February 15, 2024

Journalistic Content Marketing: Storytelling has magic and beauty


I spent over an hour talking about impactful marketing with Nohar Zmora, SVP of Brand and Strategic Marketing, Kaltura, on episode #87 of the How I Made It In Marketing podcast.

Listen now to hear Zmora discuss content as a product, team dynamics in marketing, and stakeholder engagement.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

Journalistic Content Marketing: Storytelling has magic and beauty

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Think about the last time you read a piece of content that truly resonated with you. It could have been a news article, a blog post, or even a social media update. Now, consider what made that content impactful. Was it the way it was written, the story it told, or how it connected with your experiences? This brings me to a crucial aspect of marketing – the art of storytelling and the responsibility that comes with it.

In my career, I've seen how powerful content can shape perceptions and influence decisions. It's not just about putting words on a page and filling your site with content to hopefully appease Google’s relentless algorithm; it's about crafting narratives that engage, inform, inspire…and truly serve an audience.

And who better to learn this from than someone who has practiced the art of storytelling in both journalism and marketing?

So I sat down with Nohar Zmora, SVP of Brand and Strategic Marketing, Kaltura.

Kaltura is a public company with 750 employees that trades on NASDAQ and had $168.8 million in revenue in 2022.

Zmora manages a team of 25 in the company’s 40-person marketing department, and works “super, super closely” with her “better half,” Roi Kaufman, VP Growth, Kaltura.

Listen to our conversation using this embedded player or click through to your preferred audio streaming service using the links below it.

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Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Zmora that emerged in our discussion.

Don’t just make ‘content,’ take a journalistic perspective and produce impactful material

During her journalism career and throughout Zmora’s experience as a writer, she worked to balance and identify what was essential, urgent, and most importantly, what resonated with the audience. She remembered there was this one weekend when both a world news and local news event were taking place, for example.

As she entered the marketing field, she worked to translate her journalistic skills into marketing skills, which involved a more meticulous approach to research, analysis, and storytelling. Having the ability to view brands as a publisher or media company allowed her to see the importance of content as a product. She needed to identify and shift her perspective from viewing marketing as just producing ‘content’ to producing impactful material with both small- and large-scale influence.

From this realization, she changed her approach to content, developing an unwavering commitment to providing reliable, unique, and relevant information while creating a narrative fingerprint. She started focusing on using content as a powerful marketing tool that instills both audience resonance and tangible business impact.

Balance long-term brand vision with short-term performance

As a brand professional, Zmora experienced the responsibility of aiming for long-term goals while ensuring that the content she created was still accessible and aligned with the vision of her superiors, both in terms of language and KPI’s. Through her experience, she has adopted a pragmatic approach to brand performance that simultaneously delivers results and brand visibility, even while prioritizing lead generation.

For example, to help with long-term branding in a new segment while getting short-term leads, her company held a virtual event about virtual events, a tactic Zmora compared to the coffee table book about coffee tables from “Seinfeld.”

Learn how a team ‘breathes,’ evolves, and adapts

Transitioning into a senior marketing manager role underscored the critical importance of team structure for optimal work. It was key for Zmora to learn how a team ‘breathes,’ evolves, and adapts. She developed the ability to recognize times when there was a need for strategic shifts in team composition and to prioritize building a team dynamic that felt like a well-oiled machine.

Through her experience, she learned that achieving goals, investing in human capital, and personal development are all facets that go hand in hand. Prioritizing one over the other pushes teams farther from fostering a culture that develops in their personal and professional growth.

Lessons (with stories) from people she collaborated with

Zmora also shared lessons she learned from the people she collaborated with.

Storytelling has magic and beauty

via Ohad Zmora and Dov Alfon

From the venerable world of journalism, her grandfather Ohad Zmora, publisher and legendary journalistic editor of Davar Newspaper, and Dov Alfon, the mythic editor at Haaretz – both giants and influential idols in the world of storytelling – taught Nohar the importance and responsibility of good journalism, while emphasizing the magic and beauty of storytelling.

Whether as a journalist or editor, their lessons resonate in every piece of her creative experience, from a drafting a pitch to brainstorming strategies. Their legacy remains her guide, her North Star, the blueprint for how she approaches marketing and the instilled values that drive her content to captivate, move, and connect to others.

Actively listen while collaborating with the business and Sales to create effective marketing strategies

via Michal Tzur

Under the guidance of Michal Tzur, founder and president of Kaltura, her incredible mentor and someone Zmora says is probably one of the most inspiring female entrepreneurs in tech today – Zmora learned the essence of business acumen in marketing. Witnessing her keen control of details, heightened market awareness, and multitasking prowess, Zmora grasped the true extent of professionalism. Tzur demonstrates the critical nexus between marketing and a company's success.

Her wisdom instilled in Zmora the importance of active listening while collaborating with business and sales to create effective marketing strategies.

Have continuous and profound dialogues with stakeholders to achieve success

via Lisa Bennett

Enter Lisa Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer at Kaltura, who became Zmora’s manager, partner, and beacon of wisdom within the company. Bennett's unique personality and astuteness in understanding people and processes has, since Zmora’s first day, been a wellspring of guidance. Bennett underscored the significance of continuous and profound dialogues with stakeholders to achieve success.

