May 09, 2022

Team Building: Loyalty, relationships, pre-selling, and other keys to marketing management success (Podcast Episode #16)


The game isn’t won under the spotlights.

It’s won on the practice field.

I thought of this age-old coaching maxim while hearing how our latest podcast guest prepares her marketing team for changes.

Listen now to the How I Made It In Marketing podcast to hear Jeanne Hopkins, Chief Revenue Officer,, share stories illustrating what she’s learned from a career that spans 11 C-level or VP-level marketing roles.

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

Team Building: Loyalty, relationships, pre-selling, and other keys to marketing management success (Podcast Episode #16)

This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

When managing a marketing team, success is not necessarily a straight line. No instant inputs and outputs. After all, your team isn’t just filled with employees, it’s filled with human beings.

Complex, fallible, emotional, confusing, questioning human beings. All of us, together, experiencing the human condition while trying to be productive, together, working in an organization.

I say this because, if you’re not careful you might just fast forward to ramming your way through to the goal. The real challenge is to coax fellow humans along to that goal. Enabling them. Preparing them.

In our free digital marketing course, we describe it this way – Website Strategies: 4 ways to prepare your marketing team to increase conversion rates. Not just, how to get higher conversion rates. No. Ways to prepare your team.

And our latest guest manages with the same philosophy. “Pre-sell key ideas internally,” she says. “Build strong CFO relationships,” she says. Don’t just charge ahead with gusto. Lay the groundwork for success.

Those are just some of the lessons Jeanne Hopkins, Chief Revenue Officer,, shared in our latest podcast episode.

Hopkins was the Chief Marketing Officer of MarketingSherpa and sister publication MarketingExperiments before I even started here, and I’ve been here 13 years. She’s had 11 C-level or VP-level marketing roles in her career. And today Hopkins leads a team of 19 (with three more hires slated for this quarter) and manages a $6.2 million budget. In other words, she has a wealth of experience that I thought you could learn a lot from.

You can listen using the embedded player below or click through to your preferred audio streaming service. 

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Google Podcasts | Listen in Amazon Music

Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

Some lessons from Hopkins that emerged in our discussion:

Build strong CFO relationships.

All the travel and entertainment expenses (T&E) for the 40 events Hopkins oversaw came out of the marketing budget. She worked with the chief financial officer to make a change, putting those T&E expenses in the appropriate departments. This financial reporting change helped change behavior and those teams became more prudent with their T&E expenses.

Pre-sell key ideas internally.

Whether engaging in a re-organization or buying a new marketing tool, Hopkins socializes the idea first to get feedback and buy-in, and make sure her team feels empowered and has agency and control over their work and career.

Hopkins also pre-sells key ideas to business leaders by ensuring there is a steady stream of internal communication to the entire organization to keep them in the loop about marketing activities.

Allow your team to shine.

When Hopkins interviewed Meher Govadia, QA Lead,, she saw that Govadia was pretty good on the podcast and invited her to co-host.

Stories (with lessons) about the people she made it with

Hopkins also shared lessons she learned from the people she has worked with:

Tracy Wemett, President and Co-founder, BroadPR: Loyalty first.

Hopkins started a new role at a company that quickly wanted to conduct an event. But the company’s team wasn’t experienced in events. So Hopkins turned to Wemett, who she worked with in previous roles, to step in and help out with the event.

By having that long-standing relationship, when Hopkins started in her current role, she was able to quickly give context so Wemett could properly help Sam Mallikarjunan, CEO,, on a press tour.

Andrew Quinn, Vice President, Sales Productivity and Enablement, HubSpot: Hire in batches.

Quinn would bring on 10 (or more) new hires at the same time, so they had a cohort to train together, almost like a high school or college class. For example, when Hopkins was hired at HubSpot, she still remembers being in the same class as John Marcus III (a Sales Hacker at HubSpot) and Mary Rogul (Principal Inbound Marketing Specialist – Enterprise Sales at HubSpot).

Kaeli O'Connell, Marketing Programs Manager, Remember your interns.

Interns can make great associate-level marketers. One example, Kaeli O’Connell interned at Continuum, worked for her at, and now is on Hopkins team at

Related content mentioned in this episode

The Long-Term-Growth Product Launch: Cuisinart has been selling the same food processor since the ‘70s (Podcast Episode #13)

Table Fries (Hopkins’ podcast)

How to Sell Your Marketing and Advertising Ideas to Your Boss and Clients (with free template)

Customer Loyalty Chart: Just how big of an effect does customer satisfaction have on loyalty?

About this podcast

This podcast is not about marketing – it is about the marketer. It draws its inspiration from the Flint McGlaughlin quote, “The key to transformative marketing is a transformed marketer” from the Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages free digital marketing course.


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

Daniel Burstein: It's one of the biggest challenges marketers complain to me about. Hey, I've been reading Marketing Sherpa’s, case studies or taking MECLABS free digital marketing course, and now I've got all these great ideas and they are so good. But I can't convince my CMO or CEO or clients or board to let me execute them. I can't get the budget I can't convince my clients what's going on?

