The Secret to Marketing Across Broad Audiences

In this Ecom Experiences podcast episode, Samir Balwani sits down with Hannah Gates, the Head of Marketing at Reliefband Technologies, to discuss comprehensive marketing tactics

The Secret to Marketing Across Broad Audiences

In this Ecom Experiences podcast episode, Samir Balwani sits down with Hannah Gates, the Head of Marketing at Reliefband Technologies, to discuss comprehensive marketing tactics

Hannah Gates is the Head of Marketing at Reliefband Technologies, creators of anti-nausea wristbands. As a brand marketer and leader, she has built and scaled global health and wellness brands, start-ups, and unicorns. Hannah has experience creating and executing creative visions, enhancing the customer journey, and developing content strategies.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [2:36] Hannah Gates talks about Reliefband Technologies and her journey in marketing
  • [7:49] Why Hannah enjoys her role as the Head of Marketing
  • [10:01] The challenges of marketing to a broad audience
  • [16:22] How to generate awareness and credibility as a comprehensive brand
  • [20:02] Strategies for product education
  • [23:57] Reliefband’s plans to gain market share
  • [30:16] Balancing strategy and creativity: advice for aspiring brand lead

In this episode…

Marketing a brand is tough enough, but when your brand appeals to everyone, it can be even more challenging. How can you convince a broader market of your products’ uses while fostering a cohesive brand story?

Marketing problem-solver Hannah Gates has faced and conquered this dilemma when marketing an anti-nausea band’s widespread uses to the market. She recommends segmenting your target audiences based on specific needs and marketing directly to those subgroups to create authentic connections. This allows for greater personalization while remaining true to your ethos. To gain market share and stay ahead of the curve, strategize and test new marketing strategies to set yourself up for future success.

In this Ecom Experiences podcast episode, Samir Balwani sits down with Hannah Gates, the Head of Marketing at Reliefband Technologies, to discuss comprehensive marketing tactics. Hannah explains how to educate diverse audiences about your product, the importance of balancing strategy with creativity, and her marketing journey with notable brands.

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:00

Hey welcome to another episode of Ecom Experiences a podcast where ecommerce marketing leaders who want to grow and scale their brands faster. Join us as we interview some of the smartest brand founders and marketing leaders in the industry. Explore the lessons they learned discover the keys to their success, discuss what excites them most about the future.

Samir Balwani 0:28

It's Samir Balwani. Here hosted Ecom Experiences where we talk to brand founders and marketing leaders about their experiences growing brands. This episode is brought to you by QRY. QRY is a paid media agency that helps brands balanced brand awareness and performance marketing, to drive predictable and profitable growth. To learn more about how we can help you visit we are I'm really excited about our guest today, I have Hannah Gates, the head of marketing at Reliefband. She's super smart. We've been having a ton of fun conversations, and I'm excited for her to share everything she knows. Thank you so much for joining us, Hannah.

Hannah Gates 1:03

Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited for us to chat.

Samir Balwani 1:06

Amazing. So let's start with the easy one. Tell us about the brand. Tell us about you.

Hannah Gates 1:11

Yeah, so I'm fortunate enough to be head of marketing at Reliefband, which is a wearable tech company. So we're a wearable tech device that is was created for the prevention and treatment of nausea, which doesn't sound too sexy. But honestly, like, it is something that you realize, when you start talking to people about you know, the product in the company, you realize that everybody needs it, you know, when you want to take that romantic getaway on that cruise, or you want to go to the amusement park with your kids, or you know, you're taking drugs or have side effects that have you know, other conditions that might be causing you nausea or morning sickness, you know, with a with early term pregnancy. You know, it's just something that everybody needs. And so I joined the company in April of last year. So I'm going on a year. And it's been a really fun journey, I'm lucky enough to to be able to lead a small, but very nimble, very hungry internal team. And yeah, it's something that I really love. I'd been in health and wellness for a while. And this is a really, really fun product to the market.

