June 06, 2024

Marketing Operations: Balance ambition with well-being (podcast episode #100)


In episode #100 of the How I Made It In Marketing podcast, I had an insightful conversation with Jordan Welby, Director of Marketing Ops at Cella by Randstad Digital. We delved into brand consolidation, post-acquisition integration, and transforming marketing programs to meet evolving customer challenges.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

Marketing Operations: Balance ambition with well-being (podcast episode #100)

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How I Made It In Marketing is not about marketing.

Not really.

It’s about marketers. And the funny thing about marketers is that we’re not just marketers, we’re also human beings. So to succeed as marketers, we also have to be successful humans.

Which is why I always love a lesson like – ‘Balance ambition with well-being.’

To hear the story behind that lesson, along with many more lessons and stories from throughout her career, I talked to Jordan Welby, Director of Marketing Ops at Cella by Randstad Digital.

Cella is owned by Randstad. Randstad is a publicly traded company that generated 25.4 billion euros in revenue in 2023.

Welby oversees operations for a marketing team of 11, including two direct reports.

Listen to our conversation using this embedded player or click through to your preferred audio streaming service using the links below it.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on Amazon Music

Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Welby that emerged in our discussion.

Inconsistent branding dilutes the message

Welby was heavily involved with Cella by Randstad Digital’s rebrand in 2020. The company shifted from three uniquely different brands, under one parent brand, to an entirely new singular brand. She was responsible for the creation of internal and external communications surrounding the brand launch. This included social media, email marketing, website support, public relations and corporate communications. She considers many of the assets during this brand launch ‘something I made.’

So what did she learn? She learned that inconsistent branding confused their audience and diluted their message. From this, she also learned that maintaining a consistent brand voice, visual identity, and messaging is essential for building a strong and recognizable brand.

Successful mergers require integration and alignment around strategy, goals, and team structure

For a year, Welby led Cella by Randstad Digital’s marketing team through a major acquisition and integration. There were many challenges during the merging of multiple systems and processes, but there were also many successes and triumphs. One of the biggest lessons she learned during this time involved strategic alignment around strategy, goals and team structure. She ensured the marketing team not only operated efficiently, but also thrived during a period of ever-changing priorities and direction.

Understanding the need for integration and alignment was crucial. It ensured the marketing team continued to thrive, contributing positively to the business, and creating a unified organization.

Launch campaigns based on data, not personal preference and assumptions

Each year, for the past seven years, Welby has been involved with crafting a staple content piece for Cella by Randstad Digital. She continues to tap into their audience’s pain points and goals by meticulously weaving data and actionable insights into a highly sought-after report designed for marketing and creative leaders. What has she learned by doing this year after year? She has learned that leveraging data and analytics to inform and optimize their marketing strategy, for this particular report, leads to better outcomes.

For example, early on in the report’s ‘life,’ campaigns were launched based on assumptions and personal preferences rather than data, resulting in mediocre performance. By analyzing data from this and future campaigns, the team learned to make more informed decisions, measure success accurately, and adjust strategies in real-time to improve effectiveness.

Lessons (with stories) from people she collaborated with

Welby also shared lessons she learned from the people she collaborated with.

Balance ambition with well-being

via Karissa Sachs

When Welby first returned from her maternity leave, she was eager to prove herself by diving headfirst into every project, often stretching herself too thin. Her current manager, Karissa Sachs, VP, Marketing (Cella by Randstad Digital), saw her enthusiasm but also her burnout and struggle.

Sachs shared her own 20+ years of experience with Welby and emphasized the importance of focus and prioritization, teaching her that true impact comes from concentrating on key initiatives and delivering excellence rather than trying to do it all. This lesson not only improved her work quality but also helped her find a sustainable pace, balancing ambition with well-being.

Take someone under your wing

via Rob Ganjon

Early on in her career, Welby often felt like just another employee taking orders, struggling to make her mark. That changed when Rob Ganjon, former President of Cella, took her under his wing. He saw potential in her ideas and passion, giving her the opportunity to lead the marketing team during a time of major company changes and initiatives.

Ganjon provided not only the resources and guidance she needed but also the unwavering support and confidence that she could succeed. Under his mentorship, she not only learned how to be successful and accomplish endless marketing and company goals, but she also discovered her own capabilities and confidence, transforming her career trajectory.

The true essence of being a marketer is the ability to inspire, empathize and ignite a spark

via Kristin Valentine

This lesson might still be in progress, but Welby considers herself on the right track! A number of years ago, she reported to Kristin Valentine (former VP, Marketing, Cella by Randstad Digital; Current CMO, 24Seven.) Every interaction she had with Valentine was a masterclass in marketing.

