Interview with Gina Kang, Head of Global Digital Marketing, MPP Global

Gina Kang
Gina Kang

“An AI-centric world is already a reality and it’s changing the way we live and work. It’s a natural next step in not only digital transformation but also in consumer engagement as a whole.”

Tell us about your role at MPP Global and how you got here. What inspired you to join a marketing technology company?

I am the head of all things marketing for MPP Global in the Americas. I have a diverse background in various functions of marketing across different industries. However, it wasn’t until I got heavily into omnichannel demand generation digital marketing and marketing automation that opportunities opened for me and showed me how much I really love what I do. When MPP Global approached me and we were discussing what solutions the platform provided, it became apparent that for the media and retail verticals, marketers needed a different approach to engagement compared to the B2B space I had been accustomed to. This new approach is what inspired me to leap into the marketing technology realm. I’m now marketing to my peers about a platform that can help them market better, faster and easier to their target demographic. How fun is that?

What’s the most fascinating aspect of leading a marketing team in a tech-heavy ecosystem?

The great and sometimes overwhelming experience of working in a tech-heavy ecosystem is that it’s ever-evolving. That could be related to our own product as we roll out features and functionality to help our customers do amazing things within their companies, or sourcing other marketing technologies to help our own organization become an efficient engagement powerhouse.

Given the changing dynamic of B2B marketing and influencing, where do you see MPP Global fitting into a CMO’s tech stack?

For a subscription business, MPP Global’s eSuite platform could be huge for a CMO if digital transformation is an initiative. We’re in the business of marketing enablement and providing organizations with a robust platform to understand their audiences better and engage them in ways that makes sense. I think every marketer today is striving to increase and measure engagement. eSuite provides an end-to-end solution to help marketers do just that.

What does your ‘Ideal Customer’ Profile look like? Which new geographies are you currently targeting?

Our ideal customer is a marketer tasked with the initiative of transforming the digital process and driving recurring revenue for their organization. The verticals we specialize in are media, including publishing, TV, sports and OTT, as well as retail, with a strong grasp of digital services.

Tell us more about your recent partnership with Ooyala. How do you plan to extend the benefits of the joint technology platform to your customers?

The partnership with Ooyala was a natural one for MPP Global. A lot of organizations that have an OTT or streaming video business are often on a recurring revenue model, so it’s about marrying our two technologies to create an integrated approach for our customers. Both of our teams are out in the marketplace listening to what our customers are trying to accomplish. If it’s the right fit, we’ll make the recommendation of looping in our integrated partner to streamline the implementation process, go to market faster and drive revenue with both of our amazing technologies, without the hassle of having to figure out if one system will work with the other. In this day and age, no technology should be evaluated in a silo. There are way too many moving parts and the stakes are high if your technology stack doesn’t easily integrate with another.

What are your thoughts on the future of ‘AR/VR/Video’ in full-funnel Content Marketing and Sales campaigns?

AR and VR are fun ways to get people engaged and interested. It creates the emotional connection that is so important to marketing success today. If an organization has the dollars and the resources to get a campaign running with AR and VR, that’s great. However, this can be very expensive and might be reserved for more high impact events or for mature organizations with marketing teams that have deeper pockets. For more of the day-to-day content marketing and sales campaigns, I think video is the way to go. Creating “snackable” content that doesn’t require your audience to have to read through paragraphs is so engaging, and it’s incredible to see what kind of impact a well-done two-minute explainer video can have on various stages of the sales funnel.

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

I’ve been so impressed by LeanData, which helps intelligently automate the lead management process that is typically very manual or messy for a lot of organizations. I’ve also got my eye on Ceros, which is an incredible technology solution for marketers to make engaging content and gate them more strategically. It’s going to be a great tool for a lot of organizations as consumption trends for content shift due to preference changes, content saturation in the marketplace and, of course, privacy regulations rolling out across the globe.

