I discussed leadership skills, learning how to hire, and building stronger relationships with supervisors in this conversation with Dan Garzia, CMO, Provenance Blockchain Foundation.
In episode #72 of the How I Made It In Marketing podcast, we also discussed career advancement tips, digital marketing strategies, and business networking.
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“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
That quote is from George Bernard Shaw, and hopefully is inspiration for anyone trying to make positive change in their organization.
I thought of that quote while reading a lesson in the podcast guest application for this episode’s guest – ‘change starts here.’
Different words, same sentiment. The status quo is tenacious. If you want change to happen, you need to be unreasonable. It needs to start with you.
To discuss the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories, I talked to Dan Garzia, Chief Marketing Officer, Provenance Blockchain Foundation.
Provenance Blockchain Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports a public, open-source blockchain, used by 70 financial institutions, including fintechs, banks, and credit unions. More than $15 billion in financial asset transactions have been supported by Provenance Blockchain.
In his career, Garzia has managed teams as large as 80, up to 12 partners, and budgets as large as $110 million.
Listen to our conversation using this embedded player or click through to your preferred audio streaming service using the links below it.
Some lessons from Garzia that emerged in our discussion:
Or as Winston Churchill said, “perfection is the enemy of progress.” Garzia chose to get into the digital marketing and digital transformation field because he liked change and the prospect that everyday there’s something new to consider. Twenty-plus years ago when he was in school, they were encouraged to submit perfect, complete projects – that established a standard in his brain for what’s expected.
Though in reality, in his world, perfection is a misuse of time. They're focused on identifying the 20% of efforts that will yield the quickest results, provide the most value, and facilitate ample learning, before evolving further. Ship fast, fail fast, learn fast.
We’re not all good at everything. Garzia became a director – as well as the second-most-senior marketer behind their CMO – at the age of 26 at a Fortune 300 company. That’s also when he started learning how to hire talent – and not just the cerebral types.
His natural inclination was to hire seemingly good culture fits with the best CV fast, though he quickly came to realize that while having the experience and being a good culture fit were important, there were soft skills that were invaluable for him. For instance, he’s very good at managing multiple different projects simultaneously and keeping them all on time. He’s also analytical and has a vision for how technology can be deployed to improve user experiences and bottom lines.
He is not, for example, an “in the weeds” details person, nor is he a creative mastermind. He has learned to hire specifically for those people and skills to counterbalance where he might consider himself a bit weak, and to ensure that those hires are people he can partner well with – people who match and share his work-rate and are comfortable with the level of quality he seeks.
He has been lucky to make a few great hires, and friends, such as, Anna Dix – now an Independent Consultant, Micky Neuberger – now CMO at Realtor.com, Lee Rosenthal – now VP at HPS Investments, Daria Odum at Securitize – just to name a few. He has also taken this concept and tried to apply it to his relationships with his supervisors – looking for their weaknesses and challenges and trying to lean into those gaps. It’s created stronger relationships for him with many of his supervisors.
Everyone loves to celebrate, but it's easy to get caught up in priorities. Though not so fast, missing the opportunity to celebrate is counterproductive. Celebrating is a method of memorializing the hard work that’s gone into a project, and promotes your team feeling recognized and encouraged, and ultimately, it’s a mechanism for promoting your team’s success more broadly. There are knock-on effects, like happier, more productive and collaborative teams, which aid hiring, and supports retention.
This wasn’t always apparent to Garzia. And as he landed into more senior roles with wide responsibilities, he tended to forget to stop and do this with each team. It has often taken other members within the team (again, hiring talent to complement areas where you're not as strong) to tell him to slow down and celebrate.
Garzia also shared lessons he learned from the people he collaborated with.
via Gary Schmidt
At least for Garzia, when he was younger and would think about what his career success would look like and how he’d reach it, being a good networker wasn’t anywhere on the list. He also happens to be a closet introvert, so networking doesn’t play to his immediate strengths.
Early in his career, he was fast-tracking it into a leadership role at the age of 26 when Kathy Hawkins brought him into a role underneath the CMO at Safeco. She recommended he step up in that role. He would soon find a new habit that would help him step up in his career.
An advisor and banking executive named Gary Schmidt, who was advising their marketing organization, pulled him aside and said “You’re an amazing leader, I can see you being the president of a company one day. However, you need to reorganize your work priorities and start devoting 20% of your office time to networking.”
Schmidt’s comment gave networking an importance for Garzia, and he now pushes himself to lean in that direction. Networking has proven to be a valuable tool in opening doors for him and his employers at different stages of his career.
via Bill Ryan
Earlier in Garzia’s career when he was working at Travelers under a vice president named Bill Ryan (who is currently a professor at University of Connecticut) while in a new digital transformation role, Garzia was sharing perspective on how he was adapting to this new role, which included a comment from him on how he needed to fit the environment. Ryan stopped him dead in his tracks and said, “You need to change this environment, not fit into it.”
For example, one way he changed the environment was encouraging the company to give the customer more contact options. Some people were resistant, but he worked with his agency partner Eula Sheffield to create a contact management center so they could let the customers decide how they wanted to be contacted.
When you’re new at a company, it may be a natural tendency and pure desire to fit in, however specifically for what he was looking to accomplish, he desperately needed to change things up. Making inroads with your colleagues and changing things should not be accomplished by locking horns, instead they need to go hand in hand.
via Ernie Jurick
Garzia’s first professional job was as a marketing coordinator at Kozmo.com where he worked his junior and senior year of university, while he was wrapping up his bachelor’s degree with early morning, evening, and night classes. This was during the dotcom boom, and he couldn’t miss being part of it. Ernie Jurick, a retired ad agency exec and copywriter, had joined Kozmo’s marketing department, and Garzia had the good fortune of working closely with him for a few very good years.
Kozmo’s was known as a delivery service, where they’d deliver convenience products and movies in under one hour, from the Internet to your door. Early on they had launched a program to place drop boxes in lobbies of apartment buildings, at corner stores and neighborhood restaurants. One of Garzia’s responsibilities was targeting and calling local businesses to pitch them on granting Kozmo.com a corner at their entrance for their return box.
Jurick sat next to him, and would frequently critique his pitch and word choices, often while still on the phone Garzia could look over and see Jurick’s eyes roll. Garzia thought he had an overall good pitch – and he came to realize that it was the most minute things Jurick was nitpicking. Looking back at it, Jurick’s instincts and mentorship taught Garzia to be sensitive to the words he used and how he asks for things. It’s a lesson he applies at work every day, and one that he weaves into his personal life.
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Daniel Burstein: So nonetheless, you intended to celebrate the win. So how do you do that? How did you learn this?
Dan Garzia: It's definitely not one of my natural skills. What? So when when we were talking Omega about counterbalancing weaknesses there, there's one for you. It's not something I naturally go to, You know, my. My head. Still, there's something bigger that we're still working on. But. But I've had a lot of team members. And Daria, you were mentioning a moment ago, she if.
