Kuali, Inc. VP of Marketing at Kuali
Current Time 0:00
/
Duration Time -:-
Progress: NaN%

How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
It's a huge question because I'm old. But I think like most people that are at my spot in life, the biggest thing is that we didn't start where people think you started. So what? I actually have a master's degree in psychiatric social work. With a double major was research science. And so I started out as an anthropologist and social worker, and I found that I was just very interested in people and I was a writer. So I was an Agent ID writer for a long time. And then I moved into marketing, which is heavily about writing, and understanding people and being able to connect a person with a product that fits for them. That's right for them. And so my marketing experience is heavily based on things that I really believe in. So, I spent a lot of my career in news media, which I think is the basis of democracy. Read your newspapers and education, things I really care about. So I'm not a good marketer for agencies and things like that, but I love connecting people with things that will work for them and fit for them, and I like evolving and adjusting. And so I'm where I'm at today because I love what I do and because I didn't stay confined to what box I started. That's the best advice I can give you. Don't confine yourself like learn what you're good at.

What are the responsibilities and decisions that you handle at work? Discuss weekly hours you spend in the office, for work travel, and working from home.

Based on experience at: VP of Marketing at Kuali, Kuali, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
So I ran the marketing team. My responsibility was to make sure that we connected people with the products and I ran all of the different positions that would allow you to do that. Marketing is evolving all the time, and so the positions in that field are always changing. And so the biggest thing about managing and directing a team like that is understanding the right positions for the needs of the company and making sure that you're moving that forward and evolving. I worked a lot. So any time here, I'm hoping that that won't be the case for most of you that you can learn to have that work-life balance. I didn't necessarily have that as much as I'd like, so I worked 60 to 70 hours a week usually. And I didn't travel very much with my last job with the jobs Before that I did, and I didn't like that, so I kind of moved away from it. But any time you're in marketing and you're managing a team, you're usually dealing with a decent amount of travel. If you like that it could be really fun. I just have kids and I miss them. And the quality was one of the reasons why I went to quality is that it was a flexible work environment. So about 60 to 70% of the employees there are remote. They're from all over the world, actually. So I love that I like videoconferencing. I like working from home. I like being surrounded by things that make me happy and being closer to my family. So remote work. Life is a big deal for me. I'm excited that your generation is gonna get more of an opportunity for that. It's not for everybody, though. If you're not self-motivated or you get lonely, it's not a good fit for you. But I like, I really like it.

What qualities do you look for when hiring? How do you interview candidates?

Based on experience at: VP of Marketing at Kuali, Kuali, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
So you'll find as you're moving into the workspace that the person who's interviewing you all, they're very different. So when you're going up for a job, I'd use lengthen. I get really comfortable and confident and lengthen and look up the people that are interviewing you and look up there because you can find out a lot about a person's personality by their former work history and what people put about them. I'm a very casual person who is very interested in someone's ability to evolve. So in marketing, I'm looking for people that are very curious. Curiosity is like the best quality in a person because it's always changing. If you can't think about something new or look outside of the box, you're not a good fit for my team. And I'm also looking for someone with a high amount of E. Q. Emotional intelligence. Marketing is a group sport. Lots of people have to work together to make it work, and so if you can't learn from other people and if you can't take an idea that you have and build on that and make it better by group effort, you're probably not a good fit for my team. So those were the main things that I looked at as well as just having the skills that you need. You have skills. So there's a lot of great stuff out there. It's gaining traction. like 10 years ago. We didn't even have a word for it, how I dealt with it with someone's ability to communicate well and be empathetic and be tolerant. And so I would look for interview questions that helped me understand that. But if you're looking to build that volunteer, that's like the best advice I can give you. Read about other cultures, read about other people, understand how you're different and one of them. One of the strongest pieces of advice I got from a mentor a very long time ago was all right. I love it. Look, first, to understand before you look to be understood, and if you can do that, you'll build your emotional E. Q. Naturally, just it's not about you learn. It's not about you. And if you could do that and you could put other people first, you'll do a good job with everything

How do you inspire and motivate your team-members? How do you foster creative thinking? How are ideas shared and implemented?