Samir Balwani 2:14

That's awesome. So tell us more about the so you said you've been in health and wellness for a while, what kinds of brands because I know, health and wellness is a tough market, trying to convince people to better themselves would be surprisingly, so much harder than it needs to be. So tell it tell us kind of the journey that you went through kind of brands that you've worked on?

Hannah Gates 2:36

Yeah, well, it's funny, I actually started originally in fashion, which kind of tends to go very much against health and wellness, in that, you know, you kind of do anything to fit into the dress or to look good or look cool. And sometimes you kind of ignore the health and wellness part of it. So I started for long term efforts. Exactly, yeah. So I started my career in New York. And I it was actually through COVID, that I actually made a really intentional switch over to the health and wellness side, I had to kind of I just kind of leaned into some brands, just you know, in my own time doing some freelance work on the side, while I'm still in fashion to kind of get into this world. But you know, I think going through COVID A lot of us like we just realized what was really important. And for me, I realized that that was you know, health and wellness. And, you know, what are we going to do for ourselves to, to carry us through this time, mentally, emotionally, physically. So I was lucky enough to, to start with an amazing startup called Better remedies, which was an over the counter medical, mental medicine brands. But we call that basically medicine on a mission. So we had an amazing co founder, who was Ellen Pompeo, she plays Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy, and basically we were just selling over the counter products for all of the ailments that you know, we regularly occur, like, you know, cold and flu and headaches and pain relievers and all that kind of stuff. But with it, we were really on a mission to provide medicine to people, the one in four Americans who can't afford it. So I worked with that brand. And I came on I was like their third employee. So I came on pre launch, literally built the brand from the ground up created that go to market strategy and entered a really competitive space. So you think OTC you're literally thinking Tylenol, you're thinking, you know, these big, massive brands, and we were just, you know, the new kid on the block and you're trying to convince people to you know, it's an ingestible product, right? It's an it's an FDA approved product. It's literally a drug. So it was like, how do we, you know, convince people to switch over to a brand that really is using, you know, all of the same FDA approved ingredients and doing the same in your body, but doing better, you know, for the culture and for society. So that was a really interesting kind of challenge. And so my work from there I went on to join a fitness tech company that had become it had come to fruition and become really popular in China. So it was founded in China by some of the world leaders in AI. These are people who came from all sorts of, you know, different backgrounds utilizing AI. And they came to get together to create this connected fitness mirror, fully powered by AI. I mean, it was, it was incredible what the what the technology can do. And they had, you know, again, like started and really scaled in China, and then they decided to expand globally. So they created a team in the US. So, you know, a full team CEO, you know, from the top down. And that was another incredible experience. So, you know, I kind of was in the, you know, that real health space, then I moved into this incredible fitness space, which is also very competitive, you know, competitive, like, peloton tonal echelon. I mean, it was, it was crazy. But that was, you know, to your point, like, you know, trying to convince people that they need to invest in this and invest in their own health and wellness and how they can utilize their own space at home to do that, especially in a post COVID world, I think in during COVID, it was really easy to explain that to people, but post COVID, you know, that became a challenge in the marketing. And they get now I'm with relief bands. And, you know, what I love about it is it's still in the tech space, I think, you know, tech and health is such an incredible tool and the ways that we can utilize it as consumers to really take control of our own health and wellness. But at the same time, you know, utilizing technology rather than traditional ingestible, you know, methods of drugs and things like that, like, our technology really just taps into your body's own natural healing system, which is your nervous system. So it allows you to self treat, in a way that is 100% natural and drug and side effect free. And all those things I think people want these days, you know, they're looking to the market to provide these kinds of alternatives, utilizing, you know, the latest technology, but allowing for us to kind of get rid of you traditional pharmaceutical methods for treatment. So again, it's an interesting space to be in from a from a marketing standpoint. You know, again, I'm getting the luxury of talking about nausea and vomiting all day, but in a way that really relates to people and daily life, I think. So it's, you know, I will talk more about kind of the challenges around it. But yeah, it's definitely a unique space to be in the anti nausea space.