She's a great.
Example of this, I've had a lot of team members who bring that skill into the team there. They are thinking about that. And because of the relationship that I have with them, they're very comfortable telling me, you know, hey, just so you know, we're we're going to cross a very big threshold. And and and I recognize that once they they pointed out again to me, but we're going to cross a big threshold.
You know, we need to celebrate that.
Intro: Welcome to how I made it in marketing from marketing Sherpa. We scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncover specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz, real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now here's your host, the senior director of content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa Daniel Burstein, to tell you about today's guest.
Daniel Burstein: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. I didn't come up with that, but I love it. That quote is from George Bernard Shaw, and hopefully as inspiration for anyone trying to make positive change in their organization. I think of that quote while reading a lesson in the podcast Guest application for our next guest.
Change starts here, right? Change starts with me. Different words, same sentiment, because the status quo is tenacious. If you want change to happen, you need to be unreasonable. It needs to start with you. Here to show you how the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson filled stories, is Dan Garcia, the CMO of Providence Blockchain Foundation.
Thanks for joining me, Dan.
Dan Garzia: Yeah, thanks for having me on.
Daniel Burstein: So just going to go quickly through your background, long, illustrious background so people understand who I'm talking to. A real change maker in many different industries. You started your career during the dot com boom as a marketing specialist at Cosmo Qcom went on to be a business in business sales and marketing at Singler Wireless, which is now AT&T Mobility.
You're the interim director of marketing in a marketing program under Safeco Insurance, Senior Director of Direct Marketing at Travelers Insurance, head of Direct Marketing of Analytics at Travelocity, which is part of Expedia Group, Senior Director of Global Digital and Analytics at Electronic Arts, Head of Digital Marketing Analytics for the Americas at BlackRock. VP of Digital Marketing and Digital Product Marketing at Franklin Templeton and now CMO of Providence Blockchain Foundation.
There's a lot and we're going to unpack that career in this episode for everyone listening so we can bring as many lessons out of your head to help them with their own campaigns and careers then. But let's first take a look at what Providence Blockchain Foundation is. The Providence Blockchain Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports its public open source blockchain use by 70 financial institutions, including fintechs, banks and credit unions.
More than $15 billion in financial asset transactions have been supported by Providence Blockchain. Providence Blockchain and Dan has managed teams as large as 80, up to 12 partners and budgets as large as $110 million in his career. But right now, he says he's working in a decentralized fashion. So, Dan, give us a sense. What is your day like as CMO and what does that mean, working in a decentralized fashion?
Dan Garzia: Yeah, no, thank you, Dave. I appreciate the question. And again, appreciate being here. It's a different it's a totally different road from where I started my career. You know, even the last three years there excuse me, the last five years when I was Franklin Templeton, just vastly different. Most of my career has been about building teams internally and having agency partners that support the goals that you're trying to achieve.
Now, where we are today, and particularly in the blockchain web3 world with decentralization, it's about how you harness all the value and power of the community around you. And so very different than having a team of 80 people like I did at the Max Franklin Templeton. Today. I have a much larger community around me that's supporting all of our marketing messages and activities, and that community includes people who are very interested in what we're doing on the blockchain.
So they're there. They're just interested community members that are following problems, blockchain. And then it also includes all the elders and institutions that are using the blockchain. And so you're mentioning some of the plus, some of those are huge financial institutions. So you think about the Apollo Global Management or Hamilton Lane. Others are very innovative fintechs like Inclusive or Figure or Oasis Pro, and all of them have marketing teams that are eagerly interested in seeing the blockchain do well and seeing their businesses doing well.
So together I have a huge community to be able to collaborate and it's it's a it's a very different role, but it's a lot of fun having all those partners and does help drive the message a lot further in terms of day to day. You know, for me there is a lot of coordination and communication with all those different parties.
So I do actually spend probably more of my day today just organizing and communicating with those community partners around messages and pulling people together so that we can create a louder voice on certain topics. So I do probably overindex on on that more so than I have in the past. And then beyond that, I spend a lot of time writing.
So, you know, as our earlier stage startup, if you would consider us that, you know, getting our message out there and helping educate the the companies that we're focused on, which is the financial service sector is a is a huge part of the role. So there's a ton of time spent there. So those are probably the biggest parts of my day.
Daniel Burstein: So 20 years ago, maybe more, I don't know exactly, you know, open source, open source, open source. Hear about open stories. We still hear about open source, of course, now decentralized. Right. This has been a trending term. So are these just different? Is it market texture? Is it just different terms for the same thing, or are there true differences as a CMO and how you approach open source or decentralized?
Dan Garzia: It's totally different. So I think I think open source, you know, refers to the idea that you can borrow and leverage or contribute to things that might be useful to others or useful to your your own company. And so, yeah, largely that turns being used the sense of open source for sharing ideas or collaborating on an idea or for sharing software, probably more so for sharing software.
It's probably more common vernacular. There. Decentralize, it's a it's a wild thing, you know. And for me, it took me a minute to even get my head around it. You know, provenance, Blockchain Foundation, we don't own a blockchain. Actually. There's no one entity that owns provenance blockchain, which is kind of cool. It's also a little different. It's a community that owns it, right?
So it's all the people that participe on that blockchain or own stake in that blockchain. That's the owning community around it. And so, you know, when there's decisions that need to be made on the blockchain, it's a full community that makes a decision, right? It's not it's not one party, one centralized party, as is most companies. So so I think I think that's maybe where you see the differences.
And for me as a marketer, one of the the the chief things I need to be very sensitive to is not saying own or manage or we decide instead it's, you know, we catalyze, we support, we help. Right. And these are probably the the words that end up being pulled into a lot of our messaging. But yeah, yeah, those are me, the chief differences.
Daniel Burstein: And Dan corrected me in the intro because I was going to say about how Providence Blockchain Foundation manages, you know, he's like, No, no, no, no, you got it all wrong. It's it's all like that. We catalyze, we support, We don't, we don't manage. So but let's take a look at as we mentioned, you have a long and illustrious career as a change maker.
Let's take a look at lessons from some of the things you made. The cool thing we get to do as marketers, you know, I've never had another career. I've never been a podiatrist or an actuary or anything else or a blockchain builder. We get to make things. We get to make things. So let's look at some lessons we can learn from things you made.
Your first lesson is progress Beats perfection. How did you learn this lesson?
Dan Garzia: Yeah. So you know, my whole career has been about, to your point, digital transformation. I started my career with Cosmo dot com and I was still going to school. I couldn't miss the dot com boom. So I moved all my classes, the evening classes, and I went out there and found a job. And the one I happened to find was at Cosmo dot com, which anybody that wants to go back and read about it, it was an important dot com at that time delivering products from the internet to your door in under an hour and it was anything from video rentals to convenience items.
