Media 7 | April 4, 2022
Caleb Avery, CEO of Tilled, discusses the payment industry's revolution, the benefits of PayFac-as-a-Service that does not have any upfront investment or ongoing overheads, and the best practices to generate revenue in this interview with Media 7. Read more to know about easy and time-effective payment services. Read More
Media 7 | December 22, 2020
Sarah Assous, Chief Marketing Officer at Zoovu, is known for her skills in executing and delivering results across multiple positions and businesses. She is passionate about all things marketing and confidently leads a diverse team for innovating and executing work at a high standard.
MEDIA 7: Please take us through your career journey of becoming the CMO at Zoovu.
SARAH ASSOUS: It was always my ambition to work in the tech space...but it has been a journey. My first job out of college was with a business process outsourcing company, specifically in the insurance product development division (yes, you did read that correctly). I quickly realized that there was a lack of education and value messaging related to our services, so I advocated for a product marketing role. This was a pivotal moment in my career, by creating -and fulfilling - that role, I started my journey in marketing.
Five years later, I decided that I wanted more remit, responsibility, and a team, that’s when I joined Zoovu. Within 6 months of joining, I grew the marketing team from 2 to 10 members, rebranded the company, redesigned the website, and elevated our messaging and position in the market - it’s been a wild ride! Read More
Media 7 | April 22, 2020
Cameron Worth, CEO & Founder of SharpEnd leads the company’s mission to help brands move closer than ever to consumers by connecting packaging, retail and experiential activity.
He is a regular speaker and writer on how to build brands in a connected world. He has spoken at Cannes, the Festival of Marketing, LuxePack Monaco and New York, Ad:Week Europe and New York, DMA, the Connected Consumer Conference, Mobile World Congress and the IoT World Forum.
MEDIA 7: How did the idea of “the agency of things” come to your mind?
CAMERON WORTH: SharpEnd was created in 2015 as the world’s first Internet of Things focused agency, so there is a slight play on words when we say we’re the Agency of Things. I think the idea of giving things their own agency is an interesting concept, and the strapline fits our capabilities on multiple levels.
M7: In what way does technology drive the association of SharpEnd with global brands? What approaches are followed to enable sustainability?
CW: Our simple proposition is to help build brands in a connected world, and to do that you must always start with identified consumer needs or pain points and look at technology as just an enabler to deliver an appropriate solution (when appropriate).
Take the issue of sustainability, which is often a pain point for brands that grapple with issues such as how we can reward sustainable behaviour change. One of our approaches to this could be to look at communicating the recycling credentials of the different products. Whilst the consumer can engage with a product as part of a wider consumer experience, the same technology could also house content that could tell you whether the product is recyclable, which type of bin it goes in etc.
SharpEnd’s work with Unilever is a case in point. We built a digital product that incentivised recycling through gamification but also served to educate through informing people how and where to recycle in a clear fashion. All users had to do was simply scan their packaging to have all this information at their disposal.
MEDIA 7 | March 9, 2020
Rachel Gabato, COO at ripe.io is a highly experienced and proven Product Management executive and advisor with experiences in designing, developing and delivering enterprise SaaS solutions for start-ups, mid-size and large companies. I have demonstrated success is managing solutions across all stages of the software lifecycle.
Deck 7: What is your favorite part of working at ripe.io?
RACHEL GABATO: My favorite part of working at ripe.io is the diverse background of people that ripe.io has brought together. We’re a blockchain technology company with a mission to build long-lasting trust and confidence in our food supply chain through a platform where everyone can access transparent and reliable information on the origin, journey and quality of their food.
Our co-founders originate from the fintech space, so they were very familiar with blockchain as a technology. They assessed multiple industries and identified the food supply chain as a industry which could be transformed by leveraging this technology. I didn’t have any knowledge of agriculture and the food supply chain, but I had a background in retail supply chain technology. However, we also have food scientists, data scientists, farmers, sustainable agriculture specialists, flavor specialists, blockchain technologists on staff; it’s a diverse group that has their own specialty but when we have ideation sessions, the education and sharing that happens is tremendous. This is one of my favorite parts of ripe.io – seeing us all educating, supporting and working together to work on our common mission.
If you would have asked me two years ago if I would be visiting farms, I would have said no. However, much has changed, and I’ve been on hog farms, produce and citrus farms, sugar cane farms, etc. and visited all participants involved in the supply chain. I find this space incredibly fascinating and interesting. I now have a much better understanding where food comes from, how it gets to us, how it’s grown and handled. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from our team and it’s the intersection of technology and solving the challenges of the food supply chain which I’m incredibly passionate about.
MEDIA 7 | January 9, 2020
Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder & Chief Evangelist at Terminus is also an author and host of the podcast FlipmyFunnel. He is one of the leading minds in B2B marketing.
