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Defining Demand Gen

Kerry Guard • Wednesday, August 24, 2022 • 49 minutes to listen

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Alyssa Maker

Alyssa is the Director of Marketing for Sana Commerce. As a Director of Marketing, she manages a marketing team focused on accelerating growth through multiple channels, including digital, demand gen, events, and partners.



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

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Matt Dynan. If you haven't checked it out, be sure to skip back as he has a fascinating story on how he got started in marketing. Speaking of fascinating stories of how people found marketing, Alyssa Maker also has an interesting story of having started in PR and is now a demand gen marketer. It really goes to show that you just never know where your marketing career will take you!

Alyssa shares her story then we discuss what demand generation means to her and how she approaches it as the glue that holds all their marketing efforts together.

Alyssa is the Director of Marketing for Sana Commerce. As a Director of Marketing, she manages a marketing team focused on accelerating growth through multiple channels, including digital, demand gen, events, and partners.

She loves marketing because it allows her to find sophisticated solutions to everyday challenges. She is passionate about the growth and committed to developing new skills.

Here’s my conversation with Alyssa.


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

Alyssa Maker: Thank you for having me.

Kerry Guard: Oh, excited to have you. I'm looking forward to our conversation. But before we get there, tell our listeners, Alyssa. What do you do? And how did you get there?

Alyssa Maker: I am in marketing and started in demand gen. I worked for a company called Sana commerce, which is a B2B e-commerce company. I'm the director of marketing for the Americas, North America, and South America. But I didn't start there. I started way back when I was in college, I was in PR, and that was what I wanted to do. That was what my career was going to be, and that was when I got my degree and did a lot of internships there. I got the opportunity to do some marketing internships that excited me a little, but when I graduated, I still was like, “Nope, I'm going to do PR.” I got my first job right out of college at an agency and was supposed to be a PR intern. But when I was interviewed, they asked me if I wanted a full-time job because I knew HubSpot. I was certified with HubSpot, so why not? Let's try it.

I was interviewed for the content marketing side. It was really about managing different clients and their HubSpot and helping with their marketing and content strategies. I got into that. I started to love marketing, automation, and email. I think I want to do this, but I want to do it for one company. I don't want to work for an agency. I moved companies, and I got into digital because I thought at the time that digital and email that was what it was.

When I first started in digital, it was all about ads: Google ads, paid search, and content syndication, with some overlap between digital and dimension. I didn't find a lot of myself in the marketing automation platforms. It was a lot with WordPress and all of our paid search and paid social channels, which I love doing, but it wasn't where my passion was. The demand gen manager of the company where I worked was got promoted to the director of the marketing role. There was an open slot, and I said, "I can do this. Let me try." Because I knew I would love it, I got into it, and that's exactly what happened.

I fell in love with demand gen because this is where I want to go in marketing, and I'm good at it. It is what I love to do. I like the strategy behind things. I like building a strategy with all these different channels and elements of a marketing team. I felt that's what demand gen did. I'm also from a technical side in the marketing automation system. I just love it. It just came easy to me. It was great and awesome. Ever since then, I have continued my career in demand gen. I became a demand gen manager. I switched companies and was the senior manager. I was brought on to sauna as a senior manager for demand generation and then promoted to director of marketing team.

Kerry Guard: Well, it's a ride. I have so many questions, but they will lead nicely into our conversation. Before I start firing away, one more question for you before we get into the core of our topic is what's one challenge you currently face.

Alyssa Maker: I would say it's because of COVID. I would say that we were doing ABM, events, direct mail, and all these things we were trying and intent data. COVID just happened. Events are no longer a thing. You now have to go virtual. People aren't in the office. Direct mail isn't as easy. It was a lot of change in a lot of going back to what I call the basics of marketing. And so, while we're still in the grip of a pandemic, we're starting to see things return to normal. The challenge for me is what channels are performing well now and trying to figure it out because events, for example, are still up in the air.

