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Podcasts > Tea Time With Tech Marketing Leaders

Connecting with Marketing Skeptics

Kerry Guard • Tuesday, July 26, 2022 • 50 minutes to listen

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Transcript

Opening

Hello, I'm Kerry Guard, and Welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

Welcome back to season 12.

What do you think of my conversation with Siena?

If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to skip back and take a listen. Siena and I discuss gamification and how to bring your product to B2B buyers through a fun and gamified experience. It’s super cool. Check it out.

In this episode, I connected with Sekou White, where we discussed how to market to tough audiences who are marketing skeptics. In his case, the developer audience, having been a developer, seek who understands his audience and that traditional advertising doesn't work.

Sekou is a multi-faceted marketing professional with 20 years of experience in technology, entertainment, and media. He spent the first half of his career launching some of the biggest video games, mobile apps, and digital advertising products. More recently, he's been focused on building robust developer communities through advertising PR and partnerships.

Here is my conversation with Sekou.

Conversation

Kerry Guard: Hello, Sekou. Thank you for joining me on Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

Sekou White: Hey, Kerry, pleasure, pleasure to be here. I'm excited.

Kerry Guard: Yes, me too. I can't wait for our conversation. Before we get there, though, and this will lead nicely to our conversation, tell us your story. What do you do? And most importantly, how did you get there?

Sekou White: It's a great question. I'm one that I wish was a lot more linear. It's been an interesting path. I am the VP and head of developer marketing for a start-up named Turing. Turing is an AI startup that has built a platform connecting remote developers with US-based companies. Not only sort of fast growth startups but also Fortune 50 Companies. My team focuses on building the Turing brand with developers, trying to act as an upper funnel, and getting them not only aware of our brand but also deeply invested in the Turing brand, which is super challenging and fun.

I've spent the last five or six years in developer marketing, but I started my career as a marketer in consumer. I worked in video games in my 20s and in my early 30s was a fantastic experience. That's where I cut my teeth in marketing, specifically as a product marketer launching logic video games. If you remember any old-school video games, such as Halo Wars or DJ Hero. I was a part of those marketing teams, both at Xbox and Microsoft, as well as Activision. At a certain point, I transitioned from consumer marketing to B2B marketing, specifically in Adtech. I spent time both at an ad network at a publisher and then at Facebook for several years, where I also focused on developer marketing, and that's where I entered that space.

I went back to IBM, where I started my career 20 years ago, and was the director of developer marketing for a couple of years before transitioning into my new role. It's been an interesting ride. But the thrilling line has always been in my career. It's always been about building something, whether working in consulting, or working as a product marketer in the B2C space, or as a developer marketing in the B2B space. I've always been interested in building things such as campaigns, audiences, and products that drive me in the right direction.

Technology, as an Uber industry, has always been present. In my career. I've worked at many different technology businesses, so I think that's another throughline. But I've always been fascinated with the intersection of media technology. In entertainment, I've strived to work and work at that intersection, wherever I've been.

Kerry Guard: And I feel that in some ways, created that intersection, which is what we're going to hang out and talk about. But before we get there, hang on to your hat because I want to dive right in. I'm going to take a breath. Before we dive in, what challenges are you currently facing? Can you give us one example of just something that's keeping you up at night? Or something that's just a struggle?

Sekou White: Many people can relate to this idea of attribution. And I think there's always, especially in B2B marketing. There's always this healthy tension between the pole of performance marketing and core traditional brand marketing. Performance marketing is focused on driving and conversion, and brand marketing, not that it's not focused on driving a conversion, but it's a more upper funnel. It's more about establishing a brand, creating the driving demand, creating intent to purchase, and making people feel something. It's interesting, and from an organizational level, you feel that tension. But even as a functional leader. I feel that every day. I currently work in an extremely talented organization in performance marketing. I built a large platform of a million developers on the back of performance marketing using data and leveraging data to target the right audience, messages, and drive conversion.