MEDIA 7: What are you passionate about?
SANGRAM VAJRE: Three things: Lead professionally. Grow personally. Love family.
M7: Terminus has been recognized as one of Georgia’s 40 fastest-growing companies by ACG Atlanta. What factors contribute to this pace?
SV: One of our core values is #OneTeam – which means we think and act as one team and know that if we treat our team right, they will treat our customers amazing. There are no great companies, only great people that make those companies.
MEDIA 7 | December 5, 2019
Andrea Lechner-Becker, Chief Marketing Officer at LeadMD is an experienced Marketing and Sales Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry.
Skilled in Business Process, Marketo, Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and IT Service Management, Andrea is also a strong business development professional and a storyteller.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
ANDREA LECHNER: Frankly, not having better options. I originally attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse thinking I’d major in Archaeology. I wanted to be Indiana Jones! But, after visiting the archaeology building – i.e. the cold, dark basement of the science building – where a girl sat to piece together pieces of an old Native American vase, I knew archaeology was not going to be the right path for me. And so, without being good at science and a major in art or art history was unlikely to pay my bills, I decided to go into “business”. I originally registered as a management major, but took my first marketing class and thought it was more interesting and switched my sophomore year. That was pretty much it. I’d never been involved in business classes or DECA in high school – I didn’t really know what to do or what jobs in marketing were even possible. I dumb lucked myself into it really.
M7: As a storyteller, do you relate the brand to a story or story to the brand?
AL: Both? Neither? I think there are stories in every brand, because there are people working on the brand and people engaging with the brand and people using what the brand creates. People, most often a single person, are at the heart of great stories.
You can start with the “point” of the story you’re trying to tell. Say you have a software that help accountants better create reports for board meetings. It’s likely you’ll want to tell a success story about an accountant getting promoted to CFO in part because your software helped better communicate their work product to the board. You could have the idea for that and go looking for that story in your customers. OR, you could hear that story, and say, “That’s amazing!” and share it with customers, partners and internal people. Stories are all around us – the most important thing is to keep your ears and eyes open for finding them.
MEDIA 7 | November 28, 2019
Ed Breault, Chief Marketing Officer at Aprimo is a marketer with over 18 years of industry experience. At Aprimo, Ed is responsible for the global brand and growth which includes all Paid/Owned/Earned media, Brand Experience, Product Marketing, Industry Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Strategic Communications, Content Marketing, Analyst Relations, Alliance Marketing, Public Relations, Events, Demand Generation and Account-Based Marketing.
MEDIA 7: What’s your superpower?
ED BREAULT: I would say it’s applying the full spectrum of art and science that is required in marketing today. Not just left or right brained, but whole-brained strategy. Being human yet data-driven and really understanding numbers and (the right) metrics to make connections to business drivers. Add storytelling to that, so I can effectively communicate to my team, the CEO and CFO as well as my Board of Directors on those metrics, and connecting all that we are doing in marketing to the mission of the business. Then quickly shifting gears to the art and creative aspects of marketing that are required to engage an audience and tell great commercial stories that take complex concepts and craft them in a way that is interesting for people to pay attention to. I have to be the ultimate point of truth for the brand.
M7: At Aprimo, how have marketing leadership roles and responsibilities evolved over the past few years?
EB: There are so many dimensions needed by marketing leaders today. There are several elements driving this evolution, it’s the new experience battlefront that is emerging and also marketers themselves driving changes. From a market perspective, there is a clear appetite for disruption and consumers are wanting more experiential elements to their buying experience and interactions with brands. Take a few direct to consumer disruptions like trialing products in-home, purchasing directly from a brand or even wanting to ensure that the producer’s trade practices are in line with the buyer’s or even a regulator’s for that matter. Then we want to try before we buy, and we emotionally care about the supply chain of products. Do we TRUST this brand to do business with them? Behind all of this is a story that needs to be told, and it is those marketers who know their audience well and make connections that will win the commercial game.
Back to the marketer, there are so many diverse backgrounds that marketers bring now and I’m really intrigued by those who have unconventional backgrounds because they contribute something uniquely new to the field. I love hearing about the marketer’s journey.
MEDIA 7 | November 21, 2019
Amy Barzdukas, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Poly is a marketing and communications leader with extensive experience in setting strategy, shifting perceptions, advising customers, digital marketing, revenue marketing, integrated marketing communications, and public relations in highly competitive product arenas.
Amy is known for her ability to create and execute winning turnarounds on a global scale.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
AMY BARZDUKAS: I was always destined for marketing, even if I didn’t know it. As a child, I collected promotional brochures. I was fascinated by how the words and pictures were used to drive action. My first job was as an advertising copywriter, and I’ve never looked back.
