Listen On:

5 Key Takeaways:
- Feedback has become a global currency in a transparent world where people share their experiences.
- Listening to customers allows businesses to avoid making assumptions about pain points and create products and experiences that resonate better with their audience.
- Design thinking is a great mental model that helps ensure that you are identifying the market's true problems, rather than rushing to a solution.
- No matter how skilled or talented they are, it is essential for marketing hires to be a fit with your company's culture.
- "How do you channel that feedback? How are you going to listen to those audiences so that you can make them feel heard and so that you can adjust your organizational practices and continue to evolve in relentless pursuit of self-improvement?" - Leela Srinivasan

Bio: Leela Srinivasan (LinkedIn | Twitter) is currently CMO of SurveyMonkey. Previously, she served as Chief Marketing Officer at Lever. Prior to that, Leela served as VP of marketing at OpenTable, where she built product marketing from scratch and established the foundations of a B2B marketing team. Additionally, Leela was director of marketing at LinkedIn within the Talent Solutions business, where she co-founded the Talent Connect conference. Currently, Leela also serves on the board of directors for Upwork.

Notes:
Drawn To a Culture of Feedback - (2:00)
- Leela moved to the U.S. from Scotland after college, and spent time at a startup before going to business school. She then spent time doing management consulting at Bain, prior to her work as a marketing executive.
- She was a longtime user and fan of SurveyMonkey tools before she started at the company.
- "I really felt a connection to the team, these are the people I want to solve problems with, and I really admire the SurveyMonkey culture." - Leela Srinivasan
- "We really eat in our restaurant and use our own tools to listen to feedback from employees to continue evolving that culture and going from strength to strength." - Leela Srinivasan

Leveraging Feedback for Storytelling - (8:00)
- SurveyMonkey started in self-serve, has since become an e-commerce platform, and is now moving into the enterprise business.
- "The beauty of our set of solutions is the use cases are basically limitless." - Leela Srinivasan
- "The world has shifted to a world of transparency and increased digital opportunity and desire for people to share their experiences, good, bad, and indifferent." - Leela Srinivasan
- "We've crossed this chasm into a world where feedback is this global currency reverberating around the web." - Leela Srinivasan
- "How do you channel that feedback? How are you going to listen to those audiences so that you can make them feel heard and so that you can adjust your organizational practices and continue to evolve in relentless pursuit of self-improvement?" - Leela Srinivasan

Asking the Right Questions - (15:30)
- "The quality of the question itself really is everything." - Leela Srinivasan
- Leela recommends visualizing the end outcome and thinking backwards to make sure you have the right questions for the story you want to tell.
- SurveyMonkey Genius uses the database of 50 billion questions from 17 million users to make suggestions to help users build optimal surveys.
- "Think end-to-end about your customer journey and look for the vulnerabilities to move from insight to action." - Leela Srinivasan

Understanding the Why - (25:00)
- "We've challenged every employee at SurveyMonkey to complete a customer interaction report so that we can all get better at listening to, empathizing with, and then hopefully creating programs that resonate more with customers." - Leela Srinivasan
- "Design thinking seeks to overcome the problem of people racing to a solution before they really understand the why behind that specific need or pain point." - Leela Srinivasan
- Mentioned by Ian: Leela's Top 5 Questions You'd Ask Your Customers
- One of Leela's favorite campaigns was a customer feedback survey she ran on technology and dining out during her time at OpenTable.
- A hiring lesson she learned the hard way was that if somebody is not aligned with your culture, that's not a hire worth making.

Pardot Lightning Round - (45:00)
- Favorite app: Instagram
- Favorite vacation spot: Home in Scotland or Tuscany
- Scotland travel recommendations: Two days in Edinburgh, Three Chimneys restaurant in Skye
- Recent ad campaign most envious of: ZipRecruiter customer testimonial ads
- Best advice for a first time CMO? Get as close to your customers as you possibly can.
- Most excited about for the future of marketing? Finally being able to connect the dots with data, and starting to have holistic conversations at SurveyMonkey with customers across their entire experience.
- Why should you work at SurveyMonkey? SurveyMonkey is where the curious come to grow. There's so much business opportunity as they expand into the enterprise. They are currently recruiting for a Director of Global SEO. Check out surveymonkey.com/jobs for more.

Marketing Trends is brought to you by our friends at Salesforce Pardot, B2B marketing automation on the world’s #1 CRM. Are you ready to take your B2B marketing to new heights? With Pardot, marketers can find and nurture leads, close more deals, and maximize ROI. Learn more by heading to www.pardot.com/podcast.

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