It's not uncommon for marketing agencies to present their offer as one of a kind. But, in reality, it doesn’t always work like that, as they often come across a client whose expectations they cannot meet. Therefore, the key to success lies in honesty and specializing in one or two things that will make an agency worth considering.
In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, we are joined by Drew Brucker, the VP of Growth at Lasso. Drew explains what makes a successful client-agency relationship and the metrics marketing teams should focus on in the future, such as ROO. He also shares his best and worst experiences with agencies and why working on a personal brand is vital in today's market.
💡 Name: Drew Brucker, VP of Growth at Lasso.
💡 Company: Lasso
💡 Noteworthy: If you want to learn more about Drew, visit his LinkedIn profile, and read the About section. It will inspire and motivate you and, above all, put a smile on your face. His sense of humor is fantastic. Creativity is his second name, and as he says, ''My creative juices flow when I'm given a blank canvas. It's where I do my best work.''
💡 Where to find Drew: LinkedIn
⚡Instead of focusing on ROI, focus on ROO. It is the shift in mindset required within an organization, especially at the leadership level, and it's time for new perspectives. For instance, we say a campaign was successful if it leads to a financial transaction. But a modern business requires acknowledging other metrics. ''ROO is a return on objective. What is the actual objective or objectives that you have for this particular campaign, this program, or this channel? And if that's measurable, it doesn't have to be directly tied to revenue. It could be tied to a goal, brand awareness, or exposure. Some of those other things that do matter could be leading indicators for future success.''
⚡Recommendations and personal contacts are a go-to for finding a reliable marketing agency. This approach has clearly become a standard as most of our guests — including Drew — confirmed that they don't search on Google for a partner for specific marketing projects. ''I'm using existing relationships. It would be an agency I've worked with and had a good experience with, or if someone on my team has had a good experience with an agency relative to the project. If those lead me nowhere, then it's being more proactive. I ask other people I trust for introductions, but I usually start with myself and my team.''
⚡The best time to build your personal brand is now. It can be on LinkedIn or Twitter, but social media allows us to connect with people from our field and create networks that can easily result in better job opportunities. Whether you are an individual contractor or an agency, there is an audience and community for everyone on these platforms. ''You own your personal brand. You have a personal brand whether you like it or not, so you might as well make it a good one. It is the new version of your resume. So put yourself out there [...]. And that's if you want to work for a company — but also to start your own thing. There's never been a better time to start your own thing. And so, this is the age of taking control of those things in a way you never had before.''
[00:00:00] Drew Brucker: Some of 'em will probably, they'll want the business, right, over the fact that it's a great match, I've seen that happen, like, maybe that's a big problem, or maybe it's not, but I've seen agencies probably take on clients that they shouldn't have, probably just to get the new business, right, to secure revenue, and I think that also leads to bad outcomes for both parties, too.
[00:00:57] Daniel Weiner: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast. I am Daniel Weiner, your host, and this podcast is currently brought to you by myself, as well as YouShouldTalkTo, until we get a sponsor. YouShouldTalkTo pairs brands and marketers for free with vetted agencies and, or freelancers for marketing and techniques because finding great agencies is an enormous pain in the ass.
[00:01:18] I'm super pumped to be joined today by Drew Brucker, who is the VP of Growth at Lasso. Drew, thank you for joining us, heard you had a late night last night, I appreciate you, uh, you making the early, uh, podcast this morning.
[00:01:29] Drew Brucker: Yeah, I'm not a normal late nighter, just for the record, I have kids now, so this is definitely out of the norm, but my, my breath and my just energy level is, is down a few notches today, so.
[00:01:41] Daniel Weiner: Perfect, perfect. We'll make this like a three-minute podcast. What, what, what concert was it?
[00:01:45] Drew Brucker: So, went to go see a band called Foals. They're an English band and, uh, like, internationally they're, I would say they're really well-known, they play in really big venues, but over here they were playing at the Eastern, which is just like a newer, smaller place over in Grant Park, I had never been, awesome,
[00:02:01] Daniel Weiner: Around the corner from me.
[00:02:02] Drew Brucker: awesome venue, yeah, over by, yeah, Cabbagetown area and, you know, it was, it was really cool because I love seeing comedians and bands in small venues and
[00:02:14] Daniel Weiner: Me too.
[00:02:15] Drew Brucker: it was fantastic, yeah.
[00:02:16] Daniel Weiner: I'm out of my big venue, million people, although a couple weeks ago, for my brother's 40th, I saw Dave Matthews at Madison Square Garden which was
[00:02:24] Drew Brucker: Oh, well, yeah, that's nice.
[00:02:26] Daniel Weiner: brought back all the feels of my, uh, angsty middle school and high school self listening to Dave,
[00:02:30] Drew Brucker: Absolutely.
[00:02:32] Daniel Weiner: but let's kick off the marketing portion of this, uh, we can get back to the music later. What is an unpopular opinion or a hot take of sorts that you have in the, uh, in the marketing realm?
[00:02:42] Drew Brucker: Yeah, I've got two that I've talked about recently and one of the things that, you know, you and I both enjoy is sort of bouncing ideas out there into, you know, the LinkedIn platform and, and sort of, uh, ideating in public. And so, one of the things that I brought up recently was, you know, the idea that we, we really need to stop asking or expecting marketers to deliver or report on ROI for every single marketing activity.
[00:03:06] I think that's something that, you know, a lot of marketers have felt for a long time, but I think it's just more obvious now because you, as a marketer, there are so many things that aren't black and white. And as marketing's being asked to, you know, to really align more and more to revenue over time, some of those things are trackable, but some aren't, right?
[00:03:25] And, you know, the, the trap that some companies fall into at a leadership level, that maybe don't fully understand marketing or have done things in the past is they will sort of use ROI as the strategic driver for all marketing activities, and that just doesn't, it doesn't work well because you will also sacrifice great things that you could have done just because it can't tie directly back to ROI.
[00:03:49] So, I think there are other things that can substitute out for that, something like ROO, which I've talked about, which is just return on objective, right? What is the actual objective or objectives that you have for this particular campaign or this program, or this channel? And if that's measurable, it doesn't have to be directly tied to revenue,
[00:04:07] it could be tied to a goal, it could be tied to brand awareness, exposure. Some of those other things that do actually matter could be leading indicators for future success. So, that's one thing I would say the other
[00:04:20] Daniel Weiner: Before you even going on, I'm curious, did you come up with ROO? I've never heard of that.
[00:04:23] Drew Brucker: I haven't, I didn't come up with it myself, I just, it was a question that I was trying to answer for myself, I came across ROO in an article and then I just dove deeper into the idea of it.
[00:04:33] Daniel Weiner: I think it's interesting what you're saying, too, especially now, I totally agree, I think we get obsessed with, like, if you can't measure it, you can't do it, which, again, I know things have to be measured, and everything is easier said than done when it's not my own money. However, like I, it's interesting now, especially with, with what's going on in the economy and jobs and stuff like that.
[00:04:51] I'm curious your opinion, I talked to a lot of marketers who are in times of uncertainty like this, like, scared to do stuff like that because everything is getting looked at under a microscope. I'm curious your opinion of that, like, do you think, I would say, now is the time for brands, yeah, to like, do crazy shit, for lack of a better word, and, and those brands will potentially win.
[00:05:11] But I feel for, you know, the CMO who has an 18-month shelf life in their position and stuff like that to say to them like, "Oh, we're gonna do, like, this kind of crazy thing that can't be measured." Like, what do you think, I'm curious your opinion on that, like, with where things are now in tech.