With campaigns crafted under her guidance, Welby learned that marketing wasn't merely about selling services or products; it was about forging connections, weaving narratives, and leaving a lasting impact on consumers.

Through her mentorship, Welby discovered that the true essence of being a marketer is the ability to inspire, empathize and ignite a spark that turns into brand and customer loyalty.

Discussed in this episode

Branding: 8 lessons to help you make the most effective brand decisions every day

Data-Driven Marketing: 7 examples of using data as a force for the good

8 Mini Case Studies of Using Marketing as a Force for Positive Change in Our World While Getting Results for Your Company and Clients

The Last Blog Post: How to succeed in an era of Transparent Marketing

Marketing Experimentation Strategy: Define and differentiate between experimentation and execution in marketing activities (podcast episode #93)

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Not ready for a listen yet? Interested in searching the conversation? No problem. Below is a rough transcript of our discussion.

Jordan Welby: Covid happens, you have to shift and you have to listen to what your clients are saying and what they want. So what's really unique about our business is at its service, right? You're not selling a sneaker. You're not telling me next year you're selling a service. So it's a really niche, I would say. And we really had to listen to the customers and say, okay, a lot of these people, their teams, right.

There were layoffs. The teams had shrunk their priorities or our customers had shifted. A lot of people weren't looking to spend outrageous amounts of money, right. Their budgets were cut. So we listened to them. We heard what they were saying, what was important to them. And we started hosting a number of virtual events, virtual roundtables. And by this, our topics would be based on, you know, doing more with less, right?

What what to do right when your team or your budget is slashed. And really providing that safe space for people.

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 Bernstein, to tell you about today's guest.

Daniel Burstein: How I made it. And marketing is not about marketing. I mean, not really. It's about marketers. And the funny thing about marketers is that we're not just marketers. We're also human beings. So to succeed as marketers, we also have to be successful humans. Sounds funny, right? But I mean, come on, you know what? Your heart's true. It's not just technology and databases and leads.

That's why I love this lesson from a recent podcast guest application Balance Ambition with well Being. Here to share how she learned that lesson, along with many more lessons and stories from throughout her career. Is Jordan Welby, the director of Marketing Ops at Cella by Randstad Digital. Thanks for joining us, Jordan.

Jordan Welby: Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Daniel Burstein: Let's take a quick look at your background so people know who I'm talking to. you started very early in your career interning as an HR coordinator for Pfizer. then you moved on to being a sales coordinator for National Center Media. You've been a marketing project coordinator at Bouchet designing Communications. And for the past seven years we've been at Cella, where Jordan is now director of marketing operations.

Cella is owned by Randstad. Randstad is a publicly traded company that generated €25.4 billion in revenue in 2003, and Jordan oversees operations for a team of 11 and has two direct reports herself. So, Jordan, give us a sense. What is your day like as VP of marketing Operations?

Jordan Welby: Yes. So actually, director of Marketing operations, I don't want to.

Daniel Burstein: Take I'm sorry, director, I just gave you a promotion. There you go.

Jordan Welby: I know my boss is going to be surprised, but, Yes. So what is my day like? So, you know, to get very granular. I have two small children, so I start my day getting them ready. So, you know, very calm as parents will tell you. Very soothing, almost like meditation is for my day. Getting them ready, getting them off to their schools or daycares.

Right. And then I, have the privilege of being able to work remotely, which is amazing for my work life balance. so I gear up and I get ready for my day here working. Actually, I really like to start my day. I would say kind of aligning myself to the tasks I know I have to accomplish.

any follow up? I know I have to really secure for the day, any people I need to speak to, I like to set goals for that. So the whole day doesn't get ahead of you, as sometimes it may. so I do that. Then after I kind of set those tasks and goals, I really like to do any follow up with people I have to speak to figure out in projects that we're working on are aligned.

Are there any roadblocks? You know, if there are, how we're going to solve those problems. And it's almost like the beginning of my day is a one big task list, I would say, and I'm checking off a lot of tasks. then probably go into my meeting chunk of the day. I've learned, you know, after all these years, unfortunately, we do have a lot of meetings.

but, you know, a lot of them are to really discuss strategy and goals, which I enjoy. I really enjoy the people I work with. So the meetings are not terrible. I would say almost their labor of love. So I have a lot of meetings to go over that. and then I also do a lot of looking over analytics, I would say checking in on our marketing dashboards, seeing how our current campaigns are performing, you know, basically taking all that information and crafting it into what's next.

What are we doing now? You know, all of that. and then probably a break somewhere in there, I would say, and then, you know, towards the end of the day, I really like to make sure that if there's any ASAP things happening, anything I really need to accomplish by end of day. Again, I touch base on those follow up and make sure those are accomplished.

