MKG Marketing MKG Marketing Logo Quotation Marks
Podcasts > Tea Time With Tech Marketing Leaders


Kerry Guard • Tuesday, November 23, 2021 • 47 minutes to listen

Subscribe to the Podcast or listen on...

Spotify iTunes Anchor

Join our weekly newsletter

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.

Genefa Murphy

Genefa Murphy is currently the CMO at Five9.



Hello, I'm Kerry Guard and welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders

Welcome back to season nine. And I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Joshua Kanter, Tracy Hansen, Diana Morante, Marguerite Yeo. So many great people have been in the season. And this is the last episode of season nine. What a great season, and what a way to finish the show.

This is my conversation with Genefa Murphy, CMO at Five9. Fire, fire. Genefa is on fire from her background, to her energy, to how she built and lead teams, she has developed a framework called FIRE, F-I-R-E, and we walk through what this framework is, and how it has helped her build brands such as Five9. There's so much energy in this, we're both on our feet, and we're just firing back and forth. And what a way to end not only the season, but the year and to launch ourselves into 2022 and where things are going and how we want to show up. This is the perfect season finale. And I'm so thankful you're here to listen. So let's do just that.


Kerry Guard: Genefa, thank you for joining me on Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

Genefa Murphy: Thank you for having me. So glad to be here.

Kerry Guard: I'm so excited to have you. And we're riding the energy of our conversation into this. So this is going to be firing. I love it. We're standing -

Genefa Murphy: We’re standing, we’re ready to go.

Kerry Guard: It’s gonna be awesome. So hang on listeners and get ready for a wild ride. Genefa, before we get into the bulk of our conversation, the crux of our conversation today, what's going to lead there so nicely is your story. So why don't you tell us your story? What do you do? And how did you get there?

Genefa Murphy: Sure. So right now, I am the Chief Marketing Officer for Five9, which is a provider of the intelligent cloud contact center. So essentially, we help customers, we power great customer experiences. So we provide contact center software to help customers engage with their customers.

How I got here was probably a little bit of a different path to CMO than maybe some others. So I think if I go way back, it started with my PhD. So I did my doctorate in technology adoption. And so my doctorate was actually an intersection between multiple different things. It was looking at computer science, it was looking at psychology, sociology, and essentially what makes people adopt new technologies. And I did a practical implementation as part of that with an airline looking at adoption of online self service check in and self service checking kiosks. And I took that, I then went into being a consultant. So I worked with companies to do SAP implementations of all things, and help them essentially take their manual processes, and automate them as part of larger scale SAP implementations from consulting, I started to get into software products. And then I became a product manager. And so I was working with HP, working for HP. And so I spent a few years actually being a product manager and building products and looking at future direction. And from there, I got into marketing, because as a product manager, I was like, oh, yeah, I can do that marketing thing. That seems interesting. And I was always having these great conversations with you know, my marketing team. And I was like, Well, why don't I go and see if I can do it. Why don't I go learn? And so yes, so I went into product marketing first then partner marketing and then evolved into you know, what people spitting so looking at brand and demand gen. And yeah, eventually ended up sort of taking on all parts of marketing and in my last role, I owned marketing and enablement as well. So that gave me a really wide scope. And yeah, and now here I am, at Five9. So after 15 years or so in enterprise IT, I moved over to a different field to try something new and learn a new space.

Kerry Guard: How's that journey been for you in learning that new space? Has it been pretty easy?

Genefa Murphy: It's been great. I mean, the reason why I came to Five9 outside of just the amazing culture and conversations I had as part of the interview process was because customer experience is what we do. Customer experience is something that, you know, I think everyone can relate to because it's very personal. It's a very human thing. You know, I mean, everybody has had to go through, most of the time you remember a bad customer experience, you don't always remember the good ones. They feel a little bit few and far between. But no, it's been a great adventure, obviously, you know, learning the new space, learning a whole new bunch of three letter acronyms. And you know, getting to know all the different technologies and personas. But it's been great. It's been, you know, always learning. And yeah, just trying to lean in really?