Bennett imparted the art of navigating conflicts with sensitivity, always keeping the common goal in sight, and approaching projects, initiatives, and criticism with respect and tolerance.

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Not ready for a listen yet? Interested in searching the conversation? No problem. Below is a rough transcript of our discussion.

Nohar Zmora: As you presented me, Danielle, I'm coming from a rich journalistic background that you fight away from home as well. I was raised up in a family of some book publishers to my family have a loose publishing house, so print, print way before the Internet, but also with them and with them with a background in journalism. So this was always my dream.

I must say I was also a youth reporter, a young reporter in that in a youth magazine that was young, but I was privileged enough to get the opportunity and the thrust an early age to start my career in journalism. I started as an editor and use editor, and I'm through the letter.

Intro: Welcome to how I made It in marketing from Marketing Sherpa. We scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncovers specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz, real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now, here's your host, the senior director of Content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa Daniel Burstein, to tell you about today's guest.

He's been.

Daniel Burstein: I think, about the last time you read a piece of content that truly resonated with you. It could have been a news article, a blog post, or even a social media update. Now consider what made that content impactful. Was that the way it was written, the story it told was how it was, it how it connected with your experiences.

This brings me to a crucial aspect of marketing, the art of storytelling and the responsibility that comes with it. My career, I've seen how powerful content can shape perceptions and influence decisions. It's not just about putting words on a page and filling your site with content, hopefully a piece. Google's relentless algorithm. Now it's about crafting narratives that engage, inform, inspire and truly serve an audience.

And who better to learn this from than someone who has practiced the art of storytelling in both journalism and marketing? My guest today is Noha Zamora, the SVP of Brand and Strategic Marketing at Kaltura. Welcome to How a Minute Marketing Nuha.

Nohar Zmora: Hello. Hello, Daniel. Thank you for having me.

Daniel Burstein: All right. Well, let's just take a quick look at your background, your brand, and also, as I mentioned, you have spent more than a decade in journalism. You manage the news desk at Haaretz, your intern chief, and you ended up being the content and government relations manager of the Haaretz conferences on Peace. Then you've also been on the other side of things.

You've been an account executive, a business events producer at Super Push Publicists. And now for the past four years, Noha has been at Kaltura, where she is EVP of Brand and Strategic Marketing. Kaltura is a public company that trades on NASDAQ and had $168.8 million in revenue in 2022, and it has 750 employees total. No manages 25 people out of the 40 person marketing department.

So give us a sense, Noha, what is your day like as EVP of Brand and Strategic Marketing?

Nohar Zmora: Sure, I'd love to. And so yes, as being the SVP of Brand and Strategic Marketing and Kaltura for the past two years, almost before that, I had been managing a full department operation off from the marketing perspective, a business unit at Kaltura, as you know, as the SVP Brand and Strategic Marketing. Obviously I oversee everything that is brand at Kaltura, how our brand, our brand showcases itself and comes out at all of the marketing activities initiatives project that we have, but not only obviously in all of our accounts and as part of that, I lead our creative shop.

So our internal, in a way, internal creative agency that caters to everything marketing. We do all of our campaign solo, our events, all of our webinars, everything that we produce, of course internally, but also to some extent internally, even for employer branding and internal events and other initiatives. The auto side of things are all of our content machine, content factory, everything content marketing, G&A, the assets that we produce for our campaigns.

So again, webinars hosted and sponsored events, everything is fed by our amazing content marketing team that fit under my my team. And the last piece of the puzzle, which is the what we call the strategic marketing, is actually ownership proper demand vehicles that are strategic in a way because they blend brand positioning and awareness and proper demand generation.

And these so our mainly our flagship events industry events that we we have a few of them, those virtual and in-person seriousness that we hold our signature webinar program. We have a very robust where we live in our program that we hold and and of course all of the trade shows, the third party trade shows and sponsored event we showcase in.

So this is a bit about about my areas of responsibility but talking about my day to day. So I think the best way to describe it is there is a mix, a mix that I did. I tried to wear rigidly to obtain the future looking responsibility that I see that I always have to the responsibility that I have always to preserve and help the team look towards so looking.

Always one Q to Q is to accuse A had water. The next project that we need to kick off and start thinking of setting up the agenda. What are the learnings that we need to infuse into things that are coming up? This is my main area of trying always to to push things forward and see what's coming next and how can we press power itself in advance in order to do things better, more creatively and just more effectively with the other obviously, day to day work, which is on the one hand very, very nailing there in and in terms of reviewing, mentoring, coaching, guiding the team on everything related to the activities that I mentioned.

So now all of the assets that that we roll out and launch of the emails and communication that goes around all of these activations that we have. But but even more than that, I think that my main responsibility on that, on the here and now is my ability to stop and to zoom out at times. What project leaders and others have the privilege of doing and really asking hard questions and really diving into the data more and trying to and trying to raise some different assumptions.

So just things that we want that we might want to optimize or do differently or try different things. So this is that mix and combination of my day to day working with my team and trying to infuse more questions, trials and errors that data into their work with always trying to think two or three cues ahead. And so this is a bit about the day to day.

Daniel Burstein: You are only one woman, right? I mean, that sounds like a very broad portfolio, not only in all the different marketing things you have to handle, but also all the different time frames, and that is very impressive. I'm tired just hearing you.

