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You Should Talk To

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YouShouldTalkTo is a podcast for busy marketing leaders who are looking for support and tips on getting sh*t done. In each episode, Daniel Weiner interviews marketing leaders and discusses their experience, successes, and failures around hiring agencies. Daniel helps uncover the challenges with successfully integrating internal and external resources, and pinpoints effective ways to find and choose the right agency partner.
33 Episodes
In the latest episode of YouShouldTalkTo, host Daniel Weiner engages with Matt Kobach, the VP of Marketing at Slice. Matt demystifies Slice, highlighting its distinctiveness from other delivery giants like Uber Eats and DoorDash. He emphasizes the critical role of understanding the customer and the product in successful marketing.Matt shares insights from his professional journey, touching on the importance of taking pride in one's work. He recalls his days as a golf caddy and lawn mower, drawing parallels to the satisfaction he feels in executing a well-crafted marketing campaign. The conversation underscores the value of dedication and precision in any endeavor.Wrapping up, the duo delves into the challenges and objectives that keep Matt on his toes. Sales, app downloads, and customer engagement top his list. The episode serves as a testament to the power of clear vision and unwavering commitment in the marketing realm.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Matt Kobach, VP of Marketing at Slice💡 Noteworthy: From PhD candidate to social media expert, Matt pioneered marketing strategies, even becoming the NYSE Snapchat guy.💡 Where to find Matt: LinkedIn and TwitterKey InsightsThe Power of Understanding 'Why' in Marketing:Matt Kobach emphasizes the importance of understanding the 'why' behind marketing decisions. He believes that knowing the reasons behind actions leads to more effective content creation and marketing strategies. Without this understanding, marketing can become a mere color-by-numbers exercise, lacking depth and effectiveness.Sales Drive Marketing Objectives:For Matt, the primary concern that keeps him up at night is sales. He stresses the importance of seeing consistent growth in various metrics, such as the number of shops onboarded, orders per shop, and app downloads. Matt believes that marketers should align their objectives with tangible business outcomes, focusing on metrics that directly impact sales and customer engagement.Passion Makes the Difference:Matt wants team members who are genuinely passionate about Slice. He believes that this passion is crucial for the platform's success, as it directly impacts local, independent shops. Matt's favorite pitch came from someone who not only downloaded the Slice app but also approached a local pizza place to inquire why they weren't on the platform. This level of initiative and genuine interest stands out and makes a significant difference.
In the latest episode of YouShouldTalkTo, Daniel Weiner sits down with Jason Moskal, the SVP of Marketing at Randstad. Jason dives deep into the evolving landscape of consumer sentiment. He sheds light on how many brands, despite their efforts, seem to be missing the mark in truly understanding their customers.Jason emphasizes the pitfalls of the "me too" approach in marketing. He believes that to truly resonate, brands need to be in tune with the unique needs and desires of their audience. It's not just about following trends but about forging genuine connections.In a world where consumer sentiment shifts rapidly, staying plugged in is more crucial than ever. Jason's insights offer a fresh perspective on how brands can navigate these changes and build lasting relationships with their customers.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Jason Moskal💡 What he does: SVP of Marketing at Randstad💡Noteworthy: Jason has a mosaic background spanning beer, banking, hotels, automotive, and staffing, emphasizing diverse industry experience.💡Where to find Jason: LinkedInKey InsightsThe Shift in Agency Preference:Jason Moskal discusses the noticeable shift in brands gravitating towards smaller, specialized agencies post-COVID. He emphasizes the importance of smart agencies, regardless of their size. Jason believes that agencies should prioritize partnerships and avoid merely chasing trends or awards. The focus should always be on delivering value and building a genuine connection with clients.The Essence of Listening to Customers:Jason underscores the importance of brands staying in touch with their target audience, especially in the wake of the pandemic. He warns against overcomplicating marketing strategies and stresses the significance of direct communication with customers. By continually listening and understanding their needs, brands can offer unique perspectives and stand out from competitors.The Challenge of Rapidly Changing Consumer Mindsets:Jason highlights the challenge of keeping up with the ever-evolving consumer mindset. In the past, insights from focus groups would be considered gospel for a while. Now, consumer opinions and preferences change almost instantly. The rapid pace of change keeps marketers on their toes, pushing them to discern between lasting insights and fleeting trends. The key is to stay ahead and ensure that marketing strategies align with genuine consumer needs.
In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, Daniel Weiner sits down with Jeff Perkins, the CMO of Greenlight Guru. Jeff shares his unique insights on the role of specialized agencies in marketing. He advocates for their use in specific tasks but also sees potential in their ability to tackle diverse projects.Jeff, however, cautions against the idea of a truly full-service agency. He argues that the complexity of marketing makes this an unrealistic expectation. It's a candid take that challenges conventional thinking in the industry.The conversation takes a sharp turn as Jeff expresses a bold view on marketing automation software tools. He asserts that these tools are ineffective without the right team to operate them. It's a reminder that technology is only as good as the people behind it. This episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking a fresh perspective on the dynamics of marketing.Guest-at-a-Glance:💡 Name: Jeff Perkins, CMO at Greenlight Guru💡Noteworthy: Jeff is a published author -- check out his book here. 💡 Where to find more from Jeff: LinkedInKey Insights:Specialized Agencies: A Double-Edged SwordJeff Perkins, CMO of Greenlight Guru, discusses the role of specialized agencies in marketing. He suggests that while these agencies are excellent at specific tasks, they can also be given a chance to work on diverse projects. However, Perkins cautions against the idea of a truly full-service agency. He argues that the complexity of marketing makes this an unrealistic expectation. It's a candid take that challenges conventional thinking in the industry.Marketing Automation Tools: Misunderstood AssetsJeff expresses a bold view on marketing automation software tools. He asserts that these tools are ineffective without the right team to operate them. It's a reminder that technology is only as good as the people behind it. This insight is particularly valuable for businesses that heavily rely on automation tools, urging them to invest in their teams as much as they do in their technology.AI: The Future of MarketingJeff shares his excitement about the potential impact of AI on marketing. He believes that AI can turbocharge marketing efforts and doesn't see it as a threat to jobs. Instead, he views AI as a tool that can enhance the work of marketers, from brainstorming to defining target audiences to drafting blog posts. This perspective offers a positive outlook on the integration of AI in the marketing industry.