So for me you know, getting that having that dot com bug right that that bag of digital transformation and what digital transformation could mean that's set my whole career in motion. And so a lot of the roles I came into there was a digital practice there. There weren't digital tools, actually, it was quite the opposite muscle roles I came into.
That's what they desired and they wanted it immediately. And so, you know, I would say the first 20 years of my career, that's what I did. I went into companies like Safeco Insurance, like you were mentioning earlier. You know, Travelers Insurance was like, I help. I was part of the Cofounding team, their direct to consumer business. I went into Electronic Arts where they needed to build out a digital business.
Analysts were calling Electronic Arts a grandfather's gaming company because there were new Facebook gaming companies that were starting to take a lot of interest and drive revenue. So in all these roles I had to start with with not very much and often not a team and often very low budget and to build something in. And so, you know, there's I think for me one of the the kind of impactful ones I could share with the audience was around what we did.
Electronic Arts. You know, the key starting point for a lot of these things was to have a vision, have a vision for what it was that we wanted to achieve, what it needed to look like. And then from there starting to back out to what were the steps that got us there. And, you know, and in the case of Electronic Arts, you know, one of the things that we wanted, of course, was to have a large digital revenue and digital revenue that countered our console sales and stores.
Right? That's of course, what you want. But then the question becomes, well, how do you get there and start to back out of that when this large revenue and knowing what that number was that we want to hit, we started looking at, okay, well, what channels could get us there? And at that time, as I mentioned a moment ago, you know, Facebook was one of those channels where there were certain companies like Zynga seeing a lot of revenue.
And so that just seemed like, oh, a natural you should go build there because you know, there's revenue to be had. But actually, as we start to back out, we realize the economics of the Zynga business weren't as strong as we would need them to be. We also recognize that the terms as Zynga was grandfathered into some very particular terms that we were going to have access to.
So that made it even a little less desirable. So anything that we had already started building in Facebook, I wound down very quickly so that we could put resources elsewhere. The second thing that we looked at was mobile. We realized that mobile could be a channel that could drive a lot of daytime engagement. So like if you think about a gamer who's at the office, let's, yeah, do something with this game.
But we also realized that that wasn't going to be prolonged gaming time. You know, it was going to be these, these momentary spurts of interaction, right. Where, you know, maybe in the case of a sports game, they're, you know, training their players or making a purchase of a player or something like that. But it probably wasn't going to be for high quality intensive games right.
And so that kind of brought us back there. Counsel The console was where the best quality, you know, the highest quality games could be played and probably where people would have the longest duration of gameplay. And so knowing that, that those two were probably going to be the two primary channels, but knowing that console was going to be extremely important, the question became, well, okay, how does that become digital?
And there were two aspects to that. One was, Well, we can sell things digitally, like you know, you could buy a player, right? Or, you know, by a skill. So there could be those micro-transactions. But even that would take time to grow revenue right there. There would need to be new, new, new components of games, Bill, that take a lot of time and a lot of resources to do so.
There was, though, lower hanging an opportunity. It was just a hard opportunity to get to, which was could we move to digital day in the download of games? So they indeed is a day that a game gets released and source Nobody and I say nobody. I mean, retailers, of course, didn't want to see that. And Xbox and Sony at that time were not interested in in doing that because of the potential of losing share inside of retail.
So there was one of those things that everybody wanted to stay away from, but there was a recognition that getting in there was going to be very important. And so for us, we backed down. Then another level, Well, what are things that we can do today that would start to soften those barriers and give us a path to to being able to get there eventually?
And the thing that we had come up with was this program called EA Sports Season Ticket, and it was a subscription program that allowed players who wanted to sign up for the program to download the game three days before came out and retail. And yes, there are players who are that passionate about games that would want to do that download games three days before it came out retail to be able to start playing the game earlier, to build up your skills, build up your teams for online play and anything that you did during those three days would carry over once you bought the game in retail.
So once you bought the game and put put the disc in the console, everything that you had done during those three days would win carry over with you. And then we would also give you some discount on micro-transactions to help encourage you to do more of that. That program did amazing, actually. It became a whole division within Yeah, it became the Origin division and I believe it was about six, maybe seven months later.
We actually got to the first day in the digital download where we had a game now available to download on your council. So that was a little bit of a wild ride for us, but it was a ton of fun and, and that kind of played into this idea of Yeah, well need to have perfection immediately. Let's just have progress rate, let's take this down to a level that we know we can achieve today that's going to give us a path to being able to grow a business that we know is going to be extremely crucial for us as a company and allowed us to also be a market leader.
We were the ones that drove that change.
Daniel Burstein: So take us through the the internal communication aspect. And as a marketer, what's the internal communication aspect that goes along with that? Because when we think of digital transformation, sometimes we just think of technology, right? Well, I love what you did in a sense, because I could imagine going there. It could be like, okay, Zynga is eating our lunch, you know, getting we're getting all those flack from analysts.
We need to bring someone in. We need to make this change now, You know, But you did something very smart, right? You backed up and you can say like, okay, let's be the second or third or fourth Zynga, right? Let's look at the market. Let's find where can we have some exclusivity because that is going to give us a powerful and sustainable value proposition.
But doing that with that pressure, I'm sure there was a time urgency, pressure being like, let's get this guy in there, let's wrap this up, let's get going, Think it's business every quarter like doing that requires some internal communication skills and finesse. So how many tips on anyone out there running a digital transformation that internal communication doesn't necessarily?
Dan Garzia: I think the first is getting people to believe in a vision and and numbers helped do that, right? I think when you can put numbers down on paper and say, look, here's a path that looks like it should be the right path, but when you look at them, the the model, the forecast, the model behind it, it's stuck and they get us anywhere.
And then, you know, conversely, here's a couple other paths that look interesting. One of them also seems like a natural fit mobile. But can we really see that holding the integrity and the quality of the gameplay that we want players have? Now that's a easy answer. We don't even need numbers for that. And then third, you know, you can look at council know that we were we were a leader in council gameplay so you know transitioning out of that just felt very unnatural and they could realize and see through the revenue that we already had that that would be an easier path to, to go.
We just had a very steep initial hurdle on it. And the other thing that I would say about console that made it very interesting is there were there were two issues to this. One was to prep all the disk for print. The the games typically had to go to to a third party and there was some risk for piracy tied to that.
And then the second risk and the second issue that sat in there was printing this and shipping them also cost money. And so if you could shave off the money and print the deaths and reduce the the risk of the piracy, those were also two huge side benefits to the business. So, yeah, I think getting people to align on a vision, the first thing and I was very fortunate, you know, I had there was a very eager management team.
I had a very talented counterpart that ran the technology of that of EA Sports Digital, who was also a very vocal leader there. And I think together with a very strong leadership team, we were able to get some women around what we need to do. The hardest conversation in there was pulling off a Facebook. Just it didn't feel right, giving look at Zynga's business.
