As Chief Marketing Officer of Dstillery, my job, on paper, is to head up all things marketing. I concentrate mainly on strategic planning, ensuring that our plans are executed to the highest quality standards and driving optimal results for the company. I’m incredibly fortunate to have an amazing team of marketing professionals, each an expert in their respective areas. So if I’m doing my job well, I’m here to inspire and lead those team members, making sure that they’re continuously growing and reaching their potential as they create and manage our individual marketing programs. I have the added responsibility of continuously orchestrating that body of work, ensuring that it’s grounded in our company’s growth goals and attaining the results we’re pursuing.
First, a bit about our company. Dstillery is the custom audience solutions company, working with brands and agencies to reach their best customers for high-performing programmatic advertising campaigns. We create custom audiences that are backed by award-winning Data Science and powered by AI technology. Our newest innovation, ID-free Custom AI™, is a privacy-by-design behavioral ad targeting solution that performs on par with cookies — without user tracking.
How big is it?
The marketing team is made up of five members including myself – we have a Product Marketing Director, a Digital Marketing Director, a Digital Marketing Manager, and a Digital Marketing Associate.
We collaborate with every team; Dstillers number 100+, growing steadily as our business expands.
Where are your teammates located?
Dstillers are located all across the country with our headquarters in New York City. Our marketers are based in multiple East Coast cities, including New York, Philadelphia and Virginia. As the team continues to grow, and given our work-from-anywhere culture, it’s easy to envision Dstillery marketers across the country and ultimately, anywhere in the world.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
The Dstillery marketing team is responsible for three primary missions: First and foremost, we work to help make Dstillery famous for the quality of our Data Science. This includes raising the company’s profile and contiually growing brand awareness among our target audiences. Second, we lead the development and distribution of the company’s thought leadership – harnessing the power of our many thought leaders in the industry, ensuring that our voices are heard and our collective impact is visible. Our third area of focus is collaborating closely with our Go-to-Market team, driving new sales through digital programs, account-based marketing (ABM) and lead generation. We supply air cover for the ground attack. This includes the development and positioning of Dstillery products, creating and distributing digital collateral, and sponsoring high-visibility industry events – both virtually and in-person.
Often, it’s useful to start with what it’s NOT. The polar opposite of a strong remote culture is exemplified by Elon Musk’s recent declaration that anyone currently on the Tesla payroll who doesn’t show up for at least 40 hours of weekly work onsite at the office is declaring that they’ve resigned. Wait, what? In today’s still-pandemic, tech-powered, global work-world, haven’t we decided, as a culture, that no professional, in any industry is going to choose to show up for a leader who lacks emotional intelligence?
A strong remote culture starts with a strong, culturally-attuned company leader. The best example, hands-down, of exactly this type of leader is our CEO, Michael Beebe. In my 25+ years of experience, I’ve yet to encounter, and fortunately now be part of, an executive team led by a better leader who people actively CHOOSE to follow, vs. “have to work for”. Not only has Michael brought Dstillery to an unprecedented level of growth, but his ability to develop and advance the healthiest culture in adtech is unparalleled.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections.
Strong connections are built with Hailey.
My team’s happiness and their professional satisfaction is paramount. It’s not an overstatement to say that one of the primary reasons that our marketing results are so strong is that our team is genuinely happy – individually and in their work together. I take that seriously, never for granted, and am sensitive to continuously supporting every aspect of that that’s within my power. Each team member is incredibly important to me and I want to encourage them to reach for the stars, while feeling supported and confident as they stretch, experiment, learn and grow.
Through meetings (group and one-on-one) and team-building activities, I try to keep a pulse on the team’s challenges and encourage their new creative ideas. I want them to always feel a sense of open communication, transparency and respect, so that their happiness and engagement continues growing over time.
Each team member is incredibly important to me and I want to encourage them to reach for the stars, while feeling supported and confident as they stretch, experiment, learn and grow.
The adtech industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies, new global players, regulatory changes and the primacy of privacy that it is incredibly challenging to stay on pace, and ideally, ahead, leading our team in making the best decisions.
This challenge is met by committing to continuous learning, by staying present, asking questions and developing relationship currency with colleagues, clients and partners who can share knowledge and ideate.
My personal fave is our weekly virtual team coffee, where work-related chat is off-the-table. We use the coffees to specifically catch up on each others’ lives.
In-person multi-day off-sites, in cities across the country, bring Dstilllers together for days of inspiration, recharging, and an outdoor volunteering component for local non-profits.
Cross-department lunches bring together Dstillers that wouldn’t naturally have opportunities to engage with one another, fostering new relationships and creating a stronger sense of community.
Virtual internal events range from French cooking classes and cookie decorating to flower arranging and a speaker series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Wordle has been the most popular, sparking two internal Slack channels for those playing – #Wordle and #WordleSpoilers.
Our Program, Master Dstiller, honors our best performers and role models, quarterly, providing tremendous morale boosting and fostering cross-departmental support.
Dstillery Walks Together has our whole company tracking and sharing their exercise mileage, exchanging details of their various hikes, bikes and treks on a dedicated Slack channel. As with so many of our virtual activities, we also individually contribute to non-profit organizations who exemplify our Dstillery values and merit our support.
From a tech-tools standpoint, our tech stack is among the best I’ve worked with, and specific to culture.
The entire Dstillery team uses Lattice – a people management platform that has the capability to give praise to team members and share their accomplishments to the entire company. Through Lattice, we were also able to start a #DstilleryPraise Slack channel which broadcasts the peer-to-peer recognition. “Praise” links with Master Dstiller, described above, the results of which are also shared with our wider community through our Dstillery social media channels, spotlighting various team members who make our company shine.
I’m a lifelong learner and something of an education zealot. Along the way of pursuing my MBA, earning my doctorate, and in 5 years of teaching and coaching for Temple University and UPenn, I’ve come to rely on some tremendous resources - too many to name. I’m a huge fan of HBR, McKinsey, Deloitte and [email protected], particularly for their work on healthy (and not so healthy) organizational cultures, leadership and navigating change. Not coincidentally, the authors who are frequent contributors to these publications, sites and publishing arms are names such as Annie McKee (Emotional Intelligence) Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone) Angela Duckworth (Grit), Carol Dweck (Growth Mindset) Adam Grant (Think Again), Simon Sinek (Start with Why, Leaders Eat Last).
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