Just over two years ago, I kicked off my analyst career with a blog post on Vista Equity’s acquisition of Marketo. It is befitting to share my thoughts now on the Adobe-Marketo union as I recently exited the analyst world for a CMO role.

First let’s talk the deal, $4.75 billion — this is the largest transaction in the MarTech space and Vista Equity made a healthy flip from the $1.79b purchase just over two years ago. …


When I reflected on my past career decisions, I realized that the most fulfilling and meaningful work happened when I trusted my instincts. Two years ago, I was convinced by the brilliant Ray Wang to join Constellation Research as an industry analyst after a successful run as a head of marketing and sales operations. I enjoyed being an analyst immensely and had the honor of working with an elite group of clients that I still today pinch myself that of all the choices they have, they chose to work with me.

When the opportunity to join Level Access presented itself…


Photo credit: Pixabay

Since becoming an industry analyst almost two years ago, I’ve sat in on nearly 100 vendor briefings and have some tips and do’s/don’ts to share to help you prepare for your next analyst session. First, know that Constellation is a firm very accessible to technology companies of all sizes and no, you don’t have to be a client to brief us. Based on availability and relevance to my coverage areas, I’m happy to take the call and enjoy helping young start-ups. …


Photo courtesy of USF

I am humbled and honored to share that I accepted a role on the advisory board for the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business’s Digital Marketing certificate program. This digital marketing program is part of USF’s executive education series and prepares organizations and marketers to meet the challenges of digital transformation. The Digital Marketing certificate program teaches advanced digital marketing techniques and meets the same standards as the Muma College of Business’s graduate MBA courses.

The world of Marketing is moving at such a fast pace, techniques we use today did not exist even five years ago. New…


Marketoon by Tom Fishburne

As the Marketoon from Tom Fishburne shows, the term GDPR strikes fear and can lead to “The Scream” with marketers (for those that know about it). Based on my conversations with CMOs and marketers, only 43% were aware of GDPR and of which 55% were actively preparing for it. There is no lack of content and information on GDPR in general, but most were confused on what GDPR is or what specific action did they need to take when it came to their marketing programs, website, and data collection process. Many marketers assumed that their Marketing Automation or CRM provider…


Questions about Cloud Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solutions have popped up in most of my inquiries from B2B sales leaders this past year. My new report, the CRO’s Guide to Sales Acceleration with CPQ, was a labor of love inspired by these many conversations I had with sales executives, field sellers, and members of the Sales Enablement Society, on their sales effectiveness challenges. With B2B sales cycles lengthening and complexity growing, CPQ solutions deliver compelling ROI whether it be increasing the average deal size or accelerating the sales cycle. …


Anaplan CEO Frank Calderoni Hub17 Keynote

A few weeks ago in San Francisco, I attended my first Anaplan Hub conference along with over 1500 other attendees. This year’s Hub marked a new milestone for Anaplan with the debut of new President and CEO Frank Calderoni. A noted tech veteran, Calderoni previously served as the CFO of Red Hat and Cisco. In the keynote, Calderoni emphasized his commitment to deliver the promised innovation to customers with the company’s “significant” investment in R&D. Calderoni also cited that the company’s momentum is strong, adding 250 new customers in the last year. …


Photo courtesy of Betterment

Imagine this: You are an IT manager newly hired into one of the fastest-growing companies disrupting an entire industry. Your workforce is highly mobile, but the phone system is desk-based with complicated codes to perform simple tasks like transferring calls. User frustration is high with dropped calls and you need to fix it and fast. This is the story of Betterment and the topic of my new case study report, Toss the Deskphone: Betterment Uses Dialpad to Modernize Communications.

Betterment is a company at the forefront of the FinTech disruption as an early pioneer of Robo-advisory investing. The company grew…


Photo courtesy of Adobe

I attended my first Adobe Summit held in Las Vegas a few weeks back along with 12,000 other attendees. The stunning opening videos were a visual feast for the eyes (I expected no less considering the company’s creative talent) and the main theme was the launch of the new Adobe Experience Cloud. Adobe’s primary message centered on customer’s experience and everyone is a brand ambassador for their organization. The new umbrella Experience Cloud, then Adobe reorganized its various solutions into 3 primary Clouds:

  • Marketing Cloud — Campaign, Experience Manager, Target, Social, and Primetime
  • Analytics Cloud — Analytics and Audience Manager

Image source: Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG)

I was on a briefing call earlier this week with ICANN board member and Chief Technology Officer of Afilias Ram Mohan, about the need for the technology industry to adopt Universal Acceptance (UA) standards for websites and email domain extensions. UA is defined as a technical compliance process that ensures that all domain names and email addresses can be used by all internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. Simply put, UA is the ability to have domain name extensions in local languages beyond today’s ASCII and latin based characters, especially important in this age of globalization. An example would be “.photography”…

Cindy Zhou

@LevelAccessA11y #CMO | @ConstellationR Orbits | Advisor @USFMuma #DigitalMarketing @DeliveryCircle Member @_SESociety ❤️ #Marketing #Sales #CX Views are mine.

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