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A Delicate Balancing Act

Kerry Guard • Monday, February 1, 2021 • 33 minutes to listen

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Marlo Oster

Marlo Oster is the Head of Marketing at WorkPatterns. She is a leader with extensive experience in driving growth and improving profitability. Her track record of success in developing and transforming business ideas and plans into strategic and effective actions by driving execution across sales, marketing, client services, product, finance, and operations.


This week, Marlo Oster joins to discuss the delicate balancing act of project management. She is the entire marketing force at Work Patterns, an app that streamlines management best practices through templates and simplified user experience (UX). The firm is an extremely young, seed-funded startup (out of Beta in August 2020). While the company may be new, Marlo is a veteran of the industry, having spent ten years in client-facing roles at various martech and adtech startups. True to the fast nature of the industry, she rose from individual contributor to the executive-level in a matter of six years.

Early Days (Planning for Today and Two Years On)

She believes it a blessing and curse being so early on in the development of a company. As the first marketing hire, Marlo is building the foundation while keeping up the demand generation of a venture-backed start up. Often times laying the foundation is monotonous and not exciting which causes a tendency to jump ahead. She insists that the biggest challenge is prioritization. Operating as a "one woman show", she balances bandwidth between strategy and execution. Whether operating with a large team or solo, marketers must consider both short term and long term impacts of every action. As discussed on previous episodes, especially our conversation with Lisa Farrow, teams can utilize different formats for planning or project management, Agile or SPRINT to name a few.

Recognizing and Implementing Patterns

Work Patterns helps management teams and marketers determine how to prioritize each day. Marlo describes a process of making bets that compliment each other; for example, if the focus of the upcoming quarter is content, structure the day-to-day flow under that theme. The team should strive to bolster that quarterly goal every week, whether it's creating new content or repurposing already existing pieces. In addition to strategizing around high-level goals, companies must find out what is important that they own in-house and where they can find external partners/contractors/agencies. By understanding capabilities and best outlets for potential collaboration, teams can operate more effectively with a clearer vision. She advocates that they "Keep a list and an eye on the prize". Especially when building a company in early stages, it is crucial that one learns from the successes and failures of others. There are many resources for case studies, systems, and other aids on the road to success. Meeting agendas and templates on are available on Work Patterns, whether for 1-on-1 or all hands.

This was only an overview of our conversation with Marlo. Be sure to listen to the full episode! Be on the lookout for more written content next week!

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

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