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Jon Leiberman Shares His Unusual Career Path & Speaks To Why Campaigns Must “Sound Human”

May 21, 2022 by Martech Record
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Our conversation with Jon Leiberman is a part of our advertiser speaker series. Editorial interviews with leading marketers made possible by our partner Partnerize. Jon Leiberman jokes that he hardly knew how to even spell the word “marketing” eight years ago. “And now I’m in the thick of it,” said Leiberman, the VP of Content, Social and Influencer Marketing at Demandbase, a B2B technology company. Jokes aside, Leiberman has had an unusual career. He studied journalism at Northwestern and went on to be a television reporter and anchor. He worked as an investigative reporter, a bureau chief in Washington D.C. and even a correspondent for America’s Most Wanted and a reporter for the Howard Stern show. When he found himself wondering what the second part of his career would look like, he said he realized that no matter what role he was in, he had spent his whole working life as a content creator. “All those years, I was creating content to try and attract and retain an audience,” he said. “Whether I was hosting a TV show, doing play-by-play for sports, hosting a radio show, or writing a book, the goal was to create content that people wanted to consume and then drive them somewhere else.” That realization inspired Leiberman to start offering storytelling seminars for companies like SAP. The leaders at the software company were so impressed with Leiberman’s innovative approach, they offered him a job. His role was to lead a team to generate content that got people talking. “Then, while they were talking about it, we were actually driving them to a certain destination – that call to action,” Leiberman said. “It was at that point that I started to realize that interaction of content, marketing and commerce,” he said. Leiberman believes that content drives every part of a business. He also has held the belief that every company would move toward becoming a media company – a theory that has started to actualize. “Look at Demandbase,” he said. “We are a B2B technology company and yet, I view us, in part, as a media company with a streaming video site, with a vibrant block site and with a podcast.” With all the data that can be collected, people can actually see how content is impacting the pipeline and sales, Leiberman said, “To me, that’s really the biggest, most interesting thing,” he said. Leiberman recently earned his MBA, a step that he said was important to prove to others in the corporate world that his atypical career path didn’t make him an outsider. “People didn’t know what to make of me,” he said. “[An MBA] says ‘I can speak your language,” even when he doesn’t always believe in the effectiveness of that language. Leiberman preaches the concept of using storytelling that “sounds human.”

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