Growth Marketing Camp
Growth Marketing Camp

Episode 75 · 1 month ago

Why Staying Curious is the Ingredient to Success with Drew Brucker from LASSO

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this week’s episode of Growth Marketing Camp, Jass Binning and Drew Brucker, the VP of Growth at LASSO, dig deep into the beauty and the challenges of leading a small marketing team in a scaling company. Drew shares the importance of prioritizing the priorities, why companies should stop measuring ROI for every marketing activity, and why curiosity is one of the essential ingredients to success.

We also asked him what lesson has taken him the longest to unlearn, and his answer to this question alone is reason enough for every marketer, up-and-coming or seasoned, to tune in.

We’re closing out this incredible year with a bang (& what a year it’s been). Join the party and enjoy!

Welcome to Growth Marketing Camp podcast powered by Open Sense, where we sit down with leaders and founders from diverse backgrounds and marketing, tech and beyond to explore what it takes to build a leading brand that's shaving the world of B two B. Let's get into it. Hey, everybody, this is Jazz Binning, co host of Growth Marketing Camp. Welcome to this week's episode where I'm excited to welcome Drew Brucker, VP of Growth at Lasso. Drew, it's great to have you on the show. Welcome, so excited to be here. Before you get into it, um, I know I told you that I was peeping your LinkedIn and you had a section that made me laugh, actually laugh out loud, honestly, Actually, Drew, it is rare. I don't think I've ever laughed at anybody's LinkedIn profile. I'll never laughed at anybody's linked in profile, and you made me laugh multiple times. So I'm just gonna go through what you wrote and I'm gonna ask you one question. You shared that you are thirty five years old when you learned that pickles rich cucumbers and not their own vegetables. You once ended a call with your new Boss sing I love you by which I absolutely love that. I want to see the want on that. And then you've never seen the movie Titanic. Oh my god. I mean I obviously know the story. I know how it ends, I know all the actors and actresses, and I mean I know everything. I just haven't seen it. Can you please watch it? If you can tell me where it's streaming, or I guess I could look it up. Yeah, maybe I could. Isn't it a long movie? Though it is? I love long movies, though I did too, but not if I know everything about it, you know, but we'll see. Okay, Well, let them talk to me about the pickles, because yeah, yeah, so that's just something that my team gives me a bunch of crap for. And I, you know, I thought I was in a safe tree, the safe nest of sharing information with my team. You know, it just sort of came up, you know, I just said, Hey, look like I just you know, talking to my wife over the weekend, and you know, I just I had no idea about this. But it turns out pickles are actually cute combors. I thought pickles were like their own vegetable and maybe they grew on like a tree or something like. But I don't know. I know pickling was a thing, and I thought pickling was named after actually the vegetable pickle, but it turned out it's it's just a cucumber that it's pickled, and that blew my mind when I found out. But you know, there's some of those moments in life where it's just like, how did I get this far without every here? And so I said, to laughing myself, got it out of it. I love it, and I'm glad that you shared it and you've made peace with it in terms of like pickling. Recently on social on TikTok, people have been pickling watermelon and eating that, which I've heard that, yeah, it's very gross. Well I'm Indian, so we do a lot of mango um, pickled mango like mango chutney, and pickled tamarins. So I know about pickling because of my mom and she used to pickle the vegetables. But I'm really glad to share that, and I find want to ask you and then we will actually move into like proper questions. How did you know when you said I love you to your boss? I think I immediately recognized it and just hung up the phone. My boss ever actually said anything to me about it. He was just more or less like one of those moments where I just realized how dumb I must have sounded. But at the same time, I was like, okay, and it is what it is. Maybe maybe they'll understand. I was actually too afraid to bring it back up while we were working together and just kind of let that die. Yeah. I'm sure they thought about it from time to time too. Yeah. Yeah, that would actually torture me. That would torture me because I feel like I would have to bring it up because I would always think like, oh my god, what is this person thing? Yeah, but I think it's a positive thing because it sounds like you have a habit of ending your calls with I love you by, which is a positive. He's very positive. So, um, I know you are working at LASSO, So why don't you just before we actually go into the some of the questions, tell me a little bit about Lasso. What it is that you guys do and what do you specifically do a LASSO. Yeah, Lasso is a workforce management soft where for the...

...live events industry, And I would say that's that's the current status of what last it is right now, we're actually changing quite a bit. We've got a lot coming three with some of the products and and uh sort of roadmap we're we'reheaded. But the way that takes shape is any event that happens that's lives, festivals, concert sporting events, conferences, there is a company or companies behind the scenes that will actually be hired to put on that event, right, and that could take shape in terms of the people that do audio video like setting the stage, and that's sort of the technical talent side. And so we basically provide software to those companies to allow them to schedule, communicate in real time, basically put everything into one place versus what they're currently doing, which is the case in a lot of SAS companies, which is the status quo, using like spreadsheets for maybe using workforce management software that isn't made for the industry where you can kind of do any sixty of the work, but then you've got to kind of like spind up tapers together kind of. So we do that. We provide software for those companies, and then on the flip side of that, we actually provide a marketplace for crew. So those audio video and lighting people that I mentioned, they will work for event companies, sometimes in a full time capacity, but sometimes just as freelancers. And I would say actually the majority of freelancers, and we provide a marketplace that allows them to get access to other jobs and other gigs based on their experience. You know, the tools that they use, skills that they have, etcetera. And so you know they can sign up on our platform. It's free right to get access to those. We also make that marketplace successful to companies where hey, if I don't want to fly Joe from New York to Texas, I could find somebody with joe skill set in texts right in the marketplace that fill those needs, and I could just have them travels and shows, right. So it's sort of that dual storting marketplace in general that sounds absolutely necessary and wonderful, especially now that events are are back in like almost a recentle company doing. I just came from India and just imagining how much went into that. And I don't know if you went to inbound und I don't know why. I mean, we should have we should have men each other, we should have actually crossed that happen. Yeah, I was listening to another podcast, I knew you were there and I was like, hey, we just we just missed out, But I was there. So with with Lasso in general. To just to answer the second part of your question, VP of growth over there, I think that title can meet different things in different companies. Now, you and I, I think are in a similar spot in terms of like, we're on small teams. So what does that actually on a small team? For me? I would say it's probably like a I guess, just life cycle marketing in the sense that I'm not only thinking about net new and acquisition. I'm also thinking about the whole piece of the puzzle in terms of revenue and what marketing can do pre sale, during the cell after we've sold, you know, and and get into sort of this community advocacy referral, you know, sort of business and making sure that you know, people stay long term, right and making sure that they're feeling heerd, felt and needed. What is the actual team at Lasso look like and where you guys faced We're headquartered in Nashville. I use that loosely because we've kind of got like four locations where we've got pods of people. Nashville Atlanta, Vegas, Charleston. But we've also got people that aren't in those markets that are fully remote. That's sort of the setup, you know. In Atlanta, We've got most of our sales and marketing team here, which is cool because I know remote is all the buzz right now and it's hyped up, and I love being remote. I love having that ability. But it is awesome to have the opportunity to get together really whenever...

