CMO Insights: Dana Poleg, VP of Marketing, Kaltura

Dana Poleg

March 25, 2019

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Dana Poleg, VP of Marketing, Kaltura.

In this video, Dana talks about:

  • The overwhelming amount of Martech.
  • Creating an effective marketing team.
  • Marketing changing over the years and becoming measurable.

Learn more about Dana from her LinkedIn profile and follow Kaltura on Twitter. 

For more great CMO interviews like this one, please check out our other CMO Insights Videos or our YouTube channel.

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hi, welcome to Revenue Marketing Television, the CMO Insights Series. I’m your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today we have Dana Poleg, who is Vice President of Marketing and Channel Sales for Kaltura. Dana, welcome to the show.

Dana Poleg:

Thank you. Thank you for having me, Jeff.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Oh, absolute pleasure. So a lot of experience in your background. Not your first rodeo either, running marketing, but what are some of your perspectives? I mean, what do you think has changed the most over the last five to 10 years?

Dana Poleg:

Well, I think marketing changed upside down in the past five years especially. Everything today is being measured. I think this is the biggest shift. You can actually see and measure the impact of marketing, and you can see it immediately. I mean, in my early days I used to work for an ad agency. You had to work for two months on a TV ad, and he would do a market research, and then you would produce the ad, and then he would add the ad ,and only then you would get to know if it actually worked or not only, you know, three months into the work. Whereas today, you get this feedback immediately. Everything is being measured. You get the feedback immediately and you can six immediately. I think this is the biggest change that is going on. On top of that, there are lots of new technologies that are coming in and this context. So lots of new marketing tools were introduced. So all in all the things, the marketing arena is one of the most exciting places to be these days.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I completely agree. So I’m just curious with everything that you, that we can measure, do you find though that some things maybe are taking too much time that they shouldn’t be measured, or it should there be certain areas that we should be focusing more on in terms of measurement?

Dana Poleg:

I think the key is not, not the action. It’s actually to act on your data to act on your insights. I mean, specifically in my team, a couple of weeks ago, months ago, we realized that yeah, now we have the ability to gather data. We know everything. We know how many people downloaded an asset, and I joined the webinar and visited the website and how much time they spend on each page and our PPC data. But we’re not doing a good enough job in acting on this data. So, I think this is an area that still needs to be improved, providing those actionable insights, those quick tips. So you don’t have to go. So all those masses of data to figure out what it is that you want to change. I mean, it’s for a specific area that’s usually easy. It might it to PPC compliance usually is it to know and change the place. But if you look at the orders and your funnel–that’s harder to analyze.

Jeff Pedowitz:

How about at the board level, or to your boss, or are they looking at different types of metrics? Do they want to find out about revenue, pipeline, contribution, margin, ROI?

Dana Poleg:

My marketing team is being measured on business metrics, are being measured on the number of sorry. We’re being measured on the number of qualified leads that we’re bringing in, measured on the number of opportunities that are being created as a result of our marketing activities. And we’re being measured on closed won deals that started from marketing. So myself and some of my team members were carrying the quarter. Actually, we’re on a commission plan and I think that’s the best way to go. This makes you, gives you a seat at the table and makes marketing really a part of the sales process.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Fantastic, I love that. So I know complaints from sales, about marketing getting paid on commission?

Dana Poleg:

I think actually, this created a better bond between marketing and sales because we’re working towards the same goals. It makes us more aligned. We work better together. We want to achieve– I mean, their success is my success. I cannot succeed without them achieving their goals and vice versa. So at the end of the day, it’s made a bit of a team out of us.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I love it. So you mentioned also as part of the big changes in the last five years, the last technology, we’ve all seen the chart with all those logos on it. How do you decide what you should be investing in and what you shouldn’t, and doesn’t it get a little overwhelming?

Dana Poleg:

It is overwhelming, and it keeps changing, and it keeps evolving and we keep looking at new technology. I have a personal goal of looking at at least one new demo a month. So I introduce myself to one new technology a month. And we’re experimenting with new technologies regularly. We are already using a lot, and I’m sure that we will be using, adding more all the, as we go along.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So is there any technology that is a really high priority for you as you go into 2019? Like, hey, we’ve got my team, we’ve got to go get that. We’re going to budget for that.

Dana Poleg:

We actually, this year we’re gonna invest a lot in technology that has to do with the customer journey and with understanding customers better. So technologies that lets you know how customers are using your products, and highlighting on pinpointing specific milestones throughout the customer journey, and also look at looking at the customer health whether they’re using it properly. How was the role of the labs, how many of the employees, of their employees are actually using our products? Are there any issues? Are they opening a lot of support tickets? So technology in this area of the business, we’re also looking to introduce new technology around references management. Yeah. So the ability to track and also to award customers who are willing to serve as our references, speak at events analyze reviews and also be a reference in deals and opportunities.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Very nice. So you’re going to have a busy year!

Dana Poleg:

Yeah, I’m actually excited!

