How I Made it in Marketing

"How I Made it in Marketing" is a podcast hosted by Daniel Burstein.

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Latest Episodes

Marketing Pragmatism: Embrace ‘hand-grenade math’ over false precision (episode #101)

Marketing Pragmatism: Embrace ‘hand-grenade math’ over false precision (episode #101)

In the fast-paced world of marketing, precision can often be a double-edged sword. In our this episode, Kiara Kempski, Vice President of Global Consumer & Vendor Marketing at The Knot Worldwide (https://www.theknotww.com/), shares why sometimes ‘hand-grenade math’—a rough yet pragmatic approach—is more effective than chasing false precision.

I discussed forecasting, along with resilience, entertainment, and many other elements of a marketing career with her.

Intrigued by Kempski’s insights? Listen to the full episode now and subscribe to our newsletter for more marketing wisdom (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/newsletters). Think you have a story to share? Apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application).

The Knot was a public company traded on NASDAQ until 2018, when parent company XO Group merged with WeddingWire and to form a privately held company in a $933 million buyout deal. Today, The Knot Worldwide connects nearly 4 million couples with approximately 900,000 wedding professionals per year. It earned $450 million of revenue in 2023.

Kempski leads a team of 150 marketers.

Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Kempski that emerged in our discussion:

  • Find a business problem and recommend a solution. 
  • Entertainment is powerful for brand building
  • Resilience is the key to success…and mental health 
  • ‘Hand-grenade math’ is good enough, don’t chase false precision (and everyone thinks they are a brand marketer)
  • Stay data informed, but lead with vision and strategy
  • Be purpose led
  • Never be complacent or stagnant – always keep learning

Discussed in this episode

There are 4 days left until the official launch of the full-featured MeclabsAI (parent organization of MarketingSherpa). Use it for free (until June 17th) at MeclabsAI.com

Entrepreneurial Resilience: Many of the day-to-day annoyances that inspired him to sell, he actually missed after he sold (podcast episode #78) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/entrepreneurial)

Female Entrepreneurship and Marketing: Having built a big community doesn't mean you will be able to monetize it (podcast episode #71) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/entrepreneurship)

For more insights, check out...

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

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

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

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

How I Made It In Marketing is not about marketing.

Not really.

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

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

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

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

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

Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

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

  • Inconsistent branding dilutes the message
  • Successful mergers require integration and alignment around strategy, goals, and team structure
  • Launch campaigns based on data, not personal preference and assumptions
  • Balance ambition with well-being
  • Take someone under your wing
  • The true essence of being a marketer is the ability to inspire, empathize and ignite a spark

Discussed in this episode

Get a free 3-month full scholarship (https://join.meclabsai.com/) to the AI Guild and we’ll send you a Quick Start AI Productivity Kit (provided by MeclabsAI, parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

Branding: 8 lessons to help you make the most effective brand decisions every day (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/branding-8-lessons-most-effective-brand-decisions-every-day)

Data-Driven Marketing: 7 examples of using data as a force for the good (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/using-data-as-a-force-for-the-good)

8 Mini Case Studies of Using Marketing as a Force for Positive Change in Our World While Getting Results for Your Company and Clients (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/8-case-studies-using-marketing-for-positive-change)

The Last Blog Post: How to succeed in an era of Transparent Marketing (https://marketingexperiments.com/copywriting/last-blogpost-transparent-marketing)

Marketing Experimentation Strategy: Define and differentiate between experimentation and execution in marketing activities (podcast episode #93) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/marketing-experimentation)

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Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

Enterprise Solutions Marketing: You can make a big career, and still stay human (episode #99)

Enterprise Solutions Marketing: You can make a big career, and still stay human (episode #99)

I like to call it blandvertising. I’m sure you’ve read it and heard it before.

There are words. Lots of them. They fill a space – in an ad, on a landing page, in a press release, maybe even in a keynote presentation.

You’ve seen these words before if you’re in the target audience. Scalable. Leading. Agile. Enterprise-grade. Full-service. Data-driven. Cross-platform. Seamless.

They seem to say something, but you’re left walking away…not really understanding and certainly not believing anything at all.

I feel like my career is a battle against blandvertising. Which is why I loved this lesson in a recent podcast guest application – ‘marketing goes beyond buzzwords.’ Perhaps I found a fellow traveler on the journey.

