As we continued the Leadership Series we were joined by the CMO of Talend, Lauren Vaccarello who has also been at Salesforce, AdRoll, Box and many other small and large companies.

Early PPC and Bid Gapping

Dave prods Lauren a bit to go down memory lane to talk about GoTo, Overture and bid gapping. Back when CPCs were $0.15 to $0.20 and no more than $1.00. For more on the history of paid search check out our episode with Jim Banks.

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

Large Marketing Teams vs. Small Marketing Teams

What gets you to 5 million is not what gets you to 10 million in revenue isn’t what gets you to 100 million which is not what gets you to 1 billion in revenue. Along the way your strategies have to change. The skill-sets and the people are just different.

– Lauren Vaccarello

When you need generalists, specialists and even a CMO change depending on where you are. When you are starting out you really need a doer that can dig into everything and scrap, not a CMO like Lauren to manage things.

Big Picture vs. Small Picture

Eventually your team will grow to the point where you will need someone that sees outside of a silo and beyond just the Marketing Team but see how everything in the company touches other things.

Small changes to a form can increase form fills but could make it so that the Sales team and operations are unable to do their job now!

Technology in Marketing aka Marketing Tech Stacks

The group digs into where Lauren sees the Marketing Stack, how she deals with it at mid to enterprise size companies and just the ups/downs that come along with it.

Internal Promotion vs. Hired Leader

The topic moves into walking through the good and bad of moving up itnernally at a company to becoming leadership compared to being hired to lead a team externally.

Lauren walks through how to build credibility, attract talent and how she has handled doing both over the years.

Remote Teams in 2020

Lauren gives some examples that she and others at Talend have done in recent months to lead in 2020 with sudden remote teams and COVID-19. From video happy hours on Zoom to a morning video to more one on ones, listen to get ideas and insight into all the ways Talend and Lauren are handling the sudden 100% remote situation.

Full Transcript

Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast, featuring your host, Matt  and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have you join us on another one of these business of digital podcast episodes. Uh, as always, we have my trusty cohost over there, Dave, how’s it going?

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:19] It is going

Matt Siltala: [00:00:20] now today.

We also have a special guest. I’d like to introduce everyone to, uh, Lauren Becker, Ello. Hello Lauren. So Lauren, you’re the COO of talent and I will let you kind of get into all of your duties, so to speak and share with our audience, whatever you want to. Them to know about yourself, but I do appreciate you taking the time to join us and talk about, uh, you know, managing teams and, and a lot of the in house type stuff.

And so I do appreciate you taking this time and joining us on our podcast. And, uh, so I’ll just turn it over to you. And then Dave, uh, you can jump in with your questions.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:00:57] Sounds great. Now I’m really, really excited to be here. [00:01:00] Um, love the podcast. Uh, I give you a little bit about me and backgrounds. So I’m the CMO, uh, uh, talent.

We’re a leading data integration and integrity company. Uh, so we focus on things like, do you have the right data? Do you have it in real time? Do you trust your data? What’s your overall quality and how do you make decisions on it? Which. I think as a marketer, one of our biggest complaints is what’s going on with my data.

Um, and is this actually real and right. So it’s sort of fun to be on the integration side of the house. Um, so I’ve been in marketing for the better side of forever, and I’ve known Dave for, um,

Yeah, 15 years, which is weird because neither of us were old enough to know each other that long, but definitely not. And I started out, uh, in, I always like to say I started out in digital marketing before it was a socially acceptable profession, [00:02:00] um, really early on in SEM and SEO. Uh, I worked, um, for myself for a little while, eventually went over to Salesforce where I lead digital for them, and then started to run marketing at a couple of different startups.

Um, I ran, um, demand gen and brand and operations for their box for a few years and customer engagement. And now I’ve been leading a marketing at talent, which is super fun and exciting. And it’s been interesting going from the. You know, early days, digital marketer to the demand gen marketer to the brand person.

Now I work a ton on product marketing and messaging. So it’s this really interesting evolution. And I have a privilege of leading a really great team at talent.

Dave Rohrer: [00:02:49] And we won’t, we won’t say the industry in which you started.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:02:54] Um,

Dave Rohrer: [00:02:55] but you worked with Frank and if you don’t know Aussie webmaster, you guys [00:03:00] probably were one of the biggest spenders at the time, in the early days too.

Weren’t you? We

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:03:04] were, um, back in the day and it’s, I it’s so funny when you think back and I think back about how many years ago this was. Um, the company, um, I worked at, we were the eighth largest, um, advertiser for Google, for paid search in the early two thousands. And I mean, and now it’s probably pennies compared to what the eight, eighth largest advertiser spends, but we would spend a ton of money on unpaid search and we.