There are some events that people are going to, and we're having great success. Some events are canceled weeks before the event happens because COVID is not getting the turnout. We're seeing webinar fatigue. Webinars aren't working as much anymore. I see podcasts starting to become a bigger thing now. How do you incorporate that into your channel? The hardest challenge I'm having right now is figuring out what channel is working, which channels will bring the most success, and what new channels we need to bring. I do not think it's the same as it was two years ago.

Kerry Guard: I'm sure it's going to shift again because as we come out of the pandemic, anythings open up. What felt comfortable during the pandemic is probably going to change again. It's a ride for sure. Exactly. You're not alone in the struggle. You're approaching it and looking at what's happening in the market and not just taking things at face value to fatigue is real. You can keep trying to push webinars.

Alyssa Maker: Sometimes it's even to figure out if it’s okay. Maybe a webinar is what we need to do, especially if it's with a partner or something. How can we make this webinar something engaging that people will love? Can we turn it into a lunch and learn? Can we turn it into an event or a virtual event? And it's really thinking outside of the box to figure out how these channels can still work and on your budget. I've worked with many budgets, from having no money to having a bunch of money, and its events are expensive. Take in some of these cheap direct mails expensive, especially when you don't know if people are at home or back in the office. It gets difficult.

Kerry Guard: It does. But I'm going to keep in touch there. Listen, once you start working out for yourself. I feel that demand generation is not new. You've been doing it for a while. You're a bit on the cutting edge of that because it feels that it's starting to get some groundswell now. But what does it mean to you? What is dementia mean to you?

Alyssa Maker: If you asked me four years ago or five years ago, I always thought demand gen was the roles you had back then and email marketing specialist or a marketing automation specialist. Digital was the one that led the strategy things. But I also think as years went by, digital became its own thing and became very successful because social media wasn't big. I'm probably going to get this wrong, but it was so big when I was young, maybe 2000s. It wasn't always a thing; of course, email was always something marketers used, and all the basics of marketing with events, direct mail, and print.

When digital started to become its channel, you could no longer do demand generation and digital and one role. I know that when I was looking for jobs for a long time, that's what they wanted. They wanted somebody that could do both. I was in a role where when I went to my third job, I had to do both, and this is impossible that there's just not enough time in the day for somebody to do both and get the strategy. I was learning that demand generation was something that was about strategy. I think that's where it differentiated the role for me. You can have a digital strategy, and every role has its own strategy, but demand generation is about taking all those different channels and building one big strategy. I've always said that a demand generation marketer cannot do their job without a digital marketer, a content marketer an event marketer. Those roles can't do their job without a demand gen marketer because you're working in silos, and that's not good either. A demand generation person brings all the different channels and roles together to build one overall marketing strategy that will take different channels and have them work together to bring in ROI.

Kerry Guard: There's also the shift in how demand is being talked about. I'd love your opinion on its overarching strategy, but it's also a different kind of strategy. In the sense that the channels used to be focused on leads, especially in B2B and the spaces we work in. How many leads can we get? How can we get them when you layer in demand and, on top of that leads, become a product of it, but it's more holistic? How do you create that overarching systemic awareness of your brand and who you are? It brings brands back into the mix and the importance of the overarching of it to create that full view of your brand. Are the channels being activated to then drive through the funnel? Is that encompassing what you do as well? Or am I off base in terms of how you see it?

Alyssa Maker: No, I agree 100% with that. Every role has its own KPIs at the end of the day, such as digital roles, and KPIs might be engagement in website conversions and how many can I get for that, but the thing with dimension is not just about lead generation. We need leads, but those leads will run out, and you have to build the top of the funnel. You have to keep them coming in, and it's how you do that. We go back to the customer journey, but it all starts with brand awareness, and it all starts with getting your name out there, and the name recognition and making sure that when they're searching, your brand is coming up. It's guiding them through that journey to become a lead and customer. You can't do that if all you're focused on is the now, and that's where demand gen comes in: they are focused on the now but also the future and the future of the future. If you ask me today, I'm planning for Q2, but I'm also planning for next year when I know my KPIs are going up and how I will meet that demand.

