Mary Owen is the VP of marketing and demand generation at KnowBe4, a computer and network security company and the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform that helps manage the ongoing problem of social engineering.
Mary is joined by our host, Mike D’Agostino, General Manager of Information Security Media Group (ISMG) & CyberTheory.
Mary kicks this episode off with the background of KnowBe4 and what her role is within the marketing and revenue-driving organization:
So again, this is not a sales pitch, we are giving them actionable takeaways and explaining the why, so that they can apply these things within their organizations right away. And giving that kind of value is what gets them to remember us. And when they do need a security awareness training vendor, hopefully, they’re going to think of us.
In this episode of Cybersecurity (Marketing) Unplugged, Mary also discusses:
- Where webinars fit in with her content marketing and demand generation strategy;
- What’s been her “secret sauce” to producing webinars that create a high level of engagement;
- The goal of these webinar programs and what she hopes to accomplish;
- Some of the metrics she has seen from these webinar programs in terms of ROI;
- How to drive registrations and traffic to these webinars and which tactics are most useful;
- And much more.
For the full audio recording, click the player below!
CLICK HERE for a full transcript of the conversation.
This episode has been automatically transcribed by AI, please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.
Mike D’Agostino: [00:00]
Welcome, everyone to our latest episode of Cybersecurity Marketing Unplugged, where we attempt to educate, inform and subtly entertain B2B marketing professionals who are focused on cybersecurity and information risk management. During this episode, we will cover something that has been very near and dear to us at ISMG and me personally for nearly two decades now, which is utilizing webinars as content marketing assets, which are ultimately used as demand generation drivers. Our parent company, ISMG, got off the ground in 2005 and 2006 by producing webinars sessions, laser-focused on mostly regulatory compliance topics within the banking and finance sector. In fact, we owe much of our early success to these webinars based on the fact our subscriber base grew by leaps and bounds as more and more information security professionals became aware of the sessions we were producing, so effective drivers for us in growing our initial database. We still focus heavily on webinars, every day hosting scheduled sessions along with thousands of on-demand sessions available in our archive. ISMG also manages many webinar programs for the cybersecurity vendor community. I think webinars have become a standard tactic in the modern cybersecurity marketers’ arsenal. Although not a new tactic, I think during the pandemic and work-from-home environment, they’ve seen a resurgence as digital channels were the only way to consume educational content. That said, some cybersecurity vendors do it better than others. And as ISMG hosts so many webinars for so many cybersecurity vendors, they’re able to identify which topics, which sessions and ultimately, which vendors excel at utilizing webinars effectively. And KnowBe4 is consistently at the top of that list. So without further ado, I’d like to welcome our guest, Mary Owen, VP of marketing and demand generation with KnowBe4. So Mary, please take a moment to further introduce yourself, provide a bit of a background on KnowBe4 and what it is the company does for anyone not aware, and how your particular role fits within the marketing and sales organization.
Mary Owen: [02:44]
First, thank you for having me on. I think it’ll be a lot of fun. Webinars are near and dear to my heart. So KnowBe4 – we are the world’s largest security awareness training vendor. And so what that means is that we train end users at over 50,000 organizations worldwide on social engineering tactics. And that’s meant to help those organizations better manage the ongoing problem of social engineering, which is not going away anytime soon. So, I’ve been here at KnowBe4 for almost five years. I manage the demand gen team. So that is encompassed, the inbound marketing side, which is social media, paid search, websites, blogs, that sort of stuff. We also have an outbound team, managing webinars, also content syndication, email, all outbound communications, and then we have a campaign function which sits right in the middle, and they coordinate with both sides, inbound and outbound, for campaigns.