In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, host Daniel Weiner sits down with Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at goodwipes. Tom shares his candid perspective on the marketing industry, asserting that everyone is essentially "winging it" due to the constant changes and challenges in the field. Instead, he encourages marketers to be more creative and to stand out, likening it to being the "purple cow" in a field of regular cows.The conversation takes a deep dive into the current economic climate and its impact on consumer spending. Tom argues that consumers are still spending, but brands must drive relevance and make people feel good to attract their dollars. He also discusses the concept of the "lipstick index" and how consumers still seek self-care during recessions.Towards the end, Tom discusses the importance of team well-being and the role of culture in an organization. He also expresses his excitement about the shift back to brand building in marketing and the potential of artificial intelligence.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at goodwipes💡Noteworthy: Tom brings a fresh perspective on marketing, emphasizing the human element and the importance of brand building.💡 Where to find Tom: LinkedInKey InsightsThe Human Touch: Personalization in OutreachTom emphasizes the importance of personalization in outreach. He suggests that everyone wants to feel special and heard, and it's crucial to inject a level of personalization into your communication. However, the sheer volume of communication can be overwhelming, and it's easy to miss opportunities. He suggests that successful outreach requires an element of humility, humor, and the luck of catching someone on the right channel at the right time.Consumer Spending and The Lipstick IndexTom discusses the concept of the "lipstick index" - the idea that even in a recession, consumers still want to treat themselves, albeit in more affordable ways. He argues that consumers are still spending, but brands need to drive relevance and make people feel good to attract their dollars. This puts more pressure on brands to be relevant in a target occasion and meet consumer needs.The Pendulum Swings Back: The Return to Brand BuildingTom expresses his excitement about the shift back to brand building in marketing. He believes that the pendulum is swinging back from performance-focused strategies to a more holistic approach that includes long-term brand building. He argues that every opportunity is a chance to build a brand and to perform, and marketers should think about their strategies holistically.
In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, host Daniel Weiner sits down with Kaylin Durham, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer of Aaron's and BrandsMart USA. Kaylin shares her journey from being an "agency rat" to leading marketing for two major brands. She discusses the shift in consumer behavior over the years, emphasizing the increased expectations of shoppers for curated and personalized experiences.Kaylin also delves into the importance of agency partnerships in marketing. She talks about the balance between relationship-building and delivering quality work. Kaylin stresses that brands must invest time in providing agencies with the context they need to excel and the importance of cutting ties early when partnerships aren't working.Lastly, Kaylin shares a bit about her personal life, including her first job mucking stalls at a horse farm. She believes this early work experience instilled in her a strong work ethic and the understanding that no one is above a dirty job. This episode is a deep dive into the mind of a seasoned marketer, offering valuable insights for anyone in the industry.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Kaylin Durham Chief Marketing & Digital Officer at Aaron's and BrandsMart USA💡Noteworthy: From working in an agency to leading marketing for two major brands, Kaylin has gained experience that helps her recognize and nurture high-quality client-agency relationships, and why these partnerships are important. 💡 Where to find Kaylin: LinkedInKey InsightsThe Rising Bar: Consumer Expectations in the Digital AgeKaylin discusses the significant shift in consumer behavior over the years. She notes that shoppers' expectations have increased substantially, with consumers now expecting more curated and personalized experiences from brands. This shift is driven by the vast amount of information and content available at consumers' fingertips. As a result, brands are now held more accountable for creating personalized experiences that resonate with their customers. This insight highlights the importance of understanding and adapting to evolving consumer expectations in the digital age.The Marketing Conundrum: Achieving More with LessKaylin shares one of the critical challenges keeping her up at night: doing more with less. She notes that the days of large marketing budgets are over, and marketers are now expected to be good stewards of the funds they're given. This means leveraging the talents and resources available to make the maximum impact for customers. She also emphasizes the importance of being customer-centric and making strategic decisions based on the brand's position in the marketplace.Agency Partnerships: Balancing Relationships and Quality WorkKaylin delves into the importance of agency partnerships in marketing. She emphasizes the need for brands to invest time in providing agencies with the context they need to excel. However, she also stresses the importance of cutting ties early when partnerships aren't working. This insight underscores the delicate balance between building relationships with agencies and ensuring they deliver quality work.