Kerry Guard: What can you do today that will affect you down the road? Because it's staggered, or there's only a waiting period almost for the all the activity you do today isn't going to come in. It will not impact anything or have anything happen until a few months down the road. There's a gap in timing, and it's as much as you'd love for it to be.

Alyssa Maker: 100%. I feel that some people, especially, and I won't bash on sales, not all salespeople, but some are very much into short-term quick wins, and even people that aren't in marketing. They just don't understand what goes into it. I will give you a short-term strategy, but I'm also going to do a long-term strategy because the short-term is not going to last us. It might last us for this quarter. But then what happens? Sometimes, we forget that, and we as marketers have to fight for that, especially with brand awareness, because there's no great way to measure it, and there's no ROI. You don't see the ROI success in it immediately. And what ends up happening is that they think, why are we putting all this money into brand awareness when we're not getting anything out of it? Because those leads eventually interact and engage with other elements and channels that eventually get them down the funnel. Without that, where do you start? And I know when I came on to the job, one of the first things I told them was, don't expect any results for me for the first three months. Because that was all about it, they had been looking for this role for a long time. They just said, “okay,” But I know they wanted something. They wanted results. And when I told them, I said the reason was that no consistency was built. Before I came here, at least from my observation, no consistency was built. We did a campaign in Q1, maybe nothing in Q2, and then we'll do something in Q3, that there was no email and marketing consistency built.

We weren't using all the channels we were using together. We were using them in silos. It was on LinkedIn and digital that you might be putting out one message, and then you're doing a completely different email campaign to the same audience. When it doesn't match, it's not you're relying on one channel, and that is not the best way to market to people. So I said,” Don't expect anything from me for three months.” And that's exactly what happened for three months. It was all about building that consistency, building that plan, getting us into motion, and then by mid-Q3, the beginning of Q4, our numbers jumped. We started to see that.

Kerry Guard: You've said this word a lot, and it is where we wanted to sit today. So let's sit there for a minute. Keep saying the word consistency. What does that mean?

Alyssa Maker: It goes with the brand. They all play a role in this brand awareness and digital, but it's making sure that you stay in front of your buyer. When the time comes for them to buy, they know your name, and they will remember your name because you kept providing value to them. If I emailed somebody, or if somebody emailed me in Q1 with this report, and I downloaded this report. Still, I never hear from your company again until Q3. When I look for that, I will not remember that I downloaded that report, and Q1 is who your company is. It goes back to nurturing, but it's more than just nurturing. It's ensuring that when you provide valuable or create valuable content, you think these people and prospects would enjoy what you get in front of them. You also have to ensure you stay in front of them via digital because people don't always read emails but are on LinkedIn. They are on Google, so we need to retarget them. It's ensuring that we're one and seeing a consistent message across the board, so that's the first one I say when I think consistency is about a consistent message. But it's also consistent in ensuring that we stay in front of them.

Kerry Guard: Let's break that down with a consistent message. Is that brand? Is that the value that you're giving? What do you mean by consistent message?

Alyssa Maker: It’s the brand, message, and pain points you're marketing on. When I market to somebody, for example, and I'm telling them, this is what we do, and this is what we can help you with, that's what gets them engaged. If they ask if they go to our website, that's what's getting them engaged. But then they go to the BDR and see a completely different thing. Then they go to the sales funnel, which is completely different from the pain points I told them about in their demo request.

There's no consistent flow. We should all be saying the same thing. Let's all agree for a marketing persona that XY and Z are the pain points they care about. That's what we should be talking about at every step of the funnel, and not even stopping at sales, but also closing the loop—but even going into CSM, making sure that what the CSMs are saying is the exact same thing that we're saying. If these are their pain points when they get to that CSM, and they're doing training, ensuring that we're showing them in our product how they can do that and how they can fix those pain points. And I think that just builds a better journey for the prospect.

Kerry Guard: Is that essentially a brand strategy?

Alyssa Maker: Yeah, because it starts at the brand.

Kerry Guard: It's your mission, values, what the problems you solve, and how easy are that?