My role in my team is something a little different. It's new to the organization, and we're focused on establishing a brand that means something to developers and then making sure everybody knows about it. When you're tasked with that role, but at the same time, the organization is very performance-driven and data-driven. There's a healthy tension there. And that's something that I'm thinking through constantly working every day. The idea is that we should always look at these things in terms of a full-funnel lens.

There's a place for performance marketing, especially a mid to lower funnel. But if you don't have a machine at the top of the funnel to help establish a brand and drive awareness, you see things as churn and retention challenges. And that's been a legit obstacle for my team and me. The things we want to do, having to prove how this will add value to the bottom line is not necessarily easy. Think about something like outdoor advertising that's part of your strategy and part of your tactic to establish a brand. How do you like that to conversions? There are ways to do it, but it's not necessarily easy. You need an infrastructure to be able to attribute the value of efficacy of these things towards driving the bottom line. Anyone who works in B2B, I think there's always a healthy tension there. That's super challenging.

Getting people to think a little bit differently and understand just because something doesn't drive a specific action doesn't mean it didn't contribute to that action and doesn't mean it's not valuable. There's something to be said about the brand recall, brand recognition, and brand lift. Those brand metrics are interesting things as counterpoints to the typical cost per acquisition and those metrics. It's a good challenge. I'm learning a lot because my last job was as a performance marketer, so I'm back to being more of a brand marketer. It's been an interesting challenge, going one for one and then inspection back to the other end of the spectrum and trying to reconcile.

Kerry Guard: Oh, gosh, I remember. It's been a while since I did at home and in traditional media, but there were no metrics. TV had what they do. I can't even remember. It was so long ago. We weren't held to anything, we just did where the right audience was, what the makeup of the audience was, and then we do to put media there. What's lovely about now is that brand is incredibly measurable, it's very exciting to think about it, and we could go rabbit hole on that hard because a nerd out completely because times have changed. You couldn't measure now with digital at home, and it's probably measurable. I'm not saying down to the bottom line, but there are clear metrics you can have there, can make some correlation, insightful analysis of how that impacted or didn't, and where. That sounds so much fun. It's a challenge but a fun challenge to have. Thanks for sharing that.

Sekou White: No problem. We're playing around with things such as QR codes. We're looking at search, and those are two interesting levers. Everyone's been talking about QR codes because the only good application I see for them as a port marketer is out of home and outdoor. But we're still a long way from being able to use just that data as something that could justify outdoor is a tough one. I will readily say that not to all the fans about outdoor marketing and outdoor advertising. Don't kill me, but it's typically a tough one. There's a time and place for the need for it and certain strategies. It will always come back to ROI, and sometimes it's a little tougher to measure that with those tactics.

Kerry Guard: Definitely. You said so many interesting words in terms of what you're doing now. But it was the coupling of some of the words that you said that caught my attention. One of them is developer marketing. What does that mean? I know what it means based on the fact that I know what a developer is, and I know marketing is but in terms of what you do, what does that mean for you? That's interesting to be going after, for sure.

Sekou White: Extremely interesting. It's a very niche audience, and it's an interesting place how I got into it, but to answer your question more directly, it's just any type of audience. It's audience marketing, and it just happens to target software engineers and developers. It means different things at different companies.

When I was at Facebook, and when I was at IBM, where I also had developer roles, it was more around the ecosystem. Through the use of APIs to contribute to technology, ecosystem, and stuff in some way. Facebook has one of the business sides through their business APIs and has one on the app side, the call to Graph API. We have tens of thousands or thousands of developers building tools, apps, and businesses on Facebook. The developer audience becomes very important. Other companies replicate that thing. We want to scale our technology through APIs, we need to talk to developers, and so that's one use case. IBM is slightly different. They were selling a product to developers to a certain extent.