In this episode, we dive into a rich discussion with marketing maven, Tara Robertson, exploring the landscape of modern marketing. Tara shares her insights on the importance of customer research, asserting that understanding your customer's pain points is paramount to creating effective marketing strategies. She emphasizes the value of data-driven decisions and highlights the crucial role of strong client-agency partnerships.As the conversation progresses, Tara articulates her excitement about the rising influence of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing. She contends that ignoring the growing impact of AI could be detrimental, urging marketers to stay ahead of the curve. The discussion also touches on the potential of AI to facilitate a more strategic approach in marketing.On a personal note, Tara expresses her concerns about the current economic climate and the increasing layoffs. She emphasizes the need for building a more diverse workforce, advocating for more opportunities for diversity, equity, and inclusion in marketing.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Tara Robertson, Chief Marketing Officer at Bitly💡Noteworthy: A dynamic marketer with a keen focus on data-driven decisions and diversity in the industry.💡 Where to find them: LinkedInKey Insights:The importance of data in marketing decision-making. During this episode, Tara Robertson emphasized the critical role of data in marketing decisions. She highlighted that relying on intuition without data backing often leads to costly mistakes. By harnessing data, marketers can validate their hunches, and improve the effectiveness of their campaigns. The conversation highlighted a real-world example of how Tara's team saved $50,000 by opting for a data-driven approach over a traditional customer research project. This insight reinforces the idea that data is an invaluable asset for any marketing team.The necessity of firing clients who don't fit. One of the intriguing topics brought up during the episode was the concept of firing clients. Both Tara Robertson and Daniel Weiner agreed that it's important to terminate relationships with clients who hinder an agency's ability to deliver results. They mentioned that while this might initially lead to difficult situations like layoffs, in the long run, working with the right clients ensures the agency's growth and its employees' job satisfaction. This insight drives home the point that client-agency compatibility is crucial for mutual success.The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing. AI's impact on marketing was a key theme in this conversation. Tara stated that ignoring AI's advancements in the current era is not an option for marketers. AI is not only accelerating the pace of progress in the field but is also allowing marketers to focus more on strategy than execution. The discussion emphasized that understanding and leveraging AI can lead to innovative strategies, thereby keeping businesses ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive market.
In this episode, host Daniel Weiner invites Jamie Walker, EVP, Marketing of Keyfactor, to discuss the journey and success of her digital marketing agency. Jamie shares her experiences on how Keyfactor has thrived in a competitive market and emphasizes the importance of building trust with clients, ensuring data privacy, and being transparent in their operations.The conversation delves into the unique challenges faced by digital marketing agencies and how Jamie has tackled them head-on, making tough decisions and embracing change for the betterment of her company. Jamie also reflects on the role of data in driving business decisions and how maintaining a strong focus on performance has contributed to Keyfactor's growth.In addition to discussing the business side of things, Jamie offers personal insights into her sources of inspiration, mentioning Serena Williams and former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty as two powerful women who have shaped her own approach to leadership. This episode provides an engaging look into the inner workings of a successful digital marketing agency and offers valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs and industry professionals alike.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Jamie Walker, EVP Marketing at Keyfactor💡 Where to find Jamie: LinkedInKey Insights:The Importance of Trust in Digital Marketing. Jamie Walker, CEO of Keyfactor, emphasizes the critical role trust plays in digital marketing. As consumers become more data-conscious, it's essential for agencies to establish and maintain trust with their clients. Transparency in data collection and use, honest communication, and ethical practices are all key factors in building a trustworthy reputation. By focusing on trust, digital marketing agencies can not only protect their clients' interests but also forge long-lasting, productive relationships.Navigating the Transition from Traditional to Digital Marketing. Daniel Weiner and Jamie Walker discuss the challenges faced by businesses and agencies in transitioning from traditional to digital marketing. They explore how both clients and agencies need to adapt their strategies, skills, and mindset to succeed in this new landscape. By learning from experiences and embracing change, companies can find innovative ways to reach their target audience and deliver more effective marketing campaigns.The Balance Between Specialization and Full-Service Offerings. In the episode, Jamie Walker shares her thoughts on the balance between specialization and full-service offerings in digital marketing. She argues that agencies should focus on what they do best and not attempt to be all things to all clients. This approach allows agencies to excel in their areas of expertise and provide the highest quality service to their clients. By understanding their strengths and limitations, agencies can build strong partnerships and deliver better results in the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.
Developing a successful client-agency relationship takes time and dedication, and it requires open communication, transparency, and mutual trust. But above all, a client-agency partnership is a two-way street. In this episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Bryan Law, the chief marketing officer of ZoomInfo. They talk about what it takes to create a strong partnership, how both parties can work together on making a client-agency relationship work, and the importance of being receptive to feedback in these partnerships.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Bryan Law, Chief Marketing Officer of ZoomInfo💡 Noteworthy: Bryan has over 20 years of experience in marketing, general management, strategy, e-commerce, and analytics. He has held leadership roles at ZoomInfo, Salesforce, Google, Tableau, and Monitor Deloitte, amongst others.💡 Where to find Bryan: LinkedInKey Insights ⚡Making a client-agency relationship work takes time. You can't build a strong and long-lasting partnership overnight. It takes time and dedication from both parties. Bryan says, "Normally, you're going to pay incrementally more. It's going to take a while for them to ramp [up], and so you have to be willing to make that investment in order to get the return out of them. And I think just the way in which ZoomInfo moves, we move very quickly. We iterate very quickly. I think it can be challenging for a third party to come in and really understand our business in a way that we would expect them to and move as quickly as we would expect them to. And so that's why we have not used them as much here." ⚡The client-agency relationship is a two-way street. It takes two to make a partnership work. So, if you want to create a mutually effective partnership with your external vendor, make sure you're both committed to it. Bryan says, "The quality of the work obviously is important as well. But I do think the way in which you work together is really key and making sure that you're developing that relationship so that you're on the same page and getting the most out of the partnership." ⚡Being receptive to feedback is one of the key traits of a good agency. Being receptive to feedback makes all the difference in a client-agency relationship. Bryan shares an example of a negative experience that turned positive. He explains, "I think, in particular, once you provide that feedback, not actioning on it is a real problem. And actually, on the flip side, that digital agency I mentioned that I've now worked with at a few companies, we had a period where it wasn't going [well], but we provided that feedback, and they jumped on it, and they said, 'Hey, this is a process we're going to put in place to make sure that we address it. This is how we're going to check in. We want to be very open about the areas that we're sort of getting that feedback.' And they would collect it across the team and share it back. So I think that's an example of where you can do a better job of it, but with this particular one, they were having issues on sort of sloppiness of work, timeliness of work, and then they weren't being responsive to the feedback and making the changes that we needed."