But I think after a few weeks of having the conversation, going back to numbers and then also realizing gameplay quality wouldn't be there either. We like mobile. I think we finally crossed that hurdle and got comfortable there.
Daniel Burstein: And that's also folks know your customer needs better gameplay that instead of the competition, which is hard because like we're so competitive right? But so you mentioned you came in very early to a lot of these digital transformations. You were maybe the first guy. They never even have a team yet. And you said one lesson you learn when hiring is to counterbalance weaknesses.
So how do you do this when you're building your team?
Dan Garzia: You know, I was really fortunate to start my leadership career very, very young. I started at at the age of 26 at Safeco. I was hired in by Maisy Murphy and Leader, who ended up leaving about nine months after I was hired to go be the CMO of one of my other entities of the Hartford. And when she was leaving, you know, she had to work underneath her.
When she was leaving, she told the CMO that I was a natural person to step up and lead that team, which was a huge honor, also very scary, you know, And it took me a while when he first approached me and asked, you know, Hey, do you want to take this role? It took me a minute to say yes, because, you know, I had a very talented team around me who were more senior, who have been in insurance much longer, have been markers, much longer.
So it did take me a minute to accept the role, but I'm very happy I did. One one of the things that we were able to accomplish in that role is gaining recognition for what we were contributing to the bottom line of the business. We're running some very, very valuable incentive programs that were driving in growth and markets where we had previously had a much smaller footprint.
And because of that work that we're doing around the incentive programs, I was able to start to build up a stronger team around particularly that pocket of work. And I needed to hire quite a few people into that. Previously, it had been me and one other person. So, you know, we needed to create actual team that was going to do that and increase the scope of that program.
I mean, when I when I first started and again, this was the first time that I was hiring talent, when I first started hiring talent into that group, into that team, it was it seemed like just the right idea. You hire the best CV that comes across and the person who interviews, well, you know, communicates well and feels like a good team fit, right?
That seems like it checks all the boxes. And it did for that team. It totally did. I had a great team built out there that continue to drive that program, built it up to a much broader program than than I originally had it. So yeah, that totally worked. Great, great check check Mark there. But but the thing that I realized as I looked across that team was that I had a lot of great people there, but I was still missing things that counterbalance me being a great leader and and so I took that away from that role.
And when I went to Travelers again, I had to build out a team and travelers brought me into and the very first role build out their interactive marketing team. So they were still sending faxes. They didn't have an email program in place, They had a fairly basic website and that needed to be completely retooled. There. They still sold at the time through independent agents, and there there was no environment for independent agents to go get collateral, particularly digital collateral, that they could give to their clients.
And so they were just there was just a lack of interactive tools. And so I needed to build up a team there to help me create that. And and I'm always eager to move quickly. So so for me, it was very important that we start to see some success. And the first 12 months, you know, brand new website, having an email program that gave optionality to doing fast faxes and and having a toolbox for all of our agents.
And so when I start to do the hiring, instead of going hard after people with the best CV who, you know, shined in terms of their discipline, I instead decided that I was going to go hire all the people that I felt saw for where I was at STRONG So I didn't hire actually anybody, not one person with a digital background or any sort of digital background into that role.
I instead, when I hired one person that I thought was exceptionally detail oriented, which counter balance, one of one of my weaknesses, somebody who was exceptionally detail oriented, who had a project management background because I would then want to move very, very quickly and I couldn't miss something along that particularly managing a brand new team. So I went hired a person like that.
I went and hired somebody who came out of the I.T Leadership Management training program, brought them in because they understood technically how everything worked. And I like to think of myself as being a very technical business leader, but this was a person that really understood exactly how everything worked and how everything would need to connect and could be somebody that could interface with the technology team very seamlessly for me and had those relationships.
All right, internally. So that just gives you an example. These were the sort of people that I was bringing into the group and and we were hugely successful though, at the end of that year. So my goal was at the end of the year to have those three things in place operational. And at the end of that year, one of the senior vice presidents came up to me who ran sales and marketing for personal insurance.
The division I was in came up to me and said, Hey, Dan, when Before we hired you, every and every year we go through and we grade all the areas of the business red, green, red, yellow or green. And, you know, personal insurance in general was yellow, which means we in all the areas of personal insurance, most of them were yellow, which means that we feel we're in lockstep with competitors and we're making the right investments.
And and we feel generally good about where we're going. You said there was the one red, and the red was we didn't have any interactive marketing capabilities and we felt way behind some of the others. And and this year there was one green and it was interactive marketing that was only green and personal insurance. And so I just want to commend you.
We as a team went from red all the way to green inside of 12 months. And that actually was was a pivotal turning point for me and several other team members. We ended up joining a small group of folks that were starting to think about the direct to consumer business. And so that that then got into the cofounding of that business.
Daniel Burstein: That's great. That is an example of change and transformation going from the red to the green. But let me ask you, so I think this is a great approach to trying to balance out the weaknesses on the team. I would imagine this varies across all the different roles you've had, but I wonder if you've seen any commonalities in the best hires you've made, either in how you recruited them or in them themselves, and how you interviewed anything like that.
And I would mention a few of the great hires that you're really proud of. You mentioned Anna Dicks, now an independent consultant. Micky Neuberger, now CMO at Realtor.com, Lee Rosenthal, now VP at HP Investments, Dario Odum now at Securitize. So just thinking of all those kind of folks, you hired her best hired. Is there any commonalities we can learn from recruited?
I interviewed, I heard them. You know, any commonalities in general?
Dan Garzia: Yeah. There's there's another component. It's it's not only them filling, you know, counterbalancing your own weaknesses so that you can have a strong team. It's also finding people that you can very easily work with. And so for me, a lot of those folks that you mentioned, I still keep in regular contact with, you know, Daria worked with me at three different companies and I have collaborate at multiple companies.
I hired her at Traveler. So when I was mentioning somebody that was very detail oriented who was a very strong project manager, she's went on to have a very great career in marketing, but that's not where she came out. She came out project manager. You know, it's it's finding those people that you, again, not only help counterbalance your weaknesses, but also are people that you, you, you generally want to work with and can build that tight relationship with.
Daniel Burstein: So you make a change, like you said, red to green. These these big transformations is hard. Transformation is hard. Right? So another lesson you mentioned is celebrate the win. So how do you do this? How did you learn this?
Dan Garzia: Definitely not one of my natural skills. Like what? So when when we were talking a moment ago about counterbalancing weaknesses there, there's one for you. It's not something I naturally go to, you know, my my head. Still, there's something bigger that we're still working on. But but I've had a lot of team members. And Daria, you were mentioning a moment ago, she she's a great example.