Kerry Guard: I don’t know about product marketers, but us marketers do love our acronyms.

Genefa Murphy: Yes, yeah, there are lots of three letter acronyms actually. And yeah, they come up, they end up being some quite amusing combinations. That's what you always have to do. Whenever you come up with a great name for something like a product or some sort of framework or a campaign. It's like, what's the three letter or four letter acronym going to be? Because otherwise, you can end up saying something that might sound a little bit silly.

Kerry Guard: It's so true. I love it. Well, thank you for sharing your journey with us. And that's gonna lead beautifully in our conversation. But before we get there, I do want to know, as a people-first company ourselves, it is nice to just hear from each other on how we're all doing. And you know, in terms of your current role, what's one challenge you're currently facing?

Genefa Murphy: I think for me, coming into an organization and sort of about five, six months in now to my role, there's always that desire to show immediate value, right? To get to know the team, to, you know, be able to sort of contribute back both as a leader and as an individual within the team as well. But at the same time, you've got to balance that with taking the time to step back and look at the longer term horizon planning, and what the team will need to be set up for success in the future. Especially as with Five9, we're scaling, you know, pretty rapidly, we've brought on hundreds of people, that company brought in hundreds of people last year, more people joining this year. And so for me, that's one of the challenges is how do I balance that immediate desire to jump in and get things done and deliver and show my value and show that I can contribute to the team with the need to actually just take a bit of time back and say, actually, you know, what, I need to block time in my calendar, to think about the longer strategy and I'm one of those people where, you know, I need to just have a bit of quiet time to be able to sit and think about all the different options and get the creative juices flowing. So that's one challenge that, you know, I deal with on a daily basis, I will say.

Some time ago, I actually did something called the executive transition lab that Deloitte does. And it's actually a great way for looking at them, they've got something called the four faces model. And essentially, it looks, it asks you to ask yourself the question, where do you spend your time? Right? What are the four phases of leadership? You know, are you being a catalyst? And are you enacting change? Are you being a steward, and you're sort of protecting and preserving what you're doing? You know, what the organization is doing? But you being a strategist? And looking at that future horizon? Or were you acting as an operator, and you're doing the sort of the here and now. And so for me, that's always a good framework to go back to to say, What am I prioritizing? Am I prioritizing being a steward for the team, being an operator, being a strategist, being a catalyst, and you have to do all four of those together, but where is my sort of priority?

Kerry Guard: And where's your priority right now? Which phase are you?

Genefa Murphy: I think right now, I would probably say it's being a catalyst, and sort of looking at how we can make some change happen. When I, you know, were talking about different acronyms, when I came into the org, you know, on day two, it was like, Hey, do an all hands and tell us what your 90 day plan was. I was like, well, that's not going to happen. But what I can tell you is that, you know, I look at it in three ways. And I put it down to three A's: Align, Amplify and Accelerate. I needed to ALIGN the team, AMPLIFY what we were doing, and then ACCELERATE some of the projects that are going to help us for that longer term horizon.

Kerry Guard: I love that. Write that down, everyone.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, it's just easy to remember. Three things and all begin with the same letter.

Kerry Guard: Stay focused, which is so hard to do these days, I find. One more book for you. I already mentioned this in our pre but the more you talk, the more I'm like you have to read The Marketing Rebellion. It's just everything you're talking about. It's just gonna align and just fire you up. It's gonna be amazing.

Genefa Murphy: I can't wait. Your last book recommendation, I've already recommended to multiple other people.

Kerry Guard: That’s amazing. Definitely check that out. In terms of where you are now and what you talk about this very eclectic background that you have, from psychology to product marketing to the IT side of what you have done. How does that come to the table today?

