Embracing The “And” In Company Missions

Posted on Dec 1, 2020

Episode: S02E10

Podcast Guest: Lisa Bennett
Role: VP Corporate Marketing
Company: Kaltura

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Think you’re the only marketer struggling with multiple products and audiences? Juggling dozens of decks and hundreds of personas?

You’re not alone.

Lisa Bennett, Kaltura’s VP Marketing, is the glue that holds together an incredibly sprawling ecosystem of products, all unified around video solutions.
In this episode, she walks through how they created – and validated – their corporate mission. But it a deck is created in a forest with no one using it, does it really matter?

So Lisa also walks through her approach to rolling out brand stories internally, tips for video marketing that only a video tech company would know, and more.

Show Bonuses:

Episode Transcript

Lisa Bennet – Kaltura
Eytan Buchman: [00:00:00] You can actually sell a fridge to an Eskimo. If you leave food out during the winter in Alaska, it gets freezer burn. Seriously. But the way that you sell that fridge is going to be very different than the way that you would sell a Sub-Zero stainless steel fridge. To an upper-class family in Connecticut.[00:00:24] As companies scale, especially in the B2B space. Marketing can get complicated. The way that you market to one audience might be totally different than the way that you market to another, even if it’s the same product at the core. In this episode, we talk to a marketer who manages a product ecosystem paralleled by giants like Microsoft.[00:00:44] We talk about developing a core brand story, getting everyone in the company to use it, which is really hard, how a video company markets with videos and more. I’m Eytan Buchman, you’re listening to Marketers in Capes with GCMO. And just as a word of warning, we’re done talking about fridges. So if that’s what kept you here now is the time to switch to kitchen appliance daily. Still with me? Amazing. Meet Lisa Bennett.[00:01:07] Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:01:07] I’m Lisa Bennett. I’m VP of Corporate Marketing at Kaltura. I’ve been at Kaltura for about 13 years, almost since the company started. I love what I do. I manage our corporate marketing, which basically means that I need to make sure that everything at the end of the day comes into a single story. Kaltura provides what we call the video experience cloud. It’s a broad video platform that serves services, a wide range of industries with lots of video solutions[00:01:34]Eytan Buchman: [00:01:34] So a lot of different solutions for a lot of different industries is basically marketing code for huge headache. How do you actually come up with a story that brings that all together ?[00:01:44] Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:01:44] It took us a while to figure out exactly how we want to tell that story. And one of the things that actually we realized along the way is that we needed to what we call embrace the “and”. So for a long time, we struggled with the that we do this and that and education and enterprise and, internal and external and cloud TV and eventually we realized that it’s actually a strength for Kaltura, because we are really the only company out there that caters with a broad platform across so many video use cases so once we embraced the “and” and realized that we can actually position Kaltura as the video experience cloud and the video expert across all use cases, it’s resonated very well.[00:02:28] Eytan Buchman: [00:02:28] So the journey to resonated very well can be a little bit long. Can you talk a little bit to how you come up with that story and then how you actually make sure that it’s something that lands well?[00:02:39]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:02:39] There were a few things involved. We worked very closely, with senior management, right? With the founders of the company and with our executives to understand what is it that makes Kaltura special and why is it that, we’ve chosen this path of going so broad, to power, any video experience for any organization.[00:02:59] Once we figured out that’s actually what we want to do now. It’s a matter of, okay, how do we articulate that? How do we structure our products in a way that supports that? and I guess the process was a lot of going back and forth, creating various diagrams, PowerPoint slides, et cetera, and really just hashing it out, and trying it.[00:03:22]if we think we have a message that resonates, we try it out in a few meetings, we say it to a few analysts and then we start to gather feedback. And as we gather feedback, we see what resonates and what actually, got people engaged and where you see that spark in, in someone’s eye, as you’re explaining the story and you see how, they connect to a certain message versus another, and we evolve it over time.