This I've had a lot of team members who bring that skill into the team. They're they are thinking about that. And because of the relationship that I have with them, they're very comfortable telling me, you know, hey, just so you know, we're we're going to cross a very big threshold. And and I recognize that once a they pointed out again to me, but we're going to cross a big threshold.
You know, we need to celebrate that. And and and hearing that over and over and over again, I've become much more sensitive to it over time. And it has become something that I do, particularly now over the last few years, try to drive in myself as opposed to hoping that somebody somebody tells me and tells me. But but it's important to do it because it it does a few things.
And I've seen much better teams because of it. You know, one, it's a time just to take a step back and as a group. Bond Right. You know, we we did something together as a team and, you know, it was a hard thing that we did. Right. And it may not be that we exactly reached the full vision, right?
It could just be that we took a first step towards that vision. But it was a milestone step. And taking that step back gives us a chance to breathe and and sit down as a team and bond. So it's really important on that level. It also ends up being a moment of celebration for for us to show the leadership team because, you know, often you're you're working so hard to ensure you can show numbers and your leadership team can generally be happy that you're moving along the right path and and that you're you're hitting the milestones that you've agreed to.
But when you take a step back to celebrate, it just feels bigger, right? And it feels maybe a little abnormal in a sense. Right. And so it allows them to also take a step back and give more recognition to us as a team. And so in a lot of companies I've been at, you know, I extend that celebration to my leadership because then they get to be part of it, too.
And they now have some ownership in it. They have an opportunity to stop and also celebrate. And it also leaves them with a feeling of, wow, this is a team that's pretty well oiled and working very well together because, you know, clearly we see them bonding strongly. We see them achieving great results. And and they all seem very happy and excited by what they're doing.
So, yeah, it's it was it's been a very important lesson and very, very fortunate that have had some some folks working alongside me that have kept me or, you know, owned that step and a very, very important step and achieving milestones. So I guess, yeah.
Daniel Burstein: So how do you choose what to celebrate? Because I worry sometimes we talk about celebrating the win. It's only focused on the company like, oh, we hit a certain financial metric or something like that, right? But for example, when we interviewed, we surveyed 2400 U.S. consumers and one of the things we asked them was about customer first marketing only 5% said it wasn't important to them, right?
They want this feeling that the company is putting the customer first. Right. And there's other characteristics. One, her team. We want experimentation. We're curious, curiosity. We want all of these things. So how do you choose what to celebrate or is it is it just the financials? Is it just as their numbers are better for the company? Or how can we like instill these other good characteristics into our teams?
Dan Garzia: You know, to be honest with you, actually, I think I've celebrated the numbers fewer times in my career than the numbers are important. And obviously, they're they're they're important for the business. They're important for for for earning bonuses. And and and for for the the team having success. But the things particularly to digital transformation that we've celebrated more are milestones of of crossing a hurdle that that felt kind of big.
Right so for instance one of the celebrations that we had a travelers was we you know, personal lines when I joined travelers was not the biggest division commercial lines was and the website was run by a committee. So there was a committee of decision makers who determined what went on the website, what the homepage of the website looked like.
And it looked like, well, when I started and the bigger businesses had a larger section on the home page and the smaller businesses had a smaller section on the homepage, but it was kind of patchy. And so when I arrived, one of the arguments I presented to that committee was this idea that the the ownership of the website should be managed by the, the where the traffic is coming from.
And I was able to peel back all the numbers and show that, you know, the vast majority of the traffic that came to website came from personal insurance which would be logical, make sense. But it kind of flipped that whole committee on its head and and it took several weeks to do that because of course this has been a process for a long time of how the website's managed and who's this 27 year old kid who's coming in with the CMO personal insurance to share that thought.
So but but over a little bit of time, I not only showed the numbers, I showed a vision for how it would work and ensuring that commercial insurance still had the right presence on the site and that it was easily able to all the things that were important to them. And so over a little time I gained that appreciation from that group and was given the license to take temporary ownership of the site to do what needs to be done while everybody saw how things played out.
That was a milestone. That was a hard milestone to get to. And and that was as I was just starting to bring on the team. And that was a milestone that the CMO, me and the first couple hires I had on the team all took a step back to celebrate those. Those are examples of the sort of things I think require just a minute to think about and there's obviously some wins are really big like when we got the day and day for Electronic Arts, that's very big, right?
So you have a very big celebration. That one they just shared about travelers. You know, it was it was a very important one, very important milestone. It wasn't necessarily a big one. It was invisible to anybody right outside of that committee. But it was so important one. So we didn't celebrate it as hard as we wished for for the others, but it was still a moment to step back.
Daniel Burstein: That's interesting. That's interesting. That's great. You know, a lot of times it's just boom. There's the numbers are up on the wall. It said those numbers and boom, that celebrate. I like that. Well, it also brings up that, you know, we as marketers, the first part of the podcast, we talk about the things we made, but also we make them with people.
We celebrate those people, right? And so in the second half of podcast, we're going to talk about lessons we learned from the people you collaborated with. But first, I should mention that the How I made It in Marketing podcast is underwritten by McLeod's Institute, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa. You can get 10,000 marketing experiments working for you with Mac Labs, A.I. to get Mac jobs.
I sign up for a free trial to the air build at Mic Labs dot com slash a that's MSE lab Ask.com slash a Ah. Okay. Dan, as I mentioned, you know, we get to make things with people and we learn a lot of lessons from these people. So the first person that you mentioned that you learned from was Gary Schmidt.
And you said Gary taught you to network every day on it. Gary teach it.
Dan Garzia: This year. Cisco was a very interesting spot. When I was hired in, I mentioned that, yeah, the the leader that brought me in Kathy organs incredible human. When she laughs, she recommended me to step up into that role. Now, there was a brief moment in there where underneath the CMO, I was the highest ranking marketer and yeah, in terms of level inside of CTO and I was 26 years old and, and there was an individual who was brought in to help the marketing team as it was going through some, some broader transition.
And the individual that was brought in was Gary Schmidt, and he had been marketing agencies early in his career and then he was a CMO of a bank, a regional bank. Then he got into being a CMO of a larger bank area. He he was hired in as a consultant to help with the marketing organizations. It was going through that, that change.
And I got to know Gary pretty well because he sat in a lot of the senior meetings. You know, you've been the CEO staff meetings, which I was invited to and with Gary, one of the the he had a great way about him. He was a very relaxed leader who was able to inject the right amount of of of the calm and difficult situations.
So there was a lot they took away from Gary. But there was a very particular thing that he had shared with me. He had pulled me aside. One day I he again, I was very, very young. So still learning quite a bit. Still I'm still learning a lot, but I back in those days I was wearing everything. And so he pulled me aside and he said, you know, hey, I can see you being the president of a company one day.
You know, you have a great passion. You're a good leader. There's one thing I would recommend to you, though, is that you take a pause from your day job a little bit and you go network. And he said, spend 20% of your workday networking. And that blew my mind because I was thinking, wow, you know, 20, 22, that's a lot of time.