We’re in a lot of ways.

Dave Rohrer: [00:03:36] Just think about the CPCs back then compared to now, too.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:03:40] I mean, it was going to be a sub a dollar. I was paying 15 cents for something, and there was a time

Dave Rohrer: [00:03:47] 15 cents for a brand,

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:03:49] even if it’s your own.

Matt Siltala: [00:03:50] No, I don’t think you can.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:03:51] And to be able to spend, you know, a million bucks, it was nuts.

And this was like the days of paid search where there used to be [00:04:00] overture. For anyone who’s old enough to remember, Oh my gosh. And you used to be able to do things like big gapping and everyone who went to school now to learn about paid search and online marketing. I get such a kick out of when I get to be one of the crusty old people.

That’s like, let me tell you about big gapping. Where you used to have, we had two different web properties. Cause I ran digital for a couple of different companies and sites simultaneously. So you used to be able to, I’m going to bid a dollar for this, for this website because the competitor is willing to bid 99 cents.

And then my second site, I’m going to build bid 98 cents. And then there’s no one after that. So I’m going to spend, you know, 10 cents a click over here, but I’m going to make my competitor pay night, max out their budget. And then I’m just

Dave Rohrer: [00:04:54] going to different strategies,

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:04:56] completely different strategies.

They’re going to max out their budget. And [00:05:00] my whole goal is to get the number two person to burn through their budget really fast. And then it drops my spend for my number one spot and my number two spot down to like 10 and 11 cents a click. And it’s I think that going Oh, well, well was a little shady, but it was really smart.

And that was the sort of

Dave Rohrer: [00:05:21] up

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:05:22] and it was how do you get creative? And it’s the same thing now is alright, here’s your parameters? How do you get creative?

Dave Rohrer: [00:05:31] And if you really want to dig into, we talked with Jim banks for those listening for almost an hour last year, about this time. And all we did was talk for an hour with Jim about the old days and just the last 20 years or so of PPC.

So that was a fun. Yeah, because that’s all we talked about is that crazy stuff

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:05:50] believe that this has been 20 years.

Dave Rohrer: [00:05:59] And you are the [00:06:00] youngest one on this call. So we both hate you by the

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:06:01] way.

Dave Rohrer: [00:06:06] So the real reason people want to hear, but I’m sure people that are listening, if they weren’t part of that are probably like, what are you guys talking about?

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:06:14] Super fun guys.

Dave Rohrer: [00:06:16] Your background is actually pretty diverse too. And. Um, the size of the companies you’ve worked at from now on, I don’t know if I’d say SNB, but you did run things on your own as a consultant midsize and even enterprise.

When you worked at Salesforce, what are some of the big differences around like hiring, managing, um, and even like just the multiple offices and just all the different facets from the growth of a company and the size of a company to managing and working with marketing sales and different teams.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:06:49] It is.

It’s very, very different sort of animals at different size companies. And I’ve like, I was at Salesforce from 2000 employees to 12,000. Um, I [00:07:00] used to run marketing for a company called ad roll. And when I started, they were 150 employees, three people in marketing. When I left, they were probably 400 employees, 25 people in marketing and then box was, I don’t know, maybe 2000 employees.

And 90 people in marketing talent is about 1400 employees. And I probably have 80 or 90 people in marketing and I’ve done advisory work for, you know, five person startups. It’s really interesting. The thing I always say is the, what gets you to 5 million is not what gets you to 10 million in revenue.

It’s not what gets you to a hundred? What gets you to a hundred? Isn’t what gets you to a billion and your strategies have to change. And in a lot of ways, the skillsets and the people just become different. If you are. No, you’re trying to get to your first million dollars in revenue. You do not need the, you absolutely don’t need me.

I am overhead. I’m expensive and I’m not good at hands on keyboards. I’m not good at the day to day work anymore. [00:08:00] What you need is someone who is scrappy growth mindset and is just going to go in and tinker and work and is really, really good at just executing. If you’re going from 10 million in revenue to 50 million in revenue.

That skillset starts to work less, and you still need some of the core principles, but you start to need more specialization. And the bigger company gets the more you need special specialization and sort of depth of expertise. In the beginning. You don’t need really, really, really deep expertise. You need someone who can do a lot of different things, where, where we are right now at talent.

I, um, My, I just hired in December of VP of digital, who is an absolute rockstar. I needed someone that is, has a really, really deep level of expertise because that’s, that is what is critical right now. If [00:09:00] we were, you know, 5 million in revenue, I don’t need someone as strong as her. I need someone who can do a little bit of everything, write some copy and just sort of a get stuff done.