...we want, right in person to do some of those things you just can't do virtually, you know, And so I found that to be very valuable. Now. Yeah, well her present, we're also a fully remote team. I always joke that you probably my jokes. If you and she listens to group marketing camp regularly, I would beat by jumps a lot too. But I'm the Canadian division of Open Sense, although a lot of the team is actually based in San Francisco, but we are all over the States and Lena, as you know, is in Serbia, so we haven't we don't have the opportunity to be face to face the less. It's one to three times a year right now. But so many issues, problems, ideas get solved, and like the best brainstorming happens when it's physically with them. So besides, you, are there other people on your team? Yes? Yeah, So I've got a team of five and me, I've got somebody on my team that would just called more of a generalist. But she's also just a hub Spot grew. We use hub Spot and we are really using HubSpot in a way to replay a lot of different tools, and she knows how to do that. She she was at an agency previously. This is what she would do. Our dated was a mess, you know, which is no surprise, like just like a lot of companies, right, But she's been extremely talented and helpful in getting us up to speed with that. But she's also just a really solid marketer and has been really a rock for me. So I've got her. I've got two other junior content people that joined the team in the middle of the year, and then we just hired a head of content. Her name is Jess Cook and she's she's gonna be phenomenal. It's really just gonna be somebody that can strategize, dig in to the strategy component, and drive our teamboard with some of the areas that we know are opportunistic I've come from a content background and I love it. But as you know, like be in with and priorities are are the biggest struggle in a small company, and I just I don't have that ability to spend that time there. I've got other things to focus on and so solving that problem for us and I know exactly what you so. Um Even prior to taking on this role as director at Open Sense, I was also kind of writing a lot of the content and managing some of the freelancers. When I realized that, you know, we need to start producing more. UM one actually took on this role. We never we still don't have someone who is solely dedicated to content, but a lot of my budget is still going to It was Q one and Q two was going to just testing different agencies and freelancers. And it's a struggle, like it is honestly a struggle to find good content, especially what you share, like even full life cycle. It is so difficult to be able to focus on a singular piece when you know just the fire certain people are coming in and out. There's different problems. I don't know how many personas like you guys have, but depending on the products that we have. For example, we've got like I T marketing, two totally different flavors. We've got compliance and actually stepping into this role this year because in January was my first year in this role, and then reading the team and we've got a podcast. We still do email, ad campaigns, actual email marketing, social media, brand buildings and priorities matter so much, and prioritizing everything and realizing that I cannot invest the same amount of time as I used to. Yeah, and with the budget that we've got and all of the changes that are happening, it is such a struggle. So I feel like you reckonne it. Yeah, That's that's what I always go back to when someone asked, like, what is the biggest opsimple that you have to overcome or the hardest thing. I really think it comes down to prioritizing priorities. I I've got a no folk right right, I literally brained um everything that. Okay, this is an ideal world what I love to get done through. Of course, today I try to get it all done. Then I gotta create sort of the separate column of here's my top three to five, and I gotta be okay, if I just do these three to five if nothing else, right, like, as long as I get these three to five or whatever it is done, that's successful. I'm always going to have things that lead over into the next day. And I'm sure it's...

...same. Yeah, oh, it totally is. And for us, like it wasn't until also this year where we properly kicked off okay rs across our organization and that ended up being the alright, let's spend a little bit of time really being strategic about what are the big like what are the needles that we want to move this quarter and have tangible goals and still keep them stretch. And we've been able to focus on that and then bleeds into Q two, Q three, Q Now it's Q four and it's like there's still like we're at a position where we still have to, as you know, right, finish up a lot of the work that we have. And if you have also had a small marketing team, and there's and if your marketing organization is anything like other small marketing teams, you stuff to service the company and the sales team you have to you know, be like I get sales requests, Hey, we need this, collateral, we need this, we need that our Partnerships team, product team, and then customer marketing and G two reviews and there's so much to do and just trying to wrap that up now and it's December two and thinking of thinking about next year and our budgeting for next year and goals for next year, and it's like we're all we're all in it together. Also, I was gonna say, whenever I find resources and stuff now because I've I've found some golden like marketers that I follow, I'll send them to you as well, and if you want to send them to me. Well, I was just I'm I'm like laughing over here because you're going through the same thing that I'm going through right now. It's just I've got somebody on boarding next week, I've got Q four goals to keep in mind, We've got projects that we're trying to push across the finish line with three weeks left, four weeks left of the year. I guess if you want to count, but I mean, you're really losing a week for Christmas anyway. And then yeah, I just you know, we just got a departmental request that I wasn't planning for, right and it's like, Okay, how do we get this done, and you know, thinking about what we've got with the product launch that we've got underway that's really taking place first week of New Year's man, you know, so really balancing doing quality works with the speed and having the a jil need to move you know, from project to project. It's definitely a skill set, you know, like it's it's tough, yeah, and it's not. It's not something that is for everyone, right because if you choose to be in a if you choose to be in a smaller company, and that too, Like you rite you're working in SASA, and I know that you pivoted. Actually you didn't start in marketing. So actually I'd love for you to share a little bit about your career, where you started and how you got to where you are today. Yeah, I'm gonna I'm gonna just gonna give you like sort of a shorter version. But I think it was like I I wasn't sure I wanted to do sales, you know, I didn't know what I wanted to do. After college, I had a job with the St. Louis Cardinals, which is where I'm from. From St. Louis. I was doing ticket sales. Everybody that gets in that organization starts there. Um, so I went down sort of the sales pathway, right, you and I were just talking about this, but that was oh eight oh nine. We get laid off. I can't find a job right because it's like I've got one thing on my resume. Yeah, it's a tough market. And so I had a family member in Atlanta, moved out here, took a couple of sales jobs. I mean it was really like boiler type stuff. I worked for a T and T Yellow Pages, you know, doing cold calls for Yellow Page AB When I started like that sounds like dinosaurs stuff now, like managers walking up and down the aisles looking over your shoulders or you're on the phone or you're on the shone, you know, like you can't even take a breath. I went from that to another company that I didn't know better at the time. I knew it was weird, but there was some sort of manipulative managing going on. The person that hired me and some people that I was hired on with didn't want us to talk to other people on our team that she didn't hire. She was trying to get rid of them and refused to let us talk to him, and if we talked to him, even though we're on the same team, she like closing the office like what are you doing? What are you talking to them for? So I'm like, okay, Like maybe I just don't know what the real world is at this point. But I remember I was like, there's gotta be something out you know better than this. Found a role in property management. It was more of a face to face sales engagement. I loved that a lot more just in Paywell grinded that out became a top set color and that just gave me some...

