Growth Marketing Camp
Growth Marketing Camp

Episode 31 · 1 year ago

That One Time Content Marketing Saved the World (for StackAdapt)


It’s every marketer’s worst nightmare that their entire database disappears overnight. And while that’s not exactly what happened to Christiana Marouchos and the StackAdapt marketing team in March of 2020, the impact of the pandemic was nearly as severe. The majority of their go to market motion relied on in-person value creation, and the company looked to Christiana for what to do next as their Director of Digital Marketing. She took hold of the digital-first opportunity and found ways to increase brand familiarity without the handshakes. Her team’s strategies paved the way for growth that’s taken StackAdapt beyond physical borders including new sales and support teams in the UK. Now get ready to be inspired by her story.

Bout. Welcome to growth marketing camp, where we sit down with our favorite marketers to de mystify growth and give you the insights to help turn your next campaign into a major success. Let's get into it. Hello everybody, this is bobby and Rangue, cohost of the growth marketing camp podcast. We are so excited today to have the director of digital marketing from stack adapt, Christiana Marucos, joining us for the podcast. Christiana, welcome to the show. Thanks, bobby, and that was perfect pronunciation. I had to see Kudos there. Thank you so much. I take pride in that as a skill. So thanks for that feedback. I appreciate it. Before we sort of talk a little bit about some of the ways that digital has perhaps pivoted or changed at stack adapt over the last couple of years, can you tell me a little bit about stack adapt, who your customers are and sort of what problems you're solving in the marketplace? Definitely so. Stack Adab is a programmatic advertising platform. We allow media buyers to plan, execute and analyze their programmatic campaigns running on channels including native display video, connected TV audio. We plug into over, you know, fifty fivezero sites of publishers from all the major exchanges. You know, targeting that goes from Geo targeting with location and audience targeting that's very robust, and even contextual targeting with our page context AI tools. So anything you can possibly imagine with an advertising space is available through SAC that. We are mainly working with agencies, mid market agencies and and I feel like these jeos are going to continue to grow, but across the US, across Canada, the UK and eventually I'm sure you'll see more of us in other markets as well as we expand into Europe. That's pretty incredible. Let me ask you a question about the business, because in my very cursory knowledge and understanding of your space, there is very much sort of like a market element to it. It almost feels like a stock market to some extent, and I'm clearly not very fine tune and in the know here, but is it safe to say that your solution just makes the process easier for your customer? I mean, ultimately, I guess that's the way any technology creates value, but but is that? Is that basically what it is? Is that, with the pitches to it your customer base. So it's beyond just making things easier. Any piece of tech can make something easier for you. If there's something that you know enables you to access an audience you've never reached before, that's making things easier for you. It goes beyond that. It's really actually putting automation to work. Okay, so making it work not only easier, but smarter, yet faster, you know, gaining access to audiences and you know people that you didn't even know we're a target of yours. Like it's one thing to make it easy to target a specific interest group, people who are interested in buying shoes, but did you know that people interested in jackets are also interested in shoes? Like that's completely different ball game once you've got machine telling you that there's another cohort here that you may have overlooked or didn't know about. So it's more than ease, its speed that's really important. It's accessibility that's really important, and it's really automation. So what the tool do the work for you so you don't have to absolutely and I imagine in your role this is all very near and dear to you to some extent. Can you tell me a little bit about your current role at stack adapt and perhaps maybe what your career trajectory has been to this point. Tell us about yourself. What a question. So I've been in the antech space for what feels like forever, but I guess a short six years. Are Coming up on seven years if I'm counting correctly. So I'm very familiar with attack. I'm very familiar with programmatic at stack adapt I started as the second person on the marketing team, with the third joining shortly after me, a few weeks later, and now we're at over twenty people on marketing. Oh smokes. So our team has just bloomed in sizes over the past I would say year maybe, but even past year and a half. So for myself,... started with me, you know, running everything digital marketing related. I ran our campaigns, I did our social I wrote our emails, I hate wow, helped with landing pages, I took care of our content strategy and our digital strategy, overall lead management, you name it. So you can as you can imagine, that became very difficult as the entire organization grew. So now I got a team of Oh man, we're seven as of today, seven just on the digital marketing side. Our product marketing team and design team makes it even larger. But so I helped to oversee the overall strategy for our digital marketing efforts, all the top funal good stuff from our website or content, which is a huge player for us, and you know, our campaigns in organic, and then working really closely with our product marketing team on any sort of communication for clients external. Pretty much have a hen and almost everything marketing related. So we're although we've I don't even know the word for it, we've grown five times in size over the past couple of years, we still work right closely. So good times. A sack of a act. I would have touched almost every single piece of marketing. You