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:13] From a team growth. Is there points along the way? From when you’re growing from an SMB to midsize to enterprise, when you were like with ad roll and you went from three to 25, was there tipping points or what is that tipping point for you? When it goes, wow, we really need to diversify. Does it depend on the industry and if you’re online only, or online offline, does it depend on B to B, B to C or is it, you know, not to give an SEO answer?

We’re kind of in SEO for a while. Depends kind of indicators.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:09:50] There are certain things. And part of it is I’ve always, almost always sort of worked in high growth and worked in tech. So if you, in a more traditional business, some [00:10:00] of this may apply less, but it’s, if you’re doing something that’s high growth, you’ll start to reach.

I’ve always looked at tipping point in revenue of. What are you trying to do? And where do you try to accomplish? And I look at Adderal, um, I’ve got a, I think there were about 50 million in revenue, maybe when I started, um, and they have three marketers who were great, but they were very sort of broad. You didn’t really need a marketing strategy.

It was, we know we have to be at trade shows. Let’s just, you know, do some stuff at trade shows. We know we have to be. On Edwards. We know we need a website, so let’s just sort of throw things together. We know we’ll need blogs, so we’ll just write a bunch of content. So it was just get things out the door, which works to a point.

And then it starts to break. And then it’s well, who works on what? And competition gets higher and you want to keep scaling and getting more revenue. And it just gets a little bit harder. And when I came in, it was this made a ton of sense of how to get [00:11:00] here, but how do we actually drive a little bit more scale?

The having one person who is updating your webpage and sending out your emails and running your AdWords campaign and writing your copy for your ads and making sure leads get routed. That makes sense. When you have dozens of leads, not thousands of leads, and once revenue starts to support it. If I put somebody that’s full time on SEO versus 8% of this person’s time.

Now it’s really gonna start to pay back dividends. So those are things that we started to look like. And I usually get brought in at this point, which is so funny because I was just, I’d said to shady paid search background when I started. And now I’m the person who comes in that goes, all right, how do we build for scale?

And how do we build for scale? How do we up level as a brand? How do we look bigger than we are? And how do we build this reputation?

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:57] I think if the meeting that you, we just talked about, that you were [00:12:00] coming from right before we jumped on this is, uh, we want to have to talk about what it’s about, but it’s about internal things.

And having someone that manages PPC and is siloed and knows their little space, doesn’t understand how like the analytics will impact your affiliate stuff or everything, or that. Trade show that’s going on. They don’t have the bigger picture. At what point, when you start having meetings around, you know, attribution and working with sales teams and growing a sales team, working with customer service, having to deal with from SEO and just content or infrastructure and working with it.

Are there points where you go, wow. Having one person do five things and this person maybe do PPC. Where do you start to need that VP of digital that you just were talking about? How you need it is there is there

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:12:59] it is. It was the [00:13:00] part of sort of tying everything together. And, uh, when I had joined, we actually, even for the size of talent was when I joined, there actually was just one person that was basically doing all online marketing.

We had a marketing operations team that was doing some of the marketing operations pieces. But the things that were missing was what’s the connection between we have Marquetto forms and we’re running paid search ads. And then what are field marketers doing? And there was no connection point between any of that.

And they had been so Jack of all trades, but also sort of specialized in siloed. And part of where I brought in this VP of digital was all of these things work together. The relationship with the sales organization is deeply tied to our digital marketing program is deeply tied to our website. Why are we pretend acting like these things aren’t or pretending like these things aren’t really [00:14:00] interconnected.

So brought someone in to say this isn’t a bunch of tactical execution. What’s the overarching strategy. Why do we choose to use a landing page or a Marquetto form? And why do we. Choose to have this many fields on a form because what’s really easy to happen is when you have people in complete silos, it’s well, from my metric, I need to generate as many form fields as possible as many form fields as possible.

So I’m going to remove country and industry because I can increase conversion. And that makes perfect sense. But then you find out that the marketing operations person. Can’t route leads to the sales person because they need industry and country. So then the salesperson can’t get leads and then they try to fix it.

And everything gets delayed by three days. But if you have someone that’s thinking holistically across the whole picture, it’s it helps them set the right metrics because your metric isn’t filling out [00:15:00] a form. Your metric is pipeline and revenue for the company, but they’re able to step in and say, Oh no, no, you’re, you’re missing this part.

I know what you want to do is increase form fills, but really by doing that, here’s the downstream effect and consequences. And once you get to a certain size, you need to think, especially as you bring in a sales team, you need to think a lot about the interplay between what we do in marketing and how it impacts sales

Dave Rohrer: [00:15:25] through your career.

