Q&A With Ruth Zive: Ada’s Chief Marketing Officer

Like most, we’re stepping into the New Year with cautious optimism. The emergence of the Omicron variant has us spending more time back in our homes and less out in the world. And it has brands focused on their continued efforts to provide their customers with exceptional digital experiences ones that are more personal and loaded with empathy for the fluctuating circumstances of COVID-19. 

That being said, we ended 2021 with a bang and are bursting at the seams with gratitude! We added new features to our platform for our clients to scale, drive revenue, and optimize brand interactions, launched our CX star-studded podcast, Now Brands Talk, and placed as a leader in Chatbots, Customer Self-Service, and the Intelligence Virtual Assistant in G2’s Winter Report

As we focus on moving forward this year, we’re continuing to look to our leaders for support and inspirationand in this case, the creativity and curiosity that drives the marketing team at Ada. 

Ruth Zive is a two-decade B2B marketing master that’s worked with clients across industries in technology, from financial service to non profit. For the past three years, she’s headed up Ada’s marketing team to steer our metrics-driven strategy. 

We sat down with Ruth to learn more about her experience, her passion for creating better customer experiences, and the North Star that has guided her career: touching people’s lives.

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What were some of your most inspiring and memorable jobs before joining Ada?

I did fundraising and marketing for an organization called The Speech and Stuttering Institute. It felt so wonderful, quite literally, to help people speak. I was also a camp counselor for many years when I was younger, and I loved that; being outdoors, away for the summer, watching kids learn new skills and take risks.

But, without a doubt, while it isn’t a job per se, the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done has been parenting my kids.  

How did this past experience prepare you for your role as CMO at Ada?

I think the common thread linking all of those experiences and what I do at Ada is the way in which I’m able to touch people’s lives. The most rewarding part of my job is working with the Marketing team helping people grow their careers, learn new skills, stretch themselves, and realize things they never thought possible.

What are some qualities that you think makes someone a great leader?

Conviction, curiosity, determination, and self awareness.

How do you lead by example and uphold Ada's award-winning culture in your day-to-day work?

I try to be courageous and get outside of my comfort zone by taking on new challenges that don’t feel “natural” or easy. I also try to put my authentic self out there. 

I’m a pretty straight-shooting and transparent person maybe sometimes too much so. But, it helps us move fast, I think. At least I hope. I share a lot about my own life, my challenges, and the things I’ve learned and overcome so others can feel more comfortable sharing and being vulnerable. That’s a big part of how you get better in my opinion. 

Customer experience is very important to you, obviously. But why is it so important today? And why should brands be prioritizing this? 

We are all customers, and we all know that feeling of frustration, especially in the past two years. Those lousy brand interactions that make us want to pull out our hair. 

10 years ago, those things were acceptable because there was no recourse or standard to the contrary. But that’s all changed dramatically. The digital leaders and I’m proud to say many of them are Ada clients have proven that you can be available to interact in meaningful ways across channels, at all touchpoints, 24/7. The brands that don’t live up to this expectation will lose.

What is your idea of a perfect customer experience? 

One where I’m made to feel valued or special, and where my needs and interests are met seamlessly. One that makes me stop and think, “Wow. That was amazing.”

As one of the driving forces behind Ada's rebrand, how does the notion of "brand interactions" ladder up to perfecting the overall customer experience?

What’s so powerful about this term brand interactions is that it redefines the mandate of a brand. It’s not just about the logo, the colours, the website, the product, or the aesthetic, it’s about every point of interaction and how you make your stakeholders feel. 

Brands tend to overlook those touchpoints. They don’t consider how they impact brand equity. And they do, arguably, prioritize all of those other factors more. 

Who is someone you look up to (could be someone you know, don't know, or a fictional character)?

Easy question, my daughter Julia. She’s my hero. Check her out on TikTok: @dancerjules. 

Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is a scuba-diving, animal-loving journalist turned content marketer. In her career, she’s covered stories on development, written profiles on notable philanthropists, and interviewed celebrities with a passion for giving back. When she’s not producing content for Ada, Sarah’s likely fawning over her dog somewhere in the woods.

More info about Sarah Fox: LinkedIn

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