Mike D’Agostino: [03:54]
So you’re knee deep in it. You’re living the dream every day, the demand generation dream. And again, we’ve been tracking KnowBe4 from a vendor marketing perspective for a number of years because you guys have run programs with our parent company, specifically focused around webinars. And I’ve seen your name come repeatedly at the top of that list – and I think now’s a good time to segue over into why we’re even here today. And the reason that it’s happened is – I’m going to share my screen here and present a couple of slides. We are producing research reports under our CyberTheory division that is focused on bringing to light intent data, specifically for content marketers and demand generation marketers. And the way that it comes together is we have access to, because CyberTheory is derived from ISMG, or Information Security Media Group, we have access to all of their first-party intent data under CyberTheory. So we’ve taken that intent data, and again attempted to make sense of the type of content that’s creating engagement with various audiences. This is a massive data set. And we’re partnering with the Cyentia Institute to crunch all of this data. Quick plug for Cyentia, a great group to work with. They’re actually headed by Wade Baker, he’s the original author of the Verizon data breach investigations report. They work with many vendors, almost exclusively within the cybersecurity space to crunch mega datasets – lots of it comes from machine data – and attempt to make sense of that data and find correlations and other highlights. So, we were a bit of a unique use case for them because they’re used to working with product vendors. But we’ve known Wade and the group for a number of years. So we asked them to crunch this data. And we focused on a wide range of different data points, and one of the areas was focused on webinars. Now, this graph here that you’re seeing is a quick snapshot of the past 15-16 years or so. If you use the ISMG network as a microcosm for the content that’s available to cybersecurity professionals, you can see even just within the past two, three years, even just during the pandemic, that the amount of digital content that’s available to cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed. It’s just grown exponentially. And like I mentioned before, we’ve seen a bit of a renaissance for webinar assets, given that there’s been a lack of in-person events throughout those couple of years. That was the only way that you could consume content. So one of the data points that we look at in our research is getting a sense of which vendor brands are creating the most engagement with cybersecurity audiences. And this graph that you’re seeing here come from one of our earlier reports that was produced last year. It was looking at engagement data over Q1 of 2022. And what you see here is a list of the top vendors, but just let it be known that there were hundreds of others that didn’t make it to this list. So what you’re seeing here is the upper echelon of cybersecurity vendor brands that are creating the most engagement with the ISMG audience through various types of assets, could be webinars, it could be white papers, it could be case studies, research, you name it, and no surprises, you see brands like Cisco and Splunk and Palo Alto Networks, they’re at the top, these are massive organizations. They have seemingly unlimited resources, whether it be financial resources, staff resources, or otherwise, so you would expect them to be toward the top. But you see some interesting other players in there, KnowBe4 being one of them. But I would call out others like a Lookout, or an Exterro, or even a Radiant Logic. These are much smaller entities that do not have the resources that some of the bigger vendors do, but yet are still creating a high level of engagement. And so we took a bit of a deeper dive, and looked at the specific assets from these vendors that were creating that engagement. And as I referenced earlier, KnowBe4 came up at the top of the list. This was over Q1 of 2022. And we’ll come back to it in a second but very interesting title for this asset, which happened to be a webinar that ranked number one out of literally thousands of assets that were available. And then what prompted it even more was – this is the same snapshot, but this is covering Q2 and Q3 of last year. And again, you see some of the similar types of entities up there, the Ciscos and Palo Alto Networks, but lo and behold, KnowBe4 came up again, this time at the number one slot. And again, we looked at the assets that were creating that engagement and right away saw that KnowBe4 came up with the top asset out of thousands that were available. Again, a webinar, and a very crafty title, the Ransomware Hostage Risk List: Your Step by Step Guide, et cetera. So that is actually what prompted us to reach out is because KnowBe4 and your group has done such a tremendous job marketing these webinar assets, we feel like you guys are experts, and thought you could have some things to share with our marketing trends on how to make best use of these assets. So quick shout out, congrats to your group coming up number one.
Mary Owen: [10:26]
Thank you. It’s very flattering and surprising.
Mike D’Agostino: [10:29]
Yeah, no worries. And again, I know our parent company are hosting – they’re a webinar machine. So there’s so many webinars out there, so many webinars available to come up in that top spot is definitely something to be said. So back to the title of this episode. I don’t know if people caught on to it but the title is Webinars 3.0, the Cybersecurity Marketers’ Checklist. And that was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek play on the two assets that came up as number one here. When we were looking at this and we saw the data, we saw the title for this first webinar Ransomware 3.0. We thought it was bad and then it got even worse and many of us were running around like, “Ransomware 3.0? What happened to Ransomware 2.0? Did we miss something?” It creates that sort of FOMO like maybe I missed something here. So I’m eager to hear how you guys came up with these these interesting titles.
