Growth Marketing Camp
Growth Marketing Camp

Episode 49 · 5 months ago

Kotn’s Serendipitous Brand Story: From The Farm To The Hanger

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode of Growth Marketing Camp, we are excited to have Dan Gray, Director of Growth at Kotn, join us to break down the campaign that went viral on Reddit, Pay It Forward. It was so successful that it spread like wildfire in a matter of hours. At that moment, Kotn almost looked like the business equivalent to Santa Claus.

Dan shares what it took to launch this campaign, why it's important to model what your outcomes look like (from average to rockstar level), and how to make sure you have your checks and balances in place when marketing a sustainable business. He also touches on the importance of word of mouth, and why it’s good to always put some dollars behind a campaign.

Welcome to growth marketing camp, or we sit down with our favorite marketers to do mystify growth and give you the insights to help turn your next campaign into a major success. Let's get into it. Hey, everybody, this is jazz bidding, Co host of growth marketing camp. Welcome to this week's episode. I'm excited to introduce you to Dan Gray, who is currently leading the growth team at a Toronto based ethical clothing brand, cotton. Dan, thank you so much for joining us. Yeah, thank you for having me. I'm very excited to chat today. Yeah, same here, and I was actually I know we talked about it before. I'm very excited to always talk to fellow Canadians and I've actually recently heard about cotton from my brother, who shared your guys bed sheets that you make after you need too. Yeah, I was looking into buying new bed sheets because my sister bought these bed sheets from another company. So I was looking into that and he mentioned, hey, check out cotton. So I actually saw you guys do, but I'd love to hear from you straight share to the audience and what it exactly cotton does. What's the value you guys provide and who you guys are targeting, and then a little bit about your role. Yeah, for sure. So cotton spirited seven years ago really from from farm to hangar. The brain story is one of those that it's kind of serendipitous where our failders just had this that you'd intention of creating the perfect t shirt, that thought it was going to be easy, ended up going to Egypt in meeting with farmers, because I've Bout Hey, that's how you you filled a business as you start from the source. So they ended up working directly with farmers, sourcing this amazing material, which is our hundred percent Egyptian cod which goes into most of not all of our clothing, and from there what they ended up creating was this amazing ethical supply chain where we work at every single one of our suppliers, all the way from the farm level to factory level, all the way to your closets. So it's a pretty incredible story and what that's enabled us to do is, you know, we're one of five percent of the apparel industry that knows literally every single one of our suppliers and weve what's called a hundred perceptory stability were we're proud be corps we just got are be corporating up and we're voted one of the the best of the world in that regard as well. So the businesses has been tremendous in that regard and you know, people can shop our apparel and in home products like the bedsheets, on a plane of Cot docom and we do have stores throughout North America as well. In terms of Myral, so you know for the last two years I've been director of growth for for cottons consumer business, leading both their acquisition and we're tention functions. So finding new channels to operate on, figuring out how we create deeper relationships and learn about our existing customers were. Recently I've shifted on to actually one of our newer divisions, which is cotton supply and CON supply. Essentially it is the same supply chain that we've built for our consumer business, but we work with teams, communities clubs to create custom merchandise from that same amazing supplying so, for example, if your company is looking to create high quality merchandise that your team wants to wear, you know some debs you receive tshirts that are the companiest and maybe they end up in the back of the closet. Maybe they end up in the nonation bin. We want people to to invest in merchandise that's really high qualities so their employs and team members actually wear them and are proud about them. And you know, they come from the same and met of ethics and sustainability to go into all of our products. So the general manager of that division today excited about the growth of that business as well. Oh, I absolutely love that. Actually, at open sense, Danna, she's a one who kind of sends us the swag of the t shirts and stuff that will wear, and we actually had a couple of hoodies made from Pedagonia. And also we love supporting businesses like this and I think that there's definitely been a shift and just consumer behavior wanting to support brands like this. And I love that you mentioned you guys are Be Corp. I had learned about tentry and what these guys do and you guys are doing something similar where when you see the world like fast fashion stores like Zara...