I worked in a division that was adjacent to the IBM Cloud team. It was more about having a dialogue with developers giving them the tools necessary, getting them locked in on a product, and where you store your data and how you organize it is important. It could be AWS, GCP, or Azure, or it could be at the time when it was working at IBM. It could be IBM, or it could be any other cloud provider or hyper scalars. And so, again, that developer is very important as an ecosystem, but also it's important for a company like IBM that sells services to clients. Developers have a lot of leeways. They have a lot of influence on their technical decision-makers and leaders to make decisions on where to spend money, so the developer marketing was focused on that at Turing. It's very different again, same audience but a little bit different and a little nuance at Turing. Our product is the wonderful and talented global developers we have on the platform. They are our partners, and the marketing we're doing for them is very different because I'm not selling anything to them. I'm saying, “Hey, join this platform. You will further your career, be compensated well, and have flexibility about where you work and how you organize your professional and personal lives.” It's a very different value proposition. At Turing, developer marketing and any type of developer relations are core and integral to the business as opposed to the core and integral to the ecosystem. It can be very different depending on where you are and what products you're working on.

Kerry Guard: How could I love that? Because that's what makes audience marketing so interesting that it's not just about labeling a group and calling them developers. It's understanding to a whole new level what niche niches within that audience you are talking to and how you want to help them. It all comes back to the value you bring to the table, and you're on your roof. What's so crazy and cool about what you're doing right now is that you're recruiting. You're doing recruiting marketing as well. It's not the B2B sense that we have a product and sell it to you; it's “Come, join us and work for us.” And while it might not be from an FTE standpoint, maybe it is, but it's just recruiting, or marketing to recruit is going to take off, and I'm already seeing it. You're the second person I've talked to putting an actual, clear emphasis on what that even means. And audience marketing is definitely at the heart of making that successful. You have to know who you're talking to, their challenges, and how you will support them and bring that value to them.

Sekou White: It's an interesting and challenging audience. Developers are not a monolith. They often get treated as such, and that's one of the misnomers that a 27-year-old white man that sits in the basement and doesn't have any friends and just plays games all day. The stereotype of developers where nothing can be further from the truth. Developers spend all different socio-economic demographics, and they have a lot of differences in terms of what they specialize in the tech stack, what they're into, and what they're interested in. It's challenging because it's an audience based on a profession. It's a different type of audience if I say, “Hey, I go after surfers. I do surfer marketing.” Surfing is more of a lifestyle, even if it is professional, but you could get some behavioral things.

Development marketing is challenging because there's so much variety. One thing they have in common is they don't necessarily like being marketed to other products. And that’s something that we always have to think about. The other thing we have to think about, too, and I've been pushing my teams constantly, is that developers are, and I tell people this all the time, that they're regular people. They have the same hopes, fears, and interests as anybody else, and everything doesn't have to be extremely tech-focused. Sometimes you can take a different approach and appeal to something. Maybe they're interested in that doesn't specifically have something to do with what they're doing at work. Imagine if everyone that marketed towards was just marketing to marketers, not considering that you have kids and you're from different places. You have different experiences, and that's the opportunity and challenge of this type of audience. It's fun, and this is the place you have to be. Some stereotypes are true, so you still have to show up at these events and do certain things. It's fun.

Kerry Guard: I'm married to a developer, so I can say they do not like being marketed. It's always an interesting conversation about what I do versus how much he does not believe in it. The slit lens perfectly into our conversation of where we wanted to sit today because there's the beauty of this audience, and what you're saying in line with that, you can speak to their interests because their interests are super fun. Or maybe I'm just a total geek and nerd so I can appreciate that.

I remember seeing a Microsoft campaign a while ago that was aimed at developers. And I wish I could find it and pull it up. It was so clever. It was like Star Wars references, leaning into just total pop culture around what this audience loves. It was a complete B2B play, but it was this creative, fun thing they did to everything you're talking about. And that's fun and should be. It doesn't always have to be so cut and dry. Especially with what you're doing from a recruiting standpoint, such as livestock, you are speaking to their lifestyle, but life and work are their blurred lines. Most of us work from home and live where we worked out. It's a lot easier to bring up some of those, and it's easier from a marketing standpoint to blur those lines even more.

