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E11: The Future of Video with Melissa Matlins

 


Show Notes 

Our guest today is Melissa Matlins, VP of B2B Marketing at Vimeo. In this interview, Melissa shares:
 
📺 Strategic leadership advice: Exactly what she does in her first 90 days of any new role as a marketing leader
📺 The future of video: What happens when your company's communications no longer spark joy?
📺 A peek into the behind the scenes at Vimeo
 
ABOUT MELISSA MATLINS
Melissa is a forward thinking marketing executive and current VP of B2B Marketing at Vimeo. She excels at bridging teams and tech to build momentum and market share for ventures in New York and San Francisco.
 
MELISSA'S FAVORITE BUSINESS RESOURCE
The First 90 Days: https://amzn.to/2KK3e9o
 
HOW TO REACH MELISSA
Linkedin: Melissa Matlins
 

Transcript

Lorin: Welcome or welcome back to insider insights, timely and relevant insights from B2B thought leaders and niche experts. I'm your host Lauren McCann. And today we have a special guest, Melissa Matt Lynn's on the show. Melissa is a forward thinking marketing executive and current BP B2B marketing at Vimeo. She excels at bridging teams and tech to build momentum and market share for ventures in New York and San Francisco. And PSC is hiring. So Melissa, welcome to the show. I've shared just a little bit about you, but now let's take a moment to share a deeper introduction and just tell us a little bit more about yourself.

Melissa: Sure. Thanks Lauren. I'm really excited to, to be on the show in a, a fan of yours for a long time. So this is great. So a little bit more about me. I've been here at Vimeo for about eight months now. BDP is relatively new for the company. We recently, many people think of the Meo is a viewing destination or a place to store your videos. But we've recently refocused around building tools for the creative community, which includes people inside of businesses and enterprises that have advanced video needs. So that's the part of business that I've focused on growing in my role.

Lorin: Wonderful. Okay. Well thank you for sharing. More background with us. So we had a chance to chat a little bit before we started recording and I think you may be more so than anybody else I've spoken with this month. You have so much going on and you always have so much going on. You're incredibly busy and you're always working on new and exciting projects and building things and growing things. But out of everything that you have going on right now, what's the number one thing that you are most excited about?

Melissa: I think I'm really excited about the opportunity that we have here at Vimeo to both give businesses the tools that creative professionals have had for a really long time to make outstanding video. Many years ago, it was really important for every business to have a website. And that became really critical to their business, that they have that sort of visibility online. And we, in many ways, we see video as the same serving the same function from a distribution perspective. Companies need video to communicate with all of their stakeholders, their employees their customers. They need to build brand loyalty and they have so many video needs across the organization. And we're at the very start of how businesses, not just big businesses that can afford advanced video production, but all businesses can really leverage video in marketing and communications and other use cases.

Melissa:

So to me that's what gets me really excited is how do we enable many of these creators that sit inside of businesses who are already using Vimeo, maybe just to store their videos and just starting to think about how they're going toto use video to communicate with 100,000 employees all over the world instead of sending an email. So figuring out how to get them that message and also unlock that use case in a way for them. That's, it's easy as it's been for our creator community is what I'm focused on and excited about.

Lorin:

Man, that's a really tall order. But it sounds incredibly excited. So you know, I'm curious to learn more about this challenge actually, because this is like you said, this is a, this is a big transition. This is a huge movement in content and communication. You know, maybe you can tell me a little bit more about how you see just the changing dynamics with video content impacting the B to B space.

Melissa:

Yeah, it's interesting. I feel like businesses have a long history with video and they think about it in this almost very siloed way as a kind of a thing that marketing does, right? So maybe we're going to produce a video to promote this product or we're gonna make this video to share on social. Like that was a long, you know, there was a big thing of that. But so many people are, are spending hours a day with video content in their consumer lives and maybe 15 minutes a day reading. So their CEO sends them an email about really important strategic initiatives that are happening at a company. They probably don't read it. So companies are really struggling to figure out how they engage employees, get them aligned around strategic initiatives, and also just communicate with them in a more modern way.

Melissa:

And we see that as, you know, the breaking open of power of video for businesses. In addition to that, for me, companies traditionally they've been able to rely on distribute video distribution through cable companies, Netflix and other options that get them direct to their consumer. Youtube. Now they want a relationship directly with their own audiences and in order for them to make money as a business, as a fitness instructor, as a lifestyle guru, as a, you know, a producer of eating competitions, they need to figure out how to monetize that audience directly. Yeah. So they're starting to build what's called over the top channels, which is also something that we enable through our Ott products.

Lorin:

Totally cool. Okay. So this is a, this is a very interesting topic. Maybe you can actually take us behind the scenes a little bit into Vimeo and you know, how are you internally, is the team leveraging video for communications?

