Fred Studer is on a mission. Recently appointed as CMO of Netsuite, the marketing veteran aims to start a revolution—not just at the cloud technology company, but among all marketers.
“I want to create a movement,” Studer asserts. “How does everyone get as passionate as we are? Marketing has to be perceived as authentically true; to achieve that you need to take a modern marketing approach that’s more organic, one that allows you to understand what the customer needs at a specific moment in time and be ready at the moment the customer is to respond.”
The real opportunity, Studer says, is to blur the lines between sales, marketing, and customer care—which includes seamlessly sharing data among those organizations. “If you think about nurturing the customer across the whole lifecycle, you can only do that by having integration across all those teams,” he says, adding that it’s essential to have a plan to do so that everyone buys in to. “It’s not just about what we want to do with the customer. The customer has shifted to a completely new decision-making process. No longer a sales cycle; it’s a buying cycle. We need to engage customers along that buying cycle when it makes the most sense, so we need the right information to engage them at the right time and help them make a decision. Successful marketers are doing more pull than push. It’s a switch we’ve made at Netsuite.”
But that’s just the beginning, Studer says. “Brands need a purpose and a differentiated story to create brand advocates who will tell that story,” he says. “Yes, marketers still have to think about efficiency and measures like views and clicks. But there are new measures like specific targeted conversions that are growing in importance.”
Studer, a professed “long-term software monogamist” has held marketing leadership roles at Oracle and Microsoft—most recently as GM of Microsoft Dynamics. “I wanted to join a company that, of course, has great technology and customers, and I saw how wonderful Netsuite is,” he says. “When I met the team, and resellers, everyone was so excited about the possibilities. Now, I want to go meet with as many of our customers as possible; I want to galvanize them to be evangelists who advocate for us.”
But that’s not just about getting people to buy Netsuite’s software, Studer insists. “We want to genuinely help our clients improve their business and help them help their customers; to be there for them with the right information at the right time. That’s the noble purpose I want to encourage among all marketers,” he says, noting that it’s something he’ll have the opportunity to pursue in his current role. “It’s great to join a company led by a passionate marketer; here at Netsuite that’s [President and CEO] Zach Nelson. I get a creative genius collaborator willing to reinventing marketing—not just at Netsuite, but across the broader market.”