Hiring and Building Digital Teams

The first of the Leadership Series episodes was with long time friend Sean McGinnis. His background is diverse as are the industries he has worked in.

The episode touches on a number of leadership topics but our goal was to really focus in on hiring and building digital marketing teams.

Note: we had echo/background sound as we started to try and record. We made a ton of changes and thought we had fixed it. A few weeks later as we edited and reviewed the recordings all together we realized – we didn’t fully fix the issues! Hopefully Dave’s novice editing skills were enough to hide it (mostly) from you.

Leadership Series Guests & Episodes

  1. Building and Hiring Digital Teams W/ Sean McGinnis
  2. Managing Marketing Teams W/ Lauren Vaccarello
  3. Leadership & Growth W/ Amanda Orson
  4. Leadership & Teams W/ Mark Barrera

Full Transcript

Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast, featuring your host, Matt Dilla and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have you here on another one of these business of digital podcast episodes. And, um, today we have a fun one. I know there’s going to be a fun one because we always chat with each other and our guests, if we have them beforehand and before we start recording and.

Um, today we have Sean McGuinness with us. And, uh, right now I’m just gonna kind of just pass it over to you, Sean, because you have a title that would make me lose my breath. And so I’m just gonna pass it over to you and just let us know what you want the people to know about. And then we’ll talk about what we’re, why we have you on today.

But, but again, thank you for being on with us today.

Sean McGinnis: [00:00:50] It’s great to be here, Matt. I appreciate it. So technically my title is senior vice president, head of marketing e-commerce and customer experience at a direct consumer company called [00:01:00] Kourou footwear. We are a DTC e-comm player in based in salt Lake city.

We’ve been around for over a decade and we sell shoes that help customers eliminate foot pain.

Matt Siltala: [00:01:11] That’s beautiful. Actually, you have that down too.

Sean McGinnis: [00:01:14] Yeah, I watched that a few times,

Matt Siltala: [00:01:17] but I know that, um, and again, I, you know, I think we got Dave on here somewhere over there. If he’s not like flushing spiders or something, but

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:26] killing insects that are driving me crazy.

Matt Siltala: [00:01:28] But, um, I know the day wanted to have you on Shawn, um, talk specifically in house and, uh, get into all that good stuff. We’ve got a ton of notes to go over. So I’m going to kind of just hand it over to Dave and. Let him jump into what he wanted to chat with you about. And then we’ll

Sean McGinnis: [00:01:42] go from there. Sounds good.

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:43] Just additional context. So this is part of a series where we’re talking to, um, leadership executives, um, founders at agencies, and some in house positions across the board and really digging into. [00:02:00] Building marketing teams, or even just digital teams or dev teams. And, you know, I mean, like Sean’s over eight different things or four different things right now, he’s been over lots of different teams in the past.

And the whole goal is to really dig into one aspect each time with one person. And with Shawn, who’s done this quite a few times building and hiring digital teams is kind of where we’re going to focus today. Cause Sean, you’ve done that at Sears. You’re doing it now. Um, where was the place you were just at before

Sean McGinnis: [00:02:34] clearly?

Clearlink and then Kelly co

Dave Rohrer: [00:02:36] and Kelly co you did the same thing

Matt Siltala: [00:02:38] clearly. Sears didn’t listen to you


Dave Rohrer: [00:02:45] It’s just one. We were at what? Sears

Sean McGinnis: [00:02:47] parts, parts direct. Yeah. Steers parts direct for about two and a half years. Yep. I was brought in to lead the marketing function there and wound up in bringing some of that in house that was previously with an agency. [00:03:00] Interesting.

Dave Rohrer: [00:03:01] And I guess at a very high level, what is your.

How do you approach when you’re brought in or when we’re nowhere, even when you’re talking to someone, if they start talking about their they’re a small company and they’re growing, or they’re a big one and they’re having problems, you know, like, like the Sears was, um, you don’t have to give exact examples of anyone along the way or past.

Um, but what’s your just overall approach when you start talking to someone or start looking at a new project?

Sean McGinnis: [00:03:28] Yeah, the, I mean, I love digging in to the specifics of each business and each business is certainly different. Right. And so I think that it helps to understand where they are at, in terms of their maturity, what their objectives are from a growth perspective.