Well, our guest today has a deep marketing career with so many leadership roles. And she's going to tell you stories of how she builds strong CFO relationships, presales, key ideas internally, along with many other lessons. Joining me now is Jeanne Hopkins, a Chief Revenue Officer at Thanks for joining me, Jeanne.

Jeanne Hopkins: Yeah, thank you, Daniel. Thanks for inviting me today.

Daniel Burstein: Okay. So I thought we'd have a little fun with your LinkedIn profile. I go down everyone's LinkedIn to kind of let people know who I'm talking about. So first of all, Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Sherpa and Marketing Experiments. So it's funny, we were talking we missed each other by a few months. So I've been here 13 years. And you worked here before I did.

But, also Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, and we worked together a little when you were there, you sponsored some Marketing Sherpa events. But I wanted to ask you, so here's something you don't know. I've been stalking your career. Okay. I've got a good reason why okay, Jeanne. So, you know, I'm always on the lookout for mentions of Marketing Sherpa, right. And so any time you take a new role, it's good, because I see there's, you know, that mention of Marketing Sherpa, and there's this press release. Some companies excited they've hired you. And so I thought it would be fun to kind of quiz you and ask you ask you how many C-level or VP level marketer roles have you had? I counted on your LinkedIn. You want to take a guess?

Jeanne Hopkins: Oh, gosh. So I think I've been a CRO 3 times. I've been a CMO 6 times. I've been a VP of Marketing 4 times? How’d I do?

Daniel Burstein: So I think that's pretty good I had counted 11 okay. So I think we're in that ballpark. Well, that’s why I wanted to talk to you today. I thought people could learn from you. Like I mentioned, we did a podcast recently with the Head of Marketing for Cuisinart. So she'd been there for 26 years, which my gosh, it blows my mind, right, to have a marketing.

Jeanne Hopkins: Entirely.

Daniel Burstein: So that was very interesting. But now taking this role, I think people can learn so much from you when you're taking on new roles. You know, you grow something, you go someplace new, how do you sell yourself? How do you get to know the team? So there's a lot we're going to learn from Jeanne today. But first I wanted to ask right now you're the Chief Revenue Officer at One, what does that mean? What does your day look like?

Jeanne Hopkins: My day is full of meetings, Daniel. Like many people, I work from home. We're a totally remote team, and I am usually on Zoom calls from 8:00 in the morning where we have an office stand up and, you know, it's kind of like having coffee in the cafeteria in a weird sort of way. I drink my cup of tea and that sort of thing, but it's meetings, meetings, meetings all day and just trying to push projects along to be able to support other people and just making sure that we have internal alignment. It's all about communication. Totally.

Daniel Burstein: I think we're going to learn a lot about communication from you today. But tell us briefly, who is One

Jeanne Hopkins: We are to the real world, outdoor advertising world where we are to that what HubSpot was to digital marketing. So we're building something that will make life easier to buy outdoor media to be able to support your conferences, brand vanity plays, whatever you want to do. That's what we're building.

Daniel Burstein: Okay, great. So let's see what we can learn from your vast and wide career. So the first half of the podcast like I said, we talk about the things that you made in marketing. And, you know, I've never been anything else a dentist, podiatrist, I don't know, but I don't feel like they leave and they've like made something and we get to make things.

But one of the many things you talk about making is relationships, and I think we can learn from that. So your first lesson you talk about build strong CFO relationships, so you want to tell us a story about how you learned this lesson?

Jeanne Hopkins: Yeah, well, I have an undergraduate degree in accounting, which is a weird thing for marketers, but it also endears me to many CFOs because I know a spreadsheet. I know my way around a budget. When I joined Continuum when we were doing events and we did about 40 events a year. What I learned is, and I didn't learn this until after the fact because one of the first things I do whenever I go into a company is I look at the budget first. What do I have to spend? Where is the money going? That sort of thing. And I thought I had plenty of money for the events themselves because of your sponsorships, that sort of thing.

But what I did not know is that all the T&E for anybody going to that event, sales people, account management people, that sort of thing, was also hitting my budget. And after I did like five or six of these events, I was wildly overbudget at that point because guess what? You know what salespeople do? They kind of wait until the last minute to book their ticket or they can't get a regular seat. So they buy a business class seat. So massively over budget, really tough. And I finally went to the CFO, and I said, Look, Steve, I have no control, no matter how many times I ask people to book their ticket ahead of time, no matter how many times I try, they're not doing it. I have no control over this budget, and I don't want to get hit for this unnecessary expense over the top because they're not doing what they should do for the company. I want to split this all out. If it's coming from tech support or the Help Desk or account management or sales, I want the T&E to go into their budget and let them be over budget, not me. And we were able to make that change successfully. And guess what? Worked out a lot better. And we were able to stay on budget as far as the events were concerned. From the marketing expense side.