[00:05:25] It's a lot to unpack, but I almost see it as, you know, now that there are more avenues for, for marketers to bounce other ideas off each other and more communities, more conversations that are taking place, like, I think there was a lack of that when a lot of marketers that are our age first started, like, we went through the digital transformation, there weren't a lot of online communities where people were talking and ideating about what they're doing day to day in their jobs.
[00:05:52] Drew Brucker: And so, what I'm kind of guessing or speculating on is that marketers are really having these conversations at scale now to a point where I think leadership is gonna sort of have to adapt and bend somewhat to the people that they hire at the same time because what's gonna happen, at least in my opinion, is some of the marketers that really know what matters now and what's gonna matter in the, the coming years, they're gonna make sure that they're aligned to leadership before they take these jobs.
[00:06:21] And I think they're gonna start to vet, you know, for things that probably, you know, they weren't vetting for a job or two ago, you know, like, how do you view marketing? You know, for example, like, do we need to track ROI for every single thing that we're doing? You know, what does success look like for marketing?
[00:06:37] What are some of the North Star metrics that you think we should be responsible for? And if you've got an idea of that, and the company's got an idea of that, do those align? And if not, is that a, is that a battle, quote unquote, that you wanna fight long term, you know, for the sake of the company? So, I, I just think the alignment part of it is gonna be more important now, and so, both sides are gonna have to compromise on that.
[00:07:01] I just know if I'm looking for a job tomorrow, like, those are the questions that I want to really align on in addition to all the other things with compensation, culture, team, people, et cetera.
[00:07:12] Daniel Weiner: Sure. No, makes total sense. What's the second, uh, hot take of yours that you were, you were going down?
[00:07:18] Drew Brucker: Yeah, I, I think this is what I've noticed it's probably more for smaller teams, but marketers too. We're so focused on net new acquisition, but churn is something that I think we should at least be tracking, not solely responsible for, I think that's definitely a CS KPI and metric, but marketers that are tied into what's happening with that number are
[00:07:43] going to have a better, they're gonna be able to wrap their arms holistically around revenue as a whole for their company, they're not just thinking about net new because net new in a lot of ways can cost more to acquire than retaining a customer, but how penetrated are my current customers into my product?
[00:08:01] How much room is there for upsells? What is the experience like, right, from the sales handoff to implementation, to onboarding, to adoption, to advocacy? And marketing can help, you know, really communicate those things, provide a better experience, help CS, and partner with CS to create automated touchpoints for qualitative feedback, right?
[00:08:23] And really doing some of the, the handholding and nurturing that can take place in addition, I don't expect CS to not necessarily be marketers, right? They're not marketers, they're trying to set their customer up for success, support them, et cetera. And so, I think aligning with those that team closely and at least keeping an eyeball on, "Hey, this is net new acquisition,
[00:08:42] here are some other areas, right, in upsells that we can also affect revenue." At the end of the day, the marketer's goal is revenue, right? So, if you can sort of grasp that life cycle marketing, especially if you're on a smaller team, I think that's key. So, that was sort of a hot topic because it's like, okay, well marketing can't do everything, and I agree, marketing's got a lot on the plate.
[00:09:02] Daniel Weiner: I saw your post, you, uh, you ruffled some feathers, which I think the, uh, sentiment or intent was lost on a lot of people who I saw, like, posting kind of like, I mean, it's fine, I'm totally all for not like, uh, for people disagreeing and, you know, I hate when I see just like a bunch of comments or like, "Yeah, like,
[00:09:19] definitely, a hundred percent." You know? I, I read, I recall, I can't remember who they were from, but I, like, read some of the comments where I was like, "I don't think that's what Drew was saying there, like." I, I believe your sentiment was more around, like, visibility into those things as well, like, you can't have, like, a hundred percent responsibility, but you should know where they're going on, yeah.
[00:09:33] Drew Brucker: We should care, yeah, we should, exactly, right? Like, that's where it says, like, I should know what the churn rate is, and I should know what touchpoint CS has that are already set up and the quality of those conversations and whether or not we're getting the feedback we need to inform us, right, of churn risk, or to just maintain revenue and, and then also write the upsell opportunity if there
[00:09:55] are measurements in place or processes in place that we can see there is areas here for growth or here for growth, like, why not have marketing think about life cycle marketing in that sense, right? Like, how do we introduce a tool that maybe in the sales demo they told us they could eventually be, you know, a great candidate for, but they didn't sign up for that initially, right?
[00:10:15] And how is CS going about upselling? Do they need help with that? That's, that's the point, right? There's, there's some marketing help that can help.
[00:10:22] Daniel Weiner: We're also in the new frontier of, like, the last couple years have been grow at all cost, and now people are, like, looking at, like, crazy metrics like profitability and, like, you know, like, actual things that should have been looked at. So, things like churn make...
[00:10:35] Drew Brucker: Oh, oh, man.
[00:10:35] Daniel Weiner: total sense, which is, like, bizarre, like, even in my own business, which is, you know, not a, uh, multimillion-dollar SaaS business, but, like, you know, I don't wanna lose clients, like, I care more about that than, like, bringing on new and stuff like that. So, it's interesting to hear.
[00:10:49] Drew Brucker: Yeah.
[00:10:50] Daniel Weiner: But for those who haven't heard of it, tell us a little bit more about Lasso.
[00:10:54] Drew Brucker: Yeah, Lasso, right now, in its current state, I would say the best way to provide an analogy would be that it is workforce management software for the live events industry. So, if you think of any concert, festival, sporting event, any entertainment that takes place, there is usually a company behind the scenes that helps put on that event, right?
[00:11:14] They're hiring maybe their own people, but they've also got freelancers that do audio, video, lighting, setting up the stage, right? And so, we help those companies with our software do scheduling, time tracking, onboarding, communication in real-time with, with, you know, times they need to help set up the event, what they're doing at the event after, you know, so, stern to stem, sort of, you know, process with the event taking place.
[00:11:39] We handle all of sort of that labor-management perspective for those companies, and the status quo of that currently is using spreadsheets and workforce management software that isn't made for the industry. And so, you know, it's, they can maybe do 70% of it, but they've gotta kind of spit and duct tape it together so it's not quite what they need.
[00:11:59] And so, we provide that, it's really interesting, too, because we have a dual marketplace as well that those audio lighting and video people can sign up for, and most of them freelance, right? So, maybe they're working for this company this week, this company the next, we can provide additional opportunities for them, and we can also help the companies because we've already vetted these people for their skillset experience.
[00:12:21] And if they need Daniel, that lives in Austin, Texas, instead of flying Drew from New York to Texas, I know Daniel could do just as good of a job as Drew, and I don't have to fly him.
[00:12:32] Daniel Weiner: You're the, you're, you're the YouShouldTalkTo of the, uh, live event space, you know, just start saying that, everybody, household name over here, you know?
[00:12:40] Drew Brucker: Perfect.
[00:12:41] Yeah. I'll test that ad copy out.
[00:12:43] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, they're like, "Who the hell is that guy?" I'm just curious before we move on, is it, are things back in the event space for you all, at least, like, to a pre-COVID level or some level of normalcy and stuff?
[00:12:55] Drew Brucker: I don't have the 2022 numbers in full yet, but I, the full projection was that it was absolutely gonna be 2019, which 2019 was the peak, and 2023 I think is, at least on paper in initial report, supposed to crush 2022.
[00:13:09] So, I think they're totally back, right? You've had all the pent-up demand of people wanting to get outta the house, you know, see other people, experience things in person again, and I just think while hybrid and virtual is going to have a place moving forward, right, there's nothing that can fully replace live events.
[00:13:27] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I totally agree. I, uh, can't remember the last time I actually attended something I really wanted to that was, like, virtual, truthfully, like, uh, webinars and round tables and stuff like that, like, they just, uh, we, we've done it for too long, like, they've lost their luster and their alert.
