How to be a One-Person B2B SaaS Marketing Department

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Marketing is hard.

It's even more challenging when you're the lone marketer.

You need to strategize, coordinate, tactically execute, and organize. 

In other words, you have to be a multi-task player.

On the Marketing Spark podcast, Nancy Kwan talks about life as a solo marketer.

One of her biggest pieces of advice: "Don't become a yes person. Be comfortable saying no."

Nancy says that solo marketers need to be strategic and ask tough questions before committing to anything.

I Mark Evans and welcome to markets forthe podcast at delere insight from marketers and entrepreneurs in thetrenches in twenty five minutes or less in the busy SASS marketing world.There's a lot of talk about slick, Patiti, clans and army of marketers toturn plans into action, but many companies have small marketing tea. Infact, some companies have one person marketing teams. We tree people need todo it all. What's life for these marketers, how dothey do their jobs when they're flying so low to discover the secrets tosuccess on talking with Nancy Quan director digital marketing at bubblebox welcome to marketing park thanks bark for having me, let's start by having you tell me aboutyour job. I'm interested in understanding first hand what it's liketo be the marketing department. Yes, absolutely I'm, like you said, I'mthe director of digital marketing at bubble box a little bit of a backgroundwhere a salesforce consulting partner, helping organizations integrate andcontinuously optimize their sale sports instance. So this includes anythingfrom like marketing cloud, Tabla, Adarama sales and service, just to namea few. But to your point of that question of like what does a a oneperson, marketing team, do what are they responsible for and I would saymore off to the not it could easily be deemed, as you might feel overwhelmed.You might feel it at being a bit daunting at times, especially if you'renot prep, to position yourself for success, but the daunting andoverwhelming feeling could be very large, especially if you're new to theorganization or if that role is also new to the organization. What you'll, probably experience iseverybody is going to be coming to you at that company with all their ideas.You know the latest trends that they're reading on and what's happening,they're, probably putting in the request, mainly because maybe theydidn't have a person there before so they're all coming with their back logsof great ideas and things that they want to see on social or in marketingcatera on the website and of course, one thing that sometimes get oftenforgotten is we are I'm always faced it that, like okay, how do we optimizeuser experience? How do we optimize customer experience? So that isprobably what will happen if you're join an organization and there iseither a small team or just a one person to what somebody might like myself has experience in the past. So I've been in the situation where Ihave come in as the marketing person on a consulting basis and you're right.The sales guy has something that to be done. The CO has their priorities. Theyhave of sales, has their priorities. How do you coordinate all thosedifferent asts to make sure that you're not running in different directionsthat people don't know what paged you're on what your priorities are? Howdo you get that initial buyin and...

...structure so that you're doing theright things at the right time for the right people? I would say my biggest avice take astep back and slow down. Just constantly remind yourself, those two,those two pieces of advice, but to start we have to be strategic, so thatwould be my number one recommendation be strategic and don't just because ofthe excitement of all the different business units that there is somebodyin that role. Now don't just jump into execution because it will only set youup for potential failure and also divert you from what your end goal isthat you're trying to cheap. So one of the things I always say is take thetime to really truly understand the business strategy and ensure that you,as the marketer has have alignment and that you truly understand you know thatyou're spending the time to ask a lot of questions. And, more specifically, Ifind if, if you're, especially if you're new to ar organization, spendthe time to ask the tough questions that probably a lot of people aren'tasking any more because that you know like when I say as a tough question:It's not it's not a hard question. It's the question of why you know. Why arewe doing this? What what are we working towards and truly spend that time tounderstand? What is that that goal, or you have tohear it- a Marketer Salik? What's that nor star that we're trying to worktowards? And what are we trying to achieve right right and at the end ofthe day I always say, don't hold back. You probably. I think both of us saythis quite a bit mark if, if you're thinking it, somebody else in the roomin the company is probably also thinking about it too. But the questionhasn't been publicly stated and more times than one everybody is running amile a minute, so they haven't had that opportunity to take the paws, like youdo when you first join to spend the time to ask the questions and educateyeah, and I think, and to that point about the obvious question as amarketer, you know when I stay take a step back, I would say, take a stepback and look at the market research because you know understand youraudience, because maybe maybe there was another previous individual in that rowbefore years before and normally what and what naturally happens, is thatpeople give you all the old decks, the all the old strages, all the oldpresentation they go here. You go right, you're off to a great start, but timehas passed. The environment has changed and I always say start again take alook at the market research of the current current state. What does itlook like who's, your audience and really just stay focused because you'reone person department, so you can't you can'tdabble in every single area. So then you know, look at your look at yourcompetitors and start formulating and putting together and draft you knowwhat does your marketing stride you look like, but not only just thestrategy, how you know what are the measurables that are going to line tothe business triage to get you to to...