Daniel Burstein: It's amazing how we act and we've got OPM, right? Other people's money. We act very differently when it's our own money. So let me ask you this about how we can build that relationship with the CFO, because one thing we talked about, like I said, when people, you know, they reach out, you know, our readers and they're like, hey, you know, people don't understand. Our CEO doesn't understand, our clients understand. If they only read Marketing Sherpa and they saw these things they know do. And I try to explain, we can't blame someone else for not doing this, but we have to look at ourselves like when we talk to our customers, we know let's look at their motivation let's understand them better.

And one thing for me early in my career, you know, I helped with the communication on earnings calls. And so when you get on earnings calls with these analysts, you see how the CFO gets beat over that head for having, you know, $0.14 earnings per share instead of the $0.15 that was projected. I had this new understanding for what they go through. So what advice would you give? Yeah. What advice would you give to build that relationship with the CFO to understand their motivations better?

Jeanne Hopkins: I think that any leader in any company should have a strong relationship with the finance team. It starts with the accounts payable team when you're trying to get your expenses done. Do your expenses on time, don't bundle up six months of expenses and turn them in and expect that poor accounts payable person to be happy to see you, make sure that you're doing things on time. That's at one level.

Another one is to meet monthly with the controller, to be able to talk about what you're doing and why you're doing these things. Get them to understand your side of the business. Make sure that they have a better understanding of what you're trying to achieve as a company. Finance and marketing are like oil and water but in reality, most marketing organizations have the biggest spend, the largest variable spend of any department in the company.

So keeping the finance team in the loop is important. Then I would go for a quarterly meeting, even a get to know you, coffee talk, maybe something on a quarterly basis with the CFO so they know who you are and they know that you understand your role in the company is not to spend money willy nilly, but to spend it effectively and efficiently. And if they understand that, then they will trust you. And that's  what this is all about. Communication, regular communication equals trust. And then when you want more budget or you're looking for something special, they'll know that you're serious about taking care of your budget. And it's not a once a year exercise it's something that you think about continually.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. No, I think that's great advice because it's amazing how we only see our little world sometimes, our little patch in an organization. And I think this is one reason why when a recession comes or a depression or Cost-Cutting, you know, a lot of times the costs come out of advertising and marketing first because the CFOs and the people in the finance suite just see it as an expense, right?

Well, we can't cut COGS or cost of goods sold or these sorts of things. Obviously, they go into the product. Marketing, they're just flying, Jeanne’s just flying off and having fun and drinking champagne. Let's cut a little there. Be proactive, be proactive and build those relationships. I think that's great advice. Let's talk about some other advice you have. Your next lesson learned here is pre-sell key ideas internally. So what's an example of this? How have you done this before?

Jeanne Hopkins: How many of you have ever been in a meeting where somebody just drops a bomb right on the table like they hired somebody and somebody’s coming in or some new program and you're all looking going, what the heck just happened here? You know, we were going in this way and now we're going to pivot there. Well, I have a current not a dilemma, but I have to go through a little bit of a reorg on a couple of my teams.

And one of my team members, great guy, you know, evangelist storyteller, absolutely outstanding. And he thought that he should move into a different role. And the person that is kind of in that role, but a little bit more junior moved that person to the product team. So it's not as simple of just taking one person out and putting this person in because they're different, they're different size pegs and there's different sized holes. And so internally I said, okay, I understand what you're saying, but let me talk to the peg that's being removed and find out if he's on board with it. Then let me talk to the head of people ops and find out if he's on board with that. Then let me talk, you know, so I've been talking about this internally to say what are the implications, what's the possible timing? You know, what, what could actually happen? Because the guy that, you know, moving him to the product team, I've been supporting him in going to marketing courses to become a product marketer, which is a really strong role but I can't like take him off what he's doing right now. It's not that simple. And some people think that things are simpler than they are. You just make a decision and you go with it.

Well, when a company gets to a certain size and in many instances people just don't like surprises, you know, they it, you know, you have a well-oiled machine and you're trying to get everything moving and having that flywheel turn over and over again. And if you don't socialize these ideas, people either become hurt or they become angry or they become a little loose in the socket and a flight risk. So these are all things that talking to other people about things that you think are important and allow other people to be in on the decisions so that they can communicate effectively, that makes a heck of a lot more sense.

So I'm still working on this, Daniel. I'm still working on it. And when I get to a certain point, you know, I'm looking at this as being a three month play. It's not it's not something we're going to do today. But I have to keep socializing it, get everybody on board so it becomes part of our muscle memory as an organization.

Daniel Burstein: And I think you even mentioned that. You've mentioned with a tool, you're looking for a new tool you were selecting. And it changed which tool you decided on by kind of pre-selling internally and getting some of that internal feedback?

Jeanne Hopkins: Exactly. We were looking at a new platform for a webinar tool, one that we were using. And then we were looking at something else but the content team is responsible for the webinars and I don't like to make unilateral or I have done made unilateral decisions and told my team to deal with it.

