How do we introduce a new product to market in a simple, engaging, and intuitive fashion?
Enterprise Connect 2019
Lead product marketer, director, producer
Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Webex Rooms
Cisco Webex product team, XLNS Films
I directed a high-level marketing video introducing Cognitive Collaboration, Cisco Webex's intelligent meetings solution set, for the Enterprise Connect conference.
Image source: Project Workplace
Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing are up-and-coming fields in tech, but a stigma still remains around these new endeavors because of a lack of understanding and security concerns.
Cisco Webex Meetings is a global industry leader in video meetings, collaboration technology as well as security solutions. Our leadership position, loyal customer base, and proven track record made us a perfect candidate to test out new technology in the AI space.
Develop a high-level marketing video to introduce the Cognitive Collaboration solution set to the public at Enterprise Connect, highlighting its benefits, ease of use, and integration into the larger Cisco Collaboration product suite.
Introducing Cognitive Collaboration
Powering Better Meeting Experiences
In March 2019, the Cisco Collaboration team launched a new intelligent meetings initiative at Enterprise Connect called Cognitive Collaboration. This initiative introduced a series of new features centered around machine learning and artificial intelligence, including People Insights for Cisco Webex Meetings and Webex Assistant.
People Insights for Webex Meetings
Get to know your meeting attendees with real-time updates right at your fingertips
People Insights for Webex Meetings gives all meeting attendees access to read curated biographies about the individuals they are meeting with, including information like company history, education, and current news. Users have the ability to edit or hide their profile at any time if they wish to keep their information private.
Take control of your meeting tools with the sound of your voice
The Webex Assistant is a virtual voice assistant that is integrated within the Webex Devices portfolio. The Webex Assistant can schedule meetings, alert you on conference room availability, and start meetings via voice command. All you have to say is “OK, Webex.”
See and remember all the people in your meeting
Facial recognition is a feature of the Webex Room Series devices. It accompanies the facial detection feature that allows the device camera to track the movement of the speaker. The facial recognition feature is tied to your company’s directory information and will show names and title tags at the bottom of the screen so you always know who’s in the room.
Selling to IT and to the end user
One challenge we often faced as product marketers was how to segment and target our audiences. Because we are a well-known technology company, we also had to ensure that our message, positioning, and feature set was robust enough to earn the respect of our peers in the analyst community and the technical professionals who would equip our solution. At the same time, we had to make sure that new end users would understand exactly what we were offering, without throwing them off with complicated technical language and jargon. Cisco is a B2B company, but the collaboration product and solution portfolio is unique because it is the most end-user facing, especially for Line of Business (LoB).
Revealing the X Factor
The Cognitive Collaboration product and solutions launch was one of the biggest launches our team had ever worked on that expanded across print, digital, experiential, and OOH marketing. It was also one of the most important launches for the team because it signaled our business’ shift to focusing on emerging fields like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing.
The Future is Cognitive.
We wanted this campaign to have longevity. That meant that any content created for the launch also had to be relevant for six months to a year after the event had finished. For anyone that’s worked in technology, you’ll know that’s a hard thing to do because expectations, products, and features change so rapidly. My task was to figure out a way to tell a compelling story about this innovative new technology that would allow the solution to evolve but still maintain the same creed and user benefit it established at its birth.
Getting the word out via our major media channels
We launched the video during the week of Enterprise Connect to sustain the interest and momentum after the keynote sessions. The video was played in the booth during the conference so attendees had a reference point when asking questions. We also included the video in the initial press release, subsequent blogs, and it was circulated via our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn channels frequently after the show. It was also featured as an anchor video on the main Cisco.com home page as well as our individual Collaboration pages on Cisco.com and Webex.com.
Shoutout from Chuck!!!!
The response to our launch was positive, and our CEO Chuck Robbins even retweeted our press release and video the day that it was released! Since launch, our video has garnered over 5,000+ views on YouTube alone, and the Collaboration team has since gone on to secure leadership positions among the industry's top rankings.
Grace under pressure
How to work under severe time constraints
When I was approached with this task, we had less than two weeks to go until Enterprise Connect. It was a frantic time for everyone on the team, and there wasn't much to do other than buckle up and get scrappy. Within two days, I had written (and re-written) the concept, script, and storyboard for our video, secured a vendor, cast all talent, and locked down locations and devices. Thankfully, I was partnered up with a trusted vendor who I had worked with frequently in the past, so the process was enjoyable even through the stress!
We finished shooting within a week, but we had to get signoff from several stakeholders during our edit phase, including the following:
Content/Social Media Teams
All in all, we probably went through at least a dozen different iterations of the video to account for variations of end cards, CTAs, and voiceover options. But at the end of the day, we got it done!
People Insights for Webex Meetings solo video
My leadership commissioned a second video, after the success of the first high-level video, to dig deeper into the details of the People Insights feature. I also wrote the script, recorded the on-screen voiceover for this video, and worked together with the product and UX teams to compile the correct screens. The video was featured in a stand-alone blog on Cisco.com to introduce the feature to the general public.
Wouldn't trade this experience for the world
Despite the stress, chaos, and time constraints, I'm so grateful that I was able to work on this project. It's wonderful to see that my work is still being promoted almost a year after launch. My three years at Cisco were the most formative years of my life so far because I had to mature very quickly. Working at Cisco taught me how to manage stress, manage people (even people higher up than me), take criticism and feedback positively, rise up from setbacks, and move forward with confidence.