Alyssa Maker: Yes, I would agree. It starts with the brand, but then you dig into each funnel stage a little more. You have those messages for each step of the funnel to ensure that what I'm saying is the BDR for saying sales because you never want to get to. I've had it in my career where marketing said one thing, the BDR said another thing, and by the time they got to the demo, they said, “This is not what I thought I was getting.”

Kerry Guard: I love what you're saying, though, because I think that when there isn't consistency across the different channels, it's disjointed, like the user experience of who said what and why and who's right. It's all about building trust.

Alyssa Maker: Exactly. And then you're just competing. It goes back to me when I talk about consistency in marketing and that if you're running in silos, for example, and then your messaging, you're competing with yourself. If I'm running one message on LinkedIn, my email campaign to the same audience isn't saying the same thing; you're competing with yourself for what?

Kerry Guard: Oh, such a good point. When you start spending money against it, you can blow money pretty quickly and easily if you're not very clear on what it is you're trying to accomplish for who. In terms of who owns that, is that demand? Is that your job as demand generation to create that consistency in messaging? Is that the product teams? Whose responsibility is it to get to that consistent message?

Alyssa Maker: Multiple departments play a role, and coming up with that consistent message regarding owning the project, I believe it does lie with demand generation. Because, again, demand generation is what I consider that middle piece or that glue that holds everything together. They're the ones that are going to basically take this in our build-out like, “Okay, here's that consistent strategy. But now, I need content to help me develop what that message is supposed to be. I need digital to help me ensure that that message is getting out on our digital channels. I need sales to ensure that we're saying the right thing and that the pain points are right, whether it's BDRs or AEs, I also need a product to ensure that they are like, how can we help? How can our product help fix these pain points to ensure we talk about them? It's also ensuring that the CSM can tell me from historical data based on our customers. What are their pain points? What are some things that they're dealing with that you've heard to come up with that messaging? It's a collaborative effort between all departments, but I believe that demand generation is the role that that will be like the project owner.

Kerry Guard: I think that makes a ton of sense in the way that you're describing the function of demand generation versus the other components of an organization. Consistent messaging, I forgot what word you use, but it was essentially visibility.

Alyssa Maker: Being consistent in front of your buyers.

Kerry Guard: They're not downloading something in Q1, but then you're getting back to them in Q3.

Alyssa Maker: Exactly.

Kerry Guard: Frequency. Is that going out the window? Because there was a time when the caps were a thing, and they were important. You didn't win part of your audience and be annoying, but it sounds like that has gone out the window.

Alyssa Maker: Frequency is still a thing, and I still consider that when I'm building campaigns. When I think consistency amongst channels, I'm not saying, “Go email your prospect every week” Don't do that. I do my campaigns, and it's a very targeted approach because gone are the days of mass emails, and I'm sure some people will tell me I'm wrong. I've done many AV tests with emails, and I always have better results when I target messaging based on industry or persona.

Building consistency is saying, “If my plan in Q1 is to go after the manufacturing industry of auto parts, and I'm also going to go after retail stores in fashion, and those are the two that I'm going to focus on, I'm gonna build campaigns out to them.” But that doesn't mean that I don't have digital campaigns going out to the rest of my database, because that could mean that I might have a full manufacturing campaign running on LinkedIn, or I may have an MDL or middle-of-the-funnel campaign that's running to people that have engaged with my content. It's more of getting them to move down the funnel. While the channels need to work together, you will still have some doing other things. But they hope this makes sense. They are still geared towards one strategy. The goal is to continue creating demand, but you can't do that with one channel. I can't use email only. It's making sure that if you're not hitting them on one channel, you're at least sending them on another channel or at least retargeting them, and then maybe next month, I might see from my digital channel that this industry is doing well. It's a hot industry right now. Let's do a campaign for them.

Kerry Guard: It's not frequency in overloading one channel. It consistently shows up across all channels, almost an always-on scenario.

Alyssa Maker: You said it right, always on campaigns that are always running. It could be something as simple as a brand awareness campaign, but at least your name is still in front of them. When I do my year strategies, there's no way we target many industries. There's no way I will hit every industry this year. I just won't, not with my integrated campaigns. You do still have to use siloed campaigns, but those siloed camps. There are the four or five industries that I'm going to focus on for the first half of the year, and that's what I do emails for, and then the second half of the year might be different.

