In an exclusive interview, Neethu Paul shares her expertise as a seasoned marketing leader with over 20 years of experience working for leading technology organizations like Service Now, Epicor, Microsoft, Autodesk, TechData, and WorldsView Technologies. As a strategic global thinker, she builds strong relationships across all organizational levels, functions, and geographies, driving transformative change.
1. Could you describe the journey that took you from one organization to another, highlighting key roles and transitions that shaped your career?
I have a vast background spanning 18 years of work experience in domains such as Marketing and Digital Strategies, Demand Generation, Brand Building, and implementing Customer Marketing programs. My journey started at Microsoft as a Telesales Consultant, where I gained insights into sales and marketing. As my career progressed, I held positions at Autodesk, TechData, and WorldsView Technologies, honing my marketing skills along the way. The turning point came when I joined Worldsview Group of Companies as the Director of Marketing and Incremental Business. In this role, I achieved numerous milestones, such as a substantial increase in Marketing Qualified Lead generation for incremental business and compliance, boasting a noteworthy conversion rate for Autodesk. Additionally, we witnessed a significant upswing of 110% in focus segment manufacturing revenue through strategically crafted demand-generation programs. Our success story extended to the execution of ABM campaigns, resulting in a 100% repeat business for Autodesk. Notably, within a mere two-month period, our planned marketing initiatives generated over ZAR 45 Million.
Currently, I hold the position of Senior Manager for Strategic Initiatives, Global Integrated Marketing at ServiceNow—an American software company based in Santa Clara, California, that develops a cloud computing platform to help companies manage digital workflows for enterprise operations.
2. How did you identify your areas of specialization, such as Digital Strategies, Demand Generation, and Customer Marketing programs? Can you give us a deeper understanding of how to implement the right marketing strategy?
My specialization in digital strategies, demand generation, and customer marketing programs evolved organically over the years. Each role I undertook helped me gain expertise and become more skilled in these areas. Digital strategies became a focal point as I witnessed the digital transformation in the business landscape over the past years, with AI gaining dominance recently. While Demand generation and customer marketing programs became my areas of expertise through hands-on experience and a deep understanding of customer behavior.
When we talk about Customer Marketing programs, it’s essential to recognize that consumers choose a particular brand or product for their unique reasons, not necessarily ours. This understanding shows us the importance of defining a precise target market and gaining a deep understanding of it. By comprehending our audience’s needs, we can customize every aspect of a marketing campaign to resonate with their interests, emotions, perspectives, and journeys. In doing so, we can create products and services perfectly aligned with their needs and desires, leading to more happy and satisfied customers.
3. As someone who has worked across different regions, including EMEAI, APAC, and ANZ, how have these varied geographic experiences influenced your approach to marketing and leadership?
These varied geographic experiences have been instrumental in several ways. They have greatly aided my cultural insights, enabling me to craft personalized marketing strategies that relate to diverse audiences globally. This cultural acumen is particularly invaluable in a world where a one-size-fits-all approach no longer suffices.
These experiences have also honed my adaptability, making me more open to embracing different approaches. In today’s global market, being receptive to change and new ideas is paramount for staying at the forefront of the industry. Leading teams across these varied geographies have also reinforced the critical role of effective communication and relationship-building. These foundational abilities have repeatedly proven to be the linchpin for driving substantial change and promoting collaboration, irrespective of geographical limitations.
4. Could you share a specific achievement or project that you are particularly proud of?
During the pandemic, one of my significant achievements was the transformation of Epicor’s marketing program, resulting in over 70% of the total sales pipeline for FY20 and FY21. I also led successful digital campaigns, such as the Epicor Germany campaign, which achieved 1.2 million impressions in just two weeks and surpassed lead targets by over 100% in paid digital campaigns. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, I hosted virtual events with a 70% turnout rate. While my industry-specific customer journey campaigns achieved a 35% click-through rate, generating over $3 million in the pipeline.
5. Looking ahead, what emerging marketing trends do you believe will define the industry in the next five years, and how should marketers prepare to harness these trends for success?
In the next five years, emerging trends in marketing will likely revolve around data privacy, personalization, and sustainability. Marketers must prepare by staying informed about evolving data regulations and ensuring compliance. Personalization will be key, with AI’s central role in delivering tailored content. Sustainability will also be a crucial focus, with consumers expecting eco-friendly practices from brands. Marketers should prepare by aligning their strategies with these trends and prioritizing ethical and sustainable marketing practices.
6. Lastly, considering your wealth of experience, what guiding principles or mantras have consistently shaped your approach to leadership and career development, and how can they inspire others in their professional journeys?
My advice to aspiring leaders, particularly women, is to stay authentic and resolute in your convictions. In a world filled with noise, have the courage to stand out and pursue your vision. Dream big, embrace failures as stepping stones to growth, and let resilience propel you forward. Leverage your compassion, inner strength, and emotional intelligence, and always lead with empathy. Your journey is unique, so savor every experience and prioritize your happiness, as it’s your passion and joy that will drive your success.