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CXBuzz Interview With Helen Christopher, Global Marketing Director at Verisk

Hi Helen, tell us about yourself and your background?

I’m a proud marketing geek with 20 plus years’ experience. That may make me sound dull and old, but I can assure you, marketing is my passion and I’m still growing, learning and very interested in this field.

I was originally going to be a social worker, but I choose marketing and after a short while, made a decision to work mainly in B2B tech companies.

Most people would think my chosen sectors are not so exciting because they are not in film or media or formula 1 for example, but I find them fascinating.

They are critical functions in our world, such as engineering, industry, and data. Not always seen, but is a huge part of our everyday modern life.

I describe what I do, rather than mention my job title and the key is to understand your customers to sell better.

I LOVE international work and strategizing, especially in complex industries and complex customers, with a view to delivering profitable growth.

My current role is Director of Global Marketing for U.S.-based company, Verisk, one of the largest international data acquisition and data analytics companies, delivering industry analytics and Software Solutions.

We help customers make crucial decisions every day about; risk, investments, and operations by offering greater precision, efficiency, and discipline. The information provided affects millions of lives and tens of thousands of businesses around the world.

What do you think is the ultimate checklist for a product launch strategy?

Good question, I recently wrote a blog about it: How to market technical solutions | LinkedIn

What are some of the ways companies can strive to become more customer-centric?

“Steve Jobs, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Apple Inc. said; “You have to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology”.

His reasoning was this; People fear new technology, but they don’t need to understand it; they need to understand how it helps them or why it is good to use.

Feel free to lift anything from the blog I wrote here Let customer experience drive technology for business success | LinkedIn

Client expectations:

  1. Ways to enhance the buyer journey and product innovation.
  2. Work closely with business development/research groups/customers to ensure we have all necessary; education, messaging and sales-specific support materials / communications that is harmonised with the sales process.
  3. Increase meaningful engagement

Helen’s tips for personalization

What tips do you have for marketing executives that wish to improve their personalization strategies?

Beyond sifting through mounds of data, actually take the time to talk to your customers and prospects to understand their behaviors and what’s important to them.

That’s my favorite part of the job; Meeting customers, round tables, audience testing.

Who better to get feedback from, than from the people using your services?

Do you think personalization and customer-centricity are going to become increasingly more relevant in the coming year? How so?

Yes. Referring to a B2B context here, people know when there’s been little thought put into the message they receive.

Defining customer segments and making sure you use account-based marketing is a key element, along with developing individual customer personas and journeys.

Rather than throwing lots of prospects and campaigns at the wall and hope it sticks.

What is one element that must always be considered when working on a marketing strategy?

Unifying a team with an agreed strategy is important. One that is understood, clearly communicated internally, and that everyone is behind.

What’s the most common mistake you see in a company’s social media strategy?

The biggest by far is a lack of consistency. Often posts are sender orientated, style over substance, too technical with lots of corporate jargon.

What do you think companies can do to build a loyal customer base?

Measure their effectiveness through regular Net Promoter Scoring (NPS) surveys.

Be genuine when communicating with customers.

Having CX (Customer Experience) at the core of your business with product and solutions that fit the customer needs.

Products need to be easy to find and use, plus the supplier should be a natural joy to deal with.

I regularly do customer interviews about their journey to understand their perception.

This helps with marketing by learning and advising ways to enhance the buyer journey and product innovation

According to a recent article published on MarketingDive: 57% of consumers stayed loyal to brands during the chaos of 2020. Nearly half highlighting the effect of a simple ‘thank you’. Research confirms the importance of excellent customer service during challenging times.

What’s the most insightful book you read in 2020? 

I’m reading Total Recall – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography.

The determination of the man is inspiring. His accomplishments are incredible when you consider his humble upbringing, winning Mr. Universe, competing with the best, moving to the USA when he could barely speak the language, to become an accomplished actor and then respected politician.

About the author

Efrat Vulfsons
Efrat Vulfsons
Efrat Vulfsons is the CEO & Co-Founder of PR Soprano and the editor of CXBuzz parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.


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