...opportunities to kind of like level up, level up. And I eventually got an opportunity that was presented to me around marketing, and I just knew at that time like marketing at that time, to me, it was were shifting to digital. But if you knew marketing was like, oh, you knew social media right like, or you knew you know this or that, like real basic stuff, and and I did. I was training people at my current company on those tools, and I just had somebody give me a chance. And I just remember my first manager really trusting me to figure things out and having that autonomy to be curious about what marketing is, make some connections and really figure it out what was gonna be best for the business. Helped me a ton, and once I found marketing, it was just all about trying to level up as quickly as I could from a knowledge standpoint. I didn't just rely on the role itself to get me there. I did some freelancing on the side. I did some other things to just I was fascinated with what I didn't know, and uh, I just wanted to do things quickly. And yeah, I moved around a little bit early on, just because I was quick to recognize. I was like, Okay, this is probably my ceiling here, what's next? Or I know I want to learn more about so I want to do that right And so I made some of those decisions. And sometimes it was for money, sometimes it was for knowledge. I think everybody's needs are different and they probably change over time too. At that time, it was it was for me because I felt like I had spent so much time wasting away kind of in sales. I wanted to get get up speak quick on mark, so that ultimately was was my pathway. Thank you so much for sharing the story. Parallels between the stuff that you mentioned and even my experience, and there's so many conversations I have had with very talented, intelligent, wonderful people on Girls Marketing Camp, as you probably have if you if you've been listening to all of like one of the episodes, so many people they transition their way into marketing without a formal marketing background. And that's the thing. You need to be curious, you need to be hungry. And the learning never ends because as we know, like it just keeps changing in the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know, and the more you have to keep learning, and then it's flood. Yeah, it's something that you have to continue to work on. And I'm very like, very similar to you. When I started working, I'm graduated and I had my first job. It was TELL Communications and it was not fun. It was mostly like the CEO he had a sales background, so he didn't value or really trust marketing. It was like an area that was just gonna cost money and there wasn't gonna be a lot of r O. I but kind of starting my career like that and having to prove myself and we also were using HubSpot of my first time learning and I was also in content, so mostly focusing on blogs. I also then realized that all right, I hit my ceiling and I was a jumper. Usually after one year, um year in five months, I was like, all right, piece, I'm out got to go somewhere else because I would notice that you cannot if that there's nothing more that I can learn or there's not an opportunity for me to grow, then I can probably find out. I mean, yeah, that's exactly the mindset. And I'm sure you got a little bit too, Like I actually didn't get hammered on it too much, but you know, every one's while people asked, well, you know, you seem to like move around a lot, it's like I didn't mind every answer to that question because to me, it was just it was just like, well, I don't have the ability to be promoted, or I don't have anybody here to learn from war. I've just done so much here that I feel like I've checked that box. I need a new challenge, right work, There's just another world that I want to you know, jump into and learn more about. So like for me, it was it was sort of easy to explain that I never got that right, like only been there a year year and a half, but you're seeing it more now, right, Like now it's it's it's happening more commonly. So I don't think people are really asking quite as much. Totally don't think so. And it's like the alternative is what the alternative for me if I stayed in a role that I didn't feel with serving me anymore and I couldn't add a lot of value, is like quiet quitting, which we're staying right, that's right, right,...

