Suruchi Sharma (Zscaler) - Reach, Relevance, ROI

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This is a podcast episode titled, Suruchi Sharma (Zscaler) - Reach, Relevance, ROI. The summary for this episode is: <p>Ajay and Vincent chat with Suruchi Sharma, Director of Marketing at Zscaler. She talks about the regional concern over secured privacy when it comes to marketing in multiple countries. Ajay returns from a trip to Puerto Rico, and Vincent needs to practice studying geography.</p>
Episode Intro
00:36 MIN
Zscalier, and Suruchi's role there
01:23 MIN
The challenges in approaching consumer privacy
01:28 MIN
Channels Suruchi loves to use, and that are working well for Zscaler
02:04 MIN
Be curious, and always be learning
00:38 MIN
Fostering an inclusive environment
02:40 MIN
How Suruchi stays motivated
01:15 MIN
Advice to digital marketers
00:52 MIN

Speaker 1: Big data has gotten too big. Whether you're a B2B marketer or a consumer brand, your data needs to be viable, relevant, and accessible so that Stirista can help you retain customers, acquire customers, and make it personal.

Vin: Welcome to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Vin, the associate producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market. We'll have a little funnel along the way. In today's episode, Ajay and Vincent chat with Suruchi Sharma, director of marketing at Zscaler. She talks about the regional concern over secured privacy when it comes to marketing in multiple countries. Ajay returns from a trip to Puerto Rico, and Vincent needs to practice studying geography. Give it a listen.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's The Marketing Stir. I am your well- lit host, Vincent Pietrafesa, the vice president of B2B products and partnerships here at Stirista. It is so great talking to you. Oh, my goodness. I felt like it's been a long time because there was a little break, right? We took a little break over the summer, and we know throughout our best stuffs. A lot of people go on vacation, but we're back, I believe. I hope we're back. You guys are listening still. We love you. So, it's been great. Ladies and gentlemen, let's pause for a second. Talk about Stirista. It's the only time I'll talk about the company. Stirista, we are a marketing technology company. We own our own business- to- business data, business- to- consumer data. We help customers utilize that data to get new customers through our technology. We have our own DSP called AdStir, Connected TV, Display, OTT. Email me vincent @ stirista. com. That is how confident I am. I just gave you my email address. To all our listeners, the other thing I am confident, not thing, person I'm confident in is our CEO. He is my co- host, ladies and gentlemen, fresh off of, seems like, six vacations. It's only one week, but I feel like he's traveling the world. This guy, ladies and gentlemen, Ajay Gupta. What's going on, Ajay?

Ajay Gupta: Hey, Vincent. I am indeed back from vacation to Puerto Rico.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I love it. This is your second. Yes. And before that we talked in the podcast, you were in Montana on horseback or something. I don't know what you were doing. Maybe, you weren't on horseback. I made that up, but you were certainly in Montana and...

Ajay Gupta: Close, Wyoming.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Wyoming. It's the same thing, right? Isn't it the same Wyoming? No?

Ajay Gupta: Close enough. Close enough.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Close? Yeah, the same thing. I think Wyoming, I think Montana, there's mountains. There's planes. Watch, I'll get so much hate email from people saying we're not the same. It's-

Ajay Gupta: Yeah. All of our listeners in Wyoming and Montana are offended now.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, big population of our listeners in Montana. Well, maybe we will now because it'll create a buzz. Who knows? But back in Puerto Rico now, is this your first time in Puerto Rico after that conference? Did you just go to that conference a few months ago and were like," I love this place"?

Ajay Gupta: Yeah, no, you're right. So, I was there for basically two days for the conference and didn't really do a whole lot other than stay at the hotel, but I did think it would be a nice place to go back to. And then I discovered there's a direct flight from Austin, so that's kind of...

Vincent Pietrafesa: Nice.

Ajay Gupta: We try to pick things that are convenient to get to.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. For me, you can't travel with kids more than... The six- hour flight's the longest. I'll do five- hour. That's when we do to Mexico. That's it. No changeover. What? Are you crazy? I'm doing a changeover. No way, but everything good. You enjoy you're well rested. Just ready to the rest of the year.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah. Yeah. Unfortunately, I'm vacationed out here, so it's going to be from here at least till Thanksgiving or so. Nonstop work here.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Exactly. Also, we may see you in October. October is advertising week.

Ajay Gupta: That's right.