...secede, and then, if I had a secondpiece of a vice as a marketer in a one department really focused at lookingfor opportunities to automate the mundane task in your marketingdepartment, huge opportune, because once you free up those you know thoseadministration has or look at creating Ema marketing that you couldset up journeys or automations great ray for you to get a journey going. So that frees up yourtime to focus on other areas as well. You've got the nurse Star determined oryou focus on the nerve star. You've got your strategy in place. You've talkedto the key state holders. You know what the priorities are, so you're allexcited to get started, but you're only one person. So the question is: How doyou actually get marketing done? How much do you take upon doing yourselfbecause you've got to be? You know, Jack of all trades. You know five to aplayer and how much do you allocate to Free Lancers and contractors andconsultants third parties who can help you with tactical execution, yeah I'll,be very honest about that one? Sometimes I've had to just roll up mysleeves, and I really had to get in there to start doing the building. Some people may see that being aspainful, but especially when you know it's a new, maybe it's a new departmentfor that organization. You actually have to start building up the case toget budget. I've started our organization where there were nomarketing budget. So how could I even begin to look for contractors if I don't evenhave the budget to fund it? So normally what I like to do is you know, roll upmy sleeve focus on that one or two areas that I know my audience is in andreally start doing, testing and making sure that any testing or any channelsor tactics, I'm working it on my campaigns that I'm planning having apet like I'm, actually predicting what my forecasts are and also making surethat I'm tracking my results, because at the end of the day, any efforts thatI bring in. I want to be able to prove what my return on my investments are,because once I start proving that any work that I'm doing is now netting areturn, I could take that data and the results to start building out andformulating. We need to essentially start to be able to scale.I now have the data to prove if we begin to blow it up a little bit moreor do do do more with a budget. If we had budget, I will be able to scale andbe able to have a growth revenue, because I'm bringing in additionalcontractors or consultants to help me be able to execute at a faster pace. Ithink that makes complete sense, but one of the challenges for a lot ofmarketers who are marketing leaders. They see themselves as trate leaders aspeople who will guide the organition...

...through so they've likely done a lot ofthe grant work they've been in the trenches, they've done a lot of Tatoexecution and the danger for our marketing leader is that they want todo that. Any more is that they want to be the strategic leader from above. Whotells the minions what to do, and I think you're making a good point.Sometimes you have to do both. Sometimes you have to do strategy andyou have to actually get get the work done on. I think it's a hard pill for alot of senior marketers to to accept. I guess one of the questions I would haveis once you once you've actually proven your case and you're start to hirepeople. It's all about: How do you manage people who aren't inside theorganization who are as vested as you are? Who aren't drinking the coulait?How do you make sure that they're focused on your work as opposed toother clients as well? Yeah? That's a that's a really good question. I thinkit actually not. Even I think I know it has to start from the foundation andwhat I mean by that is: What are your core values? What is your cornue to yout as the leader and what's the core of value to your organization right andyou know I'll use bubble boxes as an example, we have six core values thatwe stand by and I would say these core values they're in our DNA. It's it's inus and it's all focused around one of them is about you know. Beingone team were strongly, we work and we are stronger together, we're all aboutbeing pashed, but what we do we got. We always go above and beyond and makingsure that we're able to execute on our initiatives and our projects. You knowat the third one that we have is we have. We are humble and confidentindividuals and we're all about making sure that we have the gratus throughthe right attitude. You know and then the fourth one that we have is we ownit. We always have this mentality of. We got it so we're going to commit tosomething. We always see it through. It's all about. Also our energy is sowe love being positive. We always have this drive in never giving up, and thenthe last one is all about doing the right thing so making sure that you'redelivering on a promise. So, of course, when I'm working with free, lancers orconsulting partners, to help me on my initiatives, I'm looking and havinghaving a conversation to go, does this partner or client do their core values a line upwith with mine and bubble box, because if there is that synergy and Tho thedrive to deliver on those values, we know that there's going to be asuccessful relationship. What kind of support do you get from your managementteam when you're one person, marketing team in terms of not at least strategicdirection, but tactical support? So one of the things that I have found in myexperience is that the CEO will say: Yes, I'm all about marketing. I want tomake marketing happen and when you look to them to collaborate and engage andgive you feedback and ideas, they say to you are I'm too busy for that. I'mtoo busy driving product in sales and so you're left to your own devices.What do you need to do to make sure that you get buying and there as vestedin marketing? As you are?...

