In this episode with Mediafly’s CMO, Isabelle Papoulias, you’ll learn about…
“A key word for me is being uncomfortable. Uncomfortable is my default setting. I know that if I’m not uncomfortable, then I’m not learning.”READ FULL TRANSCRIPT
Isabelle, welcome to the Brand Lab Series™. I’m super excited to have you on. We’ve had a lot of Chief Marketing Officers on before, we’ve had a couple of AE Marketing Group customers on before, but we’ve never had a CMO that was also on the agency side and the brand side, which I think is really interesting. A lot of people haven’t made that crossover. So as we get started, I’d love to learn a little bit about what it was like being on the agency in the client side.
Hi, Brian. First of all, thanks for having me, I’m excited to be here also. So yeah, the transition from agency to brand. I’ve been very lucky. It’s not an easy transition to make, as you know, right. Especially as you’re in more senior levels, those transitions get harder and harder. It’s been fantastic, it’s definitely exceeded my expectations even, I would say. There’s many, many differences. The main thing for me is I find the brand side to be more rewarding, and I hope that I won’t upset my previous agency employers, simply because, I mean, look, you’re closer to the business, right? And you can see more directly the impact of the work that you’re doing. At the end of the day, I know that clients like to think their agencies know their business really, really well, but let’s be honest, an agency is never going to know my business as well as I do. Why? Because there’s still several degrees of separation. So again, being closer to the business, seeing the impact of the work more directly, I think is much more rewarding for me personally.
There’s pressure on both sides, for sure. Obviously, on the agency side you have clients, you have demands that are constant, you have, frankly, less control over your life. But on the brand side, the pressures are very much there, precisely because you see the impact of your work on the business. The impact is measured, right? And there’s no place to hide, essentially. The buck stops here, so if marketing doesn’t produce, there’s a direct line to responsibility. But the difference, again, the pressure is more rewarding in some ways, right? So for me, it’s definitely much more positive. One of the key learnings for me now being on the client side has been truly empathizing more with my former clients. From the standpoint of when you’re on the agency side, you’re often get frustrated with clients always making revisions, I know you’re going to laugh at me, changes in direction, right, budget changes and whatnot. And I’m appreciating much more now really the difficulty of managing the internal stakeholders when you’re on the brand side, right? And building consensus. And, I mean, that is the reasons why agencies are experiencing the craziness of changes in direction and budget cuts and things like that. It’s actually very hard to manage on the other side. So I have a lot more empathy for that process because I’m now experiencing it firsthand.
I was actually gonna ask about something that you also just mentioned as a follow-up to that. I have always said, throughout my career on the agency side, one thing that you said is that, “I do think that if you’re on the brand side, no one will know your business or market as well as you will.” But it’s the agency’s job, then, to provide the best expertise and advice and counsel to try to help with that. There was some really interesting nuggets in there. One follow-up question I’m curious about is, you mentioned empathy towards being on the client side. What about the agency side? Would you say that your expectations of agencies have changed?
That’s a great question. In some ways, I wanna say that my expectations of agencies have been lowered.
Yeah. But it doesn’t mean that I’m expecting less of my agencies. It’s just, perhaps, that I’m understanding even more so the importance of my role into that relationship, right, if that makes sense. And I’ve always suspected this, right? I’ve always said it’s garbage in, garbage out, right? That when an agency doesn’t deliver on a project, it’s likely because the client didn’t provide the right input. I can say that with certainty now. I think it’s definitely a two-way street, like in any relationship, right, professional or personal. And so, in many ways, I feel like the expectations that clients place on agencies are unrealistic, partially because, again, I don’t think an agency can know your business quite as well, right? And partially because I think clients don’t always do a good job managing their agencies and briefing, and there’s a blame game there, and I think they’re… Again, it takes both sides to make it work.
And then the other thing too is the importance of truly understanding your agency’s sweet spot and managing the agencies and the resources that way, truly being honest of, again, what the agency does well and doesn’t and using them for their… What they can do best. Those are the two things that I’ve always been aware of, but I’ve become more aware of since I’ve been on the brand side. So I would say that’s what’s changed.