Based on experience at: VP of Marketing at Kuali, Kuali, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
I feel like there's, like, a move over boomer thing happening to me about right now. If you're watching this, I think that you have to motivate yourself. I'm not looking to motivate you. And I'm not necessarily looking to inspire I'm working to work with you. So, I don't believe that I could personally motivate or inspire my team. What I do believe I can do is be open and communicate and help them know how to motivate themselves. So when my team members come to me and say I really want to learn this new skill, I'm super curious about this. I really better want a better Understand this. I'm gonna move heaven and earth to make that work for you. And I'm always gonna be open and available to, but I want you to be excited and passionate and motivated yourself and actually look for that when I interview someone. So that's like another thing for the previous question. Yeah, I already have kids. I don't want to parent you. 

How do you set targets for your team-members? How do you measure their progress? How do you incentivize them to meet their targets?

Based on experience at: VP of Marketing at Kuali, Kuali, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
We set the targets together. So the last couple jobs I've been at those targets revolve around something called OKRs, which is your objective and then your measurables for that objective and in marketing, that's incredibly important. So it in our field, our targets are often set by other departments, their stuff by the sales department or the executive team. And so we have to find ways of meeting other people's targets, which is hard. So just prepare yourself for that. It's not for fun, And so our goal is to look at the targets they've set for us in to find different ways of meeting those and then to optimize as much as possible. So we just meet very consistently to look at where we're at and to find new ways of getting there. And if we're ahead of where we are, where we want to be, we want to look at what's working and then continue to optimize that. Move that forward and again. That's a group effort, and so I don't feel like it's my job to set those targets for people. It's our job to set them together and then to also take the ones that are given to us and figure out how to make those work. In terms of incentivizing, it goes kind of back to that last question like I do like to reward our team. We do fun things, and we do things together as a group. But my goal isn't to. Instead, your incentive is your paycheck and then just your passion to learn and to grow. I will say that when things work and people come up with creative ideas, it's not an incentive. But I always want to give people credit where credit is due. And so it's really important to when somebody comes up with something amazing to make sure that everybody knows and make sure that people are aware of the hard work that's going into that group effort that's going into that. It's not from the management, it's from the team. And so I do try to give people a lot of credit when I can, and to also let them know how much I appreciate them. But that's more my style. I know that other people are working more of an incentive system

What major challenges do you face in your job and how do you handle them? Can you discuss a few accomplishments?

Based on experience at: VP of Marketing at Kuali, Kuali, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
Every job has its own unique set of challenges. So in marketing, depending on what product, your marketing, what industry or in those of the challenges that you meet, I would recommend to all of you that you get familiar with Clay Christiansen and his work on disruptive innovation in marketing. The biggest challenge he faces. Disruptive innovation. And what that is is it means that there's always somebody else, another competitor that's going to take over what you do! They're gonna come up with another product. They're gonna come up with another thing. And in our society it's evolving so much faster today than it ever did so early in my career. That evolution would be like every three years. That was like every three days is what it feels like. So, that's the biggest challenge, regardless of the product in regardless of the company, the way that I handled that is to have this much knowledge about the competitors, as I can to, understand that competitive, the competitive landscape where things are coming up and I have employees that really focus on that work on that together as a team, it's not enough to just know who the competitors are, though you have to understand how people want their products and how people are responding to new things that are in the market. And so that's one of the best books I've ever read on that. And the work stands. I mean, it's amazing. So if you can understand that the concept of that and then you can understand how the consumer interacts and deals with that, that's the best way to kind of go after that sort of thing. And it will always be the major challenge in marketing. That'll never change in terms of accomplishment. Some of my biggest accomplishments. When I worked in news, I was hired to take over the digital side of the newspaper's not just the marketing but actually implement the entire digital site. And that was a really big accomplishment. Because newspapers are like education are one of those fields where, everything is constantly changing, but people don't want to change. It's an old school field. And so the biggest challenge was getting people to understand that change is okay, and evolution is okay and then understanding how consumers we're going to take that and moving that forward and we went our readership. It increased by over 40% in one year because our readers were ready for that. It was up to us to bring them what they wanted and move it forward in the market. And that was one of my favorite times in my career. It was super fun. It was challenging but super fun. So any time you have a chance to evolve and move a product for it in a whole new way, it's so fun. And if you do it right, you'll never forget what that feels like a miracle.