I've learned over the years that you're never going to be done every day. It's impossible, but you do have to know when to turn it off, shut the computer down and move forward. Otherwise you'll you'll just drive yourself crazy so you have to have that good balance for sure.

Daniel Burstein: I love hearing you talk, and I love having an operations person on because, you know, we have a lot of creative marketers and technical marketers and different types of people. But you you're talking a very rigorous and orderly fashion where I would expect an operations person to have that. I think we're going to learn a lot from you in that respect.

I didn't hear the word Gantt chart. Are there any Gantt charts that you glance at at any point in the day? Or.

Jordan Welby: You know, sometimes they're on the computer, I okay, I'm purposefully, leaving them out, ignoring them, blocking it out. But, definitely, you know, they're they're here and there for sure.

Daniel Burstein: All right. Let's take a look at some lessons you've learned from your career. the first one you mentioned is inconsistent branding dilutes the message. So how did you learn this lesson? And how did you live it?

Jordan Welby: Absolutely. So I had the privilege of being part of a major rebrand with Cella in 2020. So it was actually a project that started, I would say, in 2019. and at the time Cella was the former company was BLR Holdings. And that parent company, had a number of brands under it, three distinct brands. And, you know, they found over the years that diluting the brand with these different messages, different creative.

Right. These audiences, you know, maybe there was a way to consolidate, and really make the brand succeed and be more powerful being united under one. so I was really heavily involved in the rebrand with the team at the time. It was smaller. so I wore a lot of different hats. I was heavily involved in all of the social media, the email marketing, website support, our public relations and corporate communications at the time, many of the assets during our brand launch, I consider those as something I made.

I'm doing air quotes, but I, you know, would write the copy. I would make sure that everything was launched, make sure our audiences were targeted, and, you know, from this, I learned that really maintaining that consistent brand, that voice, that visual identity, you know, it's essential to really strengthen and propel your brand regardless of industry. you really need to have that consistency, I would say.

And, one of the craziest factors of all of this was we launched our rebrand in February of 2020. So we went into this thinking, you know, 2020 would be the year of Cella and a month later the world shut down. So that was a really interesting time to launch a rebrand. a lot of shifting priorities, right?

A lot of, clients and talents were dealing with in the marketplace or having their own struggles, I would say. And, you know, Cella was really there to support both our clients, both our talent, and our rebrand at that point was ever so important because I imagine if we didn't have that in United Brand, it would have been even more difficult to really survive that whole year.

And plus of Covid.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. So you mentioned is kind of three brands coming together as then you were acquired by Randstad and we're going to get into some of the operational aspects of an acquisition, which I think we can learn a lot from you with that. But we're since we're talking about branding, I want to ask, like, can you take us through considerations that the team makes in like leveraging or choosing not to leverage the parent company's heritage?

Now that you're like a standalone brand within a subsidiary. So, for example, I wrote an article on branding I wrote about the rebranding of Stuckey's. So I don't know if everyone knows Stuckey's Stuckey's is here in the South. It's one of those kind of roadside stands. it's been around since 1937, so they were looking to update the brand, but at the same time they wanted to tap into that heritage that Stuckey's had, and they had a company history section on the website and epic and the the CEO, a CEO, told me that the data told them that their audience wanted more heritage content, right?

They listened to their audience or like, hey, that heritage stuff is important. So when you talk about the rebrand for Cella, okay, that was before as a standalone company. Now there's the acquisition, now there's Randstad, which is as as we talk about giant brand in the industry. So how did then Randstad that heritage, that brand get involved with the Cella brand?

How did you leverage that.

Jordan Welby: Yeah, absolutely. Great question. I mean when you have a powerhouse like Randstad behind you. it's it's amazing. Right? I think it's opened so many doors for Cella. It's enabled us to go into the global marketplace, you know, which we we weren't able to do previously. There just so many positives there. And I think what the Cella's advantage was in this aspect was the Cella brand really had hold of the digital marketing and creative marketplace.

So we were known for digital marketing and creative specifically with our talent, with our clients. Right. And I think that was something really important to add because they have so many service lines, right? So many operations there, and they really wanted to make a splash in those specific areas. So acquiring Cella, someone that already has that name recognition right, already has that customer and brand loyalty, was really beneficial, I think.

And as we've learned over these years, we were acquired in 2021, we've been able to incorporate elements of run, said digital and maybe not necessarily their creative aspects, but we've been able to incorporate, their service excellence, right? How they service their customers, all of their operations, right, their speed to market again, their global capabilities. So I almost find it more that we've been able to incorporate their longevity, their history and their service excellence into our brand to say, hey, Cella is here, where the same as we've always been your excellent providers for this niche market, but now we have this global powerhouse behind us.

So everything you were getting before you can get any now, better, faster, speed, quality, price, all of that. So I found that that's been more, the, coming together and the integration over these past few years.