Nohar Zmora: I have an amazing, amazing team, team leaders and teams. So we are we are a great organization, by the way, working super, super closely with my better half ROI, which is next VP of Growth Marketing. So really, we work in a very integrated way with our partners on the other side, on paid acquisition websites and marketing operations and sales development for present them.

So yeah.

Daniel Burstein: Great. Well you got a lot going on that we can learn from. And as we mentioned, a very impressive career that we can learn from as well. So let's dig in there and see what we can learn from it. So as I mentioned before, I've never been in another industry, I've never been a podiatrist, I've never been an actuary.

But I feel like we get to make things. That's something we as marketers get to do, and it's pretty unique, although journalists do too. And so let's jump into that first lesson from you. You say don't just make content, take a journalistic perspective and produce impactful material. So how did you learn this book?

Nohar Zmora: So yeah, I think that obviously, as you presented me, Danielle, I'm coming from a rich journalistic background that I know, by the way, from from home as well. I was raised up in a family off the book publishers. Actually, you and my family have a book publishing house, so print, print way before the internet, but also with staff and with them with a background in journalism.

So this was always my dream, I must say. I was also a youth reporter, a young reporter in that in a youth magazine when I was young. But I was privileged enough to get the opportunity and the thrust at an early age to start my career in journalism. I started as an editor and use editor and climbed time through the letter was leading the the news department at RH and it was my last role being deputy editor in chief there.

And through my journalistic career, I think of now, even as marketeer and thinking about this one thing, these few things that I carry on and that I think were for almost our world, this burned into my DNA, of course, of them as a marketer, but not only I think, yes, just in my day to day pitching, talking, creating decks, managing people is always thinking, you know, through these glances of a journalist, which are what's important, what's urgent, or to the timeliness.

There of the moment aspect of all stories. And of course, what, what will resonate with my audience and why. And with it comes this notion of responsibility, of course, to the authenticity, to the value, to the education of the materials we push out there, to the basket, to the fact checking, to their reliability, but also the fact that they need to entertain and the fact that they need to, again, to to to find ears that will enjoy them and will learn from them.

And this is something that I found was a strength for me moving into marketing, because I do think that, you know, as brands, obviously, and as marketers in charge of their converting, yes, we need to sell. We use content as a as a way to attract leads, to convert them, to have them download, saying, to click on things and and to push them down to sort of that the understanding of this responsibility makes our perspective perception of content and our campaigns as a product of itself.

And as his brand says, media companies with a responsibility again for the quality of the content we produce. But I also feel that their results are still recording So better Content, which has a brand with a personality behind it, converts better. I think one of the interesting stories that I that I can remember from my time in in art mainly that really made me embrace this and this this notion of responsibility as marketers and content creators is when I was managing the news department at Arts, I once had a year now because it will reflect on my everyone will know how old I am, but I don't remember.

Daniel Burstein: That's how old you are. You don't remember, but go on.

Nohar Zmora: Exactly. But I will say that it was a weekend. I think it was. I was in like half shift. So it was a Saturday. I was for a reason in the office itself. And on Friday night there was a tragic occasion in locally in Israel assembly, which was known as very tragic seeing all family members passed away. It was all over the internet and everyone talked about it, a story that in regular days would feel, you know, all of the front pages.

They were involved politically. It was a very human story. But on a few hours later, the tsunami in Japan happened. Obviously, you all know massive amount of people killed, missing a strategy in, you know, a grand, grand scale. And I remember myself sitting there Saturday evening trying working with the designers and my team on understanding how we want to have the first page of the newspaper for for Sunday.

Going out like, what's the priorities and how we how we what's the message that we send with putting one in the top fold rather than and and I think you know and I think I'll I'll talk a bit about my my mentor but back then as soon I bet but I think one of the the main learnings for me was to look at things also through the lens of history.

So if I would see this first page in ten years from now, which might be actually now, but to go back to, it's like, what are we marching to our audience, which is us? I wouldn't say even more important that they stand through, through times. And this was a big thing for me and understanding the responsibility that we have in curating content in in directing our audiences in many things, we do want to on the level of a content piece and on the level of, you know, whether it's a newspaper or magazine, our blog or our campaign on what's important.

And also the the mission that we have and the power that we have, and that in educating and helping the times, even society with death, then the Yeah.

Daniel Burstein: No, I like that. One of my biggest misses or website in my career is hosting an event at the Time Center, The New York Times Building and I got to leave a little early. I didn't get to stay for the training after, but we met someone who is a major New York Times advertiser. This is the first time New York Times did this.

They invited that brand into the pitch, meeting with the editor in chief where they decide what's on the homepage. And my co-host went and I left early. I was like, to be there at the New York Times are like, No news really Haaretz and seeing like, okay, how do you decide there are all these stories calling for your attention?

How do you decide? But what I wanted to ask is, I wonder when it comes to actually content creation. Let's talk about that. Is there anything from your journalistic background that you maybe have an example now of how you use that journalistic background to some content piece you created as a marketer? Because I know for me my journalistic background is pathetic compared to yours.

I wrote for the local newspaper in high school. That's about it. But I did get to have that cool journalist know, though, Pat. But the one thing I learned that really stuck with me was the reverse pyramid or inverse pyramid. And this is a journalistic practice of people who don't know is, you know, you always start with the most important information and go from there.

