Q&A with Amy Barzdukas, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Poly

Amy Barzdukas, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Poly is a marketing and communications leader with extensive experience in setting strategy, shifting perceptions, advising customers, digital marketing, revenue marketing, integrated marketing communications, and public relations in highly competitive product arenas.

Amy is known for her ability to create and execute winning turnarounds on a global scale.

MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
AMY BARZDUKAS:
I was always destined for marketing, even if I didn’t know it. As a child, I collected promotional brochures. I was fascinated by how the words and pictures were used to drive action. My first job was as an advertising copywriter, and I’ve never looked back.

M7: How is Poly redefining the video conferencing experience for modern businesses?
AB:
 We’re in an unprecedented time of change in our industry. Voice and video services are moving to the cloud, and companies are changing how they approach their communications needs. Poly is the largest provider of the devices – video conferencing, audio conferencing, headphones and desk phones – you use to connect to these services so you can collaborate with your colleagues. That uniquely positions us to shape the video conferencing experience, and we’re doing so in four ways.

First, Poly has made both the Zoom Rooms and the Microsoft Teams video conferencing experience better than ever with our radically simple Poly Studio X video bars that deliver these experiences with no PC or Mac required. We’ve got decades of experience in understanding what makes meetings more human – for everyone in the room and those dialing in from other locations – and we’ve packed all of that into easy-to-install, easy-to-manage, and easy-to-use all-in-one powerhouses.

Second, we are bringing the world of AV and video conferencing into the modern app economy. Our Studio X series and Poly G7500 video conferencing devices run a common platform that can be updated and enhanced through a series of regular software updates. This Poly platform, built on Android, can run applications like a smartphone does today.

Third, Poly has introduced innovation that makes any video conference better. Our new Poly MeetingAI features use AI and machine learning to address the distractions that hit your senses in a meeting. We make it easier to hear what’s being said by blocking out the annoying noises that people make while talking, and we make it easier to see what’s going on in the room with the most advanced speaker tracking and framing, and our built-in production rules.

Finally, we are pricing our solutions in a way that completely resets the calculations on what it costs to outfit a room. The Studio X30, for huddle room and smaller spaces, costs just about $2,100, including the Poly TC8 touch controller. All you add is the cloud service and a monitor, and you have a room up and running for under $2,500. That’s easily under the cost of other solutions and with better audio and video quality.


"Baby Boomers and more than half of Gen Z say they are most productive when they were working around noise."

M7: As the CMO of Poly, what were the major challenges in rebranding and transforming two separate organizations (Plantronics and Polycom) under a single brand Poly?
AB:
One of the greatest challenges of bringing together Plantronics and Polycom was doing so in a way that honored their brand equity, history, and positive associations while establishing a new story for the new company. Plantronics was already an audio pioneer– the first headset that transmitted Neil Armstrong’s famous words during the first moon landing. Polycom was the leader in audio and video conferencing – the conference phone used by business leaders and industry captains.
We had to figure out how to build a stand-out narrative in a crowded space for the general market. For customers and partners, we found a way to carry through the legacies and histories of both companies into the new brand. And for our employees, we had to inspire them to believe in the new brand and the new combined mission. These different challenges with different stakeholders took different approaches to confront, but in the end, we brought everyone to the same conclusion that Poly was moving forward, unified and stronger.

And like any acquisition, integration takes time. We’re proud of our accomplishments since rebranding to Poly in March 2019. Since then, we’ve refreshed our video conferencing line of products, broken new ground with a mobile phone station called Elara 60 Series and showcased our continued commitment to expanding the ecosystem with partners such as Zoom, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and more. As Poly, we bring a new level of quality, simplicity, and flexibility so that every communication can easily become a place for collaboration and innovation for the enterprise.


"Gen Z and Millennials came up in an era of digitization, so they are more accustomed to the tools and technology to deal with distractions in the workplace."

M7: A recent study by Poly reveals that employees prefer noisier open offices to closed, quiet spaces. What do you think is responsible for driving these unique demands in the workplace today?
AB:
Our research shows that Gen Z and Millennials tend to prefer open offices compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers and that more than half of Gen Z say they are most productive when they were working around noise. What we’re seeing is that Gen Z and Millennials came up in an era of digitization, so they are more accustomed to the tools and technology to deal with distractions in the workplace. For example, they’re used to wearing noise-canceling headphones to block out the background noise, and similarly at home with video. They’ve been doing it all their lives!

Now that we can work from anywhere – coffee shops, airports, waiting rooms – we are more accustomed to dealing with distractions and working through them. We take that mindset into the office along with the tools we may use to address distraction, from a pair of comfortable headphones with ANC to deciding to do different types of work in different settings.

M7: What features have made Poly Studio win the 'Best of Enterprise Connect' award in the '2019 Communication/Collaboration Device'?
AB: 
Poly Studio is our answer to the need for easy-to-use video conferencing devices for smaller spaces called huddle rooms. Poly Studio is a video USB bar with premium audio and video capabilities. Its standout features include NoiseBlock, which mutes distracting background noises, Automatic Group Framing and Speaker Tracking, which zooms in to focus on the speaking participant. This board-room like audio and video transforms small meeting rooms into a center for collaboration. We’re also pleased that it was recently certified for Zoom Rooms and Microsoft Teams. The device also works with Skype for Business, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx and Amazon Chime, and virtually any cloud-based video collaboration service.


"Poly combines legendary audio expertise with powerful video and conferencing capabilities to help our users overcome the distractions, complexity, and distance, making communication in and out of the workplace challenging."

M7: What traits make Poly a global leader in communications and a leading choice for every kind of workspace?
AB:
Our in-depth expertise, tireless innovation, and emphasis on partnership make Poly a global leader in communications and a leading choice for every kind of workspace.

