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Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Five9
Niki Hall joined Five9 in February 2017 as Vice President of Corporate Marketing. In this role, she and her team are responsible for brand, corporate communications, customer advocacy, international marketing and operations. Before Five9, she spent five years at Polycom as Vice President of Corporate Marketing. During that time, she created an industry award-winning function, focusing on innovative programs of reciprocal education and influence, which resulted in key insights and strategies that drove the company strategy, impacted revenue and shaped market perception.
Prior to Polycom, Hall spent more than a decade at Cisco Systems in numerous marketing leadership functions across services marketing, corporate marketing and corporate communications. Before making a move to tech, she worked in B2C marketing, representing global brands Porsche and BMW. She also serves as an advisor to Radius Intelligence, sits on the marketing advisory board for the CMO Council and is on the Forbes Communications Council. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from California State University–East Bay. She is married with two children and is based in the Bay Area at Five9’s headquarters.
Please provide some information about your background and how it has prepared you for your current role at Five9.
My background is in corporate communications and marketing. I spent 12 years of my career at Cisco Systems in communications and marketing, and I later transitioned to Polycom, where I spent five years as the Vice President of Analyst Relations and Influence Relations. Within a year, they asked me to create a corporate marketing function, which included everything brand-related, digital marketing, content marketing, influential relations, marketing operations, etc. Prior to the tech space, I also spent many years in automotive marketing with BMW and Porsche and helped to position those brands as well.
What led you transition from B2C marketing to a B2B tech marketing career?
I saw the growth happening in B2B with Cisco and others, and I wanted to be a part of that. It was early in my career, and Silicon Valley is in my backyard. I decided to take the leap, and it proved to be a good move. At Cisco, I worked closely with John Chambers. He was a great salesman, but I think he was even a better marketer. He taught us that you need to have a great story to tell in order to capture the attention of the market; that's what he called vision. We focused on developing a strategy to achieve that vision before turning to the executional aspects to support that strategy. We also included measurement to make sure we were accomplishing our goals. To this day, I still use that model.
What is the value proposition for Five9, and how are you communicating that to your clients and prospects?
Five9 is the leader in cloud-contact center software, which strives to enable our customers to deliver the perfect customer experience in every interaction. We supply call routing software and intelligence to arm agents with information on the customer who is calling and which products they’ve purchased to enable agents to meet and exceed customer needs (versus leaving them frustrated, as we’ve likely all experienced in the past). We also provide software for companies that are proactively reaching out to customers for sales and marketing. We have two solutions: inbound and outbound. Outbound is used for sales, so our software might alert your company through a contact center that it has been six months since someone last purchased an air filter, for example. The intelligence that is built into our systems can help companies connect with customers to see if they would like a replacement filter, for example.
Five9 also manages and integrates inbound contacts with customers. Top of mind lately with customer service has been airline support due to some of the recent events that have taken place. When someone calls an airline support number, the support team would know exactly who you are because of your telephone number, and they would have all of the intelligence about you and your upcoming travel plans already pulled up based on your phone number. This is what our solution does through deep integrations with an organization’s CRM solution (Salesforce, Oracle, Zendesk, etc.). The CRM system contains all customer records, but we provide the software, intelligence and routing information to know who a customer is based on various pieces of information so that companies can serve their customers more seamlessly and efficiently. Basically, Five9 enables the ultimate customer experience every time.
How do your solutions enable your clients to achieve more integrated complete views of their customers?
Our solution enables customer service agents to get this integrated view. Companies have their CRM system, which provides agents the contextual information about the customer, and then you have our solution, which provides more context and intelligence about the customer. When you're calling in for customer support or when an organization is doing outbound marketing, agents need both for a complete 360-degree view of the customer.
What are some of the big goals, transformations and challenges that you're looking to address throughout the remainder of this year and beyond?
Our big challenge is to position Five9 as the global leader in enabling exceptional customer experiences. To do that, we've been conducting research around the expectations and needs of the modern digital customer so that we can build the right tools to serve them. It’s about building enterprise credibility for the brand and building out that strategy and the message, and it all starts with an understanding of the market. In my first six months at Five9, I have engaged with industry influencers by making them aware of our financials, our solution and what we enable. Now, they're providing air cover for us. We’re in the process of building out the message, which will turn into a campaign aligned around one message with many, many voices telling the story. In addition, we’re working to drive those same messages internally so that everyone feels a sense of ownership. That's the biggest challenge for the rest of the year, as well as determining how that translates through our paid, owned and earned properties.