MarTech Interview with Amit Daniel, Chief Marketing Officer and Strategy Officer at Cognyte

There is no dearth of data in today’s marketing and sales environment, what differentiates the best marketers from the rest is a strong ability to make proper business sense of all the data that marketers and salespeople now have access to; Amit Daniel, Chief Marketing Officer and Strategy Officer at Cognyte weighs in:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Amit, tell us more about Cognyte and your role there. We’d love to hear about your marketing journey and top marketing moments through the years… 

Thanks for including me in the series! I love the opportunity to talk about what we’ve been doing and share some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

First, I’ll start with what we do at Cognyte. We’re global leaders in security analytics software that empowers governments and enterprises with actionable intelligence for a safer world. 

What this means in simple terms is that we have open software that takes massive amounts of data, fuses it, analyzes it, and visualizes it to help our customers – security organizations – find needles in haystacks! We have over 1,000 government and enterprise customers in over 100 countries that rely on our solutions to speed up their security investigations and connect the dots to successfully identify, neutralize, and prevent threats to national security, business continuity and cyber security.

As for my background, I have over two decades working with global hi-tech companies in many sectors, and at various stages in their lifecycle. My career path is deliberately diverse! My varied experience and deep passion for storytelling and people keeps me excited about what I do.

I joined Cognyte (then Verint) in 2015 and am responsible for global marketing, employer brand, strategic partnerships, and demand generation – all aimed at driving business growth.

One of my career highlights was our recent rebrand to Cognyte. Until February this year, we were part of Verint, and two years ago a decision was made to spin off the security analytics division of Verint, rebrand it and go onto Nasdaq as an independently traded company.

It was an intensive, memorable two-year journey that spanned an unforgettable naming process, development of a visual narrative and execution of the brand strategy to include every possible angle from brand development to employee communication, customer buy-in, an investor roadshow, and social media campaigns for brand awareness to employer branding and everything in-between. And of course, all this happened during a global pandemic, which added another layer of complexity, learning and great sense of achievement as everything came together.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts on the evolving trends within the martech segment globally – In what ways do you see martech redefining the must-have skills in marketers of today?

I think it’s critical to ensure a balance between marketing and technological expertise. Today’s marketers need to be tech-savvy with the ability to learn and follow new technologies, both in terms of the products they are marketing and the tools they use to develop, run and measure campaigns.

Our profession has changed profoundly over the last few years. We need to adapt and run with the changes, embracing the challenges they bring. Lifelong learning is critical to our success. When building my team, I find myself looking more and more for specific kinds of curious marketers that will get the job done creatively and methodologically, rather than ticking off a checklist of academic skills or formal qualifications.

I also believe that the ability to measure success in numbers is critical, but equally important is the ability to apply gut instincts to the way we plan and roll out our marketing activities. Some things cannot be learned or measured – they can only be felt.

How according to you can marketing leaders create better impact with their choice and implementation of marketing automation; impact that drives more marketing and overall business ROI?

I believe that in today’s business world, marketing automation is certainly one of the ways to keep up with the pace. We can’t deny the importance of data and the digital workplace – we saw it during COVID, where marketing in so many companies, like Cognyte, managed to transition seamlessly to a work from anywhere mode – mostly because so much is digital or automated. 

We also need to connect automation better to ensure we have taken the entire journey of the end customer, buyer or partner into account from planning to execution. We need to envisage the different touch points each target audience will encounter as they discover the company and understand the importance of tightly coupling this with the various marketing activities (inbound and outbound). Automation is just a tool to make all this more measurable and easier to monitor, but it’s the bigger picture that will ultimately result in successful marketing. 

As marketers work towards being a more performance-driven department that is not always a cost centre; what are some key processes and metrics that they should be paying more attention to here?

I’m a firm believer in the importance of metrics. Without a strong funnel, we become redundant. I apply this across the board. We measure and adapt our marketing activities by looking at the patterns, and we do the same in our employer branding campaigns. By identifying how success should look, then constantly examining the metrics, we adapt our processes to drive more successful campaigns. Whether we’re collecting leads and converting to customers, or collecting CVs and converting to recruits, the process and metrics are one of the keys to success.

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As the need for deeper analytics and insights grows, what kind of business intelligence and data will become more crucial for marketers of the future?

So this is exactly what we do at Cognyte for our own customers. We help them take massive amounts of data so they can extract actionable intelligence. In fact, this is OUR theme – ‘Actionable Intelligence’ is a registered Cognyte trademark! 

In the same way, as marketers we need to draw actionable intelligence from the massive amounts of data at our fingertips. The challenge today is not in collecting business intelligence and data – in fact, there is so much data out there the challenge is far more sophisticated. It’s making sense of the data that’s important, which means that we need to apply principles of big data, AI and predictive analytics to our marketing data in order to learn from it and improve our insights and ultimately our performance.

A few last thoughts and takeaways for marketing leaders and CEOs/CMOs to keep in mind through 2021?

Keep your employees at top of mind – it takes great people to drive great businesses. The numbers are important, the data and tech are key, but making sure you have the right people doing the right things at the right time is super important. 

So I make sure to surround myself by smart and talented marketers, I communicate transparently and often, and I make sure that I have inspired teams to do inspiring work. 

And of course, it’s key to clearly look at the journey of targeted audiences (customers, partners, investors, employees) – understand the different touch points and make sure your story is conveyed clearly across all channels in ways that speak directly to each audience.

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Cognyte (formerly a Verint company) is a global leader in security analytics software that empowers governments and enterprises with Actionable Intelligence for a Safer World™.

Amit Daniel is the Chief Marketing Officer at Cognyte

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