Too many clients report negative experiences with external agencies. And whether that's because of communication hurdles or poor quality of work, agencies often get a bad reputation. But do all of them deserve to get a bad reputation? In this episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Ashley Remstad, the VP of Marketing at Homebot. They discuss the benefits of working with agencies, explain why trust is necessary, and share tips on creating authentic relationships.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Ashley Remstad, VP of Marketing at Homebot💡 Noteworthy: Homebot is a client engagement and retention portal that maximizes repeat and referral business for lenders and real estate agents by empowering consumers to build wealth through homeownership.💡 Where to find Ashley: LinkedInKey Insights:⚡Agencies prepare you for the unknown. The future is unknown, but it's always good to have expert professionals on your team. That's why agencies are a great way to prepare for the unknown. Ashley says, "I think that agencies prep you for the unknown. You're balancing a lot. You're working with a lot of different companies of all different sizes, depending on where you're at, and it makes you flexible. So, if I'm honest, the transition was pretty easy. I had worked with a lot of companies that were the size of my company at that time. I knew exactly what they needed. I knew exactly how I could add value. So it was pretty seamless, I will say."⚡Agencies get a bad reputation. Agencies have a terrible reputation for being unreliable or unprofessional. But not every agency is the same. Some agencies don't deserve the bad rep they get. Ashley explains, "I think agencies do get a bad rap probably because there are a lot of bad agencies out there. Intentional or not, there are a lot of agencies that are not acting as partners, that are spreading themselves too thin, that are doing a poor job with hiring, that are not good business planners. Honestly, they haven't created a good business, and because of that, in an already crowded space, I would say there are a lot of bad agencies, and so agencies do get a bad rep. If you've been burned once, that's all it takes."⚡The best outreach strategy is to create value and build trust. The best way to a client's heart is to provide value. Value creates trust, and trust creates strong relationships. Ashley explains, "I had a very long sales process with someone that relentlessly reached out to me, and all he did honestly was provide value. 'Hey, what can I do for you? Is there anything that I can help your team? I noticed that your team is using this tool. Hey, I've done research here. I wanted to send you this. I thought you'd be interested in this.' And he kept me connected and engaged for, I don't know, six months or something, and it worked. So you established trust that way and authority, and people want to be in a collaborative space and feel like you can add value." 
In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, Kathy Neumann, CMO of Rent, explains why it is important to test before pulling back the budget, even during hard times. Kathy and our host Daniel Weiner get into the benefits of digital to brands and consumers and discuss the importance of agency-brand relationships, how to work with agency partners, and how to get the most out of them.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Kathy Neumann, CMO of Rent.💡 Noteworthy: Kathy is a strong marketing professional skilled in marketing, digital, social and brand strategy, market research, management, direct, performance and multi-channel marketing. Kathy joined Rent as the CMO in February 2022 with a wealth of experience in brand and consumer marketing. Most recently, Kathy oversaw integrated marketing at, the beloved direct-to-consumer pet food and pet care brand, awarded one of "America's 20 Hottest Brands 2020" by Ad Age. Prior to Chewy, Kathy worked on building brands including Carter's, OshKosh B'gosh, Lands' End, Pink, and Victoria's Secret. 💡 Where to find Kathy: LinkedIn l WebsiteKey Insights:⚡ Test before you pull back the budget. The COVID pandemic has brought both changes and problems that have affected everyday life and the entire economy. Due to the uncertainty that followed COVID, many companies stopped working, and even now, we are witnessing many brands pulling back and controlling spending due to the current economic situation. Kathy points out that pulling back budgets is often a short-term reaction that can do more long-term damage, so she suggests testing first. "The most important thing to do is keep testing when you tend to pull back budgets. Sometimes we get that test because they're expensive in the short term or more inefficient in the short term, but that's what's going to give us the leverage to improve our performance over the next six, 18 months. And if you forgo your testing plan, you are really giving up future efficiencies. Whether that's new channels, new creative, new copy, CTAs, all of that stuff, it's still gotta be tested just like it was back when things were a little bit brighter, maybe. And if we walk away from that, we're walking away from really being good stewards of the business."⚡ Agencies are a smart investment in partnerships to accelerate performance and learning. Often the success of a brand or a business depends on creating the right partnership with an agency because agencies can contribute a lot to their development. They can help you with many things, and you can also learn a lot from working with them. Kathy says that during her career, she has used agencies for many different things and that you should definitely invest in them. "Agencies can play a critical role in helping grow a business, especially as we're testing new things, and we're trying to find additional expertise, additional hands on the keyboard, skill sets that we may not have or we may not know we need yet. And it's often easier to partner with an agency and learn through something, and maybe there comes a time where you have an understanding of what's going to work for your business, you've learned through it, and it starts to migrate back into the house."