So I sat down for an in-depth discussion with Marco Mueller, CMO, AVEVA (https://www.aveva.com/).

AVEVA was a public company until it was acquired by Schneider Electric last year. Schneider Electric is a public company and reported 36 billion euros in revenue in 2023.

Mueller has had up to 800 people reporting to him in his career. Right now, his team is 250, but he says this is the most exciting job he’s ever had.

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

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

  • Leadership Is everywhere
  • Marketing goes beyond buzzwords
  • Trust is earned, not given
  • Trust is earned in drops and lost in buckets
  • You can make a big career, and still stay human
  • Confidence is everything

Discussed in this episode

Innovation Leadership and Coaching: You should almost always do less than you think (podcast episode #46) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/innovation)

Customer-First Marketing Strategy: The highest of the five levels of marketing maturity (https://sherpablog.marketingsherpa.com/b2c-marketing-2/5-levels-marketing-maturity/)

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/newsletters). Sign up for free if you’d like to get more episodes like this one.

For more insights, check out...

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

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

Marketing Mentorship: Direct feedback is a gift (episode #98)

Marketing Mentorship: Direct feedback is a gift (episode #98)

“The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.” That quote is from David Ben-Gurion.

And it reminds me of marketing. We’re in the digital age, or maybe we’ve crossed over into the AI age. Either way, we don’t have the long deadlines we had when I started my career writing print ads.

And that’s just the difficult. What about the impossible? Well, that is part of our stock and trade as marketers, right? We push, try new things, experiment, innovate – that which was impossible yesterday is our new campaign or new tool we built for the customer.

So let me drop another quote in here, this one from my next guest – “Embrace ‘riding the worm.’” That’s her way of saying, don’t be afraid to try something that seems virtually impossible. It takes resourcefulness and the ability to tame something seemingly uncontrollable.

To hear the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories, I talked to Erika White, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Affirm (https://www.affirm.com/).

Affirm is a public company that trades on NASDAQ. It reported $1.588 billion in revenue in 2023. White oversees a team of 35 professionals driving all aspects of marketing and communications for the company including growth marketing, martech/ops, partner marketing, brand marketing, research, and public relations. She was a core member of the team leading the $12 billion IPO in early 2021.

Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

Here are some lessons from White that emerged in our discussion:

  • Embrace ‘riding the worm’
  • Don’t forget to laugh and help others do the same
  • Within teams, make ownership a feature not a bug
  • Energy and positivity are contagious
  • Always take the call
  • Direct feedback is a gift

Discussed in this episode

Customer-First Marketing Guide: 4 steps (with case studies) to build a customer-first marketing strategy (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/customer-first-marketing)

Just type /SNA into MeclabsAI (https://meclabsai.com/) and get conversion rate optimization ideas for your specific scenarios.  It’s totally FREE to use, for now (Meclabs is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/newsletters). Sign up for free if you’d like to 

For more insights, check out...

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

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

Product Quality: Marketing's job is to help the product win (podcast episode #97)

Product Quality: Marketing's job is to help the product win (podcast episode #97)

I’ve been watching the new Steve Martin documentary, and it includes a clip of him accepting the Mark Twain Prize.

He calls it “The only significant American award for comedy…except for money.”

It reminded me of our own industry, but in a different way. We have many awards for creativity, and I am a creative person so I love them, but ultimately this art we do is a business art. And the ultimate measure of success is often monetary.

So when I saw this lesson in a podcast guest application – ‘make people money’ – I wanted to dive deeper.

To hear the story behind that lesson – why he left another job function to join the marketing department – along with many more lesson-filled stories, I talked to Brad Gillespie, GM of Cvent Consulting, Cvent (https://www.cvent.com/).

Cvent was a public company, until it was acquired by Blackstone for $4.6 billion last year.

Gillespie estimates that over his 20 years in marketing his campaigns have influenced $1 billion in revenue.

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

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

  • Top-down vs. bottoms-up
  • Marketing's number is the sales' number
  • Marketing's job is to help the product win
  • Make people money
  • Be the cause
  • Get it done. Do it right.

Discussed in this episode

Marketing Research Chart: What information do marketers ask for on list registration forms? (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/information-list-registration-forms)

Marketing Career: How to become an indispensable asset to your company (even in a bad economy) (https://marketingexperiments.com/value-proposition/marketing-career)

Get even more ideas by pasting the URL for this episode into the Analysts – Video Transcript expert assistant in MeclabsAI (https://meclabsai.com/). It’s totally FREE to use (for now). (Meclabs is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/newsletters). Sign up for free if you’d like to get more episodes like this one.

