NEWS31 January 2024

Zappi hires CMO as part of leadership expansion

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UK/US – Market research platform Zappi has appointed Nataly Kelly as chief marketing officer as part of an expansion of the firm’s senior leadership team.

Nataly Kelly

Kelly (pictured), who is based in Boston, US, has held previous roles at HubSpot, where she supported the business’ international expansion, and as chief research officer at CSA Research.

Her appointment comes as Babita Earle, formerly executive vice-president of global enterprise partnerships at Zappi, is promoted to international managing director to help expand Zappi’s business development globally.

The two appointments also follow the recent hiring of Melissa Clucas as chief financial officer. Yvonne O’Brien was previously chief marketing officer at Zappi, departing in August 2023.

Speaking exclusively to Research Live, Kelly said she chose Zappi because of the company’s vision and its status as a B Corp and net zero company.

“I also see a lot of elements in our culture that remind me of the early days of HubSpot, where I worked for nearly eight years as we grew from approximately 700 to 7,000 employees,” Kelly said.

“I know how special that kind of culture is, and how rare it is too. I also love how internationally-minded we are – scaling companies as they grow globally is a lifelong passion of mine.”

Kelly said that her top goals for 2024 in her new role were to increase revenue growth through fostering tighter alignment between marketing and other go-to-market teams, build Zappi’s brand and introduce best practice into its marketing function.

“Because of my background and expertise in global business, I hope to help Zappi orient our marketing around solving some of the core pain points and challenges that I know global companies face,” Kelly added.

“Ultimately, the challenge many global companies have with building a strong programme to leverage insights and market research to their maximum potential is ultimately a marketing challenge.

“It takes a concerted effort to create comms strategies, systems and alignment for our customers to reach all the various stakeholders they hope to reach, to get them on board with centralised, continuous and connected insights.”

Steve Phillips, chief executive officer at Zappi, told Research Live that the appointments were part of a “vision to digitise insights for every consumer business in the world”.

“These appointments will help us orient ourselves around our customers and create better tools that help them improve their roles and influence in their organisations,” he added.

“Both Nataly and Babita bring a wealth of expertise in driving demand and growth in international markets.”

Phillips said that changes were part of a long-term plan to develop its platform, such as the use of artificial intelligence and new research methodologies.

“We know that with heightened privacy restrictions and an uncertain economic outlook, the ability to understand and anticipate changes in consumer behaviour has never been more important. The opportunity for market research in this process has never been greater, but first, we have to evolve.

“Market research has historically acted as a stoplight for advertising and product development. Either your project is green-lit to see the light of day, or it’s back to the drawing board. That’s because teams don't have the right data at the right time to improve these ideas.

“We’ve worked with leading brands to adopt a system-based source of inspiration and learning to some tremendous results. We want to be that platform that enables brands to continuously learn – not just test.”