CX One on One: Catherine Forino

CX One on One: Catherine Forino

In our CX One on One series, we meet dynamic and talented team members behind the scenes at NICE representing all the facets of the leading customer experience (CX) AI platform. We recently sat down with Catherine Forino, NICE senior product marketing manager, focused on the digital and AI team. She discussed her customer-centric passion and approach to marketing, how planning a successful wedding is like delivering great CX and why she believes in living the life you love.

Catherine Forino’s interest in customer experience (CX) was personal before it was professional.

“I have the utmost empathy for customers because I’ve been there. I know the value of good customer service interactions,” she said. “I care deeply about what I do at NICE because I want to uplevel customer experiences. I’ve had some bad experiences, and I love being part of the solution.”

Forino brings that customer-centric mindset to the product marketing team to tailor marketing strategies effectively.

In her first interview at NICE, she learned about the CX AI products she would support and she was immediately drawn to the industry.

“I learned about the proactive side of CX and how NICE is helping to make the lives of customers easier. I had no idea what the future of CX could be and I was excited to be part of it,” Forino said.

Collaboration: ‘Each day is about learning’

Forino relishes the chance to sit down with NICE colleagues in the Hoboken, N.J., office—or host “discovery” calls with other team members. In these conversations, she’s gleaning what the latest cloud-powered CX AI technology can do for potential customers to distill that information into high-impact marketing tactics.

Forino began her career at NICE in mid-2022 leads product marketing for all the digital products, as well as all new CX AI products. Cross-functional collaboration is key to her role as she builds relationships across departments.

“For me, each day is about learning and taking that knowledge to lead innovative marketing techniques to amplify the NICE brand, engage our target audience and seamlessly communicate the transformative power of our solutions,” Forino said. “I’m hearing about our new features and functionalities to decide what’s crucial and exciting to relay to our field sales team, as well as to our customers and to our partners.”

A team that’s all-hands-on-deck

Whether busy lending her CX expertise as the subject matter expert for white papers, eBooks, blog posts or campaign landing pages, Forino is a galvanizing force on a team that’s on the forefront of CX innovation.

“We’re a tight-knit team. We literally see a new project coming through the door every day, and we’re able to juggle it all because I work with the most adaptable crew,” she said. “The technology landscape can change rapidly, and we’re able to quickly adjust strategies and tactics to rise to the challenge of evolving market conditions and industry trends.”

She and the digital team are the creative brains behind projects such as the Digital Experience (DX) for Dummies eBook and a new CX AI landing page

“I think what’s key to my role is being able to work with our team even if it's outside of your usual scope of work. I’m able to turn to my coworker who’s a marketing manager and works a lot with our sales and digital overlay teams and sales enablement, ‘Do you need help on that?’ Or she can turn to me and ask for my input and perspective that’s outside the realm of my typical work.

“I’m proud we support each other, have that all-hands-on-deck mindset and pitch in our talents whenever they’re needed,” Forino said.

How CX is like planning a wedding

Forino counts planning her 2022 wedding with 200 invited guests as one of her proudest achievements.

“What I'm most proud of is that the day went off without a hitch,” she said. “It was a lot of organizing, decision-making and collaborating with my husband and the vendors to figure out our dream wedding.”

As she was planning the event, she recognized the parallels between accomplishing a storybook wedding and a successful customer experience (CX), including focusing on the intricate details, emotional connections and meticulous planning.

  1. Personalization and attention to detail: “In both cases, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Just as every individual couple and their journey is reflected in a wedding, a strong CX strategy has to incorporate paying attention to details to create memorable and meaningful moments.”
  2. Building emotional connections: “The emotional significance of a wedding where you’re looking to create positive and lasting experiences is similar to a brand looking to foster emotional connections with consumers CX.”
  3. Team collaboration: “In planning a wedding and customer experience (CX), teamwork and collaboration are necessary to ensure a seamless and delightful experience.”
  4. Adapting to changes: “Staying adaptable and flexible are just as critical to deal with last-minute changes in wedding plans as it is for anticipating challenges that arise in the CX customer journey and meeting them 24/7 whenever they have a need.”
  5. Measuring success: “I know every couple measures success differently when it comes to their wedding. But from a big picture perspective, making sure they and their guests have unforgettable moments and happy memories is top of mind—just like the experience brands want to deliver to consumers.”

‘Live the life you love’

Love the life you live, and live the life you love.

Forino says the quote by legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley perfectly sums up her outlook.

“Make sure that you’re not just going through the motions of life and miserable. Live your best life. Don't just sit by and watch it go by but also make sure that you’re truly living it,” she said.

When she’s not blazing new trails in CX AI, she’s hitting the trails with her husband on 20-mile bicycle rides or hiking.

Forino’s also loves trying new recipes. “I like sprucing up a meal with something extra,” she said. “I also love the culinary challenge of finding a new healthy spin on my favorite meals.”

If you weren’t in CX …

If she weren’t in CX, Forino would be helping small mom-and-pop businesses devise marketing strategies. She previously worked for a company focused on small businesses and loved working with local merchants.

“Those Main Street stores that you frequent—like a local health food store or boutique clothing store—I could help them meet their business goals,” she said. “I love visiting those stores and have always loved shopping small.”

Breaking records, winning awards

In 2023, Forino guided the NICE digital marketing team to earn a record number of marketing awards to build brand leadership and brand recognition. So, it seems only fitting that she recently was recognized for her own achievements.

Barry Cooper, president, NICE CX division, in January honored Forino for exemplifying the company’s CX vision of being one powerhouse and actively contributing to ensuring NICE continues to be best of suite and best of breed.

“For me, it’s not just about finding industry awards. It’s about identifying opportunities for recognition for the team,” she said. “Nothing makes me prouder than finding an opportunity to showcase NICE for its innovative CX AI advances. NICE advancements are so cutting edge that crafting award submissions feels almost effortless.”