can imagine. The word was quintupled, I think. I think, but this is really fascinating. So you were saying that there was one person before you joined. You re number two and had your hand kind of in all things marketing as the company has grown. I know you rattled off a couple of other teams, like the Product Marketing Team, for instance, but what does the marketing or look like now and and what stage would you say like if we were to compare maturity of your marketing or to say the development of a child and this top of mine for me because I have a baby now. There you guys teenagers or like? Are you now going to college or like, do you have a mortgage and where are you also? So a lot of other structure and and sort of what sort of level of maturity would you say you're at and where do you see the team like a year from now? That's an interesting analogy and if you had asked me six months ago, I'd probably say, like, Oh, we're a teenagers, we're figuring it out because, you know, a lot of especially what had happened after we started working from home, was a lot of testing and trial and error and figure out what works. But I think now we've gone to the point where we can say we have an idea of what's working and what we needed to do to get here. So I would say we're probably graduating college pretty soon. We've got a good handle on what we know. We have a good handle what we don't know. We have a good handle on what we need to find out to succeed, and I think that's kind of like when you're starting your first job. You know what you need to do, but you're know you're going to learn along the way. So I would say that that's probably where we're at. Where do I see the team going? There's still a lot of growth opportunity. You know, as the company overall grows, marketing is going to have to grow to support them. And that's what happens when you start your new job. You find out like, what is my role in this position, in this organization, and how am I going to help and how am I going to succeed and how am I going to make everyone else look good, because that's the whole point of being a team. You lift each other up. So I'd say we're in that stage. We know what's going to work well for us. We have some ideas and what we can do next and how we're going to make a big impression or difference, and now we're just going to we're going to do it. Next year I might say different thing, but yeah, feeling well. I think what's interesting about that answer is that you have to have had some notable success to feel confident, to even say teenager before, but now we're looking to graduate college. That there's something there that makes you say that, and that's exciting because I want to dig into that a little bit with you before we do, though, and again this is helpful for me. I'm a career salesperson and so I'm always curious of how marketing orgs are structure, for partticular for tech companies, because that's what open sense is to and so this is a little bit selfish because I'm just curious, because you know this can maybe help help us, but I mean I'm just wondering. So tell me a little bit about sort of some of the roles within your marketing organization and perhaps what level of ownership or what objectives our owned, or you can keep it high level, but just is generally curious a what the structure is. So far it's pretty simple because, at least on the digital marketing side, there isn't a role that necessarily has two people working on it. So everyone is,...

I would say, specializes in something specific. So you've got your lead generation manager who's handling all of the lead and nurture initiatives, you've got our email marketing specialist who handles all the emails, and then you have content and then you have events, and they're all siloed in a sense where each person has their own responsibilities and their own specialties. But everyone works together. So if you had to get an idea of a structure, I would say for top funnel it's like the main areas that you would imagine in a digital marketing organization. Leads content, email, web development, events and, you know, marketing, digital marketing, and that's the paid in organic side of things. So that's how our structure is and that's how I'm sure other marketing organizations are similar, at least the ones that I've been exposed to our as well. And then product marketing is a little bit more, I would say, group. So you have your product marketing managers which may share responsibilities across the different efforts, whether that sales, enablement or, you know, product releases etc. But there is some more overlap in that sense because there's specialization within your role, but not necessarily within like your title or your hum makes it makes a ton of sense and that's always an interesting one for me because I think as tech companies were always were inventing things. That's how we create value, right. So how do you keep the market in the team informs? That's quite interesting. Okay, so let's pick it the conversation a little bit here and these the word pivot there. It's kind of our tast appropriately twenty. Yeah, basically, so you know, I think, yeah, someone like you who's seen it all on the marketing side. Basically, it's a very invogue question to ask, but it'd be remissed to not. I am curious about how you've seen your role in digital change in the context of perhaps how you've seen the business change, given what we've been going through for it's all blurred to me now, but it feels like a couple years. Yeah, maybe you can just speak a little bit too. We'll call it PP pre pandemic, and really what I'm interested in is, like, what do is go to market look like for stack ad apt and how are you, as a digital market supporting that effort? I kind of just want to baseline there, if possible. So maybe if we go back to what did you call it, PPP? Yeah, I would say that it was a very different time, specifically for the marketing team because, you know, there was a lot more opportunity to run initiatives and work with prospects and clients in person. You know, we had a lot of outbound prospecting that was happening. It