How much more knowing the marketing stack and understanding how they connect and don’t connect is like the one time where. I’m a certain company based in Utah, that’s really well known for analytics, told us that their solution would work with a really big company that you used to work for in San Francisco with lead routing.

And they were full of it. Um, you can probably guess which companies those are, but that was the marketing stack. And we were sold bad, go with

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:15:59] goods.

[00:16:00] Dave Rohrer: [00:16:00] But over the years, like the, even the marketing stacks that I’ve understood. And I can only imagine at the enterprise level and even midsize just how much of your time is spent knowing that side of things.

Is it growing 10% or is it just like, you can’t even register how much more, you know, now

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:16:16] it’s interesting because. I think, I think I’m a more unique CML because I came up so heavily through digital and tech that you will have a lot of CMOs. Now, even if they came up on the demand gen side, or even on the product marketing side that tries to get that conceptual knowledge and understanding of marketing technology and they’ll study and they’ll research, or maybe even work for marketing technology companies.

I had this totally different perspective because. I was the practitioner. I touched the technology, my teams ran the technology. I was always the back of house marketer versus the front of house marketer. Um, so I, I kind of have this [00:17:00] advantage on the marketing tech side that I just get it a little bit deeper because it was my life for so long.

Um, so I think most CMOs don’t know too much. And aren’t that deep. And what you can do in those situations is you hire someone like the woman I have who runs digital, who is really, really deep and understand technology and how these things work together and can talk to a vendor and say, no, no, I know this isn’t true.

Don’t tell me your vision. Don’t give me your demo. Show me what you can actually do. And you can call, call people out if it’s not, I’m not correct. And I having someone on your team that has that as super important, I can tell you, um, what I sometimes terrify my team with for the people who don’t know me as well is you don’t ever expect the CMO to actually be able to have a deep conversation about lead scoring, or I want to [00:18:00] talk about, you know, Gatsby.

And you don’t get many CMOs that can have that conversation or don’t give me the high level paid search. Here’s the overview? No, really? What are you doing to fix quality score? I don’t like those numbers and I happen to be able to have those conversations and I still believe I can add value in the technology conversations.

So I probably get a little bit deeper. And when I look at some things on the tech stack side at this point, I I’m not as close to it as I used to be, but I can call BS on things of, that’s not how this works, unless you’ve completely rearchitected your products. That’s not how this works. Tell me what really happens.

And I think as advice for everybody who don’t have that technical expertise is have someone on your team that does and get customer references to really prove out they, you say you connect and integrate with this other product. I want to talk to someone who’s done that. [00:19:00] And you can’t be on the call.

Yeah. I’m also a great person. If you’re mad at a vendor just to send in, I’m a great person. If you’re mad at a vendor to send in a it’s rare, I ever get to be angry and it’s rare I ever get to, you know, be that person, but don’t lie to me about what your product can do and make my team look bad.

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:29] Well, and it costs time and money.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:19:30] Absolutely. It’s like,

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:32] well, we were, you told the CEO and the team told you that it would be done by X day. And now we’re understanding that we now need three different plugins and the dev teams, resources, which we were told would not be needed for three months

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:19:47] booked for five months.

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:48] Yep. Um, I, I’m going to segue into another question that I was going to keep for later, but I think it’s a good time.

Moving up in a company versus hired [00:20:00] and VP COO type. Cause you’ve kind of done both. Does your management and how you manage and work with teams change at all, or even does your hiring change at all as far as promoting people versus like, do you expect probably the same thing, but how you manage and how you have done that is anything there

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:20:21] it is.

It’s definitely different. And I will say that. There’s some things that are in your head versus the, some things that are real. Um, so I’ve gone up through an organization. And the good thing about when you ride through an organization is as you get promoted and you take on bigger teams and bigger responsibility, you have all of this credibility internally.

And so you are, you’re stepping into new roles and it’s, well, we already know Lauren and we trust her. And she’s great. So you were, you’re taking that credibility and clout with you. And you already have those relationships and the more senior you get so much of it is [00:21:00] about relationships and working together and cross-functional natures.

So there’s definitely an advantage to that. The only disadvantage sort of in rising through an organization is you have to adjust your brand. So as a good example, when I got hired at Salesforce, I could hire, and this was 11 years ago, 10 years ago. 11 or 10 years ago, I got hired to run paid search and I get hired to run paid search.

And then I start our social program. That’s how long ago it was, you didn’t have social. And I started display advertising and retargeting, and then I took over email SEO and the website and email, and then eventually ran all of digital. Um, the first thing I had to do to get, as my career progressed, there was not to be the paid search woman anymore.