Daniel Burstein: Well, let's talk about that integration because like we said, Cella was acquired by Randstad. Most people listening to this call, if you have a career in marketing, you're going to be part of an acquisition at some point on either side, either the acquiring company or the acquired company. So this is your big lesson. You said successful mergers require integration and alignment around strategy, goals and team structure.

So take us through that. How how did that happen?

Jordan Welby: Absolutely. So during this period of time, I think I was in a really unique position where we had a VP of marketing, our team was pretty small still at the time. We hadn't grown yet, so I got to experience a lot of first hand experiences with this integration and the whole acquisition that I don't think many people in my role normally get to experience, so I consider myself really lucky with that.

Along with that came a lot, though, you know, to be very honest, there were a lot of stressful moments, a lot of work to be done because you're not only integrating your systems, your technology, but you're also integrating how you operate as a whole, right? Your culture. and that's this one thing that's really important to sell is our culture, our identity.

and during that time, you know, I really tried to ensure that the marketing team was not only operating efficiently, but they were also thriving during this time of ever changing priorities, because on a small scale, Cella would have right certain revenue goals or things they wanted to accomplish for the quarter. But now you're you're talking run stats, so you're talking much larger goals, sometimes much larger initiatives.

And I really wanted to make sure the operations of the team stayed true to ourselves, that everyone was being able to really succeed, not getting overwhelmed by the change. And that was really important to me. And I learned really that like the integration and alignment to ensure like marketing functions were continuing to strive, that was that was my goal the whole time, you know, helping kind of create the strong and more unified organization and not any sort of difference between the two.

Daniel Burstein: All right. So now here we are. We've got the benefit of hindsight, right. This just already happened a few years ago. What advice would you give. Can you give us a specific of something you would have changed differently when you were approaching it, if you knew that at the time? Right. So, you know, for example, when we talk about a merger, right, there's integrations of tech systems.

There's, you know, making sure the branding is on the line. There's, you know, all of these different elements. And I would think in the beginning, you've got to sit down and operationalize this and project plan this. And I joke around about Gantt charts. But I mean, you've got to like, map this out and say, okay, within three months or six months or one quarter or five quarters, you know, the technology is going to be integrated.

We're all using the same email or calendar system or CRM or whatever it is. And so the problem I always have with project planning is I'm designing it. Yeah, there's educated guesswork. Sometimes you've done it ten times before and and you know, well like a marketing campaign, but sometimes you've been bought by, you know, a $20 billion plus company.

And for the first time ever, you've got to kind of get absorbed and integrated into that. You've never done this before, and you've got a project plan. So now that you have the benefit of hindsight, what would you go back and give us like a specific of something you would go back and do a little differently, or maybe something where you're like, man, I knocked it out of the park.

I would do that the exact same way. And it worked so well.

Jordan Welby: What? Yeah, now that's a good question. I think it's hard, right? Because at the time you don't know what you don't know. and for me, it was the first time going through this whole experience, I had a lot of people around me, right, that were very seasoned, a lot of people to help, a lot of people to guide.

but definitely for the marketing team. I think one of the things that we could have not done better, but maybe, you know, tapped into more was really utilizing the people and the expertise on the wrong side side to get the word out more, if that makes sense. So I think there could have been more opportunities to maybe make a bigger splash with our announcement and how we made those announcements.

You know, at the time, we just kind of proceeded with a little bit of caution. I would say, because again, when you're speaking now for this global brand, to be very honest, you don't want to say the wrong thing. You want to make sure that everything is aligned. Right. You're saying everything you should be saying. and it was a lot of it was a new experience to a lot of people on the team.

So I would say doing more. I think that's what we could have done. We could. We did a little I think we could have done more to more, then more announcing more promotion, whether that be through our paid advertise right, our social lines, our influencer marketing, any of those channels, I think we could do more. I think we were, we were just cautious at the time.

And now looking back, I'm like, oh, I wish we did a bigger splash. But it all worked out nice.

Daniel Burstein: Well, like I said, when you're playing that, you you mentioned that you don't know what you don't know. And that's that's true for our marketing campaigns too, right. and so sometimes we just go by our gut what we think will work. You say launch campaigns based on data, not personal preferences and assumptions. So how did you learn this?

Jordan Welby: Yeah. So I feel like I've learned this maybe the hard way over time. I worked for really small organizations. I worked for a large organization. And, and I feel sometimes in the past, you know, smaller organizations, you're almost making a lot of anecdotal decisions. And sometimes that's because you don't have the technology to back up your decision making.