[00:13:44] Drew Brucker: And, and you can get distracted, too, right? Like, because it's how we work daily. And so, it's like, okay, I've got this scheduled that I'm gonna attend this virtual thing, but I also know that I have other things to do, so maybe I'm doing that in the background versus actually being somewhere, being present in the moment and experiencing it.
[00:13:59] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I was glad we did this today so I didn't have to miss the World Cup yesterday or, like, have that on in the background, you know? So, have, you have my full attention today.
[00:14:07] Drew Brucker: Good.
[00:14:08] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. I believe that at least for me, and most people, like, you know, the past experiences that you've had at different jobs kind of ultimately lead you to where you are today and, and theoretically, make you a better marketer, better at whatever job you're doing, which is why I'm such a big proponent of, you know, if I had to give any, like,
[00:14:25] blanket advice to young people, be, get as much experience as you can early on to find out truthfully what you hate as well, uh, and that you don't want to do so that you can find what you do want to do and all that sort of stuff. You know, you've worked at places like Full Steam, Rubicon, which I actually attended, like, an event of Rubicon a million years ago, uh, and heard the founder speak, which is really cool.
[00:14:43] What do you think you've brought along the way, like, with you to your current role that's made you better at what you do today?
[00:14:48] Drew Brucker: Yeah, I think you answered it probably just how I would've answered it. I just think it's so important to, I think people have different journeys, like, I look at my brother, my brother's been with the same company for the last 10, 11, 12 years, that's rare now. For me, you know, I jumped job seemingly, like, every year and a half, and I remember people would say, "Hey, like, are you job jumping?"
[00:15:12] You know, but it was never that to me because what I quickly realized is, okay, is there either more to earn, more to learn, and is, is my ceiling capped here, right? Like, do I understand how far I could go here? And is this place gonna kind of give me what I need from that perspective? And if the answers were no, like, I quickly pivoted and looked for something else.
[00:15:33] And I think part of that was just the idea of something new was also exciting for me, I, I love to do something new, have new challenges, but you're absolutely right, like the, especially in your twenties, you're searching for things that you really gravitate toward, right? So, naturally, the fastest way to do that is to be as exposed to as many things as possible.
[00:15:54] One way to do that is to work in different industries with different bosses, different teammates, use different tools, wear different hats. Another thing that I did early in my marketing career was I did some freelancing as well. So, some of the things I wasn't doing in my, my full-time role, I was doing outside of work as projects, getting paid for it, and also learning at the same time.
[00:16:14] And so, I found that to be a great level up. So, there is no replacement for that, I, I, I continue to tell anybody that I work with that's younger than me, like, that is the key to really challenging the perspectives that you have to, to evolve with it, right? Because you don't wanna assume that you know it all, you never will know it all, and, uh, the only way to know what you don't know is to kind of put yourself in those situations.
[00:16:36] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think it's interesting about the job jumping too. I've had a, I would say, like, a non-traditional path, I, I worked, uh, a normal job after college and worked for myself, then worked at an agency for seven years, which, like, you said, is kind of unheard of, uh, before going out on my own, kind of like by necessity.
[00:16:52] Uh, you know, anybody, I think the whole loyalty thing is, like, one of the biggest lies we were sold prior to COVID, and the, one of the good positive things about COVID, obviously, the terrible stuff sucks, but, yeah, like, there is, uh, I firmly believe, like, there shouldn't be loyalty to the company.
[00:17:08] It's good if that's a part of it, but like, you know, if they're not paying you what you need, if they're not helping you grow as a person and in your career and stuff like that, I think it's bizarre that companies say, "Oh, look, we don't wanna hire that person, they job jumped." Well, like, ask 'em some questions, see, see why they job jumped, you know, stuff like that before you make some sort of blanket statement.
[00:17:28] It's gotta be a mutual relationship and mutually beneficial, uh, if it starts to be, you know, the other way with the company taking precedent over your, your mental health or, you know, just your satisfaction or, or capping your growth, and I, then you absolutely have that right and should feel empowered to do yourself a favor and see what else is out there.
[00:17:47] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, it's also, I'd say, like, as somebody who, uh, when I was, like, thinking of leaving my old job for a little while prior to actually doing it, you know, I thought in my head like, oh, this is kind of cushy, like, I make good money, like, there's, I can't get this anywhere else. And then, like, once I, like, the day I resigned and, like, started exploring and, like, thinking of working for myself and just interviewing for other full-time jobs, you quickly realize, like, oh, that's, like,
[00:18:09] not true at all, you know, there's so much out there, which is why, like, even people who are happy in their jobs, who I talk to, I encourage to, like, just take calls, like, as much as humanly possible just to gain more perspective, like, even if you love your job, maybe perspective earns you a few more dollars or something like that.
[00:18:25] Uh, I think it's so important to, like, continuously have conversations with folks in your field or outside of it just to gain that understanding.
[00:18:33] Drew Brucker: I mean, remember what that was like 10 years ago though, like you, you, we literally had to use our network and call or text somebody, you know, that, that was it, like, there was, you weren't having exposure to all these things at scale like we are now, you know, so I think it's, you're also seeing that, so you're, you're saying kind of we're sold on this and that, like, totally, like, I, I felt very blindsided by a lot of things in the workplace
[00:18:56] just because you were just a product of your own experience, you really didn't have many people other than people you worked alongside to, to weigh those things against.
[00:19:05] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, COVID, uh, I, I, I joke, uh, again, there was, of course, terrible things that occurred, but COVID was the best thing that ever happened to me, personally or professionally, I would say, like, I, I've never, uh, learned more about myself, what I want to do, what's important in the world, which outside of
[00:19:21] family and friends and, like, your own mental health is virtually nothing, I think is the answer to that question of, like, what's actually important. So, yeah, like, uh, you were right, you know, decade ago, uh, if you wanted that you didn't know, I don't know what I would've done, like if I
[00:19:34] Drew Brucker: Like, you would've had to call me up, or I would've had to call you up and be like, "Hey, Daniel, like, what, what's your experience been like with your boss? Like, do we have the same experience?" Yeah, like.
[00:19:41] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, madness. I know you've had experience hiring them and working with them, I'm curious, what's your, like, overall blanket, you know, opinion or thoughts on agencies in general? Pro, uh, against, love 'em, hate 'em, somewhere in between?
[00:19:55] Drew Brucker: You know, I feel like this is gonna be a very polarizing question. I've found
[00:19:59] Daniel Weiner: That's the goal, nothing, nothing but controversy on this podcast.
[00:20:02] Drew Brucker: I, I found some I love, found some I've had terrible experiences with, right? Just, like, you know, bad bosses, almost, like, you've had great bosses and you've had some terrible, it's the same with the agencies for me, like, but I think that it comes down to, there are some flaws that exist
[00:20:18] within the way that they pair up and align, okay. So, for companies, I think there can be a tendency, like, if I come into a new role and I know I need something done, there could be a good chance, there is a good chance that I could settle for an agency that's not the right fit because I need something quickly, right?
[00:20:34] So, the urgency factor, or I just don't have a lot of personal context that I know with agency. So, I'm starting from scratch, right? And maybe it's a combination of the two, which is then really sort of, you're raising your chance for misalignment. For agencies, I feel, like, now this is a little bit more of speculation because I've, I've never directly worked for an agency,
[00:20:53] I'm just, this is my personal opinion, but I think some of 'em will probably, they'll want the business, right, over the fact that it's a great match, I've seen that happen, and depending on the, the agency, right, like, maybe that's a big problem or maybe it's not, but I've seen agencies probably take on clients that they shouldn't have have, maybe even including positions I've been in, probably just to get the new business, right, to secure revenue, and I think that also leads to bad outcomes for both parties, too.
