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Making Video Less Scary for Marketers: A Q&A with Brainshark's CMO

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Corporate Visions Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference in Chicago. The theme of this event was "live the story." Examples included Don Draper, hot dog eating strategies, and adaptable monkeys as well as entertaining and insightful keynote presentations from Motorola, Cisco, UPS, and the "Freakonomics" and "Little Big Things" authors. This event certainly lived up to its name.


We are big fans of all things story here at MarketingProfs, so it should be no surprise how much I enjoyed hearing what organizations are doing to live their story. I was all ears (and good old-fashioned pen and paper), as I sat down with Andrew Zimmerman, CMO of Brainshark for an exclusive from-the-lobby interview.


Brainshark transforms the way people share and create content by providing them the tools to do so. A couple of things I learned right away: Andrew is NOT the Bizarre Foods guy, and he goes by Andy.


In your session on Thursday, you will discuss the use of video to improve demand gen and enable sales. What do you hope people take away from your session?


AZ: I want people to walk away with actionable takeaways. My goal is to provide inspiration and ideas using various examples of organized uses of video. Three main points I'll be sharing are: prepare, engage, and advance.


People, at times, seem fearful of the use video and think perhaps it’s too difficult to use.


AZ: Exactly. Our goal is to make video use easy for the average person.


There was a recent Brainshark blog post on the future of e-learning and training. I’m very curious to hear your take on this.


AZ: Everyone is looking to be more efficient, but at the same time be more effective, right? I’m a big proponent of combined formats of learning...so e-learning along with live training. You have to reinforce the learning by offering refresher modules of the content. It’s important to maintain simplicity and keep people engaged since it is so easy for them to lose focus.


What are some ways that you are doing this?


AZ: Well, we recommend modules no longer than 10 minutes---bite-sized, portable formats for the “just in time” learners … (in other words, your salespeople). Salespeople are often learning on the go, generally right before a meeting. You want to make the information available and accessible at the right time.


That’s been our experience here at ‘Profs as well. We’re seeing the short-format style of learning as a preference. One last question for you, Andy... What are your thoughts on the future of technology as it relates to sales enablement?


AZ: I see more one-to-one personalized communications and more communication happening in real time with the customer. Subtle selling messages will become more relevant and targeted. Here at Brainshark, we’ll be leveraging tools like Slideshark, Evergauge, and Localytics for serving up video within content, in-app messaging, and advanced analytics. Big data has always been critical… It comes down to how you use it to deliver timely content.


Personalized communication seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it?


AZ: It’s harder than you would think to implement.


Just to be clear as we wrap up here, you are NOT the guy from Bizarre Foods, correct? Because Google seemed to suggest otherwise...


AZ (laughing): Andy Zimmern? Nope. Although I believe his name was originally Andy Zimmerman, and he changed it … maybe to make it shorter?


Andy’s session did provide the takeaways he suggested. Video can be used in a variety of use cases---event invites, webinars, demos, and testimonials---just to name a few. He touched on the three points he made to me during our interview.





  • Prepare: use of video to prepare employees via e-learning, etc.


  • Engage: use of video to create engagement at all levels of the sales funnel


  • Advance: use of video to advance customers beyond the click


So there you have it... a little bit about how Brainshark is living its story, straight from the head marketing shark’s mouth.


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Courtney Bosch is a content manager for e-learning and events at MarketingProfs, managing content for seminars and virtual events.

LinkedIn: Courtney Bosch

Twitter: @courtneybosch

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