As I learned it back when I was in the College of Journalism is because it started because of telegraphs back then. I think during the Civil War, where like it would cut off, they wouldn't know when the Telegraph would cut off. They would want to get the most important information. Yeah. And so as a marketer, the way I use that is when I write subject lines for emails, because subject line for emails, you never really know how many character count that reader is going to have.

It could be there's a phone, there's a laptop, big desktop, there's so many different device sizes, you don't know where the character's going to cut out. So for me, for my email subject line, I don't really care how long they are. I don't believe that it has to be a certain length, but I use that kind of inverse pyramid, reverse pyramid approach.

I frontload it as long as the most important information is in the front. To me, it doesn't matter how long it is. So for you, when you're creating content now as a marketer or maybe risking your career, how many examples of how you use like, okay, here's something that worked for me as a journalist Haaretz, but I'm still using it as a marketer.

Nohar Zmora: So a few things I can I can add to the row. They're just a top of my head. One thing that I that I've really that I've really seen as a journalist and am trying still at times is better. Success at time was less to bring into our marketing comms the content that we create is the notion of skim reading, right?

That people many times just came through and they do not read every word there. But we do want them to get the essence of the story. So you said something about subject lines. I usually really work with my content providers on building that structure of the story, the post, the article in a way through titles and subtitles and section titles, right, and quotes throughout, and just making sure that the story or the main aspect of it, and that the most important things we want them to take away are actually there.

So even if I just came through, read titles and subtitles, I get this understanding of the story. And usually we also try to hook them with the more you can take interesting things there because it's also a hook to dive in and reach further. I think this is this is one very important thing. The other thing is the fact that and again, I mean, in a world that is full of opportunistic writing, I'd say right to echo and everything we do around hits and hits of words, as you said, just to attract traffic and I think for me it's really important to to have this part of editorial writing.

So for a blog, for for a sense, I'm really trying to always put in front of me any examples of The New Yorker and the New York Times and the Arts in a way of thinking about features that are yeah, there are deep dives, features that are more colorful, that are more personal, that are more into now deep dive interviews with relevant personas, which are deep dive into specific phenomenon.

So trends, but trying to portray them in a more colorful or futuristic magazine style. So this is also something, by the way, not only for the proper text and content, but also for in terms of the design. And now leveraging more, more illustrations for it. So it's any the entire editorial style that we tried to bring into our content.

Daniel Burstein: You know, I'm glad you mention that because I think as content, you know, we don't just have our brand if we're doing content marketing, we don't just have our brand for what we sell. We have our brand for our content too, and that is a brand. And you talk about The New York Times, our ads. Yes, these are publications, but these are brands.

And so there's a certain amount of trust that comes with it. And so they can't just worry about this one off story or that one off story. It's kind of about a holistic piece of how we serve a reader. And I like this. I think this ties into your next lesson balance long term brand vision with short term performance.

Because if we're only focused on, what are some keywords we can just snatch up with a blog post, right? That's just that short term versus what is that long term brand we're serving? Or maybe this isn't a highly converting piece right here. It maybe it takes a lot more to produce, but we're building that content. Brand is a place to trust.

So does that back it up, though? Give us a story, give us a sense of how did you learn this lesson? Balanced long term brand vision with short term performance?

Nohar Zmora: The hard way.

Daniel Burstein: The hard way.

Nohar Zmora: That's about and I'm joking, but but also some seriousness there. But really, you know, I think owning owning brand leadership in an in a in a B2B company and what culture specifically has been out there for for a few years now, I'm with Kaltura for four four years. And throughout these four years, Kaltura as a brand and as a company as a whole went through major changes.

I must say, I don't know if it's a fully flattering story, but I'm always saying also when I'm interviewing and recruiting people, I'm always being authentic and telling. When I've been approached by Kaltura and I'll talk about my my mentor and the person who brought me to Kaltura, I, I had some hubris. You know, my first impression and notion was, no, no, this is not for me.

This is a pretty great brand, very big to be very, you know, corporate. I was more in the start up plan, so I said, no, I'm so, so happy that I was convinced that I'm wrong, that someone was smarter and you better than me because I got an opportunity not only to work with them, the best thing, the best and most the smartest people I ever I ever met in the industry, but also got a real opportunity.

And Sam is also a coincidence. He's copied and the times and circumstances and a brand that was so ready for change. But I came with a lot of there was a lot of enthusiasm, obviously, and a lot of ideas and a lot of that and a lot of and a lot of things I wanted to bring. And I think that that the lesson that I'm trying to touch on is the understanding that there's a managing app responsibility here and an education internally that brand owners have to have to do in order to actually get things done.

Not to say, you know, get the trust, get the budget, get the head count they need in order to to really build things. There. So in a way, I think when I'm talking about the the balance between me and your aspirations for building this brand, that is inspiring, that that has a personality that talks in a certain way, that has a that produces content and commerce and campaigns that are of certain scale and creative ness to it.

