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Micheline Nijmeh is a three-time CMO and currently the CMO of Zscaler. But even 2020 has brought on new challenges for this veteran marketer. On this episode of Marketing Trends, Micheline discusses how she and her team at Zscaler navigated a crisis no one saw coming, why marketing is no longer just about the advertising dollars you spend, and how first-time CMOs can successfully adapt to their new roles.

3 Takeaways:

– The biggest change in marketing is data and how marketers use data
– Successful campaigns for a CMO are about messages resonating with customers
– Marketing is no longer about advertising, it’s about engaging with your audience

Key Quotes:

“My job is to remove all obstacles for [my team] so they can do the best work. And most of the time I’m focused on that and making sure that they’re doing their best work every day.”

“[As a new CMO], you want to go in and observe the first 90 days.”

“We sit between the user and the internet to ensure that they’re getting the access they need seamlessly, but they’re also getting security seamlessly. They don’t notice that they’re even being secured because it works beautifully.”

“It’s no longer about advertising because how many ads do you see and that you don’t even notice? It’s no longer about the billboards, but it’s really about how we engage each of the customers that we know we want to influence.”

“When you think of what success is for a CMO about a campaign, is that you build a message that you know resonates with your audience and you see results in a matter of days, not even weeks. We saw results. People calling us, emailing us, texting us, thanking us and then wanting to be a customer reference for us. That’s like golden for a CMO.”

“The advice I’ve learned, and it started actually from Salesforce, is that we had so much data to help us understand our business and how to move forward. I’ve been able to use that over and over since I’ve left. And that’s been really important to me.”

An innovative and proven marketing executive, Micheline balances strategic thinking with data-driven decision making. Over her 20-year marketing career, Nijmeh’s experience encompasses a diverse profile of companies, from globally recognized public technology leaders to pre-IPO startups.

Nijmeh joined Zscaler from Xactly Corporation, where she helped drive the company’s transformation and leadership in sales performance management.

Marketing Trends podcast is brought to you by Salesforce. Discover marketing built on the world’s number one CRM: Salesforce. Put your customer at the center of every interaction. Automate engagement with each customer. And build your marketing strategy around the entire customer journey. Salesforce. We bring marketing and engagement together. Learn more at

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