But I've learned over the years, painfully, I might add, that having them research the solutions, having them have the buy in makes it a lot better. And so initially we were going down one path with one product offering, and we ended up zigging and going with another one saying this is good enough for right now. This more superior one is good but we don't need that right now. Let's get our let's crawl, walk, run. Right. And so but that team made the decision. I did not make the decision.

Daniel Burstein: You talk about the bombshell. It's funny. I think of, you know, that dramatic TV show or film where the bombshell works so well because it forwards the plot and it forwards the plot because it adds tension and adds drama in there, which is things you do not want in your marketing organization.

Jeanne Hopkins: Too much drama as it is Daniel, just too much!

Daniel Burstein: There's enough already. Yeah, but I think a two key words you said was flight risk, right? So when you look at the things that lead to job satisfaction, there are many. But one of them is you want to feel like you have some control over your role in your job. And if you're just being blindsided all the time, if you're not being, you know, considered when it comes to a tool you need to use every day and understand the ins and outs of or when it comes to your role in an organization, I could see why you'd be more likely to leave than actually getting someone's input.

Jeanne Hopkins: Yeah. I actually have another example which I finally capitulated upon was they we've been using a marketing tool. You know, there's a ton of marketing tools out there, base camp, you know, Asana, Trello, everybody has a different way of skinning a cat. And my team really wanted this other tool and I've been against it and not, not that against the tool but against who owns it. One of the things that I firmly believe in, if you want a tool, who's going to own it? And we ended up buying this social listening tool and I never signed off on it. Somebody else on my team signed off on it. And then we all of a sudden we have a one year subscription and I keep asking, who owns it? Who owns it?

Well, with this new software based upon that poor experience that happened in December, I kept saying, who's going to own it? Who's going to take care of the implementation? Who's going to do this? And so I kept pushing off this decision for several months because if no one was going to own it, I was going to go through the same thing that we already have. We don't need to just keep adding to our tech stack. And finally somebody owned it.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. I used to work in software, and I would joke that software marketing and sales, a lot of software is magic right? You got a problem. You buy the software.

Jeanne Hopkins: Of course.

Daniel Burstein: Makes it all better. But in reality, buying the software is just the beginning. Like you said  who's going to own it? How are you going to implement it? It's all of these different steps. But let me ask, you know you talk about pre-selling key ideas internally. I want to ask about also pre-selling them to the CEO, to the board, to whoever you have to convince to, you know, to get the budget or to even change the brand or do the, you know, change a strategy to better serve the customers.

Because as I said, you know, we get asked those questions all the time. You know, we at Marketing. Sherpa create a free template to sell your marketing on advertising ideas to your boss and clients. And that template has the same type of things you would use to your customers. It has you know a place for a value proposition. But again, when it comes to internally, either because I don’t know we work with these people every day or, you know, I don't know if we have a tough time understanding like, hey, we still we need a value proposition we need to understand their motivation, we need to understand their success. So I wonder, do you have any advice for, you know, pre-selling ideas internally to, like I said, CEOs, business owners, clients, board of directors, whoever you need to sell to?

Jeanne Hopkins: Well, that's a good question, Daniel, but it also requires extra effort on yourself as part of the marketer. So two things that I found successful when I was at HubSpot, I would do a weekly update to the entire organization about what was going to be happening that week in marketing. What would happen before? So if we had a new e-book or something. So we would create the e-book, create the marketing plan behind it, make sure that the sales person had a copy of the e-book. They knew what the lead was going to look like. They had the follow up to that, and I would do that on Monday mornings and if something failed, you know, I would usually send out a mea culpa email. My bad. Sorry about that.

But what I've learned over time is that by having a regular email notification internally of all the things that are going on, so at Lola, we did a similar thing where we had links to the blog, links to our LinkedIn profile, our links like automagically ones, but also giving updates of what was happening because it also forces people, we take for granted as the flywheel is turning we just keep doing, doing, doing, doing. And we don't spend enough time telling others what we're doing and one of the things I started here well, I started it a few companies ago, the voice of the customer meeting, voice of the customer, 90 minutes once a week put together all the customer facing team members, direct sales, in direct sales, marketing, customer success. You know, those organizations and the product team on the other side. And to be able to say, what are the three things I like about our product? What are the three things they don't like about our product? And by doing this 90 minute meeting you would actually, the product people instead of hearing 9 million bings and bongs from the sales team, like I need a purple button or if you had this feature blah blah blah. Getting them to stay on a product roadmap and product release side of things and then also having the ability to making the people that need to be heard, whether it's sales or customer success or whatever became a unilateral meeting and a stake in the ground.

That's a good meeting to own for any marketer. Easy to do, easy to execute and maintain the consistency for it. Make sure you have the decks, you record those things so that future people joining the company get to go back and listen to those things. But I also like and what I'm doing with this company is Sunday nights I sit down and during the course of the week I, I have a draft email and Sunday night at about 8 p.m. Eastern time, I just time it so it goes off so our India team gets it .It's their morning at that point and then the rest of the company in the United States gets to see it on Monday morning.  Let's face it, we all have slack accounts, right? And we all have 9 million Slack messages. But I try to pick out things that I think are things that we should recognize across the company. And I pick out things as reminders, whether it's a webinar or some other some other product offering or something, and just put it into this little newsletter that I call For The Win, you know FTW and just gives people a chance to highlight individual employees, doesn't have to be big, doesn't have to be huge. It's just like a little aside that I do for the company.