Looking at and understanding what their strengths are today from a channel by channel perspective. Um, and from there, I think it’s, it’s, I don’t say relatively easy, but it’s, that is the foundation upon which I like to build sort of a go forward plan. [00:04:00] Um, and so understanding, you know, how strong are you in SEO today?

What’s the content structure look like? What, you know, what have you tried in the past that worked and, and, and, or didn’t work. Um, where are you spending money today in media, what’s working, what doesn’t work, what used to work for you? Where, where does all that go? And then trying to evaluate both the existing talent pool that’s in house and the existing relationships that, uh, that, that are in place from an agency perspective or freelancer perspective.


Dave Rohrer: [00:04:32] you have a preference of where pieces are? Do you care if it’s in house, if it’s on your team specifically, if it’s a, an asset or someone that works somewhere else in the company, but that your team works with, or if it’s, you know, a consultant, does it matter to you or is it just a matter of. The ROI and getting, getting things moving.

Sean McGinnis: [00:04:50] Yeah. So I’d say my, my default ammo is to prefer hiring internal employees when it makes sense to do so, um, that [00:05:00] doesn’t always make sense to do so. Um, crew is a really good example of that. Right? When I joined, we were coming off of a year with a, kind of a full service digital agency that was kind of doing lots of different things.

And the agency was starved for strategy. They weren’t getting what they were looking for from the company. And, um, I saw just a ton of opportunity to hire experts, um, and to have people working within certain channels. Right. So, um, I did a little bit of stuff on my own, um, and, and, uh, embarked on and immediately opened up three positions, um, hired a new e-comm manager, a new paid social person who paid search person, um, at the same time that that happened.

Um, You know, I, I always view shopping engine stuff is just so fricking complicated that I just don’t even want to mess with it. And so that’s an example where there’s enough expertise and, and so many experts that are out there and available that it’s better to probably outsource some of that, [00:06:00] um, to a specialist who really understands the ins and outs of that channel.

And so at the same time, I was bringing those sort of paid social and paid search functions in house. I was outsourcing to another agency. That specific thing while that was happening, we lost our email person, but he was willing to stay on as a freelancer and continue to manage for us for an hourly rate.

So I’ve got this weird mix right now where email’s handled as an outsourcer. I’m a freelancer, if you will. P, uh, paid, uh, the shopping engine stuff is being handled by a best in class agency and content creation. E-com, uh, paid search and paid social is being handled mostly by internal folks with a little bit about sourcing help from, uh, from the creative side of things.

Matt Siltala: [00:06:46] Honestly, I think, um, stuff like that or situations where that’s the case. Like I think that you’re getting the best of both worlds. I mean, that’s not. I I’ve, you know, we’re, you know, I look at, uh, us from an agency [00:07:00] point of view and, and the things that we’ll do that we work side by side with like another agency that most people would think, well, you’re a competitor.

Why are you doing, um, why are you teaming up with them? Well, we know that there’s a specific thing that these guys are really good for or whatever. And I think that, uh, when you realize that or you get to that level, you’re just, you know, your client or you in this situation. You’re the ones winning from something like that.

I think it’s kind of a cool, I mean, a lot of people might look at it complicated that it is complicated, but you figured it out. I personally think that’s kind of cool. Kind of how we’ve done a lot of stuff too.

Sean McGinnis: [00:07:36] Yeah. The thing that I, I found through the years that is, um, probably most, um, I’ll say personally frustrating, cause I don’t know how else to put it.

Um, so I’ll go back to my time at Sears. Right? So I joined Sears. As head of marketing over a really tiny little rounding error of a business. Right. But if you had spun off that business, it would have been like internet retailer, top one 50. Right. So I viewed myself [00:08:00] as sort of COO of that company, even though I was a director level employee and I had never done any paid stuff at the time, I’d never really done e-com or even B to C.

Um, but I came in and inherited this relationship with this agency. And I started to question like, what is the value of what they’re actually delivering for us? And so. Um, went to my, my, my P and L owner, the guy who ran the business and said, Hey, you know, one of the things that I’m a little concerned about is we’re spending a bunch of money in this channel and we have no in house expertise.

We’re relying completely on this, you know, a Gartner top right. Quadrant best in class, you know, paid search agency. And he’s like, you know, I throw it, throw together a business case and let’s see what happens. And so I asked that agency for a time study and, um, for a lot of money. I won’t get into specifics.