Sekou White: When we're not selling a job, per se, we're selling more of a value proposition around the platform. This platform allows you to live your life in a different way. And for freelancers to settle in and gig to gig, these are long-term engagements where you're working directly with the clients, and then you can work with multiple clients. You could roll off one contract and then get matched with another client. It's a different way of working, and that's another interesting thing too. Our company is not a staffing company, perse. You could say we're disrupting the staffing industry. We build a platform that uses AI and machine learning to match based on hundreds of attributes, clients, and developers. The challenge for us is not only just developing a brand and driving awareness, but it's about, “Hey, you work at X company in Brazil, a full-time job.” I'm saying this because of the value proposition of this platform. There's a different way to do it. Maybe working full-time for this company doesn't make any sense. Maybe you work with touring and work with multiple companies. Not at the same time, but it's a different way of thinking and for the reasons I mentioned before. It's a bit of that staffing angle, but it's also a pure technology angle and talking about the platform's benefits. But to your point, and where it overlaps with some of what you would do in staffing, you are selling. The value proposition is how you live your life and how you have decided to grow professionally. It's super interesting. And in terms of developer marketing, because you mentioned Microsoft, many companies have a degree in great developer marketing.

When we talk about developer marketing, people tend to go towards this is my pet peeve, and I teach a class at these marketing class at NYU. And I always tell my students that one of my pet peeves is whenever people think about marketing, they automatically go to advertising. It's a big part of marketing. It's not the only part, and so not only do you have demand gen and advertising and things like PR, but there's also any real developer program, developer marketing, or developer relations program with community components. How do you bring a community together? How do you engage that community? How do you keep them engaged, whether both online or offline? Skill building? How are you adding value? Are you helping the developers in your ecosystem to build skills, learn more important, get certified, and get things that are a real value add that monetize at a certain point? It's also about advocacy, aligning yourselves with developers, platforms, and companies that have eminence in the space. I think that's an important part. So whether you have your developer advocates or work with external developer advocates, that's part of the game.

The developer market is interesting because it's a lot of these. A lot of the special sauce and outside of advertising and PR, the other stuff I mentioned probably that your husband probably wouldn't say, “Oh, that's not more marketing.” But actually, all of it is marketing. And when you broadly think about all of these things as marketing, that's how you effectively reach that audience. It can't just be advertising and PR; that stuff works well, too.

Kerry Guard: I think that's such a good point. We start to think about the convergence or the three things you talked about earlier: media, tech, and entertainment coming together. There's no better place to talk about the developer audience than those three things. It is beyond advertising.

My husband has an ad blocker, doesn't see any advertising all day, and is completely against it. He will never click on an ad, and it will not happen. But SEO is a huge play because if he has a problem, the first place he goes to is Google it. Wherever he goes, he builds communities of people who share interests and need support. Going out there and finding a way to create a community around developers is a huge opportunity because that's what they do all day. They sit online, talk to one another, have these amazing conversations, problem-solve, and niche out on the things they love to talk about in terms of gaming, movies, problem-solving, keyboards, and so on and so forth. So, yes, I love what you're saying about the community, community as marketing when it's a brand, that building the community can be so powerful. Also, you're saying about advocacy and having because I find this better than I do, Sekou. But once you have a developer who believes in your brand, they're in it to win it and hold you to a high standard. They don't just take everything you say appoint, they're going to question it, and it holds you accountable. But they're going to be a huge advocate for who you are. So word of mouth, in terms of that way, is huge wrong among the developer company. Like if you get a developer stamp of approval.

