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Unbounce is the landing page platform that gives marketers a way to build and test high converting landing pages without disrupting a developer. Unbounce has powered over half a billion conversions and serves more than 15,000 customers worldwide including The New York Times, Hootsuite, World Vision, and the Red Cross.

What led you into marketing?

Creativity, organization, and communication — these are the things that initially drew me into the field and continue to deepen my passion for marketing.

Throughout university, I focused my studies on marketing and international business and took on co-ops to get relevant experience before landing my first gig in the real world. At the time I was living in my hometown where the only marketing jobs available were door-to-door “marketing” or telemarketing — I knew I needed to relocate to a bigger city if I wanted to get the experience I needed to fulfill my hefty ambitions.

I took the plunge and relocated to Vancouver, B.C., and quickly started building a network of fellow marketers by connecting with people on LinkedIn, setting up coffee meetings, saying ‘yes’ to all sorts of volunteer work and contracts to continue to get the experience. It was a grueling 6 months of uncertainty and odd jobs, but during that time I develop critical and longterm relationships that have helped shape the last decade of my career in marketing and helped me move into the tech sector (which I can’t imagine ever leaving!)

What does a typical day look like?

My role has changed a great deal throughout the years. Early on in my career, I was super hands-on executing events and campaigns and today a more focused on building high-performance teams, working on a cross-department collaboration, removing roadblocks, and thinking strategically about our priorities to help us hit our revenue targets.

As the Senior Director of Marketing at Unbounce, I take time at the beginning of every year and the beginning of every quarter, to plan the months and year ahead. Part of the planning process includes doing a deep dive on our overall performance. I look at what’s been driving ROI and meeting goals and what hasn’t, I help my team identify opportunities to improve our buyer journey and increase conversions, set priorities and I help gather information to better understand what other departments are working on and where there may be opportunities to collaborate.

My typical day consists of a lot of communication in meetings, lunch catch ups, slack threads, email, or drive-by hallway conversations. My calendar stresses people out sometimes, and I have had to be more intentional about blocking out focus time. Alignment, focus and visibility into what we are working on has been super helpful in building buy-in and getting the support we need to hit our goals.

What’s your setup?

What are your go-to marketing tools/blogs and why?

Unbounce has a great culture of sharing and knowledge transfer, so people across our company are constantly sending around links to great articles from a whole bunch of different outlets (which keeps me pretty informed as it is!) Also, some of my best sources of inspiration come from working with fellow marketing leaders #IRL whether it’s attending workshops, and speaking with the thought leaders we host at Unbounce’s Call to Action Conference. All of that said, here are a few other publications & blogs that keep me inspired and up-to-date on the latest marketing trends and tactics:

  1. marketingland.com
  2. cmo.com
  3. tomtunguz.com
  4. pragmaticmarketing.com/resources
  5. blog.hubspot.com
  6. animalz.co/blog
  7. hbr.org/2018/01/podcast-ideacast
  8. intercom.com/blog
  9. orbitmedia.com/blog
  10. I am also excited for April Dunford’s new book OBVIOUSLY AWESOME, which is coming out soon

What’s your favorite growth hack of all time?

I just finished reading Scott Harrison’s book Thirst, about Charity:Water. Their sensor technology and business model of providing full transparency to their donors of what their donations have purchased down to the drop blew me away. This kind of openness and innovative thinking will change the game and people’s willingness to participate with NGO’s. I think it’s incredible and they have seen the growth to prove it.

What company do you admire for their brand?

I really love what Zendesk has been able to achieve with their brand. They have a playful, personal approach that makes their writing sound authentic and human while providing high-quality expertise and resources to help their customers no matter where they are in the buyer journey. They’ve even coined the term “Humblident” — a term that represents both their humble and confident sides.

Their people-first approach also says a great deal about how they treat their own people and how they support the communities they do business in.

If you had to give a marketing course, what would you teach?

I’d like to teach a marketing course on how to build a marketing funnel. Throughout my career, I’ve seen many marketing teams get so caught up chasing the next shiny thing that they fail to prioritize one of the most important ingredients to achieving great marketing — a solid buyer journey.

What’s the most exciting opportunity you’ve seen to grow your business this year?

Over the past decade, Unbounce has built a community of loyal customers and like-minded marketers who openly support what we stand for and what we’ve built. And we’ve been lucky enough to have grown largely organically thanks in part to the strength of this community.

This year, we wanted to start to reward the people who share their love of our platform so we launched the Unbounce Partner Program. The program allows us to reward our biggest fans for spreading the word and referring us to their communities. We’ve seen some impressive results since it launched in January and we’re excited to see how it performs throughout the rest of the year!

What marketing challenges do you face at your company?

Data — it’s been tricky accessing consistent data and insights and creating one source of truth about what’s working and what isn’t. Our marketing stack now consists of over 30 different technologies, of which multiple store customer and lead data.

Beyond the technical complications, so much of what we do comes back to building customers loyalty and generating word-of-mouth. Unfortunately, those two KPIs can be difficult to track. Throughout our journey building a solid attribution model, I’ve certainly learned the delicate balance between quantitative data, qualitative data, and instinct in a world that increasingly wants to see hard data to back up its dollars.

What do you think most marketers get wrong?

A great marketing strategy starts with understanding your customer — what topic and information are your customers searching for? When are they searching for it? Where will they look for those answers? Is the information in the format they want to consume it in? Have you helped them move to the next step of the customer journey or are you making it more difficult for them to easily move through the funnel?

A lot of marketers get caught up in the hottest trends or stuck in the wheel of doing what everyone else is doing for the sake of checking a box. It really doesn’t matter how well a channel or topic performs if it doesn’t speak to the right audience for your business. Even if it worked for someone else, this doesn’t mean it will work for you. The customer experience from the first point of contact to the last is your silver bullet — make sure to nurture it and revisit it often so it doesn’t decay.

Any advice for ambitious marketers?

My advice to our future marketing leaders is to show up. Be early, put in the effort, don’t feel like any task is beneath you, say yes to opportunities even when they stretch you out of your comfort zone. When people see you consistently stepping up and putting in 110%, doors will open!

Anything you want to promote or plug?

This blog post — 10 Creative Lead Gen Examples Sourced from Marketing Legends— is a great source of inspiration for marketers and has been getting a ton of traction since it was published.

Interview image for Adam Ruhland
Adam Ruhland

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