MarTech360 Interview With Heni Hazbay, Vice President of Marketing and Growth at Pipedrive

“We try to be as data-driven as possible on top of the brand perception we know we have and leverage our existing customer base to expand our acquisition channels. Nothing is more important than being loved by our customers; this is the foundation of brand loyalty which we have built over the last 10+ years and are keen on doing even better.”

Heni, can you tell us about your professional background and your current role at Pipedrive.

Sure. I joined Pipedrive 7 months ago to run user acquisition, demand generation, media, e-commerce and customer experience. In short, the “Growth” responsibilities of Pipedrive.

Before Pipedrive, I was the global head of digital marketing and e-commerce at Vodafone group, looking after 21 markets’ strategies in which Vodafone operates. The role included end-to-end responsibility for digital marketing, data analytics, CRM, marketing automation, and martech.

Before that i was a senior digital advisor for Microsoft UK, I also held different roles at Google and Youtube for about 9 years across 3 continents.

What sets Pipedrive apart from other CRM solutions in the market?

Pipedrive is designed by salespeople, for salespeople. We are proud of the simplicity we have built in a way that Pipedrive can serve for SMBs of any size and help them grow their business.

Data-driven decision making is crucial for marketing success – How does Pipedrive leverage data and analytics to drive growth and improve marketing strategies?

We have very solid data foundations here at Pipedrive. We collect data in the most sensible and compliant way and then leverage it to extract insights, segment customers and prospects and then activate it across our channels as well as the media platforms. Our customer data platform (CDP) is at the centre of this journey. We use multiple attribution models (as much as possible in the current industry realities) and we base our media investment on the (predicted) LTV of a customer as well as the (predicted) churn. We try to be as data-driven as possible on top of the brand perception we know we have and our target audience. We believe in personalised experiences and we invest a lot in people and technology to fuel our personalisation capabilities. That includes CRO programmes and always-on-A/B-testing with increased velocity.

Finally, the organisational change that we are in, like any other company, requires us to use data as the single source of truth.

Also Read: MarTech360 Interview With Daniel Godoy, Global Programmatic Evangelist at Microsoft Advertising

What are some effective strategies for building and maintaining brand loyalty in a socially driven world?

It all starts with real and honest engagement and communication with our customers and prospective customers. We have always preferred “real people” personas in our engagements in our owned earned paid and shared media strategies. We know it resonates better, we know it feels more authentic. We try to be as personalised as possible in the customer experiences that we create. We are not only using data for that but we use humans to make sure it is actually “human”. We have a strong community out there, we are really happy to see that our customers are advocating for us and we are here to support them and grow this two-way trusted relationship even more. There is nothing more important than being loved by our customers and this is the foundation of brand loyalty.

In the digital age, customer acquisition and retention are critical. What approaches have you taken to attract new customers and keep existing ones engaged with Pipedrive?

We are attracting new customers from almost all the countries in the world. We are available in 21 languages, we want to serve as many customers as we can. But imagine the complexity of any strategy that spans such big geographical areas, languages, cultures and needs.

It’s a huge challenge, a big matrix and requires solid planning and execution. Especially in a world where our resources are limited. To optimise our acquisition and retention (as well as many other metrics such as lifetime value, overall volume and many more) we live and breathe data. We try to analyse our data in every possible way to extract the maximum number of meaningful insights. Then it all comes down to testing. Every. Day.

We target as tight as possible without limiting the growth. We do this per geo, per channel, per segment, per language and so on. We have an always-on testing strategy for creativity and we leverage AI for that. We are not only testing new strategies in the existing channels but we also try new channels that we have not tried before. Our product teams are testing new functionalities, our pricing teams are testing the right price and propositions, and our customer journey teams are testing new innovative ways to keep the customers happy and engaged all time time. Customer acquisition and retention require a holistic approach that combines effective marketing, customer-centricity, continuous improvement, and strong customer relationships.

What advice would you give to other marketing leaders which helped you personally? Q. What is the biggest problem you or your team is solving this year?

My biggest advice is to be curious and have a growth mindset. That’s the only way to keep yourself updated on this fast-changing industry. Embrace new technologies, channels as well as the challenges they bring. Take a step back from the day-to-day fire-fighting and try to think what will our day to day be like in a year, 2 years, or 5 years’ time. I realised a long time ago that I will never be on top of everything that is happening in the marketing world. Listen to your colleagues, teams, and experts. Try to learn from their experiences.

Follow customers’ needs. I believe this will make or break your customer strategies in the mid-long term.

And finally, test and iterate. There is no “failed test”. The only failure is not testing.

The biggest problem we are solving this year is to operate data-driven marketing in the age of GDPR/CCPA and ever-increasing privacy measures. We (as well as anyone in the industry) have to find the right solutions to be able to exist in this privacy-first environment.

Is there anything that you’re currently reading, or any favorite books, that you’d Recommend?

I am a big fan of Yuval Noah Harari. I read Sapiens and Homo Deus and those are my favorite recent books that i can recommend.

Currently I am reading Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage from Peter Fader and it’s really interesting and highly recommended!

Thanks, Heni!

Passionate about digitally transforming companies using technology and data, supported by the right processes, governance and capabilities.

Specialties: Artifical intelligence, Machine learning, OTT, e-commerce, Mobile and digital marketing, sales, digital advertising, consulting, PEGA, always on marketing, MCCM, business development, strategy, product management, commercial partnerships, revenue streams, P&L management, monetization, publishing, video on demand, DMP, SSP, DSP products, data management, growth marketing.

The global sales-first CRM and intelligent revenue management platform for small businesses. Pipedrive is a cloud-based software as a service company. It is the developer of the web application and mobile app Pipedrive, a sales customer relationship management tool.

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