Interview with Sara Larsen, Chief Marketing Officer, Brightcove

Sara Ramlo Larsen
Ori Faran

“The most successful marketers are those that are optimizing their video strategies to adapt to the multiple different ways that people consume content today and leveraging video insights for long-term success.”

Tell us about your role at Brightcove and the team you handle.

I’m passionate about the power of video. My role at Brightcove is to bring this passion to life through our marketing and communications strategies, and share how video can move businesses in meaningful ways, whether that’s in broadcasting or publishing, marketing, or enterprise communications. As a marketer myself, now working at a company that focuses on marketing tools and strategies, I’m in a unique, but wonderful, position to put myself in our customers’ shoes. Today’s marketers have access to an amazing set of technology choices in how to reach audiences, including through multiple channels, screens, and content types. I’m a firm believer that every marketing dollar needs to measurably support business goals, and it’s because of this that I strive to ensure customers understand how Brightcove video solutions will help them achieve their goals; be it reaching customers, telling compelling stories, or achieving positive business outcomes.

How do you plan to extend Brightcove’s market leadership further and better serve the needs of customers?

As far as the use of video in marketing is concerned, it’s already growing at a rapid pace and we know that marketers are looking for talent and partners to help them take advantage of the opportunity. In 2017, our own research found that 63% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. Given the depth of Brightcove’s understanding of the market and video technology as a whole, we want to continue to be the premier provider to marketers with them viewing us as a partner, rather than just a solution vendor. We also have a deep history of working with some of the biggest brands, enterprise companies, publishers, broadcasters, and OTT services in the world, so our reputation for scalability and performance is something we take pride in. In the first half of 2018 alone, our customers’ usage data showed 23 billion video views, 1.4 billion hours of VOD, and 53 billion player loads.

Video consumption happens everywhere on any device, making it even more important for companies to not only be able to execute seamless creation and distribution strategies but to have the analytics associated with what’s watched. The most successful marketers are those that are optimizing their video strategies to adapt to the multiple different ways that people consume content today — mobile devices, smart TVs, desktops, etc. — and leveraging video insights for long-term success. Brightcove’s technologies help marketers fully realize the value of their video investments, ensuring content reaches and engages the right audiences.

What advice do you have for fellow marketers looking to monetize integrated video platform with Brightcove?

Marketers need to consider the best path to ROI on any marketing investment, including video. Videos drive awareness, consumer actions, and even monetization in the case of a brand with an e-commerce focus. Whether the goal is a short-term result like a shoppable video, or to achieve longer-term conversion targets by using video across an entire buying cycle, research has found that marketers using video achieve an 81% higher conversion rate over time and 49% revenue growth year-over-year. In addition to that, the smartest marketers are instrumenting in tracking their video distribution efforts so they can continue to improve their strategies moving forward.

Would you tell us more about Brightcove’s video analytics capabilities?

Video is a powerful form of media content and a key part of the customer journey. Video also generates essential consumer data needed to help marketers better understand that customer journey. Our technology has the capability to track various video analytics across a number of devices and locations in order to best capture customer interest and engagement. Data such as who is viewing content, where and how it’s being viewed (device, browser, OS, etc.), how long they’re watching, and where viewers found a video are all capabilities that Brightcove offers its customers. Looking at this data — in addition to play rate, performance by domain, geography, traffic source and more — is what give our customers the insights they need to measure the full impact of their investment. All this data is easily connected to a marketer’s technology,  whether it be their CRM or DMP for audience segmentation.

Additionally, with so much video marketing activity taking place beyond just the branded sites and apps of our customers, our analytics capabilities have evolved to include social media platforms. We’ve integrated performance and engagement analytics from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with Brightcove’s own analytics. Our customers have a fully comprehensive view into their videos’ performance so they can continue to optimize and develop their strategy.

What are the major points to consider for customers planning to buy video technology platforms? How does Brightcove create awareness among potential customers?

Partnering with a video technology platform that understands a business’ marketing strategy as a whole is key to bringing back the most value. All of our customers come to us with their list of challenges and marketing goals — better lead generation, increased conversion rates, more brand awareness, deeper customer insight — and it’s our job to help solve those pain points using our capabilities, which are all-in-one platform, scalability, video quality, analytics, workflow integrations, and more.

We also work very hard to build our own brand through a variety of ways and ensure that we’re not just solely focusing on creating new customers, but also taking care of our existing client base. We are continuously building new relationships through marketing groups, gaining brand awareness by attending the largest trade shows, and putting our stake in the ground when it comes to industry-related topics through our research and thought leadership. For our existing customers, our account management and customer support teams are one of the strongest aspects of our business. We believe that in order to grow, we need to be a good partner, even after they sign on the dotted line.

How do you see contemporary video marketing platforms fitting into a modern CMOs tech stack?

The modern technology stack has grown in power and complexity. While traditional digital marketing was about email and online advertising, today’s buyer journey has many more touch points and uses more technology. Video is now embedded across all of these programs — lead nurturing, account engagement, brand awareness, and customer insight. Today’s consumer expects video, so as marketers we can’t treat video as just an add-on, but as an integrated component of our marketing strategies. Brightcove has worked hard to ensure the entire video experience and its insights fit seamlessly into the modern marketing technology stack, and is continuously innovating.

How would AI and Machine Learning capabilities impact adoption and evolution of video marketing platforms for better performance and audience engagement?

AI and Machine Learning are being embraced as a way to process and understand data at a large scale. Because data can tell us so much about people’s behavior and past viewing history, AI can predict the types of videos an audience wants to watch and when they are most likely to watch it. Today, personalized experiences are a necessity in a world that is inundated with content, so using technologies like AI that can make sense of it all allows brands to better deliver the right video to the right user at the right time.

At Brightcove, we also leverage AI to deliver a higher-quality video at a lower cost because AI capabilities let our systems be smart about video preparation and delivery.

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

Sara Ramlo Larsen, Chief Marketing Officer at Brightcove

Brightcove logo

Brightcove Inc. (NASDAQ:BCOV) is the leading global provider of powerful cloud solutions for managing, delivering, and monetizing video experiences on every screen. A pioneering force in the world of online video since the company’s founding in 2004, Brightcove’s award-winning technology, unparalleled services, extensive partner ecosystem, and proven global scale have helped thousands of companies in over 70 countries achieve better business results with video.

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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