In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, Ivonne Kinser, the VP of Marketing and Innovation at Avocados From Mexico, explains why the Metaverse doesn't work for all brands and gets into the differences between the culture of a brand and the culture of an agency and their perspectives. Ivonne and our host Daniel Weiner discuss the importance of agencies and how you can successfully choose the right ones and work with them.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Ivonne Kinser, VP of Marketing and Innovation at Avocados From Mexico.💡 Noteworthy: Throughout her career, Ivonne has played leadership roles in multiple corporations representing multibillion-dollar brands, as well as in top advertising agencies such as Lintas, McCann Erickson Worldwide, and The Richards Group, working with well-known brands in almost every category. In 2014, she joined Avocados From Mexico as the head of Digital Marketing, and in seven years, she built the organization's digital practice, which became one of the most successful digital groups in terms of performance and innovation. In 2022, Ivonne became the first Latina to be awarded the American Marketing Association's highest honor bestowed upon a deserving recipient, the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also been included in the list of "100 Most Influential Latinas in the U.S." in 2021 and 2022. 💡 Where to find Ivonne: LinkedIn l WebsiteKey Insights⚡ The Metaverse is not for everyone and every brand. Recently, the number of startups and established companies working on building products around the Metaverse has been growing. The Metaverse is a virtual world, a vision of how the next internet generation will work. It's a trend, but while some see it as the next big technological breakthrough, others aren't impressed. Ivonne says the Metaverse works for some brands but not all. "You have one shot and that sort of thing. If you go and you do it right, you'll have great results; or you will burn the brand in the eyes of the consumers that may have a bad experience. And honestly, I have no doubt that we're going to get there. If we have the same conversation in maybe three years, the situation will be a lot different, but right now, I don't think the hardware is there to provide the experience that we want to provide to our consumers. There are exceptions; there are some brands that are doing it really well, but it's not a majority."⚡ Agencies don't have visibility into all the areas of business. More and more brands are working with smaller independent agencies specializing in one or two services because hardly any full-service agency can do everything really well. According to Ivonne, it's hard to find an agency that can have visibility over all the areas of the business as someone has on the brand side. "Agencies are missing one capability that perhaps is at the strategic level. When a group of people at the part, whatever you want it to be, can look at the business of the brand and look at all the possibilities, and then identify the problem, identify the ways to get to that solution, and then assemble that team of expertise within the agency."⚡ Ivonne says there's a lot to learn about digital integration from vendors and agencies, so she always devotes time to those who offer technology that is a strong driver of anything and those who understand brand challenges and provide a solution for a specific problem. "One of the things that makes a brand successful in this space — digital technology integration — is just gathering the knowledge from the players that are building those capabilities in the industry. So, I gain as much as they gain because I'm learning from them. 
The CMO leads brand management, marketing communications, market research, product marketing, distribution channel management, pricing, customer success, and customer service and manages the marketing team. And one of the primary responsibilities of a CMO is to bridge the gap between the company and technology by setting the requirements for the management of and access to customer data.But tech, in general, is having a rough time, with layoffs, etc. We have seen a lot of depressing news lately, and it's hard to get through this situation; it's hard for CMOs to manage the expectations of scared and worried teams. In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, Kyle Lacy, the CMO of Jellyfish, explains how to manage your teams' expectations successfully and how you can succeed in the future. Kyle and our host Daniel Weiner discuss brand measurement, the importance of driving efficient revenue, and what separates the good agencies from the bad.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Kyle Lacy, CMO of Jellyfish.💡 Noteworthy: Kyle has spent the last 17 years building, scaling, failing, and winning in high-growth software. He is currently serving the Jellyfish team as their CMO, and before joining Jellyfish, Kyle had the pleasure of building a company called Lessonly. He has also led teams at Seismic, OpenView, Salesforce, and ExactTarget. Kyle has been recognized as one of Indiana's Forty under 40 by the Indianapolis Business Journal, Anderson University's Young Alumni of the Year, and TechPoint's Young Professional of the Year. In addition, he is the author of three books: Twitter Marketing for Dummies (Wiley, 2010), Branding Yourself (Pearson, 2011), and Social CRM for Dummies (Wiley, 2012).💡 Where to find Kyle: LinkedIn l WebsiteKey Insights⚡ You don't have to measure everything. Brand measurement programs measure aspects of a brand's product, competition, and category, and one of the main reasons for conducting brand measurement is to ascertain changes that improve your brand's performance. But, according to Kyle, in the marketing world, there is a dilemma about whether or not you should spend a ton of time and energy trying to measure a brand, and he doesn't think you should. "I get the measurement fanatics that think you should measure everything and can measure everything — which is true. You can build attribution models to measure absolutely everything that you possibly could want to do, but there are some times where experiences — like a great direct mail or a great event, or a podcast — it just doesn't need to be measured. And I've found that creatives are more creative when it's the idea that's more important than the actual revenue generated."⚡ It's important to drive efficient revenue. While the past few years have seen plenty of investment, successful fundraising, and rapid growth, things have changed. Tech is having a rough time regarding the economy and layoffs, and Kyle says that it's still about growing but while driving efficient revenue. "If you drive efficient revenue — both inbound and supporting outbound, or your product — then you're going to have a good story to tell. If you don't do it efficiently, it's going to be very, very difficult in the near future."⚡ The marketing team needs to understand the leading and lagging indicators of where the market is going. Kyle is the CMO of Jellyfish and successfully leads his team and manages their expectations. From the leadership standpoint, Kyle explains how CMOs should manage the expectations of their teams. "We have a product that is needed; there's a reason why we have product/market fit. We need to execute and be proactive and remember, and have empathy with the market. I've said that for the past six years to my team, so it's not
Agencies are only as good as the directions you give them, and client-agency relationships are much more likely to succeed if you set clear expectations and ground rules from the beginning. However, at the same time, you should also give your agency the space to be creative and innovative. In this episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Sergio Pérez, the senior director of Omnichannel at Bojangles. They talk about the essential skills you should look for in an agency (especially within the food industry), how to allow for creativity, and how a client-agency relationship is similar to marriage.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Sergio Pérez -- Senior Director of Omnichannel at Bojangles.💡 Noteworthy: Sergio is an innovative marketer who drives results by launching best-in-class digital platforms and developing strategies that drive sales. In his role, he is focused on redefining the way Bojangles’ customers experience, engage, and purchase by digitally transforming and modernizing the brand. In 2022, Sergio was named on QSR Magazine's "35 Young Leaders to Watch" list. Prior to Bojangles, he worked at Church's Chicken, Johnny Rockets, Huddle House, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, and Garden Fresh Restaurants.💡 Where to find Sergio: LinkedInKey Insights ⚡Having industry knowledge is essential for agencies working in the food industry. Industry experience is not a must in every industry, but when it comes to the restaurant field, agencies need to know the ins and outs of it. Sergio says, "Having agencies that understand the complexities and the intricacies of the business is critical because, one, it enables us to move quickly, and it gives us a competitive advantage in terms of speed to be able to make better decisions for restaurants and restaurant brands versus having to spend an awful lot of time teaching an agency how business works, the impact that operations has on the business, so on and so forth."⚡Set clear expectations with your agency but allow for creativity. While clear directions are key to a successful client-agency collaboration, you should still allow your partner to be creative and innovative. Sergio explains, "I've always believed that agencies are only as good as the direction you give them. For us, the responsibility from a client perspective is to make sure that we're giving very clear direction in terms of what are our objectives and what are our goals. What is the problem that we're trying to solve? But also balance that with giving an agency room to think and to be creative and to do their work. So what I've found to be the most successful in working with agencies is establishing really clear expectations, really clear guidelines because you get closer to delivering the result."⚡Client-agency relationships are a lot like a marriage. A client-agency relationship is about trust, belief, and communication, just like a marriage. Sergio explains this metaphor, "The way I would describe it is: agency-client relationships are a little bit like a marriage. You're in it together in health and in illness. But I do believe that, similar to a marriage, there's a point where I think one or the other partner feels like it might be over, and it might be time to get a divorce, if you will. And because our relationship with agencies is, one, a partnership and us being transparent and them having a seat at the table, it becomes very evident at some point when it's time to move on."