I got a lot of work today. I'm not there. I think 20% my time and go network. I'm already busy. I'm working way into the evenings and and so yeah, he said that to me and I also naturally it's another thing Yeah I'm a little bit of a closeted introvert. So naturally for me to go network is not a very comfortable all idea at face value.
And so I also just didn't extend myself naturally in that way. But what he said did hit me and I did look up to Gary. Yeah. Again for for the reasons I was sharing a moment ago. And so I've taken that feedback with me. And again, it's still not a natural thing for me. So I'm still I have as a human, I haven't I haven't totally morphed into a different human.
So I still am a closeted introvert, but I do push myself intentionally, right? So when I'm in situations where I can network, I push myself into it more and and then I actively go seek opportunities to network and talk to others I ordinarily wouldn't. And it's brought some fortune things my way. There's been opportunities that I wouldn't have been cued in on if I hadn't been doing that.
And so it's opened some doors in terms of possible career options. It's it's led to some collaborations I wouldn't have otherwise planned to do or thought of. And so it's it's been a valuable tool for me and yeah I think Gary for you know taking taking the time to pull me aside to make that comment. It's not something I when naturally thought of.
Daniel Burstein: Well what's something you do and network that works for you. Because I am also very introvert you know I see some people that I like a bunch of LinkedIn posts. I'll go to some networking party for me, actually, I read there is a Sports Illustrated reporter. I wish I remember who it was that died. And in their obituary they mentioned how he's very introverted and he became a reporter because it gave him a reason to talk to people and interview people and have these deep conversations.
And that really resonated with me. I never thought about it before, but I love doing this because I would never, like, approach you, Dan, on the street or like some mixer or something like that. But getting to sit down and pick your brain for an hour, I just, you know, loving it. So interviewing works for me, right? But what works for youth introverts because I'm an introvert, like how do you network?
Dan Garzia: I think it's putting yourself in those environments where there's opportunity to network with the type of people that you may want to network with. So yeah, whether it's going to an event and, you know, taking time to walk up to people. So for instance, if I'm not speaking an event and I'm sitting listening to a panel and somebody says something interesting on the panel, I try to catch up with them afterwards.
Right. And spend a little bit of time chatting with them. I do much better personally one on one. So I do try to find that one and one way to engage somebody. Similarly, when I'm walking through an exhibit, all it's looking at people's name badges and if I see a company or I see a person that I heard the name or or the company that I'm familiar with, and I, I'm interested in hearing what's going on there, I do stop the person and and have a conversation with them.
Yeah. So it's normally those sort of things that allow me to, you know, network one on one with people where I do best. Similarly, if if I'm in a company which I'm not right now that has a cafeteria, you know, it's the same sort of thing, right? I mean, you know, you maybe see somebody every day, take a moment, go go chat with them.
Right. You you may learn something.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. So I mentioned this in the opening. I love this. You say change starts here. You learning this from Bill Ryan? Like when we about all the change management and all the digital transformation you've had in your career. Like, I feel like these have become buzzwords we get used to them you know change management digital transformation. We can't forget.
It's hard. This is hard stuff. The status quo is tenacious. Just try changing what you have for breakfast every morning. Something you don't mean. Like we're a different pair of shoes. See what that's like? It's. This is big, hard stuff. A lot of people are involved. So you really do have to get you have to make that happen.
So how did Bill pushed you to do that? And what do you call that? Change starts here.
Dan Garzia: He he said something. You know, there's there's a lot of moments in my career where and my life in general where people say things that just like stick to my core. Right. And he said something that just stuck to my core. One day I was in his office. We were having a conversation about something that I was working on and and I was sharing with him, you know, the travelers, like a lot of big companies, you know, big company has a culture.
There's people that have been there a long time. They've been driving a culture certain way. And and sometimes that's a little counter to the way that change may need to happen. And I think, again, being very early in my career especially, but I think at that time when I was sucking Bill, you know, my my perspective was, you know, hey, I need to orient myself towards the way that they're doing things that I can make change from within, right?
So if I'm if I'm part of that environment, I can help change it. Otherwise, you know, it feels like, you know, it's going to be a very hard nut to crack. And and Bill's comment was, no, you know, you just got to go be the born the China shop on that one. Right. And, you know, the change has to start here with you right now.
It can't wait three months for you to build those relationships. You just got to go crack that knot. And and it was impactful to me because, you know, he you know, in one sense, he was a vice president at Air Travelers when I joined and had been there for a little bit and kind of understood the culture and the organization.
And so when he made that comment to me, it in a sense gave me a little bit of license. Right. But it also had to come. I was sharing a moment ago just stuck to my core in defining this this realization for me that, hey, there might be some times where you strategically do pull back and and and slowly work on something, but there's other times where it needs to happen.
And, you know, particularly if I'm driving digital trends for me, it just needs to happen and we got to get there and there's and it doesn't just add on to that point. It doesn't need to be a confrontational thing where, you know, your relationship with those people needs to be at odds with what you're trying to drive. You know, you can make both things come together, both ends meet, but but it doesn't need to be that what what needs to get driven happens, right?
That that's what the business needs. That's the right thing for the business.
Daniel Burstein: Well, I mean, what you're talking about, I agree with. But it's such an uncomfortable. Do you mean dynamic like you're saying? Yeah, because you're going in there to shaken things up. And sometimes things are a certain way because there's like a certain stakeholders I want to keep in that way. So is there ever a time when there's like a small change you can start with that will have a big result, not just making the small change for the sake of it.
When you're talking about a digital transformation, that's a big there's a lot that can go on there in moving systems and processes and all this. Sometimes we can identify that small change, that low hanging fruit that has an outsized and then can actually build momentum for it. Because when the most popular article I write about, you know, in the morning Sherpas, the small changes, big results.
People love to see that like, oh, I changed three words on a button. They got a 200% lift, whatever, you know. So for you can you think real small change but boom, we got big results. Now you're starting a snowball to build up momentum in the organization.
Dan Garzia: Yeah, you know, it is getting to those very small things that feel like not hard thresholds or grasp, right, Or feel very difficult to argue no to. Right. So like one one or even giving people the optionality and letting things play out over time. You know, one great example that travelers fast facts is we're still re-interpret the some some people inside the company I understand it right you know it's a way it's been done.
It works, right. The client's been receiving information that way. There's a cost to doing it. And it it is becoming a more way of doing things at that time. But, you know, it was still working in that moment. And and so there were a lot of people that were very resistant to move over to email, understandably so. And so one of the concepts I had come up with was and I had a great agency partner, Eula Sheffield, who helps with this concept.
But one of the concepts I had come up with was What if we just let the client pack, right? So like, what if they had a management center on in this toolkit that we built and they can go in there and decide all the different communication types how they want to receive it. So if they want to receive my facts, fine.