Mary Owen: [11:30]
Well, I have to give the credit to Roger Grimes. He was the presenter for both of those. But Ransomware 3.0. it’s because the first generation of ransomware locked your machine, everybody knows about that. And then shortly thereafter, it evolved really quickly. So 2.0 and 3.0 happened at the same time. So that’s why we skipped over. So ransomware attackers exfiltrating data, and then also the threat of them publishing that data, or using that data for their own nefarious purposes. So all of that just ratcheted things up. So it’s a much bigger threat, at that point.
Mike D’Agostino: [12:19]
Sure. And like I said, I think for us, I know our project management team, they toil over assets, day in, day out, they AB test subject lines and titles and abstracts. And I know as soon as they saw this, they were excited that this was going to be a good asset, they can sense it right away. And just one other thing to note on this slide, and also this other one, that there are a lot of webinars sessions that are coming up as creating the most engagement with our audience. Some of them are on demand, which I think says something. I know that there’s a big emphasis on scheduled sessions and live sessions. But we do see that on demand is very viable. I think the pandemic probably trained a lot of people to consume content digitally, but perhaps even more so on their own time, when they want to view those sessions. But it’s interesting that so many webinars come up as creating that top-line level of engagement. So speaking of webinars, we briefly touched on in our planning call, and you mentioned it upfront that that’s just one of a number of tactics and assets that you have in your arsenal. Talk a little bit about what is the strategy behind utilizing webinars within your overall demand generation program?
Mary Owen: [13:48]
Sure. Well, I mentioned that our market is security awareness training. And so our company has been around for 12 years, and webinars have been important since the beginning. And if you think about what the market was like 12 years ago, and even five years ago, there wasn’t a security awareness training market. Like most IT admins are like, “I do that with a PowerPoint once a year,” or it was like a checkbox requirement. And it wasn’t taken seriously. And so we use webinars as an education tool to reach as many people as possible with our message and evangelize for it. So that’s the history of webinars and we continue to do that today.
Mike D’Agostino: [14:40]
Good. And where do they fit within the stack? When you think of the assets that you have available, white papers and webinars and case studies and videos and all the various different types of content assets, where do webinars fit in that stack with regards to – do you look at people that view webinars any differently than if they consume other assets when it comes to demand generation?
Mary Owen: [15:07]
Not particularly. Not in terms of value. But it’s all meant to educate. And so we do tons of webinars, tons of white papers and ebooks, blogs out the wazoo, we focus on content, like much more than any other company I’ve worked at. And I think that’s part of the magic.
Mike D’Agostino: [15:32]
Yeah, you had mentioned upfront that your company embraces marketing. Bit of a breath of fresh air, I’m sure, working for an organization that does take it as seriously. So give our listeners a little bit of insight. I don’t want all of the trade secrets, but what is your secret sauce for putting together these effective webinars? I know, during our planning call, you were mentioning a decent process that you go through to vet out and understand which ones might be better performers than others?
Mary Owen: [16:07]
Sure. Well, I think it does stem from what you were saying. Our CEO, he is a marketer, he’s a writer, he’s been doing this his whole life. So marketing was like the core from the beginning. And he recognized the need to develop this market. And so early on, one of the smartest things he did, I think, was start to hire on a team of evangelists. So these were people who, their sole job is speaking, writing, listening to customers and prospects on our behalf, and taking in what the market is saying. They all happen to be experts in their own right. So we’re just lucky to have that kind of a staff. So they’re generally coming up with the topics. And these topics are not security awareness training topics, they are security awareness training adjacent. So we’re talking about the strategies that cybercriminals are using in their attacks, and the things that our customers or prospects are seeing in their own companies every day. And that’s what we try to focus on is that level, and then we tie it into our company at the end. So it’s definitely not a sales pitch. We want this to be great content for the people who are viewing, which gets them coming back and gets them to remember us. We also spend a lot of time crafting our abstracts and our titles, and we have certain tools that we use to help us measure. And it’s a bit of a scientific process, I would say so. And we test, which I’m sure we’ll probably get into later. But we also have a cracked team here, we’ve got Mandy Nulph and Natalie Schultz, who are managing the entire process to make sure it goes flawlessly and we follow the process every time.