Um, I was getting 45 hours a week worth of work on my account and of those 45 hours, 26 hours were devoted to [00:09:00] meetings and reporting. So I’m getting like, But let’s call it generously. Let’s round up and call it. I’m getting 20 hours a week, about half an FTE worth of actually trying to move the needle. In my paid search account, the paid search account was healthy.

It looked really good, right? The Roaz was strong. The performance looked really good. I fired the agency and hire two full time people for less, you know, for a fraction of what I was paying the agency, I got 80 hours a week worth of work. And the first thing my expert did was to the lead 900,000 unproductive keywords from the account.

Matt Siltala: [00:09:33] Nine hundred thousand

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:34] nine hundred thousand

Sean McGinnis: [00:09:35] nine hundred

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:38] to be fair. How many skews ish were there?

Sean McGinnis: [00:09:42] Uh, 8 million.

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:44] Yeah. Okay. It’s still

Sean McGinnis: [00:09:47] 900. So we had about 1.2 million keywords in the account. And so three fourths of those keywords were driving. No clicks or no sales. And, and that team of two then went and [00:10:00] embarked on a com a massive account restructure.

And we grew revenue 40% year over year. So I spent less money administering the count, grew the channel 40%, um, crushed, you know, on a, on a leaner, smaller account structure, um, doing the right things at the right time and, and was willing to take that risk, even though I’d never managed paid. Right. So. Of course, my boss’s boss’s boss was like, that’s a good outcome.

Go do that for all the businesses that I lead. And so we built a team of 12 to go do that internally. Um, it was the last thing I did before coming here to salt Lake city. And here’s the kicker within a year, they had undone everything that I had built and gone back to the agencies that had underserved them in, in the past.

And so the, the, the main question that I always ask is, you know, are you. What’s what’s driving that decision right there. They’re the counterarguments, from my perspective where I’m getting not a lot of service, the whole sort of agency model was [00:11:00] designed in that world to, um, push the work down to the most junior players humanly possible, get paid a lot of money and do as little work as they could get away with doing and, and for a fraction of what I was paying that agency.

I got to have two full time people. Doing four times the amount of work that I control their hours and I could go manage the output and I would rather be held accountable to go do that. Um, the counter argument to that was, well, wait a minute, we’re getting best in class. Thinking from the agency, they were there doing this work for 50 clients or 150 clients or 1500 clients.

And they’re going to apply all the things they learned from all those customers to our account. Um, well, theoretically true. I’ve just never seen that actually happen from an agency. Typically that level of knowledge and understanding resides with people like us, who’ve been around and have been doing this for so long.

Um, I find that, you know, to be, not necessarily, you’ve got to have a really strong process where you’re applying those things that are, that are you’re [00:12:00] learning from other clients to, to every client. I don’t know. I just, I, part of me wonders whether some of these bigger, um, brand marketing directors are just not equipped or afraid to manage people

Matt Siltala: [00:12:13] or reminds me, and maybe Dave can speak to this, but it reminds me of conversations that Dave and I have all the time about just this thing where, where they would always handcuff Dave in, in, in a lot of those situations.

Sean McGinnis: [00:12:24] But sure.

Matt Siltala: [00:12:26] But I don’t know on that now you, I know that we, uh, You know, that answered a lot of the questions that, that, uh, that we had laid out. But I don’t know if Dave has, uh, any followups with some of those

Dave Rohrer: [00:12:40] I do. And it’s around generalist versus specialist. So you keep talking about hiring like either internally or externally best in class, or getting rid of best in class, depending on, you know, what you’re actually getting as far as, um, output, but.

What is your take on hiring? [00:13:00] If say you’re building a, you know, a crew or at any of the places, do you look at generalist for specialist? When you look at resumes, when you look at their skillset, when you’re looking at channels, is it just more about their background in email? Is it more about their background in social, if that’s what you need or is it just a general.

And curiosity and they get conversion, they get this. So really wherever I plug them in as a generalist, it doesn’t matter if they don’t understand the nuance of paid. They can do it.

Sean McGinnis: [00:13:32] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:13:32] How do you approach that?

Sean McGinnis: [00:13:34] Yeah, generally speaking, I like to hire specialists for sure. Um, I think that each discipline, at least within certain, um, con constraints, right?