...and HM, which I mean I do love them, but I hate how I when I think about the sustainability aspect of it, how damaging it is for the earth, how damaging. It is for the people who are creating some of the apparel that we're wearing. You kind of feel this, you know, this dissonance where it's like I want something good for the world, but I'm not my my consumer behavior isn't matching what I want. So, that being sense, the fact that you guys do it, you're bridging the gap between the people like me who are purchased in your apparel and the people who are creating it. You're lowering that. I absolutely love that and, like I said, I've learned about cotton pretty recently and I had a look at you guys have website. Everything looks great. I think it's the kind of long it's a kind of minimal clothing style, very classic designs. I love that you guys are doing it now for businesses and after this call I'll actually send you guys in information to Danna to and say hey, see if we can support this, because I'm seeing a shift in different brands wanting to support kind of ECO friendly, sustainable solutions and you guys are doing it and I love that you guys are doing it now for businesses, as you safe, for you with my sales team is listening to this. They should reach out to the open sense. Do we got to get you some some new hoodies? Yeah, I wonder, Percy. We've actually also changed our logo last year, so we're in the need for some new apparel. But one hundred percent and you can have your sales. You reach out and all for it, or you are right, amazing wall by. Work is done here. Yeah, they are to get a cool let's wrap it up. If exactly so. I actually wanted to ask. So you've had experience now kind of shifting your focus from a Betac to now beat it be. How is that transition been for you? What do you see the like? What's the difference between both audiences the strategies that you're employing? Is it very different? Like how have you been able to kind of shift what the work that you're doing to appeal to both audience types? Yeah, so, I'd meet for me for a career. Stand why I've always tried to stay as mutual as possible when it comes to aligning myself with the specific channel or industry or, you know, in this case, business model. So the ship to be to be is exciting for me because it allows me to sort of continue to diversippy my skill set. I've always been very obvious of BW marketers counse from a BTC stampoint. You know, if you're like a media buyers for people or Facebook, you're just dealing with clicks and pixels. You're dealing with such aggregated data, such a large data sense, that it's really, really hard to envision who you're talking to and I think digital marketings created sort of that barrier between companies in their their consumers because you really don't have that one to one interaction. So the tradition to be to be is really exciting for me because I think sales people and bb marketers might take for granted the fact that you're actually dealing with one. He moved. You're going in that relationship and you're having that conversation and you're able to without the use of a landing page or a need come site. You're actually sitting down with them, talking them on the bower, you know, going through a sales deck with them, sort to tell the story in your in your own voice. So really excited about that. A lot of the fundamentals are the same. You know, you still want to make sure you understand your consumer. You want to position Your Business in the way it allows with the specific sector and a fide the value there. But again, I can't understand how exciting it is, you know, to have that human connection with the customer, because that learning cycle as well, for me, is so much quicker if it's when you're in a B B Toc Setting. You know you have to be very deliberate about how you gather feedback, especially quality to feedback, whether it's through surveys, whether it's through user interviews. Bob, you're getting data every day. You're getting such incredible qualitative data on a daily base. Is and you know, whether it's sitting on sales calls with my team or getting feedback directly from customers, be a email or you know, when I'm on calls with them, the the amount of learning in the speed of which we can evolved as a business and, you know, bring that intelligence back to our business in order to get better. It's really exciting in something that I want to make sure we continue to build infrastructure around as as a company and Division that that really does value sort of testing and learning. So I love them. You said that it's what's interesting is most baby marketers are absolutely jealous of B Toc.