[00:21:19] So, lastly, I would say the other factor that goes into it is with agencies and companies alignment, communication, expectations are all key, but it can also kind of fall into that group project scenario from a high school or college where
[00:21:38] there are so many people involved, or a group of people involved that there's not really one or two people taking direct ownership in a way, like, so, if I've got three of my people working on a project, I might be willing to overlook something 'cause I think somebody else is gonna do something, I think somebody else is gonna do that, could happen on the agency, I've seen that, that also occur, but it's usually something like that that is ultimately the downfall, in my experience.
[00:22:02] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, it's interesting to hear, you know, it's the same for everybody, basically, of, like, there's some you love, some you hate, everybody's had good, bad experiences, which we'll dive into in a little bit. I think it's interesting because since I'm an advocate for both sides, like, again, I'm, I'm more beholden to the brand because I want,
[00:22:19] again, at the end of the day, I wanna do right by the brand, I wanna present them options of work for them, and they make the decision, I don't tell them who to pick or anything like that, I just happen to think that my agencies are great, but a big thing that I appreciate about the agencies I attempt to work with, or I love when agencies tell me no when I call about an opportunity, and they're like, "Mm, like, we wouldn't be a good fit because of x, y, and z."
[00:22:39] And I, every time, I thank them more than when they're like, "Yes, we'd love to chat." I'm like, "Thank you for not taking that." 'Cause then it, it makes me look even better, it makes, the only time I look bad is if I make a non-relevant introduction, but to your point, like, yeah, it's when people tell me like, "Oh, I hate an agency." Which I hear all the time, daily. I take it with a grain of salt because I will say this, on that spectrum, everybody has an experience like that and even on
[00:23:05] the, the other side when people are like, "Oh, they're the best agency in the world." I hear that all the time, and I don't believe that for one second, even when agencies tell me that, "Oh, we're the best at something." My answer is, "No, you're not, no one's the best, you're the best, maybe, or you're really good for certain types of clients or certain scenarios, you're, you're more right in certain scenarios, but, like."
[00:23:22] Drew Brucker: They're the best, they're the best that we've found,
[00:23:25] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, yeah, a hundred percent.
[00:23:25] Drew Brucker: You know, that we've used, you know, that's the context, right? Because depending, like, if, if I had one vendor that I liked and I had three others that I hated, they're the best, they're the best.
[00:23:34] Daniel Weiner: This is, this is actually super timely, I, I don't know if you saw my LinkedIn post today yet, you can be honest if you didn't.
[00:23:39] Drew Brucker: I did see it, I did see it.
[00:23:40] Daniel Weiner: Did you read it? What I did yesterday?
[00:23:41] Drew Brucker: I did, yeah, you took some new calls? Yeah.
[00:23:43] Daniel Weiner: I, so, I posted, I posted on, I, I thought this was gonna happen, but I was optimistic, I want, I want new agency partners and in an effort to, like, not have agencies reach out directly,
[00:23:54] I wanted recommendations from brand marketers, like, people who actually hire them, CMOs, VPs, directors of marketing. I put out a LinkedIn post, I posted in several communities, I was super specific on the criteria that I wanted and I got inundated with phone calls, which is wild, text messages, LinkedIn messages, slack messages, emails, and I shit you not, like, 5% or so, followed the rules,
[00:24:20] or you could even tell read the actual post, you know, like, literally somebody who actually followed the rules reached out to me this morning and was like, "I hope that wasn't about me." I was like, "No, you followed the rules, like, you sent me an agency that fit these criteria." And it was an interesting perspective to, like, put myself in the shoes.
[00:24:36] One of the questions that I'll ask you here in a few is, like, how often are you getting hit up by agencies and vendors? It is, it is wild out there, and to even have that experience for a day yestreday, it was bizarre, I was like, "Holy shit, they're dealing with this every single day, this is insane, like, literal insanity."
[00:24:53] And of the people who didn't follow the rules, like, no one was a fit, no one was what I would want to work with and stuff, and it was such a turnoff that even if they were, I'm like, "You didn't even read the post, like, what's going on?" It was, it was wild
[00:25:06] Drew Brucker: Yeah, yeah, what kind of level of detail are you gonna give my project here?
[00:25:10] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, it was just bizarre.
[00:25:13] Drew Brucker: You know, I don't know that I get hit up actually that much from agencies, uh, as much as I do freelancers on LinkedIn, pitch slap, and, like, just trying to get work or just other vendors in general, like, in my role, like, it's a lot of, like, sales development, revenue, any tool or platform
[00:25:33] around that, I'm just getting blasted to the point that I just deleted so fast, like, I couldn't even tell you how many I get, I just, as soon as I see a name, I don't know, and I read the subject line I've never heard of it, it's like, boom.
[00:25:43] Daniel Weiner: Where, where do you find then outside of, of course, working with me in the future? Where do you find, like, if you are looking for a freelancer or a vendor or an agency, like, what are you normally doing?
[00:25:55] Drew Brucker: I am either, like, I'm using existing relationships, so it would be somebody like you, is it somebody, you know, an agency I've worked with in the past that I've had a good experience with, or is there someone on my team that's had a good experience with an agency that's relative to the project? I think it probably falls into, like, one of those three buckets, and if those lead me nowhere, then I think it's probably, you know, doing more of a proactive
[00:26:19] ask around other people I trust for, for introductions, but it, I usually have started just with myself and my team, do we know anybody? And then, you know, is there anybody that I have any existing relationships with outside of that? No. Then I'll, then I'll reach out, but that's generally how I found vendors in the past. It hasn't been by Google, I'll tell you that.
[00:26:39] Daniel Weiner: Kathleen Booth, the, uh, SVP of Marketing at Pavilion now, which I know you're in, uh, she came on the podcast and had a quote that has always stuck with me that community is the new Google, like no one goes, people go to Google for validation, if somebody says, "Hey, check out these guys." Like, you know, you go to Google and look them up and, like, see what you can find.
[00:26:59] But no one is starting there, for the most part, vendor or agency search by Googling, you know, a website development agency Atlanta, presumably, which I totally agree with, I don't know anybody who does that.
[00:27:10] Drew Brucker: That's, it's not happening, it's not happening anymore.
[00:27:14] Daniel Weiner: Once you have kind of, like, you know, decided, hey, we have a need that would require outsourcing in some capacity, what are you in general looking for from an agency or vendor? What would stand out to you going through the process with someone?
[00:27:25] Drew Brucker: The best agencies that I've worked with are very granular with the details, uh, I've run into, you know, we're probably gonna get into some good and bad examples of this, but yeah, the bad example I've run into has been with sort of the ambiguity of the details and the scope of work, right? Where it's like, it says this, but there's, you know, and then going back to the end of the project, it's like, "Well, this is in here."
[00:27:49] And it's like, "Well, we meant this." And it's like, "Uh, pretty sure I didn't really interpret it that way." You know, like, this means this to me, and so I think, you know, the alignment
[00:27:58] Daniel Weiner: This is triggering me as somebody who worked at an agency for so long dealing with these conversations.
[00:28:02] Drew Brucker: Dude, I, I, I know you know this.
[00:28:05] Daniel Weiner: Hard, it's hard, I will say, I do feel, I totally get what you're saying, like, for certain things, like, I, the line I use is, like, there is an inherent layer of gray in virtually everything, like, you wanna make sure you're aligned on the big things,
[00:28:20] but like, I've been in projects where, like, we've gotten to the end and they're like, "Hey, where's this?" I'm like, "That's not even in the contract, like, we've never even talked about that, like, what do you mean?" They're like, "Well, we thought because of this." And, again, like, some you're like, "All right, I can see, like, what did." And other times you're like, "I don't know what you want me to do, like." Like, that's a whole other project or anything.
