Renee Brown (iLending) - Like a Puzzle

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This is a podcast episode titled, Renee Brown (iLending) - Like a Puzzle. The summary for this episode is: <p>Renee Brown, the Chief Marketing Officer at iLending, discusses partnerships and a focus on digital advertising, and how both make a big difference for marketing. Vincent and Ajay both enjoy traveling for conferences.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

Speaker 1: Maybe big data has gotten too big. Whether you're a B2B marketer or a consumer brand, your data needs to be viable, relevant, and accessible so that Stirista can help you retain customers, acquire customers, and make it personal.

Speaker 2: Welcome to the Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Vin, the producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market, and we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Renee Brown, the Chief Marketing Officer at iLending, discusses partnerships and a focus on digital advertising, and how both make a big difference for marketing. Vincent and Ajay both enjoy traveling for conferences. Give it a listen.

Speaker 3: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's The Marketing Stir. I am your happy host, Vincent Pietrafesa, the Vice President of B2B Products and Partnerships here at Stirista. It is so great to talk to you all. It's been a while, it seems like. It's been a while since I've chatted with my co- host. We'll get to him in a moment. He's been traveling a lot and he's missed a few episodes, and I was hurt, I was very hurt by it. We'll get to him in a moment. But let's talk about Stirista just for 10 seconds. You know this is not advertiser- driven, this podcast. We just talk about Stirista for 10 seconds. We're a marketing technology company. We own our own business- to- business data, our own business- to- consumer data. We then help customers access that data to help them get new customers. We own our own DSP, our own ESP. It's a lot of acronyms I know, but just email me and I will tell you more about that, vincent @ stirista. com. That is how confident I am, I just gave you my email address. And boy, do you listeners use it for a variety of reasons. Mostly I appreciate you telling me how great we are, that's nice. You also have guest suggestions. You also try to sell me a variety of things, but that's what I get for putting out my email address to all of our subscribers. But it's okay, I'm happy about it. I'm also happy to have my co- host back, ladies and gentlemen. He was supposed to be here in New York City this week, and he had to move it one week, for which I'm not going to be here. So yeah, that was the first strike the other. And then he was traveling, so I had to go solo on the podcasts. And then I brought in our very own Brian Gold on one of the podcasts. But it's good to have him back, ladies and gentlemen, live from San Antonio, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's up, Ajay?

Speaker 4: Hey, Vincent. It has been a little while, so thanks for keeping the flagship product going while I've been traveling.

Speaker 3: Exactly. Yeah, you're doing a lot of traveling. We're back at conferences. You were at the Beet Retreat in Puerto Rico. By the time this airs, we would've already been at RampUp in San Francisco. What a great conference that was, I think. It hasn't happened yet, according to you, but it's great. We love our friends there at LiveRamp and RampUp.

Speaker 4: It can't be any worse than the one right before COVID, a week before the whole national shutdown happened.

Speaker 3: That's right. That I think is maybe the last time I've been to RampUp myself. That was in end of February, beginning of March of 2020. And then they were like, " Oh, we have one- third of our attendees coming." That was the birth of the people doing the elbow greeting and the foot. I was like, " Why the foot? That's weird." At least no one had open- toed shoes on, so that's good. But yeah, people were doing the foot, but we'll be back there.

Speaker 4: I remember there was one lady, everybody else was still shaking hands and it was more of a joke, the foot and all that and elbow, this lady refused to shake hands and I was like, " Wow, she's a real weird one," and then it turned out she was onto something.

Speaker 3: She was onto something. But no, it's been back, and a lot of people are going to be attended. I will see you in San Francisco, so that will make up for you abandoning me this week. But yeah, I'm abandoning you.

Speaker 4: I know.

Speaker 3: You'll be in New York City, but I'm going to be in Mexico, so I'm not complaining. I'm going to come back with a nice tan. I won't relax because I have two children, but again, it's still a vacation. It'll be fun. But it is great to have you-

Speaker 4: People often forget you're a sensitive guy.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think I am, right? I put off this big macho vibe when people meet me because... No, no, that's not the case. Of course I'm sensitive. Why not? It's good to be sensitive. But Ajay, let me tell you, I am glad you're back, but I'm even gladder... Is that a word? Gladder, happier? No, it's not a word. My guest is already saying it's not a word, but happier, I'm happier now because we have such an amazing guest. I had an opportunity to talk to her, and I know our audience is just going to love her. Ladies and gentlemen, she is the Chief Marketing Officer at iLending, my new friend, Renee Brown. What's going on, Renee?

Speaker 5: Hey, it's a beautiful winter morning and great to visit with both of you guys, so thanks for inviting me.