Poly combines legendary audio expertise with powerful video and conferencing capabilities to help our users overcome the distractions, complexity, and distance, making communication in and out of the workplace challenging. When the world was on a race to space in the ’60s, NASA approached us—Plantronics back then—with a seemingly impossible task: create a headset that would equip astronauts to communicate with Mission Control from the earth to the moon, and back again.

Fifty years later, we share the same mission today: to create powerful connections that unify people the world over. We’re designing technology for the different ways people work – open offices, remote locations, mobile-first workers. We are the largest provider of headsets, video and audio-conferencing devices that you use to communicate and collaborate for your work, whatever that may be. And we continue to innovate with products like Poly Studio X that change how people collaborate.
Through partnerships with industry leaders like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Zoom, Poly takes an open-architecture approach that allows users to seamlessly connect across all the best technologies. Whenever and wherever people connect with these services, we will be there to provide the best-in-class audio, video and voice technology to make the experience that much better.

M7: What’s your superpower or spirit animal?
AB: 
My superpower is the ability to read amazingly quickly, thanks to the experimental elementary school I attended. I don’t know how anyone gets through their workload without it, honestly. My spirit animal? I told my husband the other day that I think it is Tom Petty. I’m a huge fan. If you have a problem, there is a Tom Petty song that can solve it, or at least make it more fun.

ABOUT POLY

Plantronics, Inc. (“Poly” – formerly Plantronics and Polycom) (NYSE: PLT) is a global communications company that powers meaningful human connection and collaboration. Poly combines legendary audio expertise and powerful video and conferencing capabilities to overcome the distractions, complexity, and distance that make communication in and out of the workplace challenging. Poly believes in solutions that make life easier when they work together and with our partner’s services. Our headsets, software, desk phones, audio and video conferencing, analytics and services are used worldwide and are a leading choice for every kind of workspace.

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Stagwell (STGW) and MNTN Partner to Forge a Unified Performance Marketing Ecosystem for Brands

PR Newswire | January 12, 2024

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PR Newswire | January 05, 2024

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Business Wire | January 25, 2024

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PR Newswire | January 12, 2024

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PR Newswire | January 05, 2024

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In 2023, an ANA survey of certified diverse suppliers found that while a majority say that interest from the media and advertising community in supporting diverse suppliers has increased in the past year, there is still a gap between intent to spend and actual spend. TripleLift and Reset Digital are helping all stakeholders bridge the gap quickly by making it easy for them to access diverse-owned media at scale. "This partnership allows advertisers to achieve their diverse spend goals with an end-to-end solution that is more aligned with their corporate supplier diversity reporting requirements," said Thomas Brandon, VP of Agency Strategy and Economic Inclusion at TripleLift. "Importantly, it allows them to use their media spend to impact the economic growth of the diverse communities they serve." Over the last 12 years, TripleLift has cultivated a vast inventory of publishers that includes access to 220 billion monthly impression avails across diverse-owned sites as part of its UNREP curated packages. These packages include inventory among publishers owned by Women, LGBTQ+, Blacks, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and can be accessed as a whole or individually depending on client goals. "TripleLift has been on our radar for a partnership for some time," said Charles Cantu, founder and CEO of Reset Digital. "Specifically, our marketplace combined with their offerings like UNREP now provides a single pathway to diverse spending across the programmatic ecosystem – a solution we are excited to finally have in the market together." Reset Digital, the industry's only verified, black-owned and operated DSP, has been long recognized for its neuroprogrammatic capabilities, which allow advertisers to engage audiences based on what they desire versus what they look like, its ability to help connect brands and multicultural audiences around the world and its partnerships with brands like P&G, GM and Verizon, as well as the leading global media and creative agencies. In 2023, Reset Digital launched a new programmatic marketplace for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a trade organization that represents more than 200 Black-owned newspapers in the U.S. along with the NABOB (National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters); these entities created a path to connect large advertisers with publications that previously did not have the capabilities to run national programmatic advertising campaigns. This partnership stands to benefit any of the buy-side clients working with these companies. "TripleLift and Reset Digital have both been great partners to Horizon Media for many years," said Karina Dobarro, EVP, Multicultural at Horizon Media. "We've long worked with DSPs and SSPs to better direct investment to diverse-owned media, but partnerships like this one make it a much more seamless endeavor." TripleLift works with 80%+ of comScore 200 ad-supported publishers and delivers over 2 trillion monthly global impressions across North America, EMEA, LATAM, APAC, and MENA. To learn more about this partnership, please visit www.triplelift.com. About TripleLift We're TripleLift, an advertising platform on a mission to elevate digital advertising through beautiful creative, quality publishers, actionable data, and smart targeting. Through over 1 trillion monthly ad transactions, we help publishers and platforms monetize their businesses. Our technology is where the world's leading brands find audiences across online video, connected television, display, and native ads. Brand and enterprise customers choose us because of our innovative solutions, premium formats, and supportive experts dedicated to maximizing their performance. We are part of the Vista Equity Partners portfolio. As an NMSDC certified minority-owned business, we qualify for diverse spending goals and are committed to economic inclusion. Find out how TripleLift raises up the programmatic ecosystem at triplelift.com. About Reset Digital Reset Digital's Neuroprogrammatic™ advertising platform is a first-of-its-kind programmatic platform that allows brands to engage omnichannel audiences based on what motivates them as people versus targets and gives brands and publishers much broader and deeper audience reach across all communities, including underrepresented audiences they could not reach in the past. The results are radically better outcomes. Reset Digital's partners include the world's top brands, agencies, and publishers, including P&G, GM, Verizon, Dentsu, IPG, Publicis, GroupM, NABOB, Newsweek, NNPA, and others.

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