So I w for the paid search position, I mean, it’s a little bit different with the paid search because I’ve. Been around the block so long and know so many people, actually, the paid search is a really good example of a weird hybrid relationship that I’ve got built up. So, um, you know, I approached some people that I know is [00:14:00] freelancers and I didn’t want to pay the full rack rate to have them manage the account across the board.

So I hired someone who has two years of paid search experience. Um, but also has also is before that spent six years in SEO and is a little bit more of a generalist and comes from a publishing background and knows how to write content. And I paired them up with a freelancer to drive the restructuring of the account for Kourou.

And then, um, they’re going to run alongside the internal employee and sort of make sure that everything stabilizes and then. Actually act as kind of a mentor for, for a little bit of a period of time as well, because two years isn’t a ton of paid search expertise. Right. Um, so I get the best of both worlds there.

I get an, a real senior level expert who can almost act as a, uh, uh, an expert in a way that I can’t and paid, you know, specific to how the platform works or what the different types of bid management work. And I mean, they’re eating, living and [00:15:00] breathing, paid search. And I think that if you hire a generalist for something like that, that’s where that’s the downfall.

That’s the pitfall is you, you wind up with someone who sure they can, they can kind of dig in and understand a little bit, but they don’t know the ins and outs of what’s been tried, or the fact that Google made a change in the way that this bid type actually operates. And it used to operate this way and now it operates that way.

Um, so I think that’s the real risk there. If you’re a really small business and you’ve only got budget for one person hiring a generalist to manage all that is. Almost the only solution, unless you’re going to go outsource that to an agency. That’s where I see a ton of value in an agency working with a really small company like that.

Right. But when you get to a certain revenue and profit stream sort of mentality, when you go, okay, I can afford to hire a team of five, six, 10 people. Now, the question is which 10 people or which five people are going to add the most possible value given where we are today and where we’re going to go in the next 12

Dave Rohrer: [00:15:56] months.

Yeah, it’s interesting that the channel, but I [00:16:00] see that a lot too, in the past, I’ve worked with, um, a couple of people where they would always have either a junior person or in some cases. Um, I had one that worked at multiple startups and would always have a very junior or usually an intern.

Sean McGinnis: [00:16:15] And

Dave Rohrer: [00:16:15] we had weekly calls that would actually turn into like biweekly calls.

And we would literally just spend that time going over what that person did. If I found anything from an SEO standpoint, here’s the content they were working on. Or I would be in the SEO expert, work on something, do two examples, walk this junior person through, have them do a couple double, check it and then have them do the other 10 hours of work.

Sean McGinnis: [00:16:45] Yeah. I, that seems super unproductive to me. Like, I, that seems like a lot of work to try and get some, I just, I don’t, you know, I would much rather just hire an expert who knows what they’re doing and I mean, levels of [00:17:00] expertise.

Dave Rohrer: [00:17:01] I want to pay a consultant or an agency. Hourly rates for 10 to 20 hours to write meta descriptions?

Sean McGinnis: [00:17:08] No, no. For something like that, that’s what they were doing or going through and

Dave Rohrer: [00:17:12] cleaning up stuff that was like, you don’t want to pay, you know, that hourly rate for 20 hours a week when you can. Pay someone for a month to do

Sean McGinnis: [00:17:23] five different projects. Yeah. I mean, that’s fair. I think that it’s, it, it just, I don’t know.

I mean, I think about, I mean, thinking about the crew experience that we’ve had so far, so I hired a paid search person that was relatively junior in terms of total paid search expertise, more of a mid level paid social guy, hired a copywriter. Who’s seven years of journalism experience here locally in salt Lake city.

And she’s getting up to speed and, um, Uh, you know, e-com guy. Um, and, and now actually just on Monday, we’re starting with a new SEO freelancer who I happen to know very well and became available. And I, um, grabbed her as [00:18:00] quickly as I could. And we came to an agreement and, um, finalized all that stuff. And so, you know, she’s going to be taking over some of the SEO stuff that I was kind of trying to do.

And so now I’ve got a full time person. I can lean on that channel and it frees me up to go do other things, right. Focus on other ideas. Um, Sort of audition. Other vendors think about other channels. Um, and you’ve got someone who can really manage and own. At the end of the day. I want someone who, you know, we track every single channel, the full funnel of every channel.