was really easy for our sales seem to be on the ground and to be talking to people and, you know, building those relationships and having those conversations. And then March two thousand and twenty, everything stopped and all of a sudden everyone turned to marketing and said, well, what do we do? Yeah, marketing didn't have a hand in this necessarily. We supported everything that was happening and we were working on our own brand awareness efforts and our own conversion efforts, but there was no real push to say we now have to carry these efforts because we didn't have to be there, we weren't in person necessarily, and now everything has changed. So, you know, even just from a team structure perspective, it was very easy for one person to handle everything because we had a couple posts here and there, we had a few campaigns running, maybe few league gen efforts, and then all of a sudden everything turned online, which means that as a digital marketing organization, we also need to pivot and and expand our own digital marketing efforts and that, even if it was only five percent, which I'm sure it was a lot more of in person or at interactions, those are all gone. Even events, those are all gone and those are primary opportunities to be speaking with people and to be getting your name out there and building awareness. So imagine if that event that would have touched five thousand or tenzero people, like it's gone. Yeah, all those people are sitting on the Internet. Where do you find them? Yeah, so, before we get into and I will have to come up with a new abbreviation for post pandemic, since it's the the same letters, prependemic. Okay, we'll go with that prependemic. So tell... about this a little bit because as a salesperson, I've sold visually, I've sold in person, but it sounds to me like stack adapts go to market motion relied heavily on like the in person interaction, and I'm just wondering if you can kind of maybe put your mindset back to that time when that was the go to market motion sort of the thinking of about why that was important to the organization. And I'm asking this in the context of, you know, for instance, hub spots. Big Mission is always been inbound right, but you, as a tech company, were heavily outbounded in person and it can do you mind just sharing a little bit about sort of what the world was like for stacadapt back then and why that was important and potentially how it impacted the business. Just the ability to kind of be in person like that. Yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with the product that you're selling, right. So it's software. There's nothing to show. I can't physically send you a sample and if you're not familiar or you know someone who understands the space very well, it's very difficult to explain through an email like I don't. I cannot imagine trying to go through what a DSP is through an email. So imagine it's so much easier to have those conversations, whether you know I'll be it on the phone or in person. It's so much easier to have those conversations when you can speak to the person and especially when you're in person, when you can show them. Let me log into the platform, let me walk you through it. And of course that can all be done digitally. But if you're not familiar with WHO I am them, why are you going to take this demo from you? Why are you going to have this conversation with me? I need to build that rapport so you actually know. You know what I want to hear from this person. So it makes it really easy when it's in bound. Someone's familiar with a DSP, they know they want to stack it up, they reach out great like that's the easiest thing to happen, but that's not always the case. As we I'm sure you know as well, it's a takes a lot of getting somebody interested or getting some more familiar, and especially when you're, you know, in a space where there is a lot of uncertainty, there's a lot of misunderstanding, I would say sure, you need to take that time to explain it. So I think that's part of why being there and having those conversations is so critical. And without those conversations, it's a matter of getting in front of somebody so that they're willing to have that conversation with you. So that's where, yeah, you have a challenge. Yeah, this word familiarity, I think, has a number of different meetings in the context of prepandemic, stack, adapt and and I want to I want to dig into a couple of those. Number One, what level of familiarity would you say your buyers had of solutions like yours? And this is more just a curiosity of a solution like yours. That solves a fairly complex problem. I would say for marketers, do you find there's a mature buyer at these companies or is there a challenge in creating that familiarity with the value proposition? So it depends, and the reason I say that is programmatic media buying is not new. Those teams and those you know, sections of organizations or whatever you want to call them, they exist and they have existed. It's not a new concept. Where the challenge lies in familiarity is growth. So imagine, I'm throwing numbers that won't make any sense, but imagine there's a hundred agencies in the US and fifty of those have experienced media buyers. Great, but there's another twenty five percent that do primarily TV buys or do primarily newspaper or billboard. I don't know. There's there another twenty five percent that focus only on search, for example, and they're not really diving into programmatic per se. So there's familiarity to a degree. They might know that there are other ads online that we want to become familiar with or learn or understand, but they don't know how to get there. So I would say that programmatic buyers digital media buyers. There's a lot of familiarity with what we do. Maybe they haven't heard a stack at up just yet. Sure, we just heard about them. They're learning more. They may think that we're still a native only offering, which is not the case anymore. It hasn't been for years. We have all the major channels, so there's things like that that could be a barrier for becoming familiar. But there are so many that...