Samir Balwani 7:27

That's really cool. And it sounds like an area you're passionate about in terms of just like the health aspects of it. And so, you know, being head of marketing is a really cool opportunity. I think it's something a lot of people would strive to be in to tell me. What's your favorite part about the role? Like, why why head of marketing?

Hannah Gates 7:49

Yeah, I mean, I think I am someone who just really strives and an environment, that or thrives sorry, in an environment that is kind of ever changing. And I think marketing, you kind of have to be, you know, you have to keep your finger on the pulse, because that market is ever changing. So it's about being proactive, but also being reactive to how we see these shifts happen. You know, from a leadership perspective, I really, I that's something that I've always loved. So, you know, I've always been, you know, when I was kind of more boots on the ground, and tactical and I was the person kind of executing those things on the marketing side. You know, I loved being really creative and, and problem solving. And then as I scaled, you know, in my career into leadership, that you're still creative, and you're still problem solving, but you're doing that through a team in a lot of ways. And so that's something that I really love. So I love being able to kind of be be the big thinker behind a lot of these things, but then also inspire a very nimble, hungry tactical team, to execute, you know, all of these big things and big initiatives that we're going after.

Samir Balwani 8:54

Yeah, that's really interesting. I feel like had been had a marketing or CMO role, you end up having to take on this like, org design, org structure. You know, incentivizing and holding accountable while still leading to ambition. And it's less about what you can do and more around how you can motivate others to do what they can do, and get them to do a good job, which is a really cool place to be. That's really cool. So you know, we talked about challenges. I'm so curious. It's so I'll give you guys I have one, I'm very excited to use it. I deal with a lot of seasickness and motion sickness. And so I'm very excited to try it out and see if it helps. But you'd almost think that you wouldn't have a lot of challenges because the people that have the problem know the problem exists. And if they are, like me, are willing to try almost anything to make it go away. And so I'm so curious to hear about the challenges because you would think you just talked about the product and people will want to purchase it. So tell me like what are the things that you're Dealing with. Yeah,

