Silver Apples 2018
Presented in partnership with DMCNY
Meet the DMCNY 2018 Silver Apple Honorees
By Claudia Conlon | 9.26.18
Each year the DMCNY presents its highly distinguished Silver Apple Awards to several professionals who have at least 25 years in marketing and who not only have excelled in their careers, but also have generously contributed their talents and time to the marketing industry. We'll be introducing you to the 2018 honorees over the next few weeks, in advance of DMCNY's annual Silver Apples celebration on November 8 in New York. –Ginger Conlon
EVP & CMO, Nutrisystem Inc.
Keira Krausz has dedicated the whole of her career to using direct marketing to build profitable businesses and implement revenue cultivating strategies.
That dedication is unmistakable. As EVP and CMO of Nutrisystem Inc., Keira’s “more is more” attitude and her talent in bridging creative and analytic thinking has been instrumental in delivering four consecutive years of significant revenue growth. Prior to this role, Keira served as VP of Marketing for QSP
Inc. and GM, VP of marketing for Reader’s Digest, where she executed similarly impressive business-transformation strategies.
Keira’s ability to use a blend of direct marketing channels to transform consumer-driven businesses is unparalleled. And her commitment to the DMA, where she currently serves on the board, is clear evidence of her enduring dedication to the marketing industry.
In a conversation with MKTGinsight for DMCNY, Keira shares her marketing insights, advice, and past experiences.
What initially drew you to marketing?
Right out of college I was drawn to marketing because I consider it one of the few disciplines that's a melding of creative, strategic, analytical, and classic conceptual thinking.
Plus, from time to time when I was a kid, I would try to psychoanalyze people, try to figure them out and see what makes them tick. Now it’s a legit part of my job, and I get paid for it, rather than just doing it in my spare time.
Tell us about a particular career highlight or turning point.
I'm proud of where we are at Nutrisystem and I'm particularly proud of what we've built as a team. Our job is wonderful because we get to help people live healthier and happier lives. Since 2013 we've nearly doubled the business, which means we've helped a whole lot more people get healthier and happier. Along the way, we've revamped nearly every aspect of our business that you can think of, and we're just getting started.
What excites you most about marketing right now?
I'm most excited because more and more of marketing today is measurable and the divide between so-called brand marketers and so-called performance marketers is starting to blur. This actually provides a challenge, as well, because things like brand, brand authenticity, building true advocates, and customer experience are now incredibly important for us so-called performance marketers.
It's all coming together and that's both exciting and challenging.
What’s overhyped, and what’s being overlooked in marketing?
The new channel-du-jour is always overhyped. It seems everybody is rushing to the whatever the new thing is, and everybody is suggesting that you immediately shift your spending and attention from whatever you're doing to the new thing. History has shown that it all levels out, so we prefer to be channel agnostic. If there's a great way of economically reaching people, we're in. We like to move towards it, and quickly. But equally, as long as proven ways remain measurably effective, we remain big fans.
Share a treasured customer story.
I'm lucky, because what we do at Nutrisystem changes people's lives and they're so generous in spirit and in time that they frequently reach out with their experiences. One that’s still in my mind is a customer who is the father of several children, one of which is on the autism spectrum. He told us that his son came up to him one day and said, "Hey Daddy, you're overweight, and because you're overweight you have too much cortisol and I think it's going to kill you and I don't want you to die."
Soon after, this customer started his weight loss journey. He improved his health and slimmed down and has been at his goal weight for several years. He’s now one of our customer ambassadors, so I've been lucky to meet and work with him and he's truly an inspirational guy.
What advice do you have for someone who's just starting out in marketing?
In my first years in marketing, I was always being asked what my goals were and how I saw myself in years to come, and I always felt flummoxed because I didn't know what to say. I wasn’t one of those young people who had their whole life planned out when I was 25 and I often felt insecure about that. But it turns out that was OK.
So, one thing I did that I would advise is, from early on, try to work for someone you can learn from. Somebody who you admire, who has something unique, and who can teach you something that you think you're missing. The rest will fall together.
What was the best piece of business advice you’ve received?
A good coach and mentor once said to me, "What are you trying to do in these meetings?" After I talked it through he said, "Well, my recommendation for you is you don't need to prove that you're the smartest person in every room. You really don't need to do that anymore. Just open your ears and listen.” It was a meaningful piece of advice that I think was more valuable than I had realized at the time.
What’s your go-to marketing metric?
I like them all! I'm definitely big into metrics, and we love all our metrics at Nutrisystem; there’s no real favorite.
Share an inspiring quote or personal motto that guides you.
One I say a lot is, “More is more,” the opposite of the Mies van der Rohe quote, "Less is more.” I grew up in Chicago, where van der Rohe was famous and inspirational, and my dad would always walk around saying, "Less is not more, more is more." And it stuck. Now I have a habit of saying, "More is more,” meaning: We're never done; even if we hit our goal, we can always do more, we can always do more for the customer, we can always grow faster.
My other favorite quote is Yoda’s "Do or do not; there is no try" from Star Wars. There are two reasons I like it. One is because I try to live by committing fully to whatever I'm doing at that moment in life. The other is, I had this great biology teacher in high school who would always say, "The road to failure is paved with good intentions." I think that's such a nasty quote and it always made me really angry, but there actually is some truth to it. Yoda's quote is a nicer way of saying the same thing.
Read about the other DMCNY 2018 Silver Apple honorees:
Anita Absey, Chief Revenue Officer, Voxy
Matt Blumberg, Chairman and CEO, Return Path
Pamela Haas, Senior Account Director, Experian Marketing Services
Tim Suther, SVP and GM, Data Solutions, Change Healthcare
Advocacy Apple of Excellence: Stu Ingis, Chairman, Venable LLP
Disruptor Apple of Excellence: Bonin Bough, Founder & Chief Growth
Officer, Bonin Ventures; Investor; Host of CNBC's Cleveland Hustles;
Author of Txt Me (646) 759-1837
Corporate honoree: Winterberry Group
About the Author
Claudia Conlon is working as the research assistant for DMCNY's 2018 Silver Apple Awards. She's a senior studying Economics and Political Science at the University of Miami. Her wide-ranging work experience—from customer service to social marketing to event production—gives her a broad perspective on the interplay of consumers and businesses and how customer experience impacts the economy. This experience and her drive and desire to succeed makes her comfortable taking on new challenges.