So it seems that things always greater the great yeah, exactly, the grass is always greater, because for us it's like, Hey, I feel like the stuff that you guys do, any kind of experiments store running, you could see if it's successful or not based off of the volume and in you apply that to kind of tweak your feature strategy. But I love that you mention that you can have those direct access to that consumer in the BB setting, because that's something we do take for granted. One of the things that we've got here at open sense, like our sales team there were using Gong. So we ad as an up marketing team, have an opportunity to go in there. They're now starting to tag this in certain quotes of the customers are leaving. If there's a solution or if there's a pain that someone mentions that they haven't heard before. One of our sales guys has been tagging me in it adding et hub spot. So we're going through there. We're listening where then updating our strategy to include maybe we'll do a blog post related to this pain or this is kind of any thoughts? So actually absolutely love that you mentioned that. It's going to help me also not take for granted that there's a lot of value that we can't we as marketers, haven't be tob but we can take a lot of inspiration from me to see, and I love that you're also able to do that, for both me to see NB to be and this is going to be a new journey for you and it seems like you guys have been very successful. So I guess this is where I want to shift a little bit to talking about a campaign that you guys are running, and I know that you mentioned you had a couple of thoughts, but let's break down a campaign that you've been running learn about what it is that you exactly did and what your learnings have been from that campaign. Yeah, it's so. You know what? One that comes to mind right away is when I joined the cotton team. I guess it would have been November twenty nineteen, so bout four months before the pandemic. They everything is now pretty bad baby post pandemic. It's like how we keep time now. So you know, I join the team then and right after the pandemicated and everyone sort of went into their own bubbles and we're stuck at home, which you had to think about how we could make it impact. Obviously, you know we engage with our consumers generated sales, achieve all of those subjectives that you typically want to when running a big campaign and the team, I don't know who specifically have this Ad. It might have been one of our fathers. So there's brilliant idea for a campaign and we called paid forward in the profess is pretty simple. Let our customers gift to loved while or a friend, line worker, some of them they've been thinking about let them, let them gift them a cotton product. Significantly reduce the barrier to entry for a product. So I think we discounted heavily, if not made the product completely free to send to their loved one. It just seem kind of impact it had on them. And so we're how from, you know, a success criteria stiff. When we were evaluating in a few ways. One for people talking about Kun was this something that we could generate buzz around, because you know it. I think it is a really pool and, you know, forward thinking initiative to allow your customers to take this level of add ad because set a lot of time to referral program it's like dips. Some love ten dollars, but we really took it to the extreme and wanted to make advocacy something that, you know, people felt like was was really easy for them to do it. The second one was sort of virality. How much more people sharing? To what degree with people going about actually using this for share with loved ones in the last one was was retention, because, you know, it's a project like this as a business. Again, by reducing that Barrier d entry for advocacy, you know, you hope that by making it easy for someone to get that product in their hands, they're going to come back and purchase with you again. So we read that Caidpaign mean a lot of success. It actually ended up going viral and read it those those Pesky redditors always get a hold of coats first and seem to buy the way to share them, share them around. So thankfully for them. You know, we got a great head start on the program and then we had customers start to send them out to love boards. We launched the program I think it was like early on a Thursday morning and I think within an hour we kind of had to raid the program back in because it was it was going like wild bar. Yeah, I was super successful. It all was cool is you know, we read that program got amazing feedback from customers and we heard from people in it, like people who were see the gifts, but also...

...people who sent it, how nice it was to be able to again reconnect with, you know, parent or a friend or just someone who said hold it at the time and again tried to remember what it was like right with a pandemic it it was a very isolating feeling to be, to be on your own and not be able to see people. So we just got incredible response to our customers from an emotional lens. And then what was great from our standpoint is, you know, a couple months do in the line, we sort of put our reminder in our calendar. Hey, let's look at the data, if you wents down the road, and see what retention look like here, and we saw awesome attention. So I think we saw like fifteen percent for retention lift on top of what we usually see from first to second purchase after running a skift paid. So obviously you're doing something right here. So as a company, we keep looking back to this. We want to find ways to do it more and more obviously we can't give way product all the time. I would love if we could. You know, we would be the business equivalent to Santa Clause. But you know, finding ways to do this and I think we're that campaign really hits home for me as one. It achieved our business goals. But to really at the riot of everything that cotton does is how do we give back to the communities we existence? That's that's truly the core of our business. If you think about how we built our supply chain, if you think about how we built and made to intend schools in Egypt, it's really about the cultural impact of our breath. That's about being a really good stakeholder and being a really, really good at baster for all of the communities we existed and leaving them at a better place than we first got there. And this campaign check that box tremendously and fortunately, and also a cheat some of our business objective too. So I absolutely love that. I love the idea that you guys had. I have a couple, a couple of questions and of course you related to the campaign you mentioned. So first off, considering read it. Just like you mentioned, they they take anything and they'll absolutely make it go viral. Where you guys anticipating? So I want to ask, when you guys reel back, did you have like a certain number in mind that, hey, this would be a good cutoff for us, or did you foresee, like if we I know the way I think about it, when tent try first, I think launched on instagram. I remember this because they basically said for every like you get on your instagram, put on their instagram post, they're going to plant ten trees. That post went absolutely viral and I remember liking and sharing it with my friends. I like you guys like it. Let's get these trees, but get some trees planet on her on planet earth, and it's this kind of thing that you want to do to spread your wings and basically go viral. But I wonder, from a business standpoint, did you guys are giving things away for free, did you have a number that you thought, if we hit that, then we're golden. Oh, if we hit that like we did, you guys anticipate the level of success and you were going to get? And how quickly did you guys have to reel back? Yeah, so, first of all, I just want to say I'm a huge bed of what tenders do you think? You know that, being a competitor, it might be. I'm a precarious relationship, but I I honestly think there's not enough for retailers like them, more like what we're doing. So only good things to say about their business and its films. Jared, familiar with the definitely checked the life because they're doing awesome work in terms of the campaign itself. So yes, the the dirty little secret for a Kidpaig like this is you definitely need to have financial control. The customer doesn't want to hear it. So on the back and for the business, you have to set the thresholds that you're comfortable with. We working to sell or give away every single one of our products. We had set aside a certain amount of inventory, so we were anticipating when exactly that stock was going to run out. Didn't you want to add more or did you want to just kind of let the program fizzled itself out? So I think any good experiment this Gosper when you're experimenting with new things, whether you're trying to achieve virality, regardless of what the worst and greatest outcome is, I think you need to have plans and place for both, because you know there are going to be financial consequences for when you go and do these things, especially for us. You know we're doing with a retail good for businesses that deal more in the digital space. Fortunately, you know, for digital or text driven products the variable cost of additional unit is not that big. What you deal with physical products seeringly, those controls need to be even stronger self. Yeah, if...