Hannah Gates 10:01

I mean, you know, the good thing is that like it is the product works, right. And the you know, I would never, I would never personally work for a company where I don't believe in the product. And the good thing is like, the product is great, and the product works and but to your point, you know, you'd be surprised what that takes them to get into people's hands. And I would say the thing that I always tell people is our biggest challenge is such a blessing and a curse. Because it is that we have such a broad audience. So and you've ever wanted to be like, That's amazing, like everyone wants to sell a product that anyone can use, you know, everyone wants to be the person who's, you know, selling toilet paper, right, because everyone uses that. But in that way, you know, when we talk about kind of the spectrum of our audience, we are talking about people who are using it for amusement parks and cruises, all the way down to this other side of the spectrum, where it's chronic sufferers, people who are using it postoperatively, because of, you know, nausea as a side effect of certain drugs that they're on chemotherapy, that's a huge portion of our market is people who are experiencing nausea as a result of chemotherapy. So it's like those are, you know, your, your couple going on their cruise is a totally different audience segment to someone who's going through chemotherapy, right. And so you really, what we found is you can't target and you can't speak to them in the same way. You know, we find that people if we were able to, you know, create this amazing content and target and market, this motion sickness product that works for cruises and amusement park, this other side of the audience, these chronic sufferers, these medical conditions aren't going to trust that they're never thinking that oh, that works for so and so at Disneyland, that's not for me, somebody who is, you know, chronically suffering with a medical condition, and vice versa, you know, use if you market it as this medical device, that people you know, that is working clinically, in hospitals for these severe treatments, someone who is just, you know, taking a rough Uber isn't going to think, oh, you know, I don't have knowledge of that bad or that, you know, intensely that I need this medical device, right, like, so, it's, there's just becomes a lot of nuance in how you look at these audiences. So we essentially, you know, we try to cut and we try, we're always trying new things, I'm a big like, test, you know, we're testing everything all the time to understand what's resonating with with the market as a whole, but also different audience segments. And, you know, we tried to kind of boil the ocean with just using one kind of umbrella statement of like, you know, the ultimate nausea solution, if you're experiencing nausea for whatever reason, relief band is, you know, your product. Yeah. And we thought, you know, that would be the right approach, because then like you said, it captures everyone, they, we let them decide why they're, you know, why they resonate with it, oh, I'm having nausea for morning sickness, I'm having nausea from this. And then, you know, we'll just solidify ourselves at the top of the mountain as this ultimate nodule solution. And that really wasn't what worked it, we have to really segment out our audience into, you know, what I call like, the pillars of our market. So into these individual audience segments, and if we just do a really deep strategy into each of those, and you know, a lot of that a lot of these audiences. So, you know, again, like those chronic sufferers, like that's a community of people, like there are Facebook groups, there are all of these ways in which they are seeking, you know, products and brands that they can trust. And so creating that like, intrinsic connection between your brand and your product, and that community, as well as other communities, like, you know, a big one for us is boating and fishing, right, like you would be shocked, I go to trade shows, and I'll speak to somebody who has been a captain of a boat for 20 years, and he will still tell me that he has to take Dramamine 30 minutes before he gets on his boat, that's amazing. And so it's like, that's a huge market for us, right. But again, like, you can't speak to that Captain, the same way that you're speaking to a chemotherapy patient or pregnant mother, right, or I'm assumed to be mother who's experiencing morning sickness. So again, we just broke it up into these these pillars of our market and our audience. And when we started doing that, and we started speaking to them, each uniquely, obviously, you know, still kind of bringing the same value prop to the forefront. But, you know, just illustrating it in the way that most manifests in their day to day life, and what's important to them, that's where we really saw success. And so, you know, it's an interesting case study, because I think a lot of brands maybe, you know, can fit within that even when I was in fitness, right? Like you have different motivations of why people are buying the product, is it to lose weight? Is it to just feel stronger? Is it because, you know, you are an older, you know, person who's just trying to keep up with their grandkids like, and you know, so it's like, do you just kind of talk overall fitness and overall, like, get get the results you want? Or do you kind of segment out these audiences and use your content and creative to speak to them, you know, on a more personal level, and that's just what we've found that works for us. Yeah.

Samir Balwani 14:52

It's really interesting too, because it's different things will influence them right. And like, I can only Imagine that the chemotherapy patient probably wants to hear a doctor tell them that it's worth it. Versus like, the guy that's getting on the roller coaster doesn't want to hear. Like, it's a much different cell at that point. And,

Hannah Gates 15:13

yeah, that's a great point.

Samir Balwani 15:15


Hannah Gates 15:15

that's really that's definitely something we've seen. Yeah, I think to your point about the doctors completely, like, when we think about content partnerships and brand partnerships that we do to like, You're You're exactly right, like we we did, we partnered with certain doctors and nurses that are again, trusted in that space. Because even you know, having having your favorite influencer, you know, Mom, lewenza or whoever, you know, come on, and say that this product works and whatever, you know, doesn't resonate with that audience the same way as having you know, a partner who is who is a doctor or a nurse or someone in that space. So your your head on your, you know, head on the nail with that one. Yeah,

Samir Balwani 15:52

that's really interesting. That's awesome. So I'm excited to hear you talking about segmentation and how you segment but then a question for you would be alright, so we've got all these segments. And that's probably your product positioning and Product Marketing. How do you brand market when you need to build an overarching brand that fulfills on all of this, where segmentation may not be appropriate, because you're trying to build a holistic, singular brand?