That also gives you the format to be able to communicate. And one of the things I do like to do is I like to put an Easter egg in there every now and again. The first person to read this goes all the way to the bottom gets a $5 Starbucks gift card or something like that. So those are ways of getting ideas that you think are important, but showing that you're doing more than just outward bound, that becomes the inward bound type of thing. And then you gain the support of other people in the company because you're making things run more smoothly.

Daniel Burstein: That's great. Yeah. We always just assume people know the things we're doing to add value, but obviously they don't unless we communicate it. But I love the voice of the customer meeting, not just for what comes out of that meeting, but just for the culture it sets up in the company. Everyone knowing, Okay, once a week we're going to talk about the customer. I just I think that's fantastic, Jeanne. All right, let's talk about another lesson you have. Allow your team to shine. So how have you done this.

Jeanne Hopkins: Well, I learned a long time ago. I've been actually very lucky in my career. I've had some great jobs with great companies, and I've had good managers. And I think that even though I'm an extrovert and I realize that we never get here alone, right? We're only as good as the teams that we're on. We're only as good as the teams supporting us. And while I try very hard to, and I think I'm usually successful in terms of having people that are better at things than I am, I know what I'm good at. I know what I'm not good at. And I think that there's plenty of opportunities for us to shine with each other. I think recognition is an easily awarded thing, but we probably don't do it as much as we can.

Something as simple as thank you’s. So, you know, thank you for helping me and making it much more of a public thing. Recently, I reinstated my podcast table fries. I had started it at Lola and we got about 20 episodes under our belt where we were interviewing the women, the engineers, the finance people, women of Lola. And then once I got to one screen because we have a India operation and we also have a United States operation, my first guest she's a QA and mayor, and she's absolutely phenomenal. And she did such a good job. And I asked her, I said, Do you want to be the co-host on this? And you take care of all the people in India on your time, you know, because not all of them work on Eastern Standard Time. They work on their time to be able to get things done. And then that way she can work with the team on India and the culture for Indian women is quite a bit different than the culture for American women.

And I was afraid that if I was asking those folks the questions that I would scare them. And I thought that  she could handle them and she has just done a magnificent job, it's so wonderful to have Meher handling all that. She's so smart, she's so kind, she's so wonderful and it's giving a chance for those women that would never be on a podcast to be able to have that voice in the company, but also have that voice that they share with their families and externally. Because, you know, we post it on our social channels and we do all that. But to be able to show that we're a truly global company, I think is a wonderful thing. It's not about me. It's about us.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, that's great. And, you know, when you talk about these things like pre-selling your ideas internally and allowing your team to shine, it reminds me of, you know, so we've got this new free digital marketing course that Flint McGlaughlin teaches, you know, Flint well, Jeanne. And, you know, one of the first few sessions for example, like one of the early sessions is how to prepare your marketing team to increase conversion rates. So we don't just jump in there and say, here's how to make a landing page or write a headline. Like it really starts with preparing the team. And I think that kind of goes in line with what you're saying, too. It's like let's not just kind of run ahead to that straight line of like, okay, here's the thing that needs to be done. How do we prepare our teams and how do we, you know, once you know our teams perform well, how do we slot them into the right positions and let them feel part of it? So I think that's great what you're talking about.

All right. So the first half we talked about that, you know, some of the lessons from the things you made like your podcast and some of the relationships you made and your org chart. But the second half, we talk about lessons from the people you collaborated with. Because, you know, as marketers, we make things and we get to make them with people. So the first person you want to talk about was Tracy Wemett, the President and Co-founder of BroadPR, I have to shout out Tracie. She helped arrange this conversation. Thank you Tracie. And you said loyalty first. So tell us about Tracie and how you learned about loyalty first.

Jeanne Hopkins: Well, I've been working with them for two decades. They just started their operation back in 2001, I guess it's now we're on our 21st year, 2001. I can't even speak Daniel. Sorry about that first day with a new mouth. So she came on board and she was helping me at Symetricom and we had five different divisions and I got to know her and she really understood the concept of SEO and PR and how PR to me public relations is the original inbound marketing. If you do it correctly, you look for every opportunity to be able to make different people shine in the company, speaking engagements, all that type of thing, and getting awards and winning awards. And her team really understood the whole concept. It wasn't a bunch of, you know, just people opening an envelope kind of a thing.

She's really strategic, really thinks about things like events and tying things together and making introductions. And she's been wonderful. And I remember the first Navigate conference that we did at Continuum. The CEO wanted to do a conference, and for some reason you and I, Daniel, know how hard it is to put a conference on, and we wanted to do one like in a matter of months and like you can't, you need a year, okay, and you work backwards from the date that you can get, right?

