I Got a New Marketing Role! Now What? with Brad Zomick

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Benji talk s with Brad Zomick, VP of Marketing at Cumul.io.

Brad distills what to focus on the first 60 days with a new company. What should be prioritized? Who should we focus on getting to know? How do we set ourselves up to win?

This is Bob Growth. My name is Benjie Block. Excited today because we're joined by Brad Zomic. He's the VP of marketing. Will get into his exact title the new company, all that here in a second. But Brad, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me, Benjie, great to be here. You ended up on my radar because you announced the new position that you were transitioning into. We know right now there's a lot of movement happening, people landing new jobs, new marketing positions, and so we thought it'd be fun to discuss that here on BTB growth kind of this this idea. You got a new marketing role. All right, awesome, like now what? And so let's talk about that, Brad, in the transitions, and specifically the one you're in now. When did you get hired? How long ago was that? Where are you in that process? Sure, so I joined the company at the first week of December. It's just in the time of year to join a company. I think there's an is. Actually, I think it's a great time, honestly. But yes, I'm basically one month in, maybe maybe five weeks. Relatively new, but all very exciting. The new car smell is still there. You know, we're so bunny wood. Yes, yeah, so, and I'm not not much longer at sweet fish either. So I joined like November one. So we're both in this space of thinking through. How do you do this transition? Well, and I thought there's a lot to think through. Let's talk about those first thirty days. What did you go in sort of wanting to prioritize? How do you think about that now that you've taken several different VP roles? Sure, what are some things that you're like, I got to strategically do this in those first thirty days? Yeah, yeah, so I haven't done it a couple of times, more than a couple of times, you know, like I have like a pretty refine approach to join a company and I would say like, I guess we could talk about in the context of the first thirty days, but often it's like it's really the first quarter or two and I think, and especially we say, or to an enterprise where you're basically, you know, figuring out which way is up or down and trying to change a strategy and turn the ship, so to speak. There are few things that I tried to do and I would say above all, I resist the are to get pulled into the inertia of like doing stuff and and and, like, you know, putting out fires. Really, like this time is about making friends. It's observing, listening, consuming and learning, right, you know. So that's what I orient the first month, right. I'm not, like, you know, looking to kind of rock the boat immediately. I just want to kind of figure out what's going on, right, and so I think, you know, I'll start with one area, which is making friends. And actually, I would say making friends forging alliance, right, and that's like getting face time with all the people that matter right in the organization. So it's my manager, you know, the the CEO of the company, my peers in sales and customer success and product even engineering, and then also my direct reports. So as I, you know, go to meet these people, I like really want to get to know them first, and I think especially in the first meeting or two or even more, I think of this remote world, like I kind of over index for the small talk and really try to understand what's going on in life beyond their job. And I think especially in this like covid era, people are isolated and, you know, we all have kind of crave like the interaction. So yeah, I definitely had meetings where like literal half an hour and maybe we're supposed to talk about work, but we just kind of jammed about life and interesting stuff and what were their backgrounds and what's going on at home with our family and kids. It's so necessary because we don't have like a cooler talk. There's no way to just go out to lunch with somebody. So the way that we think about it now, being fully remote, is really so different, because you do want actual relationships. Like,...