Well, I can personally say that that’s true in terms of you and our working relationship and us being very candid with one another about agency strengths and weaknesses and trying to play to our strengths to best serve Mediafly, so that makes a lot of sense. Another thing I think that makes you a really unique guest, and I’m excited to have you share your experiences with our audience, is that not only were you on the agency side and now you’re on the brand side, but you’ve worked your way up to the C-suite. The CMO job, especially in a tech company, is rare for a woman. We’re seeing that more and more, but you’ve certainly shattered some glass ceilings there, and you’ve worked your way from Director to Vice President to now Chief Marketing Officer. What’s been the secret to your success?
So the secret, [chuckle] I love that question, I think is primarily being a generalist, being very deliberate throughout my entire career to get an exposure to things beyond my regular job, right? And that, I would say, keyword for me is being uncomfortable. So uncomfortable is my default setting. If I’m not uncomfortable, it means I’m not learning, I’m not expanding my portfolio or knowledge, and I also get bored, right? So it’s been easy for me to do because that’s who I am as a person, my personality. But fundamentally I would say, being very strategic and proactive about raising my hand for projects that I knew would expand my knowledge, putting myself in riskier situations has, again, has made me a generalist. And that’s very beneficial because the CMO role in the end is, you can’t be an expert in one area. Marketing is very, very siloed. In my respects these days, is very specialized right in different areas and you have to know a lot about different things in order to be able to manage a team to their best. And so it’s helped me tremendously. I didn’t know I was going to end up here. It wasn’t necessarily the end goal until a couple of years ago, [laughter] but I’m glad I have and I realize in retrospect, that the again, the generalist and very much the hand-raiser, taking risks approach was the right one.
It’s funny that you said you didn’t know that maybe you were gonna end up here because to me, I’ve always known it’s been a focus and a goal and I’m excited to see you get there and achieve that goal. But now that you have the CMO job, it’s obviously a very well-regarded position certainly inside the marketing industry and across the C-suite. But what would you say are maybe some common misperceptions of the CMO job?
I would say that the most common misconception is probably that every CMO is the same or there’s a definition for a CMO role. I think there can be very different roles, right? There’s a great article that HBR wrote a while back about that and the responsibilities as a CMO and how they change depending on the type of company you’re in. And I forget all the details about it, but it was very much, there’s a… The CMO role, that’s really more focused on, call it the traditional integrated marketing, integrated communications, that the CMO that really has a broader reach across the business and ties to product. And I think a lot of it depends on the maturity of the company, really and what their needs are. For me, that’s, I’m guessing, it’s something I haven’t really thought about to be honest until you asked me. I think that’s probably the biggest misconception is not every CMO is the same, not every CMO job is the same. So make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, both if you’re being hired as a CMO and I think also as a CEO. When I hired a CMO, be clear about what the expectations are, and this is… Nobody ask me, but there’s a lot of noise around the fact that CMO tenure is very short and I would argue that it’s not because CMOs fail, I think it’s the expectation that are probably not set right away at the very beginning.
I would assume that’s also where some of your success factors of being comfortable with being uncomfortable, being a generalist really kinda helps you as you tackle the CMO role. I know another thing that we see a lot in the B2B space is the need to integrate or in some cases, the void between sales and marketing. And again, you’re unique in the fact that you have some sales experience, as well. In fact, you came up through some of the sales ranks at Mediafly. And we always think that integration of sales and marketing is really critical to hitting the revenue goals and some of the other things. Talk about how important sales and marketing alignment is and what advice would you offer others in the B2B space along that path?
Well yeah, there’s a lot of talk about sales and marketing alignment, and you can talk about the strategy, having common strategy and common processes and the things that everybody talks about, making sure that we’re… The way we think about the funnel and the buying cycle is the way they think about the buying cycle. And in the end, it’s about putting the customer in the middle. It’s really not about sales and marketing being aligned, it’s about sales and marketing being aligned to the customer is how I see it. And you can have all the right things, you can have very clear objectives, business objectives, you can have the right analytics, the right sales and marketing process and technology and all those things that you’re sharing. But in the end, and this might sound like a flat answer or not a breakthrough, but to me, as far as aligning those two teams, it goes back to the basics of human relationships. It’s like, talk to each other. Talk to each other face-to-face.
