Emphasizing Customer Empathy with Cindy Zhou

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Today’s guest is a seasoned marketing executive known for her successful track record in leading companies through transformational growth.

Cindy Zhou is the CMO of KnowBe4, an Advisor for Sendoso, and a Founding Member of CMOHuddles.

Cindy joins Host Chris Mechanic to dig into the importance of customer empathy as a pivotal element for marketing success, highlighting the need for personal interactions over data-driven assumptions.

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Cindy shares her strategic approach to customer engagement, emphasizing the significance of listening to sales calls and directly communicating with customers to truly grasp their needs and motivations.


  1. Gain a deep understanding of your customers’ motivations and challenges by actively listening to sales calls and engaging directly with customers whenever possible. This foundational step is crucial for truly resonant marketing strategies.
  2. Encourage the entire marketing team, regardless of their role, to directly engage with customers and listen to their feedback. This could include joining sales or onboarding calls and responding personally to customer inquiries to foster deeper connections and gain firsthand insight into their needs and experiences.
  3. Use AI tools like Gong, Chorus, or similar, to analyze sales calls to better understand of customer language and needs. These insights can then inform content creation, ensuring messaging aligns with actual customer expressions and concerns.
  4. Utilize established frameworks, like Donald Miller’s StoryBrand, to craft company messaging. This approach helps in structuring messages that resonate deeply with customers by positioning their needs and outcomes at the center of the narrative.
  5. Integrate learnings from customer onboarding sessions into marketing strategies. This may involve tailoring content or campaigns based on common questions or challenges faced by new customers, thus improving engagement and reducing churn.
  6. Given the preference for quick consumption, experiment with creating concise, engaging video content that can quickly capture attention and convey key messages. This aligns with current social media trends and consumer preferences.
  7. Encourage ongoing learning within the team, including staying up-to-date with the latest marketing tools, trends, and customer behavior insights. Foster an environment where experimentation and innovation are encouraged.

Quote of the Show:

“Nothing beats actually talking to customers” – Cindy Zhou



  • Donald Miller
  • Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
  • Tomi.ai
  • Winning by Jack Welch
  • The Leader You Want to Be by Amy Jen Su

Ways to Tune In:

Cindy Zhou

Cindy ZhouCMO, KnowBe4

Chris Mechanic

Chris MechanicCEO & Co-Founder

Podcasts Info:
Creative + UX

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