I know no one on our team lives in the same state and you have like people across oceans. Yeah, so I think I left out of part of commune is based in the Louven Belgium. So I have a team of five people reporting to me and and actually only one of them is here in New York. And and and I'll I would say, you know, out of the like, I guess, forty or so people in the company, you know, the twenty percent are here in New York and so there is like, you know, like a time zone thing and we it's important to kind of, I guess, extend, you know, and and you know, make that effort to get to know people wherever they are. Yeah, I totally see that. I think prioritizing those friendships and doing I love the way you said like forging alliances super important and vital. The other side of it is consuming like as much as you can to best understand the company, the culture, learning as much as you can. So what are things that you're doing, maybe time blocks that you're setting aside to really understand the the company and the goals that are are at hand? So I like to align on the expectations and marketing. I want to understand like their key processes and like the handoff points with their organization and marketing, you know, like what are they expect from me? And also try to figure out like what's on fire versus what's Nice to have right, and the kind of look at kind of that interaction moving forward, how we can kind of reset it, you know, and make it mutually beneficial, you know, and like some of these meanings are recurring and like. So we figure out kind of what do we want to talk about with the week and one of the the shared, you know, metrics that matter to us and how can we kind of, I guess, develop, you know, that in both of our strategies. You know, the the mutually reciprocal part. You know that benefits each other and it kind of construct our relationship and and are weekly sinks around that and just our road map and what we're trying to do to help each other out. I think actually probably for the world of marketing them more often that this this the most important relationship, is the relationship with sales, but obviously totally product and so customer success out of that all matters too. So that's, I would say, that one big bucket when I'm trying to do and create those alliances to really get that alignment lock step and get on the same page. Follow up question for you there. When you identify an area that seemingly on fire in those first thirty days, is it instant because you're trying to do the best you can to learn right? So as a leaders, a lot of times what we'll do is we'll go into like solution mode, will try to solve immediately. How, once you've identified that, are you thinking strategically and not taking immediate action? What do you do once you've identified there's a fire or something that needs changing? Yeah, it's a great question. Ultimately, I think if there are things that are like tied to her, the publishing calendar, you know, like you know, sometimes you have to make the difficult decision of saying, all right, we're just going to push us out a month and, you know, we'll take the time to kind of really, you know, think through the process. But I do, you know, I like basically try to you know, focus on strategy first. So as I'm like taking all this in, you know, I'm documentary of observations and you know, the next dirty days kind of, you know, then we start talking about change and I'll get there in a second. So I think, yeah, basically noting all these things that are happening, you know, and and you know, trying to incorporate them into the strategy. But after I'm like done, kind of like and I would say like all this stuff. It's probably happening in tandem. But you know, once you put that, like alliances bucket aside, the next is with my direct...

...reports and you know, similarly, I want to get to know them, you know, beyond work, but I also want to know their backgrounds, their strengths and their passions so we can orient their work towards that I mentioned coming in at the end of the year as a good thing because people are in that reflect on load. So it's easy to have the conversation around what's working what's not in the last year. What are the things that you want to stop doing, what are the things you want to maintain? What are the things we want to start doing so they're that's a common exercise like that. Stop, maintain, start, kind of joining organization and it basically posting all these people, people on my team. You know, how do we do more impactful marketing and more efficiently in the next year? And I think those are been some really fruitful conversations that we've had over the last thirty days. Everybody has winds and fails and kind of, I guess, reflections upon like, you know, experiences where the things went really well, but on the flip side where things didn't go well and potentially we're a time suck of you know, their energy and focus and it's some cases, you know, a waste of money. Right. I think when I think of like what's on fire, you're mentioning, noting it right, like we're going to we're going to write it down or we're just going to we're going to make sure that we take a mental note of this is an area that we could work on. Find the context, because I think that's a big part to write. You can easily come in and want to like save the day and prove you're worth early on in a roll. But instead to go okay, what's the context like? How how are we house our thinking landed here as a company? What are some just easy ways we can adjustice and don't feel like you have to do it immediately because they've been doing it a certain way for a lot longer than you've been on the team. So just to note it, find the context and then, like you said it, take advantage of the new car smell, right, like you're seeing things that they aren't seeing because you haven't been in the weeds every day, and so to have that sort of new eyes, the fresh perspective that comes with the new role is is absolutely vital to to take advantage of that. So, okay, let's move to this and kind of push this conversation forward. You're now in the season where it's it's not the first thirty days anymore, right, so there's there's some things that have happened where you're going, okay, now I can start to maybe implement what I'd like. Or what else would you say you focus on in that maybe the next three thousand and sixty days? Right, your your past first month, which in you know, from there, you know, there is some switching out of observation mode. I think after the first thirty days, like I basically we're able to see kind of everything, you know, like I guess, all the areas that were maybe suboptimal and things that we need to kind of incorporate into, you know, the new strategy. So basically, when all of that, as I'm doing that, you know, you mentioned noting, right, and like you know during the first month where it's like almost like you're meditating, when I kind of thoughts pop into your head, you put them to the side and write it down. But now I've yeah that period and I can actually look at these notes. And so every call I had, you know, with you know, either direct report or, you know, appear, you know, I was taking notes and I'm looking at those notes and I'm distilling them into like some high level observations where essentially every thing that I heard and observed or the key themes right, and I have probably two slides worth of these like audible observations and visual and you know, from there I go into kind of, I guess, the strategy, right, and the strategy is essentially some like key objectives that, you know, we're looking to drive home the next year. And I think, for instance, you know, one example is around kind of building and winning the category, and you know, so the strategy is like, you know, let's say, to win the category and like there's...