M7: How is Poly redefining the video conferencing experience for modern businesses?
AB: We’re in an unprecedented time of change in our industry. Voice and video services are moving to the cloud, and companies are changing how they approach their communications needs. Poly is the largest provider of the devices – video conferencing, audio conferencing, headphones and desk phones – you use to connect to these services so you can collaborate with your colleagues. That uniquely positions us to shape the video conferencing experience, and we’re doing so in four ways.
First, Poly has made both the Zoom Rooms and the Microsoft Teams video conferencing experience better than ever with our radically simple Poly Studio X video bars that deliver these experiences with no PC or Mac required. We’ve got decades of experience in understanding what makes meetings more human – for everyone in the room and those dialing in from other locations – and we’ve packed all of that into easy-to-install, easy-to-manage, and easy-to-use all-in-one powerhouses.
Second, we are bringing the world of AV and video conferencing into the modern app economy. Our Studio X series and Poly G7500 video conferencing devices run a common platform that can be updated and enhanced through a series of regular software updates. This Poly platform, built on Android, can run applications like a smartphone does today.
Third, Poly has introduced innovation that makes any video conference better. Our new Poly MeetingAI features use AI and machine learning to address the distractions that hit your senses in a meeting. We make it easier to hear what’s being said by blocking out the annoying noises that people make while talking, and we make it easier to see what’s going on in the room with the most advanced speaker tracking and framing, and our built-in production rules.
Finally, we are pricing our solutions in a way that completely resets the calculations on what it costs to outfit a room. The Studio X30, for huddle room and smaller spaces, costs just about $2,100, including the Poly TC8 touch controller. All you add is the cloud service and a monitor, and you have a room up and running for under $2,500. That’s easily under the cost of other solutions and with better audio and video quality.
MEDIA 7 | October 24, 2019
Jeanne Hopkins, CMO at Lola.com has profound expertise in data-driven, high-velocity customer acquisition and marketing organizations and inbound-based lead gen programs to support global demand for high-growth SaaS companies.
Jeanne is also the co-author of "Go Mobile"?, the #1 best-selling mobile marketing book. She has been named to Sales Lead Management Association "Top 50"? 3 years in a row and "20 Women to Watch" in 2015/14/13 & 2011.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
JEANNE HOPKINS: After graduation, I took my first job in the accounting department at Baystate Medical Center. At my annual review, I was told that I was too “noisy” for an accounting department. I went on to work at Milton Bradley Company’s in-house advertising agency, MB Communications, as editor of their in-house newspaper, and later recruited to LEGO Systems to do marketing programs. I found myself at a self-funded start-up tech company in 2000, where I was running an inside sales team and building digital properties to generate leads. I moved into software, digital marketing, and lead generation at companies like MarketingSherpa, then HubSpot, SmartBear, Ipswitch (now Progress Software) – it’s all been a fantastic journey.
M7: How is agile technology transforming corporate travel around the globe?
JH: Small and mid-sized businesses have to be fast and efficient amidst growth, and booking, re-booking, and managing business travel can seriously impede efficiency and productivity. Finance teams are trying to manage, control, and get visibility into expenditures. Travelers are trying to do their jobs and don’t have time for expense reports. And travel arrangers (executive assistants and office admins) have plenty on their plates. Finally, there are tools that are addressing these direct needs at small and mid-sized businesses. Consumers have had the ease of booking travel through sites like Kayak and big businesses can afford the services and fees associated with high-end travel agencies. But the middle segment has been left out. Now, agile tools like Lola.com are making it really easy for corporate travelers to book, re-book, and take the task of expense reports off the table. And finance teams are able to set up travel policies in minutes, and easily manage, control, and get visibility into expenditures. The corporate travel market is huge, and agile technology is making it much easier for travelers and companies all-around.
MEDIA 7 | October 17, 2019
John A. Steinert, Chief Marketing Officer at TechTarget helps bring the power of purchase intent-driven marketing and sales services to technology companies.
With a strong drive to help customers achieve their business objectives faster and bigger, John and his TechTarget team connects the information needs of enterprise tech buyers and the go-to-market efforts of solution providers, ensuring that everybody wins.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
JOHN STEINERT: That’s easy. Marketing inspired me to get into marketing. I’ve always loved great communicators and the formats used in communications. As a kid during some pretty tumultuous times in American history, I was surrounded by great political, guerilla, and yes even commercial communications. Speeches, hearings, demonstrations, TV, advertisements, even album covers and t-shirts made a strong impression on me. Obviously, with the rise of the internet, long-tail video channels and social media, things have blossomed to an even more amazing level.
M7: How does TechTarget's Priority Engine™ support tech vendors to achieve their marketing and sales objectives?