Your relationship with an external vendor is not particularly different from a relationship with your employee. You expect high-quality work, respect, and honesty from both parties. But when it comes to client-agency relationships, the lack of communication is the biggest deal breaker.In this episode of the You Should Talk To podcast, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Natalie Cunningham, the CMO of Terminus. They talk about why having agency experience is a plus for employees, why it's important to always read the person you're working with, and the top things to look for in an external partner.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Natalie Cunningham, CMO of Terminus💡 Noteworthy: Natalie is a versatile SaaS marketing executive with deep experience aligning go-to-market teams to achieve sustainable revenue growth. Before joining Terminus, she cut her chops in B2B marketing agencies and consulted with global Fortune 500 brands on ABM, demand generation, brand, PR, and digital. 💡 Where to find Natalie: LinkedInKey Insights :⚡Always read the person you're working with. Knowing how to read the person you're working with gives you an edge. That's why this skill is so valuable for client-agency relationships. Natalie explains, "Just remembering in agencies, in the sales process, and certainly in the account management process that you're working with different personas, you are working with people who have different levels of experience and want different things from you. And if you waste an executive's time trying to teach them something that they already know, you've lost my trust."⚡Honesty comes first. Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to client-agency relationships. Natalie says, "Let's assume it's a strategic agency partnership. I need you to be honest with me about what you're good at and what you're not. I know that you are not good at everything on your list of services. Just go into it knowing that I know that. Tell me what you're great at. Tell me why you're great at it, and give me some examples — like what makes you great, not just because you think you're great."⚡Poor communication is a deal breaker. It's a tale as old as time; if you want to build a successful partnership with someone, you need to put communication first. Natalie says, "I think the biggest thing across the board is communication. If you want to hit a pet peeve with me quickly, don't tell me that you are not going to hit a deadline. Just miss it entirely without communicating anything, and then show up for the next meeting and tell me you're still working on it. I will lose my ever-loving mind."
Finding a good agency partner is not an easy task, and there are many critical factors to consider when picking out a new vendor — from trust and honesty to quality of work and accountability. But in the end, it's your relationship with the agency that matters most. In this episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Casey Terrell, the CMO of Krystal. They talk about why an agency should be an extension of your team, why you need to work with people you like, and how to build a successful client-agency relationship.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Casey Terrell, CMO of Krystal💡 Noteworthy: Casey is a West Point graduate and has a Masters in Strategic Communications from Columbia and a Finance/Marketing MBA. He has a career track record of transforming B2C and B2B revenue, visibility, and operations for globally recognized brands in the retail, hospitality, restaurant, CPG, and tech sectors.💡 Where to find Casey: LinkedInKey Insights ⚡Your agency is an extension of your team. Treating your agency as an extension of your team can significantly benefit your company. It allows you to focus on what you do best while your agency takes care of the rest. Casey says, "It's a cheesy thing to say again, but agency partners really should be partners. They should be extensions. They should really be part of your team. I hate when agencies pitch and say you should do this. It's 'we'; I consider you part of the team."⚡Work with people you like. When you work with people you like, you are more likely to achieve better results. Casey explains, "It's much more on the human side because you can look at agency capes, PR capes, whatever it is, and say, 'Hey, we're digital agencies based on data, but do we gel well together?' That's one of the things that we liked about our current partner — the way that they actually briefed but also just their philosophy."⚡ It's relationships that matter most. There are many factors to consider when hiring an agency partner, but one of the most critical is your relationship. Casey says, "A lot of it for me just comes down to what your relationship is like. What is your rapport like? Because they're going to do the work. You're going to get a good plan. You'll get whichever, but did you actually enjoy it? So really, the treasure was the friends you made along the way."