Speaker 3: Oh, so we're happy to have you, Renee. I enjoyed our conversations in the past, and I'm really eager to get your story out to our amazing listeners. Thank you for telling me that gladder's not a word. It felt good. It felt good coming out, and then I was like, " Wait a minute, I don't know if that's a word." But hey, the sediment was there, the sediment was there.

Speaker 5: They add words to dictionary every year, so might just be starting a trend.

Speaker 3: That's the ultimate honor I think, is getting the word into the dictionary. But that's awesome. Renee, it is so great to hear from you. I love your story. I think iLending is such a cool company. Tell our listeners in your own words about ILending and of course chief marketing officer, but tell me some of your day- to- day that you're doing there.

Speaker 5: Absolutely. Well, thank you for the invitation. iLending is an organization that works across the US to save consumers money, which sounds like a really fun thing, and it actually is. We are in the auto refinance business, and so 40% of consumers don't know that you can refinance your car loan. And so, our company has been around since 2006, one of the oldest in this area. What we do in marketing every day is find consumers with high interest auto loans and reach out to them and ask if they'd like to save some money. We have enjoyed saving consumers an average of$ 145 per month on their auto loan, and that adds up to real money. More than$2, 000 a year is real money for consumers out there. I'm sure all of you can relate. Even in this high interest environment, interest rate environment we're in, we are still saving consumers money every single day. I've been in financial services marketing for more than 25 years, and I have through a lot of my career worked with the affluent segment. In this role we're working with consumers who have more challenged credit, subprime, mid- prime consumers. It's a very interesting thing to actually reach out and help people in that situation because there's a lot of skepticism. There are a lot of consumers that have been treated poorly by financial services companies, and to reach out and try to help them, you have to overcome skepticism because they don't trust financial services companies. Anyway, our every day is trying to find consumers who need to save on their auto loan and helping to make that happen. We have about 50 lenders across the country, and we can find rates that are really hard to find if you're just a consumer shopping around. That's my job every day, is to find consumers to help, and that's kind of a neat thing.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, I was very intrigued with the company and with you, and I'm glad you're sharing your story. Renee, I love your background. It's financial services, it's healthcare and marketing. You've been into the marketing role, and a question that our listeners love hearing about is how you got started in marketing. Was it a direct path or like most people was something different? Tell us about that.

Speaker 5: It was something different. When I was 16 years old, I started in radio and thought I was going to follow a journalism path. I do have a face for radio.

Speaker 3: No.

Speaker 5: What I learned pretty quickly is journalism is a really tough road. Instead I thought I would be a professor in college, so I went along that path. By the time I finished my master's, I was out of money and needed a job, so I exited with a Master's in Communication Theory. What that is, a lot of mediation and how to communicate both in business and personal situations. I was hired by a small bank in Lake Charles, Louisiana because I had mediation, and they had an agency that hated the CEO, but they were locked in a contract. They really needed a mediator more than a marketer, and that's how I landed in marketing. So there you go, I'm a communications major that wound up in marketing. I've been in marketing ever since with a lot of different banks and financial institutions. But also as you mentioned, I took a stop in healthcare for a couple of years. There are a lot of similarities between financial services and healthcare. We can talk about that if anyone's interested in that topic. But anyway, so how did I get into marketing? A little bit of happenstance, but it really fit what I enjoyed around how do you help with people communicating and matching people's needs with what a business is trying to sell at any point in time.

Speaker 4: Renee, you've worked at some pretty large companies like Wells Fargo, but what do you enjoy about working at a startup and how is it different than some of the experiences you've had at bigger companies?

Speaker 5: Yes, I've worked at Fortune 5 companies and then now at a startup. There's a lot of things to love about larger organizations, and there's a lot of things to recover from after you leave large organizations. One of the things that's very different with a startup or a smaller company is that we have a singular product or service that we sell, and so everyone's focused on the same thing, the same goal. At larger companies, oftentimes when they have many different product areas, you actually have internal marketing and competition to reach the same client across product groups. And so, I was doing more internal shuttle diplomacy in a lot of my roles at large companies to get the work done to. Today that isn't needed. At a smaller company when you're all focused on one goal, not many, many different goals and many different audiences, it just makes things a lot more simple. Also, smaller companies don't have the politics that large organizations have. Again, you're fighting for resources at larger organizations, so politics get much more at play, and it takes a lot of your energy. And so, I love my energy really focusing on how do we beat the competition, how do we help consumers, how do we get smarter and faster and not that internal stuff. Those are a couple of differences. It's really been great to be at a smaller company. It's back to doing marketing and less of some of the other diplomacy you have at large companies.

Speaker 4: Great. You've been in the financial services in particular for a long time and you've seen digital has evolved. Can you talk to us a little bit about how that's affected the financial services industry and what's changed?