[00:03:45]Eytan Buchman: [00:03:45] So you walk away with this really big picture story. Who is that level of the story actually for? Who is its target audience besides, I don’t know, TechCrunch when you raise a round ?[00:03:57] Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:03:57] sure. So I think that to some extent, As a company, right? When, if it’s investors, if it’s strategic partners, Kaltura does quite a few partnerships.[00:04:09] For example, we have a very great partnership with AWS. we work with Oracle. We work with a lot of the big cloud providers many times both as a customer and also as a partner and a reseller, type situation, et cetera. So when we’re talking about a very strategic partnership or when we’re talking to investors or when talking to analysts, and sometimes also top tier reporters, those are the people that actually see Kaltura as a business, as an organization, as a company. And for them, it makes sense to tell that larger story. Another audience that we have to cater to is our internal audience. So we need to make sure that our employees also understand that they’re working at a company that has a very broad horizon and how that all ties together.[00:04:57]Eytan Buchman: [00:04:57] But obviously that story doesn’t work for everyone[00:05:03] Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:05:03] So I think one of the things that we realized over time is that you can’t always tell the full story to every audience because it doesn’t always resonate. If I’m coming to you with a very specific ask and I want something just for my educational institution I don’t necessarily care that you do all these other things.[00:05:21]But what we have managed to do is tell the story, depending on, what narrative we need to address at that specific point in time. So we’ll still tell the overall, because it gives the company, the credibility and the breadth of our offering and it actually helps people understand that we’re not coming at this as a pinpoint solution. But on the other hand, we very quickly we’ll then dive into the very specific story, that we want to tell that specific audience. Because otherwise it’s too broad and you have to, you risk losing your audience.[00:05:53]Eytan Buchman: [00:05:53] So there tends to be this kind of awkward dynamic with say a sales team where they’ll jump onto a call and they say, I just want to talk about the product. And the marketing guy will say, well, talk about this big picture hoorah vision. How do you reconcile that ?[00:06:06] lisa_recording-1_2020-11-24–t08-05-38am–lisa-bennett: [00:06:06] First of all, I’m not a fan of kind of mandating things too much. I think that, each sales person has a very different style, different sales people out there in the field have their way of articulating things and their specific ideas on how to reach people .[00:06:22] we try to make sure that they have a set of materials that they can then play around with in terms of how broad they want to go versus how specific. I think over time though, they’ve realized that starting off with that bigger picture, like I said earlier, it gives them credibility.[00:06:38]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:06:38] So most of our competitors, interestingly, tend to be companies that focus on only one of the areas that we actually play in. They tend to be only for education or very focused on enterprise communication or things like that. So for us to actually come in and say, Kaltura has this broad, technology platform. That gives, a lot of credibility when coming in as a company that has that, know how, and those years of experience and that level of deep expertise. So I don’t say to them, okay, you have to spend your first 10 minutes or seven minutes or five minutes, but I provide them with the tools to tell that story and then I actually allow them, to dive in quickly to their specific story.[00:07:22]Eytan Buchman: [00:07:22] I love that. So it was really, we don’t tell them to use it, but if they’re smart, they’ll figure it out themselves.[00:07:27]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:07:27] we tell them to use it. I, I can’t, I can’t face all of them every single day and keep track of them.[00:07:33] Eytan Buchman: [00:07:33] I know this is a subject, the, of, a lot of headaches for larger marketing organizations. W what is the actual relationship between you and the corporate marketing side and the individual business units?[00:07:44] Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:07:44] That is a wonderful $3 million question.[00:07:48] Eytan Buchman: [00:07:48] At the very least a question worth a lot of Advil in my experience.[00:07:52]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:07:52] I think that at the end of the day, the most important thing is communication and being able to collaborate together as a team . So the corporate marketing team at Kaltura, is actually charged with indeed making sure that this corporate story comes out and we also have a set of, great. team members who serve as resources to the other teams, if that’s with our brand and design and creative services, if it’s our marketing operations team. So I have a group of amazing people on my team that actually cater to the entire organization. Which makes it very fun, but also very challenging because we’re constantly balancing between everyone’s needs.