MEDIA 7 | January 16, 2020
Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World is an award-winning, communication and marketing professional who helps companies harness the power of their brand to drive engagement and achieve measurable business results.
She has developed and led content and marcomm programs for B2B companies in the financial and professional services sectors in her over 15 years of industry experience.
MEDIA 7: When did you start working and what was it?
MALIHA AQEEL: I started my career in 1996 right after high school, freelancing as a journalist and features writer for a magazine in Dubai, UAE. Over time, I expanded my services to include scriptwriting for corporate videos and TV productions, writing and designing client newsletters and promotional collateral.
M7: What made you want to pursue a career in branding and marketing communications? What aspect about your role brings you the most joy?
MA: I didn’t consciously decide to pursue a career in marketing and communication as my plan was to become a filmmaker. However, I had great curiosity about what makes people prefer one brand over the other when a feature-by-feature comparison didn’t show a huge difference between similar products or services. I had taken a few advertising courses during university and it broadened my understanding of how powerful brand experiences and storytelling can drive business objectives. That balance of strategy and creativity is what I enjoy most about what I do and why I’ve continued to find purpose in my career.
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MEDIA 7 | November 14, 2019
Matt Amundson, VP of Marketing at EverString has over 10 years of sales and marketing experience. Matt has held roles in Demand Generation and Sales Development at TIBCO, Marketo, FGXI and Red Bull. His primary focus has been on creating processes that generate a consistent, pipeline.
MEDIA 7: Could you tell us about your mantra “Go for the run”?
MATT AMUNDSON: On December 29th of 2017, I decided to change my lifestyle habits and decided that I’m going to run a minimum of one mile every single day. So, every day since that day I’ve got up and ran. It’s been a seminal moment where my approach on life and work has changed dramatically. And as a result of that, it’s become a personal mantra, which is to not be afraid of where you might be today. If you’ve got some lofty goals or if you want to try something new, just get out there and give it a try and see what the results of it could be. On a personal level, whether you’re physically tired or don’t feel like doing it, just give it a shot and go for it. On a professional level, if it’s something that can benefit you or your brand give it a try, go for it and see what happens.
M7: What is your favorite part about working at EverString?
MA: I really love the people that I work with and I’ve been at the organization for about four and a half years. Some of the folks that I’ve worked with since the beginning are still here and it’s just been an awesome journey to be on with some incredible colleagues and that��s just on a personal level. On a professional level, I think we’re all solving a major problem that a lot of organizations are suffering from – which is related to data. As a marketer who has existed in the mar tech space for the broader part of my career, we often think of our process improvements and workflow improvements to gain more efficiency. Whether that’s marketing automation system or a cool new technology like conversational AI most people fall into two camps when it comes to data, either they’re just not conscious of data or they are. The data that they purchase or the data they acquire ultimately powers everything they do from a marketing perspective or they’re used to the status quo of current data providers that provide low quality of data and are sort of mired in the “well I guess that’s the way it is and that’s just the quality level that I have to deal with”. The fact that we’re changing that for some of the world’s biggest brands like Capital One, FedEx, Staples, Autodesk, Oracle as well as the smaller brands is really exciting to me.
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MEDIA 7 | November 7, 2019
David Spark, Content Marketer and Producer, Managing Editor at Spark Media Solutions is a veteran tech journalist and founder of Spark Media Solutions. He’s been the creative director, producer, voice, and face of many content marketing campaigns for a number of Fortune 1000 B2B tech companies.
MEDIA 7: What part of your background, personality, experience, or skill set makes you a particularly effective content marketing professional?
• Veteran technology journalist (worked across all media)
• Former advertising exec
• Former standup comedian and comedy writer
M7: What inspires you to come up with new ideas for blog posts, campaigns, tech, and media podcasts?
DS: Inspiration is dependent on the project, the output, and the medium. But in general, I’m inspired by finding a topic/question that the audience will eagerly want to answer. Two of our most popular examples:
CISO Series – This is a media channel we started in October 2018 that we tout as couples counseling for security practitioners and vendors. We have such a passionate audience that they’re submitting a steady flow of questions, commentary, and games for our two podcasts. The CISO Series has provided the forum for our audience to be inspired.
“Man on the street” videos – It’s our most popular video format. We’ve produced close to 200 of these and my goal with these videos is to come up with a question where the first reaction is to laugh and then an eagerness about responding. It could be a challenge question (e.g., “What would happen if you left your mobile phone at home for an entire day?”, or something completely inappropriate for the environment (e.g., asking “What’s Your Password?” at a security conference).
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MEDIA 7 | October 7, 2019
Erik Charles, Vice President and Solutions Evangelist at Xactly Corporation is an accomplished professional with over two decades of experience in Marketing, Consulting, and Product Evangelization. Erik focuses on helping companies drive expansion and growth by better aligning positions, responsibilities, and incentives.
Erik serves as a subject matter expert in the area of Sales Performance Management to ensure that Xactly’s marketing, sales and product teams have the necessary strategic input for industry leading messaging, positioning, and future direction.
MEDIA 7: When did you start working and what was it?