And it wasn’t paid search. It was online advertising. And then I don’t want to be the advertising person. I want to be the digital [00:22:00] person. And then how I take on that. And then what became challenging from there is I built such a strong reputation on digital. What if I wanted to go run marketing for a business unit?

Well, we don’t need a digital marketer. We need a market. We need another type of marketer. And it’s because my brand was so strong. And what I was good at as I Rose through the organization, it helped a ton with getting work done. It helps a ton with credibility, and it makes you move faster, which is great.

They’re able to attract talent internally. And I was able to pull people from different teams, which worked really, really well. I was able to recruit really well because we had set a team with such a good reputation, but you may reach a point at an organization where you’re. Own success. If you want to do something different, or if you want to go broader, maybe something that hinders you because people have a perception of who you are and then leaving and going and running and coming in as an executive, [00:23:00] all of that cloud and credibility that you brought up brought in, you don’t have, you don’t have that internal reputation.

Usually when you come in as an outsider, people will assume you’re amazing. Uh, for the first three months. And then sort of the shine wears off the penny, and then you have to keep proving that you’re amazing, which you all are. Um, but it just has that little bit of different timing. Um, coming in externally can definitely be harder as you are trying to figure out how does everything work?

What worked for you at one company might not work at another company. You have to learn the company and the systems and the process. You have to build a whole new set of reps, um, a whole new set of, um, relationships. I think the things that have made me successful. And if you are, if anyone here is going to a new company and sort of going in a leadership position in a new company, I’ll tell you the things that were my hangups, which I no longer have.

Um, when I first thought about hiring, [00:24:00] you may have a book of people you want to hire because you know, they’re great at what they do. And the first time I went as a VP to a different company in the back of my head, I went. Well, I don’t want to hire these people because it’s going to look like I’m coming in and I’m just hiring all of my friends and I’m replacing people with all of my friends and it was this insecurity.

And now when I went to talent, I brought a ton of people with me and it wasn’t, I’m hiring my friends. It’s I know what great looks like. And I know where the gaps in the organization are and I happen. Two through many years of experience, have a network of people who are exceptional at what they do. And now I can pull these people in with me and it’s not just about me.

It is about what’s the talent that I can attract. And how can we kind of jump in and do this together? So it’s been a real advantage going in now is I’ve hired some really, [00:25:00] really incredible people to supplement some of the great people that we already had a talent. But it was people from my network that have worked for me or with me over the years,

Matt Siltala: [00:25:12] I was just going to say, I’ve never had a problem with anything like that. I think about it, like with, uh, you know, you see it all the time and, and the NFL or other sporting events where the entire coaching staff goes with the coach or whatnot. And, um, you know, that’s a lot of how we build things. Uh, at first, uh, Uh, with Avalon.

And it’s interesting hearing all this because, um, we’re just right now going through one of our, if you will, quote unquote firsts, um, you know, we have, uh, one of our executive level directors that’s been with us from the start. Um, but, uh, he, he basically had done just about everything that, that he could or accomplished everything that he could, uh, you know, a post or aside from being an actual owner of the company.

But, uh, He went ahead and [00:26:00] moved on and wanted to try something new. And he’s going to be a professor now at a, at BYU, Idaho. Um, but he loved the team so much. Like we tried to figure out things and I don’t know if, um, you know, you have any thoughts on this, but he, he moved in, we’re moving him into a role of like a, uh, an advisor position on a board.

That’s something we’ve never had before, but we want, you know, he wanted to still be a part of it. But he also wanted to go out and try new things cause he pretty much accomplished what he felt he could with us in any way. I just, that’s kind of some of the thoughts that I have while you were sharing all that

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:26:35] it is.

And it’s the, I love that now there’s that advisor role for him to have the, you want to keep people and sort of keep them engaged, especially when they’ve added a ton of value of what are other ways you can sort of think about having them contribute.

Matt Siltala: [00:26:51] Yup. Exactly. So

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:26:53] I think it was like when I got my first VP job, it was my own insecurity, which I refer to as the gremlins in my head that [00:27:00] are, you can’t do this.

And what are people going to think now that I’ve done it enough? It’s, it’s one of those I like that’s in your head. It’s not real. And people are just excited when you come in with really great people.

Matt Siltala: [00:27:16] Yeah. Yeah. For girls, I just laugh at that. I I’ve had to do the same thing with getting, getting my own self out of my own head with things like that, where, you know, even something as simple as when you first started speaking or you’re speaking to a different audience or whatever you realize that.