Hannah Gates 16:22

Yeah. And, you know, that's something where when I joined the company, they that was something they hadn't really been doing, like, they were pretty much, you know, really, you know, driving home, this performance marketing, but there was a huge awareness problem. I mean, even me, when I joined the brand, I was like, there's a technology that can just straight up stop you from feeling carsick. Like, I struggled personally with cars, I guess similar to I know what you told me. And I was just like, How did I not know about this, like Dramamine knocks me out? It makes me super tired. So it was just like, if I would have known this existed, I would have owned 110 years ago, like, how is this possible? And that has been that was really consistent when I was even telling people Oh, and, you know, I'm taking on this new role. And every time I mentioned the brand, people are like, how do I not know this exists? And I was like, Okay, there's, that's the problem, right? Because when you have, we have an amazing product, like, and that's, that's half the battle, but it's exactly half the battle is having that amazing product. And then, you know, the other thing is that awareness and, you know, again, I choose to fight these really big battles where I go into these really, you know, these spaces against these really big titans in these industries. So, you know, when people think nausea, or specifically motion sickness, they think Dramamine, right, like that is like the first thing that comes to their mind. That's what we are, you only heard from these lease captains on these boats, they say Dramamine, and I'm telling them, like, you know, what about the fact that like, you know, you have to kind of plan in advance for it. Like, you have to, you know, you technically can't drink on Dramamine. And people on cruises are definitely thrown aback. Like, I was kind of like pointing out all these things. And they were just kind of like, yeah, you're right, like, but that's just the only thing I really knew of, or that came to mind when I thought about this problem. And so yeah, there is a huge, like, brand marketing thing. And that's, that is, you know, that's creating that awareness at a broader level, you're right, we definitely can't, you know, get into the weeds that ever, you know, be able to speak to someone on every single, you know, indication level. So, it's something we've been kind of building, you know, first I had to kind of benchmark where we were in the market, right? Like, what is our share of market, what's their share of voice Dramamine really is the big dog they had, like, you know, 90% of the share of the market and the share of the voice. And they're also investing billions in it. So, you know, we kind of were we've started small and some brand awareness efforts. But I will say going, you know, into this 2024 is definitely going to be our year of, you know, big, splashy brand awareness. You know, looking at a lot more upper funnel tactics, like, linear TV out of home is something I'm really excited for. I just think, you know, relief band hasn't had its like, Superbowl moment. Yeah. Right. Like, I think that, you know, a transit takeover, experiential marketing, like you have to get out there and you have to get in front of people, and just get them used to seeing your name and your brand, alongside, you know, this, you know, the conversation around that.

Samir Balwani 19:13

Yeah, it's interesting, because it's like, how do you have to tell the story of the brand and then use media to actually propel that out there. And sometimes an experiential program is awesome when coupled in with actual paid media to kind of talk more about it and, and make it into something especially for a brand like this, or a product like this where there is value in explaining it right. It's not I look at it, and I get it, it's, you gotta you gotta really talk to and reality of the situation as well. Everybody wants to be better and make them and work on their health and wellness. There's so cynical about it, every step of the state, every step of it. And so really overcoming some of that it has, I'm sure has been tough and requires some strategic and and Out of the box thinking, absolutely. And

Hannah Gates 20:02

I think, you know, building in those credibility cues at every, you know, point of the funnel is really important because to your point, like, you know, a lot of the question is like, you know, what, how does, like, why am I going to believe that it really works, right? Like, people are trying to sell me something every single day where they're telling me, it's gonna cure my acne and make me more beautiful, and I'm gonna lose 10 pounds, I'm gonna do all these things. And we're telling you that, like, we're going to give you something that's natural, drug free, and it's going to work within minutes. And like, you know, how do you actually convince people and that is like, bringing it, you know, really building that credibility. And that's, you know, again, through the full funnel, whether that's those content partnerships with these trusted medical professional, whether that's, you know, the our messaging hierarchy, which really, you know, and bringing to the forefront, the FDA clearance, you know, the, our patents, you know, and, and also explaining that, in a way, when you're talking about tech, like, you know, again, this is, it had been in tech for a little bit now, too. And tech is like a funny when you think about messaging and messaging hierarchy, and, and, you know, purchasing behavior, like, it's how do you talk about tech, especially this really kind of innovative new technology, without going straight over somebody's head? Right, like, how do you do it at the EPA consumer level, in a way that builds credibility? And answers more questions than then it caused creates, you know, so that's been kind of an interesting, you know, tricky kind of thing to figure out from a messaging standpoint as well.

