to detail that can make B2B marketing uniquely creative.
06 Minute Read
- B.A in Computer Science CX and an MBA
- With NICE for 15 years holding multiple leadership positions in product marketing, field marketing, and corporate marketing
- Avid runner and enjoys spending time with her family
While many B2B tech brands create video ads, few do them quite like the cloud CX business, NICE. Over the last three years, its campaigns have featured Gordon Ramsay facing off with Neanderthal sous-chefs and Ed Helms travelling back in time using cloud-based analytics to foil Brutus’ plot against Julius Caesar. Most recently, Emmy-award winner Eugene Levy brought his trademark dry humor to commentaries on technology and customer experiences gone disastrously wrong. NICE campaigns are events that get everyone in the office talking – and that’s exactly how the brand’s Chief Marketing Officer likes it.
“Having that moment of smart humor and seeing a celebrity that you recognize and connect with, creates that human connection to a brand,” says Einat Weiss. “Taking a unique approach and consistently doing something different, creative and unexpected is an important part of generating the brand recognition we’re looking for. It creates an amazing impact that’s more than just the sum of the leads you generate.”
Focusing on the emotion in customer experience
That determination to establish an emotional connection is what drives Weiss’s marketing strategy. Using experiential imagery to humanize CX, brings out the emotional benefits for end customers – and is very much reflected in the brand refresh that she led for NICE at the start of this year. As part of the refresh, she launched NICE’s iconic smile logo as the heart of its visual identity.
“It’s the smile that we want to put on consumers’ and employees’ faces,” she explains. “It’s the way we think about our mission to make experiences flow. Putting the end-consumer in the middle of everything has become the cornerstone of what we do. Consumers are rushing to digital and we’re here to help our customers move just as fast or faster in creating the experiences they need to deliver on consumer expectations.”
Reaching this position has involved a transformation journey for NICE itself; one that Weiss has been instrumental in for the best part of 15 years. She first took on a role as Director of Product Marketing based in Tel Aviv. She moved to New York with the business two years later to head up marketing for the Americas, became VP of Global Marketing in 2014 and has recently stepped into the role of CMO. She’s proud to be surrounded by a team of the industry’s top marketers – and has built a reputation as an industry titan, imbuing NICE with the agility and creativity to evolve in a changing tech landscape.
“It’s been a journey of multiple transformations,” she says. “Eight years ago, we were a best-of-breed product company selling on-premise solutions to the higher end of the market. Today, more than 50% of our business is cloud – and at the same time, we’ve transformed NICE into an AI powerhouse. We’re a platform operating in every segment of the market and that’s changed the way we build and market our products.”
Championing creativity – and outlawing ‘copy and paste’
Weiss lists this kind of innovation and agility as one of the key reasons she feels such an affinity for the company. It aligns perfectly with her own commitment to disciplined creativity in marketing – something she encourages and empowers in every aspect of how her team operates. Weiss encourages the team regularly on all hands and 1:1 meetings, asking everybody to share and bring their latest, original ideas to life – whether that’s a data analyst coming up with new sources of insights or a new idea to support the sales team. And she’s a determined enemy of the concept of copy and paste.
“It doesn’t exist for us,” she says. “We never repeat. Every time we approach a campaign or a larger strategic task, I want us to start with a fresh way of thinking – almost from scratch. I don’t want us thinking about how we did something last time or how somebody else is doing it. I want to think about the best way to do it for us, right now.”
This determination not to settle for the standard shines through in NICE’s approach to events, another aspect of Weiss’ responsibilities. When Weiss decided to keep the brand’s Interactions conference virtual this year, she didn’t just book some speakers for a series of webinars. She created the first Virtual Reality conference experience and lined up A-list speakers to tempt delegates into this marketing Metaverse. Interactions Live 2022 featured keynotes from the likes of George Clooney and George W. Bush. That’s about as far away from the standard B2B virtual event as you’re likely to get.
“We are market leaders and so we need to have our brand associated with leaders as well,” says Weiss. “We choose the types of people that we want to represent us very carefully. Our notion is always that, if you’re going to do something, do it right. We pay attention to every detail. And that applies for everything from a big celebrity campaign to the minutia of an internal email.”
The moments that build brands
Weiss is clear-eyed about the importance of brand fame – but also understands that such success doesn’t come through advertising alone. “As marketers, our role is to create intimacy in every customer touchpoint,” she says. “We have customer success and support teams working to ensure our platform delivers ROI for people. Our aim is to create a sense of community around that experience. At the end of the day, you have to aim for customer experience to be enjoyable – to leave you with a positive feeling. Those moments of proactive outreach may seem small, but they change perceptions of brands and they can open up huge competitive advantages.”
For Weiss, this wide-ranging view of how brands are built – and how they deliver success – is something that you step into as a CMO. “Every morning I wake up and think about what we can do to make the brand better,” she says. “I’ve worked in product marketing, regional marketing and have a long history delivering what we believe are some of the industry’s most compelling demand generation campaigns. I thought that being CMO would just involve managing all of these different areas. In fact, the big difference is thinking holistically. It’s not just about how many leads you generate or how many press releases you issue. It’s about how the collective of the components and how they come to together to drive the brand reputation.”
The unique characteristics of B2B creativity
None of this means that Weiss doesn’t care about the bottom of the funnel or that she spends less time thinking about how to support sales. If anything, the opposite is true.“If you build your marketing strategy and agenda on a clear understanding of what the sales team really needs, you will drive the right marketing activities,” she says. “You’ll drive the right quality of opportunities and the right value to the business. Pipeline matters, but it’s not just a single SQL number that everyone should be hung up on. There’s so much more collective value that a brand creates. It’s important to track the entire funnel and pay close attention to the top, because that’s where your leading indicators are. If you just look at the bottom of the funnel, it’s already too late to influence things.”
It’s this sophisticated fusion of brand and demand, of big stars and small details, of emotion and carefully designed customer experience, that Weiss sees as the most exciting characteristic of B2B marketing. Far from being the poor relation of B2C, it has the capacity to be more original, more unique – and actually more creative.
“In B2B, you can’t get away with generic messaging, generic creative or a generic approach to the funnel,” she says. “There used to be this notion that B2B is marketing to organizations. There’s no such thing. We may be trying to appeal to technical people, but they are still people and our task is to make something interesting to them as human beings. The deeper your understanding of your business and its customers, the more depth you have as a marketer, and the more value you can create.”
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