Sekou White: The other thing, too, and I think this goes with every audience; if you're ultimately selling a product or some type of platform, this goes without saying but has to work. That's always a challenge. Sometimes as marketers, you have varying levels of influence on the product, the efficacy of the product, or the quality of the product. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't, and I think that's a tough hurdle. That's always a very large hurdle. I remember, especially when I worked at video games, that's interesting because you have input on the target audience and packaging. But you have very little in the game's core dynamics. You had some, and again, it depends on the company you work for and the publishers you work for, but varying degrees of influence on products. Sometimes you'd be lucky enough to work on a great product. And then sometimes you work on a product that maybe wasn't so great. And so you still have to do your job and come up with a strategy and an old way to hit your numbers. This was when I was working in product marketing, and that's always a challenge. It's a lot easier when the product is good. It's s a lesson that I've always taken with me.

Some of the best marketing I've done is on products that objectively weren't that great. I won't mention any of those products, but it happens and pushes you to think of new ways, position things, and try new tactics. It's always easier when the product is good.

Kerry Guard: Do you feel that for the price you worked on? You did have some sweat. I find that hard to want to work for the product wasn't very good. Within our organization, we don't do this so much anymore because we've niche. We're very focused on the types of tech companies we work for. We have to have less conversation, but initially, when we were bringing on many different companies and brands, we'd vote and say, “Is this a brand new company we believe in? Is this a product we want to support? Is this something we feel we can make successful? Why or why not?” I feel that in my career, having worked on companies and brands making decisions, I wouldn't back, or the product wasn't what I thought it should be. I found it hard to get up in the morning and keep going. I love that you saw it as a challenge. But does it come like a push comes to shove sort of moment where you show up and say, this is what needs to change? Or did you start looking elsewhere? What's your feeling about that? I’m curious.

Sekou White: It's a good question. I have more of a philosophical view on it. At the time, I was like, “This is bulls***. It's impacting my performance. I can't hit my numbers because the game sucks, and the products are not great, and it's not going to sell as much as you think it is, making me sign up for these numbers.” I have a less mature stance on it. And with some years under my belt, I look back on some of those campaigns fondly because they pushed me personally and professionally in terms of being creative and strategic. But going back to your point is demoralizing after a while. Nobody wants to work on a dog. Year after year, that's a tough thing to see, especially when you see people working on products that are Star products, doing good jobs, fair to good jobs, and products doing super well. You get promoted when you work on the products. You see that in the CPG model all the time. It's challenging, and you have to prove something when you're new. You got to get put on not the most popular, not the best quality product, and you have to prove something and show something so you can get put on one of the more priority products.

As a marketer, it depends on technology. There's an opportunity in certain organizations and certain products to influence products. Marketing runs product development. It's a different world, so I just want to clarify that. I want anybody working at tide saying, “I have total control. I get it. You work at Coca-Cola and Pepsi. You have a lot of influence on what happens with the product, technology, and engineering, typically runs what's going to be built, and so on. And what I say to most organizations is to bring in marketing early, not necessarily to do the branding or the naming but to do what marketing is. What's sizing a market side looking at the market, sizing the market opportunity, and understanding if this is something that people want and who wants it? Some tech companies do this well because they incorporate either product managers or product marketing managers early in some other companies that may not do it as well.

Kerry Guard: I just wanted your take on it. Because having been on both sides for you is interesting. And I think that comes back to audience marketing too. The power is because when you put your audience first and understand them as marketers, it gives us a bit of sway. It gives you a bit of sway with the products because you're the one out there talking to your people, and they're telling you what they need. They're telling you the benefits of what it is you're selling or not, why your product does work the way it does or doesn't work the way that you say it does, and what's up with that. I imagined being audience-focused and thinking about the audience first as really awesome, which will help in how you show up to some of those product conversations as well.

