• CMO Q&A Priya Rajan, VP and Head of Marketing, DataVisor
  • CMO Q&A Priya Rajan, VP and Head of Marketing, DataVisor

    Priya Rajan, VP and Head of Marketing at DataVisor the machine learning security specialists.

    Priya Rajan, VP and Head of Marketing, DataVisor takes the TechMarketers CMO Q&A

    Which company do you work for?


    What is your role?

    VP and Head of Marketing

    Where are you based?

    Mountain View, USA

    Where were you born and raised and where do you live now?

    I was born and raised in India. I now currently live in California's Silicon Valley

    How did you enter the technology sector?

    After I completed my master's degree in decision and information sciences, I joined financial services provider VISA in their automation engineering group where I was responsible for developing software.

    How did you begin a career in marketing?

    I began my career in marketing after my MBA from UC Berkeley

    Priya Rajan, VP and Head of Marketing, DataVisor

    What aspect of marketing doesn't get enough attention?

    It seems that in the technology sector the brand side of marketing does not get enough attention. There is a common misconception that if the technology is great then the product will sell itself. However, often that is untrue. A business buyer is no different from any other buyer or consumer. The same human motivations influence their buying decisions, making the strength of the brand just as essential as product.  

    What would you say is your greatest strength?

    I would say that seeing the big picture is my greatest strength. As a marketer, I deem this critical to my success. Connecting the dots and driving towards a broader vision of the product of a company is the ultimate goal of any marketer, especially one in technology. 

    What would you say is your biggest weakness?

    That's always a hard one to answer. Probably that as I was a software engineer in my previous life, I can understand the needs of that side of the house as much as I see the needs of marketing. This however can lead me down a rabbit hole knowing the push and pulls of both teams. It is important I stay with my marketing cap on and drive home goals. 

    Which marketing technology or other tools do you rely on in your job?

    I am a big believer in the usage of technology in marketing and will use it whenever I can, such as marketing automation, reporting, and integration tools, social listening platforms and other interactive measuring platforms that help us produce at our maximum level.  

    Is it hard to balance work and your personal life?

    It is actually not hard for me. I live by the motto of: ‘If you enjoy the work you do, it no longer feels like work'. That is why I choose to work for companies that believe strongly in company culture as much as they believe in producing amazing products. 

    What is the most frustrating aspect of working in marketing in the tech sector?

    The most frustrating thing in the technology sector is the noise. The widespread exposure to information makes it a constant creative battle to continue to push your best efforts forward. But rest assured, if you are doing great marketing, it will be copied by your competitors. The struggle is constantly raising the bar and redrawing boundaries to keep competitive differentiation. Although, I would also say that this is one of the more exciting aspects of our industry as well. We are consistently having to ask ourselves how we can better our efforts!

    Is there an over-reliance on metrics and KPIs in the job today?

    No. I think every job should have a measurable component that can be benchmarked and improved upon. 

    What is the most exciting aspect of the role?

    The most exciting part of a marketing role is the creativity. Having been left brained during my software engineering days, I enjoy being right brained and influencing people and connecting emotionally.

    How has the job changed in your time?

    The role of the chief marketing officer (CMO) has evolved over time but I would say it's coming full circle. Decades ago, the CMO was a role held for consumer centric brands with a heavy emphasis on traditional advertising. The emergence of the digital economy and the change to a more data driven marketing approach caused a loss in the emotional connection with the buyer, hence upending the traditional role of the CMO. Now CMOs, including tech CMOs, understand that data is only part of the marketing strategy. Branding and the need to connect to end users is equally important. This is what I mean when I say we are coming full circle. If we started only caring about our emotional connection with the buyer, then hyper focused on data points, we see CMOs today connecting back to the consumer now with the added layer of such data driven strategies. 

    And what still needs to change?

    Marketing needs marketing. Especially with tech CMOs, most of whom, including myself, come from a technology background. The traditional view of marketing, such as bait and switch or over promise and under deliver simply do not work in this industry. Tech CMOs rely on quantifiable value and credible customer stories to build the brand and establish credibility. Tech CMO's should hold strategic roles in defining the brand of the company by creating value rather than just demand generation that is based on cold calling and spam emails.

    On a scale of 1 (very negative) to 10 (very positive) how would you rate the relationship between the CEO and marketing in the technology sector?

    8. Most technology CEOs today appreciate the marketing function and the importance of marketing in creating and communicating clear differentiation.

    How do you occupy your time outside work?

    I enjoy being outdoors and will use any excuse I can to get outside. Living in sunny California, I count myself very lucky to do just that. In my spare time, hiking and biking are avid loves of mine as is enjoying a delicious glass of wine from our beautiful wine country. 

    What is your favourite sport and sports team?

    I love tennis, there aren't any teams in this sport, but I have my favorite champions. 

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