Jeff Pedowitz:

So I’m curious a little bit about your people and the culture. I don’t know if everyone knows it’s watching, but when you started your career and your life, you were born in Israel, so you spent a lot of your professional career there and maybe even over here for the last four or five years. How’s that prepared you, I guess with the different Kaltural differences? On managing teams, on different sides of the globe? How’s that lend into your approach today as you go up your team?

Dana Poleg:

Kaltura is a very global company. We have people everywhere and anywhere. They don’t care if you’re working from the office, working from home, or you’re at the Cape or you’re in, I don’t know, even I worked for Costa Rica last year while on holiday. So you get total flexibility, and you get also the opportunities to work with people from literally everywhere. I have colleagues from Australia and from Singapore and Hong Kong and all over Europe, Germany, the UK, France, and obviously here in the US and Israel. So really culture provides this diverse diversity of people to work with. I think obviously, me coming from a different culture gave me this additional perspective. I’ve lived elsewhere, I work with different people. So I think in a way, it makes it easier for me to adapt to the different styles. I have a team member in Singapore, couple of team members here in New York. So we’re everywhere and we make it work. That’s part of the fun, and we try to meet at least once a year in person.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So how big is your team overall?

Dana Poleg:

How big? I manage 13 people directly.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. And then as you look to hire people, what kind of skills do you look for?

Dana Poleg:

I am looking for people that are strong experience marketeers. I like people that are self-driven, but don’t need, you know, this micromanagement people that are extremely smart and that are great collaborators and good team players

Jeff Pedowitz:

I like that. So, what’s probably one of the greatest things that you’ve learned over the course of your career? So if you had to go back to yourself as a young professional woman starting out her career, what would you tell her?

Dana Poleg:

I think the biggest lesson is around the power of the team. When you work with a team you work better, you’ll get further. Your team brings in more ideas, and at the end of the day it’s more fun than working alone and knowing everything. I don’t hold the wisdom. It’s a team effort, and we do amazing things by working together as a team. Each one of my team members bring their own amazing ideas. We get each other, we make each other better, and we like working together. So I think that that would be my biggest lesson. It took me two, it took me like 15 years to get there.

Jeff Pedowitz:

There’s a lot of power in the team for sure. So as you built this team globally, what have been some of the challenges for you from a scale perspective?

Dana Poleg:

That’s a really good question. I think specifically in Kaltura so Torah has a pretty broad offering. We cater to lots of industries. Kaltura is the leading video management platform, and we cater to basically any industry and any use case. I mean, any organization in the world needs video for something, whether it’s for learning and development, or training, or for internal communication, or communicating with your customers and communicating with your employees. And so on. We cater to lots of use cases across various industries in all geographies. So the biggest challenge was given this relatively small team to try and be able to build an effective marketing machine that would cater to this variety of companies and geographies.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And how are you meeting that challenge one step at a time?

Dana Poleg:

One geography at a time. I mean, we’d go to one geography, one region after the other. For each region, we try to come up with a very concise go-to market stand to decide on the specific countries within this geography that we want to focus on, the specific use cases that we think would work best, would resonate best for this specific geography, for the specific channels and specific campaign. So we really try to tailor it per region, per continent and then build this mini machine for each of those regions. But it’s a complex operation.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So with the, I mean, there’s no question; video as a rise in content is massive. We’ve seen such huge spikes over the last couple of years. I’m curious as we also see the rise of AI conversational lab where people are being more voice activated in their exchanges, and how will that impact video, and how will people engage with video differently in the future based upon AI and conversation?

Dana Poleg:

I think that video is gone. It’s already taking over and I think it’s going to go even further than that. I mean, looking at the active, my oldest one is 11, and my younger one is seven. They are generation video. They don’t talk on the phone like this. They only do FaceTime. They only do video calls. They don’t Google anything, they YouTube stuff. Youtube is their go-to search engine. Youtube is their go-to place to learn new things, and they feel very comfortable recording themselves on camera, which is something that maybe our generation, we’re not very comfortable with that. So they are, I mean they call them gen Z, but I actually call them gen Z and I think that as they enter the academic world and the workplace it’s gone. A video’s gonna take over.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Well then how will video change in terms of consumption? Because with more devices, people that have watches, right, or it’s a tablet, or it’s their cell phone, IOT, how do you see that changing? How will people consume video differently than they consume it today?

Dana Poleg:

I don’t think it’s about how you consume it. I think it’s more about what you use it for. Today we use it for very specific types of factions. We use it for learning, we use it at home when watching TV for entertainment. We use it for communication. I think this will expand even further. I mean, five years ago, 10 years ago, doing a video call was something that was technically challenging. And today it’s a no brainer– video conference calls from everywhere. Video learning or remote learning that is even more advanced than it is today: over the top of cloud TV that is very personalized and specific to your specific needs. So I think AI is going to eahance analytics, gonna enhance the way we use video.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Well said. So, Dana, thank you so much for being on the program today. Great insights, love getting to hear from you, and best of luck at Kaltura.

Dana Poleg:

Thank you. It was my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet. Thank you.

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