Vincent Pietrafesa: We're still have a nice presence there. September, Stirista is going to do comedy and cocktails. Well, we're sponsoring it, but it's through the marketing club in New York hosted by yours truly, so that should be fun. So, maybe, we'll see you in September as well here in New York. We love having you up here, and we love having amazing guests on the podcast. See what I did there, people, I'm getting so good at this hosting thing, if I do say so, myself. We have an amazing guest. Thank you so much for listening. I'm so happy to introduce this next guest because I love her perspective. We're digging into digital marketing. We're talking to a company. We're talking to Zscaler Zscaler, ladies and gentlemen, if you don't know who they are, you'll get to know them. Please give a warm Marketing Stir welcome to the director of digital marketing at Zscaler, Suruchi Sharma. What's going on, Suruchi?

Suruchi Sharma: Thank you for having me, Vincent. I'm super excited to record this episode with you.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Absolutely. We're so happy to have you. I love the background. Got the logo there, the purple. I still don't even know how to put up a background. I don't know. I just have this industrial thing, just like my leftover lunch in the background, but it's okay. The focus maybe is on me. I doubt it. I doubt it. Suruchi, it is so good to see you again. It's so good to talk to you again. Let's get right into it because I'm very fascinated with Zscaler, and I'd love for you to talk about it. For those of the audience members who are listening, Zscaler, tell us about the organization and then talk to us about your role specifically within the organization.

Suruchi Sharma: Absolutely. So, Zscaler is the creator of the Zero Trust Exchange platform. So, at Zscaler, I would say security means much more than protection from threats. So, I won't get into the technical jargon, so simply put Zscaler exists to create a world in which the exchange of information is always secure and seamless. So, my role here, I'm the director of digital marketing, as you said, and through global digital programs, which include SEO, SEM, paid digital, social, to name a few. My team's goal is to build awareness and generate demand for the business.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Very nice. Very nice. Suruchi, talk to us about what is a stable question we'd love to ask on the marketing store. How did you get into this business? How did you get into marketing specifically?

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah, so I started my career as a software engineer. I joined Fidelity after graduating from engineering. And funny enough, my first project was to build software applications to identify which marketing campaigns were working well. So, I got so intrigued by the why I was doing what I was doing, and I would spend a lot of time understanding the business applications of what I was building. And fast forward, I did my MBA, got hired by Google, straight out of campus, and now I'm pursuing digital marketing and advertising.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's a nice run. I love it. I love it.

Ajay Gupta: And what made you switch from engineering to marketing?

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah, so really at my business school, I actually did a mix of information, technology and marketing. I think one of the biggest aspects, which I loved about marketing, especially digital was the measurability, right? So you cannot appeal to both the left and right side of my brain. So, I thought then I got the opportunity to join Google, which again, opened up the floodgates of what digital marketing and advertising could offer. So, I think it pleases my left brain, which is more logical engineering, but also the creative aspect of it. Both. Yeah, I'm getting through digital.

Ajay Gupta: You've worked at some pretty big companies and great roles. Which one of your experiences do you feel has played a important role in your career?

Suruchi Sharma: I would say two. So, of course, starting with Google. Google was literally the launchpad of my additional marketing career. I never imagined myself as a marketer. Think of me as an engineer, I would was very introvert. So, digital marketing, like I said, appeal to both the left and side and right side of my brain, and I haven't looked back since then. So, Google was really the perfect door opener for me. The second most pivotal experience was joining Zscaler. So, I got the opportunity to build this function from ground up. And when I joined, we were 300, 400 employees. And today, we are close to 5, 000 employees. During seven and a half years, I've worn many, many hats, and it's been amazing. And also the leadership, the trust and belief they showed in me in the last several years, it has been so great. I always feel encouraged to give my best work.

Vincent Pietrafesa: No, that's amazing, Suruchi. I want to talk about... You mentioned security. Think about security. Think about privacy. I want to talk to you about, what do you think the primary concern these days is while navigating the data landscape? What are some of the challenges to approaching consumer privacy? We love talking about that on the podcast.

