Keira Krausz, EVP & CMO, Nutrisystem

Krausz says she lives on discipline and thrives on passion. It’s that discipline and passion for implementing a data-centric approach in marketing — and beyond — that guided Krausz in leading Nutrisystem to rollout Uniquely Yours, which allows customers to customize more than 150 menu items and gives them more personalized choices.

Marketing strategy:  There’s no one right path, and there’s no one right background.  We’re all products of our personal histories and are all unique. I happen to be the daughter of a psychiatrist — with an interest in writing — who has a highly analytic personality, and you could say that I’m never satisfied with myself. With regard to how I approach marketing, all that stuff translates into a boundless curiosity about what makes people tick; plus, the love of creative, a heavy focus on metrics and analytics, and the belief that we’ll do better tomorrow than we did today.

Winning ways: I don’t feel like I have one individual achievement because every win at Nutrisystem is a team effort. We’re happy that we’re attracting more new customers to the brand than ever and that more of our former customers are returning; we’ve helped millions of people lose weight and become healthier. I guess, if I were proud of anything I did, it would be to build the marketing team — a combination of Nutrisytem veterans and new hires — all really great at what they do. We’re a group of very different individuals, but we complement each other and work effectively as a team.

Defining moment: I keep trying to remember that one positive epiphany, and yet I keep returning to a low point. Sometimes, however, low points are our most defining moments. I started my career in direct marketing in publishing, and after three years returned to business school. I had the luck to attend business school during a major recession, so when a major marketing company in a fancy building in NYC offered me more money for a summer internship than I’d made in half of a year in publishing, I thought I shouldn’t say no.

It was a great company, with great brands, no doubt with talented people, with great compensation and great perks. But it was not great for me. I wasn’t curious about the industry and the corporate culture didn’t fit with my personality; I couldn’t wait for the summer to end. I was lucky. I’d made a mistake, and it was only a summer job, not a long-term career choice. But I learned that the impressive job, the most lucrative job — the job everyone else wants — is not necessarily the right job, and that from then on I had to listen to my internal voice.

Trend watching: I’m watching the incredible growth and change in the way consumers of all walks of life use their smartphones and other mobile devices. They affect how we do everything — communicate, socialize, digest content, shop, engage with brands. It affects Nutrisystem in a number of ways: First, we have to be mindful of how people watch television — where we place ads — with the mobile device in hand. Everything we do is becoming device-responsive and mobile-first, and integrated as much as possible for context. Second, the shopping experience on a tiny screen is so different from on a desktop, and we’re on a never-ending quest to make things simpler, with less friction. Third, apps, trackers, content sites, social media — all used primarily on mobile devices — afford us much more opportunity to have an ongoing conversation with our customers and to understand them so that we can deliver better service and experiences.

Marketing staff must-have: Consumer and customer focus. We have to care about customers and truly want to help them. [Also:] the drive to do better today than we did yesterday, and then to get up and do it again tomorrow; passion and work ethic; constant curiosity; a willingness to jump in and help a teammate; sense of humor — about yourself, the job, and life.

Advice to young marketers: Work with people who you’ll learn from, and focus on learning more than on achieving at the beginning of your journey. Always work at something that really interests you — something that intrigues you.

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