What marketing and sales automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

We’re still in the early phase of our company’s growth, so we started with Salesforce and recently rolled out with Marketo. We’re looking to build out our martech stack in the near future and are evaluating quite a few of them today.

Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign/ customer success story at MPP Global? 

When I started with the company, MPP Global was in heavy customer acquisition mode for the American region and in need of a strategy to build awareness and a sales pipeline. I spent a good deal of time researching trends and themes in today’s publishing vertical and where our platform could provide solutions for these hot topic issues, as well as raking through our case studies and notes on discussions from current opportunities. It seemed like the topic of ‘diversifying revenue streams’ was trending. Once we had good content pieces in place, I mapped out an omnichannel approach to gaining visibility, driving awareness and promoting engagement around these content pieces. I truly believe that a successful digital campaign stays consistent in its messaging, stays true to the company’s core values and strategically places calls to action so you’re giving value before asking your audience for their information. From this campaign alone, we were able to generate nearly half a million dollars in the sales pipeline.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

I don’t view AI as something to prepare for. An AI-centric world is already a reality and it’s changing the way we live and work. It’s a natural next step in not only digital transformation, but also in consumer engagement as a whole. If anything, I embrace the opportunity with enthusiasm and see where and when, realistically, AI can start helping us get better at meeting our customers where they are. At the end of the day, the more intelligently we can operate, the better decisions we can make, which ultimately translates to revenue.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

I value-sell the technologies we’re considering bringing on board or have recently implemented to my team and internal stakeholders. Luckily, I usually know what our people’s wish list items and pain points are, so we have great discussions around what could be accomplished if they made use of the technology in consideration.

One word that best describes how you work.

Purposefully

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Marketo. It’s my ride or die of marketing technology solutions.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

I am a big proponent of account-based marketing (ABM). Although this is nothing new to the marketing world, it’s new for a lot of organizations that don’t have an ABM technology platform or haven’t traditionally worked this way. You don’t need a piece of technology to adopt methodologies of ABM and it creates a laser-focused approach for the handful of accounts our sales team wants to go after. Plus, your company will learn a ton by going this route. A prospect’s pain points are sure to crop up at some point in the future with another prospect, so it helps us fine-tune our messaging and capabilities to continually evolve.

What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

I’m currently entrenched in Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini, which is all about making the most of the time before you send messages to prospects so you’re more likely to get the outcome you want. I’m also a sucker for fiction and always between two books at any given time (a balanced literary diet), so I’m currently making my way through A Man Called Ove, which is fantastic. I’m usually in front of my computer all day long reading up on marketing tips and hacks, as well as product and industry news, so it’s a treat to take a break and pick up my Kindle.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Learn what you do and learn it well. Then have an opinion about it.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

What has carried me thus far, and I’m certain has played a huge part in the growth of my career, is my innate ability to observe and give myself the room I need to gather information and formulate the right responses and tactics. You can’t find solutions or optimize what you have unless you know what the hiccups are. And that definitely doesn’t happen unless you listen intently to and carefully assess the information you’re given.

Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Bill McDermott of SAP as well as Steve Lucas and Sarah Kennedy of Marketo.

Thank you, Gina! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Gina Kang is a Marketo Certified Expert, specializing in digital marketing, demand generation, and ABM strategy. Gina has worked with a variety of database sizes to help build audience segmentations, nurture programs, event strategy and execution as well as build reporting metrics and implement KPIs to support continued transparency and organization growth.

In addition to marketing, she enjoys exploring the world, getting to know all the furry dog friends in her neighborhood and listening to the music of John Mayer.

MPP Global
MPP Global delivers eSuite, the world’s smartest subscription & billing platform providing enterprises with the freedom to deploy flexible business models that drive recurring revenue streams. eSuite provides next generation lifecycle management that enables the identification, acquisition and retention of customers. With offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, MPP Global has an impressive track record of maximizing customer lifetime value. Clients include Sky, McClatchy, L’Equipe, Bonnier, Specsavers, Daily Mail, Racing Post and the New Zealand Herald.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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