...a bunch of objectives that we want to achieve under that. You know, for instance, you know some sort, I guess, a lot of these going to the the bucket of product marketing reboot. Always, I always end up starting there because like a unit of efficiency and product marketing is probably five hundred and ten, a hundred x, you know, like downstream when you get like into totally pains and demand generation. So you know, we're doing a lot of work there around positioning and messaging and brand but essentially, you know, documenting that strategy across the different competencies of marketing. So you know, there's also like you know, the content strategy, the Demandin strategy, the operation strategy. I would say two areas. I would say I started, or probably product marketing operations, because those the things that kind of okay, you know, have big impact downstream. And then it's a waterfall. But so when I first thought, I'll document the strategy, you know, I'll put it together in, like I said, document, you know, that's a strategy for the year and that's some key things that we want to do and I'll share it with the you know, the immediate team. So I share it up, you know, and around right, you know, to my peers, to my direct reports, and get feedback. So every time I share to somebody, you get a little bit of Nice Act, like we should find tune this, what about this and that? And then when that strategy is complete, we then waterfall it down to direct reports, you know, with their annual planning, and we set there kind of like North Star for the year, as well as quarterly, okay ours, you know. With that comes, you know, any sort of like major projects, Kpis. And then I think the last step is like, once we've kind of buttoned up the plan across the team, we go out and share that with the entire organization through, I should most companies have some sort of annual kickoff where they have a big, you know, all hands where they're sharing a lot of that and I'll often kind of direct people back to you know, are you know are Wiki or some document where they can really go down the rabbit hole or if they want to, and certain aspects of the strategy. But that all hands, all off and elicits a lot of questions and for people in different organizations. And I would say from that releasing of the strategy and the plan that's when we to transition into the doing. So I would say I'm now in that yeah, which just starting to embark on like the first bits and pieces of the doing. Right. So I think, yeah, they may. Yeah, basically we have a product marketing exercise kicking off next week and, you know, sommarly we're going to execute on some operations improvements, you know, this month. But these are things that are going to take for the first way of a change is probably take, you know, a whole quarter. Two, two, waterfall down into you know, other people's activities. Right. Hey, everyone, emily brady with sweet fish here. If you've been listening to be to be growth for a while, you know we are big proponents of putting out original organic content on Linkedin. But one thing that has always been a struggle for it seemed like ours, is easily tracking the reach of that linkedin content. That is why we are really excited about shield analytics. Since our team started using shield, we've been able to easily track the reaching performance of our linkedin content without having to manually log it ourselves. It automatically creates reports and generates dash boards that are incredibly useful to determining things like what content has been performing the best, what days of the week we're getting the most engagement and our average views. Proposed Shield has been a game changer for our entire team's productivity and performance on linked in. I highly suggest checking out this tool. If you're publishing content on Linkedin for yourself or your company. You can get a ten day free trial at shield up dot AI, or you can get to twenty five percent discount with our Promo Code. Be To be gross again that shield up dot ai and the Promo Code is be the numbers to be gross. All One word for a twenty five percent discount. All right, let's get back to the show. A huge part of be to be gross is we don't want...