Well, I was gonna say, talk not text, right? Or email.
Exactly. Don’t text, don’t email. Yes, you have to do those things and you have to have alignment with strategy, but just making sure you’re meeting one-on-one or the two teams are meeting and operationalizing that, right? And I find that once a week is a good frequency. My team joins the weekly sales meetings regularly. I have ongoing one-on-ones with the sales leadership. And by no means am I saying, we’re doing it perfectly. I mean, if lie because there’s things that we’re doing right, and there’s plenty of things we still need to do way better. Let’s be candid on that, but I talk to other leaders and that always seems to be the missing piece is, well, did you actually sit down and talk to each other in an honest way, right? And that’s the other thing people are uncomfortable being honest with each other. It’s okay, you’re not gonna hurt my feelings if you’re telling me the content we created doesn’t work right. People lied, I’ll do the same, but be brutally honest about what works and what doesn’t, and the what works is very important. We all tend to focus on the negatives, but you can learn a lot from the positives, too. So just talk to each other.
I think that that’s solid advice. And one of the jokes we have at AE is sometimes we feel like we take on the role of therapist where we’re the outside group that gets sales and marketing inside companies talking because what we sometimes see is we’ll see marketing team’s doing high five saying like, “Wow, we’re hitting our lead gen goals.” Sales are blaming marketing for the fact that deals aren’t getting closed. Marketing’s saying, “We’re giving all these leads to sales that are not closing.” And no one wants to sit there and have the honest conversation and just say, “Okay, what is working? What can we continue to capitalize on those successes?” And then, if something isn’t working and it gets back to the other point that you mentioned, and I think this is just general across the board as a society, unfortunately and it’s certainly trickled into business, is people are uncomfortable being candid with one another. And you said earlier, one of the keys to your success is how you view relationships, whether the business or otherwise, and I think that’s absolutely true. And I know you’ve been candid with me in the past, I’ve been candid with you in the past. I think that’s key to our working relationship because I think if you don’t know what isn’t working clearly, it’s difficult to solve what that might be.
Right. And you know, everything is very data-centric these days. So we have the analytics, we look at the data and the pipeline and the content usage and all those things. And they’ll tell you and that’s important, data will tell you… Will give you a story, but it’s important to have the texture and the color that I think only a human interaction is going to give you in the end.
Absolutely right. I think a lot of times, we’ve almost swung the pendulum too far on data.
For sure, for sure.
And it’s like there’s no context to that. And along the similar lines of data, I think the other thing that’s so interesting, especially for you and I, in terms of the evolution of our careers like technology is so apparent now. Obviously, you’re a CMO of a tech company, but technology is so readily available and all throughout the marketing departments and machines throughout the country, it used to be that the CIO was the one in charge with technology for a company. And now, with marketing, you see there are tools for everything from design tools to analytic tools to project management tools, there’s just tools and data for everything, account-based marketing, it just goes on and on and on. And at some point, you wonder is the Martech stack almost too much of a distraction. Is there a particular technology that you use or your team uses that you say, “This absolutely, hands down really helps us do our job better?”
Yeah, so I will say and I completely agree with you the tech marketing tech stack and there’s just so many options out there and you often feel the pressure. [laughter]
And so I think one has to be very, very careful about not blowing the marketing stack out of proportion. The, as far as technology, a technology today that we use, I will say anything around buyer intent, anything that’s going to give you insights on whether a prospect is truly in market or not, is something that I’m very jazzed up about. We use G2 buyer intent data and we also use SixthSense, which is a IBM platform. Within that, there’s built-in predictive analytics that basically give you insights on again, buyer intent. The jury is still out because it’s… We haven’t been using that technology that long yet, but I’m very optimistic and I’m very excited to see what that will do for us as far as marketing, providing insights to sales and the business development team to prospect. And in fact, here I wanna quote Ryan Bonnici, the CMO of G2. He was on a panel at an event I attended recently and he brought this up and it was fascinating to me because he went as far as to say that leads will become a thing of the past, that the focus for marketing will actually be buyer intent insights to sales rather than leads to sales. So clearly he really believes in that and I thought that was pretty powerful.