Melissa:

Yeah. it's a good question actually. I feel like I have a, an ongoing mantra about every time we plan a new campaign where I'll inevitably say it's almost like I have it printed on my forehead, my team anticipates it. Why don't we just do video for this? So I feel like we're actually like most businesses not necessarily ready or resource to do all of the innovative things that we want to do with video today. It's something that we talk about a lot. My team is relatively new. We have about half the team that's gotten here in the last three months. Right. That's another topic. But we have started to refocus a lot of our efforts around video production for two reasons. One because we see how effective it is for businesses that we work with every day. We believe that it's effective for us to, to get our message out to customers and prospects. But in addition to that too, it's just so much more impactful. Hearing a customer tell the story and how they use live video in their organization can just have a very personal impact that we're not necessarily seeing or getting from like the traditional beauty marketing stuff, case studies, ebooks we've been encouraging sales to use video in their outreach and it's all just having a very positive effect.

Lorin:

That is really interesting actually. So for sales orange, okay. I'm, I'm personally curious about this. Can, can you share a little bit more about that specific application?

Melissa:

Yeah, I mean, so as you might expect at Vimeo, there's a lot of video geeks across the company. So I'll just use one example. We had an internal pitch competition here and what I expected was to get voice recordings from people doing, doing their standard pitch. And you had sort of, we set up like a judging panel and I was like, all right, I'm going to go through these 20 pitches and then I would, you know, realize that what I didn't, what I didn't anticipate is that some people would choose to create, fully produced videos with bureaus and sounds God, wow. Really professionally done. And I think it was so great about that experiences that really opened our eyes to how we might be using what might be using video or could be using video in different ways to reach customers and prospects. So

Lorin:

That is so cool. So this, you almost have like this incubator inside of or for video content that is so cool. You know, I, I guess I have like a special interest in, in sales right now working with you know, companies and you know, sales development. But the idea, it's, it's like, you know, email, inbox fatigue is real and you know, phone call. It's just sometimes it's hard to even like get the data to be able to, you know, call up the right person inside of a company and reach them. So a lot of creative organizations are looking for other strategies to you know, impact that sales process. And I think video is very, very interesting. You know, for that reason just because it's something new and it's something more personalized. So very, very interesting. Okay. So Melissa, you just shared a really exciting highlights. Now I'm wondering if you can take us into a recent challenge inside of the organization, walk us through that challenge and also

Melissa:

How you solved it. Sure. so I think like most fast growing companies, we have a lot of operational challenges. They generally fall into two buckets here. We have grown quite a bit by acquisition. So we've acquired two companies in the last two years for a B2B market specifically. One was a product called VHX, which is now part of our Vimeo Ott offering. And the other was live stream, which was a large player in the space. And so many of the backend systems that you need to run marketing and sales effectively, I always call it the unsexy side of marketing. We're kind of smushed together. And not necessarily desirable way. So as we scaled, it was very clear that two things were happening. One, we were outgrowing a lot of this much together systems. And there was a lot of legacy cleanup that needed to happen and in order for us to just move more quickly. And the other thing was that we just didn't have a lot of visible visibility across our marketing and sales tech stack and we were missing things. And the middle so working with sales, we made a decision to pull those two teams together under one umbrella. And we now have an integrated marketing sales ops team that can serve both the marketing.

Lorin:

Wow. Okay. Very cool. So that's kind of a two pronged approach. It sounds like to solving some technologies cause it's technology, but it's also people merge those two departments together. Okay. That's no easy feat. So after going through a transition like that, do you have any advice for a peer who might be going through a similar challenge?

Melissa:

So it's interesting. Probably my first week I, I attended our sales kickoff and they asked me to make the presentation, which I barely found the bathroom at that point. But I did share like, here are the principles that I always follow when I work with sales. And the very first one is measure the same stuff depending on the audience. Sometimes I'll use a stronger word. But it's really critical to marketing sales alignment that you just are looking at the same data and, and can agree and align on what the data is trying to tell you. So it was super critical to me to handle the unsexy of marketing first to make sure that we have that fundamental alignment before we went on and tackled new programs, new challenges, new things, new things we want to do. So really my advice is to really to really use that as a guiding principle.

Melissa:

In some organizations you're gonna naturally have that alignment. In some cases you may not be growing as fast, so maybe less critical that you really quickly get aligned on that. I think in assessing the situation is just really critical to start with the fundamentals, measure the same stuff, make sure that the teams are aligned, don't bother sales on the 31st of the month when they're trying to close deals. Like you need to figure out ways to tap into each other's processes before you come in and make changes. And I mean that was, you know, this is a change that's relatively recent. It happened about six months into my role here after many, many conversations with both marketing and sales counterparts to really figure out what the charter for this new team would be.

Lorin:

Wonderful. Okay. So measure the same stuff and I really liked that second part, which is understand each other's processes so you're not coming in when sales is lender insane pressure at the end of the month, end of the quarter or whatever. Yeah. Okay. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that. So the next question for you is also about advice but it's distilling it down to these things [inaudible] best piece of business advice that you have ever received.

