MarTech Interview with Kenny Kim, CMO at Udacity

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“As educational content becomes more pervasive and accessible, customers will likely gravitate toward brands they recognize and trust will deliver quality.”

Tell us about your roles and journey before joining Udacity.

My career path has been a unique one. I started on the engineering side as a web developer. Having a technical background actually enabled me to make the transition into marketing at Hotwire, where I helped build a more scalable and personalized CRM program. I wanted to continue to find opportunities where technology helped marketing become more efficient and relevant. I went on to hold a variety of marketing, product management, and strategy roles. As part of that journey, I saw firsthand how marketing at Hotwire, Trulia, and SquareTrade helped accelerate growth and disrupt their respective industries. I see a lot of similarities with Udacity’s opportunity.

And, that’s a big reason why I joined and why I’m excited about what lies ahead for us.

You have led some of the most well-known Marketing Tech brands in the past. What is the future of online content inventory, especially as we head into more research-driven edu tech marketplace?

I think building a differentiated brand and delivering tangible value to customers will become increasingly important.

As educational content becomes more pervasive and accessible (both free and paid), deciding which option is right for you will get murkier. Customers will likely gravitate toward brands they recognize and trust will deliver quality.

How can B2B marketing teams better leverage online education platforms like Udacity to improve skills and talent management?

It’s an exciting time for marketers. We’ve all seen the importance for us to become more proficient in analytics and data. We believe Udacity can help marketers upskill in these fields faster and more effectively.

Which marketing and sales tools and applications do you use to stay on top of your game?

It’s a combination of tried and true platforms and newer must-haves. That list includes Salesforce, Slack, Blueshift, Optimizely, Chartio, and Amplitude.

As a CMO of a Tech company, what would be your advice to every marketing team struggling with customer retention and budgeting pause?

Show that you’re willing to help your customers — no strings attached.

Map what you’re good at and how that meets an immediate need for them. The one recent example everyone points to is Zoom. They recognized that everyone was working remotely in the foreseeable future, and offered free access to their product.  Taking that example and applying it to Udacity may mean offering more access to specific Nanodegrees. For example, our clients may be scaling back their budgets and reliance on agencies. We have a variety of programs that could help enable them to bring their team in-house and thus save critical marketing dollars.

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

Kenny Kim is the chief marketing officer, overseeing the company’s continued efforts to raise awareness of the skilling capabilities that Udacity offers to workers around the globe. Prior to Udacity, Kim oversaw performance marketing and advertising for Google Shopping. Previously, he led the marketing teams for both NatureBox and SquareTrade. Kim also held leadership roles at other high-growth startups, such as Trulia and Hotwire, as well as more established brands like American Express and Ticketmaster.

udacity logoUdacity’s mission is to power careers through tech education. Every industry is being impacted by modern technology. As companies everywhere adapt and transform their businesses, they’re looking to hire people with the tech skills to match their goals. We work with the world’s technology leaders to teach these critical tech skills through our powerful and flexible digital education platform. Now even the busiest learners can be prepared to take on the most in-demand tech roles.

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