Right? Sometimes you have, you know, legacy employees who say, this is the way it's been done every year. This is the way we're going to do it. and early on in your career, you're you're surviving a lot of times, right? You're like, yes, yes, person, that sounds great. Let's do it. and I think learning that and looking back, I always think, now, you know, let's make our decisions off of the data.

you know, for example, we we host a lot of events, we produce a lot of content. And I don't want to do things just because we should do things. That's never how I want a team to run. I want to make sure that we're producing something because there's a need for it in the marketplace. Our audience is saying they want it, right.

Let's look at our data. How is our email performing? Right? Should we be targeting these specific people? So how is our social media performing? Should we be, looking into posting more, posting less, you know, doing more video, whatever that is? I think the data really has to drive your decisions because the truth is in the numbers, right?

That's not going to lie. And if you have the technology and you have the experts to support that data, I think it's only going to be beneficial for what you produce.

Daniel Burstein: Can you give us a specific example of something you learned about the customer from the data, and then how you put that into action? For example, when I wrote about data driven marketing, had an interesting story about Kent Kraft, which sold tents for events and concerts. Right. But during Covid, all of a sudden there's no events and concerts.

And they looked at the data and they pivoted to selling dens to hospitals and health care systems for drive thru Covid testing. Right. Because they looked at that data, they saw that opportunity, they acted on it. And the president told me a big takeaway for our team is that we need to always be pivoting to new markets, new products, features and partners.

And you find that in the data. So can you think of any specific example of something that you saw in the data or team saw in the data that you learned about the customer and that, and how you acted on that?

Jordan Welby: Yeah, absolutely. So, I, you know, kind of similar, I would say during before Covid, our company, we hosted a lot of in-person events. So whether that was attending shows as sponsors, as partners, and then we host a number of events ourselves. So whether that be roundtables, professional development, right. Covid happened. You have to shift and you have to listen to what your clients are saying and what they want.

So what's really unique about our business is at it's service, right? You're not telling a sneaker, you're not selling Kleenex. You're you're selling a service. So it's a really niche, I would say. And we really had to listen to the customers and say, okay, a lot of these people, their teams, right. There were layoffs. The teams had shrunk.

The priorities for our customers had shifted a lot of people weren't looking to spend outrageous amounts of money, right. Their budgets were cut. So we listened to them. We heard what they were saying, what was important to them, and we started hosting a number of virtual events, virtual roundtables. And by and this, our topics would be based on, you know, doing more with less.

Right. what what to do right when your team is slash your budget is slash and really providing that safe space for people to communicate and talk about, you know, their pain points and how we can be there to listen, to help. and I really do think it shifted from prior to that, you know, and there's always ebbs and flows in the market.

Right? So there's always years or people are, you know, full of cash and you're sort of they're not. So I think that that is always, you know, a factor. But definitely during that point, we listened to our audience. We found out, okay, their concerns have shifted. How how does someone go from a team of 100 to a team of two and still produce their marketing campaigns?

Right. And then we had these events and hosted them virtually, and were able to really connect with our audience. Still.

Daniel Burstein: That's great. we talked about some lessons about the things you made. In just a moment, we're going to talk about some of the lessons about people you made them with, because that's what we get to do as marketers. We get to build things and we get to make them with people. but first I should mention that the How I Made It and marketing podcast is underwritten by MC labs.

I, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa. Right now, you can get a three month full scholarship for free to the AI Guild at joint Mic Labs ai.com to help you prepare for the artificial intelligence marketing revolution that's joining Meek Labs. I come to learn so much about artificial intelligence and apply it to your marketing career. All right. So let's like I said, let's talk about some lessons you learned from now from the people you got to collaborate with.

We don't just make things. It's a great part of marketing. We get to make them with people. So you say balance ambition with well-being. That's something I mentioned in The Open. You said you learned this from Charissa Sachs. How did you learn this from Carissa?

Jordan Welby: Yeah, absolutely. So I've always been, a self-proclaimed hard worker. Hopefully other people around me would say that as well. but you know, sometimes to to a fault, I would say, and you go through different stages in life. Right? And sometimes before I had my two children, I was able to work, you know, that for as long as I needed to, you know, nights, weekends.

Not that there was pressure to, but almost putting that pressure on myself. And I think you really have to learn how to balance that. Once you have a family, in my experience, because it's just a totally different ballgame. And I recently on my second son in, 2022 and I went on maternity leave, I came back and I think I was really trying to push, you know, prove myself and make sure everyone knew I was back.

You know, none of my skills had fled. Yeah. Which, you're just you're just worried about it. And my boss, you know, my manager now, Carissa. She was like. Jordan, it's okay. Yeah. You are. Everything is good. You are performing. Things are thriving. You would know if you weren't right. And I think that she really helped me understand and focus on prioritization, but not while sacrificing your well-being.