All right. Well, I’m worried about, you know, three or four of the people in the crowd, but that’s not who I’m speaking to. I’m speaking to this part of it. Anyway, just a it’s interesting. And I love, I love your perspective perspective on that, but, sorry, Dave, you were going to jump in and ask another question.

Dave Rohrer: [00:27:47] We’re just, we’re just in the audience to heckle out all of our friends. I mean,

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:27:51] I, I will tell you the, I remember the first time I spoke at a conference and I spoke at Pubcon was my very, very first conference. And I’m not going [00:28:00] to say what year it was. Um, and I was so nervous. I was so nervous. I thought I was gonna throw up and I was like, what are people gonna think?

What if I’m not the expert? What if I’m wrong? People are going to know more about this than me. What if I look stupid? I don’t deserve to be here. And I still remember that I was talking. I remember I was with the guys from best of the web right before going, Oh my God, I’m going to throw up. Oh my God, I’m going to throw up.

And they were like, you’ll be fine. And I went on stage and by the time I got off stage, I went, wow, I know more than I thought

it was all of this insecurity in my head. And I mean, thankfully like both of you, I’ve, we’ve spoken more times than we can even count. And that first initial time I was terrified. And now it’s. Maybe, maybe there’s a couple of hecklers in the audience, but for the most [00:29:00] part you’re here because you deserve to be here.

Well, that’s

Matt Siltala: [00:29:03] only a Dave’s in the audience, so Dave’s in the audience and you know, there’s a guarantee that quarter right there, but,

Dave Rohrer: [00:29:10] or ban or a couple of other of our friends. Oh no, I still get scared. Crazy before I have to talk for like 10 minutes up to it. I like just keep going over my deck. And I keep trying to keep myself busy up until the point where I walk up there and that it’s, and then it went and then it settles.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:29:30] I’ll be honest with you guys. I used to rehearse more and now I just, I looked through my content. I looked through my deck and I can tell you, I have no idea what’s going to come out of my mouth. And I go up and thankfully you can tell me if I’m wrong. I’m a good presenter. I’m good on stage. But I was so scared and people are now.

I was like, well, I sort of wing it. And everyone’s like, you’re not winging it. This is [00:30:00] 20 years of preparation. I’m like good point, good point.

Matt Siltala: [00:30:04] That’s a good way to look at it. Cause that’s how, that’s how I am now. Like, I feel like. When I’m, when I’m, when I go over it too much, like this is just me personally, and everyone’s different, but it’s awesome to hear that you’re like that.

Cause sometimes I feel like, okay, well I’m not giving it my all, but you’re writing. It is the 20 years of plus of experience and you know what you’re talking about. And that’s a lot of times what I do and I feel like some of them. Some of my best. And some of the best feedback that I’ve gotten is when I’ve gone up there.

And I haven’t really, you know, I’ve, I’ve put together the deck, I know the material, but I haven’t gone over it and rehearsed it 20 million, because

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:30:40] what you’re saying is you’re not reversed. It’s not a narrative. It’s real. And it’s, let me tell you about this because I know this works. And by the way, I have a really funny story for you because this is my, this is my life.

Matt Siltala: [00:30:56] Perfect.

Dave Rohrer: [00:30:59] I don’t [00:31:00] know if this will air before, but I might be doing, um, Marcus 10 there, uh, has a, an Izzy have a show on Fridays on Facebook three Oh two of a kind. And they do it live here in the Pacific and central it’s usually in the morning. Um, there it’s after an evening after work cause they’re in Germany.

So they’re usually having a, a frosty beverage, but they’re going over old, old decks from like 10 plus years ago. And I found one of my very first ones and there’s not a single word on any slide. It’s just photos. And I still do that now.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:31:34] Oh, I was like, I’ll tell Marcus. I say, hi. Part of me is like, do you think any of these people would ever be interested in I’m so not qualified to give an SEO talk anymore or to talk about

Dave Rohrer: [00:31:46] you’re supposed to give a talk and we’re in, it’s all about.

How relevant it is or not from like, you know, 10 or 15 years ago. Jono did one about schema, um, uh, who was at a later, someone just did one last week about something [00:32:00] that most of it was still relevant. Someone did one about link building and some of it’s like, well, some of it’s still shady. Some of it’s still good.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:32:07] I had a conversation. Hopefully the people that I have this conversation with will not listen to this. I had a conversation with people at work a couple of days ago in very different departments that were explaining SEO to me. And they were explaining the importance of no, no, with SEO. Now you need to keep putting content up, like all the time.

You have to always just constantly put content all the time. That’s how you rank. Otherwise you just fall off. And I went okay. I’m I, I. Yeah. With the people that were in this meeting and not a single person who was in marketing, everyone was an executive. And I was like, I am going to smile and nod. I really am not going to have this conversation right now.