And I'll even automate the faxes for the sales in no way outsource them. Nobody has to go sit down on a fax machine, send these things anymore. I'll automate it. And so we'll let people pick, fax will let them pick ASMs So at the time that was maybe a new communication channel that I'd take off. Well, let them pick, I'm sorry, not as a mass and free per game, but it was a fee that you you can receive any rate.
Well will essentially a syndication fee will let them choose to receive it that way or where they can receive it by email. And we'll just let people be owners and it doesn't matter whatever they feel comfortable with. The vast majority, of course, checked email. So you know, it it up transitioning that way. And I highly doubt that they still have those those options in that profile management any longer.
But but that was a way to get everybody over the hurdle, you know, hey, I'll honor me. I'll take the work off of your plate and we'll just let the customers choose and know if they've already been receiving. Fax will continue to do it that way until they choose the way that they want it.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, I mean, that is a great way to let the customer decide. AB Testing is another great way to, you know, let the customer decide. When we talk about this change, you know, sometimes the words in which we use make such a big difference in how people view things. So a famous political example, I'm not going to say what side him on, but, you know, you could call it offshore drilling or you can call it energy exploration.
It's the same thing. But those words change how people see it. I'm a writer, so I love this life lesson for you. Words matter. You learned this from Ernie Jurek. How did you learn? Words matter.
Dan Garzia: I was super fortunate. So I mentioned at the top of at the top of the podcast that I saw my career, Cosmo dot com and, and I switched my classes, evening classes. At that time, it was our entire town because the dot com boom was happening and, and the regional marketing organization for Cosmo for for the Northwest that the head of that team she she she got lucky in the sense that one of the the women that worked in her operations group her her dad had been a copywriter at some huge agencies I forget which which ones he was at but they were very large agencies have been known notable for writing some copy that
we've all seen on on TV as children. He he offered to come out of retirement to to work with us. And and it just so happened that I got to sit across from Ernie. And so one of the jobs that I had was, you know, as I mentioned, it was a video. You know, we did video rentals, convenience items, all these things delivered from the Internet to your door in under an hour.
And in one of the ways that you got the videos back to Cosmo was that there were drop boxes conveniently located throughout your town. And typically those would be in restaurants, corner stores, apartment building lobbies, large office buildings. And somebody had to call to get those owners to agree. And being, you know, very early on in my career there, I was nominated as the perfect choice to go do that.
And so so I got the opportunity to call and, you know, yo as was a very important thing for the business because obviously having these very strategically located was critical because that made people feel that was truly convenient, right? Otherwise it played against our mission if it wasn't coming. So, so I did take a lot of pride in making sure that we were being thoughtful about where these ended up and and and making sure that they were set up in easy to find locations, etc..
Ernie would sit across, as I mentioned, he sat across from me, he would listen to me. He called me up the stores, right, to talk to the owners about this idea, Hey, can we borrow a little corner at the front, the front door? And and there was a whole sales pitch that went along with it. But I would talk.
I would randomly see him glaring at me. And then we set up the call. Sometimes he would say, say, you know, hey, you know, but when I get off the call, he would tell you, I hate you. You said you said this or Why don't you say this? And and, you know, at the moment when he would say, wow, look at me, I go one way or the other word.
But the more that I would reflect on what he was sharing with me, I understood where he was coming from, you know, that he was tightening up a sales pitch that should go much smoother. I mean, it was already going fine, but it should go much smoother and hopefully alleviate more questions or not introduce opportunity for questions and and get things to a close faster.
Ray the end of the call quicker. And so I always valued you know, I'm particularly looking back I really value I value that feedback that he was giving to me and I brought that into the calls at that time. But now as I write copy, it's it's very intentional. The words I pick and I do it to solve for those exact things I was sharing a moment ago or to bring people along a storyline much, much better than it would otherwise come across.
Daniel Burstein: I wonder about words an emerging industry where people don't even know or they're not always clear on what the things even are yet. Or actually, I think back for an example. Many years ago we surveyed our audience of marketers about conversion optimization. It's kind of what was called now, and we're asking, will we even call this? And there, you know, many different words.
It's pretty evenly split. People were calling it landing page optimization website redesign. Some people were just calling it optimization, although that could be SEO also. And so, you know, eventually the industry coalesced largely around conversion optimization. But it's tough then to like how you communicate and talk to about potential audience in your current industry. I mean, I think of blockchain tokenization, decentralized assets or validators defi fintech, all of these were, you know, so how do you what choose which of those words to use or brand around a word or, you know, decide how you're going to communicate with this about this emerging technology and emerging ideas with an audience?
Dan Garzia: Yeah, yeah. It's hard. There's there are a lot of words in this space that they get used sometimes used incorrectly or sometimes used to as a young as a way to take ownership over over a category or an idea, hoping that it creates some gravitas around it. It's hard. It's hard to pick the words. And, you know, even if you do pick the words that you think have some gravitas around them, still, there's the audience that's not familiar with them, Right?
Because they're often very new ideas and new words, you know. So for for me, it's often stepping back and just a look at, you know, where do I see this were being used? How regularly do I see it being used? Do I see it being used even outside of the inner circle that's thinking about this? I'm working on this every day.
Or is a we're not not there yet. And and that is often a starting point for whether all adopt the word or not. And then given the industry that we're in and how new blockchain is to financial services, which is our our core client base, how new it is for financial services, it's also taking a lot of time to define that over and over and again.
And and that's good, right? Because, you know, again, doing my part of building up some gravitas around the word and making sure that people feel comfortable and understand the terminology and what I mean by it. But but it normally does start with those two things. You know, is there already some gravitas and particularly outside the inner circle and then and then myself doing doing the effort of, you know, paying the effort of making sure that, you know, I'm helping to build up and educate people on that term.
But there's a lot of fun ones like Total and Total Value Locked TVL, our new hosts and new acronyms, re TVL or a total value locked and people not understand what that means. And you know, and the traditional asset management world, it would kind of be like assets under management, right? It's the assets, it's the financial assets are locked on the chain that smart contract.
So there's there's a ton of stuff like that. It's also what makes the space kind of fun.
Daniel Burstein: And is why it's fun to be an emerging industry. And an analogy like you mentioned, like that analogy can help. Okay, you knew this thing and now think of this thing and there are similar. So speaking of analogies, you mentioned, you know, you started at Cosmo in those early days of the whole dot com boom, which became a bubble and all that.
I think they raised three or $400 million. It seems like we're in similar times in a sense with blockchain, crypto artificial intelligence. Now wonder what you learned from your experience in the early days of the dot com bubble, especially around this, because something I've noticed, you know, dot com early days, I remember being on forums. It was a very grassroots right and then it became ultimately a very corporate thing.