So, you know, you look at the date, you look at the venue and then you work backwards from there because it's all about the content that you have at those events. And I remember our first one that we did for just about everybody in the company. It was the first time that I ever done an event. They didn't know how to behave, they didn't know how to act, they didn't know how to like run things. And I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off and trying to tell people, Okay, okay, sales guys don't stand there in a corner talking to each other. Go talk to our customers. You know, like spread. And she because she had been working with me for so long at that point, I think it was 13 or 14 years, she knew how to operate. She understood the execution component of things. And because we were light on strong people, she actually brought her husband to be able to man a booth for us. She brought her kids to be able to do things like the charging stations, all that, having boots on the ground and understanding how challenging it is to be able to do those types of things.

But I know that Tracy and Broad PR always have my back. They always make sure that the opportunities are done. They know how to follow up with me. They know how to message, they know what I like, and I just trust them implicitly and that's working with people. And I've been blessed in my career of being able to bring people along with me. Vendors, you know, I don't consider Tracie a vendor I consider integral and a part of our marketing team. And because they're so good at collaborating, they win the hearts and minds of every executive organization I've ever worked with.

As a matter of fact, our CEO at One Screen never believed in PR, didn't believe it. And I can understand that if you don't have the right concept. But when you think about it from a content standpoint and what you're trying to achieve, I believe that the right plan and the right program can be done very, very well and make everybody look better. And internally and externally, it's good for the brand.

Daniel Burstein: Absolutely, and so if you're a vendor and you're listening, if you work for a PR agency, an ad agency, a marketing consultancy, whatever it is, I mean, think there's a key lesson here in that loyalty because I've seen this too. Marketing leaders when they, you know, when they change careers, or really successful ones. They've got their crew right? They’ve their team that they take with them.

And so we actually did a survey for Marketing Sherpa it was a nationally representative survey. And we asked customers, we had two groups of 1200 each. We asked them, think about a company that you're satisfied with, think about a company you’re not satisfied with. And then we asked other questions and you'd expect satisfied customers to be more loyal, but the actual number, I have it here where there were 713% more likely to say they were very likely to purchase again from that company. Right. So satisfaction huge for loyalty right now we tried to get into why are they satisfied? And so we talk about customer first marketing at the time. And one of the main reasons they were satisfied, they felt that they were put first by the company. So even because things go wrong all the time with companies. You feel you’re put first, you know, so one thing so I think great advice for any PR agency, any ad agency, any marketing vendor, don't just look at, hey, how can I get the maximum revenue from the client this month or this quarter or just fulfill the minimum in this contract? Right. Look at how can I truly put this client first?

I'm guessing Tracie when she met Jeanne, those two decades ago, she said How can I how can I best serve Jeanne and best help her in a career? And it wasn't, you know, just to get that contract renewed and wasn't these little things and that builds that loyalty over time. Right look at look at it as a real relationship. So have you felt that way too, with the vendors you've worked with like, hey, these ones that stick around, boy, like you said, they're almost family. There is that relationship. They put me first in what they're doing.

Jeanne Hopkins: Well, I mean, you and I have moved in the same marketing circles Daniel. And, you know, whether I was at HubSpot and you needed a quote or something else and you needed something, you know, we've worked together. It's just so I'm loyal to you and you're loyal to me. And because I've met if you needed something, I try to take care of that. And it's the same thing in any organization that it's not just vendors, but team members or other companies. Yeah, I always try to use similar people because I'm not easy, I'm not an easy person to work for Daniel. And I have fairly high expectations of deliverables. And if you miss deadlines that really puts me in a bind. As a matter of fact, we just separated with a recent contractor that we had hired for content. She had applied for a job, and I said, I'll give you a 90 days. And she messed us up so badly, put us so, so much behind time. She promised things that didn't happen and finally we just had to say, Hey, it's been great to know you.

Because if you're running a machine and we all are right, whatever we're trying to do, we have deadlines. We have deadlines. And if you don't meet your deadline that I can't meet my deadline, which in turn pushes everybody back quite a bit. So it's a, don't overcommit and quite frankly, we paid her. I'm upset that we ended up paying her and we got such little in return. Would I ever recommend her, no, ever never. But people that deliver, people that do what they say they're going to do and also, you know, you talk about overdelivering. That is an important consideration. Are we over delivering are we totally prepped on this, even having this call right now Daniel, you did the pre-selling. We talked about it. I had some homework to do for this conversation. Then we went through it ahead of time. You were selling the whole concept in how to frame out this individual conversation.

So that ties back into what are we trying to do as an organization. And bringing people along with us that understand you, that can represent you well as proxy. That becomes extremely important in any organization. Especially the higher up the food chain you go. I had to tell a partner of ours, our CEO, Sam, is essentially a shy person he plays an extrovert on TV, but in reality, he's a shy person. And I had to tell her that him going to events and shaking people's hands and trying to be at events is not something that comes easily to him. And she didn't know that about him. I said, Look, I'm not telling you anything out of school here, but he kind of needs a handler. He kind of needs somebody that's there at his elbow to just introduce and do that sort of thing.