It is not, this is not worth me having. And I was like, I’m just going to go do my job.

Matt Siltala: [00:32:59] You [00:33:00] reminded me of an email that I got, uh, just this week from a client we have from many, many, many years ago. Um, and, uh, again, we haven’t touched their side, done any SEO or anything for them in years. Okay. Create all the content and everything that we could.

And we’re not one of those people that just strings you along and keeps charging you in any way. We let, we let it, you know, we parted our ways and it was so neat to get this email from them. And they just basically laid out how all the work that we had done had laid them to be the person that dominated their industry and what they were doing.

And they were now I’m at the 2 million a year Mark and they were so happy and they were so grateful for everything that we did and we haven’t touched or done anything. SEO wise or any, and they hadn’t hired anybody else. Nothing had been done for years. And so it’s funny for, you know, to take care of that.

I’m not sharing anything new that the two of you don’t know, but we know that that’s why that’s funny.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:33:54] Yes, exactly. And there are times, [00:34:00] and it’s also good to know that your old client comes back and goes by the way. Thank you for helping my business.

Matt Siltala: [00:34:06] Yeah. I mean, that does make you feel good every once in a while

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:34:09] it does.

And as marketers, we very rarely get thanked for any of the work we do.

Matt Siltala: [00:34:14] Very true. Oh,

Dave Rohrer: [00:34:16] CTO usually just blames us for everything.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:34:18] I, I, um,

Dave Rohrer: [00:34:20] which is a completely different episode that will kill record. Some time

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:34:24] I refer to most of my job is no good deed goes unpunished.

Dave Rohrer: [00:34:28] So very good.

Matt Siltala: [00:34:30] Well, they were getting close

Dave Rohrer: [00:34:32] to like one wrap up question, which is like three combined, almost perfect.

Um, just the remote verse work from home. Um, and just how most companies, especially even in the Bay area, everyone suddenly thinks open offices are horrible and everyone works from home. Um, and just like. The changing world and keeping teams connected and motivated now. And even in normal times, if [00:35:00] there’s ever normal times, if there’s ever such a word, really, um, what tips do you have for the leaders and just even the rank and file quote unquote let’s, you know, some of us are at times, what, what have you done or seen, or what would you suggest to people

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:35:19] before we lose you?

I will say, um, So managing people is not for everybody. And leading teams is not for everybody. And any time someone who’s ever worked for me says, I want to grow my career. I want to manage people. The first thing I will do is I will tell them why that’s a terrible idea. Why leading teams and managing people is the worst choice they will ever have.

Everyone will complain to you. It’s like being a parent that you will, your children will only tell you how awful you are and that you’re failing. They’re never going to say you’re great. And that’s my, like when people say I want to manage people. And me trying to dissuade them. And then I tend to follow it up with the greatest privilege of my job is to lead teams and to manage people, [00:36:00] you have to do it if you want it.

And if you love it, and as trying as managing, I think I’ve got 80 or 90 people in my org as emotionally trying as it can be. It is by far the sort of privilege of my job. Um, talent is interesting before I’m COVID happened. Uh, we were founded in France. Our headquarters are in, uh, Northern California.

We’ve got a couple of regional headquarters and then a lot of remote workers. So in my 80 to 90 person org, there were probably only 25 people in the main office with me and then a big P a lot of people in France and in the UK and all over. I don’t think I fully appreciated what it’s like to be a remote worker until this happened.

And I thought I was good at leading remote teams. Uh, and this has been a really educational experience and, um, I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to make sure my organization is connected during all of this. Um, [00:37:00] the, the word unprecedented, I think everyone needs to take a shot every time somebody says that now.

Um, but. The world is fundamentally different. And I spent a lot of time thinking about how do I keep every single employee on my team, engaged, connected. They need to know what priorities are, where we’re going, why would they do matters? And honestly, there’s a lot of emotional support right now because the world is weird and screwed up and it’s hard and it’s emotionally trying.

Um, so things that we’ve done that I think have worked well with the, the org is. Um, there is a, you know, stay really active on Slack. We have the public marketing Slack channel. We created a private marketing Slack channel, which is a be yourself. Don’t be who you need to be in front of the company. Um, which has been good because it creates a space for us and it creates an us environment.

Um, I [00:38:00] do. Twice a week, 30 minute marketing office hours, which is just me sort of sitting around and everyone gets to, people can come in whenever they feel like to talk about whatever they want. Sometimes it’s work related. Sometimes it’s not. Work-related. Um, we also created, um, we have two women in my org that are yoga instructors.