But on the other hand, understanding where you work and the spending, what what management priorities and goals are and how you can bridge between them and how you can strike the right balance that I'm still able to digest and articulate. We all know how hard brand measurement is. So for us, specifically for me, we we developed what we call brand on the go in a way, not a way to look at it is more of a brand audience approach, which is indeed our relentless commitment to putting our brand front and center, to thinking brand, to thinking how we can do things in a unique way, in a creative way, in a way that shows our

brand and in that how it looks with but also from a tone of voice perspective and, and in a creative way through the day to day project, through the the main marketing activation efforts and campaigns that are, again, super focused on still building the pipeline and bringing our demand. So this has is our our approach. It has proven itself very successful for us internally in onboarding, getting, buying from management and more and more research says that we are then able to balance better, to put more portions on more brand presence within these demand generation activities.

I want to give a specific example or our story. So we in early in 2020, late in 2020, early in 2021, still on the wave of COVID and now the surging demand for video solutions and that culture and joined we as a company went through an enormous change. It goes through go through a few aspects. One of them was a huge change in our buyer personas and the audience we target.

So from a company that mainly sold our video solutions, our digital engagement, digital experience solutions to internal use cases. So that would be more corporate communication teams and HRT and send I.T teams. We went all the way into MarTech, into marketing, selling webinar solutions future in hybrid event platform community hubs. This is a huge change in perception and in that the brand that needs to support it.

When you move to selling to marketers, which is probably and our listeners I think know that the most demanding and most sort of and you know, just a very demanding and audience that knows what they want and noticing with was that we went public as a company. So we had to start being noisy to talk to audiences that we haven't talked to before, right.

The street. And, and the third thing there was that we also moved or added another layer of go to market. So from a very sales driven organization selling to enterprise, mainly the biggest companies out there, we also added low touch and no touch go to market models. So really selling to small medium businesses and small and medium enterprises, selling digitally in many ways things that we'd never done before.

Again, things that needed a solid brand, trusted brand behind them. So a lot of things that of stars aligned a lot of challenges too, for us as a team. One of the things that we decided on doing back then was we understood that we are not known as a brand in the marketing industry, acting as a as a MarTech player, specifically in the events industry.

And we decided to hold Deb Biggs virtual events about virtual events. So it's like the Seinfeld, the Joe Cried, the coffee table book about a coffee table book that I hope can throw in it. But there so we actually just opened the whiteboard and started to think, What would it be? Obviously, we know it would. We wanted to do a virtual event because we wanted to showcase also our platform and use it and but that it should be an industry event that sort top leadership event.

But again, we weren't known in this industry, so how can we bring without huge budget great speakers and build our self positioning and expertise there? And yet that brought you to live by Kaltura and to true to life. It was a very, very challenging work as a team. But I must say I'm super proud of the result. We just wrapped the third edition of Virtually Live last November.

So Virtually Live was a virtual event about virtual events. I think death, the cod that we cracked there in the first virtually live was the story that we've built around market it marketers in sorry nights in marketing are Morris So that was the creative concept we took We looked at marketers plus coffee or just, you know, going out of coffee.

Then we said, Wow, these are inspiring heroes that went through horror and, and, and, and ROI stories, right? Business stopped. Marketers were the ones who kept business on digitally enabling brands to reach your audiences, even at times leading digital transformation for the entire organization. Right? Because we were the ones that, you know, work digitally before specifically around the event industry was, you know, stories about event marketers that prior to that, you know, were in charge of logistic then, you know, sourcing venues and stuff like that and suddenly had to develop new skill sets and become that engineers and understand UI and how to build journeys, digital journeys for their customers, for their attendees.

So really took the notion off these heroes, marketeers, knights in marketing armor and we went with it. Yes, we went to some of our customers, the biggest logos, not at working Steel back then was their marketing towers. More was their itn and h.R. Towers. But also too inspiring brands that weren't customers back then. And i'm happy to say that we were able to bring their biggest names in marketing CMO's of the largest brand all organically.

So 99% period, nine followers speaking speakers there were non-paid and I think this was an amazing hook. It was it wasn't a abandons of amazing content fireside chats with the biggest names in marketing, telling these stories of resilience and creativity and agility that their marketing teams and events specifically. But marketing as a whole went through during COVID. And yes, with Build this and this event, it really, really helped with positioning and gas within the industry and starting this journey, which is the journey of building our names in this industry.

As I said, we've done since three times have you to live. It's constantly growing out with staff, with thousands of attendees and and great great, great speakers and experiences. And I think in a way, going back to the lesson, I think it shows one our way of doing brand and aiming high and but with ten fingers. So not always you know huge budget you know putting out there a lot of fire, a lot of fire you know spray and pray but really building something solid and then expanding.

And the second thing there is also when we're building something like virtually live, it's not only for the sake of brand, we're always looking of how we can actually bring results, but also show to the organization. How do investment in that really brings home the box? So we were even not only looking on registrants and, you know, attendees and empty wells, but we're actually making ourselves and taking responsibility on much further down the funnel.

So really looking at pipeline that this has driven and you know, influence on pipeline flows close one deals of course sales except then so going much further than that and two wells and of course that the brand mentions and all the measurements we do around that around brand.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. So making a big transition like that, I would think it's, you know, okay, we're talking about forward facing and how it affects customers, but also, boy, it takes a transformation of the team to be able to do that. So one of your lessons is learn how a team breathes, evolves and adapts. So how did you learn that and how did you kind of get the team to breathe, evolve and adapt in a new way?