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah. That's a great question because I know targeted advertising, it definitely faces an uncertain future with privacy concerns on the forefront. I think the data laws, they vary by region, by country, so it further adds to the complexity. So, several countries in Europe, as you know, right, Germany, it requires a double opt- in, so marketers should be aware when you're advertising in those countries. We'll always have the digital ecosystem has to evolve in a privacy controlled manner, so the value of first- party data is going to be immense. We should start increased reliance on the first- party data, so something which I'm actively working on here as well. So, I would say a few guiding principles for the marketers, know your data, understand your sources really well, where are different channels coming together and giving you that data, but of course, understand your regional nuances and work with your legal team. They are my best friends. If I have any issues, I would just talk to them," Hey, is this a good campaign to run in, say, Germany or in any European country?" So get their blessing. And of course, integrate your data across other functions, right, your CRM, your web analytics, other sources. Make sure they're integrated talking to each other to drive the best value. Especially if there are hand- raisers anywhere you want to make sure you provide that seamless experience, you're reaching out to them with the right message at the right time.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I love that information. A lot of people are always concerned about security and privacy, so that has been a huge topic in the marketing world, the data world, and on the podcast as well. So, thanks for sharing that with us. Suruchi, the second step back there. You talked about your role as digital marketing and demand generation wearing a lot of different hats. Talk to us about some of the channels that you love that it's working for Zscaler, what's not? It's The Marketing Stir, people love hearing that.

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah. I can probably spend an entire day on this question, but as you know, digital channels are critical across the entire purchase funnel. I think that's something which we, as digital marketers, need to enforce. They're not just door openers. They're not just top of funnel. So, especially since the pandemic began, the importance of engaging audiences through digital media has only gone up. We are engaging through digital. So, we use a full- funnel strategy in order to build seamless experiences. And for us, LinkedIn, Google, YouTube are the top three challenge, which we leverage. Of course, they give us the ability to target audiences based on interest, based on their intent, firmographic data, buying stage and variety of other key signals. So, we have been constantly evolving and testing our digital media makes to align better with our audiences. One of the surprising elements which we saw, like Connected TV video, it's doing really well. So I'll give you an example, right? For audiences who have no idea about what Zscaler does, engaging them through short videos, it has been the best performing channel, so that builds awareness. And at the same time, that condensed message it appeals. And as the users are progressing down the funnel, we are engaging them with a more one- on- one approaches. So, it could be through some meeting maker, engagements, architecture workshops. They do great for us. So, we spend a lot of time thinking about the user journey where different channels plugin and, like I was mentioning, increased our investments in video ads and Connected TV. So customer stories, as an example, they work really well. We are leveraging a variety of video formats, like six- second bumpers on YouTube. They're super great for reach and also for building that awareness, also audio channels and this place, just we want to make sure we bring those authentic stories to life, and our target audiences, they respond very well to customer stories.

Ajay Gupta: And you clearly have a very unique background for somebody in marketing. So, how do you think your approach to marketing sets you apart and how do you approach it differently than others?

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah, so I'd say we focus very heavily on content and creative. In order to do that right, you need to start with your audience and not with what you want to say. I think that's the biggest mistake, which especially startups early on they make. They want to talk about themselves. The biggest determinant off effective marketing is always your audience. So, always remember that. A frequent mistake, like I said, B2B organizations, to me, is educating the buyers on their own company, product, or service. And to be honest, the buyer is not ready for that. They're just beginning to understand the problem. So, focusing on their pain points, their needs and interests of the audience, that's the key. So, I would say, if you're not targeting your audience with the right message, your promotions advertisements are likely going to fail and they will be falling on deaf ears. So, spend time on your creative. I really think good creative is good for business. And of course, content is the key to it. I know I talked a lot, but to give a little bit of structure to what I said, whenever we are building a marketing campaign, we just look at the three Rs starting off with reach. So, is this channel good enough to reach my audience effectively? Second is your relevance, is the message I'm going to put out there. Will that resonate with my audiences? And of course, once your campaign is in market, one very key thing is attribution and determining the third R, which is the ROI, right? So, you need to plug in that data back into your future campaigns to do a job well. So, yeah, that's what I have to share.

Ajay Gupta: Great. As a audience data company, we certainly appreciate that insight. What do you think is an important personality, trait, or strength for somebody who's just starting in your industry or wants to get in it?

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah, I think that's a great question. I always look for people who are curious. So, because additional world is changing so rapidly and it's constantly changing, you have so much to learn and sharpen your skills. I think curiosity is super critical. As you would know, there's new ads, new formats. There's new channels. There's no... That's why anytime soon, so there would be more innovations coming to the market. And of course, on top of it, the privacy laws, they make our work extremely complex, so you need to be curious. You need to be constantly learning about the changing landscape and always be learning.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Suruchi, I know you just from talking to you and seeing stuff that you've had on LinkedIn, that you're an advocate for women in STEM. I want to talk to you about how Zscaler fosters an inclusive environment.