Every single week we update, we pull all that information out of GA and we throw it into a Google sheet and we’d look at the full funnel. And we basically ask ourselves and we meet and talk about every channel and we say, okay, what. Substantially did we change in the last week to try and move the needle?

What was the hypothesis of what we thought was going to happen when we did that? And what was the outcome? And so if CPC has changed, I want an out, I don’t want to be surprised by that four months down the line. I want to have that conversation every single week. And so the end goal is to really hire someone who’s going to own EV and [00:19:00] literally be the single throat to choke over every single one of those channels.

That’s driving. X percent of revenue in the business. Right. I think specialists tend to know how to do those things in a way. I mean eventually a generalist would learn it. Um, and the other piece of that, though, in my opinion, is generally speaking well, if you are a junior marketer and you came to me and said, how do I develop a career here?

It, you know, or how do I develop a marketing career in digital? My general advice is to be a specialist in something, know it inside and out, uh, become really, really good at that. Advance your career a level or two, and then try to level up and become a T shaped marketer and figure out. The ancillary or the adjacent spaces, you’ll get really good at analytics or get really good at this, or really good at that.

Um, and that’s how you become a valuable generalists, they’re valuable generalist as a user. So junior that they just really have no idea what they’re doing. And you’re just, you’re dictating tasks and they’re doing work, which is what, like an outsourced, um, [00:20:00] uh, Almost like an EA, right? Oh, just go update, update meta descriptions.

Here’s how you do it. And any you, my 16 year old could do that.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:09] I love that you said that John, because it gives validation to me because that’s what I’ve been preaching to people

Sean McGinnis: [00:20:15] for years. But the problem is everybody wants to be the generalist because the specialty is where you actually do the work, you know?

And so nobody wants to do the work. They all want to come in as a strategist over the top and drive decisions. And you’re more than likely not quite equipped to be able to do that until you’re an expert in one or more channels.

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:37] Yup.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:38] Go ahead, Dave. Sorry.

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:39] Oh, no, I was just letting him finish. Sean. Sean can ranch fear in there.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:48] Well,

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:48] we haven’t even had a beer or two and you can still ran for a little while.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:52] I know. I feel like I’m missing out on some stories between the two of you guys. I feel like that would be an episode in and of itself, but

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:59] it’s a [00:21:00] couple, um, I think the next one would be for Sean is to prioritize, like how do you prioritize roles?

Like, and does it change? So when you go into, um, what was it, Kelly, the metal, that one company, um, or Sears, or even now when you first started somewhere, how do you approach prioritizing roles? And does that change in a year or two as you. As soon as you learn, which channels are important or maybe as some come and go.

Sean McGinnis: [00:21:35] Yeah. It’s, it’s been so the way that I like to think about it, um, so actually when I, uh, before I even joined, um, crew here, I met with our CEO, um, And he asked me, I mean, he had his vision of what he thought the team would need. And he asked me to do the same thing. So what we did was kind of architected almost an org chart, like a future looking, Hey, this is what a mature marketing organization, you know, [00:22:00] driving on performance for X revenue type of, um, you know, a volume business would look like.

And then you plug into that, the talent that you have, and you start to look back and you assess and you say, You know, I always think of it in sort of, you know, big buckets. So big bucket is the paid channels. And inside a paid you’ve got paid social paid search shopping engine, blah, blah, blah. Right? All these different places where you’re spending money to make money.

And you got owned and earned channels is sort of the next big grouping. Right? You’ve got email, you’ve got SEO, you’ve got all these other sort of things, onsite optimization. You’ve got UGC and, and, and other, you know, digital PR and traditional PR, um, And you know what, among all of those things requires a full time role versus something that can be outsourced.

And you just look and say, okay, given the current maturity of each one of these channels, how urgent is it that we do X or Y or Z, or what are my capabilities based on my network, based on the fact that I know Dave and [00:23:00] Matt, I know avalanche media, and I know these guys. Can I go outsource and get consulting help, or can I get some freelancer to pick up extra wires, each channel?

And so, you know, SEO frankly, was a bit of a, um, non priority with, with regard to crew because we had an external freelancer who’d done work. And because I was coming into the end of the end of the business. And so I could have those conversations and, and drive on projects and. I mean, there was a couple of things that, that freelancer has done for us.