Kerry Guard: What is the delay on it? You told your team to expect this to start taking shape in three months. Did it take you three months to get anything off the ground? Did it take you three months to get to results? What is that? What does that timeframe mean for anybody thinking, and let's start this consistency demand generation approach? What are we talking about the timing of actually seeing ROI?

Alyssa Maker: It's three months to see results. I started trying to get my first campaign out in my first month there. I would do that first campaign, but it might be something that was done two quarters ago or the year before. I'm just repurposing it. I'm also building a brand new campaign by talking to the team and saying, “Okay, what is something that we should be talking about that makes sense?” We built this campaign around it, but it wasn't just about building email campaigns for the three months. It was also making sure that in our LinkedIn campaigns, we were also pushing out messaging that matched what we were also pushing out on Google if we needed something that matched. It was also changing the email approach. When I do email campaigns, I want to speak to audiences of those they're going to download if they're interested, and also the audiences that maybe I'm not ready to download something.

I don't want to give you my information. Let me ensure that I'm giving you ungated content so that you can go and explore. And then, from there, there's a CTA for you to download the report. I always push things out. There's always the next step and everything I push out. I don't believe you should leave a prospect hanging or thinking about what they should do next. You should always have that next step for them ready to go. It was making sure that all the channels were working together in those three months and that we were getting campaigns out each month, because that was also something that they weren't used to and that some companies aren't used to. And then from there, it's okay now that we've emailed these people and these prospects for three months, now we're going to continue on campaigns, making sure they're in those and now I'm going to do another campaign to the group that I did at the beginning of Q3. I'm going to do a campaign for them in mid-Q4; they still have a three-month gap, but they're not going three, four months, or six months without hearing from us and seeing our name. It was just a matter to me. If your team's not used to that approach, in that integrated marketing approach, it takes three months to build that approach and get the ball in motion. And that's why I always say, “Give me three months, we'll start it, and then it'll run, and it'll go smoothly, and you'll start to see the results.”

Kerry Guard: Pretty amazing! Know that you will start to see results in three months. There are two things you said, and I wrote them down. I wouldn't forget when you're talking about value and giving value. What does that mean? Is it always a download? I'm sure it depends on where you are on the funnel, but you've said this word a lot. I'm assuming we can't just show up with a big, flashy, beautiful banner ad and say, “look at us, we're giving them. What are you giving it?”

Alyssa Maker: It's valuable content. The term goes around marketing fluff. I am not a fan of marketing fluff. I am very bit when I write emails, or when I edit emails, that first sentence, what I always find is people read the first sentence, the last sentence, and if they are interested, they'll read the rest of your email. But that first sentence, some people will say things, content writers will write things, or marketers will want to start their email out with a phrase they already know. If I started out with an email that says things have drastically changed since COVID. You've already don't start with that. Start with a question, start with something that's going to draw them in, and say, “Come! Let me keep reading. I'm interested.” But it's also, who are you emailing? What message are you giving? If I'm putting a stat in there about the automotive industry, the fashion industry will not care about what they want to know about their industry. It's also making sure that whatever you're putting out is targeted in that pain point to who you're messaging or emailing. It's the valuable piece that provides something to them. They didn't already know before they opened this email. And that is through your copy. And that's through the piece that you're offering them, whether it's a case study, a white paper, or an infographic, but it's giving them something of value that will help them succeed in their job. And so that's what I always think about myself as a marketer, and we all should, because if you're a marketer when you email somebody, would you read it? Would you download it? And if you say, No, why would you send it?

Kerry Guard: I love that somebody they didn't already know. It feels like no job. But to be reminded of how we need to catch them, you must hook them immediately. You must give them something they already know. We got to get their brains to start thinking and like want to be a part of what it is you're saying. It's such a great reminder.

The other thing you said was gated content. Sometimes you get content; sometimes, you don't. I've talked to people from the Latin continent. He's adamant about this that you don't get anything. There are extremes where people say, “I'm getting everything because that's just what I know, and that's what works. I'm not leaving that realm.” And then other people are against the world. Where do you fit in that?