For more insights, check out...

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

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

Strategic Delegation: Time is your most precious asset (episode #96)

Strategic Delegation: Time is your most precious asset (episode #96)

Wherever you are in your career today, you are not necessarily stuck there. I’ve heard time again from guests on How I Made It In Marketing about how they’ve been able to make dramatic, perhaps unlikely career shifts.

On the flip side, if you are a hiring manager, do not pigeonhole potential recruits based only on their current experience.

For as my latest guest puts it, ‘look past the CV.’ Hear the story behind how he learned that lesson in his career, along with many more lesson-filled stories, from Tomer Zuker, VP of Marketing, D-ID (https://www.d-id.com/).

D-ID has raised $47 million overall, including $25 million in a Series B round of funding led by Macquarie Capital two years ago. Zuker manages a team of 10 marketers, in addition to freelancers and agencies.

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

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

  • Look past the CV
  • Delegate
  • Understand the rules of the game and set your own boundaries according to your values
  • Time is your most precious asset
  • Without clear and identifiable goals, you don’t know if you are effective, improving, or contributing
  • Networking is a talent and skill

Discussed in this episode

Copywriting for Marketing Leaders: Why you should never delegate the marketing message (and how to get it right) (https://marketingexperiments.com/copywriting-2/copywriting-for-marketing-leaders-dont-delegate-the-message)

Marketing Career: How to become an indispensable asset to your company (even in a bad economy) (https://marketingexperiments.com/value-proposition/marketing-career)

Marketing Research Chart: What are your peers' top email marketing goals? (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/seo-campaigns-in-house)

Get even more ideas from this episode by using the Analysts – Video Transcript expert assistant in MeclabsAI (https://meclabsai.com/). It’s totally FREE to use, for now. (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/newsletters). Sign up for free if you’d like to get more episodes like this one.

For more insights, check out...

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

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

CMO-CPO Collaboration: Bridge Marketing and Product for collaborative growth (podcast episode #95)

CMO-CPO Collaboration: Bridge Marketing and Product for collaborative growth (podcast episode #95)

One of my favorite career analogies is the music video for No Rain, by Blind Melon.

There’s a girl in a honeybee costume, dancing around, and she’s so sad because no one seems to care or understand.
 
 And then one day, she comes across this field filled with people in honeybee costumes hopping and leaping around. A look of elation crosses her face, and she joins them to dance her best dance.

Are marketing careers really that different? As my next guest puts it – ‘find the place where you thrive.’

To hear the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories, I talked to Tifenn Dano Kwan, CMO, Amplitude (https://amplitude.com/).

Amplitude is a public company traded on Nasdaq. Its annual recurring revenue in 2023 was $281 million, up 10% year-over-year. Dano Kwan manages a team of 60 and a budget of $30 million.

Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Dano Kwan that emerged in our discussion.

  • Lead with empathy
  • Find the place where you thrive
  • Become a natural collaborator 
  • Branding shapes success for companies and leaders
  • Empowerment and accountability cultivate leadership at every level
  • Bridge Marketing and Product for collaborative growth

Discussed in this episode

Empathy Marketing: 3 examples of empathetic marketing in action (with results) https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/empathy-marketing)

How the Pandemic Inspired Brands to Rethink their Marketing Strategy: 3 quick case studies (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/pandemic-brands-rethink-marketing-strategy-case-studies)

Spontaneous Combustible Collaboration: Most important things in any company are people, people, people, market, and product (Podcast Episode #9) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/people-podcast)

Personal Development in Career: Step out of your comfort zone (podcast episode #73) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/personal-development)

Marketing: It’s not about you, and when you make it about you, you are never going to succeed (podcast episode #53) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/marketing-not-about-you)

Get even more ideas from this episode by using the Analysts – Video Transcript expert assistant in MECLABS AI (https://meclabsai.com/). It’s totally FREE to use (for now). (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/newsletters). Sign up for free if you’d like to get more episodes like this one.

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

Entrepreneur’s Resilience: From zero to 112,000 YouTube subscribers (episode #94)

Entrepreneur’s Resilience: From zero to 112,000 YouTube subscribers (episode #94)

Whatever it is you’re working on and struggling with, don’t pivot too soon. Make sure you give it enough time to work.