I could see why you would think that. And it is interesting ’cause the technology wave has just, it’s come so hard so fast. And again, the market’s changing so quickly too that in many cases, I think, some of the hot technology a couple of years ago, I think about some of the automation tools like Marketo, and others where all about being able to automate emails out. Well, that was before the sense of personalization, where not everybody wants a mass email that feels very generic and is in many cases may be poorly written and people want to feel like the brands that they engage with have a better understanding of who they are. So I think you’re seeing that evolution for sure. So it is interesting and it does get back obviously, a little bit to what you said about marketing and sales, you have to put the customer in the middle. And then what type of technology or insights can you do to be able to be as relevant as possible to understanding those buyer insights.
Another thing that I think is similar to this range of technology and you talked about it briefly in terms of the type of different roles of CMO, and I know you probably experienced a little bit of this on the agency side, but probably not as much since agencies historically are very siloed. But when you think about managing marketing teams now on the brand side you have this wide range of talent, you have creatives, you have analysts, you have developers, you have writers, you have project managers. And I think that that poses a little bit of a challenge in many ways because you’re talking about all these different roles and personality types. What’s kind of your leadership style in terms of managing not just obviously different personalities, but people that are all wearing a lot of different hats?
It’s not easy. My answer is gonna be similar to the one about sales and marketing alignment, communication and transparency is key. I know I keep going back to that and being clear on expectations with everyone on the team individually, understanding the communication piece is important, and that’s something I’ve learned in Mediafly more than any other place. People are different, and younger people especially. The style of communication that might work with one is not necessarily the style that might work with somebody else. So just because I have my communication style doesn’t mean that I need to use it on everyone or apply it to everyone, it means that I may have to tailor it to theirs so I’ve been much more mindful of that. Also, and this is something that I’ve learned from Carson Conant, our CEO, he does that brilliantly. What motivates people is different.
For sure. He’s a master at that.
He’s a master at that. And I’ll paraphrase him, because I forget if those are exactly the words that he’s using, but I think it’s a triad of, some people are motivated by fun, other people are motivated by money and other people are motivated by recognition. By recognition meaning praise and acknowledgement that they’re doing a great job. Right, so that’s been pretty insightful for me. And so you’re using the right levels for the right people and then at a broader level, I would say it’s as far as a team, and you look as a CMO or any leader, you’re looking to assemble a team that’s better than you right? Again, Carson talks about it that way. And what I mean by that is a team of specialists in their own individual disciplines that are experts at what they do more so than you are. And if you’re doing that right, then you can give them the room to run on their own, again, within reason, obviously, you can’t come in and out as a manager and think I do that. I go deeper sometimes, and I stay away most of the time. So it’s a balance, but it starts with hiring the right people and going from there.
Well, I wanted to build on that. I think you may have actually answered it in that last segment, but I think one of the other things that is common in a lot of high growth tech companies, Mediafly is certainly one of them, whether it’s across the entire organization, or certainly in marketing, you have a lot of younger millennial talent that are really starting to come into their own. But I know at the same time that presents sometimes management and leadership challenges, I know, I don’t wanna date myself, but as a Gen Xer it’s a little harder sometimes to think about how to lead a younger team. I know you’ve talked a lot about relationships and transparency, but is there any other advice you’d wanna add on to that, in terms of how to manage a younger workforce that is eager, but maybe doesn’t have the level of experience yet, that people like you and I would have?
Yeah, in terms of how to manage them and how to motivate them be open to the feedback from them to you. I’ve learned a lot from millennials. For all the bad rep they get, they’re arguably the most talented and certainly productive workforce, right? Because they’re so digitally enabled natively. So, I’d say be open, be open to the feedback, I’ve changed things, thanks to the younger folks on my team, as a manager, hopefully for the better. So, that’ll be my other piece of advice. And make that communication, again operationalize it, formalize it, make it regular, have quarterly performance reviews, or exchanges of how are things going, and then the more casual coffee breaks. And those are harder to do, I definitely fallen behind on that, but I think there’s a lot of value to that. So you, take the time to relate to them as people, not just as employees. And I feel that’s something I used to do better in the past. And I need to start that again.
