AMA Voices captures conversations about marketing, diversity and more impacting our community in the Triangle. I am Rob Ainbinder VP of External Communications for AMA Triangle and your host.

On this episode we’ll be talking with Amy King, CMO of Relias with a preview of AMA’s upcoming event “CMO Panel: Marketing in 2022 and Beyond” being held Jun 16, 2022 5:30 PM at Method Savvy in Durham.

>Register online: https://www.amatriangle.org/event/cmo-panel-marketing-in-2022/<

Amy King, CMO of Relias: LinkedIn

Transcript
Rob Ainbinder (:upcoming event "Marketing in:Amy King (:

Welcome Amy.

Amy King (:

Thank you, Rob. I'm so excited to be here.

Rob Ainbinder (:

We're very excited to have you on the podcast as well. Let let's, let's take a step back if you don't mind, how did you first get into marketing?

Amy King (:

That's a great question. My pathway was a little non-traditional. I actually got a Master's in Art History and moved from New York up from North Carolina to New York to work in the art world and enjoyed it. But found that my passion was really for a lot of data surrounding a lot of the things that were going on in the auction world at the time. Okay. So I moved to a company that was a .com and started running a series of data products for them and found as I expanded my role more that what I really loved was talking about products. I loved bringing a voice to what we were doing. As we were launching new things, I was very passionate about talking about them. And then I was very passionate about how we bring them to a wider audience. How do you take something that's new and,ubring it to enough people? And so those interests really led me into first product marketing. And then as I worked longer and longer in product marketing,ncompassing more and more of the marketing ecosystem, alongside always a corresponding interest in data,which as, as we know, increased in capability and availability as marketing has,transformed over the past couple decades,

Rob Ainbinder (:

Certainly data is becoming part of our strategic decision making. Isn't that important?

Amy King (:

Yes. Yes. And increasingly able to tell us so many things about the way that we market. So it's been a fun journey learning and trying to keep up across both of tech, all of the digital transformation solutions that we have in the market today.

Rob Ainbinder (:

Absolutely. So you've been at Relias about a year. Have you had time to settle in and what have you been up to?

Amy King (:

It's been quite a year. I've been fortunate. Relias is a wonderfully supportive company. We are in the healthcare education space. And so not only has it been a time of a lot of transformation within the marketing department of the company, as we've recognized that marketing needed to be a larger organization and it needed, you know, to be formally more collaborative and connected with a lot of other areas, the business and less siloed mm-hmm . We also as a healthcare company have been working within the pandemic. Right. So there's been a lot, both on the content side of our marketing, as well as just the structure and establishing a, a a fully staff team mm-hmm that's then has the processes in place that are needed in order to really collaborate across all of our friends in product and sales and customer success and other teams, and make sure that the marketing processes for ourselves, for performance and reporting and all of those things are in place too. So it's been quite a year of getting those things established. I'm really happy to say we have an incredible team or about 80 strong at this point. Okay. And are doing a really great job of truly establishing cross functional relationships that are starting to really pay off.

Rob Ainbinder (:

That's great in larger organizations, those relationships are so important. Because we tend to get siloed. It can be really challenging to kind of reachacross those silos. So that sounds like a really great start. Was there a marketing campaign that in your career so far that didn't go as expected? And if so, how, or were you able to turn it around?

Amy King (:

Yes, I can think of probably a few. I'll start with a couple because they come from such different areas of marketing. Sure. first, you know, taking us back to COVID with the pandemic events have been an interesting area of our world for sure. And we used to have a, we still have a large user conference called Impact Nation. We serve about 11,000 B2B customers. And within that then, you know, millions of users and so we have a fairly wide user base that we bring together for a user conference each year that used to be in person. And having to move that to a virtual environment was really a challenge. So everything from all of the digital technologies, we were going to use to how we were going to source host and then conduct an event over several days was a real challenge.

Amy King (:

So I think there were some things, you know, that didn't always go as expected with that. However, one of the benefits was by going virtual, we were able to reach such a larger audience. So we did a roughly tenfold increase in our registrants by having the event virtual. So I think it's an example of something that while we would've loved to have had it in person and a lot of the meaningful in person interactions that our customers are able to have with each other, you know, that was harder to facilitate. On the other side of that, we were able to reach so many more people and bring a lot of the content and to them that there was, you know, a benefit there too.

Rob Ainbinder (:

So do you think that will inform your strategy differently going forward as it relates to events?

Amy King (:

Yes. Yes. We're definitely looking at a lot of our events differently. Preferring in person for, you know, defining what, what makes success for us in person. Defining what success looks like for hybrid and defining what success looks like for virtual has been a continual effort this year. As we're trying to assess what the appetite is for returning to in-person events, right. As we're trying to assess the real value of what a hybrid event brings or doesn't bring and then, and then same with virtual it's, it's something we're continuing to look at this year. I'm not sure we're gonna have a great thesis on that until next year, but it's definitely something that we're having to look at differently.

Rob Ainbinder (:

Yeah, for sure. That's that's what I understand from talking with other leaders that there is, there is definitely a place for digital, but, and more virtual, but what does that look like? And does that make sense for us are definitely the essential questions for sure.