Alyssa Maker: I'm in the middle. It's dependent upon a lot of things. Gated content works. It just does, and there are other regions in Europe where gated content works. They have success with it, but I have a tough time with gated content, specifically in the US. My thought is that I don't need seven fields on a form for somebody to want to white paper; that's crazy. I wouldn't even want to give seven pieces of information. If we're going to get content, make it three; first name, last name, and email. There's so much technology out there today, and in tools, you can find the rest of that information on LinkedIn. You can find it. You don't need to ask them for it. I'm giving my life away for this. However, I also stand on the side of ungated content if we already have their information system. I don't believe in getting content for people that have already filled out a form because you already have their information. Give them ungated content unless it's a requested demo because I know that if they're requesting a demo, the ones that fill out that form are probably more serious. They might ask them to write, except for your phone number. But to ask somebody to fill out a form and get everything every time, you're never going to get anybody. I say in the middle because I believe in gating content for people that are new to your system. What value are you giving them, what they're downloading, and how long does reform need to be? Because we try just to get as much information as we can in one form.

Kerry Guard: I'm curious too, though. I find that interesting because you set it if they're new to your system, you gate the content. You don't leave any content open for even brand new people who are charged trying to get to know you.

Alyssa Maker: I do. I'm big on blogs and case studies, obviously not getting those and infographics. I always say anything like a white paper that I would say would be of great value, a report stats. Gate those blogs, always on gated case studies. I know that's also a topic in the marketing community. Some people gate them; some people don't. By the time somebody gets to a case study, they are researching whether or not they want to buy your product. Why would you make it harder for them? Don't do that. I'm big on engaging case studies, and anything like infographics or short fact sheets should be teasers into bigger reports.

Kerry Guard: I think that makes sense. It's interesting. They are giving more information about your company, but they did take a lot of work. I could swing either way on that. I shouldn't be getting blogs. I have this question a lot, too. I debate with people on this internally about what should be a blog and white paper. People can't search a white paper. We're talking about SEO and search content, and people can search a PDF. Are you missing out by putting that into something that's unsearchable and then putting it behind a paywall? Are you potentially losing the audience in that? When does it make sense to make something a white paper versus accessible on the website?

Alyssa Maker: It's interesting that you say that because I'm trying to figure it out right now for my own marketing tactics because what I'm finding, at least in the US, and what I found in other companies is that reports gate all day long, if you pay for a report and do research gate.

If you do an internal survey to all of your prospects, and you get all this data, and you create this report based on buying behavior or anything, gate that because people love that they're always going to download that. That is where I've had the most success with reports and white paper downloads. I'm on the fence and don't know because part of me agrees. It can be a blog, and we're going to give valuable information, but the other part of me is saying, “Well, how do we get information then about new leads that are coming in if nothing is gated?” Because reports are also very expensive. I'm doing some testing right now of gating and on gating, and I'm doing it based on the journey and where they're at in the funnel, and whether they are new to our system. We as marketers say hush on where we get our data from, but it's out there. We buy lists. Do we buy lists? We buy data platforms; that's where we get our data. It's third-party data. We already have their email because we're emailing them. Why gate? I'm on the fence with it because we already have their information. It's just a matter of making sure that they're engaged. If that's what we're trying to do, you can do that based on email clicks, page visits, and how many pages they visited in a session. There's so much behavior and intent data, just a new big thing that I'm leaning towards now that we can use that's better than a form fill.

Kerry Guard: If you're doing ABM to where you already have, where you don't need to necessarily sift through a bunch of leads that aren't going to be a right fit, then gating doesn't make sense. Because to your point, you just get the list against the accounts you want to go after, and then you just make that your priority. They are now a whole world of ABM, which we, unfortunately, do not have time for. It depends on what strategy you're going after. If you don't have a list, you don't know who your accounts are, and you don't want to spend the time on it because that's a lot of work. In that approach, there's a sense of dating. It depends on returning to your original point. As a demand generation person, what is your strategy?