I mean, and very similar to your situation working in a shady company. I worked in an agency and it was a crypto agency, super shady founders, and that's when I realized WHOA. I got laid off from that job and I posted it on my LinkedIn once and it was one of my best performing posts actually, but I was in the middle of planning my wedding and this was back in and we had just closed on a mortgage and I lost my job, and I remember thinking and it was like part of me was like, thank God, I'm out of this because it was one of the most toxic leadership that I've ever worked alongside. And the post that I had was whenever they would let go of people. When I joined, there was sixty people in the company. A year later, there was twelve people. I was one of the like last three marketers to hang on, and I was like, I'm not letting go until my wedding is over. Whenever they would lay people off, they would order pizza for the whole company. So we would basically walk into the office and we'd smelled pizza and lunchroom and it's like, oh my god, who's leaving today? Yeah, and the and the people they let go of would never get eat the pizza, so that was even worse. And uh, I watched the documentary on Netflix Fire Festival the time. I kept pausing into my husband. I'm like, you need this? Is it like this? This is a company every single day, this is what we were doing. But when I left, I was freelancing because actually I started to check out when I realized, all right, this it was like the Titanic, as you know, based off of the Google it was literally sinking ship. And so I started freelancing while I was there, and one of the clients was this company opened Sense that I'm currently at, And when I came out, I was like, all right. I was almost very skeptical of good companies, and I thought that was the norm. And it wasn't until I started working here and started working more closely with the team when I'm like, damn, these are these are good people and you know you I would I would. I was all traumatized to the point where when I would see people being nice on Slack, I'd say, what's the catch? Right until like physically met everybody, and I met this team physically during the inbound and then I'm like, wow, there are actually like there are legit companies with good people. And now at that point, right i'd worked here for like I was the first marketing higher I had experience for about a year of just doing everything and anything that you can think of. It's it was still like open sense with as the point, because we're a small company where you have to be very reactive too and you have to think on your feet. And then eventually more people came into the team and then I had this role and I'm like, wow, I have so much to learn right now, and there's like a platthora of resources to learn from and wonderful people like you that I can have these conversations with. Where I leave these UM, A lot of the Growth Marketing Camp interviews with note to know like Okay, I need to I need to you know, paying so and so and find out more about this. Like the last conversation I had with Nick Bennett from Alice gave me wonder full tips on customer marketing and getting G two reviews. So like even this conversation with you, I can imagine and the stuff that you shared on your LinkedIn, which is why we also invited you onto the podcast. You've got tons of experience and value to add because of a lot of the experiences that you've had at LASSO and and well before Lasso. So super excited to the rest of this conversation. It sounds like you've had now experience working in startups and beyond, what do you think is the best part of working in a startup and your least favorite part of working the startup? Oh love that favorite, you know, I just love you know, like you said first marketing higher, I've done that too, and I think that's obviously you've got its own challenges. But what I do love about that is there's really this this trust you know you would you would hope right, like just going and embedding through that to be hired, but there's this trust to really build the functional and create and imagine what it could be. I like having sort of that blank canvas and you know, that sort...

...of white space to work with because I think it just it one. It feels like you could really impact the work more directly, which I extremely care about. I've learned that about myself and I just love building things right Like, I'm just looking back when I took this this role at last, so you know a little over a year and a half ago, how much things have changed in a year and a half. I mean, we had twenty people, you know, we're probably at seventy ish right now. We had one salesperson, you know, and probably the next couple of weeks here we're gonna have six. You know, I had one other marketer on my team. You know, we've got five. You know, we had two people in CS. Now we've got eight. I love being able to see those things come to fruition, especially if right you're surrounded with the right people, which you mentioned, the right place at the right time, you believe in the product, all of those things come together. And I finally found that and you know, probably one thing that we didn't talk about is why we jumped right, Like there were some good places I work, don't get me wrong, but I haven't felt the way that I feel about here, And I think that the combination of right place, right time, right place in my sort of life and what I'm looking for in that stability, but also the ability to to lead but being the weeds of my team, Like I don't want to be leading from the top to where I'm not even doing marketing anymore. So that's the biggest I think roadblock I'm eventually going to run into you, right, is like, if there's a CMO role in my future, am I actually gonna want to go down that? I actually really like to do the work too. I'm a creator and so having the ability to pivot in both directions is especially important when I don't like in a startup, you know. I think what I've learned is you want to be around the right people in a startup, Like like what you said is they're not for everybody, and if you work with someone that is not that it's not for it can be painful for you, right Because I think you and I and anybody that have been it starts. We recognize that things are a little bit chaotic. There is a lack of structural process. We're building these things in motion, right, Like, you're not walking into this sort of perfect situation where someone left this job completely tidy for you and everything organized, you know exactly where to find everything and execute that. It just doesn't happen like that. And so I think if you work around people that that aren't used to that and they come into your team where or somebody you work with closely like that can cause some frustration. I've seen that and I felt that firsthand, you know, as as somebody that's managed people that you know probably weren't right, you know for the environment. Yeah, and then how did you like pivot, Like, how did you navigate that situation? Especially what you've described Lasso and how much you guys have been scaling You at a position where process and having strategy basically organization is so important, and if you've got like the wrong people coming into these roles, like how did you navigate bast especially in a small team like yours, it's tough. Like I think I'm gonna get very candid here, but you know, when it's when it's a position, like when it's a company like Lasso More, you're in this environment where you need to hit revenue targets. You're you've got an ambitious road plan, our roadmap. You have to prioritize the right priorities and work on the right things, like you don't have time to waste. And I think I see the best in people and make you know, I try to sort of balance this line of it. I can coach somebody up, I can do this, I can do that, And you know, you just can't be everything to everyone. And also somebody's got to be willing to make some of these changes themselves, right, You can't change some by And so I guess what I've learned is when you're in an environment like this, like you really have to put the right people in the right seats. And so that starts with, as you know, right, like going back to the priorities, making sure you have enough time to really dive the in the hiring process, make sure...