Genefa Murphy: So I think for me, like with anything in life, I think you have to look at things from other people's viewpoints. And so I think that's for me as a marketer, often, you know, you've got your external customers, they're your customers. But you've also got your internal customers, the product management team, engineering team, sales. Those are all your customers too, and having lifted some of their shoes, and having experienced their worlds, I think, for me, it just helps me to maybe have more empathy for where they're coming from. And also reminds me to, like, look at it from their point of view, you know, how are they seeing this challenge or this opportunity. And so I think that's just so important. And I think as marketing, I was actually interviewing some new people, potentially looking at joining the team. And now they were saying why marketing and of all the roles, it really is, I think, that central hub where you get to work with so many different teams and see different perspectives.

And so that's where I really leveraged my background. One is, you know, putting myself in the shoes of others, and looking at it from their perspective. And then also, I think, the diversity of having studied psychology, sociology, and multiple, non technical and non business disciplines, and then looking at how you can apply that to the business world, just to help you just helps you open up your mind, right. And just, you know, explore new creative opportunities. And it also gives you, as well, a really solid grounding. I mean, if you look at what are the factors, which, you know, impact technology adoption, a lot of the research, you know, that I did was based on research from maybe the 50s, or 60s, 70s, 80s, etc. But the fundamentals are still the same, right? People want something that's easy to use, they want something that's going to give them some form of relative advantage. Social influence is important. What do important other people think about this technology or this activity, and they want something that's going to be performance that's going to help them you know, to deliver.

Kerry Guard: The psychology piece is so interesting to me, because I feel like I learned that lesson so late. It was a really hard lesson.

Genefa Murphy: It isn't. And I think, you know, when you're in business, you do all these different tests about personality and what influences people. But if you just really take the time to actually look at the fundamentals and the frameworks behind that, it's really important because it's human nature. And I think just understanding that, and to your point, right about being more human. I think that's more of what we need. And quite frankly, I think it's more of what people expect from companies these days.

Kerry Guard: I totally agree. And it is a people to people connection. I think even internally though, a lot of what you're talking about from the psychology piece is not just understanding your customer, yes to that. I think we're taught that it's such a, you know, in marketing, I feel like that's one of the first things we're taught is to figure out what our market, what our customers want. But yeah, what's so interesting about a lot of what you said, is actually how you use the psychology piece more from an internal perspective of working with your team, and trying to figure out the dynamic there. And that was my initial hard lesson that I learned, I feel like really late, you feel like you got a leg up there. Because the minute you put yourself in those shoes of the people you're working with, like wow.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, it’s hard, right? Because, I mean, that's the beauty of diverse teams is that it brings diversity, different personalities, different ways of working. And as long as I think that the fundamentals of that person are, you know, come from a place of respect, and wanting to engage and wanting to collaborate, then it's great to bring different people together who communicate differently. I'm a very verbal person, I'm a very visual person, I think out loud. You know, there's other people in my team who are a lot more introverted, they take their time, and I love having those people on the team because, you know, they just think about things differently. They challenge you to just think about things differently as well. Which is, I think the great thing both internally and with your customers

Kerry Guard: That’s true. I love the way they ask questions, because they don't always give you an idea right away. But they ask the greatest questions.

Genefa Murphy: Yep. Yeah. Yeah. It's those moments of wisdom. You know, I often feel because, you know, I speak, I speak very fast. You know, and I'm quite a passionate person. So I get quite caught up in a subject sometimes, you know, I realize that my point might be getting lost. Whereas, you know, sometimes you've got those people who you just know that when they speak, there's going to be something, I don't know, profound that they're gonna say, and it's gonna be really impactful. And everyone's like, Oh, ha, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's impressive. And I try to learn from that and sort of say, How can I do that more? How can I think about that more? I think, yeah, I'm always amazed. I had a former manager, actually, he just had such a wonderful way of just being so calm and collected. And, you know, I always say, I won't say his name, but I do always tell him, Hey, I'm having one of one of my x moments, where I'm trying to channel him. And he's sort of a cool, calm, collected persona.

Kerry Guard: Yes, I have to sort of breathe, to remember that because I'm similar to you. I could chatterbox all day. But to take that moment to breathe. And say what question can I ask instead of making a statement? It's just a whole different mindset.