Samir Balwani 21:28

Yeah, cuz it's a standard advice is always message, the benefits message, the benefits message, the benefits, and for a lot of products, you should message the benefits. But if you message the benefits, and then don't give it exact reason, or explain how it works, people just assume the benefits are not real. Right? Like, they just assume that you're right. Yeah, it's too good to be true. And so it's the, it's like the messaging hierarchy, and then the reasons to believe and how do you make reasons to believe that are actual reasons to believe that someone can understand that someone can, and then you got to put it in a six second video. And that's always

Hannah Gates 22:06

you have someone's actual attention, like, and that's the thing like, and, you know, we've really seen, you know, because our product, you brought it up earlier, like, you know, product education, right, like our, you know, you see a Snuggie and right away, you understand, am I am I doing myself talking about the Snuggie, but like, you see a Snuggie and in like two seconds, you get why that's beneficial to you, right? Like, it's warm, and it's comfy, and it's 1999. So, like, there's not a huge, you know, barrier to entry, and you quickly understand why it's useful to you. And, you know, but our products like there is, you know, it's again, it's wearable tech, so you kind of have to understand that part of like, oh, this is a device that I wear, like it's non invasive, like, you know, what it does all those kinds of things. And so, being able to do that, you know, one thing that's been really successful for us recently has been connected TV, we've recently I say, recently, but we've been doing pretty well while now is, is utilizing connected TV campaigns. And that has been a really great channel for us. Because, you know, it allows for that little bit more, you know, brand awareness, but then you can go into that product education in a really clear and concise way. And even just like being able to just visualize that product a little bit more in video content versus, you know, still, or even in some of the ways that we can do on our site has been, you know, really tactical, and a really great way for us to kind of do a bit of both at the the brand awareness as well as you know, the product education, and we've been able to use a kind of full funnel, so that's really interesting. Yeah, cow.

Samir Balwani 23:30

That's awesome. Yeah, we are big fans of connected TV, especially when paired with programmatic display as a follow up so absolutely. worthwhile experience. So you touched on this a little bit about Reliefband and having a brand awareness coming out and that you're really excited about that? Are there anything else that you're really excited about that either you guys are doing or just in the market in general?

Hannah Gates 23:57

Yeah, you know, like if when I'm talking to like other marketing professionals, it's like something that we're seeing happen overall as people bringing marketing and bringing creative in house and that's something when I started I the company was actually like fully outsourcing their marketing so they were using you know, like a really big agency and like they were having all that kind of stuff, you know, outsource it and I think there's still like definitely like a need for certain things to be outsourced. But I think like having some ownership in so so like, again, they didn't even have anyone in my position in house they were kind of just like fully outsourcing and lettings about strategy. And what do you see now either like a really great like hybrid balance of that, or you know, or just you know, figuring out that right sweet spot and so for us, like we you know, having someone on the internal side who is really owning and leading that strategy, and then you know me right now like I did bring a lot of it in house specifically with like creative, but we're still outsourcing certain things strategically, but being able to leave those out external partners in a really, you know, strategic tactical way that's, you know, needed for the brand and the company and the overall business initiatives ourselves. So that's something like when I'm talking to marketing professionals now is like about that is about that, like, just figuring out that sweet spot of internal and external support and how you manage that. So that's something like we just brought some creative in house, and it has been, like super amazing for us, like just the the ability to be reactive. So that's something I get really excited about now is like, I think, you know, and content is everything, like, that's where we're really seeing, you know, content marketing, and being able to, like, really crank that out and stay, you know, finger on the pulse of those marketing trends that we're seeing. So I think, you know, it's a great balance of being proactive and, and trying new things and getting ahead of, you know, what's happening in the market, but also being reactive to what we're seeing. So yeah, I think 2024 is like going to be what I really found is gonna have its moment for sure. Like, if you've not seen it before, like you are gonna see it this year, it's gonna be it's gonna be in front of you. Hopefully, maybe it'll be, you know, somewhere, there'll be some kind of experience and a city near you. But yeah, I think like, every, you know, when you want to really like break that barrier of just being, you know, performance marketing on meta, and you know, kind of there's, there's, there's a ceiling to that, right of just like how many sales you can do and how you can grow and scale that without layering on that true brand marketing and building a brand. And so yeah, 2024 is that year for us to really get in front of people. So like I said, I think you know, out of home, linear, experiential. That's, that's some of the big stuff that the we're excited about.

