Talking the Modern Workplace and Customer Experience with John Knightly, CMO at BlueJeans

Kendall Pennington

In episode six, we hear about the growth of remote work and what it's like to market in the experience business from BlueJeans CMO John Knightly. John discusses how unnecessary meetings inhibit employee productivity and how his company is optimizing a new type of “smart meeting.”


BlueJeans: It’s Not What You Think

If you’re looking for denim, you’ve come to the wrong place.

BlueJeans is a cloud-based video-conferencing service, “a SaaS company focused on helping teams be more productive when meeting over video.” Since this interview BlueJeans has been acquired by Verizon.

John has worked at a wide range of companies, from startups and mid-size to being VP at Adobe and HP.  But he mentions how excited he is right now about the mission of BlueJeans, noting that just within that year the business estimates they’ve saved about 24 million tons of carbon by customers utilizing their product as opposed to driving or flying to in-person meetings.


Wasted Time

Anyone in the workforce would probably say that they spend more time than ideal sitting in unproductive meetings.  John brought some data as to just how egregious this actually can be:


  • 31% of meetings are rated by employees as either not very useful or completely worthless.


  • The amount of lost time due to unproductive meetings in the U.S. sector alone is estimated to be worth about $400 million of waste


The time wasted in meetings likely goes even deeper than this.  For every meeting scheduled for thirty minutes, there are the 10 minutes where you stop working before, the 20 minutes you spend talking with your colleagues after, it can add up.

It became John’s mission at BlueJeans to help employees reclaim their time and their calendars so they can get done what they need to get done, and then be able to spend time doing the things they’d rather be doing. Sound familiar?


Wherever you are, BlueJeans is There  

One factor that companies slow to adapting the remote work model might be forgetting is the impact that distributed work will have on the war for talent.  If instead of only recruiting people within a 15-mile radius of your physical office space, you’re open to employing the absolute best person for the job, no matter where they are in the world, that opens up a whole lot of options.  BlueJeans is happy to assist companies in that process.  In John’s words, “We just want to help people get done, what they need to get done.”

Delivering on the BlueJeans promise, it's important that it’s not only an accessible product when you’re working from home, but that it’s also effective when you’re at the corporate office, at an airport on a layover, or a commute.   

The best marketing for BlueJeans often comes in the form of when a client of theirs utilizes the service to meet with a vendor unfamiliar with BlueJeans, thus organically exposing them to the product.  This is why product quality and consistency no matter where it’s being used are so critical.


Meeting FOMO

According to John, 48% of people attending non-compulsory meetings are only going because of fear of missing out.  Tackling these sorts of mental and social issues surrounding people attending meetings might be even more of a challenge than tackling the meetings themselves.

Enter: BlueJeans SmartMeetings.  

This is a product that John compares to Sports Center highlights, whereas opposed to someone interrupting their day of actual productivity to go to a 90-minute meeting that might not have anything to do with them, if they’re curious, they can simply just watch a highlight reel recording later on their own time.  


Crafting Customer Experience

In the world that we live in, it’s never been easier to have an open dialogue with customers, but this can present its own unique set of challenges.

Customers can reach out to a business within seconds of having an issue with a product, which is good in the sense of a company being able to immediately handle the problem, but can also bring some negative attention if online customer service is lacking or there are an abundance of negative sentiments being shared.

It’s important for marketers to constantly be placing themselves in the position of the consumer when crafting a narrative to sell products.  Thinking about recent positive experiences you’ve had with a brand and why that experience was positive can be beneficial.  

For instance, no one likes when it's a huge deal to cancel a service or subscription.  As a customer, you want it to be a simple, no-hassle process that can hopefully be done online.  On the other hand, as a marketer, you know you don’t want it to be so obvious that a customer can do it without even considering keeping your business.  This is where it's important to find a balance.  There is a fine line a marketer can walk of empathizing with the customer while making a smart UX decision.

But, at the end of the day, John hopes the product he’s marketing is so good that the customer is there because the company earned their business.  This should of course be the ultimate goal.

Listen to the episode here.

Join the Discussion