[00:08:31] But on the other hand, we don’t lose sight of that big picture. My focus is more on anything that has to relate to Kaltura as a whole. So that’s our analyst relations, our PR, our corporate website , our design, creative and kind of brand story, as well as our marketing operations. And then the business units are focused primarily on lead gen demand generation of course, as well as, making sure that they have a specific product marketing and stories for their units, which are very different stories in our case, for sure. They have intertwined themes perhaps, but, but they’re very different stories and I really do my best and I really try to make sure that I’m never getting in anyone’s way.[00:09:16]Eytan Buchman: [00:09:16] How do you guys approach video marketing as an individual organization? And what are your tips for other organizations to remove all the intrinsic barriers that typically come with video marketing?[00:09:28]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:09:28] We’re big believers in video, obviously. I think that one of the things that we’ve learned, is that in order to remove a lot of the barriers, probably the best thing to do is have an internal video team. It might be one person, it might be more than one person depending on the budgets and capacity, et cetera. but it’s always good to have either someone in house or a really good freelancer that you can work really closely with to pop things out and to create videos.[00:09:58] I think that one of the things that have happened over the past year, for sure.[00:10:02] And even before that it started to happen, is that the barriers of high-level production have somewhat come down. We watch videos of people playing video games. we’re watching people in almost any type of situation and everybody’s okay with that. So marketing videos used to be something that everybody felt like, oh, you’ve got to spend those tens of thousands of dollars and bring in the video crews, et cetera. But I think nowadays, those barriers have gone way down, the tools that you need in the equipment that you need are far less.[00:10:35] You have a really good phone these days, you can make a pretty good video. And I think that one of the biggest barriers that marketers need to overcome is just their perception of how to use video. I would say, like one of the best brands out there, right? Just do it. You need to start experience experimenting with it.[00:10:54] I think one of the easiest ways to create videos and in the best possible fashion is working really well on a crisp message and a really cool script. so even if you’re just recording yourself, or you’re doing a really low-budget cool video that’s quick, just come up with some really fun and interesting ways to portray that it can be at the level of the script or the concept, it doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be too fancy.[00:11:22] Eytan Buchman: [00:11:22] Okay let’s talk distribution for a second when you have your very cool low budget video how do you make sure that people see it[00:11:30] Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:11:30] Sure. Kaltura is very B2B, these days. And so we go with, I want to say some of the more traditional channels, but for sure, obviously all the social networks, and if it’s a great video, we’ll do paid, we also do organic.[00:11:44] One of the tips that I can actually provide, and, I’ve been talking about this quite a bit lately is if you engage your own employees in creating the video and appearing in the video, it’s amazing to see how it’s so much easier to distribute and to get people involved and rallied around it and to share it across their social networks.[00:12:05] Eytan Buchman: [00:12:05] . COVID and video what was that kind of impact? it must’ve just been an[00:12:10] lisa_recording-1_2020-11-24–t08-00-19am–eytan: [00:12:10] insane year. What was that[00:12:12] Eytan Buchman: [00:12:12] like and how did your marketing need to adapt to that?[00:12:15]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:12:15] From a marketing perspective, we went as digital as possible. It’s very similar to everyone else, but we also started creating quick and a relatively low budget videos in-house so that we can make sure that all of the tools that we provide have all of the, materials around them.[00:12:33] If it’s campaigns on how to use the tools, if it’s[00:12:35] lisa_recording-1_2020-11-24–t08-05-38am–lisa-bennett: [00:12:35] campaigns on how Kaltura can[00:12:37] Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:12:37] help, et cetera. and we also did a broad range of of webinars, thought leadership pieces really coming out there as the experts that are actually going to help deal with this crazy situation that everyone found themselves in. So we really tried to take in our marketing a consultative approach of how you can leverage our tools and how you can get through this period of time.