Between some of your comments about Carson, the CEO’s leadership style, in terms of those three motivators. And I’ve heard… We’ve had, he and I have had a lot of conversations about that so I totally agree with that. But you said also something I think that’s really important, and I feel like a lot of people make the mistake of, they suddenly put on their business hat and they feel like they have to manage and treat people different because it’s a business format. And you said something earlier that I think is really key, it’s about relationships in general, whether it’s business or otherwise. And there are different languages of how people thrive in relationships, and motivators and sometimes leaders, myself included, make the mistake of assuming that certain people on my team are motivated the way I am or driven…
Exactly, that’s what I mean. Right, right, right, right.
Yeah, or driven the way I am. And I think it’s really important to realize as a servant leader, part of our job is to also serve our team, and that includes trying to better understand how can we create a productive environment. I do think there is also a little bit of a challenge in the fact that with technology, and digital, and everything moving so quick, it creates a lot of high and fast expectations though, of moving up the ladder, and I think that’s a little bit of a harder one to try to manage. And I don’t envy people that are trying to manage talent in that regard, ’cause it is a bit of a challenge.
And I can add something to that. Actually, I was just thinking about it. Yes, it can be a challenge for sure. A couple of things. One is formalize the titles and the descriptions and the levels of seniority, the manager, the director, all those things on paper as much as possible, and what does it mean, what are the expectations for each of those levels and understanding in the end its criteria that are on paper and things might change a little bit. But I think that helps everyone understand where they stand and what they need to do for the next level. The other thing is I’m finding that millennials and their eagerness to make it to the next, move up really fast, and I’m a focus group of one, right, recognizing that…
Or maybe two, yeah. Oftentimes haven’t thought about their career more long term. And by long-term, I don’t mean 10 years from now. But even two years from now, right? And so in order to motivate them, and help them, having those conversations come from their manager can be really valuable. So, ask the question, “Where do you see yourself two years from now?” And surprisingly many of them don’t, just don’t know. So, you’re actually helping them think about it, and then you’re helping them, if you can agree on where they need to be two years from now, or even a year from now, then you can work together to make that happen. You can actually help them reach their career objectives, short-term, or mid-term. But if that conversation doesn’t happen, then they don’t really know, and you don’t really know what to do to help them get there.
And I think that that’s true almost regardless of whether you’re a millennial or Gen-Xer or what have you. I think it’s really interesting that people get in roles whether, certainly in the marketing industry, whether you’re on the brand side or the agency side, and there’s this natural idea of what that career path should look like, right? Like, “Okay, I become a manager. Well, now I wanna become a director. I’m a director now, I wanna be vice president.” And in the case of you, taking that a step further, and becoming a C-level executive, a CMO. I always tell people don’t assume that you want the next title up because with that title comes significant responsibilities that you may not be aware of. But more importantly, it might involve a lot of things that you’re not really good at, and you may not wanna do. And you go up… Well, you’ve seen a lot of times over the years where people go up and they aspire to a job because they think it comes with the title, and it obviously probably comes with more money and that’s what they want, and then they get it and they realize they’re not equipped for it, and they don’t like it.
And then that is a harder thing to recover from on a career journey than it is to say, “Hey, where do I wanna go? Titles aside, what really motivates me? What am I good at, what do I like to do, how can I continue to grow?” And it may or may not have anything to do with the title, but that does get a little bit to your thought process of think about the career, and crazy enough as it is, you’re right that two or three years is long term right now, in this economy.
And related to this, I actually, thinking back, I’ve had quite a few situations in my career where I have reoriented people in their career path. Because I’ve seen strengths that they had, that they didn’t realize they had, or because, and this has happened a couple of times where they had their mindset on one area. And, “I’m a really good X, and this is what I do, and I wanna be that, and this is my strength.” And I would say, “You know what? I honestly don’t really see that. You may think you’re a great writer, for example, but you’re actually an amazing product manager. Have you thought about this?” And it might not always start as a pleasant conversation because it’s constructive criticism, sort of breaking this image of themselves that they have or this expectation.