Samir Balwani 26:34

It's so funny, you say that Hannah because I think we we have a lot of conversations around or design with a lot of our partners. And I think I brought it up earlier on in this conversation, too. Because our, our take our thesis on this is, the best brands have a hub and spoke model. There's an internal manager and team that is the hub, and they manage all the agency spokes. And if they aren't acting as the hub tying it all together, you're not growing the brand, everyone's working independently, everyone's in their own silos, nothing is working together. And especially as a consumer behavior has changed coming out of COVID. And people are more thoughtful, and they recognize, oh, we have access to all of the information in the world. And we can find every single one of your competitors and research you, the buying cycle has taken longer, and you need to touch more pieces of it. So yeah, I think I think it makes perfect sense. And I think that the best. The best models are one where your agency partners have somebody actually on the other end, in giving, giving them the information, holding them accountable, pushing them to think of new things, motivating and driving them being a leader, right, all sudden done that need to lead the team. Yeah, and it's also interesting about your take on creative and bring it in house. So we have a lot of brands that brought creative in house, and then also supplemented with a creative agency. So like creative strategy, and creative direction is being done internal and productions being done out external, and then some like bigger things. And I think that that trend is gonna continue because I think the world of performance marketing ads, I hope goes away, I hope more people realize that every ad is a brand ad, whether it's a performance ad or not. And if you do performance marketing ads that look real bad, even if they perform real well, you're you are absolutely stealing from one hand to feed the other, and you're just not going to have to hit that plateau faster, and you're not going to have long term growth. So I think this is where ro S has been king for way too long. And people need to take a step back and really have an understanding of what growth looks like that,

Hannah Gates 28:44

you know, that is that is so true, I think we're incredibly aligned in that thought process. Because that's again, like when I joined my company, they were they were just like really hitting performance marketing and looking at row as and yeah, for me, as you know, more of a brand marketer and someone who really values, you know, like really, really high level creative and, and how that impacts, you know, brand value and brand equity, like, I was looking at that exact same stuff, like I was looking at these performance ads, and they're like, Well, you know, like, it doesn't it doesn't have 1.5 But there's a to realize, like, if that's fine, like, what does it matter, right? And then, you know, again, but at the same time, we're having the same conversation about brands, right, and how brand essentially, you know, means nothing, and they also found that, you know, the company was like, really leaning on a promotional strategy and deep discounts and like real, you know, really all of that and I was like, you know, when you Brent build brand value and brand equity, you don't have to do that anymore, right? Like you don't have to, you know, really do this like deep discounting, promotional strategy to get people to purchase your product, you're convincing them that the technology is worth like they're they should be willing to pay full price plus 10% Because it's so because you've created that, that you know, knowledge and that brand awareness and that trust in the product and so yeah, I'm completely aligned with that and I think you know, what, as I talked to other people in the in marketing and the This space, that's that's definitely the mindset for sure. Yeah, I

Samir Balwani 30:03

love it. Alright, so last question for you, you got a new leader, you're talking to them, it's their first time in a head of marketing or CMO role. 90 days, what do you what's the advice you give them? What do you tell them to do?