...are relying on on more traditional forms of media buying, like TV, for example. Sure, let's talk PP TV. PREPANDEMIC TV was huge and all of a sudden people are staying home, they're cutting their their TV subscriptions and they're going to connect a TV and they're streaming everything because it's the easiest way to ingest information through a television. Are you reaching those people? As a television advertiser? You probably have no idea that there's connected or you know about it, but you're not familiar. So how do I step into that? And that's where that familiarity plays like it kind of exists, but they need a little help to get to the point where they feel experienced as a connected TV media buyer. Sure, so you're telling me that my Roku is targeting me with ads. I didn't say anything. Okay, fair enough, fair enough, fair enough. Okay. So that's a really interesting point in that you're familiarizing the market with the capabilities, that not just comm capabilities of your product, but also what the possibilities are for creating value for their their end customer. So then, so let's look at familiarity in another way, and this is where we're going to have to use our second abbreviation pop. So basically, your challenge and objective as a marketer was focused around creating that familiarity in the market place PP, and that involved a lot of outbound motion, in person meetings, and that allowed for the brand to permeate, to become familiar amongst your buyer group. Then pandemic hits and that opportunity kind of dries up and it's still probably not back to where it used to be. So did you all have a meeting one day and say hey, this is how we've traditionally created familiarity in the market place. How are we going to do it like in a pandemic world? or it sounds to me like the challenges is, how do you sort of replicate that familiarization that creates value for your organization in now a post pandemic world old and again, I know probably every marketer is having this conversation on shows like this one, but it is really interesting to hear the individual stories. So what was that like for you? It just when all of this I think your reference March two thousand and twenty, so since abow did it all go down. So it's interesting that you say you know, did you have a conversation to say this is what we're going to do going forward? And that would just simply be too easy to have a meeting and say, okay, here's a plan, here we go, because there was no plan that this was. This wasn't anything that anyone had encountered before. So to have a plan in place and being you could tell the future, and I can tell you no one had a plan place. So, as you can imagine, when things all of a sudden came to a halt, it was primarily the in person interactions because digital didn't stop. Everyone started working from home, everyone turned on the laptops, turn on their videos and it was business as usual when it comes to actually interacting with people. I found it very interesting because although we didn't know how we were going to reach our our target anymore. You know, we still had our campaigns running, we still had our methods of reaching out virtually but, as we discussed, outbound and seeing people and talking to them was a really big part of it. But we didn't actually worried, so to speak, because within two weeks of US realizing we weren't going back to the office right away, all of a sudden all these other digital marketers realize the same thing. Will Hey, how are we going to reach who we need to talk to? So we didn't really see much of a blit. We for two weeks thought, okay, we're going to have to cancel some events, we're going to have to sit ance some travel plans, and by the time we turned around, we still were running business as usual. All we did was turn up the volume on some digital efforts that we had and then it was time to really dig it into to say what is the plan? So we know that we're not going to be in person for a little bit. Okay, ignore that fact. We've turned up digital. Okay, what's the plan? And that was the opportunity for us to say, okay, what do we have at our fingertips, that we can talk a little more about, that we can push a little more out of how can we support our clients that are trying to ask these questions and get answers? Sure it's not just about, you know, having the tech to help you to do it. You need to know the strategy and you need to absolutely I'm just kind of insight...