Speaker 5: Well, yes, I pre- date email in my career, so there you go, stating my age. I remember a time when there were interoffice memos and not emails. And so, yes, digital has taken over on not only how financial services companies help consumers, but how consumers take in information, and it's changed expectations. And so, when I think of things early in my career, I will say direct mail was huge as I started. So being on press checks and doing all the QC of direct mail was early in my career. And honestly, that is back now. Direct mail is one of the best channels that we have in my business today because we can extend firm offers that are very personalized and people's mailboxes are not as full as they once were. And so, you have less competition in the mailbox. That's one example of where what's old is new again in marketing. But the difference in direct mail today is we do retargeting today. So if we send out a million pieces of mail, we can probably send out 750, 000 emails because we have those email addresses, and then you can retarget them on Facebook and other social media channels and on their Google searches and that sort of thing. And so, that really increases the productivity and the efficiency and effectiveness of direct mail is the digital component. But overall, as you think about the changes that have happened in the world of digital, I would say around 2010 as social media started really becoming part of all of our lives, consumers have given up all of their privacy willingly and not even realizing it, because social media started very in an innocuous way and people were sharing what they were eating and reading and just every moment of every day, not really being clear that these companies were buying their data, buying their behavioral information and selling it. Now consumers are a little bit more aware, but still you see people, particularly kids, younger people, give up so many elements of privacy. What it's good for for marketers is we can really hone in on some behavioral things and really target consumers better. But at the same time, that feeling of privacy is really a false sense of security, and it's because of the way that we interact digitally. Our ability to really track a consumer is substantial. I know a lot of consumers dislike the retargeting advertising, but it's part of our every day, where if you express interest in a car or any kind of product or service, it will chase you around for a long time, because people know what your behaviors are. And that can be very good, and it also has its limitations. I would say financial services now has a lot more great data on consumers to better target consumers. I think the problem with financial services is the expectations of consumers continue to grow and grow. I think financial services is still behind on how do we educate consumers, make them smarter, make them not have to work as hard, make things easier to understand. I think all areas of financial services, we have a lot of work to do to improve. So those are just some of my thoughts. Probably any one of those areas we can spend 30 minutes talking about.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, I love the insight. You and I have a few things in common, communications, right? And find myself in marketing now, I think it's a nice transition in listening to you talk. And then you're right, direct mail, what's old is new again in a lot of ways. I was just at an event where they where this consulting group was talking about 2023, and you're right this, it's that direct mail. A lot of people were home. Those business executives were not in the office, so how do you still reach them, for example. That's one way, so I love hearing that. The QR code too, remember that, Renee? The QR code about seven years ago, people are like, " I'm not scanning this. I don't know what's going to happen." And now you got everyone using the QR code.

Speaker 5: You can thank COVID for that and the restaurant's using it, so every consumer knows how to use a QR code now. I thought QR codes were dead, they're not.

Speaker 3: I thought so too. And now if you looked at some of the Super Bowl commercials, everyone had a QR code. Almost everyone had a QR code, it's interesting to see. This is a marketing podcast, let's talk about that marketing. You're utilizing direct mail. What are some other channels that you're using to market to this audience? This audience is really, like you said, people who are in the market who already have a car, maybe they already have a loan on it, maybe they've owned the car for a few years. Talk to us a little bit about that.

Speaker 5: Yeah, so our marketing mix, of course I mentioned direct mail, we focus on partnerships a whole lot. We partner with large aggregator organizations who have web presences such as a lending tree as an example, where consumers are out researching on financial matters and our ability to find out that they have a vehicle and information on them and then if they express interest in a refinance be able to reach out to them and help them out. We have more than 70 partners, and so that's a big part of what my team does, how do we partner with people in the automotive industry and the financial industry, other industries to find these consumers? The other space, of course, is digital advertising, social, as well as pay per click. That space is a huge focus for us. The way that people are searching for terms is critical. If somebody searches auto refinance, we want to be the first name that pops up so that they research us prior to any of the competition out there. The pay per click space is really interesting because you can see how an area gets a whole lot of interest at certain times in a market cycle and then it can drop off and a lot about how much people are paying for those search terms is a very interesting leading indicator on how the overall industry is performing. My team does really performance marketing. All of our loan consultants, every time the phone rings, it's because of something we've done in marketing. And so, that's a little bit of a difference being at a smaller company, I sit with our loan consultants. If they're having a good day, I know it, and if they're having a slow day, I also know it, so I get immediate feedback. Whereas, at larger companies, sometimes you don't get feedback that quickly. That's a good thing for our marketing team because if things are slow, we can start adjusting what we're doing from a marketing standpoint and that's pretty fun. So that's a little bit about what we're up to every day, is really having the phones ring. I'd like to say one other thing. When you think about consumers, there are consumers who have gotten in financial trouble, and we're seeing that more and more now as this economic cycle continues to be very, very odd. But some consumers actually go to payday lenders and they put their car up in a situation like that. We've seen consumers with 155% interest rate on their car. Being with a larger financial institution, being a predatory lender, you hear that term and I'm like, " Oh, there aren't many." There are a lot of those out there. And so, it was a big eye- opener for me, and those are some of the consumers we can help the most to get out of those crazy loans. Those loans are happening every day. So anyway, just something for you to be aware of.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, that's interesting. You've heard it here first, folks, it's a problem out there. For me, I was a little naive to it because I don't own a car. I live in Manhattan, and I haven't owned a car in about 12 years. I also didn't think, I was like, " Oh wait, interest rates are high on home loans," that I didn't connect the correlation through auto loans. So talk to us about how you've navigated that, Renee, in these last few years. Has it helped your business, meaning in the sense that you could help people more because of that?