Mike D’Agostino: [18:16]
Well, it sounds like a very mature process. Definitely not just a, “Let’s throw a webinar together and see if it sticks,” which we do see. If you don’t have the resources and the background and capabilities to do it, and you need to be producing webinars, I think it’s better to have something than nothing. But if you have the wherewithal to be as structured and have that testing environment to know which ones might perform better than others, and have that process mapped out. That’s the way to go. And again, staying focused on webinars, not asking for any specific KPIs or percentages or anything, but like you mentioned that maybe you look at people that end up viewing a scheduled session all the way through the end, they might be more valuable than others or, how do you measure the effectiveness of these webinars?
Mary Owen: [19:20]
Sure. Well, all of our webinars start with in-house production. So when you come up with a new topic, we produce it in house, we present it to our audience, and that’s part of the testing process. So you can tell immediately. We have benchmarks for every promotion. I know immediately after the first promotion has gone out, is it going to be successful or not successful based on the numbers that we’re seeing, and at that point, we still have time where we can go back, take another look at the title or the abstract and tweak things and the whole goal is to get the registrations as high as possible, so we can get the highest number of live attendees. And live attendees are really important. That’s our primary metric. Because if we can get somebody to sit down for the webinar, to take the time and put it in their schedule, 90% of them will complete the webinar, whether that’s through us or one of our third-party vendors like ISMG. We get a huge completion rate on those webinars. And the important thing about getting them to stick and the reason why they stick is because we want to deliver content with real value. So again, this is not a sales pitch, we are giving them actionable takeaways and explaining the why, so that they can apply these things within their organizations right away. And giving that kind of value is what gets them to remember us. And when they do need a security awareness training vendor, hopefully, they’re going to think of us.
Mike D’Agostino: [20:56]
Yeah, no doubt, and you bring up a really good point. We looked at the opposite when we were going through our research with Cyentia, looking at some of the worst-performing assets. And what we found was there was more of a propensity for those assets to include vendor brand names. And that’s something that does harken to a sales pitch, very product-centric or very service-centric. And I think you hit the nail on the head, the name of the game is offering good education and good information. It’s okay to subtly pitch at the very end. That’s a given. But I think the more valuable the information that you’re providing, the more positively it’s going to be received and the more positive association with your brand. And we never see that. I don’t think we ever see that from your webinars. I don’t think you mentioned KnowBe4 by name, or even allude to some of the main products and services that you offer.
Mary Owen: [22:00]
If anything, we probably should do that more.
Mike D’Agostino: [22:04]
Give it a shot. Yeah. I’m sure you’d find some that work. Well, shifting gears just a tad, ABM, account-based marketing, is all the rage these days. How do you incorporate ABM into your webinar programs? What’s the strategy?
Mary Owen: [22:21]
Well, obviously, we’re using it. So we have target lists for various types of actions or things we’re looking at. And we make sure that we are inviting individuals from organizations that are in those ABM target lists to all of our activities. But we also have specific presentations or events that we do just for them. And so that’s probably the biggest area where we’re using it within webinars or online presentations.
Mike D’Agostino: [22:55]
And how do you, just out of curiosity, define that ABM list?
Mary Owen: [23:00]
That’s part of the secret sauce. I can’t share.
Mike D’Agostino: [23:03]
No worries. There’s some intelligence gathering going on there. A main goal for webinars is lead generation and demand generation and ultimately contribution to pipeline revenue. But there’s a lot that goes on after a webinar concludes, and you get the contacts and the leads from those webinars. Again, not looking for any trade secrets or anything, but, in general, what’s your strategy that’s lead to success for handling those leads? Do you send them straight over to the sales team to start dialing, or is there a nurturing program that you run through? Are they treated any differently than perhaps leads that you get from other content marketing assets?