...into what's going on. So we actually turn a lot of our focus to content. We want to talk to people, to help them, to provide the reasons as they need to answer those questions. So we looked at the trends, what's happening? How can you pivot? How are you going to reach your audience in this time when you don't really know how to talk to them? You can't send them to a store. Our close. So what are you talking about? You need to make sure you're giving the right message and, you know, relaying the information that will be valuable if and when you get to go back in person. And if you're not going back, tell people that we won't have a store. Here's our online presence. Here something we need to know and that's really centered around content. So, although we couldn't see people to talk to them, we could write a whole bunch of collateral that we could share to answer those questions before they ask. So, anticipating what someone's looking for, let's write the content to make it available for them. You know, I think what's really interesting about that is that you're selling a solution that is designed to help your end users make their brands more aware and to drive their initiatives. And so in a way you all are the arbiters of strategy to some extent, because you know how your reach works or how your channels work better than anybody, and so in identifying a plan for your own organization, you're in a way kind of identifying a plan for everybody to some extent. To some extent, I would say, it's a little bit different on our side. Okay, wish it was, as I don't want to even call the strategy for our clients easy, but it's it's simpler to know. You know the types of strategies or tactics that an agency is using for a brand, because they're usually very, I would say, straightforward for the most part in terms of where that what the conversion point and sure, okay, and it comes to be, to be, of course, a different ball game there. But we also know, you know, what could work best for them when it comes to selling the software that someone's using to do that. For some reason that's a harder conversation and I think that comes around like having the accessibility to everything that you need for all of your clients. So we know that. You know, a retail client needs one thing, where I travel marketer might need another. Finance is a different ball game. There's so many compliance and regulation things to consider, even for sensitive categories, and be to be for SASS. It's just slightly different. So, yeah, we're experts in what our clients are looking for, but there's just not an audience segment that's called agency. Look sure for DSP product. Yeah, yeah, you know, you've hit on where my lack of insight is that. You know I'm very much oriented around the be tob space obviously, and of course, your end users. You know, generally speaking it's going to be more BETC Orient it's that that makes a ton of sense. So, but that's not to say there is av to be certainly, just to call that out specifically, certainly are plenty of BTB targeting options that are available, especially when you're working with the DSP like stack of that, who knows this so well and has so many integrated the BTB solutions that we have our endless it's just generally the be tob might be slightly different when it comes to selling a Sass or, you know, a service that's specifically for other organizations. But advertising specifically, yeah, because we're even if we're advertising to the BEB market, we're advertising to advertisers. Yep, and it's a slightly different conversation. Yeah, to be robust, beabs for DSP, we have our own internal ideas and what we need to do there. I say, okay, well, that might be a conversation for a fall up podcast. Okay, so you will realize that there's an opportunity to provide insight into the market place. You know, that's content. I think we know is it can be tactical and I think probably you had a unique situation where you needed tactical content like in that moment, because everybody was looking for answers. Generally speaking, I personally view content is more long tail, and that's just again my own experience, but was there a moment early on in this sort of revamping of your initiatives where you kind of realize maybe you were onto...

...something, or I guess, what were some of the signals that you were looking for that sort of validated that this was in fact the right trajectory to pursue and an ultimately, we talked about this before. You all went from teenage years to college year. So there's something there. I'm just curious. Can you tell us a little bit about sort of, you know, what were some of the whether it's insights, metrics, I don't know, like how did you think about success in the context of this kind of change of strategy? So I agree with you. Long tail content, you know, long form content, those kinds of pieces are really important. But when you're in the middle of a global pandemic, no one's looking to read a thirty page PF. They want answers and they want it now. They want to know what is the answer to this question? How do I get out of this mess? So the best way that we could do that was to find the solution. So we went out we said, okay, first vertical we're going to cover is beb really what a beating marketers need to do right now? Here is a long form, not that long, I would say it was like three or four pages piece of doc content that went through trends in the industry. What are we seeing on the platform? What are we seeing in the space? What are some strategies we would recommend to someone if they were working with us? What you need to put in your creatives? What is your messaging look like? What is your targeting look like? Where can you find people differently now because, as I mentioned earlier, people aren't watching TV the same way they did and everyone's home and sure it's not a surprise to anyone, everyone was on mobile much more than they were before for totally if you didn't have a mobile line, you better start one because that is where you're finding