[00:28:39] But there is, contracts are tough with agencies, especially when you're dealing with, like, you know, technologies and stuff like that, but yeah, like, aligned on expectations is the only thing.
[00:28:50] Drew Brucker: Yep, like, scope creep what is maybe in here that, or not in here that sort of is tied directly enough to where if this changes or this makes some sort of, you know, pivot that it's still within scope. And then, to your point, I think, which I think is a great one, there's this inherent layer of gray, which triggered me to think, like, you're dealing with two different, you know, personalities,
[00:29:14] the personality of company A, and a personality of company B. You know how your own team works and talks and communicates and what they mean by this, you know all of those, you know, euphemisms, you know the language, you understand expectations, sort of the curse of knowledge of when I'm talking about this, this is what this means.
[00:29:32] Drew Brucker: Those can be totally different for another company, right? And so, just going back to the point, there's a lot of things that you need to level set on and set a good foundation for whatever the project is. So, you know, those first two meetings, you know, the kickoff and, and the expectations I think are, are really key.
[00:29:50] But it's also the communication along the way, and going back to your point of like, what are some of those things, like, for companies, just in the small team perspective, like, we've also got just so many things other, you know, that are going on, it's like, we need to hold the, the agency accountable.
[00:30:05] The agency also needs to hold us accountable, let's be very specific about deadlines, dates, if we miss this, this is the result of missing that, right? Just, just being on the same page with that.
[00:30:15] Daniel Weiner: We actually, at my old agency, took it a step further and had, I think, I wanna say it was a, uh, like, a canned document we created that we would tweak for each one, but it was a page in the contract that was, like, common things that could affect timeline and budget, and it was like, you know, the same for everybody,
[00:30:33] but then we would tweak the few things for that specific project or engagement, like, based on our conversation stuff. So, that, like, we took painstaking effort, there's still, and again, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, I think it's just, like, goes back to my, uh, biggest thing of, like, knowing your audience and just, like, over-communicating is you will never get everything into a contract.
[00:30:51] Like, it's just impossible, you'll never get a hundred percent of the what ifs into a statement of work or a legal document or anything 'cause the world and the internet is weird, so, you, you
[00:31:02] Drew Brucker: That, and that, that goes back to what we talked about at the beginning, picking the right customer, picking the right agency, like, what kind of people are you working with? You know, because there, there are just gonna be people that are just tough and, like, do you wanna fight that?
[00:31:13] Like, is that worth the revenue to you, you know, like, it's a legitimate question because, you know, I've got a buddy right now that just started a marketing agency and, you know, he's in a position where, you know, he's got a, a full client base at the moment, but he, you know, to get there when he had to build that, right, he had to kind of
[00:31:31] take some, some guesses as to who he wanted to work with and that, that always comes back to bite you, he's like, "Dude, this guy, you know, wants this and, you know, the ideologies that we just have are totally different, right? But he's paying me for this and I'm delivering this, but then he doesn't wanna sort of react or sort of interpret the feedback in this direction, right? So, it's just caused the headache."
[00:31:50] So, you know, working with the right people, too, can account for some of those things that are, you know, it's very specific in the contract language, you know, just knowing that they're good people, there's gonna be a little bit of that give and take.
[00:32:02] Daniel Weiner: Sure. I've seen a big shift, especially since COVID, or probably because of COVID or kind of like, uh, opened everybody's eyes of bigger brands moving towards smaller, independent agencies specialized in, like, one to two things, or one to two services. What do you think of that?
[00:32:21] Drew Brucker: I like that idea, I, I think what I've heard, I don't know that I've necessarily experienced this as much because I haven't worked with huge, huge agencies, but I know huge agencies, right, maybe depending on the size of the deal, the number of people that are involved, maybe the, just the, the total volume of work they do and the number of clients they take on, right?
[00:32:39] It can just be more of a, you know, almost like a just check in the box type of thing, whereas a boutique agency, somebody that maybe is a little bit under the radar that gets somebody, it means a lot more to them, maybe they're gonna, you know, sort of work that extra hour, they're gonna do this and they're going to, you know, sort of put a little bit more of the icing on the cake, if you will.
[00:32:55] I've experienced the pain of using an agency that probably specialized in one of two things, but they said they did everything, right?
[00:33:04] Daniel Weiner: You hired them for, you hired them for something, not those one to two things.
[00:33:07] Drew Brucker: And the main, yeah, the main, you know, the mistake that I ran into was we had a great project, which was right in the wheelhouse with those one to two things. They understood our business so well and they did so well in that project,
[00:33:18] it's like, "Okay, well, they also do this, check their work, it was a, you know, it was good enough, right?" And went that route, it was a totally different experience, it was a nightmare after that. And so, I think that's a great idea, right? Using a smaller agency that, you know, probably specialize in one or two because they're being very honest and specific about what they do well.
[00:33:37] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, the problem, I think some of those agencies eventually, and we did it at my old agency, like, we said yes to everything. When we would say no, sometimes, you know, clients basically sometimes 'cause it's a time saving, and they trust you, you know, you do something well, and they're like, "Oh, can you do this other thing?"
[00:33:50] And you're like, "Nah, we don't really do it." And then they ask again, they ask again, like, it's hard to say no to money. So, I think, like, for agencies, the ones that are ruthless, you know, within reason of, like, what they're saying yes to because, again, like, you know, there's a somewhat disagreement, I would say a lot of people would say, like, the biggest asset to an agency is their clients, but I would argue it's your employees, you know, employees are the ones working on the accounts, and if they're pissed off, they're not doing good work.
[00:34:17] So, of course, you, you need both, and it's chicken or egg, but yeah, like, the agencies that I work with that are pretty ruthless in, like, the type of work and type of clients that they take on are generally more successful than those that just say yes to everything, I would say.
[00:34:32] Drew Brucker: Yeah, I would agree.
[00:34:34] Daniel Weiner: Let's talk some shit now. Uh, we'll, we'll, we'll do some positive first, and then we'll, then we'll talk some shit, but you mentioned a little earlier, uh, you know, we won't name any names, but on the positive side, talk me through, like, a positive agency experience you've had and what made it so positive.
[00:34:48] Drew Brucker: Value. I wasn't originally, you know, it's not my money, it's company's money, but I think, like, if you provide great,
[00:34:55] Daniel Weiner: You're very first person to answer value.
[00:34:57] Drew Brucker: Yeah, like, I don't know, I, I, wasn't thinking that when I, when I initially heard the question, it just kind of popped in, but like, I, I really do think that's important because, um, It's like, man, great work for a good price.
[00:35:09] Just there's something that just sits great with that, right? Like, sometimes, and more often than not, you're paying for what you get. But I've also been pleasantly surprised by some quotes I've gotten for the quality of work it is, and it's like, damn, I, that's great. I think the things that make it great are, you know, the communication, like, we've already, you know, hammered home, the expectations being aligned, if things shift, you know, keeping track of those in real time, holding each other accountable.
[00:35:34] If it's somebody that's a creative agency, well, I, it doesn't even have to be creative, but I love live walkthroughs, like, take me through something because don't just send me a bunch of reports, like, especially being on a small team, I gotta admit, I'm probably not gonna look at 'em, uh, or look at 'em for longer than five or ten minutes.
[00:35:52] Drew Brucker: Like, I, like, we've got, we've got the time for the call, and, uh, I would love to see and talk through that on the fly in real time because I, I don't want there to be any ambiguity about what they're thinking and what we're thinking and there to be anything lost in translation there.