Mary Owen: [23:46]
They’re treated the same way. They do go to the sales team, and we also have a very detailed nurture process that we put them through. So it’s happening simultaneously.
Mike D’Agostino: [23:59]
Yeah, we’ve heard from our clients that I think the most mature and successful approaches – I mean, you have to consider these are single assets. And even though it’s a webinar, and you’re seeing potentially high level of engagement, meaning they stick around for the entire webinar, and they could match your ABM lists, in those cases, maybe, it makes sense to pass them right over to your sales team if they are a high-value prospect. But I do think you need that hybrid approach where – I don’t know what the rule is, 80-20 or 90-10. The majority of them go to your lead nurturing processes, you continue to feed them content. You do your own lead scoring, and when they bubble up and reach a certain threshold, and they make sense to go over to your sales team. Not everybody has the resources to put those processes in place. We understand. If you don’t have that lead nurturing process, typically, the only alternative is to send everything directly over to sales. But we have seen and I think it’s known at this point, driven largely by the pandemic, that more professionals want to conduct research on their own right before speaking with a sales rep. So the more valuable information and education you can provide to them, until they’re ready to have that sales conversation, the more successful those sales conversations will be. Talk about driving registrations, everybody produces webinars, but not everybody can get an adequate number of people to attend those webinars. What’s your strategy? How have you been so effective at creating that high level of engagement?
Mary Owen: [25:48]
Mostly for our own webinars, we’re relying on email marketing. And we have a robust email marketing program, I would say. So we have a variety of tactics and tools that we use, one of them, which going back to Stu, who’s our CEO, and previously, he was our CMO for the first 10 years of the company. He started a newsletter way back called Cyber Heist News. And we have been collecting – again, it’s content-focused. We tried to deliver breaking news and make it as useful to the subscribers as possible. But we have a huge subscriber base for that. And that’s part of the secret sauce is that we put webinar invitations into those newsletters, and that’s where we get a lot also through our other email channels. So shout out to Stu. Great plan on Cyber Heist News.
Mike D’Agostino: [26:56]
That’s great. It’s almost like you’re your own little media company with a product or a service vendor. And something that I think many organizations recognize, but you’re not giving anybody any easy answers here, Mary, because that’s not an easy thing to do. You need to have resources, you need to have time, you need to produce a lot of content in order for that engine to work.
Mary Owen: [27:21]
True. Yeah, it does take a lot of work. Like I said, the blogs we have, I think I said we have blogs out the wazoo. And that’s part of the sources, seeing what’s sticking with the blogs, and I am an instant subscriber to our blog. So every time new topics come out, I look at them. And lots of times where our webinar topics come from, “Well, that sounds really cool.” And I go to the evangelist and be like, “Do you think this could be a webinar? Is there enough content here?” So that’s using your own internal resources, and paying attention to the conversations that are happening is something that anyone can do.
Mike D’Agostino: [28:02]
And it sounds like you have a great testing ground for finding what those successful topics might be, and that leads me to my next question. You alluded to it before, but how do you know when you have a great webinar asset on your hands? Not everyone is going to be a top performer. But how do you identify those top performers?
Mary Owen: [28:22]
True. So again, we have the evangelists who are talking to so many people on a day-to-day basis. So they’re gathering information firsthand. And we’ve been doing this role so we can pinpoint a topic that we think is going to be good. Like I said, we spent a lot of time developing the title and abstract, and then we put it out. It’s that promotion engine that, like I said, we have benchmarks, we know immediately if something is on pace, if it’s over-performing, underperforming, and then we can adjust our promotional strategy to enhance whatever is happening. So everything gets tested in house, and we can tell the top performers. They immediately go out into content syndication, we’re doing those with our third-party vendors. And those are the ones that we’re putting the promotional support behind. Because we know we’ve already tested it out, we know that they’re going to work.