...customers are listening, I apologize in Ope by I did really any of the Lunster of the brand, but we're marketers listening. Yeah, definitely make sure you're modeling what you know good, better, best outcomes look like and how you make sure to account for them. I don't think even if you had customers listening this, I'm I would consider myself even a consumer of products like this, because this year and last year I started making kind of more sustainable purchases and I'm willing to spend more for brands that are doing good. So that being said, if you guys have like even a threshold, at the end of the day you are running a sustainable business. So profit isn't your number one motive, it's making a positive impact. So if you have to have those like checks and balances in place when you're off, when you're trying to grow your business and try to improve word of mouth. I think that is absolutely still I wouldn't consider it a selfish thing for a business, because you guys are doing something beyond just profit, which is commendable and you don't see that a lot. So one of the questions I also had is you mentioned part of the reason you guys did this was also too in obviously build brand awareness of cotton and word of mouth. How did you measure word of mouth? Were there any social listening tools that you guys were using? We you just using social media, or there any other kind of brand listening tools that you guys were using? Yeah, so, so all of you above you know, we're monitoring how often posts get shared on on the Instagram, which is our primary jail, as well as, you know, some other social medias. Were trying to see if we're getting picked up in any any press publications of them. Specifically because this campaign was all about sort of chain mail. The the primary metrics that we were monitoring was how often it was getting share and how many people actually had a physical interaction with the campaign itself. So you know, with that a good campaign, you're going to set some some success criteria, you're going to put a hypothesis out there and said some goals. Even if free campaign like this, it's really hard because we truly didn't really have a baseline for what performance is going to look like. It's so, you know, we set those out it and want to ran a campaign and I get, like I said, across the board. You know, we saw a ton of ton of awesome engage your daughter Instagram, post and across the the account over the next little while. In same goes for the amount of virality was getting from that chain bail. And then what channels were you guys using? I know you just mentioned you guys use social. You obviously have a landing page. Did you guys use email at all? Did you hire pr or was that something that you really didn't have to worry about because it kind of social took care of that. Yeah, so, so'll definitely definitely social being a big one. Email for sure. You know, we're a huge, huge fans of pretension. You know, fortunately, with our brand being one, it is and either quality of our product being so high, we have some amazing, very loyal customers were cotton. So we wanted to make sure that with a campaign like this or top customers or be rewarded with first access to share that out. And then, addition to this, yeah, we do work with fenders for channels like PR order two to infuse that. And then I can't quite remember, but I believe we probably did a bit of paid social on top of that. I think, just from a marketing stand why you always want to put some dollars behind I can't paign even if the primary objective is organic or awareness. You know, in my mind, that the value of paid anything is just speeding up the time to result in so ensuring that, you know, we had some greater distribution of our message. The channel like facebook just just helps to ensure that we're able to do that with a little bit more of a success probability. Yeah, okay, awesome. Well, did the results of the campaign have any impact on future planning or maybe the stuff that you guys are doing now, what you're trying to target BTB? Are you going to be taking any of your learnings and applying it to future campaigns? For sure. Yeah, so, so one thing we tried to think about a lot when it comes to our product. The challenge with something like hundred percent Egyptian and cotton t shirts is sounds awesome, looks looks good, but when you when you see on a website, it doesn't stand out visually necessarily F from a different...