Genefa Murphy: Exactly. But I think at the same time, it is very important to make sure that you are being yourself, right? Because I think that being authentic is key. And if you try, I think you should learn from others, you can try and you know, sort of pick something up and go, Oh, yeah, I'm going to incorporate that into my repertoire. But at the same time, I think you have to be authentic, one of the best lessons I learned as a leader was with another manager, he was one of these managers that everybody loved, and everyone admired. And he was just such a nice guy. And, you know, I'm not saying I'm not a nice person, but my personality is different. I'm a little bit more, maybe blunt, I'm a little bit more, you know, I'm British at the end of the day, so I'm a little bit more sarcastic as well. And you know, and in my family, we just sort of, you know, we yell at each other, and we just tell it as it is. And, you know, one of the best lessons I learned was just to be me, right? Don't try to be someone else. You can learn from other people, and you should learn from other people, but be yourself. And when you do that, it's a very freeing thing.

Kerry Guard: It is, I love that, thank you for the reminder. It's so important, because it's easy to get caught up in trying to be whatever anybody needs you to be at that moment. And just being you.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah.

Kerry Guard: Let's talk about where, so in terms of where you are today, and all of these things you've done, which you talked about sociology and psychology, playing absolutely an important role to what you're doing today. What about some of the other disciplines? IT, product, how are those? What have you nitpicked from there and sort of brought to what you're doing now?

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, so I think from the IT side of the house, I mean, if you just look at marketing today, modern marketing, you know, there are thousands of marketing tools out there, right, all of them are using AI and automation. And there's just so many different tools at the hands of marketers at the moment. So I think from an IT perspective, you know, I've gone through and I've led digital transformations, and have to re-architect systems and, you know, decide which tooling to purchase versus which not to and what do the end to end flows look like? And I think all of that really, you know, helps me to look at how we can use technology in order to be able to scale what we need to do in marketing, right? I think and, and it's this interesting, dynamic, because I'm a big believer that, you know, I've got this thing called the Fire Framework that I've talked about, and the “E” in the Fire Framework is all about ENGAGEMENT and EXPERIENCE. And that's a lot of the time about creating personalization and creating brand intimacy. And often people, you know, associate the fact that if you automate something and you're leveraging technology to do things, you can't create as much intimacy as much of a human experience as possible. I actually think that the counter is true. I think you can use technology in order to help you to scale and to, you know, automate the routine things so that you can actually have your marketers using their capacity on the most complex problems of how do they create differentiated experiences? How do they create integrated campaigns? How do they create meaningful customer journeys? And so that's, I think the kbit side of the house helps me.

On the product side of the house, I look at marketing like a backlog, right? So one of the products that I used to be Product Manager for was around Agile software delivery, right? So how do you do Agile software delivery? So I look at things like an Agile backlog where you know, you put down all of the different items, all of the different user stories, you map them out, how long are each of them going to take, there's a line, if you move something above the line, then something either has to have been completed, or you know, you have to reprioritize something for the next sprint. And so I very much look at marketing from that perspective, especially when I'm trying to help my team to prioritize, and that's where you know that the “F” in the Fire Framework comes in, which is around FOCUS. Having focus, and focus means many different things. One of them is focus in terms of prioritization. The other one is focus in terms of making sure for example, you know, you've identified your ideal customer profiling your ICP, when you're a product manager, it's all about who is your ideal customer? And how do you build solutions in order to solve their problems? And so I think, you know, I just bring that through into the marketing side as well, because you need to know who your ideal customer is. So that you can tailor your campaigns based on geography, industry, company size, all the types of characteristics that you know, that that ideal customer profile is looking for.