Mike D’Agostino: [29:27]
So, test test test, that is the marketers’ playbook. And before you go out spending money, syndicating through third party, make sure you have top-performing assets identified. Yeah, that’s a very mature process and not something that we see from everybody. Well, good. We briefly touched on scheduled webinars versus on-demand webinars. And I’ll make the plug. I know that you’re focused on the scheduled webinars and making sure that people are there and that they’re attending those scheduled sessions. There’s definitely something to be said, though, especially, as you get higher in the stack. And you’re speaking with executives who have busy schedules. Sometimes it’s more conducive for them if they’re interested to view content when they want to, on their own schedules. But there’s definitely something to be said about that extremely high level of engagement. If you are mandating to someone that if they want your content, they have to be there at a specific day and time. So talk more about that. How does that factor into how you view the success of these webinars, and possibly even the higher level of engagement around individual leads?
Mary Owen: [30:44]
Well, on demand is certainly super important. We want to get them live. That’s the number one goal. But you can reach so many more people on demand. Yeah, so whether that’s content syndication, we’re pushing things out through email, we’re using social media. A variety of different tactics to get these webinars out in front of as many people as we can. And that’s part of the magic too, is when you get a topic that’s a top performer, they can live on for quite a while, especially when you’re doing the type of content that we’re doing. A lot of the topics are somewhat evergreen, and you can get a lot of mileage out of them. So it does benefit you to take the time upfront, and make those as good as possible, so that you can get months or maybe even a year out of a particular topic.
Mike D’Agostino: [31:39]
Sure. And do you treat those any different contacts that view a live webinar and sit through the duration of it versus somebody that views an on-demand version?
Mary Owen: [31:51]
Yes, we do. And that’s primarily because people who view on demand are generally not viewing for as long. With a live webinar, if you’ve taken the time to put it on your schedule, show up, be there, like it’s a priority, more than an on-demand view. And we generally see that on-demand viewers don’t stay on as long.
Mike D’Agostino: [32:15]
Yeah. Agreed. Well, speaking of webinars, are there any other assets that you found, whether it be white papers, case studies, survey reports, that you think produce as good results as webinars? Any other content marketing assets in your arsenal that you focus on?
Mary Owen: [32:39]
All of them. Everything is important to us. Like I said, we’re publishing blogs every day. We’re doing a number of webinars every month, and lots of times what will happen, the webinar usually comes first, or maybe the blog comes first. But when they get a winning topic, many times, we will spin that into additional assets. And that’s where if something is a super hot topic, and we got a great response, we’ll turn it into an ebook or a white paper or an infographic or all and then another way to get extra mileage out of those curated topics.
Mike D’Agostino: [33:20]
Yeah, great ideas. And I think, as we alluded to, with more and more people doing their own research, as opposed to engaging with sales reps, that concept of moving people through the buyers’ journey, using content assets, is even more critical. So the more you can stretch a particular asset, the better position you’re going to be in to gauge the engagement with those various assets through the buyers’ journey.
Mary Owen: [33:48]
Plus people like to consume content in different ways. It’s not everyone is a webinar person. Some people prefer a written asset. Some people prefer an infographic, probably a lot of people will prefer an infographic, and it just isn’t going to give you the same depth of content. So we try to present content in a lot of different ways so that the user can choose how they want to consume it.
Mike D’Agostino: [34:10]
Sure. And I know CISOs are usually the sort of unicorn that most cybersecurity vendors – and I’m using cybersecurity in a loose sense, I’m talking about information security, information risk management, compliance, regulatory, I sort of put all of those under the cybersecurity bucket these days. But most vendors think of the CISO as the ultimate decision maker and driver for many products and services. Do you see a high level of engagement? Are there differences when it comes to title levels or job functions within an organization that engage with your webinars?
Mary Owen: [34:51]
The topics that we’re putting out are mostly security related topics, so they’re much more aimed at the IT admin and the problems that they’re seeing every day and giving them tools that they can use to mitigate those issues. So most of our content is not targeted to the CISO. Although we do have some, it depends on what the purpose of it is.