Nohar Zmora: Essentially, that's the million dollar question, but it's something that I'm very, very passionate about. And now when I talk to colleagues, I also teach a marketing course and I must say that for me, you know, 80% of everything is is indeed this magic of building that gap, building the team. And of course, mainly around, you know, finding the right talent, recruiting the right talent, growing the right talent internally.

But much of it is also around, you know, putting the right structure and understanding that it's also very dynamic. And similarly to how we as marketers always looking at our plans, going back, optimizing, changing things, also being very open to where people strengths are, where people ambitions are, how can they grow and develop their careers within the marketing.

By the way, also within the organization, outside of the marketing team, it's also our responsibility. So really understanding and building this structure and looking at it is a dynamic, breathing creature. And and and the last piece there is also putting in place derived, I call it governance and togetherness routines. And it may sound gray and boring, right? Let's talk about the routines of managing the teams and the weeklies and the catch ups and the and the project chickens and but I really, really believe that it is part and and even more so in managing a global team.

Many of them remotely. Right. We work in a hybrid in a hybrid way manner so yeah it's also part of that. I will say that, you know, this has always been something that I was passionate about and I am connecting it also to personal pivot that I've done from being a journalist to to marketing. I was privileged to be just introduced to this world of tech by an amazing founder that knew me that understood better than me, that my background as a journalist will be amazing and brought me in to content and marketing.

And in the start of this he founded and there I've learned everything. But throughout the years I took this this notion and also helped and and that and guided other colleagues and friends from journalism specifically to do this change and translate their skills in a way, right. The skills of research and and that and analogy and on the other hand storytelling that can match marketing for short.

By the way, not only marketing. So to that tech side of things. So I think in a way my personal experience in that my made me very fluid. I say to how I look at that candidate and that the right talent we need within the team. So yes, experience is important, but I always try and I always try to educate and guide my team and the managers in my team around that as well to prioritize much more the persona.

And, you know, for us, really finding smart people, smart in whatever it as a need to be specifically in content or specifically that smart and smart is someone that is curious, is someone that is constantly learning, that is learning that they they learn fast with a creative spark, for sure. But more than that, just enthusiastic and passionate. And the last piece there, which I think is is an afterthought at times for some girls in marketing.

But for me, I think that's the main thing. Execution ability is a go getter, someone who can really take this creative ideas and great ideas and make them happen, which I think this is what makes the difference in marketing. I think putting this and we as a team have to have developed this into a manifest into the persona who is not our persona, but our team persona.

And we use it in our recruitment. We always try to come open with an open ahead to looking at candidates. By the way, we have even found that at times for roles that usually we would look for more experienced people. We have a lot of interns who put, you know, educated themselves throughout the internship in Kaltura and stayed with us and, you know, really molded into great leadership roles within the team.

So this is this is part one of how we really try to define the add the DNA, which is a culture marketeer. The second thing there, and I think this is where much of each lie says, you know, if past years have been very dynamic, right? We had COVID, we had economic hardships for sure markets in recent years.

So changes are always happening to grow team change. And I think, you know, for us being very authentic and transparent and you know, in managing the team and second of all, really putting out there, I know this dynamic at and this dynamic shape of the team that I that I touched on really makes the difference. So we have within the team people who started again as interns on our video team as editors but then you know, have been exposed.

And we always encourage initiatives and, and, and taking on projects and stuff you want to learn or be part of. So I have a great, great, great intern who came to us during COVID as a video editor. He got stuck in Israel, actually, and couldn't go back to Argentina, then started to really learn marketing, but not only on the video side of things and our video productions in our creative team, but also how good is as a content creator and even as a host for our podcast and our webinars.

And you know, this has developed into a full on career, which is totally in a different part of the team to some extent. And we have many, many examples like that, which I think is really all about keeping the South open, open mind and to how people develop up, where are the strengths, what good for the team and for what we're trying to achieve and where it and where it fits together.

And so win win wins out with the talents that we bring and that at the end, if you bring the right talents, they can do everything they can be great at now owning a full on, virtually live project and to our content strategy as well as its execution. And they can be great at, you know, owning our channel marketing.

So it's really a place to diverse and and to allow and to build great careers.

Daniel Burstein: So talking about people, that's a great thing we get to do as marketers, right? We get to work with people. In the first half of the episode, we talk about lessons we learn from the things made in the second half. We're going to talk about lessons we learn from the people you collaborated with. But first, I should mention that the How I made It in Marketing podcast is underwritten by Labs Institute, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa NEC Labs.

I can write your headlines, value proposition, competitive analysis, and so much more. Using a methodology built from 10,000 conversion marketing experiments, it's free to use for now, no registration is even required. Just go to Mech Labs, a ICOM, that's MVC, Lab Labs, a ICOM to get artificial intelligence working on your campaigns. All right. So let's take a look here.

The first lesson from people you collaborate with. Storytelling has magic and beauty. I love that you said, you learned this from Ohad Zamora and Dov Alphen. I want you to tell us who a hardened dove are and how you learned from them.

Nohar Zmora: Of course. So I think I'll alluded at least two dogs earlier. That sound. So Ohad Mora is my grandfather. He passed away now almost 20 years ago that I was very privileged to grow up with him together with him and my grandfather much more was the founder of our family's book publishing house, which is one of the biggest in Israel.

