16 APR 2024

The Kitchen moves forward with all-women sales team

The global localization studio has hired Julie Beneteau as its new Director of International Sales. Alongside EVP Deeny Kaplan, Beneteau explains her expansion goals and how to work with women from different parts of the world.

16 APR 2024

Deeny Kaplan

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The Kitchen has started applying a new solid strategy for international sales, with its first European media hub opening in Madrid. Julie Beneteau has been named the company's new Director of International Sales. Beneteau is based in London, and it is the first time The Kitchen has feet on the ground in the UK. "I feel that there is a great atmosphere within the company, within the team," mentioned Beneteau in an exclusive interview with Señal News. "Finding Julie was the perfect match for what we were looking for in London," added Deeny Kaplan, Executive Vice President of The Kitchen.

The Kitchen's international expansion plans are wise and aggressive, as Beneteau is French but has more than 20 years of experience in the UK, with many key contacts in both territories. "I've been reaching out to all my contacts and industry friends; I'm meeting many people in London, and I spend some time in France as well. I talk to my colleagues in Madrid, the US, Latin America, and Europe every day. I like the team spirit, and we have an all-women sales team, which I think is amazing," said Beneteau. "Having the easy access to France and Europe in general, I think it's going to allow us to expand into Europe even further," added Kaplan.

Beneteau is representing The Kitchen's aggressive overseas client growth plans. "Clients really need a personal relationship, and even if The Kitchen is growing, it's still a family-oriented company focused on service. So, it's still at a human scale, and this is what the clients are looking for. With the mix of The Kitchen's success and all the contacts I have here in Europe, we can grow the business while remaining human and very personal from a client services point of view," she said.

"Just the idea of having somebody who understands the business, who is flexible, who will grow and is not afraid to try new things or knock on the door of somebody who may not know who The Kitchen is, that's what it takes to be an excellent salesperson. Nicely aggressive, understanding, and making sure our clients look good. That's really what we look for, and I think it will be a wonderful long-term relationship as we grow together with The Kitchen," Kaplan explained.

The Kitchen's sales team today is entirely composed of women from all around the world. Before Beneteau's appointment, the company hired Lilly Paez as Sales Director, focusing on the Americas. "We have an all-women sales team, which I think is amazing. We are ladies based in different parts of the world and get on very well. We work collaboratively instead of just being each in their corner fighting for the client. We work as a team, which I absolutely love," Beneteau affirmed. "Working closely with our all-female sales team is wonderful. We have an excellent group, and we work together," Kaplan added.

Beneteau and Paez were preceded by The Kitchen's VP of Business Development, Dina Behar, based in Los Angeles. Dina joined The Kitchen three years ago and has a keen insight and understanding of the dynamic Los Angeles market. She also recently represented the studio at Kidscreen, highlighting the studio's strong record of localizing children's content from around the globe. Another key ingredient of The Kitchen's new strategy is the Board of Global Influencers, an industry-first and genuine global initiative composed of well-known executives, including Jennifer Chrein (JBMW Media), David Levine (Lightboat Media) as well as Summer Yang, Jonathan Abraham Dean Koocher; Christine Waage and Markus Andorfer. "Julie, Dina, and Lilly will work closely with our Board of Global Influencers, who serve as our feet on the ground in places where we may not be," Kaplan said.

The Kitchen is distinguished by its adaptation to all industry changes. The localization business has suffered many shifts since Beneteau started to work in it. "Years ago, clients were concentrating more on the smaller studios. Then, there were many mergers and big companies, so it might be easier to go to the huge players because they can produce fast and cheaply. Now, there is a reverse train of thought whereby clients actually appreciate the proximity and ease of access of the suppliers, referring to them as partners. People are still very attracted to the human relationship and quality, and that's what we are promoting. That is what truly sets the nearly 23-year-old studio apart from others," she concluded.

By Romina Rodriguez