So you're not going to bed thinking about, oh, I could have done this. I should do this. What I have to do tomorrow, having that separation. And I would love to say that she gave me, you know, five tips that I just follow and check off. but it really isn't that simple. I think it's more of your mindset and your ability to work, and it's always a work in progress.

It's not something that shifted overnight, and I still work on it, but I think that she's a really great leader in terms of helping you constantly realize, you know, I, I heard this somewhere, so I can't take credit for it. But we're not saving lives. We're saving PDFs.

Daniel Burstein: Yes. Oh, man, I like that.

Jordan Welby: You know, again, I saw that from somewhere. So it's not a Jordan original, but, you know, and that's true. I think, you know, it's true. Everything you're doing is important, and you want to do the best you can, and you want to succeed, and you want to help your team and help your company. But you also have to think about yourself and your your own advocate when it comes to that.

So that that's really helped put it in perspective. Since I've been back from leave, for sure.

Daniel Burstein: No. That's great. I think the challenge sometimes with marketing, especially digital marketing or marketing at scale, is like we don't see our customers as people as much, right? Their names at a database or cookies that are visiting our site, their email addresses, you know, whatever. And so, like that's a great lesson. Like, we can see each other.

We're working together as humans and we treat each other that way. And sometimes we have a harder time with customers. Right. So I wonder, do you have any example with your customers how you're able to balance ambition with well-being? Right. Our ambition would be getting that conversion goal, you know, getting a sale, a lead, whatever it is, with the well-being of like what's best for them.

so, for example, I wrote a case study, on visible, which is a cell phone service owned by Verizon. We're talking about Covid. During Covid, they launched a campaign called Hashtag Visible Acts of Kindness. And what they did was they just they gave their marketing budget away or part of it. They had a $250,000 budget, and they helped a thousand people.

You know, the people use that hashtag. They gave $250 gift card to a thousand people who just needed help with something, who mentioned it on their social media platform. And the CMO told me, I know we are all trying to sell something, but at the end of the day, if you can prove that you have the right to be in that person's world, that will go above and beyond your product, your brand and your company.

So, Jordan, I wonder for you, I think that's like there's a great story from you personally, you know, with your coworkers balancing ambition and well-being. Have you ever been able to do that with your customers? Have any examples of that?

Jordan Welby: Yeah, absolutely. I think that's a really big part of just everything that I've done through my personal career. And then also I've been lucky enough to work for different companies that always have that in mind, meaning, you know, their well-being of their customers. and, you know, every place I've been, they want people to be a customer, if that's right.

Right. It's not. It's not it if and if the while I say if, but when it is right for them. Right. That's when that company is there. So, just trying to think back to a particular time I worked for a pretty small, like shop. I would say earlier on in my career, more of like an agency side of things.

And we were looking up to be a woman owned business. And so we would go to a lot of events that were specifically for women owned businesses, right? Small businesses, that sort of thing. And there was an instance where we really collaborated with other women owned businesses, and we would get together almost for networking events, but it was really more of social gatherings, and it was a place to, you know, collaborate, talk, catch up on our personal lives with each other and I feel like that was a sense of, I don't know if giving back is the right term, but I think it was a sense of kind of like serving your community, if that

makes sense. It was, more of, hey, we're all in this together and we can all actually be each other's clients in real life because we were all in different industries, but our commonality was the women owned business aspect, and it was just on a personal level. Right. Balancing that, okay, maybe you can be a customer, maybe you could be working.

But right now we're going to focus on this camaraderie we have and this connection we have. And do a little like social interaction, right. And be human with each other. And I felt that that was really powerful.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. Seeing people as people, not as just leads. Right. Yeah. Just opportunities or whatever. yeah. You say take someone under your wing and you learn this from Rob Gagnon. And so I'm guessing, did Rob take you, under his wing and then how did that go then?

Jordan Welby: Yes. So, last name is Gagnon. So you would be like Jordan. Why didn't you tell him?

Daniel Burstein: So thank you for correcting me.

Jordan Welby: No problem. So, Yeah, I was lucky enough to meet Rob. I think at this point, maybe six years ago, I would say, he was our former president of CELLA, and he really saw, I think, potential in me. And I was really grateful for that. I, for my first son, I came back from maternity leave and him and my former boss at the time, you know, they were talking about some of the aspects of my job that I was performing well.

And I met with him and he talked about, you know, these opportunities on the marketing team and how he could think I could make a difference. And that doesn't happen for a lot of people. You know, I feel really lucky that he took the time. He saw the potential. He had the conversation with me. He believed in me.

you know, I always think it comes from somewhere. So clearly I had to be doing something right to even start that conversation. So I do give credit to myself where credit's due. But I think in life, sometimes you need that person. You need someone around to believe in you, to see your potential. Right? And to just say your name in a conversation.