And she said, Oh, I thought that so differently. And I told Sam, I said, I just told her what you're really like. And, and he's like, Well, thank you for doing that, because we always need people knowing who we are and what we're good at and things that maybe aren't that great that they need some help with. And that's all I was trying to do is make sure Sam had some help so he wouldn't be put in a quandary that he would be so uncomfortable in. That is not good for him psychologically. Mental health and all that. And I wanted him to feel successful after that particular event.

Daniel Burstein: I love that you say that because I think that is one of the biggest advantages of long term relationships. It's shortcuts, right? It's shortcutting a conversation. When you have someone you know and trust, there's a lot of shortcuts you can do you when you don't know someone well, you've got to kind of like, okay, like, how am I going to deal with this person? How are they going to handle it? How do I build it up to them? Right. But when you know someone well, it's that shortcut to here's what needs to be done and you understand each other. And I appreciate that, too, because I'm like, Sam, I am so introverted. So all of us introverts, we have to play extroverts on TV sometimes. So that you actually took that respect for who he was. The person said, How can we best serve him? You know, I love that.

All right. So here's a lesson that I think is very prescient for today. When you know, it's kind of a tight labor market might be hiring a lot. You say hire in batches. And you learned that from Andrew Quinn, the Vice President of Sales Productivity and Enablement at HubSpot. So what are they doing there? How they hiring in batches? How did that help?

Jeanne Hopkins: Well, at HubSpot, they would hire and the starting date would be the first Monday of any given month. And so you would know how many people were coming in and you'd be part of a class. So I was part of the August 2009 class at HubSpot, and Mary Rogel was in it and there were a number of other people that I still know. John Marcus. I keep thinking about a whole bunch of people that were in my class at that time. So you're hiring people. And I was probably like the hundredth hire at HubSpot at that particular time. And there is a way to be able to make those connections with people in much the same way. Think about your high school graduating class or your college graduating class or your master's degree graduating class.

You are all part of being in the foxhole at the time. You have that those kinds of connections and being able to have people that you know and you're all learning the same things because it's difficult to start a new job, very difficult when you have new acronyms, you have new people you're trying to get to know and you're trying to understand the product and the software and where you fit in the machine and all that. But at least if you had new hires, other people with you at the same time, you're all learning at the same time. And that's very exciting. And over time, what I've noticed is that with interns, love hiring interns, but you really need somebody to be an intern manager internally. And I remember the summer of 2019 in at, we hired ten interns. So I had four for marketing and the other six were in the engineering team and we had one person, Allysa was responsible for making sure that they had their training, that they got on board, that they did things with the company.

But I made sure that all four of my interns sat together. Right. All four of my interns. So the idea was to have this kind of brain trust or putting them all in the same small conference room so that they bounce ideas off of each other. Because there's nothing worse than a single intern age 21 or 20 or something that is in school is totally at a loss for what to do, how to do it, because they just haven't had that skill set. They don't have that muscle memory. But when you're doing it all at the same time, you get an awful lot of support from each other. And certainly what we're doing at One Screen is we're trying to hire in batches as well. So in our every two week meetings of town halls, we call them, we give the people a chance, we call it their origin story. How did you end up here? You know, where did you come from? And then you start to learn the connections and today there's another a lead designer joined this this particular week, and he introduced himself because he knew the guy that's the VP of design. He knew him from 3M, they live out in Minnesota. And it's just interesting to see how people are connected. And you just keep bringing people along with you because you trust them and you've been in the same trenches together. And it really works out I think.

Daniel Burstein: I love that idea of having cohorts. I mean, even in school and college, we still talk about class of 96, class of that. So yeah. Also because, you know, I had that feeling of being the new guy, being the new guy or the new girl, and you're that only one who like, you know, doesn't know what's going on. And you people can be hopefully try to bring you in, but it definitely feels lonely. So I love that idea of hiring in batches. So speaking of interns, you also say Kailey O'Connell, Marketing Program Manager at One brought this up to you, you say, remember your interns. So how did you remember Kailey? How do you remember your interns in general?

Jeanne Hopkins: Well, as I said, I like interns. And part of the reason I like them as well, especially for people that have been in the workforce for say, three or four years and they want to manage. If you can manage an intern and give them enough projects to be able to do one big project, two medium projects, ten small projects, so that they have a portfolio in actually managing their time and checking in with them with one on ones. And Kailey O'Connell had just graduated from college, and she took a coding class because she was she has a marketing degree and she took a coding class and she ended up I forgot how she ended up with us at Continuum or something. And so I took her on and working for the Web Ops team, and she was coding. She was coding and we were using HubSpot, of course, as a platform and she just blew me away with her ability and her very, very shy person. And she's working hard on trying to overcome her, it's not confidence because she has a lot of confidence and she's very capable, but she's an introvert, right?