Kerry Guard: Perfect. So actually, let's lead into the Fire Framework, because I have questions for “F” and “E”, but I'll go in order. Okay. So if “F” means Focus, which you just explained, and your ICP, which I totally agree with, do your ideal customer profile. For those who are listening, I'm assuming everybody knows what ICP is. But let's just for a second, for our listeners, just break that down. So that we're really clear because I think ideal customers can be really broad, like, B2B. Or it could be really specific and even a little too specific. So let's find that balance for people who are listening.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, so I said, your ideal customer profile, for me, is really looking at what is a good fit? Right, what does a good fit look like? And I think you need to look at multiple different characteristics. I think, you know, yes. Obviously, the broadest is, you know, B2B, B2C, and then you sort of start to narrow it down. Okay, well, what type of company size am I going after? Am I going after small to medium enterprises? Or am I going after large, you know, Fortune 1000? Then you can look at, for example, verticals and industries, are you, you know, does your product and does your solution cater to multiple different verticals? Or is there something specialized about your solution that would appeal to financial services or healthcare? Then I think looking at things like geography, right geography is key. Because then you start to think about translation, you start to think about language nuances, not just in terms of the actual language itself, but the types of words that you use. And then I think as well, then you need to look at company size, and you can look at company size by the number of employees, but you can look at it by revenue, articles, geographies, and then mapping all of that to your total addressable market. And also looking at things like your target account list. Because ideally, coming out of your ICP, you can go hey, here are the characteristics that are the best fit for my product or service. And then from that, I think creating a target account list and getting quite specific. In some cases, it depends, you know, where you are thinking about the terms of your company growth and size, etc. But looking at your total target account list, and also your total addressable market, and then just continuing to narrow it down.

Kerry Guard: I think in B2B, especially important these days, because when you get to the “E” part, that's gonna lend itself to the “F”, so we'll get there. Let's talk about the “I” then. So what's “I” stand for? You haven’t mentioned that yet.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, so “I” stands for INTENT, right. So if “F” is Focus, “I” is Intent. And as I mentioned before, you know, there are so many different tools and technologies out there right now. You know, and there’s so much data, I mean, data just rolls the day, especially in marketing. And intake data can vary, right? It can vary from downloads of white papers and case studies, through to page visits time spent on the page of your page or third party web traffic and keyword search analysis. And ultimately, what you're trying to do with intent is you're trying to connect, collect and connect all of the different signals that are coming in as early as possible in the buyer interest outside of what I call the initial sphere of influence, right, and that helps you I think, stay ahead of the game, because you can then target customers whilst they're still in their exploratory or research phase. And, you know, I think most people would agree, if you just look at your own buying behavior. I know, for me as a CMO, when I do purchasing, I'll go to the website, first, I'll go look at review sites, all go and, you know, maybe download a couple of white papers, and may or may not attend a webinar, and all of that information can come together. And I might go search on competitor sites as well. And all of that information, all those intent signals, I think they're just really useful to collect and connect, to be able to then say, Okay, here's either a prospect that's potentially interested, or you can even use intent as well to look at your existing customers and prevent churn. Because if you start to look at your existing customers, and they're looking at competitor sites, or maybe they're looking at an adjacency, you know, where you don't have a capability yet, but maybe you're thinking about building out that capability, then you can use it for existing customers as well.

Kerry Guard: Also for upselling, right? Once you have those existing customers trying to figure out how to engage them as well from turn and burn, but also, how else can you support them further, I think is something that tends to get overlooked.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, exactly. I think, I mean, as the saying goes, it's much easier to retain it or to retain a customer than it is to get a new one. There is such competition out there. I do think that switching costs, not dollar cost. But I think overall switching costs probably reduced, somewhat, depending on the industry that you're in. And so I think customers do feel they have more choice, and they do feel, especially with SaaS, that they can switch more easily. So I think that's just something to be aware of, but yeah, the upsell opportunity, 100% still there.