JS: By helping companies see and interpret real buyer needs and preferences, Priority Engine first provides a relevant, permissioned basis for a marketer to intercept a buyer’s journey and then it assists users in taking very specific influencing and engagement actions. Because Priority Engine provides the actual permissioned people doing buying research, it saves tons of resource that’s commonly wasted chasing prospects who don’t have a need and leads that are actually dead ends. And because Priority Engine shares the real needs and preferences of the actual buyers with both marketing and sales when they share the platform, it enables far better conversion at every step, from funnel, to pipeline, through to renewal.
MEDIA 7 | September 26, 2019
Randy Frisch, CMO and Co-Founder at Uberflip has led the content experience movement, prompting marketers to think beyond content creation and focus on the experience.
Randy also co-hosts the Conex Show, a weekly podcast featuring top marketers and their strategies and secrets to success. His talks empower marketers with the strategies they need to capture their audiences, prove their worth, and align their vision.
MEDIA 7: If I were to say to a bunch of people who know you, ‘Give me three adjectives that best describe you’, what would I hear?
RANDY FRISCH: Determined, passionate, caring.
M7: From Flipbooks to the world’s first content experience platform in just 6 years. What are some of the top reasons that helped drive Uberflip to where it is now?
RF: We started as a solution that would allow marketers to share content to readers whenever they wanted and on whichever devices. People still want to consume content whenever they want. Think of the way in which we consume video content on Netflix or music content on Spotify. We’ve been successful in large part because we’ve been able to create a product that marketers need, that make it easier for their buyers to become customers. But that hasn’t been enough.
The differentiator for us is culture—the values we strive for as an organization (not just the work environment). I’ll share my 3 favourites here:
? H.U.S.T.L.E.: this one stands for Heart, Unique, Skill, Tech, Lean, Entrepreneurial. My co-founder, Yoav Schwartz, and I actually screen new hires for these traits.
? Valuable, Relevant & Consistent: this one comes from the initial definition of Content Marketing (“creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content”) by Robert Rose and Joe Pullizzi at the Content Marketing Institute. It only makes sense that our teams and employees should expect to be valuable, relevant, and consistent.
? Give Back: It’s important for us to give back to our communities and while we do this in numerous ways led by people across our team, one of my favourites is an annual charity ping pong tournament we host called Startupong which brought together startups in Toronto to raise $50,000 for Sick Kids hospital this year.
We’ve been successful mostly because we’ve been able to create a brand around engaging our team, our customers, and even our partners around these values.
MEDIA 7 | September 17, 2019
Patrick Welch, President and CMO at Bigtincan is a top performing senior executive with 22 years’ experience managing, bringing to market and selling innovative software management solutions to various high value market segments.
Patrick is an inspirational executive with a strong track record of building loyal, high-performance teams and successful businesses in the B2B technology space.
MEDIA 7: You’ve an exemplary career growth record with 9 promotions in 14 years. What do you believe is your superpower for being able to achieve the outcome you desire?
PATRICK WELCH: A great wife and family. Also, I’ve been fortunate to be part of some great companies, that have found product market fit in the large, fast growing paradigm shift. It’s really seeing the opportunity in the market, then surrounding yourself with great people, executing and never wavering.
M7: You’ve been quite influential in growing Netegrity from start-up to $100 million+ in annual sales, showing your positive attitude of “growing-with-the-company instead of growing-within-companies.” How is the feeling of witnessing the company rise from scratch to the empire it is today, and what valuable experience have you derived from this?
PW: The journey is amazing, but it’s important to reflect on the ingredients for success. In Netegrity’s case, we had some amazing people, really focused on the enterprise customer, listening and building a roadmap with clients that allowed us to stay ahead of the competition and win big in the market. I also believe you need to create an ecosystem to embrace the customer and fit into their needs. Markets and products have a life span, so it’s crucial to ensure the company is constantly innovating while layering the tech on top.
MEDIA 7 | September 5, 2019
Tom O'Regan, CEO at Madison Logic is a global leader in account based marketing. In this role, O’Regan leads all company initiatives with an emphasis on positioning ActivateABMTM as the only truly global account based marketing platform built for B2B marketers.
Focused on driving Madison Logic momentum and enabling the Marketer to be the driving force for growth and change within the enterprise, O’Regan also sits on the Advisory Board of The Fiscal Times, both the Sales Executive Committee and B2B Operating Group at the IAB.
MEDIA 7: If I were to say to a bunch of people who know you, ‘Give me three adjectives that best describe you’, what would I hear?
TOM O'REGAN: Passionate, Optimistic, and Indefatigable
M7: Ovum has named Madison Logic a “Leader” in the Ovum Market Radar: Account-Based Marketing report. What factors have led Madison Logic to emerge as a leader in ABM?
