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Rekha Srivatsan is the VP of Product Marketing at Salesforce, and we are recognizing her for her innovative leadership and future-forward marketing in the 2024 Marketers To Watch series. She is an engineer turned marketer originally from India and has been in marketing for over 15 years. In her role, she excels in oversight of the marketing strategy across content, campaigns, GTM, PMM, Digital, Events, Field marketing, and enablement with the Service Cloud marketing team, a customer support platform from Salesforce and their largest revenue driver. Curious about the leader behind Salesforce marketing? Keep reading to learn her perspectives on the future of marketing, the innovative work she’s been leading, her best career advice, and more.

Headshot of Rekah Srivasan, VP Product Marketing, Salesforce | middle eastern business woman wearing pink blazerand blouse with brown hair, brown eyes, and smiling

What gives me joy outside of work

I find great joy in connecting with people—from friends and family to strangers—while volunteering at various organizations. I’m passionate about causes supporting children’s education in third-world countries.

Every marketer should read...

I highly recommend “Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age” by Jonah Berger.

My podcast recommendation…

Marketing Over Coffee” hosted by John Wall and Christopher Penn.

If I weren’t a Marketer…

I’m a huge True Crime junkie. I’d have become a forensic scientist or criminal lawyer! 

Future of Marketing

Q: What’s one thing coming down the marketing pike you are most excited about?

The continued evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) generates a lot of excitement in the marketing world. What’s particularly exciting about this trend is its potential to drive innovation and improve marketing outcomes. By harnessing the power of AI and ML, marketers can deliver more relevant and timely messages to their audience, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience and driving better business results.

Q: What widely accepted “marketing truth” do you wish the industry would evolve? 

The idea that more is always better when it comes to data and metrics needs to be reevaluated. Don’t get me wrong—data-driven decision-making is incredibly important in marketing, but I think there’s a danger in becoming too fixated on metrics without considering the broader context. Sometimes, in our quest for data-driven insights, we can lose sight of the human element of marketing—creativity, intuition, and emotional connection.

I believe there’s value in striking a balance between quantitative data and qualitative understanding and recognizing that not all aspects of marketing can be neatly quantified. After all, it’s not just about the numbers – it’s about understanding and connecting with people in meaningful ways. 

Q: What’s a prediction you have for Product Marketing over the next few years?

The increasing importance of customer-centricity. As competition intensifies and consumers become more empowered than ever, it’s becoming crucial for product marketers to understand their audience and deliver value that resonates with their needs and preferences.

I think we’ll see a shift towards more personalized and tailored product marketing strategies, where the focus is not only on promoting features and benefits but building meaningful connections with customers. This means leveraging data and insights to create targeted messaging, developing more customer-centric product experiences, and prioritizing transparency and authenticity in communication.

Product Marketing at Salesforce

Q: What’s something exciting you’re currently working on at Salesforce?  

We are working on bringing our content, community, and product together. Let me explain: If you have a champion user, they can teach a newbie a thing or two on how to maximize the product investment. And together, they write a blog or film a video to help other people in the same bucket. Instead of Salesforce writing demos and release notes, we arm this group to help create the right content for us. Thereby creating a strong inbound marketing engine that also helps with SEO. 

What’s really exciting about this approach is that it allows us to tap into the authentic voices of our customers and showcase real-life testimonials and stories. It’s not only a powerful way to build trust and credibility with our audience, but it also helps us generate a steady stream of fresh and engaging content. It’s definitely an exciting initiative that I’m passionate about seeing succeed! 

Q: What’s the most pressing business challenge you’ve faced within the last year at Salesforce, and what have you done to try to solve it?

A significant challenge I’ve encountered as a marketer in the past year is the intensifying competition for consumer attention and engagement. With the proliferation of digital channels and the constant influx of content, breaking through the noise and capturing audience interest has become increasingly difficult.

To tackle this challenge, we’ve placed a strong emphasis on creativity and innovation in our marketing strategies. We’re constantly brainstorming new ideas and experimenting with fresh approaches to capture our audience’s attention and stand out from the crowd. 

Moreover, we’ve prioritized building authentic connections with our audience by focusing on storytelling and humanizing our brand. By sharing compelling narratives and highlighting the real people behind our products or services, we’ve fostered deeper emotional connections with our audience and differentiated ourselves from competitors. What’s most important is staying agile, customer-focused, and true to our brand values.

Career and Leadership Advice

Q: What leadership muscle is most important for marketers to exercise?

Looking ahead, I believe empathy will be one of the most important leadership muscles for marketers to exercise. In an increasingly interconnected and diverse world, understanding and empathizing with our audience’s needs, values, and perspectives is crucial for building meaningful connections and driving impactful marketing strategies. 

As marketers, we are responsible for understanding our audience’s desires and pain points and empathizing with their lived experiences and emotions. By putting ourselves in their shoes and truly listening to their voices, we can create more authentic and resonant marketing campaigns that speak directly to their hearts and minds. 

Moreover, empathy extends beyond our interactions with customers to our relationships with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders. By fostering a culture of empathy within our teams, we can cultivate stronger collaboration, trust, and innovation, ultimately driving better outcomes for our organizations. 

Q: What’s the most game-changing career advice youve received?

Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Instead, embrace it, learn from it, and let it propel you forward on your journey to success. My Dad is an entrepreneur. He has heard more “No’s” than “Yes’s” in his career. He often said that he was always prepared to hear a No, plan for contingencies, and move forward. He never let a No stop him, and candidly, that’s what propelled him to scale his business across 10 different countries! 

I often tell my team to experiment, and if it’s successful, it’s a new learning. But if the experiment is unsuccessful, that’s a learning as well. In fact, there is no such thing as “unsuccessful”—it is “successful now” and “successful later.”

By embracing failure, I’ve been able to take more risks, push myself out of my comfort zone, and ultimately achieve greater success in my career. I’ve learned to view setbacks as valuable learning experiences, not as reflections of my worth or abilities. And that’s what I’d encourage everyone to do! 

Marketers to Watch is a recognition series to spotlight highly innovative and forward-thinking marketing leaders in the community. If you have someone you’d like to nominate for the series, apply here.