[00:36:07] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think the takeaway, I, I ask some of these questions at this point, I think you're the 16th episode that I've, uh, recorded, uh, I ask these, like, in a selfish way because they further my kind of thesis of the entire world. Like, I know you mentioned value, and then you said, like, for good work, but when you listed out the specific things, it had nothing to do with the actual work.
[00:36:26] You listed communication, you listed process, you listed live walkthroughs. So, like, the two takeaways that basically everybody either says or eventually it's like, oh yeah, I guess that is, is, uh, know your audience, like, I know plenty of people who do not like live walkthroughs because they don't have time to sit for an hour and do that,
[00:36:42] they wanna send it, review it with their, totally fine, that's their style. If the agency is working with you and that person, they should do the live walkthrough with you and they should send them the thing and figure out, like, how to best combine and stuff like that. And then, the second biggest thing that everybody says, whether they realize it or not, is like, of course, the work matters,
[00:37:02] that's my hot take, my hot take is the work does not matter, what I mean by that is, of course, it matters, but you don't get to do the work if your process isn't great, you're not likable, like, you don't actually wanna spend time with them, you're not gonna get hired, or you're gonna get hired and then you're gonna get fired, or they're just be pissed off doing it, even if you do great work,
[00:37:18] like, that's kind of the cost of, like, the price of admission at this point, like, there are so many, that's why people ask me all the time, like, are your agencies better? I say it depends how you define that, like, I think they are really good at what they do, however, like, what I care significantly more about, they are monsters with communication.
[00:37:37] They are monsters on process, and they eat up other people's lunches because of those things, they're, again, if you, if I asked you for a recommendation, and you said, "Oh, don't work with these people, their work sucks." I'd ask, "How was their process and communication?" I would much rather hear, "Hey, an agency you set us up with, the website looked like shit, and we hated it."
[00:37:57] I'd rather hear that than "They didn't follow up." Like, "They missed a call, they were supposed to, our deadline was Tuesday, and they didn't send it till Thursday." Uh, that stuff makes my chest, like, my heart palpitate and, like, I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown at some point in my life. I would rather hear that you don't like the work,
[00:38:15] it's subjective, truthfully, I hear so many people all the time say like, "Oh, we don't like their creative." I'm like, "They won an award for that thing, somebody liked it, you know?" Like, or that client liked it, like, they built it for that client, you know, I have to, like, remind marketers that all the time. I'm curious of your opinion there, like, are you even thinking of the actual product a lot of the time?
[00:38:34] Drew Brucker: For me, yes, but I, I don't think I'm in the majority, I just, I love design, I love aesthetics, I do graphic design stuff just willy-nilly on a free time sometimes, I mean, I just, it's just a creative hobby that I enjoy. So, like
[00:38:49] Daniel Weiner: If the, if process sucks though, like, what do you, if it's a pain in the ass to get to the good work, what are your thoughts? Which is more important if you, if you had to pick, like, I'll put you on the spot.
[00:38:59] Drew Brucker: That's fair. I don't know that actually, I don't know that I've run into, I don't know that I've run into that scenario actually, because usually the ones that do good work have also done a, a really good job,
[00:39:09] and the ones that, you know, haven't done good work have been really just a pain to deal with, like, I haven't had that sort of trade-off to think, is this worth it, but
[00:39:17] Daniel Weiner: I think it's because the good process leads to so much, in between the start and the finish, that the work, it's like, it becomes virtually impossible for the work to suck 'cause you're along for the ride the entire way, and if it sucks
[00:39:30] Drew Brucker: I totally get that.
[00:39:30] Daniel Weiner: it's your fault, I would say, more than the agency.
[00:39:33] Drew Brucker: I, I, I totally get that, I could totally see that for sure. Yeah, like, for me, you know, I think probably if I'm putting myself in an agency's shoes, like, I've done enough graphic design and website stuff on my own that I, I probably am a little bit more involved than they probably want me to be because, like
[00:39:49] Daniel Weiner: No one, no one's gonna work with you after this reaches millions of people out there, you know?
[00:39:52] Drew Brucker: Because I'm like, I already know I want it to look like this, this, this, this, like, even just, like, a minor, minor thing, it's just like I'm, I'm very, um, I can be in tune with it. So, I'm sure that, that I'm not always the easiest to work with, but I also think it, it's a trade-off, it can be extremely helpful 'cause you know exactly what's in my mind, right, I'm, I'm translating everything for you, so.
[00:40:11] Daniel Weiner: Now, in general, I would say, from my experience, it's helpful as long as you are, again, it's a give and take, like, you know, if you're working with a creative director, like, their strong opinions and you've hired them. So, there is that dichotomy of like, you're, you're paying us, like, do you want us to take orders?
[00:40:24] Do you want us to, like, push back? Like, I think that's an important conversation, truthfully, for folks like you who have a specific experience to say like, "How much do you want us to push, and like, how much do you want us to collaborate versus taking direction?" I think that's important.
[00:40:36] Drew Brucker: See, and I asked that, too, but, and, and it's also, like, the level of work that they, they deliver the first time will tell me a lot, like, and, and I know it's usually not fully baked out, but I can, I can understand where they're going with things, and I'll, I'll understand based on the, the work that I've already seen and the process that I'm going through, what this end result is gonna be, and if that's sort of what's in my mind or not, I'm quick to sort of jump in and say, I'm actually thinking more of this.
[00:41:00] So, I try to provide a lot of references and examples and explain the why behind the choices too, to help get there, I think it's maybe my experience is with, I've worked with some bad sort of creatives, so I felt like I had to immerse myself more, that's also very, that could be the case as well.
[00:41:17] Daniel Weiner: That's fair. Let's talk about a negative agency experience you've had, and probably a good segue, was it, you know, work-related, process related, some combination of both?
[00:41:26] Drew Brucker: Everything, man, everything, like, and I had this within, like, the last two years, so, uh, we had, this was the one that I was just telling you about with, you know, specialized probably in one or two things, but it's an agency that says they do it all, right? So, you know, the, sort of the, the tricky part for me is we worked with them on a, a project that was right in the wheelhouse.
[00:41:46] They did great, you know, put their top people on it, great communication, everything went smooth, delivered ahead of time. Naturally, have this other project, oh, they do this as well, they do a website, great, here's some of their work, okay, looks okay, but I know, like, I've, I've done website work before where it's like, this is good enough too, where if I'm involved in this process, I feel like I can,
[00:42:07] you know, be very clear about what we're looking for and how we're gonna get there, whereas I don't know that other organizations they've worked with maybe have a person that cares as much as me, and maybe they're just giving 'em the project. That was the way that I interpreted it, is like, okay, this is in a pretty good spot,
[00:42:23] Drew Brucker: if I'm also involved, I feel like this is gonna be great. Worked with them before they already understand the business, seems to make sense, right? And, and the price is good, right? Mm, okay, like, so, you know, starts off great, people revolve on the project, you know, like, initial project leaders are no longer on the project,
[00:42:42] uh, people are swapped out over the course of project, here's your project lead, now they've left the company, here's a new project lead, don't even tell us, you know, one of the people left the company. There were two people on the project that ended up getting changed out, like, one halfway through and the other, like, two weeks before we're launching. That was tough to deal with, right? A lot of things that I thought would be pretty obvious in terms of, like, from a designer standpoint and putting a website together, two plus two did not equal four. It's just like, I, I'm not, like, this isn't my full-time job, but like this, and this seemed to make, like, this is pretty common sense stuff, right?
