“Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

“That quote pretty much sums up Ani Matson, who until recently was the CMO at NEA Member Benefits. Ani had the courage to rethink marketing in the context of the entire customer experience versus short term expedience. And I’m not being melodramatic. Consider for a moment that prior to taking the reigns, NEA Member Benefits sent new customers over 50 separate pieces of communications, offering a wide range of products and services. While this approach allowed the company to achieve its marketing goals it ultimately had a deleterious impact on perceptions of the brand and response rates. After considerable study and consen- sus building, Ani and her team reduced the number of new member communications to six touches. The results were staggering – a 20% increase in participation and significantly improved customer satisfaction ratings. Less turned out to be more. And while The CMO Club recognized Ani with its Officer’s Award, I think next year they need a new category, Most Courageous and here’s the first nominee!” Drew Neisser – Originally appeared on TheDrewBlog.com

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