And that really starts everything. It kickstarts it. And he believes in me to join this marketing team. You know, when we were very small and then when we had years of change, whether that be the rebrand, whether that be the acquisition, we had a period of time where we were looking for a VP when our former VP left and he really entrusted me with leading the team and keeping everything going.

and I just think that he made it feel like I didn't have imposter syndrome. So, having his confidence and his backing, I thought, well, I have to be doing something right, you know, or they wouldn't have entrusted me with these things. So I just think, you know, if you're lucky enough to find that person, that's that's really great.

And I've had that experience, which is wonderful.

Daniel Burstein: Well, let's look in the other direction. Now, you're a little farther along in your career. Can you give us an example of how you mentor someone, how you've mentored someone in your career? Because, for example, you know, you're talking about a story. It reminded me of the last blog post, and it was about 10 or 15 years ago, was this kind of group blog posting idea I got from the last lecture, which, if people don't know the last lecture, it's, it was a professor who was dying of cancer, some sort of science, but he he said, hey, if I had one last lecture to give in life, it wouldn't necessarily be about whatever science

he taught to be like. Here's the things I learned in life that the idea of like a bunch of bloggers was a group network of bloggers, Guy Kawasaki and others, and he said, hey, if you could write one final blog post, what would it be? And I even myself didn't know what I would write at that time. What I ended up writing about was a lot of the people I worked with and learn from, and it was I mean, that was mostly what my career was.

Oh, these people, I've learned from them. Here's what I learned from them. So thankful. Which, if it sounds familiar, that became then when I launched how I made it marketing. This whole section was, okay, these are like the people I've learned from in my career. so for you, Jordan, can you think of an example? Can you have that great experience?

Rob he took you under his wing. How have you mentored him? Like how do you mentor, how do you take someone under your wing? What have you learned to do there?

Jordan Welby: Yeah, absolutely. So I, I don't know if it comes across, but I'm kind of an intense person and by that I mean I tend to speak my mind. I, you know, where are my thoughts on my expressions and, you know, good or bad of it, that's kind of the way it is. So I always feel like and I've had this feedback before that I, you know, I ride hard for the people that report to me, the people that work with me.

You know, if someone has something negative to say or we're dealing with, you know, a tumultuous situation, which is rare, but it happens. you know, I come to that more so for those people than even myself. I'm like, you can say whatever about me and have your issues. That's fine. And then when you're not the other.

But when it comes to my team and my people, like, that's where I get very passionate. so could be good or bad, I don't know, but, I think in terms of mentoring that shows through as well. You know, I would like to think and I hope you would agree, but I won't have my direct reports right now.

Jackie, she's our event marketing manager, and she's just amazing. And what I've always tried to do with her is give her real life experiences that I have gone through to almost say, like, don't do what I did. Here's my advice, you know, and I always want people to learn for themselves and think for themselves and grow. But also I want to I want to tell you what I've experienced.

So hopefully if it was negative, you don't have to go through that. And I really in terms of mentoring her, I give her those advice. I, I listen to her, which I think is a really big job of a mentor, right, is to not just speak but also listen because it's a two way relationship. I learned things from Jackie every day, which I hope she learns from me as well.

and again, believing in her and putting her up, you know, in front of people as a success. So whether that's she doesn't really get FaceTime with certain executives. Right? I'll always talk about her successes, things that she's doing while at, or if there's an opportunity, you know, for her to be showcased in any sort of company, communication, things like that.

And I just really I try to make sure that I have an impact on her so that one day, if she's talking to someone the same way I'm talking to you, she would say like, yeah, my boss Jordan. You know, I just think that that out of everything in my career, if I could have someone say that about me in an aspect, I think that that shows that I've succeeded in one way or another.

Daniel Burstein: That's awesome. And in fairness, you're saying that about previous bosses you had. I mean, those are the conversations we're having right now. So hopefully we'll have, you know, Jordan, on how I mean, in marketing in 15 years. I'm sorry. Jackie, was it I'm on how I made a marketing 15 years. She'll be like Jordan. Well be here's what I learned for her.

So, All right, you say the true essence of being a marketer is the ability to inspire, empathize, and ignite a spark. And as I mentioned, you learned this from one of your former bosses, Kristen Valentine. So how did you learn this from Kristen?

Jordan Welby: Yeah, I'm me, and I don't want to give it all away because and everyone one know. But, you know, I throughout my career, I had had really different instances and marketing, like I was saying before, smaller teams, larger teams, smaller companies, larger companies, there were a lot of differentiators between everything and I almost feel like I learned a lot.

Boots on the ground, not necessarily through a class early on. And when I met Kristen, she, she was a teacher. I think if sometimes you have managers in life that really aren't teachers, right. And they're more of just do this because do this. And with Kristen, it was I think we should do this because X, Y and Z.