ERIK CHARLES: In early 1980s, I wrote software on TRS-80 model II coded in BASIC to enable for computerized quotes for a life insurance agency. I was in middle school at the time, that was a contract work. My next job was at a software store back when software used to be bundled up into a cardboard box with inserted floppy disks and then it went on from there.
M7: You have an astounding experience of over two decades with industry pioneers like Apple, Sun Microsystems, Canon and recently Xactly Corporation. What has been the driving force behind your remarkable career?
EC: There are two things: as a marketer, I don’t believe in mistakes, I only believe in experiments and what we can learn from them, that has kept me moving forward. I keep on trying new things and seeing what works. I assume that just because it worked last week doesn’t mean it’s going to work tomorrow. So, I’ve never allowed myself to get into a rut. I have always been more than willing to find people who can provide excellent advice at critical moments, even on a specific direction. Finding someone that I can speak with, that can give me a few tips, tricks, hints, ideas, direction or path on moving on. So, I have never been afraid to ask just how could I do this better.
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MEDIA 7 | September 19, 2019
Tom Raftery, Global VP at SAP is an Innovation Evangelist, Futurist, and international Keynote speaker. Prior to joining SAP, Tom worked for a number of companies at Group IT Manager/CTO level, and as an Industry Analyst. Tom is a global thought leader and ranks among the top 10 Internet of Things influencers in the world.
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 RAFTERY: I would like to think that I am a good communicator, maybe smart and hopefully generous. You will have to ask people other than myself though. They would be a better judge.
M7: What is the role of a technology influencer in driving environmental sustainability?
TR: The role of someone like me would be to raise awareness of the issues that are happening and potential solutions to them, particularly technological solutions. A lot of people are busy in their day-to-day lives and they might not be aware of some of the more pressing environmental issues that are happening in the world and that might impact them. So, raising awareness with people, of the importance of these issues, and the potential technological solutions to them is the role I think that influencers should be playing.
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MEDIA 7 | June 25, 2019
Olivia Taylor, Director of CRO at Directive Consulting has 10 years of working experience in graphic designing and has expert knowledge in CRO/UX in landing pages and websites designing.
Olivia was recently nominated for the Orange County Business Journal's Top 25 Women in Business Awards.
MEDIA 7: What’s your superpower?
OLIVIA TAYLOR: I would like to think my superpower is empathy. That’s part of what CRO is: figuring out and understanding what’s going on through people’s minds and finding out what people need and want.
M7: Does it point to user intent, a term generally used in Account Based Marketing?
OT: Yes, exactly that. Because I’m able to basically understand where the consumer and the buyer is coming from, I can better optimize my clients’ websites, change that language in the headline and the subhead to relate to the customers’ pain points and better describe the benefits of what my client can provide to them.
M7: Your career spans an impressive 8 years from a Graphic Designer to being a Director of CRO at Directive Consulting. What attracted you to this industry, and how does Directive Consulting fit into your story?
OT: I became a designer because all other subjects in school were boring. 2+2 will always be 4, but with design, there are so many possibilities - so many different solutions to a problem. Plus, I always loved drawing and creating.
While going to school, I worked as a designer at a few different places. Then upon graduating, I worked at a tech company in-house but it just wasn’t for me. I moved on to an agency that was full-service, but that also was not the right fit. After that job, I ended up at a PPC agency where I learned about CRO. I started there as just a designer and left there as the Director of CRO.
Using the skills I learned there, I was able to join the upstanding company that is Directive where I’m learning so much more, and doing so many more awesome things than I did at any other job and it has been amazing. It’s so wonderful to work at a place that is professional and that takes the work so seriously, only striving to be the best at being different.
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MEDIA 7 | April 3, 2019
Tyler Lessard, VP Marketing of Vidyard has been recently named as an Epic Marketer by Marketo. In this interesting Q&A, Tyler takes us through his marketing journey and shares with us the value of technology in an era where videos are not just visually replenishing, but are also empowering the customer service teams in more ways than one.
MEDIA 7: What were you doing prior to your current position?
TYLER LESSARD: Prior to joining Vidyard as VP Marketing, I spent 10 years at BlackBerry, building out their developer relations program and global partner community. It was an incredible opportunity to learn the importance of relationship building and strong storytelling on a global scale, and the need to simplify how we articulate and position the value of technology for line-of-business customers.
M7: What are the changes that video hosting and management have undergone over the past couple of years at Vidyard?
TL: In recent years we’ve seen the conversation with businesses change from “why should I invest in video” to “how do I unlock the power of video across my marketing, sales and customer service teams”. This has driven us to focus on delivering new solutions through the lenses of these key audiences and what they are really trying to achieve.
We’re now helping marketing teams increase audience engagement with personalized and interactive video experiences, boost conversion rates on digital channels with optimized video experiences within their websites and email marketing, and accelerate deal cycles using video engagement data within their marketing automation platforms to qualify prospects. We’re helping sales development reps stand out and increase their response rates using personalized video messages sent via our Vidyard GoVideo app. And we’re helping customer service teams reduce call volumes and increase customer satisfaction with video-based knowledge articles embedded within customer communities. It’s all about helping businesses leverage video in new ways to improve the customer experience and generate more revenue.... Read More