...to just give people answers. Here's five things you should do when you get a new job. We want to teach mindset. Want to give away questions that people can ponder or be asking in their organization. What are some questions that you just get a new marketing roll? What are some questions that you're asking some of the mindset as you would jump in and that you would advise others to maybe take on? Yeah, so I think first and foremost we got to think about your manager and what kind of what they care about. You know, what are their goals? How do Your Goals Roll into theirs? And like it? Basically, you know, come into a mutual alignment around what you're your north star is like. What are the what are the big buckets you to be working on? And one of those Kpis. And you know often, I guess, if you're in performance marketing, is a lot of it is around, you know, or just in general, like I guess, the North Star from marketing leave the pipeline revenue. But you know that nuances, this changes a little bit as you go to the different members of the team. You know, market is probably one functions where there's like quite a bit of variety in what people are doing across the team and and so so it. You know, I care about like pipeline and revenue, but, like other people, probably are focusing on more different metrics like traffic or, you know, the leads, etc. You know, I guess if you're a kind of in more of a brand role, you know, it's more about like creative output, you know, quality of content and meeting deadlines and whatnot, and frequency. Yeah, yeah, so I would say that's the first thing, is having that, that conversation with your manager and figuring out, like you know, which direction, which should is your true north and and orienting to that. The second big question I would probably be asking, you know, myself and those around me are who are the important people in my ecosystem? So I think who are the strategic partners that you want to be mindful of? And those are your you know, potentially, I guess. You know, if you're a kind of if you're like leading the team, it could be like your peers and direct reports. If you're, you know, I guess within the team it's like your partners in crime, you know, and I think they're there's kind of like totally the people you're going to be doing the work with the handoff points. I think also there's all this concept of tate keepers, right, or do you have to be mindful of like you know needs to be, you know, and I guess there's like the racy model, like when you're doing all these object you know, okay, I'm responsible, but who do is accountable, who I need to consult and who is informed, you know, and knowing all those parties and and you know what drives them, you know, and how to work with them, know how to have a good relationship and how to just in general, how to know those people and making sure you know, you're well acquainted and know the nuance and it's about work with us. So you're headed for smooth operation when you think about that. From your VP marketing role, a lot of that, and this goes back to something you said earlier, is the sales team, right, like how do we best align there and forge that partnership, which can look different organization to organization, with how they think of that? Alignment's always invital, you know. But how are you? How are you doing that intentionally in this season with the sales team? Yes, so I am. Well, there's unfortunate in that light. Number One. I have a great product marking manager and she has really great connected tissue. But I myself and like, you know, aligning with, you know, the head of sales and you know, we're getting aligned on kind of the pipeline numbers for next year, like what are the things we need to do to get there? One of the like lever. What are the conversion points and levers with the sales process where like the the most important life handovers, you know, in that process. And I also as well, like I'm meeting with a lot of the sales people themselves, like I want to kind of, you know, I understand, you know,...

...how the sales process is going for them and you know how it is sell a product and like what they need to kind of, you know, enable them and sell better, whether that be talk tracks from collateral or just again, I'm also interested in the perceptions that people have with the company and getting on the ground, feed up, feedback. So yeah, I'm actually being that I'm in the first I was. I have that like first, you know, ninety days where I can probably go to anybody in the company and just talk to them about anything, you know, because I knew here taking the advantage of that, but I do, you know. Yeah, so I'll meet with a head of sales, you know, weekly and we're we're actually still kind of like talking about what are weekly saying looks like, you know, being that I'm so fresh. But Yep, Yep, maybe there's a part two to this episode and what in look like, you know, like three to six months out? Yeah, but I that would be interesting conversation. Yeah, yeah, and then so the third thing, I guess like that, like, you know, I'm joining a new company and, you know, if somebody comes to me, you know, you know, asking what I should be looking to, I think like having a good inventory of like what you have to work with. So I think, you know that goes is that's your budget, that's your head count, that's the skill set of your head count, right, and it's also your text stack. So like really understanding the resources that you have to work with, you know, over the next year and to that at your disposal to deploy and, you know, achieve your execute on a strategy and and you achieve your goals. I would say that's the third big bucket of questions. You know, that I would be asking to make sure, and I would say some of this. You know your you ask a front in the sales process, but you know, more often than not you know. But I would say this in this environment, people are going through so many sales processes, or I would say recruitment processes, that like some of the stuff means to be like validated and and kind of like, you know, you go into a level of detail that you probably maybe didn't scratch. You only scratch the surface in the interview process, but once you in the weeds, you know you have a team you could really understand. You know what the makeup of the team is and, you know, get really into the tech sac and understand what you work with. I would say for me it was like this. These questions you're you're asking them, you know, not just once, but for weeks really. You know, I think about the last thirty days with commule. has been like layers of an onion peeling back one by one. And sure, I you you learn more and some weeks you learn more of what you don't know. There's more things you don't know. Yeah, but I would say it to you. Shrip back all the layers of the onion and get to the center, you know, and I think then you know you're at the point where really dial in on strategy and planning. When people are on boarding, you got to be thinking like how easy is it for people to understand our vision, our history, our text st ac like some of those those things. The more you can simplify that, the more it's all unified one place where people can access it. That type of stuff is really worth thinking about and asking newcomers how easy was it for you to understand full context of our business and organization? And so that's something I've thought a lot about over the last two two and a half months here as I've come on to the sweet fish team. Is like, what are the things that I wish I would have had? And then who can I, you know, how can I change our systems, help our systems improve so that the next people that get on boarded don't feel that same friction and that same tension? And so if you're leading a team like have that be part of your you know, your your ninety day review or something. What our wish things, you wish would have been different, better simplified? I think that's a big...