Episode SummaryFinding a reliable and trustworthy agency is never easy, and many different factors go into picking the best external vendor for your business. However, sharing the same values with your agency should be at the top of your list.In this episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Mario Paganini, the VP of Marketing at Stord. They chat about the benefits of working with smaller agencies, the importance of personal referrals, and the power of a strong client-agency relationship.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Mario Paganini, VP of Marketing at Stord💡 Noteworthy: Mario is a 3x Head/VP of Marketing, leading 2 of those startups to unicorn status and seeing an exit with the 3rd. 💡 Where to find Mario: LinkedInKey Insights ⚡Playing it safe is holding you back. Marketing is constantly changing and evolving. That's why playing it safe may hold your business back. Mario explains, "Once we established that our goal is to be more successful than what is already out there, the game theory became unbelievably clear because if you're trying to be here and everyone else is here, and you look at them, and you say, 'All right, these big incumbent competitors that exist today, our goal is to unseat them. Our goal is to disrupt them.' The game theory becomes so clear that that outcome is impossible by playing the game the same way that these players are playing."⚡Working with smaller and specialized agencies is better for your business. Specialized agencies are more focused on a specific goal and therefore, can lead your business to success. Mario says, "In cases where there's a specific area of skill that you need help with, and you are able to support them properly, manage them properly, communicate with them properly — hyper valuable. In cases where you're like, 'I don't know what to do. I need help. I'm just going to hire an agency and hope that they solve my problems,' basically, never seen that work personally."⚡Build a strong relationship with your agency. When building a strong client-agency relationship, both parties need to do the work. Mario says, "It's about finding people you trust, finding people that have proven they're able to do work that inspires you. And then trust is a two-way street. You have to be candid with the agency. You've got to tell them when things are not going well in your business. You've got to tell them when things change. You've got to open the doors to and, oftentimes, the financial success of your business, the business goals. And once you've established that and assuming that you did the vetting right and have a good agency, they're going to be sharing in your success." 
In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Olga Andrienko, the VP of Brand Marketing at Semrush. Olga and Daniel get into the concept of gated content and the importance of agencies. They discuss building a brand, building a personal brand, and the difference between big agencies and smaller, specialized agencies.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Olga Andrienko, VP of Brand Marketing at Semrush.💡 Noteworthy: With her team, Olga has built one of the most substantial international communities in the online marketing industry and has expanded Semrush’s brand visibility worldwide, entering the market in over 50 countries. In 2018, Olga was named one of the 25 most influential women in digital marketing by TopRank. In addition, Olga speaks at major marketing conferences, and her quotes on user behavior appear in media like Business Insider and Washington Post.💡 Where to find Olga: Linkedin l WebsiteKey Insights⚡ The concept of gated content. Gated content is any type of content that viewers can only access after exchanging their information. Users must fill out a form before they get access, and the form may ask for the user's name and email address as well as more information like their company and job title. According to Olga, gated content is excellent at the specific stage of the bias journey, but it's not great if it's the centerpiece of your campaign. "Let's say we have a track stage landing page, and then they register, they didn't convert, or they just visited the page, and then they left. So, we still have their information, and then they're not clearly engaged. This is where we might send them a state of the search-like report, which is also a huge report of a hundred pages. So we can put it anywhere else. And then, in PDF, that's digestible, and also we know that they have more interest towards us. Or there's a webinar, and for a webinar, we need registrations, and this is also something that I see as gated content."⚡By building a community, you will build a brand. Building a brand — not just a business — will give you massive growth and fans, but it is a process that requires a strategy. As Olga says, the easiest way to build a brand is through people by creating a community. "Every startup wants to build their community, and then they don't know how. It requires certain people, but also it just requires you giving a lot of attention to people who already know you. And then, the community grows, but it's still not visible to the business. And then suddenly, there's a tipping point where your community's so big, and suddenly, you have a brand."⚡The importance of agencies. An agency partner is powerful, and an agency partnership can increase your marketing reach, help you earn referral business, create variable revenue, provide value to current clients, etc. However, there are both positive and negative agency experiences. Olga sees agencies as an extended team and an essential part of her work and explains where she finds vendors. "I am judging a bunch of awards: European content awards, global content awards, social media awards — and usually agencies submit for their clients. So, this is the best way for me to learn about the campaigns of others; I don't go to the media outlets that share the campaigns because it's all restricted, and then I'm not able to share it. And so, they share everything; they share budgets, how it was done, the strategic goals, and the outcome — also screenshots from Google Analytics or any revenue numbers. So those are the best entries. I also save the entries in the folder — the ones that caught my attention — and then I ask my team members to reach out to those agencies if we have something that we could work with them on."
It's not uncommon for marketing agencies to present their offer as one of a kind. But, in reality, it doesn’t always work like that, as they often come across a client whose expectations they cannot meet. Therefore, the key to success lies in honesty and specializing in one or two things that will make an agency worth considering.In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, we are joined by Drew Brucker, the VP of Growth at Lasso. Drew explains what makes a successful client-agency relationship and the metrics marketing teams should focus on in the future, such as ROO. He also shares his best and worst experiences with agencies and why working on a personal brand is vital in today's market. Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Drew Brucker, VP of Growth at Lasso.💡 Company: Lasso💡 Noteworthy: If you want to learn more about Drew, visit his LinkedIn profile, and read the About section. It will inspire and motivate you and, above all, put a smile on your face. His sense of humor is fantastic. Creativity is his second name, and as he says, ''My creative juices flow when I'm given a blank canvas. It's where I do my best work.''💡 Where to find Drew: LinkedInKey Insights⚡Instead of focusing on ROI, focus on ROO. It is the shift in mindset required within an organization, especially at the leadership level, and it's time for new perspectives. For instance, we say a campaign was successful if it leads to a financial transaction. But a modern business requires acknowledging other metrics. ''ROO is a return on objective. What is the actual objective or objectives that you have for this particular campaign, this program, or this channel? And if that's measurable, it doesn't have to be directly tied to revenue. It could be tied to a goal, brand awareness, or exposure. Some of those other things that do matter could be leading indicators for future success.''⚡Recommendations and personal contacts are a go-to for finding a reliable marketing agency. This approach has clearly become a standard as most of our guests — including Drew — confirmed that they don't search on Google for a partner for specific marketing projects. ''I'm using existing relationships. It would be an agency I've worked with and had a good experience with, or if someone on my team has had a good experience with an agency relative to the project. If those lead me nowhere, then it's being more proactive. I ask other people I trust for introductions, but I usually start with myself and my team.''⚡The best time to build your personal brand is now. It can be on LinkedIn or Twitter, but social media allows us to connect with people from our field and create networks that can easily result in better job opportunities. Whether you are an individual contractor or an agency, there is an audience and community for everyone on these platforms. ''You own your personal brand. You have a personal brand whether you like it or not, so you might as well make it a good one. It is the new version of your resume. So put yourself out there [...]. And that's if you want to work for a company — but also to start your own thing. There's never been a better time to start your own thing. And so, this is the age of taking control of those things in a way you never had before.''