We’ve more than doubled the traffic inside the first. Two or three months that I was there. So that seemed sort of like, well taken care of. And then the priorities were definitely paid search and paid social because that’s where we were spending the bulk of our money with Facebook and Google and Ben.

Um, we wanted to make sure we were getting the most possible out of that investment and it felt like there was an opportunity there. Um, but you have to prioritize that in relationship [00:24:00] to. The overall health of the business, like what, you know, what kind of profit margins are you looking at? What’s the budget look like?

I mean, I came into the end of Q, you know, Q3 early Q4 and right around the time where you traditionally go and plan the next year’s budget. And I didn’t really have a good have a great understanding of that. What were the main drivers were the business at this point in time? I can’t wait to sort of think about 20, 21 planning at the end of 2020, because I’ll know so much more about what the drivers are of Curry’s business and have some big hypotheses and big bets out there of like, what’s the next thing, right?

Like right now we’re trying to quote unquote, fix digital. There’s all these things and all these activities we’re doing. And you’ve got this huge list of prioritized projects that we’re running through the various, um, you know, team members. But what are the big bets we’re going to go place? And in terms of big brand awareness, campaigns and TV and radio and out of home, and like, how do we really, if the goal of five years from now is for every American, when they think of foot pain to think of doctor Scholls and kuru footwear, What’s the path to [00:25:00] get there.

Like that’s not gonna happen overnight. And so what are the things we need to go experiment with and put in place? And, and what’s, what’s the tech stack look like to even be able to appreciate and evaluate whether some of those things are working right from a fractional attribution model platform, or like what’s, what are the pieces that are missing?

So it’s not just a talent evaluation. It’s also a tech stack evaluation.

Matt Siltala: [00:25:22] And I’m guessing that you guys made me think about this when you were talking about it because. I actually use orthotics. I used to go to a doctor until I did the machine that’s in the Walmarts or the Walgreens or whatever. And so it taught it, it got me wondering like, like you guys even have to think beyond just digital and like what you do in situations like that as well.

So you, so you become the household name because when you said that it clicked with me. Cause I’m like, yeah. That’s who I think of because instead of going and paying my copay. And the doctor, all that money and then a $200 pair of orthotics that aren’t comfortable. I go, and I get one [00:26:00] from this, a dr.

Schultz thing that works just as well for 49 bucks. And then they asked me a year or two or however long and, and. You know, I’m, I’m done.

Sean McGinnis: [00:26:11] Yeah. There’s so many decisions that need to be made about that. Right, man. I mean, it’s the, you know, we’re a D to C company today. You can only buy kuru footwear, um, on our website.

And we’ve got a real small sort of retail that sits in front of our corporate headquarters in salt Lake city. But, you know, in, in the future, what’s that look and feel like, you know, what are the goals and objectives of the business? And those are really general business decisions and business strategies that the CEO and I were having this conversation all the time around what’s next, you know, if we could get to X revenue or X volume, or what does that look and feel like for, for us, you know, we don’t sell on Amazon.

We don’t sell on eBay. We don’t see any sell anywhere that we can’t fully control the, the, the, the whole customer experience for you. Um, We didn’t want to trust that to anyone [00:27:00] else other than us, because it’s a really strong customer experience right now. I mean, returning, we have free shipping and free returns and free exchanges.

That return process is phenomenally easy with us. I love it. Um, I, I don’t trust that someone else could handle that necessarily quite as well. Uh, but what’s next. You know, do we go through retail? Um, do we do owned, owned retail that we own end to end? Like who knows what, what the future holds here? Um, you know, we’re fixing all the things that need to be fixed and we’re trying to strategize on, what’s going to drive us to the next level of where we’re trying to go.

Very cool. You know, we’re, we’re on a mission to eliminate foot pain around the globe. That’s not going to happen overnight. And it, and it, you know, we’ve got to pick the right bets to go and, and really drive on to, to get to that. You know, the Beehag the big, hairy, audacious goal that we’ve got. Awesome.


Matt Siltala: [00:27:53] Well, Dave,

Dave Rohrer: [00:27:54] well, I think I got one more and this might be a bit of a segue, but we were talking about building [00:28:00] teams and hiring and stuff. You’ve probably looked at more resumes just this year, then Matt and I have in our lives. So I’ll phrase this cause it’s kind of a two part question for someone applying for something like say I’ve got six years of SEO and I want to be your SEO because you have an SEO role.

