Interview with Nadjya Ghausi, VP, Marketing, Prezi

Nadjya Ghausi
Nadjya Ghausi

Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to be a part of the Prezi team?

In my role as Vice President of Marketing at Prezi, I oversee the marketing team including Brand, Demand Generation, International, Product Marketing, and Marketing Ops. One of the things I value most at Prezi is the ability to combine technology, data, and innovative storytelling to develop an authentic brand. Previously I held leadership roles at E2open, Salesforce.com, Agile Software, and IBM.

I was inspired to join Prezi as I realized the area of visual communication was ripe for change. I struggled to find the presentation tools at other companies that would provide a better way for me and my team to communicate our story and inspire and educate our audiences both internally and externally. I used Prezi at another company and felt it really helped us stand out on our website and in our sales meetings.

I saw a lot of potential and thought the platform and leading marketing at Prezi, could be useful to other marketers who wanted to design and deliver the most effective, engaging and persuasive stories. Prezi is also right in step with the massive trend toward more personalization in sales and marketing.

How would you define “Digital Transformation’ and “Digital Innovation” respectively, in the context of present standards of Customer Experience?

Digital is a core part of part of any marketer’s mix. Digital innovation is using cutting-edge tools at select points in the marketing journey; digital transformation is looking across the entire journey and seeing how it all connects together. As marketers, we need to be mindful of the overall customer journey–the way our brand is presented initially in ads, in content, and on your website; and, later, through touchpoints like email, chat, and other experiences. The more we know about our users and visitors, the more we can make each touchpoint useful and delightful.

How liberating is it for a marketing team working with top of the line MarTech capabilities? Do you think the state of MarTech adoption defines the maturity of an organization?

When it comes to MarTech tools, It is less about “state of the art” and more about “is this tool going to give me results and will the tool increase ROI?” We ask “what unique purpose does it address?” and “how does it integrate with stack we already have?” We constantly review the tools we use as our organization matures and develops. We are always evaluating new capabilities with these filters in mind.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader? How, if at all, do you leverage AI capabilities at Prezi?

We are applying AI to help us find the best leads at the best times to surface to our sales reps. We believe there is a lot of potential beyond lead scoring that AI holds for marketing.

What’s Prezi’s Go-To-Market strategy in 2018? How do you envision the Customer Acquisition roadmap for 2018-2020?

At Prezi, we are really lucky, because we get a lot of virality through the sharing of our content. Prezi hosts the largest database of over 325 million public presentations, that have been shared by more than 85 million users worldwide–and our users’ presentations have been viewed over 3 billion times.

As a marketing organization, we need to partner closely with our product team, as these roles are getting more blurred. We also believe advocacy is the main channel for expansion–we have advocates in our accounts that can help us fuel our expansion.

Finally, we’re focused on providing a “wow” experience for our customers. Prezi’s unique format is designed for visual storytelling, using space and motion to create a cinematic presentation experience like no other.

What startups in the MarTech industry are you watching/keen on right now?

Right now we are watching startups in the visually immersive category, which includes AR and VR. This is because we believe augmented reality (AR) has a strong place in the future of work and learning—and see AR as becoming a must-have for B2B marketers who want an immersive experience for remote activities, including webinars and meetings. This is the kind of technology that can support that shift by empowering immersive storytelling in a way that moves people.

We are also closely watching startups in the areas of AI-assisted marketing tools, as well as startups who provide natural language marketing tools.

What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2018?

A sample of tools in our marketing stack includes:

Would you tell us about your standout digital campaign at Prezi?

At Prezi, our goal is to make presenters deliver the most effective, engaging presentations possible and to make presenters more memorable and dynamic. Recently, we introduced a campaign entitled “Vanquish the Beasts of Boredom.” As our target market was sales and marketing professionals attending Dreamforce, we introduced this campaign at Salesforce’s premier conference. The intent was to create a cohesive and fun experience for both our customers and the campaign was used at our Dreamforce booth; in digital and out-of-home advertising; and for post-event customized follow up activities, including direct emails and direct mail.

For the campaign, we used very targeted media (bus ads around the event, targeted digital ads, and sponsored Wi-Fi at airports as people traveled to Dreamforce.)

Instead of saying “We aren’t boring like our competitors,” we identified boring presentations as dull, uninspiring beasts, and Prezi as the one tool needed to “slay” them. We chose visuals of four creatures–called the Beasts of Boredom– that signify dull, boring, sleepy or blah presentations. The campaign highlights how these beasts can be defeated so our users can “present like a hero”–by using visual storytelling, collaboration, analytics, and conversational presenting, hallmarks of Prezi.

The campaign encapsulates what we learned from a recent Harvard study, that concluded Prezi is more engaging, persuasive, and effective than PowerPoint.

The campaign was extremely successful–Prezi’s booth was chosen as the Best Booth and Most Memorable Exhibit Booth at Dreamforce and we had a significant uptick in leads from our target audience (sales and marketing professionals) for all facets of the campaign.

How do you bring people and technology resources together?

We have a defined set of tools we use for team communications and productivity, but nothing replaces meeting face-to-face. My entire team meets live each week so we can share ideas, best practices and have meaningful learnings. The meetings are not designed for  “status updates” and the preparation lives in productivity tools we use (Jira cards, Confluence, etc.)

We also make sure that what we produce in marketing aligns with what our sales team consumes. I work closely with our VP of sales to ensure that we are closely aligned. The dynamic between sales and marketing must move from a partnership in practice to a partnership in process using technologies that bring together the focus and alignment across the who and how for prospects and targets, and then augmenting but not replacing the fundamental interaction between people. Finding visually interactive and immersive experiences to engage prospects and customers will be more important than ever–and will make new products and technologies even more successful.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Prezi, Infogram, Slack and our in-house analytics tools.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

I voice note my to-do lists during my commute.

What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

I’m currently reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott. I consume a lot of my information online through online media (like Wall Street Journal, LinkedIn shares) and enjoy reading blogs by presentation luminaries like Carmine Gallo.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Believe in yourself and you need to own who you are and what you are capable of.  Make sure you love what you do because your time is your most valuable asset.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Julia Goldin, Global Chief Marketing Officer at The LEGO Group: I am impressed with how Julia took storytelling from a classic product and developed new channels and expanded the reach and audience of Lego (i.e. Movies, themed sets–Women of NASA, etc.) and created innovative approaches to brand expansion.

Thank you, Nadjya! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

As Vice President of Marketing at Prezi, Nadjya is laser-focused on combining technology, data, and innovative storytelling to develop an authentic brand. She loves building all-star teams with the power to drive global market leadership. Nadjya has previously held leadership roles with E2open, Salesforce.com, Agile Software, and IBM, and was a management consultant at Gemini. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with an undergrad degree in Industrial Engineering (BSIE) from the University of Michigan.

Prezi Logo
Prezi is the presentation platform that helps you connect more powerfully with your audience and customers. Unlike slides, Prezi’s single, interactive canvas encourages conversation and collaboration, making your overall presentation more engaging, persuasive, and memorable. Prezi’s latest offering, Prezi Next, is a full-lifecycle presentation platform so everyone can easily create visually stunning presentations, deliver them in a more natural and conversational way, and analyze their effectiveness. Founded in 2009, and with offices in San Francisco, Budapest, and Mexico City, Prezi now fosters a community of more than 85 million users and over 325 million Prezi presentations around the world. For more information, please visit www.prezi.com.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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