But I’ve been thanked every time, with no exception. Every time I’ve ended up reorienting someone, they’ve been happier and they’ve just succeeded in ways that they hadn’t expected because it was a better fit. The next move was a better fit for them. So again, it goes back to communication. [chuckle] I know I always go back to the same theme. I’m boring.
Well, we’ll see that’s how you answer this next question too. So we’ve talked a lot obviously about leadership and talent and again, being at a high growth company, in a high growth industry, Mediafly’s constantly growing. You’ve added team members, you’ve acquired companies, you’re constantly raising money, you’re adding new customers every quarter. What are some of the skills though that people have to bring to the table? ‘Cause I think that’s the other thing is there’s such a buzz around working in startups and I think everyone thinks that they can do it. And I think everyone wants to do it because that’s a sexy thing to be working in a software tech startup. But what are some of the table stakes or skills that people have to have to be able to work at a place like Mediafly?
It’s funny that you say everyone wants to work at a startup. It is not for everyone. [laughter]
27:31 Brian: Oh, it’s not. It’s absolutely not.
It’s really not for everyone. I know, I know. I would say it’s less about skills and actually more about personality characteristics. I don’t know if that’s what you’re expecting me to say or not. At Mediafly one of our core values, that to me that represents Mediafly more than anything else is the notion of defend your opinions not your ego. And it’s very reflective of Carson Conant, again, and how he manages and his vision for the company and that’s part of the personalities we’re looking for. So we want you to have a backbone. We want you to know your stuff and we want you to stand for your opinions, but be humble, be flexible. Respect the fact that others may know more than you do and that you may not have all the answers. Know when to push. Know when to back off. I think that’s very important.
Obviously it’s a daily hustle. So you need to have an appetite for that and you need to be flexible and curious, because if you’re looking for a well packaged neatly designed process where everything goes as planned and you put a little bow on the whole thing, that is just definitely not the place. [chuckle] So you need to be an individual that adapts, thrives on change and thrives on a good level of chaos. So I, for instance, one of the things I love is making, I call it making order out of chaos. So I like to start with the chaos. And so those are some of the personality characteristics that I really think are mandatory in a place like Mediafly, and these are typically the people we hire. And I think the people you’d find in startups in general, otherwise you won’t last.
We’ve talked a lot about your personal career trajectory, how you’ve grown from agency side to brand side, a mix of sales, mix of marketing, starting at a manager, through director and then all the way through VP and now CMO. One of the things we’re seeing more and more of, but it’s still the minority is women CMOs, certainly women CMOs in tech companies. So you’re in an exclusive club there. What type of advice would you give? And here I know we just joked a lot about be careful what you wish for in terms of the type of job title you want, but what type of advice would you give other women in tech who are striving to grow their leadership skills and work their way up the corporate ladder?
So this might sound controversial, but I would say seek the advice of men. The reason why I’m saying this, is there’s a lot of conversation around mentoring and having the right mentors as you go through the ranks and all that stuff. And I find that the mistake women often make is, and I suppose men, actually men do it too, so I don’t know that it’s a mistake, probably it’s too strong a word, but we seek the advice of people like us. So if you look at mentoring programs, for example, it’s usually, they’re mostly driven by women and it’s women mentoring other women. Then men are great at networking. And they’re great at standing up for each other and opening doors for each other and all those things. And it’s usually within, again, more male dominated circle. And it goes back to diversity. Men have so much to teach women in the workplace and women have so much to teach men in the workplace.
There’s a lot that we have in common, but there’s also many, many differences. And again, this may not be the favorite opinion and so use each other. And I’m meaning the best sense of the term, use. So look for male mentors and ask, be very direct in the questions like, “I’m in this situation, how would you handle it?” Because I think the answer you’ll get from a man will be different from the answer you’ll get from a woman. And chances are, a woman was probably thinking the way I’m thinking. So I’m not saying just go to a man, don’t go to a woman, but make sure you get both sides. And look for sponsors, not mentors. Associate yourself with people that have a good level of influence within the organization or the industry and can truly open doors for you. That’s probably the single most important thing ’cause in the end, it’s about exposure. You can work really hard and you can be very smart but if you’re not seen, it won’t benefit you as much.