people now. So we basically said, if we were to market in this space right now, in the situation where in what would we do? Let's write that down and let's share it with the world, because they need to know it, because if we're not helping you or supporting our clients to help them reach their audience, what are we doing here? HMM, that's what we did see. You literally went vertical by vertical. We literally went vertical by vertical, and that's not a new tactic for us. We've always been vertical focused. Cool, you know, we definitely are focused on the ones that we know our clients are working with. But it's not enough to say this is generally what someone does in the B to be space, or, yeah, generally what you do in the you know, sensitive space, whether it be for cannabis or pharmaceuticals. This is what you do in this date age, in this month and this week, at this time, given the global situation, however you want to call it. So it was very specific and it was very relevant because it offered to it offered strategies now for what you need, not for what you could have needed six months ago. And Relevance is so important. So then, to bring this back to this idea of familiarity and that similarity is objective because, again, prependemic, you're doing up bound motion, you're doing in person meetings, you're getting people interested in stack adapt to even take the meeting to understand more about, you know, the value that you can create. Did this broaden familiarity for stack adapt? I mean I have to imagine there were probably like thousands of searches about like finance industry play books, like on Google or whatever. I mean, how dramatic, was it? Did you increase familiarity dramatically as a result of this, just by the sheer fact that people were out there looking for answers? And if that question makes sense, but I'm not serious, if if you found an impact of the work that you're doing post pandemic to be even potentially greater than perhaps the work that was being done prepandemic? First of all, yes, Short answer, because there was so much more opportunity to reach people that we hadn't had the opportunity to reach before. Because, if you can imagine, sales people can only travel so much so far, when once you open to the virtual world, the geos that you can reach are endless. So absolutely, you know, for our team specifically, we now have an a tire sales team and support team in the UK. That would have never happened before because that's all within the last year. That is all within the last year and it's not stopping. So I don't want to give anything away. The sure sure own grandmobile, but like we've got a team of twenty which is just as big as the marketing organization in another continent, not even in the same one. So that's incredible, even just to see from that perspective. But you know, when it comes to actually talking...

...about reach and having those conversations and becoming familiar, it's more than a search. It's more than just searching what strategies I need. It's it's about targeting the right people in the right way. So if I know that you're interested in travel marketing strategies because, as we know, travel by hit the hardest and they absolutely know what to do. Yeah, you might do a google search, but wouldn't it be great if you were reading one of those articles and then all of a sudden and ebook popped up in front of you and you're like this is the piece I didn't even know I had to search for? You know, Humble Brag, little plug for how a DSF works, but that is the beauty of it, is that we know what works well to reach people based on content that they're looking for, but not just keyword search charting. That's like bottom level rudimentary. At this point we're looking for much more greater sophistication and automation that's going to know what you're looking for even if you're not necessarily searching that exact term. So that's where like contextual advertising and you know our page context day I comes into play. We actually use our own features and functionality within our platform to know that that's how we're going to reach people based on what they're looking for, not just because they did a google search, but because we know what they're after. They want trends, they want insights, they want tactics, they want recommendations. They don't even want to have to ask for it and yeah, give it to you. Yeah, so that plays well and knowing how to extend your reach into other areas of sponsorship where they're available publications that are working well for others. And then eventually, you know, as time progressed, events came back and they were virtual nonetheless, but they were still opportunities to reach people digitally. So you kind of have to see what's happening in the industry, but also taking into consideration the features and functionality that are going to work to your benefit. Certainly. So where do you see things going from here? I mean, you know, I think as more and more of US vaccinated, obviously things are still fairly uncertain, I would say, but there is, I think, a desire to resume them some semblance of normalcy and so I guess. How would you describe what normalcy will look like at SAC adapt pop post pandemic? What is it? I mean? I feel like the way that we are now, and I hate to say this phrase, is the new normal. Yeah, but I do feel that way. I mean, I understand that being able to be virtual offers opportunities that didn't happen before, or even to have those interactions globally, even to be able to, you know, get your creative mind thinking into strategies you hadn't tried before, because if the pandemic didn't happen, let's say, and we were still running our same outbound and we were still running our same in person interactions, the marketing team wouldn't have been given an opportunity to flex our muscles, to show what we can do and how we can think out of a box. So I see a lot of prospect in this post pandemic situation, a lot more creativity that's coming out. I'm very enthusiastic about at tech and about digital. I