[00:43:17] And the delivery timelines were off, this, you know, twice, right, by a month, 30 days each time, um, you know, so, you know, we're going through all this, and then we get to the end, right? The last two weeks where I'm working nights, weekends, trying to pull all these things together 'cause they just don't have, they need help,
[00:43:35] like, they need help, and I was just like, I have to get this done. And we get to the finish line, they're just some deliverables that were just super vague, right? We're gonna help you with your, your page speed score, right? Like, you know, we're redoing a site, and at the beginning, you're like, "Well, look, page speed matters a lot, right?"
[00:43:50] So, what does that mean to you, right? And so, I learned a valuable lesson where it's like, page speed score, that was what was in the deliverable, it's like, okay, but qualitatively or quantitatively, like, is there a number associated with that? Are we gonna hit, like, this is gonna load in this time? Is it gonna go through Google Page Insights?
[00:44:09] Is it gonna get this score return, like, what is the measurement? Because to me, it was like, okay, this is pulling back the same speed we had before, so what, where are we at here? Like, this is what my expectation was. And so, just a lot of those, you know, the vagueness, right, the non-specifics at the finish line, in addition to all the other things with the revolving door people and the delayed timelines, it was just, it was rough.
[00:44:33] It was really, really rough, and there is no coming back from that, like, there was an opportunity to probably keep working with them in some other capacities. That whole thing fell out, you know, like, it was just so frustrating because I had to communicate, you know, to my leadership team, "Here's what's happening, right?
[00:44:48] And here's why it's delayed." And then, on the other side, it's like, why aren't these things taking care of themselves? Why isn't, you know, we missed a deadline on this, so you guys probably should have told us this was gonna delay things, or all of those pieces, right? And you feel like you're trapped in the middle.
[00:45:03] That was my really, really bad experience and probably aged me three years in, like, a matter of, you know, the two months toward the finish line there, it was, it was rough.
[00:45:12] Daniel Weiner: Do you think that a negative agency experience, maybe, maybe not quite as bad as that, but do you think it can be salvaged or do you think, like, once it's reached a point of you've lost trust, they've missed a deadline, like, it's kind of, "Eh, like, I'm not interested in these types of folks," or do you think it can get back on the rails?
[00:45:30] Drew Brucker: I've not seen it get back on the rails, personally. I think you get, I, I joke you get, like, one and a half chances as an agency, uh, within the first call, it, like, six months early on, it's to be expected, things are gonna, like, maybe be a little bit weird, you can, you can have one, like, somewhat big thing and one small thing.
[00:45:47] Yeah, and there you go. I was gonna say, it depends on what it is, right? Because, like, you know, someone as a new agency, of course, you're gonna be feeling out, you know, there's gonna be this feeling out process, and here's how we would like to receive something, or here's the, you know, preferred communication that they're here, you know, blah, blah, blah, but you're right
[00:46:05] Daniel Weiner: There's not, there's nothing worse than missing a deadline 'cause it plants the seed of doubt in your mind, and I've been sitting in an agency where I'm like, "We have to send this by five, we have to, I assure, I can tell you that they are sitting at their computers waiting to receive this document, like, it has to be received." And people being like, "Oh, are you sure?" I'm like, "Yes." That is all that matters today,
[00:46:26] Drew Brucker: Yes, I'm sure.
[00:46:27] Daniel Weiner: getting, I am positive that they are sitting there looking at the clock, and they are rightly so, if you tell, that's why I'm such a big proponent. Do not give deadlines, you cannot hit if you are giving a deadline, you must hit your deadline, and if something changes in between and you communicate that, and you say, "Hey, this changed,
[00:46:44] we're gonna need another day." Which is, I think, totally fair, as long as it is and something else happened, but you, if you give a deadline and nothing changes, you must hit the deadline, it is the cardinal rule of agency world.
[00:46:55] Drew Brucker: Yep.
[00:46:57] What are you most bullish on moving forward into? I know we talked a little bit about events, which is kind of, like, my shtick, but what are you most excited about? You, we, we talked before I was gonna beat you to the puncher, I was gonna make you give a different one, no, you can be bullish on events too.
[00:47:09] Drew Brucker: No, I think I am gonna steal, I'm gonna steal yours, and if anything else comes up, I'll mention, but I, I, I do think the live events component, but, but also the, the smaller, more intimate events, too, are great too, like, I, I went to inbound in, uh, September, which is basically just a, a big, I guess it's a RevOps, really, event now. So, it's, you know, customer success, marketing, maybe even say
[00:47:29] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think it's everything now at this point, their HubSpot wants everyone there.
[00:47:33] Drew Brucker: They want everybody, uh, but like, you know, I had been five or six years ago previous to that, and it was very much around the sessions for me. This time it was about the sessions, but what I also noticed is it was much more about networking this time, right?
[00:47:48] I had made some connections on LinkedIn or just in groups and it was less awkward, you know, to have natural conversations with people in your shoes. And so, live events on bullish on, not only as a consumer, but just in a business setting as a marketing approach in the things that are taking place there.
[00:48:05] Daniel Weiner: We took 'em for, we took 'em for granted back in the day.
[00:48:08] Drew Brucker: We did, we did take 'em for granted. So, I think that pinup demand is like definitely, you know, showing its face.
[00:48:14] I think I'm also bullish on, I'm publish on, like, marketing, you know, marketers taking back a little bit of the baton of what, what marketing is and should be, and if it's broken, here's how we fix it, I just, I think we're in the time and place now where we've all kind of, you know, there's sort of this millennial age group, right?
[00:48:34] Where we're mid-career, we've gone through this, this transformation of what marketing was and is and how it was broken for a while, and, you know, because somebody signs up for, you know, fills out your form to get a, a white paper, they're all of a sudden ready to buy, you know, from your company, and we are judged off, you know, MQLs, you know, it's like, yeah, that, that's broken, right?
[00:48:54] Like, that never really actually did work, did it? And, um, you know, so you've got a lot of people that are really thinking creatively, but also, as we mentioned earlier around revenue and the bigger picture of how marketing's involved there. And so, I think I'm just bullish on the idea that marketers are taking a little bit more of that responsibility upon ourselves and not from necessarily just hearing leadership's take and then, oh, we're just gonna do this.
[00:49:17] I know that's happening, but I'm just saying I've seen that start to shift. And so, I think that's interesting, I'm also just, I'm bullish on this idea of, this is a little bit outside of marketing, but, like, sort of this creator environment, everybody, you know, could essentially become
[00:49:33] Daniel Weiner: This is very, very meadow with us on a podcast right now.
[00:49:36] Drew Brucker: Very meadow, very meadow, like, it, like, you own your personal brand, you know, I just posted about this the other day, but, like, you have a personal brand whether you like it or not, so you might as well make it a good one, you know, because this is sort of the new version of your resume, I don't need to go through ten pages on a screen and upload a doc and think that you're gonna get to know me and then I'm the best fit for this hire.
[00:49:56] Why not take control of that? Put yourself out there, have conversations like these, put yourself on video, do other things as a creator to help guide that. And so, that's if you wanna work for a company, but also you wanna start your own thing, there's never been a better time to start your own thing. And so, this is really sort of this, this age of taking control of those things in a way that you never had before.
[00:50:17] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, it is exhausting, but it has been very, uh, impactful and I can't say a bad thing about it, it is just, it is, like, you know, some people like, "Oh, look, it seems so easy, you post every day." I'm like, "Not the case necessarily."
[00:50:28] Drew Brucker: Yeah, that's right.
[00:50:29] Daniel Weiner: Like, there's a lot, a lot more that goes into that, but, uh, to that end, what, uh, this is the flip side of that question, what keeps you up at night from a marketing or business standpoint? Like, what stresses you out, especially in our current environment?
