In 2007, LaSandra Brill started a blog to convince the BtoB world that social media wasn't just for BtoC.
I like the tech industry because it's fast-moving, open, and willing to try new things.
As an Integrated Marketing Communications Manager at Cisco, she says the company wasn't ready to experiment with social quite yet. But in her blog, she began to make the case, writing about how innovative BtoC campaigns might work for BtoBs and pitching them to Cisco.
“Eventually, I found the right group who was willing to take a chance,” SocialMedia.org member LaSandra says.
And after some pilots and initiatives on MySpace, SecondLife, and Twitter, LaSandra says the big turning point came when the company launched the ASR 1000 in 2008. With all of these new tools at their disposal, the integrated product launch became one of the top five product launches in company history.
“It was one of the first examples of a BtoB company embracing social media, and that opened the door for my career,” says LaSandra.
From there, LaSandra became one of the founding members of Cisco's corporate social media team.
I'm a marketer, I'm not a data scientist, so I'm learning as I go… But we have to — this is how our job is evolving.
“It just became an integration strategy for everything we do — not only in marketing, but in HR, legal, and we kept going further down the rabbit hole.”
And after several years at Cisco, LaSandra left her role as the Head of Digital and Social Media Marketing to join Symantec where her responsibilities broadened to include a fully integrated digital plan.
“I like the tech industry because it's fast-moving, open, and willing to try new things. With the culture inside a tech company, ideas can come from anywhere. There are always opportunities to grow and expand,” she says.
Now, as the Head of Digital Planning and Analytics at NVIDIA, LaSandra is hyperfocused on relevancy.
Her team works across the enterprise to support campaigns and launches as an internal agency to the company. They also work to strengthen their targeting capabilities and segmentations with the analytics team.
“It's cliche, but we're always working to make it relevant by delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time. How do we keep from wasting a message and bothering someone who's just not ready to buy?”
That also means monitoring sentiment for NVIDIA's highly engaged gaming community.
“It's helpful to have a community that's social by nature,” says LaSandra. “Our gaming community is very passionate, vocal, and engaged. They're quick to let you know when they don't like something.”
For example, when NVIDIA launched an application with some changes users didn't like, LaSandra says it was an all-hands-on-deck situation. Her team, alongside the CEO, monitored sentiment on a twice-daily basis and quickly made the changes informed by the social media response.
“How do we drink our own champagne?”
LaSandra says the next big project at NVIDIA involves using their own supercomputers for processing tons of data for customer segmentation and real-time modeling. Using every data point they can think of to understand their customers, they'll build a customer segmentation engine to personalize those user interactions even further.
How do we drink our own champagne and leverage the concepts of AI to improve what we do in social?
“I'm a marketer, I'm not a data scientist, so I'm learning as I go about the power of Hive, near-neighbor algorithms, and deep learning. But we have to — this is how our job is evolving. As marketers, we need to evolve our skill set and think about how AI-driven decisions can take what we are doing to the next level.
She says part of that includes using AI for social listening. Working with Zignal Labs, they're monitoring sentiment and image processing using NVIDIA's own GPUs. Her team is always asking themselves if there's an AI component to what they're doing.
“How do we drink our own champagne and leverage the concepts of AI to improve what we do in social?”
With social media and AI, her team is writing the playbook all over again.
When it comes to marketing with AI, there isn't a playbook to work from, according to LaSandra. At NVIDIA, they're figuring it out as they go — brainstorming, developing use cases, and testing. Once again, LaSandra finds herself at the forefront of pioneering the next era of digital marketing.
“It's exciting. We’re rewriting the digital marketing playbook all over again.”
LaSandra joined SocialMedia.org in 2010, and since then, has taken us along with her career at three different companies. Follow her on Twitter here.