Rob Ainbinder (:

At what time of day do you get your best work done?

Amy King (:

The morning?

Rob Ainbinder (:

Okay.

Amy King (:

The morning I, yes, I'm a morning person and I find that tackling that inbox and getting, getting a little bit of an early a pre-start on the day before everything starts flowing back in. Right. is a, is a great time for me to be productive.

Rob Ainbinder (:

Interesting. Yeah. That's interesting. I've, I've noticed my spark, my favorite times have changed as, as I've moved through life. It used to be later now it's earlier for sure. I can, I can kind of relate in a way.

Rob Ainbinder (:

What's the most important marketing lesson you've learned in your career thus far?

Amy King (:

That's a great question. I think for me, a lot of it comes down to the culture that you're able to instill in your team. Mm-Hmm and it's not, you know, obviously it's not one person it's, it's establishing and working with your leaders on what kind of culture that you wanna build. And I think there are elements, different elements to that. I actually heard a great talk by Linda Hill. She's a professor at Harvard business school the other day, but she talked about culture really coming from a mixture of of purpose, so mutual purpose. So all of us agreeing that we're here for similar goal whatever that is across each team and, agreeing to that a structure where the team can really rely on each other. So there's a trust factor there. And then one of mutual respect.

Amy King (:

And I think that Relias does a great job on culture and, and really working with our teams on, on building a real vibrant culture. But one of the things that Linda said was that a team's willingness to accomplish the things you want them to accomplish is based on the culture that you instill. And I thought that was really powerful. And it's something that I've definitely learned a lot about. You can establish the best marketing technology stack. You can create every role and responsibility and process definition that you need to, right. But if you don't have a team that's aligned on purpose and, and respect and and able to really trust each other, then you're not gonna be able to execute on all of your best laid plans.

Rob Ainbinder (:

Yeah. That's really interesting how the learnings of culture have come around to culture, especially as it affects medium to large size organizations and how how impactful it can be. In a smaller way, if we can take care of our employees, they'll take care of our customers. But certainly in larger organizations, there are other challenges as well.

Rob Ainbinder (:

Do you have a favorite podcast?

Amy King (:

Hmm. I have lots of podcasts that I love. One do regularly is Ezra Kline. He has a podcast on New York Times. I find that he asks very, he has very interesting guests, asks a lot of thought provoking questions and is extremely well prepared. I love, I always learned something from the podcast of his, that I listen to.

Rob Ainbinder (:

Great. Thanks for sharing that. Marketing books or authors that you might recommend and why?

Amy King (:

Linda Hill, who I just mentioned she has a book on I think it's called "Collective Genius". And it's a fantastic book. I highly recommend it. I think it's a wonderful book on, you know, there's a challenge when it comes to innovation. I think sometimes with balancing in the marketing world, you know, so many of our marketers are tasked with day to day metrics that they need to achieve. I need to get this ROAS, I've gotta get this CTR. How do I,capture this many eyeballs for this campaign? And in, in these environments,uthat have become so data driven, which is great but,uone of the things actually she recommends is being data, more data led and leaving a lot more room for,being able to take your head out of that,umetrics tunnel and look, and, and free yourself to look at outside of it for innovative to use creativity.

Amy King (:

So how can you be creatively agile how can you allow room forcreativity and thought outside of what feels often like a day to day must accomplish and I think it's a really great point and something that in our world, especially as we do have so many new things available, right. We have new channels, we have new formats, we have so many new things available to us. How do we work those? How do we decide to do them or not? And then how do we work those into a, a cohesive marketing strategy? All of that requires activity of thought that I think needs to be in a way structured into our, our day to day.

Rob Ainbinder (:

That's that's interesting. Yes, because there's no doubt that the pace of innovation, new channels and formats is nonstop. And if we're to even be able to, begin to assess them, we have to take that beyond kind of the metrics for even a moment ro make some decisions to test and try and measure or not. It's it's an, it's an interesting challenge for sure. Something I really like about, about marketing in general. Turning now to the event coming up on June 16th, what, what are you most looking forward to sharing with the audience that assembles at Method Savvy?

Amy King (:

I dunno, I'm actually looking forward to hearing from everyone else.

Rob Ainbinder (:

Okay. That's great. Well, we did we did also interview the master of ceremonies and, and she I think she's gonna present some really great questions that fantastic. She was a really great interview on, on another episode of the podcast. And and I really appreciate the time you took to talk to us prior to the event coming up.

Amy King (:

My pleasure. Yeah. I will say just quickly, I grew up in, in the Triangle and went away for a while and lived in New York for quite a bit. And while I was there, this area just exploded when it comes to marketers and technology and so many just fantastic things. That coming back I'm, I'm really excited for the event and be able to meet fellow marketers. It's, it's wonderful to growing up here. I never would've thought of the area as a, as a hotbed of marketing talent mm-hmm but as we've been recruiting, I've been just amazed at the incredible number of talented marketers that are here. So I'm looking forward to meeting some of 'em next week.

Rob Ainbinder (:

Well, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to speak with us and, and record this episode of the podcast. And if you'd like to hear more from Amy and the others on our panel, we encourage you to come to the website, https://www.amatriangle.org and register for the event on June 16th.

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