Hannah Gates 30:16

There's, you know, in 90 days, there's usually a lot to do. But I would say like, the thing that you have to think about, and to keep your head on straight, and to navigate through everything that you're gonna have to navigate through, is finding the balance between being strategic and being creative. And I would say, even as a leader, I think that you have to, you know, really be strategic and how you lead your team, and how you, you know, build initiatives and strategies for them. But you also truly have to leave space for creativity. So I think when you're too buttoned up, and you know, you and I talked a little bit earlier, before we started recording about being a type A person, which I very much am, I like to be so organized, I like to have my content calendar built out for the entire year, I love you know, any mean? Like, I love to think ahead, I love to really have all of those milestones and touch points and things all outline. But when you do that, you're really constricting and contriving the creativity that become you know, that you create space for on the team. And that's the thing, like, I think that as a leader, you know, be organized, be strategically tactical, and all of those ways. But even if you have to build it into your calendar, build space and time for your team to ideate, and to be creative, because that's how you, you know, get into, you know, a flow of actually being proactive, rather than just reactive, right, like, start really like opening up your eyes, your mind to where we think these these trends in the market is moving, and how we can get ahead of it, and how we can position our product in these conversations that we see happening. And so, you know, there's a lot of other kinds of things that I think every leader will, will tell you, but for for marketing, specifically, I think that's really important, you know, creating that, that space for creativity and open forum and, and you know, even in people in roles, you know, that you may not think, you know, when you have these, you know, people on the data side, or people on the analytic, like, bring them into the conversation, like, you know, really, again, create space for that kind of cross functional conversation around on, you know, what new we can do. And also, I would say there, you know, there's a real risk in kind of the will, you know, stick to what's working mentality, right, like, you know, this campaign is working, let's just stick with this, or continue to crank out stuff just like this, that will plateau way quicker than you plan on it. And if you haven't been creating, you know, ideating, and thinking of what the next thing is going to be, you know, and that requires testing to, like, that's the fire is taking risk. And, and when you build out your plans, and you're talking to your executive team, like, you know, that's how you have to build that out is like, here's, you know, what we're going to do that, that strategic and tactical, in what we know works in our core. But here's the the 20 30%, that we're going to invest in testing, and trying new things, and they're not all going to work, but you have to be doing that constantly, because this thing is gonna plateau and die out. And if you don't, if you haven't tested and tried, but the next thing is going to be, you're going to find yourself in a really, you know, precarious situation. So I, you know, that's something I was built into my marketing plan is always that full, you know, a culture of ongoing testing and learning and nothing is a failure, as long as you've learned something from it, right? As long as it's informed something going forward, then it's not a failure, it wasn't a waste, we at least, you know, even if it's just to say, hey, now we know that that audience is not the right audience for us, like at least that helps us narrow it down. Right. So you know, just just stay open to that. But I see, you know, I see a lot of potential and, you know, the the more junior members of teams that I've led, like, they are going to be the next leaders in this space that are marketing. And I think, you know, those of us who are in these leadership roles now just have to create the environment and the culture that allows for them to grow and to flourish into the next marketing leaders. And I'm excited to see what that will look like. Oh, that's

Samir Balwani 34:07

so exciting. Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more on pretty much every one of those things. It's interesting. We put a 10% outline of media budget for testing, and we put a zero return on it, because we found that getting the budget is the hardest part for testing. It's not coming up with the ideas. It's just getting approval on the budget. So if you just include it in the media plan, the expectations already set. It's so much harder to come up with a cool test and ask for budget, asked for the budget first, and then come up with a cool test. You can always give money back. They're not going to complain if you give money back. So yeah, I love it. I Hannah, thank you so much for joining us today. If someone wants to find you online, where can people learn more about you?

Hannah Gates 34:51

I would definitely hit me up on LinkedIn. I you know, I have a lot of channels but I think that's the best way to connect with me. Personally, I'm still you know, I've been involved in mentorship program. And and other things in the past so I'm someone who, you know if you reach out to me for a conversation, especially around marketing, I'm always

Samir Balwani 35:05

happy to have it. Amazing. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here.

Hannah Gates 35:10

Thank you so much Samir. This is a lot of fun

Outro 35:17

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