TO'R: Ovum recognized the strength of our ABM platform in achieving predictable growth among the fastest growing B2B organizations globally. Specifically, the ability to leverage intent data to target the right accounts, measure ABM effectiveness, shorten sales cycles, and accelerate growth. The Ovum report also highlights Madison Logic's data gateway that allows CRM and MAP platforms to connect seamlessly including Salesforce, Marketo, and Oracle Eloqua.
MEDIA 7 | August 26, 2019
Jaime Punishill, CMO at Lionbridge is an innovative marketing, channel, and product executive with a proven track record for finding blue ocean strategies and delivering scalable business operations.
Jaime is also an expert in operationalizing design thinking, translating new concepts and trends into workable business plans and operations, and delivering pragmatic innovation within a large enterprise.
MEDIA 7: Could you tell us about your role and journey into marketing?
JAIME PUNISHILL: As Chief Marketing Officer for Lionbridge, I oversee brand, demand gen, corporate communications, marketing, and customer research. Interestingly enough, I’m not a classic marketer by training. I have spent most of my career on the product side and in digital transformation. I’ve been doing that since the mid-1990s. At some point, it became clear that marketing was the next area that universal digital transformation was going to overtake, and areas like user experience and many other digital functions that had been done separately were going to move under the remit of marketing. I slowly moved into the marketing universe and helped with big digital transformation in my previous company. That led me to take on all our brand, advertising, and integrated marketing. In that way, I ended up with a more traditional marketing role, and that led me to Lionbridge.
M7: As a CMO, what are the biggest challenges you face?
JP: One of the biggest challenges is the unbelievable explosion in the martech space. I get over 300-400 emails and dozens of phone calls every day from different vendors who are trying to push different tools to help optimize the new digital experience. Keeping track of the rapid pace of evolution and trying to integrate all those tools is single-handedly probably one of the biggest challenges for CMOs. It swallows historical challenges, like getting the company to buy into a new understanding of the digital universe, or getting people to appreciate customer research and customer feedback.
These are always challenges, but they are all lower in scale now than just sheer digital transformation and the volume of tools and resources that accompany that transformation. There’s so much noise, and it’s really hard to tell what’s real and what’s not real.
MEDIA 7 | August 19, 2019
Robert Rose, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory has worked with more than 500 companies, including 15 of the Fortune 100 and provided marketing advice and counsel for global brands such as Facebook, Capital One, Dell, Ernst & Young, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, etc.
Robert is also an early-stage investor and advisor to a number of technology startups, apart from being a featured keynote speaker and workshop teacher at technology and marketing events around the world.
MEDIA 7: If we were talking a year from now celebrating what a great 12 months it’s been for you in this role, what would you have achieved?
ROBERT ROSE: We’re on a path to double the size of our business in the next 12 months. We’ve been quite blessed to work with some of the greatest brands on the planet, to help them sort out their content operations and strategy. So, a great year from us is continuing to work with more and more, and different, types of enterprises – while we increase our capacity to deliver the smartest content strategy and education.
M7: In what way is The Content Advisory transforming marketing practices and accelerating the strategic content marketing shift?
RR: Given our experience, and the number of companies we’ve worked with over the last 7 years, we’ve got a unique perspective on what works in content marketing. We’ve watched as Content Marketing has gone from this “nice-to-have” addition to demand generation and SEO, to a must-have, strategic function for adding overall value to the business. In other words, we’ve watched content marketing go from marketing tactic, to business strategy. The frameworks (which is really the output of our unique perspective) for setting a foundational operation model for content, along with how to create the teams, the governance and the measurement strategies are what set us apart for our clients’ success.
MEDIA 7 | July 23, 2019
Jay Gaines, CMO at Forrester has over 20 years of experience in organizational design and leadership, marketing strategy and planning, marketing budget and operations management, demand creation, sales and marketing alignment, and digital strategy in a variety of b-to-b industries.
In this Q&A, Jay shares insightful thoughts about the audience-centric approach at SiriusDecisions and what marketing means to him.
MEDIA 7: How old were you when you had your first paying job?
JAY GAINES: I was 10 years old! I delivered newspapers in my neighborhood on my bike five days a week after school.
M7: You have been recognized as one of the top 10 CMOs in 2019 by The Silicon Review. What skills have enabled you to become a marketing industry leader?