...t shirt. So I think one of the benefits that we saw from this paid for campaign was we got that material at People's heads and, you know, you had a chance to interact with our sheets. It's amazing the reaction people have with a touch our clothing. You know we have a couple of store threats, one here in Toronto would I've had a chance to work a couple of shifts and when people pick up the clothing it's wonderful like it's really remarkable how how easy it is to spot that that point a differentiation. Because you're talking about a little earlier. You know, conscious consumption does have a higher price point. Quality has a higher price point. I think as consumers we know that if you want something good the last longer, you know you have to pay for it. And so the Lens we tried to take it. It's a same for con supply. When I'm when I'm pitching companies about what the value is of common supply in producing ethical merchandise. I can tell the story about our supply chain, I can tell the story about cotton and you know the benefits it has. When I try and explain, what do you impact will be in terms of employees wearing that product even more because of the comfort, because the fact looks cool, it's just a really high quality product. It's a lot easier to get it into their ends. So what we're trying to figure out. I can't say we have this solved today, but one of my objectives is how do we make sure that, you know, our target buyer gets the product in their hands and can really feel the difference so that they start to have a tannubial relationship at the bread because that is one of the benefits of dealing in physical merchandise is there is a physical, tangible relationship with what we're doing. We're able to create that deeper rooted connection behind the material itself and behind that piece of clothing. So certainly that's informed some of the the ideation that we've done since then. Yeah, it's interesting you mentioned that because I feel like when you are purchasing I saw you guys as website. The clothes are beautiful, they're classic, but really when you feel it, that's when you notice the big difference. So I'm curious how you're planning on actually getting samples. I guess in your future buyers hands, in a way where they can do it, you know, with scale, without physical sore fronts. I believe you guys have a storefront. I know you have it in Toronto. I believe you guys have one here at in Vancouver. We did, we we close that location. We're actually the process of opening another one. So by the time this podcast year as I do think they'll be a store in there and we have one in Mountreal as well. But it in terms of how we're going to go about getting a people's hands. So this just comes back to my philosophy on testing. As a wool. I think testing is a systematic process that, regardless of what you're testing and where you're testing, you need a draw process. Essentially, in my mind, the objective is get the physical a product and people's hands without losing a ton of money. That's that's sort of the objective here. Hey, when I think about the different sort of solutions to that, that opportunity there's so many. It's creating sample packs, you know, APP creating a sample store where, you know, ore top customers get password access and can go and and provide that. We can send swatches out to customer. So they's just there's a whole world of solutions there that I'm want to start working towards and how I approach actually testing it is, you know that, and scoring those those solutions based on the impact, competence at ease. Yeah, ice bottle, based on the probability we think it's going to be successful, in starting to run microtest and seeing what the cost is of sending those out relative to the uplift that we would generated sales. Definitely works a lot nice you run on the B Tob side. I think on the business to consumer side, just the volume of a product we need to send out for that to be feasible would probably be wasteable. To be quite honest with you now, we wouldn't want to get to place we were sending out, you know, mail to, you know, thousands of prospects because, truthfully, I think it'll do more harm to the environment that good for our business. But from a bit of Bestep what I think, like I was saying earlier, the benefit of having that one to one relationship at the customer is if we have a dialog going, if we have that that connection, at least seven some sort of form of passive interest. Certainly it becomes an easier, easier thing for us to do to send lettled package and a sampled so if anyone's listening and they want to want to see what a piece of cotton clothing looks like in they're interested in Merch for their team, they're they're welcome to reach out to us and will make that happen. Yeah, one hundred percent...