That's a really good question withbubble box, like I e, the Management Team is truly unique. We actually as ateam. We dedicate a specific time during the week and our model is youcannot decline it? You cannot you. You have to make every effort to show up tothis this weekly meeting, and this is where we are giving our status updatesof how we're trending towards our KAPI and measurables, but it also gives usthe opportunity for us to identify issues and have a conversation aroundwell. What is that issue where's the root problem coming from and be open tohaving a conversation, so we purposely set time aside every week to be able totouch on this, and this is where, as a marketer, I raised my hand to go. MaybeI've come across this road block in some of my processes and I and how could I and I seek support so I go.This is my issue. This is what I'm coming across open to ideas andsolutions, and at the end of the day, we also make sure that the that we'reall focused on the right priorities right. So I need to ensure that when Icome to the table and have a conversation, my point is all about myissue. Right now will have a risk or impactfor us to get to or or overall business outcomes, and I find that when youposition the priority to the goal that you're all working towards everybody iswilling- and this is what I love about my my leadership team- that I get towork with a bubble box. We all come together to ideate and go. How do wemake sure that we help my team member get to success which, at the get at thesame time, comes to this assassin business as well yeah? That sounds like a really goodapproach: that, in fact, that you look at market as a parkers as opposed toyou're the marketing apartment you make it happen. One of the things that I'minterested in is for people who are running solo. What's your advice interms of how to Structure Operations- and I think that's a funny term,because when you're, the only person you're the operation right. So what arethe pillars for success and and as important? What are the mistakes thatthey need to avoid if they're going to run efficiently? If they're not goingto be working, you know seven twenty four and turn their hair out at the endof the day, my biggest recommendation of vice don'tbecome the yes person, get comfortable, saying no right andyou have to get comfortable on asking anybody who's, throwing a request atyou. You know why right is it because it'sstrategic, it is going to help to to help you grow and get to where yourgoals are. Or is it because it's that that you know, what's that saying the de Shidy objects syndrome or thepomo right, the fear of missing out is that why people are coming in put inthe request. So, at the end of the day, it's getting comfort to say no, alwaysask him the question to why. Why is it being required? How is it getting us tothe key goal and, at the same time, my biggest thing, which might biggestlesson to learning less an learn...

...through the years, was don't be a yesperson, it's hard to say no, to be honest with you, because we arepreconditioned. I think. Maybe I don't know whether marketers arepreconditioned specifically, but we're petitioned to say yes, yes, I can getthat done. Yes, that project, because not a problem. Yes, I can create thatcontent and it gets us in trouble sometimes because we over extendourselves and we do things that aren't a priority or aren't directly relatedto the North Star Yeah, and it actually prevents you fromgetting there quicker right. So it just becomes that road block when we getinto the habit of saying yes, the one thing I want to ask you is: what's yourown strategy when it comes to marketing you've established a very solidpresence on linked on you. Do some great videos, like me, you've, reallysort of embraced linked in as the place where you go for networking and doestablish your personal brand and to drive leads for bubble box. Talk alittle bit about your approach to your own marketing, including Lindon. Whatare you doing, and how do you do it I use linked in you know, I think,there's many of us during the pandemic, where we turn to linked in as a way toconnect and build relationships. I think that was tremendously beingmissed by a lot of people during the pandemic, but I found Lindon was agreat place just to share ideas and my my whole thought around Lindon is it's all aboutsharing experiences and sharing knowledge. You know we're all expertsand, if we're not competing with each other, then what is there to hide rightand a lot of it I found with Linton is all about driving meaningfulconversation. So just because I may have experienced an outcome doingwhatever marketing stranger customer experience strategy, I'm always curiousto also you know, share what I experience, but I also want to see andhear what did other people experience because it could vary. It could be likea vary from country to country. It could vary it by industry and a lot ofit I found. Was It droll really engaging conversation with people thatI didn't have access to like you and I mark we had never met before linked onand now I'm very comfortable, just tapping you and I actually now I'll- doa little plug for you, like the the two two marketers in a mallory onWednesdays, on Club House, great opportunity for me just to come and gohey. I've come across this challenge. This is how I think I should approachit. What about you guys based off of your experience? How would you navigateit, and I just find that that opens up the lands of opportunity and a new wayof thinking that traditionally wasn't taken advantage of we're both based in Toronto, but we'venever met each other, although I think we have a relationship now, which ispretty amazing, given the fact that so much happens, virtually a digitally and that my networkglobally has expanded in the and the nature of the relationships are dynamicand interesting and engaging and a really. It is really wonderful andSeguin into club house, because I did want to ask you about that. But I'mcurious about your take on us and...