[00:13:02] Eytan Buchman: [00:13:02] Awesome. And, you mentioned webinars. I kind of on a, on a crusade right now around webinars. What do you feel like makes the difference between a terrible webinar and an awesome one?[00:13:11]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:13:11] You have to be talking about something that people actually want to hear. I think one of the biggest challenges that marketers have these days is that everyone is fighting for a time online. we’ve just got so many distractions and so many things being sent to us at any given time, that you really need to rise above in terms of what you want to talk about and what you want to say. Find a way to rise above the noise, even if that means that you’re going for a very targeted audience , you’re probably better off doing a series of webinars that are focused on us. Specific audience that wants to hear about that topic, as opposed to trying to go too broad and get, a wide range of people that might not even manage to resonate with the same topics.[00:13:54]Eytan Buchman: [00:13:54] Okay you’re a video company so from a technical perspective what do you actually need to know on that webinar experience?[00:14:02]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:14:02] I would definitely say you need to make sure that you have a platform that’s gonna work and work well, and it’s even better if you have some engaging features that can, keep them what we call leaning forward, as opposed to, just to watching a webinar and then browsing away from that tab or moving away.[00:14:18] Eytan Buchman: [00:14:18] Stepping away from Kaltura for a second, and I know it’s hard since you’ve been there for like 13 years, but if you were starting a new company tomorrow, what would be the first steps that you would take to start your marketing strategy ?[00:14:30] Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:14:30] I really do believe in the balance between the art and the science of marketing. I think over time, marketers have become very data oriented and that’s very important. it’s important to be able to measure what you do. It’s important to be able to feed the sales teams very specifically, and to create that machine that you can measure and that you can actually tweak and, and fine tune and analyze. But I also would say that there’s a big aspect of art and marketing. There’s the creative side, there’s the experimental side. And I think it’s important not to lose sight of that.[00:15:05] And one other thing that I might add is that pinpointing a CEO at a large Fortune 500 company, or your neighbor or anybody on the street. Everyone loves a funny video. Everyone loves a cool banner. Everyone loves a fun message. At the end, we all want to enjoy the content that we’re consuming. The message can still be serious, but you can always portray it in a way that’s engaging and lighthearted.[00:15:30] Eytan Buchman: [00:15:30] I know it’s really hard to actually continue to develop as a marketer when you’re so busy marketing. When you have time to actually get out there and learn, how do you educate yourself on how to be a better marketer?[00:15:41]Lisa Bennet // Kaltura: [00:15:41] I follow on LinkedIn some marketers that I feel inspired by, I also listen to some podcasts like this one, for example and Techie Talkie, and there are quite a few good ones out there. And last thing I would say, networking with peers, the GCMO forum, has been a huge, help to me just being able to bounce ideas off people, and also have stopped, being nervous to ask and it’s great to see when you’re in a community of people that kind of connect it’s, Hey, what are you guys doing? And how are you guys tackling this? We’re all dealing with the same things and it’s a lot easier to be able to deal with it together and ask questions and bounce ideas off each other, then just struggling with those things on our own. So that’s another great source for me.[00:16:27]Eytan Buchman: [00:16:27] Think back to how Kaltura trialed it’s big picture story on analysts. Think about their focus on low budget videos and even Lisa’s recognition that every sales person will have their own style when pitching. It’s because marketing happens in the real world, not on slide decks. Webinars don’t need to be pitch perfect, if the content actually delivers.[00:16:47]You can see Kaltura’s low budget, high performance videos, a list of some of Lisa’s favorite marketing resources. And proof about that Eskimo fridge thing in the show notes at buchman.co.il/kaltura that’s with a K.[00:17:01] My name is Eytan Buchman and hear this noise? That’s me moving the mic around a bit, proof that even this episode was recorded in the real world.