Sekou White: Theoretically, that's the idea. A team product should be talking to anybody that worked in developer relations, especially if you've invested as an organization in developer relations, community or marketing, or what have you. And those are the teams you should work very closely with in terms of understanding how developers use the product, what they like and don't like, and so on. Those teams should be the closest to that audience. If I've seen as much of that, I would have thought it was more if I didn't work in development marketing or developer relations. This is one person's view. It happens, which is probably one of the biggest challenges. It’s an organizational challenge. Especially in marketing or product teams, they tend to be siloed. You would think it'd be an easy conversation between a product team whose target audience is developers and a team that does developer marketing exclusively. You would think those teams would be working closely. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, and that's one of the organizational challenges we tend to see in bigger organizations.

Kerry Guard: There's a lot from the different people I've talked to. In some cases, there's a shift where there's a lot more collaboration, which I think is great. And in the bigger organizations and more traditional organizations are siloed. There's a lot of chatter, in my opinion of what I've heard, trying to break those down. It's important, as you think more about it. I love what you're saying about the audience first. I've been having many conversations about what the audience first means. And I think having the organization as a whole, be focused on who you're trying to work for who's your audience, who's buying your product, who's using it, and how they're using it. When you start coming together around such a poignant moment, those walls naturally come down because it's all about what's in the audience's best interest. You all have different perspectives based on what you are doing in your specific areas. It's really fun to watch this evolution unfold at the moment.

Sekou White: It's super interesting. Thinking about a career in marketing, I would say B2B is challenging and rewarding because of things such as what we're talking about here and consumer marketing. You typically don't see audience marketing that often on the consumer side. They sometimes have the kid's audience team, children's audience team, or a younger generation. They'll have been millennial audience teams ten and fifteen years ago.

Kerry Guard: Generation Y mom.

Sekou White: You'll see that on the consumer side, but beyond that, you won't see it. You see it on the B2B side, where there are types of audience themes that you might see, especially in the technology space. It's interesting.

Kerry Guard: It's cool. It's been fun to watch, and as a marketer in SEO digital ads, be a part of it. But from a marketing manager standpoint, watching how you all move around, thinking and putting your audience first. It's just cool to be a part of. We've talked about a lot in terms of everything, from the overlap of media and tech and entertainment to how the audience first comes into play to how to work or organizations are structured. Is there any last advice you want to say to people listening to how they might approach these different aspects?

Sekou White: I have a few pieces of advice. I'll tailor this to younger professionals that say, “It's good to have a plan, and you should have a plan.” But if you think it's going to go exactly that way, that'd be necessarily realistic, and If we have to build flexibility into that plan. If you can think about what at a macro level, what interests you, and what motivates you, that's an end. If you aim towards that and use it as a Northstar and build a plan to get there, that'll serve you better than trying to obtain a certain title or even working with a specific company. And that's a valuable lesson I've learned throughout my career.

Building flexibility allows you to be open to new experiences, pivots, and opportunities, which makes an interesting career and will help you learn and develop. The second thing is to take your time. I say this to a lot of folks that I mentor. We live in a society where everyone immediately wants all the success. But it's not necessarily the way things should work. You have to be in life. You'll get multiple opportunities, but you have to be ready for those opportunities.

Sometimes when you're rushing, you might get an opportunity before you're ready for that opportunity. And I've certainly gone through that in my career in other roles that I haven't done well or could have done better. It's because I wasn't ready for that opportunity. I think about that a lot now. It's not about second-guessing yourself. It's about being realistic; not only can I get that role, but I can get that position. Or it's more about, can I be good? Can I be great in that position? And that's the frame you should use when thinking about your next opportunities. Am I going to be great at this? Am I going to be successful? And under that lens, you say, “Hey, I could get this job. But maybe I need to develop other skills. Maybe I need a little more experience.” There's nothing wrong with that, which puts you in a position for opportunities. You can take advantage because you were ready for that opportunity, and that's super important.

Kerry Guard: Such great advice. Especially now that people are coming out of college and they're starting to find their footing and their first job, but also for people who are maybe in jobs that they're not all that keen on and they're trying to figure out what to do with themselves. There's a lot of pressure of meeting to be under 30, and those things are just unnecessary pressure that we put on ourselves. We feel that we need to strive for it.