...one. Well, this has been a really fun conversation, Brad. We're going to start to wrap up here. I learned a lot in this, so I'm going to readback some of this to you, taking notes on my wife Board as we go. One one sales call a day. That's something that I'm literally going to take from you because I like that as a task. It's really simple. do it even for a couple weeks. If you're any position in the organization, you have access to those calls. It's super valuable. You learn a ton about the company, the way that the product is position. So one sales call a day very doable. Okay, note and find context. So we're going to write down different things we see in the organization. As we're new to a company, we're going to understand the context of why things are the way they are right now and we're going to take advantage of that new car smell, the new the fresh eyes that we have. We're going to prioritize facetime. That's a big one. What meetings need to be on your calendar that aren't automatically on your calendar? The people that you want to just know better early on to forge those those key alliances. We're going to identify key objectives. That's more in the three thousand two sixty day range, right, but we're going to think through what are some of those key objectives that are are vital to the business moving forward. And then here's two mindset things that I wrote down as we were talking. Think like your manager and I think if we can put ourselves in their shoes, we're at intentionally asking them questions. That's going to help us to think like our manager. And the second one is to look actively for ways to unify and partner. How are you going out of your way to proactively unify different parts of maybe cross departments, right, different different team members? Like, what are ways that I can actually really actively work towards unifying people? So that's kind of my main takeaways. Anything you want to add, Brad, as we as we wrap up your I think the one thing is right. So maybe for other people who come into head of marketing like this is specifically as like, you know, leaving the marketing function, it's a really dial in on how marketing is viewed and and being you were probably being hired, you know, for a reason and probably to bring some change and like as a new member of the team and you're planning to bring new ideas through that. I believe. You know, is something to think about, you know, when you go to to do your dog and pony show and the strategy. So like all that strategy distillation work that I was talking about, often ends up being this big presentation and you know, you want to think about how you convey those, like any sort of big and new ideas that are potentially, you know, different. You know, you think a little bit deeply at how you bring those ideas to life and and solicit by in. So that's one, I say, unique thing aspect kind of being like the the leader of the marketing function in an organization where you think there needs to be some significant change on how things are done. You know, yeah, we're change makers right at the end of the day, and so you getting people excited about that change, understanding to change the why and and, you know, having some excite around that change. I think it's very important, totally Brad, for those that want to connect with you further stay updated on what you're doing. What's the best way for people to connect? I think people can reach out to be on Linkedin. That's a probably my favorite social channel. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking time here on be tob growth with us. We learned a lot and for those that are listening, if you aren't yet subscribed to be to be growth, you can do that on whatever platform you're listening to this on right now. You can connect with me on Linkedin. Just Search Benjie Block. Love to connect and talk business marketing life over there, and we'll be back very soon with another episode of B Tob Growth. For the longest time I was asking people to leave a review of BB growth in apple podcasts, but I realize that was kind of stupid because leaving a review is way harder than just leaving a simple rating. So I'm changing my tune a bit. Instead of asking you to...

...leave a review, I'm just going to ask you to go to bb growth and apple podcasts, scroll down until you see the ratings and review section and just tap the number of stars you want to give us. No review necessary, super easy and I promise it will help us out a ton. If you want to copy on my book content base networking, just shoot me a text after you leave the rating and I'll send one your way. Text me at four hund seven for and I know three hundred and three two eight.

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