Alyssa Maker: I think the BDR role is a role that I did do a business case for the company I'm at now. When we went through the interview process, I was asked which channels I thought were valuable, and I said BDRs. I named them a channel because you need somebody to follow up on your stuff. Intent data is a big thing. If you wait for people to fill out a form, you'll lose out on so much business. And that, to me, is the other piece. What is your overall strategy? What is your goal? Because if gating stuff is to get information, you already have it. So that can't be your goal. If I want engaged people, intent data is somebody that fills out a form versus somebody that is visiting multiple pages on your website, reading your blogs, researching about e-commerce, and doing X, Y, and Z is a more valuable prospect than that person that downloaded one white paper.

Kerry Guard: So true. This was awesome. Alyssa, thank you so much for bringing your perspective on how you approach demand generation. I think it's so clear and helpful as people start to figure this out for themselves and think about this role as the person who's bringing it all together and building that glue. I think that's just incredibly powerful now. Stop thinking about the silo channels, but figure out how they can all work together and have that commonality and the consistency that a user of that journey deserves. Before we close out, I do have my three people's first questions. You are more than a marketer; just pull back the curtain and let people get to know you a bit more. The first question for you. Have you picked up any new hobbies in the last two years?

Alyssa Maker: I'm a shopper. I love shopping. And one thing I did pick up in the last few years is right before COVID. Maybe a little bit more than previous years, but it was couponing. I love a good deal. And I found that when you watch those coupons, the shows about coupons and stuff, you're like, “oh my god, they got all that stuff, and they paid nothing. They got paid.” I used to think that's not real. It's real. It's a lot of work. I had toilet paper before the whole everything. Everybody had to buy toilet paper, and I didn't need any because I had over 30 or 40 packs of toilet paper, so many shampoos, so much soap, things that you need in a household that I will never have to buy for three or four years. I didn't ever do it with food because it goes bad, but like household items. It's a necessity. Couponing was something I got into as well as I have my dog, and I've been trying to go to dog parks, take her walk gang, and be more outdoorsy.

Kerry Guard: Oh cute, what kind of dog?

Alyssa Maker: She's a Dachshund Westie Jack Russell mix. She's a long-bodied, low rider, and she's literally in my world.

Kerry Guard: We had a cat that we got during the pandemic, and I love that little guy. Unfortunately, we moved houses, and then he got hit by a car. But before that, I was a pet person. But then we got our cat, and it was the best. Alright, second question for you. I know you're traveling to New York monthly, which is awesome. When you're with your team, what song do you want to play with them? How do you set the vibe with the song? What song would you play?

Alyssa Maker: Oh, that's a hard question. If it was Friday, it was Friday. That song that's Friday or Saturday, everybody sings in the office. It’s like the jam. A song that plays you go out on a Friday. That song plays, but if it was during the week, I don't have the song. I would I'm going to describe a song because I can't think of the names of the songs. My mind's going blank. It would be a party song, something that's about the life living and having fun. I would say because that's what I would say my team and my coworkers are like, we were very much a work-hard play hard team. And that would be the type of song we'd be playing.

Kerry Guard: Okay, I’ll find that Friday song and add it to the playlist. But if you think of another song around what you're describing, I'll add it to our Spotify. Last question for you. If you could travel anywhere in the world with red tape, vaccination cards, or testing, where would you go and why?

Alyssa Maker: Japan. I'm very fascinated with the culture over there. I think it is a beautiful culture. Cherry blossoms are my favorite flower, favorite tree, and that is one place that I said when I see the pictures, and I talk to people that live there, and I've been there and it's just something that it's the culture is so immersive to me that I want just to jump in it.

Kerry Guard: Beautiful. Thank you so much. It was so so good to have you.

Alyssa Maker: Thank you. I enjoyed this conversation.


And that was my conversation with Alyssa Maker. As we all shift towards a more demand generation approach, I hope you feel inspired by Alyssa and how she's building her team.

In my final episode of season 1, Tom Wedding brings the season home, teaching us how to build online communities. Stay on, and autoplay will take you there.

Thank you for tuning into this episode of season 12.

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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