So I grew up in a in a house who was always full of writers and politicians and journalist. He was also, prior to me being born, the editor chief of the bar, which was probably the first newspaper in Israel. So this was always part of the house that I grew up with and the inspiration that I took. But he was also very a great teacher.

So I remember every homework task that I had, you know, and I got heaps of books to read to reference us from all over. And, you know, I was always exposed to them newspapers from all around the world. So this was an amazing inspiration. But more than everything really, really developed my love to storytelling of different formats on different shapes and forms, by the way, was also a cinematic freak.

Well, movies together. So really, really, I think, instilled into my DNA, you know, how how you tell something, how you deliver your message is so of importance. So this is my grandfather, Daniel Phon was the editor in chief of it when I started working at the arts and through most of the years that I was privileged to work with him, he was the one who believed in me and brought me to our IT today.

Dov is the editor in chief of Liberation, now one of the biggest newspapers in France. So really? Yeah, a journalistic journalism titan, one of the biggest and amazing teacher, not only for giving me the chance and believing in me, but really showing me this responsibility. And I talked about how as as communicator sites that have an amazing role and awesome influence, but a lot of love of responsibility on our shoulders for fact checking, you know, in an area of a lot of falls going out there for fast fact checking, for being authentic, for thinking about the value that you bring other than, you know, getting eyeballs to our content and in what we produce.

So this is something that I really took from Dov and also the story that I told before around this that the dilemma, you know, a local story, that is what the local audience will expect to see on the front page the morning. After all, it is again an event on a larger global scale. We want to educate the audience to know that this is of importance.

When you think of the geopolitics, of the environmental aspects of it and so on. So yeah, our responsibility.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. What part of that responsibility I think is storytelling. And sometimes we're just kind of going in this direction, right? We're outwardly like, what we're saying, but we're not coming in the other direction, actually listening. So I like your next lesson. You mentioned actively listening while collaborating with the business and sales to create effective marketing strategies, and we learned this from Meshaal.

Sure. Who's the founder and president of Kaltura? So how did you learn this so quickly?

Nohar Zmora: I'd say that and again, being lucky, know the people I met and helped me steer my career the right direction. So we have there is a co-founder, president of Kaltura and she was my old time mentor and the person who brought me into culture. And I think for me, at least one of the most inspiring women into her preneur in the tech industry.

I'm also a social activist doctor in law and mother of three. So doing it all together, really inspiring action. And and I think, you know, what I learned taught me how, which is so fundamental to how I think of marketing and do marketing on a day to day is that I cannot think of my my self as, you know, only a marketeer responsible only to marketing them marketing aspects of the business that my responsibility ends in a way and you know, the amount of leads and m12 marketing qualified leads we bring, that's it.

But in a way that, you know, the entire go to market aspect of a company needs to work super well together. And that this is and this is the marketing and marketing leader responsibility as well. So a close close collaboration obviously with sales, always business development with product and how product strategy is also part of my role. Right.

And collaborating on that piece product and how sales strategy, sales enablement, how we go to market not only on what we do on the marketing side, but how we do it. I continue it on the sales side of things, as you know, super holistic thing that need to work with one another. I also learned for me how just her amazing business acumen and how it is important for me to know coming from a content and very creative and very brand area, know that it wasn't my strongest suit, but it became that, you know, really understanding the numbers, really understanding the numbers on the grand scale, their financial numbers, what the CFO is aiming for and

how we as marketing contribute to this full picture that that is about them. The company goals for the year, what we need to achieve. So I think really developing this appetite in me to understand the business and to end to establish this regular are conversations interactions with finance as well as with sales course for for alignment. So constant feedback for developing these muscles, all listening active listening into the signals that they bring at times you need to clean a lot of noise.

I know at times you need to generalize a bit of the very tactical problems they see, but there are a lot of intelligence there. And now all of this I learned from my amazing mental health.

Daniel Burstein: So those are that you mentioned are some of the stakeholders. But a company has many, many stakeholders. And your next lesson you mentioned have continuous and profound dialogs with stakeholders to achieve success. And you said you learn this from Lisa Bennett, the CMO of Cultura. I do learn this from Lisa.

Nohar Zmora: So, so Lisa, our newly appointed CMO. Send that Congrats, Lisa, if you hear me, but are lonely. My partner, a long time partner, friend, which are so lucky to work with her. So so really I think that Lisa is an example of another very inspiring journey in marketing and a different one. Lisa has been with Kaltura from the very first day, have done quite everything in cultural roles out there from office to PR to marketing.

But I think what stands out and always and doesn't stop to amaze me and I'm constantly learning from her as know how she is so sensitive to people, prioritize people all the time, but in a way that really, really, really helps, you know, solve those challenges. And within the company, not only within the team, but with with other stakeholders and teams in a way that really helps me think of coming to coming to a debate or coming to an area which, you know, with opposing opinions, really putting yourself into the other person's shoes, understanding where they come from, understanding the KPIs, and always believing that there's a win win situation, which is probably better for

all because at the end we're all working towards the same goals. So this is something that Lisa does in a very I am, yeah, amazing way, always keeping a smile and a positive attitude. And this is something that I'm still learning how to do well.

