Kfir Pravda

Webinar on Scaling B2B Marketing Operations: Check!

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We resolved to start sharing more insight and B2B marketing know-how with our audience, and accepted an opportunity to take part in a joint webinar with Oktopost. On Tuesday, January 21st, our CEO, Kfir Pravda, will host that very webinar, entitled “How to Scale B2B Marketing Operations.”

Kfir is going to share a lot of tricks of the trade. The discussion will be about scaling marketing operations. Strategies to be discussed in-depth include social media, operations, integrations, and marketing automation.

Click here to sign up for the webinar, and learn how to scale your B2B marketing activities effectively.

Also – join us for a special #B2Btalks Breakfast Workshop on January 21st, which will focus on use cases for marketing automation. Click here to register. We also invite you to download the latest in-depth B2B marketing paper by Kfir, titled “8 Simple Use Cases for Marketing Automation”. It offers a great deal of valuable insight for B2B marketers struggling to figure out how marketing automation can fit into their processes.

What Happens When A Company Loses Credibility?

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WAZE, a social navigation application for your Smartphone is one of Israel’s favorite apps for navigation on-the-go. With user-generated reports, this app helps drivers avoid traffic jams and find more durable roads. And it worked well – with almost no hitches. But then on Valentine’s Day 2012, the company upgraded the Software. While the upgrade should have been seamless, it had several bugs and users soon found themselves directed straight into traffic jams, or off-course by several kilometers. (Imagine you want to take your sweetheart out for a romantic dinner at a new restaurant, and you end up at the cement factory in Ramle instead.)

Anyway, in a recent interview with The Marker, Kfir Pravda, the CEO of Pravda Media Group, explains the implications of this loss of credibility for WAZE : “The greatest challenge for WAZE is to regain the users’ trust. If the problem is localized and the company apologizes and explains, this will ameliorate things. But if malfunctions repeat – that’s another story.”

This is an important lesson for companies everywhere. Mistakes happen. Period. And owning a previous error — accepting responsibility, and taking measures to ensure that these mistakes don’t happen again — is a true sign of leadership.

For the full article in Hebrew, please visit: http://www.themarker.com/hitech/1.1649716

How To Do an Engaging Panel

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In the last several years, I’ve participated and moderated numerous panels. Some of them were about exciting new technologies, some about business models, and some covered in-depth technological issues.

Doing a great panel, as moderator or a panelist, is always a challenge. In many cases the audience is not that interested in the topic. In others, they have heard a lot about the theme. Therefore, if you would like to do a panel that audience would remember, you should invest some time and effort in building and navigating it properly.

There are many panel’s styles, and I’d like to share with you my own “lessons learned”. Even if you don’t read all the tips — here are the basic concepts:

Think Entertainment. Many look at panels as a mean to convey information. This is absolutely true. But panels should convey information in an entertaining way.

Think conversation — not presentation — try to involve the audience in the panel, and assume that even if you have experts on board, the audience can challenge them in ways you never would have thought about. Here are some tips on how to achieve that:

1. Bring controversial panelists, with different views. Then, bash them one against the other — yes, I know it sounds harsh :). The idea is simple — if all your speakers agree with one another, no one would care. That is the safest path to make your session an email download event (when the audience read their emails instead of listen). Good panel starts with the right people on stage. Without it — it is very hard to get things going.

2. Ask the questions that everyone are thinking about but it seems that they aren’t polite to ask — last VON I was moderating a panel about video and social media . All the panelists were talking about how amazing the online video revelation is, and how it changes the way people create and consume media. No one raised the issue that with content democratization — most of online video is poorly directed and boring. But you see, many of the people in the audience thought about it. As a moderator, I’ve asked a simple question — isn’t all that Internet video just bad content? By doing so, the panel was more interesting, controversial, and answered the audience needs.

3. Slides are a big no no — panels are discussions, not a group presentations. Presentations usually stop a lively conversation, therefore they are the enemy. If your panelists insist — say no again, with a smile. If the panelist cannot protect his views without a presentation — then the problem is not the panel, but the panelists. They will hate you. But after a good panel, they will thank you, believe me.

4. Challenge the audience — ask the audience questions about themselves and their views on the topic at hand. For example, if you are in a social media panel, ask the audience who is using Twitter, Facebook etc. What worked best for me was asking questions in the beginning of the panel, and then in several points in the middle. The audience becomes a part of the conversation, and not a passive player.

5. Don’t over practice—it is important to do a preparation call before the panel, to get to know the people involved, and nail the key issues at stake. However, it is important to keep the panel fresh, so don’t review all the points thoroughly. As a moderator, always keep one question in your sleeve. Remember – it is supposed to be fun for everyone, audience included.

6. Keep PR speak out of the game — yes, companies are using panels to spread their views on the world. Like everything in life, it is not the what, but the how. So, when a panelist start to talk in PR language, what he/she really does, is destroying the conversation. If one of your panelists is doing that — wait until he/she finishes to talk — and say” we thank the PR guy from XYZ for his insightful press release”. The audience would laugh, and the panelists get the message.

What is Your panel advice?