What are the job titles of people you routinely work with inside and outside of your organization? What approaches do you find to be effective in working with them?

Based on experience at: VP of Marketing at Kuali, Kuali, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
I mostly work with the rest of the executive team, which are people who deal with every other part of the company. So for my job. So the VP of marketing at quality is the highest level of marketing. So in some cos, you'll have VP, some companies you'll have C, it's the C level suite. So some companies, it will be like the chief operating officer. Different things like that depend on size. So we were a mid-tier company, which means it's VP incidence, C level, but the other titles that that that we work with super closely, obviously, is the VP of sales of the, you know, the chief revenue officer, that kind of thing. I also worked really closely with the product. So the VP of product or the GM, the general manager of products to the person who runs that entire product side of the team, because so with sales, you're working with them to help them sell the product. With Product, you're working on the road map and how you develop it. So how you're hearing back from consumers what they want, where they're heading, the other one that you work with a ton would be the VP of customer service because marketing has three main goals. You have a goal of getting new clients, you have a goal of retaining clients, and then you have a goal of building over our corporate brand with a story within the market. And so you're dealing with any role that deals with one of those three things. And all of those people are super different. The customer service person, their whole focuses retention and making sure that what you're promising is what you're the product itself is able to deliver and so that they really care a ton about that. Sales just want to sell a lot of looking for. A resource is, and how do you make that work? And if they're not able to sell, they will blame marketing for not giving the right resource is so building a really strong relationship. Not letting it turn into a, he said, she said, like fisticuffs, build a solid relationship and understand what they're up against again, seek to understand them and what they need to accomplish. That's usually where the most tension lines I think on. And then product really get to know them, understand where the product's going, so you can understand what you should be marketing to in the future, what you could be excited about but also bring them back what you're hearing from the customers. So the product continues to get better and to grow, but those are the three main ones, I think.

What was the hiring process like for your job? What were the roles of people who interviewed you? What questions were asked and how did you answer them?

Based on experience at: VP of Marketing at Kuali, Kuali, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
Any time you get to C level, it's like three months. It's a very long hiring process, and so usually every company totally handles it differently. But you should be prepared to interview with, like everybody under the sun. And marketing is one of those things where again you work with almost the whole building. So I was interviewed by all of the executive team. Obviously, multiple times I was interviewed by everybody that would have been on my team and then everybody that would have been on high-level manager jobs in within the product teams and within the sale structure. So my interviewing process lasted around three months, and I interviewed. I'm guessing a dozen times, all told with multiple different people. And then usually you're asked to put together a marketing plan, that kind of thing to really better understand the product in the company. And so once you get to that high level, you're putting a lot of time and effort in if you're making it to the finals of any one of those processes, and so I have a lot of friends that are the VP level in all of us. That's kind of the standard. It's a very, very long process and just, you know, get ready for it. 

What were the responsibilities and decisions that you handled at work? Discuss weekly hours you spent in the office, for work travel, and working from home.