Increasingly, businesses are seeing the benefits of partnering with a good marketing agency. But only some are open to suggestions or allow the agency to take the lead. Of course, as a client, you will have the final say, but encouraging open communication will help you take a project/campaign to the next level. In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, David Manders Jr, the WaterCraft Advertising Supervisor at Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, joins our host Daniel Weiner to discuss the key to a solid and successful client-agency relationship. David shares what it was like working at an agency and how he approaches these partnerships today, considering he’s the client now. David and Daniel discuss open communication as the key to a successful collaboration. In addition, David shares their expectations from when they looked for an agency to work with on a new campaign. ''We weren't looking for someone to help us move the product or grow an e-commerce footprint. We were looking for partners who could help us tell our story a little better and a little differently than we may have done before.''Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: David Manders Jr., WaterCraft Advertising Supervisor 💡 Company: Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA💡 Noteworthy: David has over eight years of experience leading strategic marketing and advertising campaigns for regional and global brands.💡 Where to find David: LinkedInKey Insights⚡Working with an agency is not mandatory, so make it a worthy investment if you opt for it. David used to work at an agency, and he says that no one forces you to enter such a partnership. But if you do, make the most of their expertise because you hired them for a reason. ''I never want to be the client who's not going to listen to the expertise of that company I've asked to work with me. One of my least favorite things when working at an agency was hearing no a lot and being told no without much explanation. So, one of the things we do is — I'll always listen to a rationale, even if I disagree with it at first. I want to hear your explanation for why you're selling something, fighting for something, or thinking it'll work.''⚡We had a few things defined that made our work with an agency straightforward. As David and his team decided to partner with an agency for their new campaign, they contacted YouShouldTalkTo and asked for help in that search. Luckily for the agency they picked, David's team had a campaign playbook. It is a valuable guide that enables the agency to deliver what David's team expected. The playbook explained that “the persona we've been looking at is this female with the propensity to become a boater, who she is, what she does, how we can speak to her, and what she wants to hear from a brand like ours. [...]  We also had a lot of the creative ready to go. We've been developing creatives all year. We have this story we're ready to tell, but now we need to figure out how we're going to tell this story. How are we going to distribute this content and get it out to the right people?''⚡As a client, be open to suggestions and share as much as possible with the agency. It is the only way to ensure that both of you are on the same page with what the campaign should look like and achieve. ''I recommend talking to agencies or prospects on all ends of the spectrum. Because going into this, what you think you might be looking for might not end up being what you need by the end of it. You might be exposed to new concepts and ways of thinking that stick with you and click with you. Or you might be exposed to things you didn't realize you don't want, but then you clearly understand that's something you don't need or don't want. "
Brands cannot achieve everything alone, so their external agency partners are essential. And agencies could provide brands with more creativity, better design, decisive leadership, technical capabilities, etc.But for a successful partnership between a brand and an agency, both parties must have mutual understanding and trust. This is why companies are increasingly moving towards smaller, independent agencies. Thus, companies with different experts establish a solid and open relationship.In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Jason Schulweis, former EVP, Brand Partnerships & Creative Studio at Morning Brew. Jason and Daniel discuss the importance of working in small and large companies and gathering knowledge for business growth. They discuss the creator economy, partnerships, and how to build a strong relationship within a partnership.Guest-at-a-Glance💡 Name: Jason Schulweis💡 What he does: Jason is the former EVP, Brand Partnerships & Creative Studio at Morning Brew💡 Noteworthy: Jason is an experienced advertising revenue executive. He advises media and content brands focusing on revenue growth through advertising, brand/agency partnerships, sales strategy, branded content, and B2B/integrated marketing. Until recently, Jason was the EVP, Brand Partnerships and Creative Studio at Morning Brew. He joined them in July 2019 and has been self-employed since October.💡 Where to find Jason: Linkedin Key Insights⚡ The concept of making good in partnership. A partnership is a relationship between two or more people engaged in trade or business, and there are many advantages to a partnership. First, two heads (or more) are better than one. Your business is easy to set up, and start-up costs are low. And finally, more capital is available for business. As Jason notes, a performance partnership model should exist in a partnership world. "It would be amazing if, one day, that concept of making good could work both ways. And what I mean by that is that, so often on the publisher or vendor side, if we under-deliver or if something doesn't go perfectly right, we often have to make good or make back up the media or spend in some way. I think it would be super cool down the road — if publishers or vendors over-delivered and really go above and beyond — that the reverse ends up being true and that we would end up getting more money by default."⚡ The creator economy is changing. Creators are people who have real influence and followers, real communities, audiences, and reach. According to Jason, the creator economy has been changing, there has been a democratization of creation, and it will change again soon. "It's been an amazing shift, and it's been awesome for the larger content and media industry getting more people involved and really opening up business lines and a whole new economy for a lot of the industry and a lot of creators, but I do think that some of that's going to start to course correct a little bit back to not necessarily where it was, but I have a belief that it's easier to turn celebrities into creators than creators into celebrities."⚡ The inbox is the new homepage. People are increasingly giving importance to creating daily content on social networks. And since that content is often very intimate, the inbox is where they want peace. As Jason points out, Morning Brew data shows that, in most cases, the first thing we open in the morning is our inbox; it has become a ritual. "The inbox is the most intimate environment. It is the new homepage. That is your life’s homepage; it's the first thing that you open when you wake up. [...] Morning Brew also has the data where I think it was 92% of the Morning Brew community views Morning Brew as a daily ritual."
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