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A day in the life of… Amy Barzdukas, Executive Vice President and CMO at Poly – Econsultancy

Everybody reading this has probably used a conference phone, but what’s it like to market them? Luckily for you, today’s ‘day in the life’ features the CMO of Poly, Amy Barzdukas.

Let’s get into it…

Please describe your job: What do you do?

I am responsible for Poly’s global marketing strategy and execution and ensuring that Poly’s customer experiences are exceptional. That means it’s my job to get the word out about Poly and its products and services, to build the Poly brand and to lead a great team that helps make Poly’s vision to be the world’s best UC technology provider a reality.

Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?

I am the Chief Marketing Officer and an Executive Vice President. I report directly to the CEO of Poly.

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

Top skills a CMO needs are curiosity, to ask questions and to be a good listener. Being curious and listening to customers, stakeholders, data, other leaders, your team – are all critical to becoming an agile marketer. I also think it’s good to have some humility and a good sense of humor, so you can be resilient and adjust your sails if the wind is no longer blowing your way.

Tell us about a typical working day…

I start every day early, reading the news and checking my email and social feeds. I might start with a stand-up leadership meeting at 7am, and squeeze in a smoothie and coffee for breakfast. My meetings with my team in Europe are early and then I arrive at work and have multiple check-ins with my team. I typically have one writing activity a day – a blog, strategy positioning paper, or reviewing approved marketing copy, etc. I love writing and like to stay involved. I close out the day around 7pm, although I am always on email. I also try to fit in exercise daily – Peloton or a yoga class are my go-to.

What do you love about your job? What sucks?

Firstly, I love the people that I work with because they inspire me every day. I love working in technology because there’s always something new and amazing around the corner. And I love when the behind-the-scenes work of a campaign is finally revealed to the world, and then seeing the results roll in. One of our biggest announcements happened about a year ago on March 18th 2019. We launched the re-brand of Plantronics and Polycom as Poly and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?

It’s important in marketing to have metrics that speak to the rest of the business, so we look closely at our marketing leads funnel as that ultimately turns into revenue, and that’s what really counts. We also measure web traffic as a barometer of brand relevance, share of voice, and a host of other leading indicators. But in B2B, you’ve got to be driving revenue.

What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?

I might be a little old school, but I love a good spreadsheet. Give me data and let me do the pivot tables to make sense of it. Beyond that – we rely on a rich marketing technology stack to help us through the day.

How did you end up at Poly, and where might you go from here?

I’d been with a couple of very large companies and wanted to be part of an organisation that was a bit smaller, but still large enough to have impact.

Which advertising has impressed you lately?

I think Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” commercial that aired during the Super Bowl where Bill Murray reprised his role from 1993 was iconic. The award-winning ad was launched on Groundhog Day itself, February 2nd, and is a snappy montage of adventures in a Jeep day in and day out, with him enjoying each one more and more.

It resonated with me because in the world of marketing no day is the same and gets better all the time. It also moved me because we too revisited a nostalgic and historic moment this year when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and marked that the first words spoken by Neil Armstrong on the moon were transmitted through a Poly headset.

What advice would you give a marketer starting out?

Read as much as you can – fiction, non-fiction, books, magazines, blogs. You never know where your next great idea might come from, and a breadth of exposure is a great reminder of just how diverse our world and our customers are. It also makes you a better writer, and that is a talent that is too often lacking. When you notice an ad or a marketing campaign, ask yourself what that marketer was trying to accomplish – “reverse engineer” what the brief looked like.  Remember not to take yourself too seriously and remember to laugh.

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