For as this episode’s guest explains – resilience pays out.

Frank Spitzer, CEO, Pelecanus, shares the story of how he grew his company’s YouTube channel from zero to 100,000 subscribes, along with many more lesson-filled stories.

Pelecanus has $250,000 in annual revenue. Spitzer manages a team of four employees, along with four freelancers and interns.

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

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

  • Taking responsibility leads to rewards
  • Resilience Pays Out: From zero to 112,000 subscribers
  • Embracing honesty can lead to deeper connections, personal growth, and inner peace
  • Dedication shapes an entrepreneurial journey
  • To Achieve Success: Hard work trumps natural talent
  •  A good leader stands up for their team

Discussed in this episode

Get even more ideas from this episode by using the Analysts – Video Transcript expert assistant in MECLABS AI (https://meclabsai.com/). It’s totally FREE to use (for now). (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

Female Entrepreneurship and Marketing: Having built a big community doesn't mean you will be able to monetize it (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/entrepreneurship)

PR, Writing, and Marketing Agency Corporate Culture: Think big (podcast episode #49) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/PR)

Marketing Leadership: Aligning the entire team around the unifying vision is an integral part of project management (https://marketingexperiments.com/leadership/aligning-team-around-unifying-vision)

Dive deeper into the minds of marketing mavens with more episodes of 'How I Made It In Marketing.' (https://marketingsherpa.com/podcast) Your next big idea awaits.

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/newsletters). Sign up for free if you’d like to get more episodes like this one.

For more insights, check out...

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

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

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

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

Coders are rewarded for writing new features, not for making their code as efficient as possible, Chirstopher Mims recently reported in The Wall Street Journal. According to the article, bloated software raises many risks, and costs the US alone $2.41 trillion due to cybersecurity issues, operational failures, and other problems.

It would be easy for me to sit here and point the finger at software developers, but are marketers any better? As we focus on getting campaigns out the door, new websites up, and hitting our numbers, what do we sacrifice?

Which is why I love this lesson from a recent podcast guest application – ‘Streamline processes to enable efficiency, smooth operations and get rapid results.’ Not shiny and exciting like new marketing tactics perhaps, but essential for a well-run organization.

So I invited that applicant – Tom Amitay, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Entail (https://entail.ai/) – on How I Made It In Marketing to share the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories. 

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

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

  • Define and differentiate between experimentation and execution in marketing activities
  • Prioritize talent over experience when recruiting
  • Provide talented yet inexperienced people with frequent, short training sessions and support as they tackle new challenges
  • Capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves, even if you don't fully understand their potential value at first
  • Streamline processes to enable efficiency, smooth operations and get rapid results
  • Combine platform expertise with consultative service that builds client trust

Discussed in this episode

Get even more ideas from this episode by using the Transcript Tutor expert assistant in MECLABS AI (https://meclabsai.com/). It’s totally FREE to use (for now). MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa.

Leadership Development: Network every day (podcast episode #72) (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/leadership-development)

The Invisible $1.52 Trillion Problem: Clunky Old Software Everwhere (https://www.wsj.com/tech/personal-tech/the-invisible-1-52-trillion-problem-clunky-old-software-f5cbba27)

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter (https://www.marketingsherpa.com/newsletters). Sign up for free if you’d like to get more episodes like this one.

For more insights, check out...

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

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application – https://www.marketingsherpa.com/page/podcast-guest-application

Bio of How I Made it in Marketing

"How I Made it in Marketing" is a podcast hosted by Daniel Burstein, the MarketingSherpa editor-in-chief. This podcast explores the fascinating world of marketing and entrepreneurship, delving into the careers of marketers and entrepreneurs to provide inspiration, strategies, and insights.

Daniel Burstein takes a comprehensive and curious approach to interview marketing and business leaders, allowing them to express themselves and share key lessons they've learned throughout their careers. The podcast covers a wide range of topics, including crafting successful campaigns, navigating career decisions, and gaining approval for creative ideas.

Through these interviews, the podcast aims to inspire marketers and entrepreneurs, helping them develop effective campaigns, make impactful career choices, and learn from the experiences of industry experts.

The podcast strikes a balance between informative discussions and enjoyable content, combining the severe aspects of marketing with the fun and creative aspects of the profession.

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