...you know who you're hiring. Trying to be a little bit Claire Wayne in the sense that you know what's happening right now, but here's sort of what you envisioned happening in the next six months, and is this person still a good fit for the team if the team evolves in that way or right, if it evolves in a different way, can they still be a good fit in is a complicated piece, Like I feel like I'm still kind of figuring that out in some ways, but I've gone through the highs and lows of that, and so I think it's just trying to be decisive and believe the best, but also be realistic. I love that be decisive, believe the best, but be realistic, and I absolutely love that. Also. One of the things, like, I don't know if you follow Jared hard he's got the Exit five newsletter. Yeah, he had shared one of his newsletters. It says something like the the top ten or twenties things too that I learned being a CMO, probably the best list that I have read. I'll afford it to you. Actually, if you hadn't, that's interesting, I actually have not seen that work, I will award it to you. I went through every single one because I think as marketers we forget that. It's like, at the end of the day, we are still testing so much and even if that means hiring on our team, and you might hire someone who is not the right fit, or you might hire someone and it's kind of a premature higher because maybe the company is not ready for that higher yet. And I even started experiencing like right now, I'm thinking next year, I'm eventually going to get I hope, I hope to find us that actually gives it to me sometime here too, I might end up getting another higher, so I will have a four person marketing team. I consider myself a marketer again, because I'm still a very important part of that, just managing my team. I almost sometimes feel I feel like a little guilt and regret that I'm not investing as much time in managing them and I'm spending just as much time working and producing and executing. Yeah, I feel like we're like I feel like we're doing Yeah, I mean, because like you have to, there's there's stuff to pick up and do it tactically execute on. And I've you know, that's after right delegating and hey, so and so I was gonna take this, We're gonna do this, We're gonna work on this one together, blah blah blah blah blah. But there's still stuff left over, right, And I can't just I can't even spend half my time thinking about I would love to, but and so you know, a lot of that occurs for me in between meetings. Maybe you know, ten to fifteen minutes I have before a meeting with someone, maybe some thinking over the weekend or after hours, how long I want to do this or do that, or where I could spend more attention on on them or work, and just trying to be really intentional, intentional with the questions that I asked them in our time together, because you know, I think one on ones have a tendency of just being status updates and you know, walk throughs, and I think that is good to know. But I also trust my people to be autonomous bring the right things up. But also let's talk about you. You and I we've probably had our share bad managers where we realize what we want to be in a manager. And so for me, it's very important that I have personal relationships with my people, that I understand what makes them tick, how they want to develop, what does their career aspirations look like, and that I just know their overall health, you know, in terms of are they excited to show up every day and are they working on things that they want to work on that also the company needs. And if I can scratch both those itches, I know they're gonna be happening. And and I love that. And again, same boat. I've I've selt the exact same way, and I've been dealing with the same challenges. And I think a lot of marketers and small companies are doing that. And then it's going to eventually get to the point where you can focus on that. But up until then, we have to keep working are And that's the stuff that when you look at what you know, g g MG or anybody else does, that's the stuff. It's like it's gonna happen and eventually our time will um,...

...you know, but even for us. And one of the things that really loved about that email was if you're not if you're thinking about making a certain marketing higher in the new year or the year beyond, take a subset of that maybe like five thousands, I don't know, and test that function in your company and do it yourself. And he had shared that there are many times where he was thinking, hey, I want to do like I want to hire someone to just do email marketing, but take that chunk, do it, test it, see if it works. I'm thinking about demandsion next year to hire someone for a demand general. Well, we need to test it out in Q one and two before I can bring someone in. And that was just like one of many, but very interesting. Yeah, and you get when I do send it to you take a look because there's a lot of stuff there that it brings a lot of what we do back down to the earth. Before that, it just seems like, wow, there's so much to do. It seems like there's mountains that we have to move. But really it's just about being practical testing and if something works and it is, and doing it long enough, right, trusting the assessed. Yeah, run something on and abandoned it immediately. And that's where you actually have a lot to share about tying marketing activities to r a line. So I'm actually curious if you want to share a little bit about that. Yeah, I mean, you mean the whole argument of we needn't stop measuring ur o I for every single marketing activity. Yeah, Like when I first got into marketing, that was starting to take place already, and I think if I remember correctly kind of where that was at, it was just the digital transformation was taking place. How do we do that digitally? Now? How do we track our o Y digitally and get away from what sort of traditional marketing was looking by and try to to find a place for and justification for marketing hires? Right, And so if marketing is not you know, we're turning on their investment and everything that are they actually doing anything? Because marketing has this sort of you know, flashy vibe around around it where it's just sort of smoke in mirrors for some people, right, like they see something, but they don't really understand what marketing is, and so they sort of see it as just this thing that's there and it takes place and it's sort of a hype machine. But I think when you when you get into the stuff that we're in, right, we were talking about all these different elements of marketing, it's so much deeper than what most people realize. And so first things first with that, I think as a market what I've learned is I want to be at a company where leadership understands marketing and understands that not everything can be tied to a financial number. I think that's so important because now, look, some people are wanting to fight that fight. Cool for me, I don't want to fight that fight. One. I just don't have the energy at this point, Like I'm not I don't want to spend my energy trying to convince somebody who provide enough context behind marketing that is going to justify everything that I'm doing. I just I feel like I've been there and I don't want to I don't want to do that. Not saying other people can't do that. Look if you're if you're great at you know, communicating those messages and being persuasive and all that great, nothing wrong with that, But for me, I don't want that. I want somebody that really gives us the autonomy to do those things, and so incentible r o I, right, I think there are just other things that you can do to show value. What is the actual objective that you're going for with some of these things, and did you achieve that? And what what impact does that have? Not everything is going to have a direct tide to r o I. And where I've seen a lot of companies get it wrong is they'll use r o I as their strategic driver. They'll make decisions solely based on that, and so a lot of things will get scrapped or overlooked or killed on the chopping block because they don't do that. And that's where I think marketing really loses a lot of its superpower because then you're just doing things to do things right, and we all know that that's not how marketing works. So if you can tie things back to an objective, right, am I trying to get you know where? Earnest here, brand exposure here, sign ups here,...