JG: In my time at SiriusDecisions, I’ve had the good fortune to work closely with many amazing CMOs. That work provided me great insight into what makes for a highly effective and successful marketing leader. There are three primary skills that I think have helped me the most; first, to be a business leader and then a marketing leader. This means focusing on, being accountable for, and consistently reporting on marketing’s contribution to the same business goals that the CEO, CFO, board of directors and head of sales care about most. It also means always speaking the language of business, and avoiding marketing jargon when communicating with my colleagues outside of marketing. Second, is just being a good leader for my team by providing structure and clear goals, defending their focus, and promoting a culture of experimentation and rigor. Third, is constantly staying curious. Marketing is evolving so rapidly in terms of strategies, approaches, technologies, and measurement that part of any leader's job must be keeping up what’s new without chasing every new shiny object. Read More
MEDIA 7 | July 17, 2019
Latane Conant, CMO at 6sense has always been keenly focused on leveraging data to ensure marketing programs result in deals, not just leads.
At 6sense, Latane helps sales and marketing leaders increase revenue by tapping into the power of predictive intelligence to uncover buyers who are ready to buy.
MEDIA 7: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
LATANE CONANT: The first thing I ever wanted to be was a lifeguard and swim coach. When I was 5 years old, I joined the swim team as one of the youngest swimmers. At 13, I was too young to be a lifeguard so I begged them to create a “JR lifeguard” position. This was essentially deck swabbing and towel service but I didn’t care. So they hired me and called me “young jedi”. The head lifeguard loved to play jokes on me. One time he gave me a ruler and said every deck chair needed to be 10 ¾ inches apart. There were 50+ deck chairs, but I went out and started measuring. Finally, after a few chairs, they called me over the loudspeaker to come back to the office and we all had a big laugh. Another time they took me down to the filter room, which was underground and pretty spooky.
BUT as a young jedi, I had to learn how the system worked. We descended under the deck and I climbed a rickety old ladder to look down into the pump. Another lifeguard in scuba gear was waiting underwater and jumped out of the filter tank and scared the bejesus out of me! Once I calmed down I thought it was pretty hysterical! My role could have been seen as pretty mundane - bathroom cleaning and towel folding - BUT I loved the people I worked with so much. I worshipped the lifeguards and swim coaches!
They kept me on my toes and in stitches all summer, so it’s still one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I finally graduated to teaching swim lessons, with a focus on kids who did not swim at all and were afraid to go in the pool. Nothing was more rewarding than seeing someone do something they thought they could not, or actually loving something that used to scare them - like put their head underwater, dive off the blocks, or swim the butterfly stroke for a lap.
M7: Latane, you have always thrived on working with wicked smart people. How do you get the best out of them when there is a common notion that it’s difficult to make smart people work together?
LC: Talented people want to be able to do great work. Not the average, crank some blogs out or run an event, but truly cool and differentiated things. My job is to be a force field and ensure the team has the opportunity to try different things and do their best work. This means providing focus. A powerful focus tool we use is the V2MOM. V2MOM stands for Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Metrics. Vision is what you want to achieve. Ideally your vision makes everyone uncomfortably excited. Values are why it matters, what you believe, guiding principles for decision making. Methods are where the rubber meets the road and are the top things you will do to achieve the vision.
Under each method, it's key to detail out obstacles (so you can plan around them) and metrics so you know if the method is on track. What’s nice about the system is that it provides built-in planning and is time bound. So every quarter I get my team together and we revise our V2MOM. This builds consensus around the vision and how we are going to get there. Every method gets assigned an owner, which drives accountability. And we publically track the metrics weekly so everyone knows our progress. The interesting thing about the V2MOM is not what's on the V2mom but what is NOT on the V2MOM. Because the process requires hyper prioritization of what you are going to do in a given time period, it forces focus.
I’m pretty obsessed and love the V2MOM. I am happy to share more on how teams can adopt, implement, and use it. In fact, maybe in my next life, I will be a V2mom consultant!
MEDIA 7 | June 20, 2019
Kolja Eikelmann, CMO & Head of Marketing at PPG Industries is a forward thinking and result-driven Marketing expert with 20 years of experience in the FMCG marketing industry.
In this Q&A, Kolja shares his unique marketing experiences and gives us interesting insights about PPG Industries, a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, and specialty materials which is driving innovation, sustainability and color in the industry.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into Marketing?
KOLJA EIKELMANN: I wouldn’t be able to say when I first realised marketing was the path for me, but I think it’s been evident my whole life that I’m interested in the diversity that marketing allows. Since childhood, I have always been so fascinated with the details of a product, no matter what it is. I have an endless sense of curiosity and I think that was the major driving factor for me to enter the world of marketing.
I realised marketing might be for me when I discovered the unique opportunity it offers to be involved in all spectrums of the business; not just advertising, but also in creating solutions and analysing outcomes. The overarching goal is always to make a real difference and help people in their daily lives, and marketing allows you to both be a part of the solution as well as a witness to the outcomes.