Based on experience at: Executive Director of Marketing Strategy and Research, Helix Education
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
You know, you're gonna work in house for a company or you're gonna work for an agency that builds a brand and marketing for other companies. Those are, usually your two choices there. Helix is an outside company that builds Brandon marketing only for universities and systems of education. So my main function there was we worked with universities all over the country to totally rebuild their brand. It is so on. I traveled all the time by ourselves, probably. And I will say, agency. The downside to an agency is really long work hours, very odd work hours, that kind of flux, a lot and a lot of travel, because again, you're working with clients and you're going out to meet them, and you're dealing with all of that kind of stuff. It was one of the most enjoyable jobs I've ever had, though, because you got to go in and work for 5 to 6 months at a university level. And I added a university is sort of like branding a city. You're branding all of the different parts of that city cause every single department is different. The sports teams, everything all of that has to go under the umbrella of a brand, and it's just a lot of work. And so you're just doing a lot of interviews and understanding how people see that university and understanding what they want to accomplish, and then trying to combine it all together and make it work for everybody. A lot of research is involved. Like a lot, we would write about, um, 6 to 800-page feasibility studies to so. The other thing with marketing is there's a creative side and there's a research side, and if you could be good at both and you can understand the benefit of how they work together, you're gonna be a lot more successful. It uses definitely both sides your brain, although that's been proven to not be a real saying. But just so you use a wide variety of skills all coming together and coalescing together

What major challenges did you face in your job and how did you handle them? Can you discuss a few accomplishments?

Based on experience at: Executive Director of Marketing Strategy and Research, Helix Education
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
The hardest thing about that job was to get everybody on the same page at a university, and so and I think it's like this with any kind of marketing. When you're branding a company, people already have their idea of what that should be, and nobody agrees, or they wouldn't hire you. If they had a clear brand and they knew exactly what they wanted to accomplish, they wouldn't need you. And so the biggest challenge is always being a good enough listener to understand where everyone's coming from. But then also look at the customer because your job is a marketing professional isn't to figure out the right thing for you to say it's You're trying to figure out the right thing to connect a client with a product that works for everybody. You're not looking to trick them. I recognize there are people out there that do it. That's crap. You're trying to connect the right person with the right product, you know, and have that feel-good situation for everybody. So that's the big. The biggest challenge is making everybody feel good and heard and listen to, but also doing it in a way that will be effective and will work for everybody. One of my biggest accomplishments at Helix. It was a really fun situation. We went down to the east side of Austin. There's a University called Houston Tillotson, and it's a historically black university and college on the east side of Austin. And It's really two universities that have kind of been joined together in one. But there were a lot of differing opinions, and it was a university with a very robust history of just beautiful, amazing civil rights accomplishments and things like that. But they were dying. They didn't have enough students coming in, and they really needed people to, understand what they could offer and to kind of renew. And it was a very, very long branding process. But it was incredibly successful to the point where, their branding was all over the place, and it allowed them to reconnect with a lot of their alumni and get their alumni excited about the university of what it had done for them. And it was really a rallying cry about their story and like my whole team cried when we launched. It was beautiful. So that's the side of marketing that's really fun. It's If you can connect and be passionate about the product and about what you're doing and you can bring people together, it could be a really amazing and beautiful experience. And at the end of the day, marketing is just really well-done storytelling. 

What was the hiring process like for your job? What were the roles of people who interviewed you? What questions were asked and how did you answer them?

Based on experience at: Executive Director of Marketing Strategy and Research, Helix Education
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
Helix was really unique in the sense that, they were in the middle of a sort of changing their focus as a company. At the time that they hired me, they had been three separate companies that were all coming together to form a new kind of company. And so they were looking at people who could bring these departments together and move aboard, and they were really interested in people that were relational and team builders. So they focused a lot on those questions, although I've never worked for a company that I liked working for. So there's a coffee out there that was a good place to work that didn't focus on that, actually. So I think when you're going to interviews like that, if you could think of really strong examples of ways that you've worked together with people and that that working together move the product for it, that's a probably gonna come up a lot

How did the program prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts?