...um, whatever my goals for that individual campaign or function or channel are, That's what I want to tie it back to. Did I achieve that that I set a goal for that and to get there? And here's what that means. Right, I can get there indirectly, but am I directly give me on the show? Are like, No, not always, And I don't think any any marketer should. And I love that. I love that you share that, And it kind of ties into the second question. I know you just share something that you've learned. What do you think is um? And this is definitely a favorite question of mine because the answers I've gotten have been wonderful. Well, lesson has taken you the longest to unlearn your role? Maybe you might still even be trying to unlearn it. I think I go back to one one thing that took me years to learn slash on learned, depending on how you spent it. I think it a handful of companies, I was the youngest person in sort of a leadership or senior position or even in a marketing role. I was in some of these rooms where I'm the youngest person by ten fifteen years. And because of that, I thought, you know, if I ask for help, I looked weak or maybe a title cherry, this sort of burden, you know that I need to sound brilliant all the time, you know, sort of hiding my inexperiences of places. Thought I could fix knowledge gaps on the fly or in between meetings like. But the truth is like it slowed me down right because it held me back in the sense that it limited my results, which was bad for me and bad for the business. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. I think I've I've really learned that. And I think that's really correlated with me with with ego and trying to kill that. I've gone down a really interesting path with killing ego. I think ego not only makes you more self confident, but it also makes you doubt yourself a lot more. At the same time, it provides the security and insecurity and so you know, no one knows everything, and you know everybody needs to seek out, you know, trusted advice when they need it, and there's no show aim in that. And I think that took me a long time. So instead, I think you need to be curious, be honest with yourself, crush your ego, ask for support, and you know, kind of almost think about it in terms of attitude is better than experience, right, so the attitude that you have about going about it outweighs the experience that you have. Again, I know it keeps saying I love this, but I'm not even joking through. I feel like the universe meant for this conversation to happen because the stuff that either scared is so relevant right now to the things that I've been thinking about experiencing, especially this quarter and this entire year. Actually for me, you should you touch on one of the things, which is attitude is very important and also being curious and curiosity, And you've also shared curiosity is both in art and a skill that we can learn. Tell me a little bit about that. I see it as an art. I'm curious about the skilled part too, and this might tie into what you have done right in your role or the kinds of people that you hire and look for as team members. Ah Man, I think to this different ways, and it's just such a loaded thing for me. I'm not sure how much of curiosity is something you're born with, and I'm not sure how much of it you can learn. I know, I know you can do both, like I just don't know what the split is for me. I do. I guess what I've really learned about myself is I am just a curious person that's taken me far in my pathway. I attribute a lot of my success to curiosity because, as you and I were talking about earlier, like when you're curious aligns well with with marketing, but it also aligns well in other roles too, Right, That's another way to kill your ego, because when you're curious, you really figure out where you don't know. And I think you also able to better empathize with coworkers your customers, because you want to know what's going through their minds and you want to know what they're feeling. So those are two of the things that I think are especially important for me to curiosit. See's big because I get bored easy. And that's part of...

...the reason I end up with startups is I like to touch many things. If I was doing everything the same every day, I would be bored out of my mind. And so curiosity takes me down these different areas and it's like, Okay, I know this piece really well perfect. This I know is important, but I don't know. So now I'm going to go down this pathway to try and figure it out. I'm gonna utilize my resources that I have a built, people that I know, you know, things that I can look up. And so curiosity just underpinned so many things with success that I've learned. And I posted this on LinkedIn a long time ago, but Harvard Business Review didn't study about curiosity and they and they listed out I think seven or so of the top leadership traits, and they came back with research that showed that curiosity underpinned the success of every single one of those. And you know, that just kind of spoke to me because it's like, Yeah, you could be very set in your ways and you're not going to go far because you know, you don't question what you don't know, you don't challenge your own perspectives, you don't empathize with people outside of yourself, you don't knock on these doors to find out the answers that you wouldn't normally find out. And so yeah, there's just a lot to impact there. But I guess as I've talked more and more about it, I learned more about it every single time. I appreciate you sharing because I know exactly what post you're talking about, and you actually had a lot of values to add on a recent post. It on comments it on related to curiosity. So two more questions and then we can move into rapid fire, which reach people out a little bit because you really have to be quick. But what advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time? Great question. I'm not sure this would be my answer if I had more time with it, But I think talking and listening to customers as quickly as possible in doing it frequently. What I've noticed is when I first got into marketing, that was not, uh, something I was taught. And we're all products of the environments that we had careers in and so who was at those companies? Well, what were those companies like, were they dysfunctional or functional? And who did you lean on to sort of fill in those things that you didn't know and and potentially quote unquote mentoring you. Right, I worked along some some talented people, but I don't remember anybody ever telling me, Hey, you know, as marketers, we need to be very very intuite customers point where we're talking to them, listening to them, trying to get on the front with them, you know, just as much as sales, right, like just really digging deep. And instead, you know, what we would do, or what you know I would do at that time, is really just look at what's already there in terms of marketing and take a lot of guesses, right, this looks good, this sounds good, this feels right, you know, and really go down that sort of intuitive path of yeah, you know, like this, this feels like this should work right and and maybe you had a little bit of data to say that, but the qualitative data behind it wasn't there. And I feel like what I've learned is digging in deeper there get you off to the best head start. If I were to start a new job, tomorrow, Week one, week two, I'd be digging deep, deep, deep deep to try to understand not only the business, but the customers, and not just looking at marketing materials that already exists, like the website. I don't know who put those things together, and I don't trust I can't trust that they were done appropriately. So I need to do the due diligence myself. And that's the only way I'm gonna be able to make those intuitive decisions is by having done the research to then be intuitive right, Like I can't come in and take the guesses. And that's you know, especially in a startup environment somewhere, you gotta be quick like. You just can't do that. It's going to real in you and it's going to it's really gonna, you know, hurt the company in terms of what you're going after, because is you're gonna feel like you can...

...do this or do that. You feel like you're gonna have a silver bullet in your back pocket. You don't. And it's interesting you say this because actually, when you talk to customers, I think that actually does take marketers heads into the clouds too. It brings you back down. You realize things are not that complicated. It doesn't have to be so conceptual. We don't have to have all these theories and make it things so fancy. Let's focus on simplicity. It's like, at the end of the day, we're humans, right, and no matter what it is that we do, whether it's looking at stuff on TikTok or the kinds of shows that we watched, the more beautifully and easily and simply we paint things, the better it is. And I think because of what the world expects of marketers, we've tried to compensate for that sometimes by thinking, oh I have to do X y Z, when it's actually very very simple. I feel like I shouldn't asked you that question. I think you just nailed it. Yeah, like taking your head out of the clouds. I love that, you know. I think we all want to be ambitious, we all want to be cre to have an imaginative and sometimes try to get a little too cute with it. Right, But how does the customer talk? Right? Like this may sound not great for a marketing perspective, but guess what, that's how your customer talks. So maybe it actually does work and it's something yeah that they get. I love that. And then finally and we'll move into rapid fire. What are the growth levels that you guys are currently kind of either testing or using right now at last, So that have been pretty successful for you, Yeah, Like for for us, we've been a little bit different in the sense that we've always had more marketers than sales like salespeople, so the inbound component of what we've had has sort of worked, you know, especially after COVID Live Event was hit so hard that there was this pin up demand and this realization right that we can't do things the way we've always done them. We just can't afford to. We we have to do more with less and it's just already a very chaotic job that our workforce management software for live events solves. These people are doing crazy stuff, Like if I told you about their typical day, you'd be like, there's no way in hell I can last week doing that. I don't know how they do it right. So it's like there was this realization that that happened. Um, demand was already I would say decent, right, but it's it's almost getting out and exposing our brand even more. It's amplifying it. And then also at the same time getting getting the sales component here to then amplifying in that direction right too, So so putting the outbound in motion to help facilitate some of the things that existed. Right. We've already had people that have shown interests, they just need to be nudged war. We've got people that we know from qualitative data, been on the site and they've done this, this and this, and now we have something that can follow up, you know, and it's a little bit more of a team effort, and we really have a tight knit to other marketing team. So I'm really happy and proud to say that. But some of the lovers were pulling you know. We started a podcast which nothing new write, nothing new there, but for our industry. The reason that we decided to pull that trigger was for a few reasons. One, I knew I had my boss's buy in as the speaker and host, which she's the president c R of the company. She knows this stuff better than anybody in the company. So why you know what, I try to bring in somebody that's content oriented to try and translate all these thoughts out of her head and then create content out of that. When I can power her create a podcast, talk to you the industry and break up and repurpose and utilize all that bringing the right guests and create content at skills. So that was a no brainer for me. And when I was talking to customers hearing that there is no place right now digitally that they go where they share best practices with other companies, no place like none and maybe got like one or two responses on I talked to UM some of Ember one. I was like, Okay, there's a real opportunity to drive this home. The other thing that we knew about the audience was they were having a lot of these conversations with...