Suruchi Sharma: So, at Zscaler, we do attract, engage, and develop talented people from a variety of different backgrounds, experiences, and thinking. So, I would say our culture offers an inclusive and supportive environment for women to engage in advance through their careers. I, in fact, lead an ERG called WIZE, which stands for Women In Zscaler Engage. So, we have 600- plus members and we are growing super fast. So, through WIZE, we run several awareness and enrichment initiatives. There are professional development, speaking engagement, speaker series, and we are fostering new networking opportunities, both within an external to Zscaler. So, overall, I believe having an ERG would supports different groups. It really helps.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Let's go back to you deciding to work at Zscaler. What was that? What influenced you? Certainly, Zscaler, huge company. Coming from Google, really big company as well. So, what influenced you to join the Zscaler team?

Suruchi Sharma: There actually three prime reasons, and I'm grateful that Zscaler introduced me to the startup world. We were, as I said right, 300 employees and I'm forever grateful for that. So, primarily, the very first reason was the bold vision. So, I've always worked for mission- driven companies and Zscaler was fundamentally changing how security was done. We had really huge legacy vendors out there, but to do security in the cloud, you need a new approach, a new architecture, and which only Zscaler has. I can, for sure, tell you that legacy vendors cannot live up to that, so that bold vision was very appealing. And secondly, sounds cliche, but the people, they're very, very important. So, every single person I met during the interview process was highly driven and nothing but great things to say about the company, the leadership. And of course, I mean, you want to be surrounded by people who are going to lift you, elevate you to be the best version and, at that point, became a no brainer. And thirdly, of course, the opportunity was unparalleled. The technology is transformational. Like I said, we don't have any real competition. I'm not marketing here, but that's the fact, and it makes your life as a marketer very easy if you believe in the products and the tech that you are marketing for. And also, from the opportunity perspective itself, there was a lot of autonomy in the role, which I always enjoy.

Ajay Gupta: So, fast forward, seven years, you've been here. What's kind of new and exciting that's coming for the company?

Suruchi Sharma: So, we recently had our annual global user conference called Zenith Live in which we announce new innovations. There's so many new product innovations, which came into the market, especially around data protection. So, we are in this hybrid world. So, data protection is super critical. Also, data protection with simplified management and also better user experience, that's something which we are very heavily focused on. Another set of innovations we announced were around making your cloud workloads more secure and easy to manage. So, those two are the big ones, data protection and making your cloud loads secure and easy. So, those two are the big ones and I can definitely spend an entire day learning more about them, so you can read more about Zenith Live and new innovations on our website as well.

Ajay Gupta: So, speaking of the website, one of the things that our producers learned was that your data centers and offices are a 100% renewable energy. So tell us a little bit more about that and how that came to be.

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah. I think when you talk about the technology itself, it's really architecture. It really matters. The way Zscaler has been built, the way the technology is clean, and we make sure it's only possible through a solution like Zscaler, where through the architecture is cloud native and it's environmentally sustainable. So, we have roughly 5, 150- plus data centers across the globe, and they run on a 100% renewable air energy. So, we launched a huge initiative around November 2021, where we wanted to move towards a 100% renewable energy footprint, so the data centers which we chose and we enhanced them to make sure we are environmentally sustainable.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Suruchi, I want to talk a little bit about your career thus far. We touched upon it and we talked about some characteristics. We talked about the experience, but what do you think has been one of the biggest learnings of your career inaudible or big realization, something that you thought was easy was harder than you thought and vice versa?

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah. I think when you are working in environments, which are constantly changing, I think one of my biggest learnings was never be complacent. The environment around you is always changing. So, stay ahead of the curve where you are best foot forward in a way that you are learning. You're learning from everyone, right? Since we are senior management, of course, the people who work with you on your team. So that day- one mentality, it has always helped me. Again, my CEO at Zscaler, he shares that a lot, that successes it's never owned. It's always rented and the rent is due every single day. That is a constant reminder for me to make sure I'm not complacent. I'm always learning. That's the biggest learning which I can share.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yep. My CEO does the same thing to me, keeps me on my toes. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ajay Gupta, he always keeps me on my toes. Don't get complacent. No, no. He's very motivating is I say that truthfully. So, Suruchi, let's talk about that conference. A lot of people also want to know people getting back to conferences what's happening. What are people doing? Was that virtual? Was that live? Do you do more of those? Was that open to the public? What's the plan?