Right. And looking at kind of what you're doing with the blockchain and crypto, it kind of seems like it was a similar approach, like blockchain crypto. Those things exert grassroots thing. You know, we heard about Bitcoin and those things and now you're using it in to me in a very enterprise fashion. So just wonder if you've learned in general anything from that your time in the early days of the dot com that could be helpful to people working in the next emerging thing, whether it's crypto or blockchain or artificial intelligence or whatever that is.
Dan Garzia: Yeah, there's probably a couple of things that underscore that. You know, for me in terms of what I've learned, you know, one is these are all critical technologies, right? So yeah, there is stuff that, you know, the ups and downs, the rollercoaster ride of the of cryptocurrency. I don't participate much in cryptocurrency, you know, as a speculative investment.
The underlying technologies, though, are what's interesting. And, you know, with with Internet, if you think about transforming the way we do everything, I mean even the way we're interacting right now is transformed literally right now on the spyglass. But if you think think about like what the dot com boom did with with Amazon, you know, on the size of Amazon as a company today you look at industries that that totally shifted shape right I mean blockbuster gone right you know so there's I think there's there's there's these profound effects that technology has on our lives.
The way we do things, the way we operate blockchain is just that to an actually a lot of people argue that's even more of a shift than what Internet brought to us. But and I won't argue that idea, but, but at least it is a shift like the Internet, right? And when you think about the Internet, that is the application layer that you're interacting with.
So and obviously there's there's a rail of the Internet, but but there's this interface that you're interacting with in a lot of industry still behind the curtain. There's a lot of manual processes, centralized activities where information is not shared intermediaries. They come into play to help solve part of then the transaction process and and one great analogy that I love to use is if you think about trading a stock today, right?
So you go you wanna buy a Tesla stock and you go on to Robinhood or whatever brokerage you use and you buy Robinhood stock, it appears in the interface shortly after you made that purchase, I think you hit by The reality is it actually takes two days to transact on the back end. So so that settlement time is really long and that introduces a lot of risks.
Yeah. That that Robinhood has to be accountable for and all the intermediaries that help make that transaction happen are accountable for. But it takes two days. Now think about if you're a prime member and Amazon it takes two days for you hit by or last sometimes by and a package arrive at your doorstep. So why does it take two days for financial services to make a transaction of a stock so these highly intermediated what should be fully digital services still have a back and a middle layer that are not digital today.
And so that's what blockchain brings. Blockchain brings this back end layer that allows things to happen in real time. And so it'll end up changing the way that we do things like financial services where, you know, you can really make a transaction in real time where you can truly own assets that you buy, right? They can be and digital wallet doesn't just have to be your cash and credit cards and wallet can actually be a share of stock in your digital wallet that I could very easily give to you.
Daniel If we're past on the street, we just a hold up you hold up the QR code in your digital wallet and I send over that share of stock. So so there are these technologies that have these very, very profound changes on industries. And blockchain is one of those similar to dot.com that that's one thing. Now share. The second thing I'll share and of course, I'll be waves to all these things in terms of adoption and time for adoption.
And when that right moment ends and that kind gets me to the next point. The next point is knowing when the right time for that adoption is and also knowing how to pick the right place to be able to help encourage and drive that adoption. And so for me, I started seeing blockchain and interacting with some leaders on blockchain space back in 2016, 2017, when I was at Franklin Templeton, I was very fortunate to be part of the the committee that would interview startups that we were considering to fund, to give some some venture capital funds to and to incubate.
And being part of that committee, I got the opportunity to sit with leaders of blockchain companies. And so I had the opportunity to learn a little bit about what was going on, what adoption look like, how they were seeing things coming down the path, how long it was going to take to get there. And and that that that was an important tool for me because I was able to assess, you know, a couple of things.
One, I want to be there doing that because I understand what this is going to drive. But two, I have the opportunity to be able to to pick the right time to go into the space. And that that's that's exactly how I feel it's worked out. You know, I came into blockchain now about two years ago and last year I feel like we saw the first material wave of institutional adoption, not for prototyping sake, but for actually using the blockchain.
So bringing real assets on chain and tokenizing that and that's that. I, I'm lucky I got to be here for, for what is really the very beginning of that. And, and now these next few years, I think we're going to see a ton more activity coming on chain in terms of picking the right place to go, you know, coming again, coming out of financial service where I was at, BlackRock and Franklin Templeton, you know, I understand that industry very well.
And so it was very important to go to a place I felt understands that industry very well because those will be the individuals that are going to have the most success driving that adoption onto their platform. You know, of course you got to have a great product that we all believe in, which which is another very important component of it.
But having a team that really gets an industry who come out of that industry with long tenures in an industry is is another very important component. And so today, you know, I'm fortunate because I get to work on provenance blockchain at a time when the adoption is just now happening and on the blockchain that has the most adoption of real world financial assets.
And we're actually technically the second largest blockchain in the world with, with about 8.2 billion in real world assets already locked on chain.
Daniel Burstein: Well, then we've gone through your entire career from the early days and dot com to now. We just talked about blockchain. If you had to break it down, what are the key qualities of an effective marketer? What are you looking for when you hire? What are you looking to be yo for?
Dan Garzia: For me, it changes pretty dramatically by every environment demand because again, I'm trying to counterbalance. So it depends who's already there, who's not there depends a lot on the culture of the company. Depends on what we actually need to go get done. So so I think I think skills vary and there's, there's a little bit of a dependency on on where we are that drive what I'm looking for.
But there are a few things that always play out for me. One is strong communication, you know, marketing. You need to do a lot of communication. And it's not just about the customers, it's within the company setting array priorities, helping people understand why we're trying to take, particularly with digital transformation, why we're trying to take things a certain direction.
So I am looking for a very, very good communicator. I'm looking for individuals who want to try and fail. So I think it's it's very easy to to not want to take risk. And it may be natural for some people not to take risks. But digital transformation, we need to take risks. We need to try things. And so for me, you know, should fast learn fast of all fast rate.
And so I do look for people that want to take a risk and they're okay with that and feel comfortable doing that. And then of course, for me, you know, delivering is really important. And so I also look for people that have some of of delivery success, right. And that they can walk me through what it's taken them to and show the milestones, the difficult milestones that, seek them to get where they got.
But they can show me how they they walk through something and and those are probably the three things that are really, really critical and core. And then everything else balances out between, you know, what we got to achieve, where we are. Yeah. Yep.
Daniel Burstein: Well, thank you for walking us through some of the key milestones in your career, getting this in your head and talking about how you achieved all that. I learned a lot today down.
Dan Garzia: As appreciate the time being. That's been great.
Daniel Burstein: And thanks to everyone for listening.
Outro: And thank you for joining us for how I made it in marketing with Daniel Bernstein. Now that you've got an inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas. Your next marketing campaign from Marketing Sherpas Extensive library of free case studies at marketing Sherpa dot com That's marketing SRH, ERP, Ecom and.
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