...and will tag you, will tank you guys in it. Hey, and if the sales people want want to send us a sample, I will fish up and I'll set it off to Diana too. That's awesome. So if you had to do it all over again your campaign, would you change anything about it? If so, what would you change? I was actually super happy. That's one of those kid beings you look back on really, really fogly. I wish we spent a little bit more time thinking through their attention piece because quite honestly, you know, there was just so many components to it. The ambassadorship, the virality. And then, you know, with the retention being something that's sort of an after thought, not an after about in terms of priority, but just the fact that you know we'retention really does happen three, six, twelve months afterward. It just wasn't as an immediate need. But truly, when you're thinking about acquisition, retention needs to be very much a consideration off the bat because how you acquired, how you frame your product in that first point of interaction, being at first sale, it's going to set up your ability to retain them later on. So I would say being more considered of that and thinking through what our attention plans look like really at that first point of contact. And it's second being scale. You know, I look back on every camp in and I'm like, how could I do that bigger? I think given the constraints we had at the time, being time and in money, you know, it would have been difficult to do that on a much bigger skill but I'd think just the the growth person and me is like all man, I'd love to do that. You know X, twenty yers and not figured a wait to I want and in every customer saying so yeah, I'd say those two are pretty much the the two things that I look back on. What did it look like in terms of the volume of sales that you got from US versus Canada, because I know you guys are Canadian, so I just wonder sometimes, did you get like an equal response from both? They're pretty similar audiences anyways, but I always wonder. Yeah, pretty similar, like not not too much difference. They're a lot of our most oil customers happen to be in Canada just because that's where our stores are, that's where we are founded. A lot of people have learned about cotton just because of the fact that we are based in Toronto and people have engaged with the brand at the store level and, you know it, the last seven years of good built a really nice familiarity. But we've customers all over North America and certainly with any camping like this, we're getting a healthy mix of both and that something we're also considering with as we've grown, the ability to segment and and sort of be considered about our growth, both in Canada and us and across you know, our men's apparel, women's apparel home that that's the challenge of skill is you have all this rich quantity to the data and you have to start carving it up even more ways and start to create growth targets, not just on a macro level, but starting to assign tariot slow specific cowords as well. Yeah, all right, amazing. So thank you so much for breaking down the campaign. I think now I have a couple of Mushes, just for fun, for sure, if we're to answer them. I think you've got a lot of insight. You've shared a lot of stuff that you guys did. That I think the marketers are listening to this are actually going to enjoy and be able to apply it. It's always interesting when we get someone who's selling like a physical product of retail products. We don't get that often on our show, so I think this episode in particular is going to be quite a treat for for GBC listeners, but for fun. So, if you had to x the staff budget or time, which one would you choose and what would you do with it? Budget stand or to Turt he can double it. Which one would you stop? That, for me would be be the biggest one. I think budget is great, but I think creativity and human capital is is so important, and maybe my perspectives changed on this as I've moved from an individual contributor to a manager and now sort of general manager running whole division. But what I think about marketing, testing and I think about, you know, where the most cost effective and impactful winds come from. It really is people being really creative and unlocking, you know, the new normal that be possible, whether it's through really interesting sales outreach, whether it's through marketing channels.

That see why they don't scale and you know, takes human brunt force and they're able to be successful doing it. Humans every time are or sort of the winner there. When it comes to budget, budgets great, but did like I said, it budget to me is just like it's fuel. Right, you have an engine in money is just fuel to sort of accelerate that. But Buddy, doesn't solve problems. People do with being so I think I take that you're right. You there's nothing my known, no amount of money can replace. I'm just human ingenuity and creativity. So that kind of leads me to another question. Where do you get your inspiration from cool? Where do I get my inspiration for? I think other brands. I love looking at what other people are doing there. I follow a ton of marketers and folks in the industry on twitter and I'm just really curious about what people are doing. I'm curious about how people learn and where they're learning, where they're winning. So yeah, I try to get my expirasition from there. And then I tried to make sure that my hobbies are as far from marketing as possible. Out of a lot of marketers that love doing marketing related activities after work and for me I need to be as far from that as possible. So whether it's, like you know, cooking or pickle pickles sometimes, or a like refinished furniture, I have like a budget weird quirky hobbies and I would definitely recommend this promarkers. I think if the ability to use your hands and kind of apply your brain to a different setting, if everything gets relaxing, but it can also be inspiring or just a really nice changing environment to enable you to think a little bit differently. I love that and I've I love that you have pickling as a hobby. My old dis good, just the typical list like you should see the rest of it. My wife thinks somethingsane. Oh I love it. Of all that, husband makes some pickled vegetables. My mom does it like easy may go Chuttney, and so they've actually bonded over it and I I obviously enjoy I enjoy the outcome of their hobey. But I absolutely love that you mentioned doing something out, like with your hands, doing something outside of work, relative stuff, and I feel like ever since the pandemic, especially with most people working from home, everyone that I know, we spend more time in front of screens. We spent more time, especially last year. Yeah, any free time, like, you know, binging netflakes and doing things like that, where you're not getting a chance to just get out of get out of kind of the digital role, and I feel like that's such a good advice. And even at open sense we had a our revenue team for basically doing this exercise where we all have to have a nondigital skill that we need to accomplish by the end of this month. So one of my friends is amazing at shuffling and like just what work and dancing, so that was one of mine. We had other people who want to bait like the best sour doll loaf. Another one of one of our teammates wants to get better at like art and drawing and sketching. So I'm all for it and I absolutely love it. And I will add, like, and I don't want to turn this into a therapy podcast or easy I'm sure a lot of folks listening are in performance roles and, as I've gone through my career, truly there's no there's no cure for sort of the anxiety or head up energy that you get from having to a cheap performance. I feel it all the time, like all in the middle of a ruling day where I'm a hustling and I'm enjoying it, I'm motivated, but like my breath is here and I can't, like, you know, take a deep breath because I'm like so well, doubt for it, and so having these things are super, super vital. Big Cognis in the fact that, like, like you were saying. I think you made an awesome point about being in front of a scoreen and just like always, always connected to work. It's not healthy and it does have the minishing returns after a while. So I say this from like I hate this. These are things I'm interested in, but also, like, you know, if I were mentor and coaching someone that was going to do that. It's like make sure you're creating stays free to be able to do that because, from a longevity stood, what if you want to last in startups, if you want to last and performance roles continue, you know, making good money and working on really exciting challenges, you also have to find a way to trouble about. That was something that's gonna, you know, be a little bit...