Based on experience at: Master’s Degree, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
Go Badgers! I have an MSSW which is just masters of science and social work. It's so Madison's the only, at the time they were the only university in the country that offered that. I think they still kind of are. I loved it. It was a focus on both research and psychiatric social work. Might. My degree actually specializes in people with severe and persistent mental illness. And as I mentioned, I retired from quality just a couple of days ago because I'm going back into practice and starting my own practice. But I loved my work at Madison because it was a really robust and, eclectic program. So it required you to focus on communication skills as well as research skills and how those could work together to find truth. So that's really what the program sort of focused on, in understanding that the truth often comes from multiple places and pulling all of those resources is together to get more at the truth of whatever the situation is. And I've applied that to everything I've ever done since, and I super loved it. My professors were really, incredibly hard, and I will tell you a funny story. I was seven months pregnant when I graduated with my master's degree and I was super sick. I had this weird thing called hyper dimock. Rivera just made you vomit like all the time. And I had, like, a little garbage can next to me because I want to graduate. And I didn't want to miss my classes. And all of the professors and students rallied around me and they pretended like I wasn't sitting there vomiting, like although the class and they, like, supported me and helped me through and help me graduate. So I super loved it. And I loved all the people I got to go to school with. It's great. 

Do you have any parting advice for students and professionals starting out in your field? What three mistakes they should avoid? What three things would help them the most?

Based on experience at: VP of Marketing at Kuali, Kuali, Inc.
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Nov 29 2019
My advice is that your talents will always be the same, but your skills and your ability to apply them in different ways has to evolve and change all the time. So if the biggest mistake that people make is thinking that they're done. So like when you graduate, you're done learning you're never, ever done learning and you can't be. And if you're not curious, you're not always trying to change and evolve, you're in trouble at Marketing is changing, so and almost any field is changing. And so the people that I've worked with it have had the biggest struggle in their careers are people who feel like they've done learning. Don't be done learning. The second big mistake that people make is feeling like being right is more ever being hurt. Either one of those things is more important than getting the job done. It doesn't matter. Being right is totally inconsequential. It doesn't matter. None of us are actually right. That's like, what kind of right or sort of right or almost right. So, again, being listening instead of having to be heard is a better way to go that way. And if you can learn to collaborate and communicate and be kind. You're gonna get a lot farther then, and it's a lot more beneficial than being right. And I think the third mistake that people make a lot that ends up getting fired, actually, is this intense need to be recognized. And it's not about you personally being recognized. It's about the team doing well, and success breeds recognition. So if you come up with a really great idea and the whole team moves that forward, but it's not successful, you just shouldn't. You should be more concerned about success and everybody doing well and feeling good and getting personal recognition. And if you're always after that personal recognition, people find that off-putting and they don't super like it, and it will hurt your career. You'll be recognized if you're successful like if you go out there and you build a good marketing campaign as a team, then as a team, everyone's gonna get recognized and you're gonna get raises, and you're gonna be able to move your career forward. When you go into a job interview, they're not asking you just what your experience is. They're asking you what you're able to accomplish. They want numbers, they want to know. I grew from this to this. We were able to build this many products within a year, and our launch used this many dollars and I got this much out of it. They're looking for very specific things that you were able to do, and you can only use those numbers that the whole team is successful. If you go into an interview and you say my piece was super successful, but the rest is up, you're not going to get the job. It all has to work. So don't worry about personal recognition as much as group effectiveness and effectiveness of the whole campaign. And then in terms of three things that would help people out the most. It just goes along with those failures. Seek first to understand other people, learn how to not be worried about being right. But being worried about, working together to make things successful and always be curious, learned. Go out there and see what other people are doing. And it's part of the curiosity. I'd really, really super recommend not just going to already built networking things, but find other people who do the same job as you would build friendships. I have four groups, and I meet with every month that are different groups of women who have different kinds of jobs and we help each other learn we help each other grow. Those groups have been more important to my success and my happiness than anything else in the whole world. So you really can't do it by yourself. You can't be successful without other people supporting you and you support them. And so I think that's the best advice I could offer.