Kerry Guard: Do you feel like the intent for customers, I think you're bringing up a really interesting point of view, because I feel like the customer journey has toppled, or changed, or however you want to think about it from originally being very linear, buy it to now being like, don't sell me anything, make all your information as available as possible. And I'll let you know when I'm ready.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, it's interesting. Actually, I do. I mean, I think if you think about it, most customer journeys look like a big plate of spaghetti. You know, and I'll just look at, like, how I purchase. I mean, you know, like I said, I'll go online, I'll do reviews. And it's so interesting, I always find whenever you know, having come from an enablement background, and then being the purchaser, and then thinking about it from the customer's perspective as well. Sometimes when I get on demos with vendors, and they're trying to sell me their solutions, I can see myself being put through, like the selling stages of discovery and ask them this question and ask them that question. And, you know, sometimes it's like, by the time I come and speak to you, like I've done a lot of research. So I want to see your product in action, I want to see what the art of the possible actually is.

And so I think that's the other thing as well, is that I think, as marketers and as sellers, you have to adapt to that. And listen, it's not always the case, right? Sometimes people, again, go back to psychology, depending on how you purchase and how you think about things. Some people want to come to the demo, and they don't want to do any online research, but overriding the the research finds, as shown, I think in recent years, that one is that the virus journey is not linear anymore, that most people will do, you know, 60% or more of their research before they get to their purchasing decision. And three, that the sort of the sphere of influence of the buying committee has gotten much larger, right. So you don't just have to think about the initial person that you're selling or marketing to, you've got to think about all those other people who will be involved in the decision, be asked for an opinion etc. And those are just as important to market to as well as your ideal customer profiles. So go back to the ICP, you know, you've got your ideal customer profile, but think about who all of those other people are, sort of the next layer of influence, because they're probably going to start to get involved in the buying decision as well.

Kerry Guard: Yes, that's a trigger point. All right, “R”.

Genefa Murphy: Yes, “R” is all about ROI. So I think it was Gartner, they put a report out there, their annual CMO spend study. And it said that despite, you know, positive outlooks from CMOs, almost half of CMOs, I mean, it was 44%, were facing media budget cuts back in 2020, as a result of the pandemic, and 11% of them expected their budgets to face significant cuts of more than 15%, which is pretty significant. Now, I will say, coming into 2021. You know, I think depending on which industry you're in, I think, you know, some of that has bounced back, right. As you know, businesses have looked at business resiliency, and they've sort of weighed things out, and they're like, Hey, okay, yep, we can afford to put more money back into marketing. I think other areas are still facing reductions. And so I think ROI is always an important thing to look at, right? What is your return on investment, and I think, ROI as well really need to look at not just your dollar ROI, but also looking at broader KPIs, right. Because the thing is, I think, being able to get dollar ROI, hey, I spend $1, on this marketing activity. And this is how many dollars I get back and pipeline or revenue is great. But I do think given the increase in interest around brand empathy, around experience, and the importance of some of the softer KPIs around perception, and awareness, I think you can get your ROI in terms of some of those factors as well, is key. So extending your KPIs beyond the traditional, I'm not always a big fan of like, just pure leads, right? So extending it beyond the sort of the volume, and the velocity elements, but truly looking at the value and value from multiple different facets. So not just dollar value, but also awareness, sharing of voice, you know, social impact engagement, all of those different elements as well.

Kerry Guard: Will they trickle down to each other, right? So if you know the higher level metrics that you should be looking at, because if you just looked at ROI all day, then you can't make adjustments faster at the top, then influence that bottom.

Genefa Murphy: Exactly. Yeah, if you just look at, for example, if you're tracking ROI on revenue, it depends what your sales cycles are. I mean, if your sales cycles are three to six months or 12 months, then you're not going to be able to see the true ROI maybe until the end of the year. So I think you have to look at multiple different elements. But I think it is always important. And it goes back to I think just looking at, you know, what is the goal? What is the objective of what we're doing here? What are we trying to achieve? And I think the other thing as well is, you know, I'm a big believer in using data. But I think you have to balance qualitative and quantitative. So ROI is a great metric from a quantitative perspective to give you a baseline, but then I think you have to rely on some of the qualitative and tacit knowledge within your team in order to be able to really effectively make those decisions. And also, sometimes, Hey, you want to experiment and you experiment with something, and maybe you don't get a good ROI. But does it mean that that wasn't successful? No, maybe its success criteria was slightly, you know, it had a different objective, it had a different success metric to it. So I think ROI is important, just given the pure fact that, you know, budgets often can be shrinking, budgets are always tight. I don't know. I know very few marketers who are like, Yeah, I've got a budget, you know, or who would sort of turn down money from their CFO. So I think ROI is always important. It keeps you grounded. It makes sure that you are looking at the business impact, the dollar impact and are you putting your money in the right place? For the business, for the team, for the customer?