Suruchi Sharma: That was, in fact, our first time. In the last two years, we went public that was an in- person conference with folks joining us from around the globe. So, we actually had one in Las Vegas, and there were two others that are happening. One is happening in EPJ this week, I think August 5th. We also had a version in AMIA. We wanted to bring our customers back together. The teams back together, and it was amazing to see the level of engagement and excitement. So, yeah, we are moving. We still would have a few virtual sessions and new roadshows, et cetera, but it could be a combination of both in person and virtual at this point.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Those are available to the public. It's not just a customer event. These are current customers, potential customers.

Suruchi Sharma: Absolutely.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And that's right on the Zscaler website.

Suruchi Sharma: They're on- demand sessions available, so people can go to a website. It's actually one of the top things you will see on the website on our home page. So, you can read about on- demand sessions, exciting customer stories. It's like lot of learning you can see on the website.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I noticed that Las Vegas conferences, you got to have all your meetings that first day. That's it. You have all their meetings that first day. And then, the next few days are just maybe a casual meeting here and there, but Vegas does that to you, but no, I'm glad that you were back.

Ajay Gupta: One of our staple questions is regarding LinkedIn. So, what are some of the messages that you like receiving and more importantly, what are some of the ones that you really dislike?

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah, again, we all get inundated by those emails and LinkedIn messages. So, for me, a message that is authentic, personalized talks to my pain points and mainly like how I can do my job better. It always rings a well. And especially when backed by data, like I said, that left side of brain that needs to feel good as well. The messages which show that lack of thought or research, I think they really throw me off. I'll share you a video of an example. So, the other day I received a connection request on LinkedIn and the message said," We both breathe oxygen, so let's connect." What more can I say? Probably, that is not going to happen.

Ajay Gupta: That's a good one. I have not heard of that.

Vincent Pietrafesa: No.

Suruchi Sharma: I think that we need to be connected to every single person on the world, if that's the criteria.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I love it.

Ajay Gupta: One of the aspect of this show is also getting to know you at a personal level. So, tell us a little bit about what some of your hobbies are, outside of work and what do you do for fun?

Suruchi Sharma: Sure. So, I'm a painter and painting has been a hobby that has stayed with me since childhood. I do all sorts of painting. You name it, oil painting, acrylic, water based, to name a few. I really think painting helps me stay centered. It's a great stress buster. If you have not tried it and above all, it keeps your creative juices flowing. And also, of course, outside of work, I'm a huge prominent of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. DEI is at the heart of everything we do. So, like I mentioned, I do lead Women in Zscaler Engage and ERG, right? That's working for fostering and inclusive environment for women. So that is again a huge learning experience for me, which I enjoy.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Suruchi, have you been taking advantage of not that big craze out there you're in that bay area, that sourdough craze? Everyone's been jumping on that baking bread that's... You probably not because you're in that area and you're like," Why would I bake sourdough, and we have access to the best sourdough bread ever?"

Suruchi Sharma: Yes.

Vincent Pietrafesa: A lot of people have been doing that. I want to get back to your... I love that LinkedIn answer. That's the first, Ajay, where it's the oxygen. I wonder if I would accept that request and just say," All right, you got me. What's going on," and see, and then they probably try to sell me in three minutes, but then I would remove them, but yeah, that's a first. I like that.

Suruchi Sharma: Yeah. I think the fun part was we didn't have any mutual connections. On top of it, the profile picture, it was very animated. You had nothing. You couldn't even see a real person, so I got a little bit confused. I don't know. I'm in a security company. Definitely not up for phishing attacks out there. I think a little bit of color definitely made me smile." Huh? We both breathe oxygen. That's interesting."

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, exactly. I know that is a good one for me. I tell people on the podcast all the time, I say," You know, a little bit of flattery goes a long way with me," and so that's all. So just say something. It's funny. A lot of people now, they say they want to get guests on the podcast. A lot of those PR agencies, PR agencies, if you're listening, here's the way to do it. Just say you like the podcast. Start there first." Hey, I love listening to your podcast. I'd love to get my client on." That's all. See? Marketing, little things like that, little tricks of the trade.

