How a CMO became a podcast hostess during the pandemic with Jen Kern

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Episode Summary

How do you go from not being interested in podcasts to becoming a hostess of a successful and exciting new show? The truth is, anything is possible, as long you set your mind to it and listen to your gut feeling.

As someone who wasn’t particularly keen on even listening to podcasts prior to the pandemic, it’s safe to say Jen Kern has come a long way since. She now hosts her own podcast and says that podcasts became her lifeline both professionally and personally during the pandemic.

Jen Kern is the CMO at Qu, a restaurant tech company transforming restaurant POS beyond its current fragmented state into a manageable, unified experience for enterprise operators and guests alike. Her podcast “Restaurants Reinvented” hosts some of the industry’s leading figures, including marketers at Dunkin Donuts and Chipotle.

Starting her own podcast was a smart business move for Qu, especially due to the limited resources during the hardest months of lockdown. If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, too, Jen shares some key insights into how to do it as effectively as possible.

“I think the most important thing is that it’s genuine, it’s authentic, and that you, as the podcast host or hostess, are comfortable doing it. If you’re not comfortable, then it’s not the right thing to do.”

Guest Profile


Key Insights

“Podcasting was my lifeline professionally and personally during the pandemic.
It became the only strategy at a time when it was frowned upon to be doing outbound sales and marketing.”

Jenifer Kern


Qu POS, Inc.

Episode Highlights


Podcasting allows you to build genuine relationships with your customers and partners

Christopher Lochhead talked about how we’ve lost authentic dialogue in media and conversation. And there’s a beautiful art craft that is in podcasting, that’s genuine conversation. And we all need it. We all want it, but we’ve lost it, particularly as marketers. The early thing I struggled with and still struggle with honestly is marketers are taught to be perfectionists. We don’t say that out loud, but we have it in our DNA.
It’s like, make everything look good. Make sure there are no edits in your copy. Get the best design out there. You’ve got a limited amount of time to grab attention. How are you going to do that? So podcasting doesn’t come across as the first thing when that’s how you’re looking at your audience. But it’s having those genuine conversations with people and caring. This medium allows you to care, and it shows that you care. If you come to it and you’re coming to it with a sales and marketing mentality, you’re doing it wrong. You got to come to it with authenticity and care and compassion.”

Podcasting is about the guests and the value they bring to the show’s audience

“I try to keep it to about 75% target market brands, so restaurant brands. Then the other 25%, I reserve for, like you just said, the influencers in the space, people that are running marketing agencies, media companies, and have a great message and great information for the marketers.
I had a woman that works for a data company, and she was to your point giving real-time data out to my audience. So thinking about my audience in a pretty niche aspect – these are senior marketers, maybe heads of marketing or very senior marketers working for large restaurant brands. What do they want to know right now?”

The importance of partnering with companies that lift you up

“It’s no secret that you’re the agency that we work with, and you guys do a phenomenal job of helping me punch way above my weight. My whole budget pretty much went out the window during the pandemic. I had 80% of my budget and conferences and trade shows, so there were none. And we reused a very small portion of that and invested it in you guys. And having an agency helped me professionally do a podcast. We did not want to do one that was me editing the video. That would not have been good.

You guys have been my mentors, my pilots, my copilots, everything, and you’ve taught me everything. So working with you guys, I feel, has brought me along so much faster than I would’ve on my own.”