So we do once a week marketing, yoga, and it’s, if you can make it in your free join. So we are just creating all of these opportunities for people to stay connected. So we’ve got zoom, yoga. We have marketing office hours for all of the people that were used to working in an office. Um, we sent everyone work from home kits, which was some coffee, uh, door dash gift card, and one of those little, uh, like old fashioned kits or gin and tonic kits and a little airplane sized bottle of booze.

For the people and States that were allowed to mail that to, and we scheduled, um, coffee with Carol lunch with Lauren [00:39:00] booze, with Brittany, and just ways to just keep building those connections, because the things that we’re missing remotely is the casual interaction is the human engagement. We can still have all the meetings we want over, over zoom.

We can still chat with each other over Slack, but what we’re missing is. The softer side, the casual interactions, the times to get to know each other. So we have really, really leaned into how do we create these spaces for people who want connection that they haven’t and you know, twice a week, we’ve got office hours.

Um, I have also working from work from home. Lauren has given up on things like wearing makeup and doing her hair and. Everyone at work gets the most sort of authentic side of me. There are no more airs to put on and it’s made, I think me more approachable, but it’s also made, um, it’s given the, the opportunity for everybody else to be who they [00:40:00] are and be vulnerable and be happy.

Um, and the last thing that I I’ve done, which I think the team appreciates, I initially did it for myself. Of that on our Slack channel, uh, every, almost every day, I’ve missed a lot of days. Recently I do an iPhone video that I grabbed my iPhone and I sit at home and I record a video of whatever’s top of mind.

Sometimes it’s, here’s the priorities for marketing sometimes it’s I have 14 pints of ice cream in my refrigerator sometimes it’s let me tell you about why is the time. This is the time for us to strive and to be more than we ever thought we could be. And sometimes it’s look, guys, I’m having a bad day and it’s okay to have bad days.

So I post these like two to five minute videos to be, or that are sometimes funny and sometimes inspirational and sometimes deeply personal as my way of sharing who I am and what’s going on with the [00:41:00] team and they get to do the same thing. And. It helps bridge those connections to keep people feeling as tight as possible during a time where you don’t have people

Dave Rohrer: [00:41:11] coming on that email list.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:41:13] Yeah. I, I will send you the videos. You also get the, how crazy is Lauren? Because in the beginning, I looked like I looked when I went into the office and now there’s days where it’s like, wow, you had curly hair and you don’t comb it. Good to know.

Dave Rohrer: [00:41:29] Not today. Don’t care.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:41:30] It’s like, you know what, today today’s not the day today is I ate a pint of ice cream last night.

And this is where I am today.

Matt Siltala: [00:41:41] Well, Laura, I really appreciate you taking the time out. And, uh, and, and sharing all this with us. This has been. Uh, very insightful and, and just, I, you know, I know that w w we’re the ones that are putting this, uh, podcast on, but I love it because I get to sit back and learn so much. And, and, uh, [00:42:00] that’s because of amazing guests like you.

So I do appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:42:05] Thank you for having me. I am. I love doing these, especially with people that I’ve known for for this long. Um, it makes me. Honestly, miss the community a lot more because I don’t feel like participating anymore, but thank you so much for having me.

And hopefully I will see you see you both in real life. Again, one day soon,

Dave Rohrer: [00:42:26] San Francisco’s high on my list to get out there to bug you. And a couple of other people

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:42:30] just got a new place that I will move into hopefully this year,

Dave Rohrer: [00:42:35] but then I can’t walk the next crispy

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:42:37] tacos. Good point. Good point.

Dave Rohrer: [00:42:39] I know this is like one of the reasons I always stayed with awareness.

Cause then I could watch,

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:42:44] I went there. I went there on Sunday and I was like, I I’m tired of cooking. And I got a nix crispy taco.

Dave Rohrer: [00:42:52] We’re so good.

Lauren Vaccarello: [00:42:54] It was this moment of normalcy and just pure happiness. I should have taken it a place. That’s crazy,

Dave Rohrer: [00:42:59] Matt, you [00:43:00] need to go there if you’re ever in San Francisco.

Next time you’re in San Francisco is so good though.

Matt Siltala: [00:43:03] Definitely will

Dave Rohrer: [00:43:04] two tacos and you’ll be more than full,

Matt Siltala: [00:43:07] right? We’ll let you get going.

Dave Rohrer: [00:43:09] Thank

Matt Siltala: [00:43:09] you for Lauren with the talent and Dave with our metrics. I’m Matt, and I’m glad that you guys joined us and thanks all. Bye bye.

E157 – Managing Marketing Teams W/ Lauren Vaccarello Hosts:

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