...specifically, I'm hearing a lot ofconversations from my clients: a Bes about using club houses, a thoughtleadership vehicle. A lot of them are excited about the potential they're,not exactly sure how to leverage it, but they believe that they can there'sa place for them to talk about, what's important to them and to connect withlike minded people and create a community. Have you got any thoughtsabout that take on club house and is it something that bubble box isconsidering yeah? It's definitely it's definitelyall my radar. I find that it's just a great great area of what Club Houseoffers that linked in currently doesn't is the human interaction for me to beable to hear your voice versus zoom. Where there's a lot, I would say,probably the last twelve months, a lot of individuals have come across thezoom fatigue. Right now where we don't want to see each other's faces, wedon't want to jump on. Zoom, don't go in to turn on the camp, but I found aclub house. What I've appreciated is that different individuals are joiningon the topics that matter to them and if you can't find a room on the top ofthat matters to you, you could try to create the opportunity to find peopleto come to you and have a conversation, but at the same time, I'm now hearing aperson's voice, I'm just through a conversation network, I'm establishingthe trust and then, after that I've gone often gone back into Lindon orother platforms and continued the conversation which I wouldn't havegotten. If I didn't get that slight human interaction that and it's just avoice, you could hear the excitement. You could hear the afflictions in thetopics that really matter which sometimes you don't get when it's justa post text like a like a text post on Linkin or an image post. You don't seethat so the citement it doesn't for me. It just cultivates an energy that Ineed to thrive off of, and maybe that's a good marketing thing, but I just Ijust love it where I'm going on like and when I hear Your Voice on ClubHouse, I'm like he is excited or Oh, I feel his pain because he'sstrugglingwith it and then I start thinking right. There was one time I think we cameacross his narrow where there was a challenge shot brought was brought upand I reached back out to you to go. What's your poem because I feel whereyou're coming from, and I would never want to experience that myself. Solet's just bring storm an idea that would never happen on the linkinplatform on its own. At that speed, I would say as well that's what I find interesting, though,about the marriage between linked in a club house, and it's not official yetbecause a club house doesn't link to linked in yet. But people will haveconversations on club house they'll check up their profile while they'rehaving the conversations they'll go back to linkin and connect with them onlength in and have n and then drive another conversation like a privateconversation there and I think it's pretty amazing the way that the twoplatforms are meshed together. I don't think, there's a MA marriage. I don'tthink that's going to happen. I don't even think Lincoln is going to launchtheir own audio version of Clothos, but I do think the synergizes between clubhouse and Linkin are are really amazing...

...for anybody who wants to take advantageof both platforms, which is why we have to be on both platforms to some degree.Where can people learn about you and bubble box yeah? So I I could be found on Linton.If you just look up my name, Nancy, Quan and type in bubble box, you'llprobably be able to find me really quickly, so feel free, don't don'thesitate, don't be shy just to free each on connect with me, and if youwant to learn more about bubble box, we do have a linked. In page as well sojust type, the bubbleboy and you'll see the salesforce consulting partner pagehighly, encourage you guys to follow us again. This is where we're trying tobring together a group of marketers to drive in an engaging conversation. Wealso have a website. So if you just type in bubble box, dot cloud you'll beable to learn more about our expertise. There, thanks Nancy and thanks for listeningto that episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave areview and subscribe by, I tunes Potifer, our favorite podcast APP forshow nuts of today's conversation and information about Nancy visit.Marketing spark dock COS last block. If you'd like to learn more about how Ihelp Btsan es as a Fractional Co, strategic advisor and coach than anemail to mark at marketer, Co. I'll talk to you next time, e.

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