Sekou White: LinkedIn doesn't help. I can't wait for the studies that come out. There's always been a bunch of studies about Facebook and Instagram talking about the negative impact that could have on teenagers. There’s self-esteem, how they view themselves, how they compare themselves, and their overall happiness. This is not to criticize them. You are starting to see some of those things on LinkedIn, especially for younger professionals, where you're more focused on building a brand and getting the experiences to more organically build a brand. And that's something to watch out for, as well.

I always tell people that none of this stuff is a snapshot of 10% of reality to a certain extent. No one's going to put their dirty laundry on these things. You have to take it with a grain of salt, and this is some people's best foot forward, and everybody's putting their best foot forward all the time on LinkedIn. Don't allow that to put pressure on yourself. If you have a plan, trust the process. If you keep moving forward, that will come to you.

Kerry Guard: I love that. Social media, in general, creates a very dangerous place for echo chambers. You start surrounding yourself on these social media channels with those top performers who are always on, and you're not seeing anything else, and that's dangerous. It’s such a great reminder. Thank you. Before we close out here, you said it earlier, and I love that I make this last piece of the puzzle so important that you're more than a marketer. Let's pull back that curtain for people, and I have three rapid-fire questions for you just to help people get to know you better. Are you ready?

Sekou White: Let's do it.

Kerry Guard: Alright, the first question is, have you picked up any new hobbies in the last two years?

Sekou White: Outdoor cycling. I started with a peloton bike, bought a bike, and got after it. I can't say they are great, but I'm getting better. It's very addictive.

Kerry Guard: I agree. I had an electric bike last year because I moved to this tiny island with these tiny roads. I got an electric bike, and I could put my kids on the back, and I just love it. It's not cycling in the sense of how you do it, but there is something about being on a bike. It's the best. I love it. The second question is, if you could be with your team in person, and in the near future, what song would you want to play to set the room's vibe?

Sekou White: Run this town by Jay Z, Kanye West, and Rihanna. There’s always something that gets me hyped up about that song. I would play that for the team because that's what I wanted to do and one of the things I wanted to feel we got to run this town.

Kerry Guard: I love it. It's our Spotify playlist; you can all check it out and get hyped with it. The last question for you is if you could travel anywhere in the world with no red tape, no testing, and no vaccination passes, where would you go and why?

Sekou White: I would say Cape Town in South Africa. I've been fortunate to travel to many different continents and still haven't been to Africa. I've planned to get to South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, and other places. Hopefully, in my lifetime, my first step will be Cape Town in South Africa.

Kerry Guard: Amazing. I'll add it to our creating a map of where all the places people said they want to go. I have a bucket list. When I can travel, I also know where I want to go. Thank you so much. It was awesome. I appreciate you.

Sekou White: Thank you, Kerry. It's been fun. Happy to do it again. I love chatting about marketing. I don't do it enough. I do it at work all day, but not in a more casual setting.

Kerry Guard: This was awesome.

Outro

That was my conversation with Sekou White. Are you thinking differently about how to approach your audience? What's truly important to them? And how are you going to build connections and relationships?

Sekou, thank you for joining me here and on our roundtable. If you want to hear more from Sekou, head to LinkedIn and check out our Round Table. He shares some more solid insights on how to be an audience first.

In the next episode, I chat with Aileen Casmano, a co-founder of the cybersecurity marketing society. Aileen and I dig into how to stop using FUD. Stay on, and the autoplay will take you there.

This episode was brought to you by MKG Marketing - a digital marketing agency that helps cyber security and data management brands get found via transparent, measurable digital marketing.

It’s hosted by me, Kerry Guard - CEO and co-founder of MKG. Music mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

If you'd like to be a guest, please visit mkgmarketinginc.com to apply.

Sekou White

Sekou White

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