[00:50:42] Drew Brucker: Uh, like, it's not even so much me right now, it's just, uh, my team and my company, like, I, I'm really in a great place, I love working for Lasso, it's been a great, uh, fit for me at this point in time in my life, the people here, the mission, where we're going with the product, the opportunity that's there with the roadmap, it's just, it checks so many boxes for me.
[00:51:03] So, that really keeps me up at night just because I'm always ideating, I'm thinking it might, you know, should I be thinking about this? When is a good time to start this? Like, and then same with my team, I just, um, I wanna make sure I have the right people in the right seats and that they're happy and, and not only working on things that they enjoy, but also that the company needs.
[00:51:22] Drew Brucker: And if we're checking both those boxes, that's perfect, right? So, just really diving deep to make sure that, that health on both sides is up to my expectations because that's what I worry about.
[00:51:34] Daniel Weiner: That's the curse of liking what you do, like, I'm obsessed with what I do, I know I'm a little different 'cause I work for myself, I kind of have to be, but, uh, I, I never, I never turn my brain off because I like it. So, like, I will literally, it's so unhealthy, I try not to do it, I'll, like, sometimes wake up with, like, an idea at, like, two in the morning, and I don't wanna forget it, and I don't want to forget it,
[00:51:55] it's, I'll, like, run to my desk and, like, write it down or, like, grab my phone and, like, jot something down, and I'm like, "That's so unhealthy, what am I doing right now?"
[00:52:01] Drew Brucker: Are you keeping, are you keeping a, uh, notebook by your bed or your phone or what?
[00:52:05] I used to keep a notebook, uh, I try not to charge my phone next to my bed 'cause I don't wanna be tempted to look at it. So, like, once I get in bed, I charge my phone elsewhere. That's what I'm, that's what I'm doing too.
[00:52:15] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, but my, my bed's like right there, I live in a loft, so it's, like, one big warehouse. So, like, my bed is, you know, 20 feet from my desk. So, I'll just get up and be like, oh, I'll just write this thing down, you know, like, so that I don't forget, which is, again, I, I would prefer that problem than, like, hating what I do, I feel very fortunate. But it is, it is, uh, difficult to shut your brain off, like, and be healthy and have boundaries, so, I feel ya.
[00:52:38] Drew Brucker: Dude, totally get, totally get it, I have a, I have a, you know, like, when I'm on walks, which I, I'm doing a lot right now because I've got kids. So, like, my thing is I'll get, you know, after the workday, especially, like, I'll take them for a long stroll and I've got my phone and I've got a notebook, walking notebook,
[00:52:54] you know, so, like, anything that's coming in my head, I'm just plugging in there to return to later, you know, it's like, 'cause like you said, the best ideas come when you're not in front of the screen, you're doing something else, right? You're in the shower, you're laying down in bed, you're walking, you're doing something where your actual mind is wandering. So, I get it, and I'm, you know, I think we're both lucky that we're doing something we enjoy.
[00:53:13] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I agree. We'll finish with a couple fun questions here I ask everybody, what was your very, very, very first job?
[00:53:20] Drew Brucker: Very first job was, uh, pushing carts at Kmart, but, but it wasn't just limited to pushing carts, we were also the people that would, like, take things out of the back, like, had the heaviest things that sitting on the shelf, you know, 20 feet up that we gotta get on a ladder and throw it down and then, you know, put it on a pallet and push it out to somebody's car and load it up, and it was eaten dirt, like, it was rough.
[00:53:45] Daniel Weiner: What did, have you, do you think, uh, anything that was taken from that or that you learned from that has made you better at what you do today? Or made you know what you don't wanna do today? Makes you, I presume, feel fortunate, uh, I, I do, like, when I stuff like that, like, manual labor, I'm like, I get to sit at a computer, like, it's
[00:54:00] Drew Brucker: That's right, I, I think it's just like looking back, and you're just like, "Damn, that's where I started, right?" Like, and, and at that time, it's just you need a job, it's just minimum wage, and it was just, it was cool though because I think, you know, early in your career you have to, you don't wanna be in a situation right away where everything's all grand.
[00:54:18] Like, I think you just, it's good for your health to experience both sides of that and actually have to do some of the stuff that you know you don't wanna do. Like, we were talking about to push yourself further.
[00:54:29] Daniel Weiner: No, I agree. What would be your final meal?
[00:54:32] Drew Brucker: Are you familiar with, like, St. Louis-style pizza at all?
[00:54:36] Daniel Weiner: Uh, like Imo's, is that thin crust?
[00:54:38] Drew Brucker: Imo's. Imo's is my death row meal.
[00:54:40] Daniel Weiner: Is that think crust?
[00:54:42] Drew Brucker: Yeah, it's, they call it cracker style crust, it's very thin, yep.
[00:54:45] Daniel Weiner: Okay. I'm a think crust pizza enthusiast, so, I've never had Imo's, I've heard of it though.
[00:54:50] Drew Brucker: So, you would love Imo's and I will tell you that they do ship online now frozen pizzas.
[00:54:56] Daniel Weiner: Through Goldbelly, through Goldbelly, or whatever?
[00:54:58] Drew Brucker: Goldbelly, yep. And I would say they're like, 80% of the way there, like, they're definitely worth buying, um, but they're not as good as in person.
[00:55:09] Daniel Weiner: I will give that a try. And then, the final question I have for you, who is somebody who inspires you either personally, professionally, or both?
[00:55:16] Drew Brucker: I think this is like the, the time where I've got more people to give than I probably ever have, like, my wife is definitely somebody who inspires me, she's got a different, we really balance off each other very well, we're, we're different people but share a lot of same things. And so, the way that she would handle something is, is sort of what I need to hear sometimes in order to, to progress,
[00:55:34] and same with her, uh, she needs to hear sort of maybe my perspective every, every once in a while, maybe, uh, with, with her. So, like, she's a really good balance at the end of the day, I've got a, a really good friend named Pasha that is also a marketer, which is the guy that I was talking about that has, has his own agency.
[00:55:51] He's a little bit older than me, but we've got a lot of similarities in some of the things that we've gone through, and I view him as somebody I can trust as a peer, but also somebody that I can go to for advice and a mentor. And then, lastly, like, my boss, like, I, I know a lot of people don't say that, but I, I, like, I genuinely look forward to our one-on-ones,
[00:56:09] Drew Brucker: there's just, it's a great time to just talk about the health of the company and dig into the personal things, but also the professional things, and she just, um, she's a beast, like, she wasn't a marketer, but she knows marketing extremely well and gives me ideas that I wouldn't have come up with in a million years, and I can learn from her.
[00:56:28] And so, when I work for a company, like, it's very important for me to be working around at least some people that I can, like, really, really learn from. I think that's extremely valuable.
[00:56:38] Daniel Weiner: No, that's awesome. We'll have to get the rest of the crew onto the podcast next time, but...
[00:56:42] Drew Brucker: Next time, group session.
[00:56:44] Daniel Weiner: That's what I'm saying. But no, this was awesome, thank you so much for coming on, I presume for anybody listening, the best place to find you is LinkedIn, I would imagine, uh, everybody go give Drew a follow, he posts, I think every day, you want an everyday cadence at this point in your life.
[00:56:57] Drew Brucker: I'm following in your footsteps, man.
[00:57:01] Daniel Weiner: I don't know that those are the footsteps to follow, but I wish you best of luck with, uh, I enjoy your content and it's good, so, uh, I don't know that I'm the baseline for that, but.
[00:57:10] Drew Brucker: You can find me in Daniel's comment section.
[00:57:12] Daniel Weiner: That's even better, go follow both of us, but, uh, Drew, no, thank you very much, and I will talk to you soon.
[00:57:17] Drew Brucker: Thanks, Daniel, appreciate the time, man.