...more. I relaxing on your health is the words all use. Yeah, not so. Thank you so much for mentioning that. I love that you did, and let's make the like I always love therapy related questions and mental related questions, because I'm with you. I also have moved from an individual contributor role to a leadership roll and then you realize along with that step up, there are so many things and feelings that you have internally that you're not able to grapple with and I feel like unless you have that mindset shift, you can really end up destroying yourself. And I had experienced earlier in the year feelings of anxiety that I never had before because of obviously wanting to do my best, trying to understand. Okay, how can I change how kind of shift the way I think of myself. And it wasn't until I actually sat down and I started going to therapy and I was like, all right, what can I do? I need to have more mindful moments. I need to get off of a screen I'm feeling bird tout. I need to not pretend like everything is okay all the time and actually say that, hey, I'm not feeling okay, put my hand up, talk to other people, because I don't think enough people do it, but fortunately more people feeling comfortable to talk about us. I love that you mentioned it and one hundred percent like getting getting yourself out of just work sometimes and getting your mind elsewhere is such, so good from a mental health perspective, especially with everything and dealing with, and I mean knowing. I don't even want to mention the new stuff right that is going on in the world. But you know, we we just want to constantly with all the bad variables focus on the good stuff and no, I love that you mentioned that you'd keep pressure as well. I think that's that's super informed that that dialog is happening, because there is an inversaid to performance. See, you know, I think what you were saying it is challenging, especially as you neve to manage your your role. It's being considered a your own emotions, but there's also repercussions to the people you manage to right. Your ability to to be emotional intelligent for yourself, but others as well, as ultimately, what makes you a good mantager. So yeah, thank you for also sharing a hope, because people out there that gate some perspective from that too. Yeah, no, I totally agree. Yeah, I mean, this is this is what like, even not even this podcast, but even talking to people. This is a beauty about it. You you hear other people's journey and their experience and you learn from it. So now I love that. Okay, here's a fun one. What's one thing that you think growth marker should stop doing that they're currently doing or start doing that they're not doing yet? I think stopped doing is like stop, stop convincing yourself that the channel you know is though, work is working. I think we've all had that like awakening moment, probably related to to a company that runs with bace Hook, you know, and the people aren't realizing more than ever that hey, the results I was getting on there about the same results and getting today. So the longer you keep putting money into that bank when you know it's not it's not sustainable, you're just creating debt and in a growth trajectory that you just can't sustain in the long run in terms what people should be doing. More sort of backed by original point, like digital marketing is created a massive barrier between between marketers of their customers. It can't be overstated the fact that you're serving ads to people, are creating landing pages or or, you know, product environments for people that you don't have a one to want interaction with it. I know you know this audience probably is born in the Bob Space, but the same can be true you're not listening to the customer on the other end. You need to find a way to mitigate that. You need to find a way to get in front of them here what their pain points are related to your product and unrelated as well, like how do people buy in your category? What do people's lives look like? What do they do with their free time? Where's their discretionary income looking? Where's their discretionary income going or in a bet to be environments like who? Who is your target buyer? Who Do they have to get approval from on things? You know, what is their process for needs assessment to inventing other vendors? The more you can talk to customers, the more the stuff is going to become apparent to you and it's going to make every single thing you do better. The thing I hate is you sit down at a brain store, where you said did, at a meeting our...

