By Corey Moss
Profile: Megan Lueders is Vice President, Global Marketing for Lifesize, a division of Logitech, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Austin, TX. She is a published author and speaker in the areas of technology and business effectiveness. Prior to joining Lifesize in 2005, Megan served in a variety of marketing roles. Megan was responsible for the development and execution of go-to-market strategies for a number of start-ups and technology companies, including Voxpath, Isochron and Verizon (formerly GTE). She is a proud Austinite and a graduate of the University of Texas (Hook ’Em Horns!). Megan serves as Board Chairman at the YMCA of Austin’s Program Services Branch and Vice Chair of the Texas 4000 Board of Directors.
CM: Megan thank you for participating in this blog series. Tell us about Lifesize and how you help to develop the overall company strategy.
ML: We recently introduced a new and quite differentiated video solution into the marketplace. With our new SaaS-based offering called Lifesize Cloud, we have a real opportunity to engage our customers in a direct dialog. As we set out to launch Lifesize Cloud, we focused on engaging potential customers through a free trial of our product. We sought to create a very personalized experience for all our customers and extend that to our channel community. Previously, we conducted all our product demonstration at a customer’s location and that may have taken days or weeks to coordinate. But with a move to the cloud, we’re able to expose customers to an incredible, real time video experience and showcase how the technology works right within the customer’s environment immediately.
CM: Describe your company marketing strategy and how you oversee these efforts.
ML: Our number one goal is to increase our contribution to revenue. And we do that day in and day out through a combination of online and offline activities. In May of this year, we embarked on a major brand transition as we moved our product offering to the cloud. As part of the process, we transformed our 10-year-old logo and brand identity, making our company more relevant and exciting in the modern era. Today, our new brand image and our refreshed website reflect the beauty and simplicity of our Lifesize Cloud product offering.
CM: How do you design the approach for the company and how does supporting marketing (i.e. brochures, whitepapers, blogs) and social media play into this strategy?
ML: We recognize that having a conversation with the customer, whenever and wherever, is critical in today’s environment. The average business-to-business customer has completed more than 60% of the purchase decision-making process prior to engaging a sales rep directly, according to Corporate Executive Board (CEB). Customers are far more savvy and informed today, and we have to accommodate their hunger for knowledge and immediacy. Through our cloud offering, we are able to respond to the demands of the customer because our product is available for instant download and consumption. We echo that availability in our marketing efforts, whether it’s our corporate blog or our social media postings. We have to be relevant everywhere.
CM: Where do you believe you have been able to take the company since you first came aboard as well as where your strategic efforts will bring it into the future?
ML: At Lifesize, innovation is core to our DNA. We believe our marketing efforts have to be just as innovative as our product offerings. We are a modern marketing organization in every sense. We have to respond proactively to prospective buyers, especially as they tell us how, when, and where they want to be marketed to. We have to constantly look for ways to have a richer and more intimate conversation with the customer, not just today but well into the future by leveraging the very best tools and technologies.
CM: Can you give some advice to all of the marketing professionals working for AV solutions providers and integrators as to a strategic marketing and social media approach?
ML: My advice, first and foremost, is to focus on building a compelling website presence and ensuring that your website has relevant content. Relevant doesn’t just mean flashy. Nowadays, AV resellers look to manufacturers like Lifesize and others, for resources so they can be assured of having real-time content that is always up to date. There are tools resellers can utilize to expedite this process and reduce the workload typically associated with updating the website.
We also believe social media is an important part of the marketing mix, but without a solid web foundation, I would say social needs to be secondary to that. Another must-have is an effective CRM tool like ACT, Goldmine, or Salesforce, as well as a strong database of customer contacts. These are the gifts that keep on giving.