Daniel Burstein: Well, here's something I hope maybe you figure it out, because I have not figured this out yet. So you talk about having continuous and profound dialog with stakeholders. How can you do this at a virtual event? Have you figured out how to do that? Because I want to be able to because I don't like traveling, so I don't want to have to go to in-person events.

When I think of this lesson, this is that is the best place I've been able to have continuous and profound dialogs with stakeholders. Right? Because you're there, you can talk to customers, you can also talk to other people within your organization who you don't normally get to see. Investors, press, media, others from the industry are all there. And it's not just at those, you know, like just sitting down and seeing a session, which we could do pretty well virtually.

It's those things like, you know, the happy hour or the networking or lunch or, you know, sometimes it's just from the bus, from the hotel to the venue. I've had some of the most profound discussions and learn so much. So have you been able to crack that? And I know you like this is something you're diving into, like having these profound dialogs in a virtual event.

Nohar Zmora: So it's always it's always something, you know, a work in progress if we continue improving and working on. But but I can say that obviously this is also part of what we do and what we work with our customers on, on how they can do in a better way with their customers and their partners and their communities. So yeah, we are a true, true believers in the power of virtual events, you know, not only for large scale reach, which is not something we are able to do in in-person the abundance of data that, you know, virtual chatting gives us all that can then be used for optimizing content, understanding better the audience better follow up

with customers, our segmentation and much, much more. I think we still and also for our internal work as a marketing team with other team throughout the organization, we still believe in a mix, right? We just think that the secret is in the right strategy and the understanding of the differences between the formats and where we actually need to be in person, where we can do something.

And it is indeed a hybrid and where the virtual can serve us very well. And we find that in person today. Services for more intimate, localized gathering where most of our interaction also from a business perspective, right in our marketing with our customers, with our prospect, but also internally, our today on the virtual setting, you touched on the challenge, which is indeed the area of interaction and networking and I think, you know, this is always improving.

There are still ways to go, I can say, and that we just wrapped last week a three day marketing offsite to our entire team, my entire team. It should have been out in person offsite who will bring everyone together due to a few challenges of time schedules and and so on. We've decided to do it as actually virtually it was challenging again, right?

It's also the time differences and you have shorter window so time and but I must that we were astounded by how great this went and I think much of it is around you. You touched on it. You mentioned it the right mixture of formats that that really catered to to your goals. So, for example, for us, it was much less around, you know, talking heads and presentations.

It was much more around breakout rooms and hands on workshops, working in smaller teams and specific things, then getting into the whole forum and presenting things in a more timed way. A lot of activations of the team from even personal activities. We did like a cool secret center with everyone reached research and not one and presented it in a really funny way.

So competitions and gamification. We had a leader board, we had a very vibrant chat. We're using a lot of interactive formats like Pull and quizzes. So I think I hope that the team will last and that the team feels the same thing. Was very cool. I must say that we also tried to do have a bit of fat to have some hacks to feel as if we are together.

So for example, just a few interesting things, like we created the joint playlist that everyone like when we had like our quiet moments or break so everyone could listen to it, we felt like we're in the same or in the same place, or we arrange for everyone who who deliveries on specific time. So we had like lunch and learns and diet to mingle together, having it's their cocktail or their ice cream or the pizza together.

So it was very, very nice.

Daniel Burstein: The food delivery is fun because you brought something physical into the virtual, even though you were all remote. That's a good idea. Okay. Well, we've talked about so many different things. What about what it means to be a marketer in your stories, even learning from a totally different industry? Journalism, If you can. One minute if you could sum it up, if you just had to sum it all up, what are the key qualities of an effective marketer?

Nohar Zmora: So I think I touched on it before. So I'll repeat, because this is my formula in a way. So yeah, I think Smart is like sounds like something on the one hand trivial. On the other hand, you know, hard like how do I measure smart? But I think it's this maybe it's it's this relentless curiosity, right, of learning, moving quick, understanding that this is such a dynamic profession that you can sit on your mission, right?

So you just have to have this appetite to constantly learn. By the way, I love people that have other hobbies and stuff that they are so passionate about, like music and you know, other things, because I think this also represents for me, this smartness, this curiosity and this passion. So these are this is one area of thanks to the other one is execution skills, this go getter mindset, which I think is critical.

I've seen throughout day years really smart and creative people that, you know, their ideas stayed within growers, right? So if you don't have the abilities to some extent or learn them off project management of being able to break down things, recruiting stakeholders, understanding how you bring something to life, you stay in this analysis. Paralysis stage. So yeah, I think this is what great marketers are made of, said.

Daniel Burstein: Well, if I have to sum it up back to, you know, ha says, if you want to be a great marketer, don't sit on your us that well. That's all right. Well, no, I thank you so much for your time today. We learn so much from your career. Thanks for being here.

Nohar Zmora: I loved it and enjoyed every minute of it takes you down there. Thank you for having me.

Daniel Burstein: And thanks to everyone for listening.

Outro: Thank you for joining us for how I made it in marketing with Daniel Bernstein. Now that you've got an inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas for your next marketing campaign. From Marketing Sherpas, Extensive library of free case studies at marketing Sherpa dot com That's marketing Shc RPA com and.

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