Vicki O’Neill Of KenKay Marketing: How AI Is Disrupting Our Industry, and What We Can Do About It

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Be open to the possibilities — Change is inevitable and AI has already come into our industries in full force. It’s already disrupting your industry. Instead of resisting the change, embrace it and be open to what AI can do for you, your business and your clients.

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the future; it is the present. It’s reshaping landscapes, altering industries, and transforming the way we live and work. With its rapid advancement, AI is causing disruption — for better or worse — in every field imaginable. While it promises efficiency and growth, it also brings challenges and uncertainties that professionals and businesses must navigate. What can one do to pivot if AI is disrupting their industry? As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Vicki O’Neill.

Vicki O’Neill, Video Confidence and Marketing Coach and Founder of KenKay Marketing, helps 6- and 7-figure entrepreneurs and business owners get confident on camera so they can scale their business by being seen and heard. 

With over a decade of experience, Vicki, a once shy now confident introvert, has helped hundreds of people build video content machines so they can work less on creating content, reach more people, and make a bigger impact in less time. She’s the creator of the Video Marketing & Sales Academy, designed to help entrepreneurs and business owners overwhelmed with video content chaos. 

Vicki has spoken at various American Marketing Association events, at the Digital Dealer conference, and at the Small Business Growth Summit, and is featured in the book, “Content DNA”. She is the Host of the Connect the Dots Podcast, has been a guest on over 30 podcasts and live stream shows, has been featured in HerForward and regularly shares video confidence and content strategies with her 13k+ social media followers.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Thank you for having me! Since I was a child, I have always had a high degree of curiosity and passion for business. When my friends wanted to play house or teacher, I wanted to play business. When I wanted to find something to do at my house, I would grab one of my dad’s college accounting journals and try to figure out his calculations. Both of my parents were entrepreneurial minded but not 100% focused on their own business. So being an entrepreneur has always been a part of me. 

Starting my own company was not an option or discussed growing up. I knew in my late-20’s, though, that I wanted to make my own rules and create a business I loved. So, in 2011 I started KenKay Marketing as a passion project and went all-in in 2018. In 2019, I was 100% focused on video marketing. As a multi-passionate entrepreneur, it was challenging to find one thing to focus on. My video conversations went back to the Blab, Meerkat and Periscope days when those were the exciting-to-figure-out-and-be-on video platforms. And I was curious then and it continued to today.

I learned that sharing my experiences from being super shy as a child, still being an introvert today, and being a recovering perfectionist, that showing up confidently on camera was my superpower. It is a way that I can help others overcome on-camera challenges and help increase their confidence on camera so that they can be more visible. Visibility is an asset that builds in worth over time as it grows. 

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

As the leader of KenKay Marketing, my experience isn’t from one company and one industry. I’m a corporate escapee who had the pleasure of working with late stage startups, national brands and industry disruptors each in different industries. I look for opportunities and create a solution that serves the brand or person’s needs, not the title, company name or industry. 

An example is working with someone who wants to get in front of a bigger audience but is fearful of being on camera. Whether the person is a CEO, realtor or social media manager, the fear is the focus not the title, in this scenario. Once someone is confident on camera then we focus on creating a video strategy specific to their brand and goals via one of our Video Marketing and Sales Mastermind groups. 

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each? 

The three characteristics that have been most instrumental in my success are being curious, supportive and trustworthy.

My curiosity keeps my interest levels high especially with AI. If I want to learn something new or try out a new tool, I research and dive in to learn. That curiosity lead to creating a tutorial on YouTube in July 2021. I’m naturally supportive of my clients and others in my social media network. “Rising tides lift all boats”. I demonstrate this through my coaching style as well as commenting on people in my network, listening to a connection’s podcast and then leaving a review, and sharing an industry article with a connection with trending information they may not have seen. Trustworthy is one of the most important character traits a leader can have. Sharing information with my team first, answering questions with the information I have and being honest about any potential issues. It’s doing the smaller things all the time that build trustworthiness and confidence over time. 

Let’s now move to the main point of our discussion about AI. Can you explain how AI is disrupting your industry? Is this disruption hurting or helping your bottom line? 