Suruchi Sharma: It's amazing. Yeah. Sorry. It's great to see your audience is growing, which is awesome. Congratulations to both of you.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, we owe it to our marketing team, our guests, and just people. Now, speaking of conferences, I love it. When one or two people, it's usually that many. It's not like hundreds, not hundreds of people coming up to me at these conferences and saying they like the podcast. Our listeners, we love it. We try to offer some thought leadership, have great companies on great people. So, yeah, we appreciate that. So, Suruchi, you answered my question a little bit. Maybe, this painting, what gets you out of a rut? What keeps you excited? What keeps you motivated? As I mentioned before, my CEO motivates me. That's what happens there, but talk to us about what you like to do there, just to that advice for people just to," Hey, if I'm having a tough day," this happens.

Suruchi Sharma: I think we all do. Zoom fatigue is real. Sometimes, we need to take that break. That would be my advice. Self- evaluate, it's sometimes also really important to understand what got you in that work inaudible or reposition to begin with. So, focus on one thing at a time. Sometimes, I'm guilty of that as well with multiple things coming to you from all directions. I really try to remind myself that," Hey, focus on one thing at a time." I actually have that written on a posted in my office and that ruthless prioritization, they always take 15 minutes to start my day. I have my As and Bs and Cs in terms of priorities. And then I see, can I evaluate them every single day to make sure I don't get into that situation to begin with? So, yeah, take breaks, self- evaluate, spend time with yourself, go on a walk, take meetings, Zoom meetings on necessarily with camera on. Sometimes, you can just have a quick walk along with your meetings. There's actually couple of folks on my team and I'll tell them," Hey, let's make that a walk and talk kind of a meeting. I'll have my sneakers on and we can just go talk if we have nothing to present."

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, no, I like that idea. That's what I try to do. My most peaceful moments or when I'm actually walking to work, I live in Manhattan and I walk to work here, our New York City office. That's my time. That's the only time I usually get, because then I go home and I have a toddler and a five- year- old. I know you mentioned you have a young one and Ajay has young kids. So yeah, it's like," That's the only time I get. Is that walk?" When I'm going home, is that walk a little slower than normally? It is. I take my time. I find myself as a parent. My wife's like," Can you go food shopping?" I'm back. Normally, it would take me 13 minutes. I'm back in an hour and a half. That's just little moments there. I do that for myself. But anyway, yeah, I can spend a whole podcast on that.

Suruchi Sharma: I can tell you definitely. Yes, and it's so important. Plus, there are times when I would just turn my Do Not Disturb on my phone, I don't want to look at my device. That's my walking time. If it's just my own self- evaluation time or I'm taking a break, I would not look at my screen. So I'll do that in a very disciplined manner. I try, but of course, I think that really helps.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Absolutely. And final thoughts? We were coming to the end here. You gave great advice. Final thoughts, Suruchi, on Zscaler, security, life, anything? We're listening.

Suruchi Sharma: Awesome. So, for all the digital marketers out there for things I want to share, of course, think about the full- funnel strategy. Like I said, digital advertising is not just for the top of funnel, but use it to... It's critical across the entire purchase funnel. Second, top- performing brands are agile across the digital mix, so quickly test and adopt. We have been doing that since the past several quarters. So, as new channels were coming in, it has been a huge, huge benefit for us to say," Hey, these new channels are extremely great like Connected TV. So why not shift the media mix there?" And thirdly, of course the top- performing brands are going to be leaders in video. So, take advantage of the ongoing boom in media consumption. And lastly, let data be your YODA. Automate wherever you plan. Let data be your guide.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I love it. I love it. I could not agree more. I find, like you said, Connected TV, in the industry, we're seeing it here at Stirista where those business executives are home. So, we're seeing an increase in that on the B2B side, so I love hearing that and you just put in a stamp on that, because business executives are home. I'm at the office, but a lot of them are at home when they're watching different streaming services. I'm noticing in that a lot more. We've been seeing an increase in that. So, we appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Ladies and gentlemen, that is Suruchi Sharma. She's the director digital marketing at Zscaler. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa. That's Ajay Gupta, the well- traveled Ajay Gupta. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll talk to you soon.

Vin: Thanks for listening to The Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista. Please like great and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, please email us at themarketingstir@ stirista. com, and thanks for listening.


Ajay and Vincent chat with Suruchi Sharma, Director of Marketing at Zscaler. She talks about the regional concern over secured privacy when it comes to marketing in multiple countries. Ajay returns from a trip to Puerto Rico, and Vincent needs to practice studying geography.

Today's Host

Guest Thumbnail

Vincent Pietrafesa

|Vice President, B2B Products, Stirista
Guest Thumbnail

Ajay Gupta

|Founder & CEO, Stirista

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Suruchi Sharma

|Director, Digital Marketing
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