Kerry Guard: Absolutely. Okay, so, this feels out of order to me, but maybe, but you're gonna explain to me why or why not so easy at the end. Obviously, it's nice to have the acronym fire. Was it just because it made the word fire or is this the order of operations, is engagement after ROI?

Genefa Murphy: Well, I think to me, I think it's because sort of engagement is, it's a bit of an all encompassing one, right. And I think before you can truly think about how you engage with your customers, and how you create a great experience, I think you have to have done some of those other things, you have to have done your, you know, you base it with focus and defining your ICP and your target account list and your Tam, I think you need to look at all of the data right there and the intent and the signals that are broadly coming in. You need to look at okay, well, what budget do I have? And what can I afford to do? And where do I want to reprioritize? And then I think you can think about engagement? And what does an engagement truly mean? Because it goes back a little bit to the point about ICP, right? You could make your ideal customer profile really broad. But then how successful are you going to be? And it's the same with engagement. It's not just engagement. For engagement sake, I think it's more about the personalization, the experience and driving meaningful engagements. Right, because those, I think, are what are going to help you outperform. And so that's why it came last because I think it's like engagement is something you always want to do, you always want to be engaging with your customers. But you've got to figure out who are the right customers, and what tools do I have to actually engage with them first?

Kerry Guard: Yes. Yes. I think engagement in that personalization is so key. One last question for you, which hopefully won't spur an entire other conversation or maybe a different podcast. But in talking about engagement and talking about IT, there's something that you said when you talked about it, about scale. But when you're talking about personalization, these feel disjointed. And so I'm just curious as to how you tie these pieces together.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, I think that's a really key point. And actually, it was interesting. I was speaking with a vendor of ours the other day, and they asked me, “Hey, what could we do better?'' And I said, You know what I said, it's great that after, you know, after our call, you send me a summary. But it's very clearly templatized. And you very clearly just, you know, stick my name in, stick the person who I spoke to in the bottom, and the blurb in the middle is predefined. And so I think that's where you have to leverage, you know, human and technology together. And automation helps you scale. Automation helps you be more effective, it helps you be more efficient. But I think you need just that personal human side to it of thinking about what emotion am I trying to evoke with the words that I'm using? The way in which you know, I'm presenting the information, am I doing it in a purely written form or in a visual form? And that's why I think you see things like video engagement becoming more popular, right? Because video, there's some great tools out there to help you to personalize and scale video, but at the same time, it does feel a little bit more personal than, you know, clearly just an email template that, hates like old school mail merge, popping your name and put in the customer name as well. So I think that's why, like with many forms, I think bringing the best of human and technology together is where you're going to have the best success.

Kerry Guard: So much yes to that. And I’m not gonna add to it, because you're going to read The Marketing Rebellion, and it's going to be amazing. Encompassing all so much of what you're saying. And so good. Thank you, Genefa. Before we wrap up, I have my three people-first questions, just to pull back the curtain and let people know a little bit more about you beyond just being a marketer. So my first one is, in the last year,given the pandemic and all of that jazz, what's one hobby you've picked up? If any?

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, one hobby that I picked up actually was a recent one is skateboarding. Because, yeah, completely random. So it was because I was trying to convince my four year old daughter to ride her bike without training wheels. And so I was just trying to prove that you know what, there's nothing to be scared of. Give it a shot, give it a go. And you'll be perfectly fine. So yeah, so skateboarding. I got quite a few bruises. I'm not gonna lie. I fell over, but I got back up. and she's now riding her boat, no training wheels. Happy little camper.