Yeah. You know, that’s one thing, but say I’m also, then there’s another role you have open and it’s a digital marketing manager and it’s overseeing all paid, not just, you know, anything paid related. So you’re shopping feeds is your agency or people, you know, the people doing, you know, Facebook or LinkedIn or tick talk and everything across the board.

So it’s more of a management position, but they’ve always been an executer. Is there a difference for what you look for in the resume? Um, or do you wanna break that into two separate things of how you [00:29:00] approach just like an executer versus. Someone that’s trying to move up in either up and over multiple roles or just at, up, up in general.

Sean McGinnis: [00:29:10] Yeah. So I’ll give you the one magic thing that I think is important in both of those. And then I’ll talk about how the man, I would expect the manager resume to be a little bit different

Dave Rohrer: [00:29:19] when I asked, I said resume, but you could even do an interview too, if it’s

Sean McGinnis: [00:29:22] the same. Yeah. You’re conveying information.

Right. And so I think it’s crucial as a digital marketer to understand that. Your resume needs to communicate. The business impact that you have been able to drive. And that tends to be in the language of business is numbers. And if I see a resume with no numbers on it, it immediately hits the round file.

I don’t care what your role was. I don’t care who you thought you knew. None of that’s important to me. If you’re submitting a resume for a digital marketer role, especially a channel manager or a channel executer, whether it’s SEO, it’s paid [00:30:00] search. You need to have bullet points that say, uh, I drove X outcome via Y project with.

You know, ABC metrics, whatever that is, you’re either saving money or you’re growing a channel, or you grew a KPI. There was some KPI that was measurable. You took it from this to this, by doing these, these specific things that needs to be present in both of those resumes, no doubt or in both of those interviews, but you’ll honestly, if you’re not on your resume, you’re never going to get an interview for me.

Um, I had this conversation recently with someone who was pretty senior, like, like you and I, Dave and their resume was completely devoid of any numbers. And I, this person asked me to take another look one day and I’m like, honestly, and I wrote a long, like, Hey, you cared enough to ask me to take another.

Look at that. That to me means you probably want feedback if I’m going too far and giving you this feedback, I apologize up front. But here it is like I would expect to see numbers on a resume. For this level of experience and your resume has completely [00:31:00] devoid of that. I think the next thing is that for the person that’s interviewing for the leadership position, maybe they’ve never done that before, or if they have, certainly I would expect it to have some information on there about your leadership, your management style, your management philosophy.

What are the things that you think of when you think of managing people or even if you. Have not yet done that. Talk about why you want to do it, talk about why it’s important to you, not just from a career development perspective to make more money or to do this thing, but how it fits with your persona, how it fits with your lifelong objectives, why it matters to you personally beyond just making more money, or I’ve always felt myself, a leader and therefore I want to lead, right?

Like. I want to connect that to your heart and soul in some way, um, and understand what’s driving you to want to make that step because quite frankly, many people who do job X. Are ill-equipped or not really well suited to become a manager of X [00:32:00] function. The classic example is a sales person. You know, some of the very best salespeople that were used to the, in spending, you know, I spent the first 15 years of my career knocking on doors, on lawyers and selling it’s, it’s the classic example of like the person who’s really super competitive and really, really great at sometimes is a terrible sales manager.

Like it takes a different set of skills to be a really good manager in that world. I mean, you’re really become a teacher, uh, in that world and that those competitive juices can actually prevent you from being a great teacher, a great communicator or whatever it may be. It’s a level of empathy that sometimes is missing or what have you, does that help?

Dave Rohrer: [00:32:42] It does well, especially in an in house role. Um, so you’re, I was laughing when you were talking about how 20 or 50% of the agency’s time was in meetings. And that’s usually at the fault of the account director, project manager, but also the client, [00:33:00] like, do we really need to have an hour long standup meeting where we, you know, shoot the, shoot the stuff for 30 minutes and then talk for 10 more minutes and then.

You know, do we really need five people on this call every week? No. Um, but the way an agency gets like either upsells or anything is by the main contact and their boss and the boss’s boss hitting their numbers.

Sean McGinnis: [00:33:28] Right.