My job with PPG is very colourful – just like my company! Within my one job title I get to explore innovation, creativity and analysis. This variety has always been appealing to me.
M7: You have an exemplary marketing experience of more than 20 years in the FMCG industry. How have the marketing dynamics changed over these years and what tactics do you feel modern marketers should adopt, to survive in this competitive world?
KE: As you would expect of any industry in the 21st century, marketing is constantly changing and increasing in complexity in this digital age. The increasing presence of digital media and the growing demand for ease-of-access online services, has resulted in the field growing broader than ever before. The possibilities now are numerous, but they are fragmented; you must be truly dedicated to the field to build the knowledge base of marketing tools required to thrive in such a climate. Ultimately, PPG wants to produce work that has the greatest impact on businesses, this was arguably easier in the past when you had a traditional, simple media mix, as opposed to now when success depends on mastering traditional media and online outlets, social media and digital advertising tools.
For example, it can be easy to spend a lot of money on Google ads that are expected to be high value, but instead, organizations might see greater return on sales if the money had been allocated to a faster and more agile response to SEO.
In marketing, it can be easy to get caught up in the creativity of the work – as that is most often our strength – but not fully immersing yourself in the analytical side of things is a mistake that is often reflected in outcomes. I would recommend that every marketer should always make sure to know their KPIs inside and out and try to get as familiar with Excel spreadsheets and analysis as they are with the creative work.
In this constantly changing modern landscape, marketing has become even more important than ever before. Specifically, in the paints and coatings industry, marketing was a late bloomer as it has been driven by shelf sales for so long. However, as an industry we are refocusing on innovation and purpose; and pushing the boundaries on what is expected from paints and coatings and what they can do. PPG aims to improve and protect the world through our products – but none of this is possible without proper marketing to support the business.
MEDIA 7 | June 13, 2019
Emil Brunner, CEO of Takeoff1 GmbH is an experienced businessman who has worked in many countries. He has dedicated more than 10 years to the intuitive method of language acquisition called the “Birkenbihl Approach” formulated by Vera F. Birkenbihl. Emil and Vera have worked together on the digitalization of this language acquisition method which has been incorporated into Emil's language-learning platform, Brain-Friendly.
In this interesting Q&A, Emil takes us through the Birkinbihl approach which is helping users worldwide to learn languages with ease.
MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us about your background?
EMIL BRUNNER: I started as a technician; then I changed to sales. In my heart, I’ve always been a salesman. I started my business as the first Xerox Partner in Austria, and then I managed a company selling office machines and equipment. It was my first time going into other countries, like Germany and Switzerland. In that business, I worked with many phone agents, so the company grew to an outbound sales call center. In the USA, I had my first technology experience and built an automated call machine. We then got the franchise partner of RTL Teleshop - it was after QVC the second largest in DACH, for Austria. I gained knowledge in TV-Power plus Sales power and found it fascinating. The next step was to automate the call center.
In 2004, we ran a call center in a pizza box (computer) for teleshop companies. In the States, we closed orders for up to 60% of callers fully automated, the rest were connected to the classical human call center. It had a great future, but I did it with the wrong people. So the company went bankrupt, and we went back to Austria.
After that experience, back "home" - felt so small, and we went on to start a software development business.
I began working and studying TV & Film making at the same time. My master's degree was a documentary film about "Teleshop and new technologies.”
I met Vera F. Birkenbihl, and she was one of the most successful scientists for learning methods and strategies and held a lot of live seminars - long before TEDx came up. I produced about 10 of those seminars, gaining many skills in the process, and that's when I found out about the language learning method. Me and language? I had trouble all the time while I went to school. I was sure languages were not for me. However, my son was a successful young developer and was interested and started to develop an app for language learning - using the brain-friendly Birkenbihl method. Which means, you never waste time cramming vocabulary and you don't need to learn any grammar rules.
I don't know anyone who’s happy learning vocabulary. About 90+% of all people using a language (mother tongue and foreign language) are not able to describe a grammar rule — only the teachers can do it. So there must be another way without the pain. And here it was!
I tried to learn English. The goal was to speak well without thinking about what to say. I just wanted to talk.
That's it. It took me more than a year, but I had an experience I’ll never forget. I was working on my phone with many customers and collecting orders. After a while, I put the orders from my notes into the computer. Wow! I had made a request for English courses - an order from a bookstore in Birmingham. How did I do it? Yes, I did it in English, and I didn't even realize it. It was automatic. The gap, switching from German to English, was gone - forever.