AI tools and resources are available for each step in the video journey from researching titles and keywords to repurposing long-form videos into short-form videos. AI has disrupted the video marketing industry in a positive way. At KenKay we’ve adapted the various AI advancements and have become an integral part of client implementation of new AI technology. 

We demonstrate through enhanced creativity and personalization the benefits to our client’s brand and bottom line. These adaptations have not only kept us ahead but also empowered our clients to stay at the forefront of technology. Overall AI is helping our bottom and looking into the next 2 and 3 years, AI will only get better and become more streamlined. 

Which specific AI technology has had the most significant impact on your industry?

The biggest impact in the video marketing space has been the influx of “faceless” videos and YouTube channels. The videos are being created 100% with AI and can be created from beginning to end in less than an hour. The specific AI technology that’s driving the most significant impact is image generation, video generation and voice generation. Our team has used each of these specifically to create thumbnail backgrounds, auto edit and voiceovers. AI avatars are being used with the adoption being slower than with the aforementioned AI tools. 

Can you share a pivotal moment when you recognized the profound impact AI would have on your sector?

I started using AI in 2021 but it wasn’t until June 2023 when I attended an AI masterclass that I fully understand how much impact AI could have. That training was my first exposure to possibilities across many skillsets like email, ad copy, video scriptwriting, image generation, landing page creation and so many more. That’s when I knew I needed to stay connected, learn various relevant tools and determine how we could leverage in our business and with our clients. 

How are you preparing your workforce for the integration of AI, and what skills do you believe will be most valuable in an AI-enhanced future?

We have adopted and integrated AI into our workflow and systems. We will continue to evaluate new and enhanced tools to see what new and/or better options might be to further automate or enhance what we do, how we do it and the impact on the final outcome. As Generative AI evolves, we will lean into it even more as this is what will take our videos to the next level. 

What are the biggest challenges in upskilling your workforce for an AI-centric future?

We are quick to adopt and embrace changes along the way. The problem I anticipate is with each new AI tool we will need to test and make decisions based on the outcomes. The biggest challenge might be we don’t have access to the final tools because they haven’t been developed yet. 

What ethical considerations does AI introduce into your industry, and how are you tackling these concerns?

As we continue to focus on our core values of transparency, trust and humans first, we are aware that with generative AI, in particular, has great potential and great risks. Deep fakes are creating the need for faster industry guidelines and regulations which will help minimize potential and future uses of unethical AI. Being in the Video Marketing industry, as we embrace new AI, we will have complete transparency and be sure our human team is first. 

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What are your “Five Things You Need To Do, If AI Is Disrupting Your Industry”?

  1. Be open to the possibilities – Change is inevitable and AI has already come into our industries in full force. It’s already disrupting your industry. Instead of resisting the change, embrace it and be open to what AI can do for you, your business and your clients.
  2. Research first – There is an exponentially growing list of AI tools across all industries. As AI disrupts your industry, do the research to see what’s available including talking to your clients, team members and others in your industry.
  3. All hands on deck – Host a meeting with the executive team to discuss current state and AI adoption options. Having the entire team aligned from the beginning will help each team accept the change and encourage them to come together as a team.
  4. Trust and transparency – Commitment to the core values and processes established will be important 
  5. The What If’s – When employees hear that AI is being adopted into their workflow or team, the first thought is they are losing their job. Set the right expectations, reinforce the security of jobs and discuss the impact of AI in the current environment, what you anticipate it looking like in the near future and how their roles and expertise will be needed. 

What are the most common misconceptions about AI within your industry, and how do you address them?

The most common misconception is that AI tools have replaced humans especially as it relates to video editing. Humans are very much needed for the more complex or “flashy” projects for now. I anticipate this will evolve to the point where humans aren’t needed for this and will need to evolve with the technology. 

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life? 

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I first heard this Wayne Gretzky quote at a time in my life when I was deciding whether to go back to college and get my degree. Ever since then I quote that when I’m indecisive or someone else is. It helps me make a decision faster. 

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process? 

I often think through scenarios and possibilities within my company and outside influences. It’s a healthy exercise as it ensures that no stone is left unturned. I bring those scenarios into the next day and flush them out to see if it requires more time, research, manpower or technology. 

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would inspire a movement for mental health in women over 45 who have lost their job, have emotional trauma and/or financial stress and want to start their own company. 

How can our readers further follow you online?

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Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.