know it's not going anywhere. I say this to everybody that I talked to when they ask what I do and how do I stay engaged, because if someone doesn't get it. They're like, why do you work there? Yeah, and so I'm very phusiastic about it. And so I've been given opportunity to flex my muscles and say, okay, how can we think differently? How are we going to find people? We can't just call them up and show up to their offices. They're not there. So where do you find them? And so I think going forward, really the new normal is virtual and the new normal is finding creative ways to interact with people in that way and speak to them and have the those conversations. But I do see that there are certain things that are going back to what we consider okay normal, like travel. It's back, like it looks different, but it's still there and I think it's just going to get better, not only just because vaccination rates have gone up or because you know, there might be a change in I don't know the specific destinations that you're going to, but it's also a lot more certainty around what you need to do. So there's not like what happens when I get to the airport, what happens when I get to my destination? What happened? Like there's now policies in place, there's now protocols in place, and that's right. Those are only going to improve and get better. Yeah, so I just see everything just going on an upward protector from here. That's a that's a great observation. forgetbout the business. The whole... is adapted. So I think that's a really smart way to look at it. And then how do you see you know, I think their content approach early on makes a ton of sense. How do you view the need to continue to provide that relevancy? I have to imagine that's probably any content marketers challenge to some extent is creating relevant content. But you know, we've maybe provided the playbooks or the ebooks and so on and so forth. So how are you all thinking about your content strategy going forward and how are you sort of like leveling up or muscling up on that side too? Well, I got to say, as much as I'd love to think that we've written the playbook and we've got the strategy nail down and we can send it to everyone, whatever we wrote last year no longer relevant. That's just the way got it works. You got to keep it, although there's evergreen pieces the stats and because we rely heavily on providing trends and stats. They're old. A year old is a lifetime and tech. So it's really about staying, you know, forward thinking and actually thinking ahead to what new strategies can you imagine based on what's going to be developed or what we are currently developing, because, you know, the features we release today are not the same as yesterday, and so everything's changes. Just think about the cookie. Hate talking about this because everybody hates the decline of the cookie, but it's it's true. It's changing and just because it may be declining in some places, it's not disappearing everywhere. It's not obsolete, it's not going anywhere, you know from that point of you. But there will be situations where it's not present. So what do you do? Last year we talked about one targeting method and this you're we're going to talk about three more, and they'll all take into consideration the different trends that are coming at cool. So, as much as I love to think that we've written it all, even the stuff that we written can use an improvement and and we're very aware of that and I think that it's wise to think that way. Otherwise you will never get ahead of anything else if you're continuing to live in last year's Times. Well, I think one of the really potentially powerful parts of the content that you've described is that it is based in data and based in trends. So the story should be consistently changing right and exainly. So that's really, really cool. Yeah, that's really fascinating and I think just in general, my takeaway from this is, you know, you have a go to market motion that's more outbounded, in person and focused. You're forced to kind of pivot to something that's a little bit more content tent driven and I mean, dare I say inbound focused? I mean, is that basically that what you're seeing? You've see? Imagine going from I'm just again throwing out a number because I don't know the exact ones and I'm not going to go searching for them. Yeah, but seventy percent outbound, let's say, to having zero. Yeah, I can have a loss of seventy percent. You're going to fill that within bound. Yeah, I mean that's like a scary and massive whole. I mean it's honestly just very impressive to see it as big of a smile on your face right now because again, you've described that the business has matured and that speaks to incredible execution, but also potentially like transformative insight, like if you're going to market motion now is one that can sustain the business through a purely inbound approach. I mean that has impact on your your metrics, you know, downstream as well, just from a business performance standpoint. So it's pretty exciting. Is a marketer, you know obviously you're having conversations with other stakeholders of the company. Let me ask you, though, I mean, are there other resources that you've historically kind of relied on? Any I don't know whether blogs, authors, just where do you get your inspiration from, or at least insight from as a marketer, because I think all of us find things somewhere. I'm just wondering if there's anyone, whether it's resource or a person, that that maybe has been helpful for you as you've had to kind of roll with the punches here a little bit and come out, you know, the other side. So it's going to sound so quick Cliche, but our clients, and that's not because they necessarily have the trends and insights, but they are the ones on the ground working with the industries, working with the tool, is giving the feedback. So, when it comes to actually finding out what strategies work, well, yeah, I rely on our clients in our account management team, because they come up with the ideas.