Melissa:

Yeah. I think the one that is often at the front of my mind on most days is a don't mistake activity for achievement. I think particularly in marketing it is very easy to do the things that you think will have impact, which is very different from planning a campaign or a program or a strategy impacts first. Definitely I want to achieve and this is where we need to be at the end of the quarter. Then what are the activities that I want to do? Does that make sense? Does that line up? There's so many unknowns in marketing. There's that classic phrase that 50% of my budget is wasted, but I don't know which 50% like, like even knowing that to be true and that's certainly been my experience. It doesn't absolve you of the responsibility to try and figure it out. I think in many cases we use phrases like that as the excuse instead of pushing through and saying that may be the case, but I'm going to find a way or make one.

Lorin:

Yeah, that's really, that's so important. You know, you also, you make a great point that activity I think activity and marketing, it does feel natural. Like you said, sometimes I from just personal experience, you can get so far into that activity that you don't necessarily realize that you're doing it, you know, you don't necessarily realize like, wait, have, is this going somewhere? What's the big picture with the outcome? And one, one way that I kind of raise a red flag personally and for companies I'm working with is, you know, are we what inspired this campaign? And for example, one red flag is, was it a competitive analysis? Was it something we saw somebody else doing? And we think we have to do it. You know, what are some red flags that you look for?

Melissa:

MMM we're doing this cause we've always done it. That's a really big one. A decision was made that we did this, my team and I actually, people that I've worked with for a long time actually joke about a decision was made. Like that's sort of our, our catch phrase for, we don't know why we're doing this. Like it was a decision made that we needed to. I think part of the reason that companies get to that place is because when you're growing really fast, you have to constantly question your assumptions. Even decisions that you made a week ago. Like this is still the right track. Are we still on the right thing? Like your business conditions change and sometimes they're not changes that are even internal your company, your competitor may launch something or a customer may give you some feedback that you weren't expecting and you need to figure out a way to consolidate all of these happenings into a way where you can constantly question the decisions that you're making and re format or reengage or reorients if necessary without slowing down. Yeah. [inaudible] tough mandate. Yeah.

Lorin:

But I think that's wonderful advice and I really appreciate you sharing it. Okay, so the, the next thing is I'm a business resource, so what is just one resource and it could be a book, podcast technology that you are just getting the most out of right now.

Melissa:

Yeah, this'll probably please a lot of marketers, but I am very susceptible to marketing emails. I read a lot of them. It partially just out of curiosity of Oh, that's an interesting thing that they did. I like that subject line, you know, so I, I open everything. I mean I must be in everybody's databases as a highly engaged lead. So, so I am a am sort of always looking at what other companies are doing. I particularly just right now like the content that drift is putting out over a customer of their I think they're doing a couple of really smart things. One thing that I've, I've used a number of times before in campaigns, which is to send things on a Sunday. It's like, that's, I'm online, you'll find me then looking at my inbox. So, so I do just look at what a lot of people are doing.

Melissa:

I think in addition to that I'm constantly starting new things and growing new things. So there are some old business books that I turn to again and again when I always like direct commend. This first 90 days. There's sort of honeymoon phase discovery phase that you always go to when you're starting a new initiative and a company new role, a new job. Like you need to figure out what the lay of the land is. And it's very rare that there's nothing that you can learn from doing some real exploratory due diligence on that. And I think earlier in my career I would make the mistake of coming in and changing everything really quickly cause that's very much how I'm oriented as a personality. And I now realize I need to understand what other people think and what the existing you know, community customers think about the business, about this role, about the impact that it's going to have about how this may change their role and their function.

Melissa:

So there's a couple of questions. I shared this with a ton of marketers about how to sort of systematically go through and interview people about, about this. So it includes, you know, what are the biggest challenges in the business? Why do we think those challenges exist? Where do you see the opportunities for growth? What do we need to do if we want to realize those opportunities? And then my favorite, which is, if you were me, what would you focus on? I think that's my favorite also because then I don't have to tell them, you know, tell me what your expectations are of me. It's like, why do you think I'm here? You can get some very interesting questions for that feedback.

Lorin:

So wonderful. I think and that that resource doubles is, you know, some more just insanely valuable business advice. I think every single person I've interviewed so far on this show, I feel like it's free consulting. It's just like what I learned from talking with people. You know, and just having casual conversations is insane. And this is another great example of that. So Melissa, thank you so much for your time today. This has just been fantastic. And if anybody wants to reach you, what's the best way to do that?

Melissa:

Oh, sure, great question. I'm a very active linkedin user, so I'm definitely connect with me on linkedin. I'm easily google-able the place where I'm most active is probably linkedin. Perfect. Or just send you a marketing email. Yes, I'll read it.

Lorin:

Okay. Well to everyone watching, thank you. If you liked this video, be sure to subscribe weekly videos just like this one. To learn more, visit customer intelligence institute.com and we will see you on the next episode of insider insight. Thank you. Thanks Melissa.

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