Dave Rohrer: [00:33:29] And internally, if you have a win, but you can’t explain it. Through KPIs through any sort of internal metrics and you can’t make a slide or you can’t make an, you know, an email that sells it and shows you did X, this team that you managed it X, this team that you’re on did X, and this is what happened.

And this is the result. You’ll you, if you can’t explain that internally and you can’t explain that on a resume. You know, you’re never going to be [00:34:00] able to upsell and get more budget. You’re never going to be able to become a manager and be that person in the room fighting for that budget for your chain.

Sean McGinnis: [00:34:07] Yeah. The other thing that’s important too, is to read the job description really closely and look at the things.

Dave Rohrer: [00:34:14] Not just spammy my resume. Really?

Sean McGinnis: [00:34:16] Yeah. Honestly, it’s so true. Like that’s, that’s, you need to custom tailor your resume, but also read between the lines and try and figure out if you can, if there are cultural implications or like what’s the culture you think is going to be like, and answer the question around, um, what is this person looking to?

I mean, it’s, it comes naturally for me cause I’ve hired so many people. Um, so you can, if you read a job description, you can kind of get a sense of what the priorities are. I mean, the, the reality is most job descriptions are looking for unicorns these days, not most, but like when you get to a mid level or higher, oftentimes they’ll say, I want you to have this many years of experience with this specific tool and this specific channel.

And it’s like, well, you’re really narrowing your, your [00:35:00] opportunity there. Um, you know, I never, I’ve never forget that there’s a call. I feel that from an executive recruiter that was target was looking for someone that owned the, the homepage website navigation, as well as SEO. And they wanted like a masters of library.

So I’m like, you’re, there’s three people in the country. And the two of them work at Amazon. Good luck finding that person who knows that. What much about SEO as well as, you know, taxonomy, that is the weirdest. It was the most bizarre thing. I literally said to her, I said, you know, you, if, if you’re looking for someone, like tell them, prioritize these things for me, like, if, if SEO is more important and you’re looking for someone who can figure out these other things, then I’m definitely in the conversation.

If it’s inverted, then we should stop talking right now because there’s just no way. That’s, that’s a such a purple unicorn. You’re just never going to good luck. I wish you the very best of luck and. Let’s, let’s not waste each other’s time, but that’s also that’s happening so frequently [00:36:00] today that these job descriptions are so thorough and so long that like here’s these 50 and in all honesty, like I run the other direction.

I don’t care that you, whether you have a college degree or not. I really don’t. I care about work experience and representing and being inquisitive, but also being competitive and being a great culture fit. But having done. X channel work. I don’t care what tool you use to do it. I don’t care what your process was.

I don’t care who trained you. I can work with all of that. Like the rest of that is somewhat simple. Um, my experience anyway. Very cool.

Matt Siltala: [00:36:39] Well,

Sean McGinnis: [00:36:39] um, I really

Matt Siltala: [00:36:41] appreciate you taking this time and, and chatting with us about all the Shanay. I know that, uh, you were recording some other stuff today and we’re, you know, you got a busy day, but.

I do appreciate you taking the time and chatting with us about in house stuff. So,

Sean McGinnis: [00:36:55] Oh, it’s such a pleasure, Matt. I mean anything for Dave and, um, you know, [00:37:00] we go way back. So I think I owe him probably a lot more than this, but it was great to be with you guys.

Dave Rohrer: [00:37:07] Glad whenever I used to drive up 47, when you still lived out that way up to visit my mom, I was always like, you know, we could just bring some CP and

these kids are getting hopefully blamed if he

Sean McGinnis: [00:37:21] never know it was us. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, one of these days when this all craziness of the mile off

Dave Rohrer: [00:37:28] that road to find found your house in two minutes.

Sean McGinnis: [00:37:30] No doubt. When this, when this craziness ends and we started doing conferences again, let’s make sure we get together and do it upright.


Dave Rohrer: [00:37:37] only been 30, sir. When did I meet you? 13 years ago

Sean McGinnis: [00:37:40] now? Yeah, time flies, man. Something like that. You’re getting old.

Matt Siltala: [00:37:47] All right, guys. Well, I appreciate it again. Um, for Dave and. Sean and Matt, and we appreciate you guys joining us on this latest episode. And, uh, we’ll talk to you guys

Sean McGinnis: [00:37:58] on the next one. Bye. All. [00:38:00] Yeah.

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