Mike D’Agostino: [35:14]
Well, that is the main takeaway is that regardless of who your target audience is, make sure the content is applicable to them. And we see that very often. In fact, that was one of the takeaways from the first version of our research report was that we see so many cybersecurity marketers using the same assets, but from quarter to quarter, trying to target different audiences with those same assets. And we see it all the time, the most effective content marketing assets are ones that are produced laser-focused on a specific audience, as opposed to using a more general asset. Well, quickly, last item here on the agenda of fun one, coming up recently is the whole concept of AI and ChatGPT is on everybody’s radar. And so we had a little bit of a fun spin on it and decided to take a stab at having ChatGPT write an abstract. So, we went in and added in very generic, “Write an abstract for a webinar and security awareness training”. Did a decent job, very generic, very high level, but definitely a good starting point. And then even drilled down a bit more and asked it to focus more on phishing training, and include those coveted three bullet points that described what are the exact takeaways, and without even speaking with us beforehand, they came up with some good takeaways here. So where do you see AI and ChatGPT-like services? How are they going to fit in with your webinar strategy, moving forward?
Mary Owen: [37:10]
I think it’s an interesting technology. Maybe not all the way there. Our CEO plays around this quite a bit because he writes a lot of our blogs. And so lots of times in our blogs recently, he will have ChatGPT also write a blog on whatever his topic was. So that’s kind of fun. We recently did a webinar on AI and ChatGPT was a part of that. And so we thought about doing the same thing, having ChatGPT write the abstract for the webinar, but we couldn’t get in. And we were on a tight deadline, so we ended up doing it the old fashioned way and handwriting our abstract. But it was a popular webinar. And I’m glad that we did that topic. Our speaker, like I mentioned before, are evangelists. They all have their own little things that they do. And the particular speaker for this webinar is known for presenting dad jokes during his presentations. And so he actually had ChatGPT write some dad jokes for the webinar, and they were really bad.
Mike D’Agostino: [38:25]
Wasn’t that good for a dad joke, though?
Mary Owen: [38:27]
As bad as a dad joke is, these were really bad. So it didn’t quite get the context of humor. So I think it definitely has its limitations. But it’s just going to grow exponentially over the next few years. And we’re not necessarily using it and marketing other than for fun stuff. But I’m sure in the future, it’s going to become more and more popular.
Mike D’Agostino: [38:51]
Yeah, no doubt. And I think what we’ve seen experimenting is, the more you train it, the more you follow up with the initial instructions. That’s why we were showing, we started out very generic, and then asked it to drill down a little bit more. You can get very detailed with your ask. No replacement for humans. Not at this point anyway. But definitely a great starting point. So good. Well, good luck with using AI in the future with your webinars. Mary, it’s been great having you on the episode. Appreciate you joining us. Congrats again for just the high level of engagement that you and your team are creating with webinars. That is no small feat, especially against thousands of assets. We have not yet finished crunching Q4 data from last year, but if things follow suit, I’m sure we’re going to see the KnowBe4 name up at the top of the list again, and good luck with your webinar programs moving forward. Any last comments or input from you before we go?
Mary Owen: [39:56]
Well, this has been really fun. So thank you for inviting me, I hope that we’re on the top. We’re always constantly trying to beat ourselves, trying to do better than we’ve ever done before. So we’re always trying to innovate and be creative. And speaking of that, we happen to be hiring right now. So we’re hiring a director of outbound marketing so if you like what you’ve heard today and you think you’d like to be on a team like this, I would love for you to go out and apply on KnowBe4.com The director of outbound marketing is going to manage the webinar programs. So yeah, this should be near and dear to their hearts.
Mike D’Agostino: [40:40]
Nice. Well, any marketer that covets having an organization that embraces marketing and content and everything, that would be a very attractive position. You guys have things set up in a in a finely tuned way. Well, Mary, this has been a great discussion with you. Hopefully, our listeners got something out of it. One of my main takeaways is it’s not easy. There’s no simple answer to creating effective webinars, you have to be vested. It has to be a little bit of a long-term play. You have to embrace content marketing, you have to have other things set up around your webinar content marketing practices to make them effective. And test, test, test, that’s ultimately going to produce the best results for you. Great, Mary. Have a good rest of the day.