Kerry Guard: Oh, I love it. What an amazing life lesson that she'll take with her forever. And the fact that -

Genefa Murphy: Hopefully, yeah, exactly. She didn't have half as many fools as I did.

Kerry Guard: Amazing. All right, second question for you, if you could be in the office with your family, or if you could be in the office right now, with your team, walking the floor, seeing everybody brainstorming, what music would you want playing overhead?

Genefa Murphy: So I think it has to be something from the 80s. Like, so I think it'd be like an 80’s compilation, from like, early 80’s. We'd like Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”. Drum solo to just, you know, just get people raring all the way through to the like, end of the 80’s, we'd like Tom Petty's, “I Won't Back Down”. Just because you know, you should just always be so determined. And just yeah, no matter what, just keep going. Keep pursuing what you want to do. So yeah, it'd be an 80’s compilation, I think. Great energy.

Kerry Guard: I'm going to drum one up, I'm going to run it by you and then we'll drop it.

Genefa Murphy: Nice. I like it. 80’s compilation for when everyone goes back to the office.

Kerry Guard: Early 80s. All the way through.

Genefa Murphy: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Kerry Guard: All right. All right. We're gonna brainstorm on that one. Alright, last question for you, Genefa. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

Genefa Murphy: I think right now, for me, honestly, it would be back to the UK, I live in California. It'd be back to the UK to see my family who I haven't seen in more than a year and a half due to COVID. Like many people. And so I think, yeah, I want to go back to go see them. I think in normal times, if that's even a word really, normal times, I've been very fortunate to travel to many places. But I think the place I'd want to go back to is Japan, I really fell in love with Tokyo from a visit that I had a few years ago there. It's an amazing blend of tradition, history, technology, and future potential. It's just a really, truly beautiful place in my opinion. And I'd love to go back and explore it again with my family and share it with them. You know, you recommended to me a book called The Medici Effect, which is all about interceptions, to me, Japan, and Tokyo in particular, is that in a city, it's just a beautiful mix of a multitude of different things.

Kerry Guard: It's on my list, and more importantly, I need to see it at night.

Genefa Murphy: It's stunning. It's amazing. It's just absolutely the energy, the vibrance, the future technology mixed with the tradition and history and you know, wonderful people, great food, great energy. Yeah, I loved it.

Kerry Guard: Tell me this is gonna happen. My kids are talking about it too. So we're gonna make -

Genefa Murphy: There you go. Definitely.

Kerry Guard: Genefa, thank you so much for joining me. I'm so empowered by this conversation, and I just appreciate every minute of it.

Genefa Murphy: I love it. Thank you for having me. I really, really appreciate it and yeah, just thank you. Thank you for the questions and yeah, I love it. Love chatting with you.


That was my conversation with Genefa. Don't you feel energized? I sure did. We both stood the whole time and you can just feel the energy that makes us ready to go. If you'd like to learn more about Genefa you can find her on LinkedIn. The link is in the show notes along with Five9 and our Spotify playlist. Be sure to check them out.

That wraps up season nine, hopefully these eight episodes gave you the boost you need to finish the year strong. I hope you had a wonderful 2021 given the challenges and transitions. I appreciate you bringing Tea Time along with you. Here's to 2022. And season 10, I already have amazing guests lined up for the reef and some reprises people who've been on in the past are coming back with some great insights and new conversations. Be sure to subscribe if you're ready to rock and roll come January 5th and have a great holiday break. Remember to take time for you to rejuvenate and gear up for 2022 and hopefully a post COVID-free world or at least looking towards that as we continue to move through 2020, 2021. What does 2022 look like for you, full of hope and possibilities? Cheers and see you on the other side.

Thank you for listening to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders, the podcast that helps you and brands get found via transparent measurable digital media. I'm your host, Kerry Guard and until next time.

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

If you'd like to be a guest please visit to apply.

Join our weekly newsletter

Get industry news, articles, and tips-and-tricks straight from our experts.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.