I struggle with this or this is working well with their close knit group offline text phone calls right like an actual rolodex, Like they're just utilizing their very small network. Well, we wanted to like really talk about the things that they're talking about privately and elevate them publicly. Let's drive this wedge and start talking about why things can't be this way anymore, why you know, you know the things customers are struggling with the most right now, giving them tactical advice on how they can chat it. So that's been huge, and especially with a small team. As you know, creating podcast is a great way to repurpose content. One episode can you do so many things, So that was number one. The other part of it was also just capturing the you know, the demand that already existed out there with some of the other things, right like just just doing ads, heating, some retargeting. Cool. We really double down on linked Into as well, because we knew that wasn't Maria at can easily identify our I c p s with you know, industry and titles and so forth, and we met him where they are there. But I still see us as kind of really in the early stages that we really have just started ramping up content. We've got a lot of opportunity to test some things and m community. You know, like we've got companies over here that have their problems. We've got crew over here that have their problems. Sometimes they work very well together, sometimes they have things that they clash on. We can be right in the middle to bring them together and be this bridge. Right, companies are struggling with this, Here's how that impacts through struggling with this. Here's how that impacts companies, right, And we need to facilitate the community, focus, co create content with our audience, and get out of the way. Right, we don't have to sell them. They know we're here. Let's add value and get out of the way. That's really I think the name of the game for us. Yeah, no, I love it, absolutely love it. And again, a lot of the stuff that you shared, we've been doing yet and started seeing a lot of success from it. Tons of parallels and bring them together and get out of the way. I love that. Now the fun part, and then it will literally give Friday back. We got some rapid fire questions. Try to answer them as quickly as you can, although nothing will happen if you decided to take a little bit longer. And I'm just gonna start off with what is your favorite B two B brand and your favorite B two C brand? I don't know if I have a favorite being a big brand. I do kind of like what Menta Data is doing right now. I mean, that's see them all over LinkedIn. I think being in their demand community is very interesting, what their podcast is doing. I think they're making a little bit of noise, you know, But I don't want to sort of echo some of the same brands that that people would probably normally say here, and I don't know that. I have a favorite B two C though totally different story. I love a brand called Jack Henry which they make organic, sustainable sort of bathroom products, so you know, hair body for men and all the ingredients are natural, and I just think, you know, they do a tremendous job the price point, their marketing. It's minimal packaging and sustainable packaging. They really do it well. Another brand I really like is ten thousand. They do athletic apparel and just the variety of things that they have to offer. They do all these sort of seasonal elements. They you know, work with microinfluencers and it's just it feels like a very good, branded, quality brand. So those are the two that stand out, like, I've not heard of those two the BBC brands, So I like that you mention those. Yeah, what makes you smile today? Spend in my morning with my kids nights. I love that you're linked to meeting me a smile today, So thank you. It was good. I loved it. Um. What is your spirit fruit? Spirit fruit? Wu? Well, I was thinking about this the other day. I don't know if it's spirit fruit, but I think pairs are underrated. Pairs. No one talks about pairs, but they should be. Pairs are so good. Yeah, they're...

...just one of those fruits that they've forgotten. Yeah, what kind of So do you like crunch pears or soft pears? I didn't know there was a difference. You're bowl in my mind right now, and um look kind of like the pickles growing on trees. I prefer from soft pears. But you just answered your question too. That did pretty underrated that you didn't know that there's different kinds. See. I know this because when I was a student, I worked in a produce section and oh, okay, so that's cheating. Yeah. I was gonna say, like, is this common knowledge because I definitely didn't know. No, I definitely used to stock pears at the grocery store. Makes me feel better. Yeah, what is your favorite drink? Could be any drink? Man? Alcohol kind of get to mention here because I feel like I'm going Miller, High Life, whiskey, coffee, and water. Those are really the only things I drink. Yeah, I love it, absolutely it. Yeah, coffee all the time. I love. Pick me up is my favorite alcoholic drink, which apparently Americans don't know what to pick me up is. I don't know what that is. So when I went to San Francisco and I ordered to pick me up, the rest of the team were like, what there are you? And I was like espresso our team, and they're like, don't like no is Okay. I just realized, m but that's definitely my favorite PreK um. What is your pet peeve? The first thing comes to mind is like someone showing a really crunchy thing right in my ear. Yeah, that's unforgivable. Yeah, you're the second person that I mentioned that, and I'm like, okay, the first person with so you would be completely against muck bang, which is that a smr practice of people eating in microphones? Yeah no, I didn't even know this thing. Good good to know because that, yeah, that's the big ones a bit. So don't accidentally don't acidentally click. So if you see someone with a microphone on Instagram, don't click it, because you're your home page is going to be just that, I mean the mistake of clicking. And then I realized and I can't get it off. My phone is probably listening to this conversation right on. It's gonna start serving me up those videos. Thanks? Where are you most productive? I love I love mornings, you know, like I just think there's something special to when you wake up early enough to get some of that quiet time. And I've tried to not touch my phone the first hour to ninety minutes or so and really just kind of wake up slowly, you know, in in that sense, like and not get bombarded with anything that's going to, I don't know, send me off some sort of emotional path. Right. I read some batties on social media where I check my email and you know, somebody needs something immediately, right, Like having that piece in the morning is amazing, And I do feel like, yeah, in the morning is is where doing my most best work. Maybe at night? Yeah, hey, I like that, and you know I like that even more. I read an article about I just learned about like the data state of your brain. Yeah. Yeah, that's that's why I when you just mentioned because either I used to go to sleep watching like just scrolling, and then I would get pretty upset because you're in you're you know the same thing within in the morning the moment you wake up. Now, I try to what I do wake up, open my eyes and I'm still kind of drowsy if I'm thinking, I'm like, all right, set some good intentions for the day, like I'm going to get a lot done. Focus, but just learned about it last week, so I can give you a ton of stuff for that. Well yeah, yeah, Well finally, what is one thing you cannot live without? Oh? Man, I was I was doing good. I was really answering these fasts till till now I can give you another one too. Well. I think traveling it's killing me right now because this is the longest I've ever gone without traveling. My wife and I were going to go on a trip, then COVID, then my wife got pregnant, you know, and it's just it's been years since a big trip. What I would all like an international...