...decisions being made of someone on your team vocalizes what they think the customer wants without that perspective, because that's how you introduce bias into a decision making process. And so actually talk to because we're then bring them into the meeting with you. You become that Apidge. You spend the time with the customer, you get to know exactly what they want and if you read that person that says, Hey, I actually spoke to the customer and you know what'so and so this is what they want. Oh, way you think they want, I think that just makes you a much, much more customer driven marketer, Salesperson, etc. And hopefully that leads to results that that actually make a difference. Yeah, no, I love that, I absolutely lot. I take let your Butt, learn from your buyers and let them help you sell, let them help you kind of define your strategy, and there's tools now that help. We you don't even have to rely on conversations that you have. There's tools where you can just bring in, like Gong is one of them that we use and with comes up often. I can go in there and I can search and I can find things and I can use that to edit update. We have TT reviews, right, we've got kept ter beat. We go through there. You can just sit through it find use that as inspiration. So absolutely love that you say that. Last question and then we'll end off. But what is the biggest lesson you've learned, even on a personal level? I think would be great at this stage in your career and the stage of your journey at cotton, not even at cotton as as a you know marketers who's leading a team. Yeah, I think this could touches back to her or conversation related to just like how you bring your best self to work, making sure that that you have balance in your life when it comes to performance. One of the things that's just been so transformational for me in moving to cotton and working on a company that truly is making a differences and it's so super cornyed and everything. I'd be the guy say this, but like do something that matters. Work somewhere where the goal is not unfathomable. Certainly all for targets. I work towards targets every day that you know have growth rates that might seem like they're a little crazy or not conceivable. But what I mean is work somewhere that's building for the long hall. I think what's it basing about cotton is we're investing in communities, were investing in infrastructure that we want to be there in twenty, fifty, a hundred years, and there's a level of care and thoughtfullnest that goes into that. And so make sure that you're in the right environment. If you're finding that you're getting pushed in a way that doesn't make sense for you, that isn't healthy for the business, that's not healthy for you. If the growth doesn't make sense, you know you're like, where's this bunny coming from? Where's this money going to? That's not the right place for you, then it's okay to make a move. We're fortunate enough that we worked in a job market that's very kind to employees and not just employers. You know, twenty years ago employers are the ones that had all the power. You could move jobs in the way that you do today. So a lot more of that controls in your hands. So just starting to get a step back and look at your environment and say, Hey, in my working on something I will to be proud of in five years from now because it something I'm going to be proud to tell my children about. And if it's okay to you that you know you're not, that's totally buy them. You don't know. Judgment on Myan, but if that's something that's important to you, go find that. We're always hiring your cotton. So so come knocking on our door. But in general, just just do work that makes you happy and I think the rest falls into place. No, I love that. So if you want to make an impact, we're at a place like cotton, and if you want to make an impact at the place that you're at, then support a Brandley cotton. I think people are naturally like they want to make a positive impact and they're not. They're kind off. I always believe that people want to do things for the greater good. Obviously there are some people that just because they don't. And there's some people that want to but they just don't know how they can support or how they can get involved. And one of the best ways to do is either supporting a brand like that, working for a brand like that or just, you know, if you have disposal income and you're looking for some amazing, gorgeous shirts and apparels and stuff, and support your brands. So I absolutely love that. I love what you guys are doing. I am very excited too, and I'm actually planning on I like, no joke. I'm going to do this for you. I'm...

...actually going to buy something from cotton amazing, without having to do it through open sense, because you one of the things that you guys are doing is you guys are making positive change in the world. And again, I did not find out about cotton from you. I found out about it from my brother, who shared it with me, and it's something that I'm always, always happy to support. So I love with you guys are doing. Thank you so much for joining us on this episode. To any of our listeners, how can they find you guys? How can they get ahold of you? For any be to be listener, if you want to share where you're at on social on Linkedin. Yeah, for sure, so you know if you're interesting shopping the cont catal on cottoncom. So that's Kotn. A lot of people don't necessarily know what to pronounce the Kotna. Think we get a lot of mispronunciations there. If you're interested in being a wholesale verrge, we could be found at cotton dots applies again, Tiltn dot supply. I The people want to find me. I I am often go on twitter at growing gray. That's great. With that gray, well, share all of my pickling recipes and Corny jokes at you on there. Absolutely love it. I will also give you a follow. But thank you so much, Dan, for joining us. Really appreciate having you here with us. All right, thank you. Yeah, it's been amazing. You've been an amazing abasstor for CON IBE. You've told the story for me and carried the the narrative for half this this interview. So I appreciate your having me on here and yeah, thank you for helping us tell the story and hopefully people are saying about what we're doing. Of course, of course, and I will continue to all right, by everyone thanks for listening to growth marketing camp. If you enjoyed this episode, would love it if you would give it a quick five star rating or share it with a friend or colleague looking to give a little more inspiration for their next campaign. You want to learn more about the company behind the show, had to open sensecom. That's open se n Secom. Will catch you on the next episode.

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