And so it's hard for people to be able to present, but we've been giving her plenty of opportunities and then at Continuum, then she went to another company and she was all by herself, and she doesn't like to be by herself. At Continuum she was one of 14 people that they would all go out to lunch and they would all come back in. And I'd be sitting in, you know, the all day board meeting and I'd watch them go out the door through the glass window and then I'd watch them come back being very jealous of what they were doing instead of my sitting in a conference room. And then at Lola, I was able to hire her and she came on board and being able to bring her further along in her experience expanded. And then after Lola, she got another gig and then they ended up canceling or ending everybody in North America. So then, you know, it's like and then I was able to get her another job with a guy that I had worked with for a while.

I was able to introduce her and you know, it’s who you Right? You know, she tells me she's out of work, and I go out and I go through my network saying, I've got this great person. I'd love to hire her, but I cannot right now. You need her. She got picked up by a guy that I had worked with before, and fantastic experience. And then she came to One Screen because she wanted to leave the company that she ended up going to. Because she wants control over her projects. She was a sliver of a slice of a marketing program staying in the in the company that she was working at. And she's one of those kind of builders that likes to build it, see it through to the end, report on it. And she didn't have that capability. And now she does it One Screen and man she is knocking it out of the park. Her skill set is so amazing. The building of that muscle memory year after year. And mind you this has been six years I've known her and I've been able to watch her grow and teach others. It's such a good feeling. It's just an amazing feeling.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, I think that's great. I think, you know, when we go through our marketing career, where we look at what some of our assets, are the skills that we've built up ourselves right. But another key asset. And I hate to talk about it this way, but is the people that we've worked with and the people we get to know and we learn over time, you know, who works well, who would be good? And that works on two levels. You know, that works if you're more junior in your career, meeting different leaders, working well with different leaders, you get hired to different places. But it's so key for a leader too as we've talked about Jeanne, as Jeanne’s talked about, to be able to take their team with them, to be able to take, you know, those kind of good team they can trust to the next role because, you know, very few roles are permanent these days, very few roles. I mean, we're changing a lot these days. And I'm sure Jeanne can attest to that.

Jeanne Hopkins: Your Cuisinart exec example is a good one. 26 years. Holy moly

Daniel Burstein: I know. Isn't that beautiful, right?

Jeanne Hopkins: Yeah.

Daniel Burstein: So we've talked about a lot in this podcast. You know, we talked about building your relationship with the CFO. We talked about introverts and extroverts and loyalty. And but when it comes down to let's leave the audience with this, Jeanne, what do you think, in your opinion, what are the key qualities of an effective marketer.

Jeanne Hopkins: Being, empathy and to that degree, sometimes marketers forget how hard it is to be a salesperson. And I would suggest that having a little bit of sales experience or carrying a quota or something is a good thing for a marketer to really be able to empathize with how difficult it is to be able to sell. That would be one thing.

Another one is the ability to be able to present, to be able to put your ideas together into three key points that you can emphasize and what you're trying to achieve internally. Whether it's the relationship with the finance team, whether it's relationship with the executive team, being consistent, a lot of things that happen in marketing, it's a lot of glittery objects at times.  There’s a lot of cool things that are going on, and we can get off the path by going after those glittery objects when they're really not adding value to the organization. And I've watched a lot of people. I think the clubhouse app was a good example, seriously when that came out, everybody was like, Let's do it, let's do it, let's do it. And it’s like why, I mean, why, why would we do it there and not do it ourselves? If we're not doing it ourselves, why would we go and do it on a third party app. And it sounds interesting and it's all the buzz, it's all the rage and everything. But until you can make it part of your system and part of your workflow, there's always an order of operations to any marketing effort that you're doing and, and the ability to speak and also the ability to give thanks to other people to be able to thank the other people in your company, in your organization.

I guarantee you that your head of H.R. never gets anybody ever saying anything nice about them. I remember our new people ops guy was not feeling well for a couple of days back in February. And I use this tool called It's a fantastic tool to send coffee and that sort of thing. And I sent him a $24 GrubHub meal thing so he didn't have to cook. Right. He was in tears because nobody had ever recognized him. Recognize other people and realize that we're all part of a team, whether it's a team in your company. It's a team in your community. It's a team in the world. We're all part of a team.

Daniel Burstein: No, I love that. I love that. I'll say another group that's totally overlooked in organizations is probably the IT department. I know I would only contact them when my computer is broken or something is broken. So I got in the habit of every now and then teams them and just saying, Hey, by the way, everything's working fine.

Jeanne Hopkins: That's a good one. I love that.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, they normally just hear complaints. So anyway, thanks for being on Jeanne, it was so great to reconnect with you again, this was a lot of fun, I learned a lot.

Jeanne Hopkins: Okay, thank you, Daniel.

Daniel Burstein: And thanks to everyone for listening.

Improve Your Marketing

Join our thousands of weekly case study readers.

Enter your email below to receive MarketingSherpa news, updates, and promotions:

Note: Already a subscriber? Want to add a subscription?
Click Here to Manage Subscriptions