Yeah, they run the campaigns and then we hear about it. Did it work or didn't it work? And let's talk about that. This will work for you, this may not. Let's write about the ones that did work. So I can honestly say when we're talking about strategies, yes, we make them up, but we don't make them up and then leave it up to you to figure it out. We actually run it and say did it work, ORT it not? And sometimes the Guinea pig is us. We run the campaign and we figure out is it it's successful, but of course it works much better if you have someone running in the actual industry or the vertical that's we're speaking to. Did it work for that vertical? Give us examples of times when this strategy worked well, and that's really right about. So, as much as I'd love to say that I got it from some industry source and it's the end. You know the truth for everything that we put together, I can't even say that, because I honestly take strategies that work well for the people that we serve and we talk about them without actually saying who did it. Yeah, I mean, anytime you're getting any insight at any point in the customer prospect life cycle from the actual customer, like the output is always going to be way more valuable. So that's actually that's actually really kind of refreshing and kind of exciting to hear that. That's what drove a lot of the ideation here. And what I will say is when it comes to trends, although we rely on industry trends, for example, and you get those from the regular sources that talked about what's happening across the industry across the world, when it comes to specific, you know, campaign tactics and what's cooking better, we get that from our platform. We have to the data science team and we say, how did this feature work in this scenario? What happens if I run native and video together, like what's the output? Tell me the good in the bad and everything in between, and that's how we actually identify the specific numbers that are coming out of it. Besides the trends that you're seeing from you know all the major publications from the e marketers of the world. Yes, there's plenty of data. They're great, but if I have a travel marketer that doesn't know what to do with travel campaigns and wants to try a new feature, tell me what other travel marketers are doing and how they were successful. H It's awesome. This is really great and a lot of, I think, you know, interesting things to think about and again, I think they really unique. Part of the story that you've told today is just the total shift and go to market. Not Not suggest that again, other business haven't dealt with shifting, but to go from whatever the number is outbound, you know, familiarization in the market place to totally inbound is a tremendous mountain to hat to climb and again to see you on the other side again, clearly having had success with it, I think is is really impressive. So congratulations to the team. That's really cool. Before we wrap up, you know, I kind of want to maybe just using this an opportunity to just ask you again, as a digital marketer who's progressing their career thus far, is there some unique or specific piece of advice that you maybe would give your you know, younger self or to an aspiring up and coming digital marketer, perhaps something that perhaps if you're known back then, type of thing. I've been privileged to have pretty great mentors in my career and individuals who not only trusted and believed the thoughts that I had, but saw potential in the work that I could do. So, although I'd love to think that there's nothing I could say to myself, I think the most important thing is if I didn't have that, or maybe in times when I felt that I didn't have that, because I've had great mentors. Not they're not always there when you need them, but it's that you know, trust the instincts that you have and go after the information that you don't so I know what I don't know, but I also don't know even more. So I'm not going to say that I know everything. I have an instinct to try a strategy or to write something that I think works, but I will never say that I'm a hundred percent correct. I will always lean on those that I know are, you know, more educated or more in tune or closer to the specific outcome that I'm looking for. Yeah, and I'll ask questions. I'm never afraid to ask a good question.

It's there's never a bad one. So knowing what you know and trusting yourself when you know you do, but looking for support when you think you need it, it's going to be important, because then you will never end up down a road or a path that doesn't lead anywhere. Confidence and humility sounds like. I mean, that's that's really phenomenal and it's only a matter of time, I imagine, until you're the resource that others seek out just, you know, based on themselves trajectory. So that's that's really awesome. This has been really a fun conversation. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing a little bit of your story and Stock Adapt Story. Again, it's great to see you know the transition from teenage years to college years, and we'll have to do follow up once you've got that mortgage and two kids and you know the whole the whole dream, because it's exciting to speak with individuals with executed and are on the other side and understand, you know, that they've accomplished something and are willing to speak about it. So I really do appreciate you taking the time to share it. Share it part of the store with me today. Yeah, for sure. Thanks so much, bobby. This has been a lot of fun and I can't wait to hear the same about your child, because I'm sure they're going to be getting a students as you think. Yeah, yeah, I guess I need to start working on my understanding my friends and industry research so I can bring them along, people who know, so you can get their in there. You Go, there, you go, there, you go. Awesome. Thanks so much, Christianna. Thank you, Bobby. All right, go by here. Thanks for listening to growth marketing camp. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd love it if you would give it a quick five star rating or share it with a friend or colleague looking to get a little more inspiration for their next campaign. If you want to learn more about the company behind the show, had to open sensecom. That's open, sken skecom. Will catch you on the next episode.

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