In the meantime, both my sons, Herwig and Gerwin, were now professionals in software development on the international stage. I had a Swiss partner and last year, I sold my shares to set up a new company with a new app - the Birkenbihl language learning movies. The digitalization of language learning - watch a movie and get the language. Based on subscription models, we sell it now in DACH, US, and European Single markets.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning, that I am the only one, who got the okay from Vera F.Birkenbihl (she died 2011), to follow the method of the new science of language learning and take it to the next level. I got the seal of approval for the "Birkenbihl Approach" to honor products they follow with the principle of "brain-friendly" learning method.
I have put all of this experience into a new book, the follow up of Birkenbihl's bestseller "Einfach Sprachen Lernen". I completed it with Katharina Rucker, she has been on board since 2008 and is still the best blogger for language learning knowledge. The book will be published in English in Q1-2020. Read More
MEDIA 7 | May 20, 2019
Margaret Molloy, Global CMO of Siegel+Gale has a 20-year track record as a business-to-business growth instigator, achieved by uniting brand building with demand generation. In Siegel+Gale’s Simplifiers series, Margaret Molloy interviews business leaders who put simplicity to work.
Considered a "CMO whisperer," Margaret is a highly influential CMO and convener of panels and roundtables. She has been recognized by Forbes as one of the top 10 CMOs on Twitter. Margaret also serves as the New York Chair of the Marketing Society.
MEDIA 7: If we were to say to a bunch of people who know you, ‘Give us three adjectives that best describe you’, what would we hear?
MARGARET MOLLOY: Passionate, energetic and influential.
M7: What is your favourite part of working at Siegel+Gale?
MM: Both our ethos—helping brands realize the power of simplicity, and the strategists, designers, researchers, and writers who deliver on that ethos to our clients. Our teams are truly simplifiers. I believe that in our harried, cluttered world, brands that focus on simplicity, win.
MEDIA 7 | May 19, 2019
Paige O'Neill, CMO of Sitecore is an experienced, data-driven B2B marketer with enterprise and mid-market SaaS experience that ranges from Fortune 100 to late stage startups and stages in between. Her career graph uniquely combines extensive product marketing and PR / communications backgrounds resulting in an adeptness at creating brand stories and differentiated positioning.
In this thought-provoking Q&A with MEDIA 7, Paige shares her journey into the field of marketing and her unrelenting zest for technology.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into Marketing?
PAIGE O'NEILL: My journey started when I was a Ph.D. student at New York University, and I thought I was on the road to become a college professor, but one day I had an interview at a high-tech PR firm for a part time job. The enthusiasm for technology at that agency changed the course of my life. I felt enamored with everything I heard about “PR” – even though at the time I didn’t even know what it actually was – so I dropped out of the Ph.D. program and started a career working for IBM’s PR agency. I loved technology communications, but wanted to tackle messaging from a more technical perspective, which led to my interest in product marketing. The transition from technology public relations to a product marketing role wasn’t an easy one. It’s an uncommon trajectory and there wasn’t a precedent at the company I worked for at the time, so I had to build my own path. In the end, I hustled to prove that I could leverage the skills I learned through my communications-focused position and translate them to a more product-focused role. It took persistence to prove that point. Read More
ONDECK | March 15, 2019
Tara O’Sullivan, the CMO of Skillsoft shares her insights on the impact of digital transformation on marketers and the need to focus on slashing the wide gender pay gap. With over 25 years of experience including B2B marketing in Ireland, EMEA and the US, Tara has extensive expertise in using marketing to effect change.
Here are her thoughts on women in marketing and the changing dynamics of the profession.
MEDIA 7: Tara, how old were you when you had your first paying job?
TARA O'SULLIVAN: 14 – I worked for my Dad photocopying manuals for software training. I loved the work, I loved being in amongst the team of people who were there. There was a lot of fun with the other people who worked there, and I learnt a lot of lessons on dealing with people, working on end user manuals which were like 500 pages thick, making sure they were all collated properly, the cover looked good – all to provide a real sense of the importance of the training. Read More
Staff Writer | December 12, 2016
We spoke with Gary Skidmore, the CEO of the Aberdeen Group, and asked him to share his insights on lead velocity and marketing performance. Gary has a well-established track-record of innovation in marketing acceleration from his time as a small business entrepreneur, global company executive and currently as CEO at the Aberdeen Group.
Here are his thoughts on what he’s seen work when it comes to sales and marketing speed.
DECK 7: What do you see as major impediments to marketing performance and ultimately more leads?GARY SKIDMORE: Simply put, marketers continue to get bogged down when they don’t have a clear understanding of who their best customers are, how they think and then what type of information might be most useful for them. When it comes to understanding customers, clarity helps to focus all marketing acceleration efforts (and related lead quantity and quality) on the things that matter to your customer. That’s a good thing.
D 7: How are leading companies addressing the issue of performance and velocity? GS: We see, from our Aberdeen Group research, that many companies continue to invest in data, predictive tools, Read More