...trip, right, like something where you're really putting yourself in a different culture. I love to travel. I am lucky in the sense that we got to do a lot of that before the kids came, so I'm glad we did it. But traveling is just is also one of those things. Just like we were talking about moving somewhere, has it unlocks all these things? So does traveling right expose yourself to different culture and be the guests, and yeah, there's just something magical about traveling. Was next place, are you're gonna go? We'd love to go to Spain, stopping in to Spain, Japans on my list, depends on my list. Next, Yeah, it'd be amazing New Zealand, so many places. Hopefully with twin it might it might be a little bit hard. Yeah, See, no one wanted to watch them when they were one. That was the problems. Like I just trying to tell my wife like, look, I'm good if we leave. She's like, I don't know if I can leave them for that long, and I'm like, we can do it. And then finally across that bridge, and then you know another grandparents wanted to step up and watch him for that long because they still weren't sleeping good, you know. And and then there's two. There's two of them, right, yeah, well, I mean, you know, growing up because I said, like I'm a twin, I think I was. My parents were pretty sad because it was much difficult. It was so much more difficult to get babysitter and then be our birthday parties. You know, it was getting a little harder because it was like we gotta buy two gifts and I'm like, what, that's an expensive birthday party. May And just finally, who do you think we should invite on the show next? Anybody that you know, anyone that you think that I I, well, okay, I think You've had Melissa Moody on as somebody I really admire. I've connected with her also on LinkedIn, got a really good connection with her. There's a guy named Pasha or Shod that was just a really great friend of mine that I've met on LinkedIn and we've just really came tight. But he's got a ton of agency background experience, and he knows, Yeah, we just balance off each other extremely well. I go to him and I lean on him for certain information. He does the same for me. He has sort of lived this entire agency life in you know, when when you're at an agency for as long as he's been at, you level up quick and you see a lot of things. And so I think he provides a lot of value in that way. Jess Cook, who's all over LinkedIn and has a tremendous following and will have joined the team by by the time that this comes out. I think it's just somebody I admire and speaks to the power of LinkedIn right now. I connected with her and we formed a relationship on LinkedIn, and you know, we're able to sort of understand each other, right, and to bring somebody on as a higher that you already kind of know, right, and you're taken less of a risk, and you respect the hell out of him. Does so many things, and so I admire her work with content in her background is extremely oppressive with you know, ad agencies, then going into the copyrighting co opponent and and really now just finding her you know voice, with how she strategizes around content and delivers that message you know, through LinkedIn. I love it. So after this conversation, when I send you this some of the resources that I told you I will send, feel free to do an intro. We would love to have her on. Yeah, absolutely will All right, Well, thank you again, Drew. Absolute pleasure talking to you. This is all still going into one of my favorite episodes that I've had this year. Yea for doing it in December. We got about a month left and I'm sure you you've got a busy Friday, but absolute thank you from the community to you. But you guys are doing a tremendous job. Love the podcast. You know, I think there's data out there says like everybody's got like five or seven podcasts and they rotate. This is one. This is one of the best marketing podcasts because you guys have great guests, great perspectives, and great questions that you're asking to get answered. And similar to this conversation, these things didn't exist for marketers ten years ago to source this information and understand people's backgrounds and experiences, so you had nothing to weigh them against...

...end this. This podcast just adds so much value to that. So I just want to say congratulations. You guys have props for being consistent and rolling these things out good, a tremendous job. Can I just say, and I absolutely mean this from my team to you, we absolutely love you. We're gonna use this um little you know, the sex and you get We're gonna cut it and we're gonna use it. We're gonna post it all over Linton face anytime you want, anytime you want. I really do mean that. I mean it's you know, it's not just yet another marketing podcast. You know, like a there's so many, so many market blocks. Somebody sail what's what's different, So I look for actionable things. I looked for the guests, you know, and the questions that being asked. I think you guys kill it, and I think I think you're a great host too. I think you think you've got really good experience too. Then roll into the conversation and I think, just similar to what we did here, right, Like, we're going through a lot of the same things. Yeah, and and the beauty about it is most of the conversations I've had with people, including you, like, I'll have questions here that I'm looking at, but then it ends up being selfishly. I'm trying. I'm trying to learn, and definitely let's stay connected. Um U some notes you send it to me and I'm excited for this. Yeah, well we'll have to connect again for sure. And uh, we'd love that. Thanks Jess for having me on. Appreciate it awesome, Thanks Drew, 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 strengthen their skills with tips and inspiration. You want to learn more about the company behind the show. Head to open sense dot com. That's O p E N s E N s E dot com. We'll catch you on the next episode.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (76)