I don’t think there’s anything controversial about that answer and if anything, I think it’s consistent based upon the relationship that I know you and I have had personally over the last couple of years. And professionally, I also think it gets back to your core theme as part of our conversation today. You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable, you have to establish good relationships and that sometimes requires you being open and candid with others. And I think all of those things kinda weave together that answer. So I don’t really think there’s much controversial about that at all. ‘Cause I think whether it’s gender-based or we’ve talked about millennials and Gen Xers-based or leadership versus mid-level managers, I think we often get in our little tribes. And we, and then…
Exactly, that’s a great word, yes, yes.
Yeah. And then we don’t see other ideas. I think that is an area where Carson is really good about that too is like, defend your ideas, not your ego, and just making sure that you’re getting a broader viewpoint of what the landscape is like. Sometimes we’re so quick to retreat to our safe corners. As we start to wind down, this has been a great conversation. We have not spent a ton of time talking about Mediafly, but you’ve woven it in nicely throughout the conversation. And really what we wanted to learn more about is you, the role of the CMO leadership, all of the challenges that come with that role. It’s important to note that obviously, as I’ve alluded to once or twice, Mediafly is a very fast growing company in the sales enablement space. Essentially coined the term “evolved selling” to be more relevant to buyers, especially in the B2B space. We use the product at AE Marketing Group. I’ve seen it firsthand within our own customers. It’s an exciting way to be more relevant to the buyer and the end-customer throughout the sales journey. But what’s on the horizon for Mediafly?
So on the horizon is aggressive girls, obviously that’s always the objective. I would say the main thing is, look, we have a high end sales enablement solution that we’ve deployed for visionary clients that are truly very sophisticated, wanna be very sophisticated in how their sellers are in front of customers and prospects every day to be effective in every single sales interaction. And there’s levels of sophistication, depending on the companies. And we’ve been very lucky to work with companies that have pushed the boundaries with our solution. So next for us, I would say is through further acquisitions and product innovation, and essentially opening up to the masses. Not just the visionaries. The companies that have needs, are perhaps a little more in the middle than the ultra-sophisticated, effective selling, very interactive, hyper customized, all those things.
Every company should be having a highly customized interaction with a customer instead of going in with a linear or generic pitch. But again, it takes time to go from that static level of selling to what we call, an evolved selling. Every company is in its own journey. We wanna help companies build their own journey and not necessarily going to the very end of the evolved selling stage because not everyone needs to get there or wants to get there. Sometimes it’s okay to just be in the middle, but you can’t stick with the status quo or you won’t be competitive. So for us it’s just going beyond the visionaries and opening up to everyone else.
It’s nice to see your continued growth. I know we spent a lot of time talking about that, especially at the end of every quarter.
And then marketing and sales activity. And it’s funny we started the conversation with talking about the differences between agency and client side. And I know what’s funny is every time someone on our team is at Mediafly, especially if they’ve never been to your office before, we always joke that your list of clients would be a dream for an agency. It’s literally the who’s who of virtually, almost every big industry.
You’re right, yes, yes, they’re like that.
And they’re all global brands even though many of them are in the B2B space, some are in the B2C space and they’re all recognizable names and you have them so beautifully drawn up on the walls in and around the elevators and that, and it’s like an agency’s dream client roster. So it’s great to see some of these giant global brands that are using your technology. And yeah, it is interesting to know some of the things that are on the horizon for Mediafly. So how can our audience learn more about you, Evolved Selling and Mediafly?
So obviously you can visit our website. By all means, reach out to me on LinkedIn or, and this is brand new, you can look for brand new book on evolved selling. It’s called “Evolved Selling.” It’s on Amazon and it’s authored by Tom Pisello, our chief evangelist. So again, it’s “Evolved Selling” by Tom Pisello on Amazon.
Isabelle, I really appreciate you being on the Brand Lab Series, today. I knew it’d be a fun and insightful conversation, really enjoyed our relationship over the years. I look forward to continuing that.
And I’m glad that you could share your experience and wisdom with our audience today.
Thank you, Brian. Thanks for having me. This was great.
Tags: B2B, Technology, Brand and Marketing, Technology
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