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CMO of Five9
Genefa Murphy is the Chief Marketing Officer for Five9. With over 15 years of global experience in the field of technology from consulting, to product management, strategy and marketing, she is an accomplished leader and has led worldwide teams in creating and executing compelling and effective go-to-market strategies.
She is a passionate business executive, with experience across various IT domains. Always a technology enthusiast, she consistently looks for new opportunities to break the mold and push boundaries, to lift her teams to the next level – exemplified by her proven track record, ranging from execution of global product releases to building go-to-market strategies for both incubation solutions and established product lines, and driving hands on digital transformation.
Q: Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are now.
A: My path to marketing wasn’t a conventional one. I originally started out as a consultant, and from there I went into product management and then eventually made my way into marketing through Product & Partner Marketing. I came into marketing because, I will admit, I had an attitude that I see in many product teams: I didn’t understand the intricacies of marketing and I thought that I could do it better myself.
However, when I came to marketing, I came with an open mind to learn and understand and that’s how over the years I have come to appreciate the complexity of what it takes to lead and execute a well oiled marketing machine. Marketing brings the best of many worlds together, technology, creativity, data/analytics, customer engagement and business and that’s why I love the job I do and the people I get to work with.
Q: What is your company’s biggest accomplishment of 2020?
A: I recently changed roles, starting with a new company in January 2021, so ill pick two. From my previous role, one of the biggest accomplishments was rolling out a new sales methodology and accompanying program to over 3,000 sellers worldwide. It took coordination and partnerships across many functions and factions and required me and my team to be in lock step with our sales counterparts. It was also particularly satisfying because just as we were getting into phase 2 and 3 of the program, the team had to take it all remote due to the pandemic. Instead of slowing the team down, it actually sped up the creativity and adoption of the methodology.
For my current team, since coming on board I have seen several great projects that they executed. One that stands out is a campaign they did around #MovingDay to encourage customers to move to the cloud from their traditional on-prem contact centers. It was a great example from what I saw of creativity, social, Account Based Marketing (ABM) and messaging.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge at your company so far?
A: Having enough time to do all of the wonderful things that the team want to do
Q: What’s something your marketing team does that sets you apart?
A: I think for the current team here at Five9 it’s the agile nature of the team and the alignment with sales. I know that seems obvious, but alignment with sales isn’t something that always exists in practice and I believe it really helps the team to stay connected to what’s going on in the market for prospects and what’s going on in with current customers. That transparency is critical to continual prioritization.
Q: What’s your personal philosophy on marketing?
A: For me, I think marketing comes down to what I call the FIRE framework. That’s about having the right Focus and knowing who your ideal customer is. Understanding customer Intent so that you aren’t just looking at the here and now opportunity but also what is to come. Return on Investment (ROI), because, lets face it, very few marketers will say they have enough time or budget, so having an ability to scale ROI allows you to ensure you are placing your bets where it will matter most. Engagement, because marketing isn’t about collecting random leads. Customers want more—they want to be engaged, to have a personalized experience and to feel like companies respect their time and effort.
So for me its about the FIRE and honestly, the beauty of marketing is the ability to try out new things. So, if you use FIRE as a framework let your creativity rule the day, and what you get in return could amaze you.
Q: What’s your WFH “office” set-up?
A: I never thought I would WFH, but now its been almost a year and I love it. I do miss the office and hope to get back to a hybrid set up in the future, but right now I have a mini “office” in my basement. A little half of the room where I have my desk, a proper office chair and my wonderful sit/stand deck. We recently added in some extra lighting and couple of plants to keep it bright and engaging. I also have a stand and portable green screen along with some additional software I have added to phone in order to record event videos from home as needed. My office is now, my office, my studio and my event space all in one.
Q: If you could describe your day-to-day at work in 3 words, what would they be?
A: Controlled Creative Chaos
Q: What changes do you see in the future of marketing? How are you adapting?
A: I continue to believe that marketing will become an even more data-driven discipline and will continue to be a contributor to the overall business strategy. However, to continue that momentum, marketers must enhance their skill sets and evolve their approach. It also requires other stakeholders in the business who partner with marketing to recognize the contributions that marketing can bring to the table and take the time to understand how marketing has evolved. In many cases, marketing is at the forefront of key trends like use of automation, data-driven decision-making and customer engagement.