And she taught and I think Kristen was only my manager honestly, for a year and a half. But she taught she taught me everything. I don't even know how to condense it. I feel like, you know, she taught us, you know, what's the best way to to track something? What's the best way to utilize our technology? What what's the best way to survey your audience?

Right. And she was all about empower ING her people to do things and having that knowledge behind it so that we knew what we were talking about. We knew what we were doing, and we knew why we were doing it. And I think she really set us all up for success to be able to continue, you know, past when she's there and then in our future, in our in our future companies as well.

I mean, she, she helped taught us how to craft our campaigns. she really also talked about how marketing wasn't just about selling a service or a product. Right. But it was about creating those connections, about having those narratives leaving a lasting impact. And she really tried to hone in on the idea of, like, we're not just selling here, we're not just marketing here.

We're making those long standing relationships. And that was one of the biggest lessons I've learned for sure.

Daniel Burstein: Okay, so you talk about marketers. Their job is to make us a long standing relationship. So this question I think really gets directly into your industry. Right. So how do you find those people? How do you find these marketers who can build relationships, who can inspire, who can empathize, who can ignite, right? I mean, that's part of our role as market leaders, as marketers, to find the right people for our team.

for example, when I interviewed Tom Amity, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Intel, on how I made it marketing, one of his lessons was prioritize talent over experience when recruiting. And he walked me through and through the interviewing and testing processes uses to find those people. Right. He's not just looking at the resume that got these certain certifications right.

He's looking for that certain talent. So for Jordan, for you, how do we find those people? How have you found people who are the true essence of a marketer?

Jordan Welby: And that and then Gaitan, you know, to be very honest, I think, there's only so much you can learn about someone from an interview, even if you have two interviews with them. Three interviews with them. Right? There's only so many telling signs that you can you can see in someone, oh, they're going to be a great fit, you know?

And over the years, we've had people who we thought were going to be great and worry, and we've had the opposite of people we were lukewarm on, but they ended up to be fabulous. so sometimes it is a crapshoot, honestly. But I think what you really have to look for in this is going to sound kind of silly, but can you have that conversation with someone?

Is it easy? Is it flowing like, yes, we need our technical skills from someone, right? But I think that we should value the soft skills. It's not equal, maybe even a little bit more than those technical skills, because I do think in certain aspects of marketing you can you can teach those technical skills, right? You can train on the technology, you can work through how to use it.

But if someone doesn't have those soft skills to start and by that I mean like their communication, their problem solving, their adaptability, like very difficult to teach those down the road. and I really try to look for that. I try to look for can I have a conversation with this person? Is is flowing easily. Do I feel like tomorrow if they join the team, it would be like they've been here for forever.

And you know, if you balance that with someone having the experience and the technical knowledge, right? That's your your prize right there. you might not always get that, but I really look for that communication, that connection. And do I think that this person is going to seamlessly integrate into this team, into this company, and help us succeed because, you know, you have to spend, you have to spend so much time working with people when you work, and you want to make sure you work with people you enjoy that are all here for the common goal that are all good people.

And if you can find that and you try to look for that and those aspects, I was saying, I mean, I think that's the best you can do, right?

Daniel Burstein: You mentioned the soft skills. well, what are the key qualities of an effective marketer?

Jordan Welby: Good question. I feel like there's so many. I'm like, well, which ones do I start with? Right. so I think some of the key qualities I would say is I really think someone who's staying current on trends, updating themselves continuously learning. Right. I think someone who kind of partners that ambition with their the skills to continually learn.

I think that's really essential for sure. I think I would say someone who has had some practical experience, and I know that that's difficult when you're first starting out. you know, sometimes this is your first job. This is your first internship, and it's difficult. But I would say someone who's had that practical experience with that, like some hands on experience, it's just kind of invaluable into your career.

And I really think someone with adaptability and creativity, I think is you need that, because as much as we like to plan and myself, I'm an over planner, and especially in operations, you also have to be adaptable. You have to be flexible because in this industry things are changing every day, right? The technology is changing, the market is changing, and you can't control that.

So you have to be able to work with the things you can't control.

Daniel Burstein: Great. Well, for anyone looking to stay current, I hope everyone listening signs up for their free three month scholarship to the AI guilds. A great way to stay current. but seriously Jordan, thank you so much for your time. I learned a lot from you today and I think our audience did well. Thank you so much for being here.

Jordan Welby: Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it and I appreciate the time.

Daniel Burstein: Absolutely. And thanks to everyone for listening.

Outro: Thank you for joining us for how I made it and marketing with Daniel Burstein. Now that you've gotten inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas for your next marketing campaign. From Marketing Sherpas extensive library of free case studies at Marketing sherpa.com. That's marketing Paycom.

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