Speaker 5: Well, it's actually narrowed our focus. We're really focusing on subprime consumers now that have interest rates above 10%, we can still help them. Back before interest rates were rising, we could help somebody with a 7% or a 5% get down to a two. Well, the opening rate is around 5% now, so it's narrowed our audience. But what I would say is right now what's happening with rates being so high, every day somebody's buying a car, and right now they're getting very high rates. So in nine months we'll be able to help them refinance as rates come back down. It's all a cycle. We see it taking the longer viewpoint on how we can help out.

Speaker 4: Here's a fun question for you. This is a question we ask all of our guests. I'm sure you get a lot of LinkedIn messages and a lot of them are unsolicited, actually probably most of them are. What's a message that really annoys you and what's one that'll get a response from you?

Speaker 5: Thank you for that question. I have noticed so many more cold call emails through LinkedIn. I don't respond if it's just a vendor that doesn't have a connection to somebody in my network or some other understanding of the business. What I look for and what I would respond to is if somebody's taken the time to find a connection in my network and have them do an introduction. If a friend in my network introduces someone, I will have a meeting even if I don't need the product, service, whatnot. But if it's a cold intro that doesn't have any relevance, I will not respond to it. I've seen some really creative ones recently where they'll pick up that I volunteered time here or there or the college I graduated from, and those will get my attention. But even now, you wonder if ChatGPT is writing some of those. They probably are. Is it really somebody taking the time or is it some kind of AI actually helping these folks? I appreciate if somebody does a warm connection as opposed to what we see so often out there.

Speaker 4: Our Slack channel is being flooded by ChatGPT stuff and some of our data and engineering guys find it really funny and sometimes I can't tell when they have typed it themselves.

Speaker 5: Yes, it's real. There's a lot of positives to that AI technology, but also some downsides.

Speaker 4: Renee, you've talked about having worked in the financial industry in a long time. What's been a favorite campaign of yours that you've really enjoyed working on? I'm sure there's so many to pick from.

Speaker 5: Yes, yes. Some of the ones I've enjoyed the most have been the hardest. And those I mentioned earlier are around financial education. We don't educate our children about anything in financial services. Kids leave high school and even college not knowing the basics of the stock market, not understanding the need for savings, understanding Social Security, some basics. And so, a lot of the campaigns that I've worked on that I've enjoyed have been around how can we educate, give tools and remediate consumers on matters of finances. In fact, one important stat is only 9% of consumers have a financial plan of any type. So 9% of consumers have a financial plan. That's frightening. Even if it's just scribbled out on a napkin, people need to have a financial plan. And so, the work I've done in that space through the years has been some of the ones that have made me feel like I'm making a difference. Even if we only touch 1, 000 consumers, just knowing those 1, 000 people will be more prepared for the next downturn or for the next opportunity ahead of them is awesome.

Speaker 3: Renee, let's get back to iLending. I want to talk about what separates iLending from the competitors.

Speaker 5: Yeah, I would say a couple of things. Our loan consultants are trained and often are poached from some of our competitors because of the training. They really understand the automotive space and understand the best way to hang a loan with the right lender. And so, our people is our number one differentiator, is one thing I would say. But the other thing is the ratings we get from consumers, we have a 4.8 out of five star rating. And so what that takes is knowing how to serve a customer, how to make sure that what we're doing is in their best interest at all times. Again, we have to fight disbelief. Are you really trying to help us save money or what's the catch? And so, a lot of what our loan consultants have to do every day is make sure the consumers know why we do what we do and how we can help them. It's really our people and our service are the differentiator.

Speaker 3: We touched upon it, but it's unique in the sense. There's obviously other areas that you focused on, but a lot of your career, the financial service is the marketing. What drew you to that?

Speaker 5: Well, as I got into marketing and started to learn more about the balance... Threading a needle is always an interesting thing, it's like a puzzle, I find, because if you have the broader view of marketing... Some marketers are all about promotion. I really like looking at the full scope of product, pricing, promotion, and the distribution or place those four Ps. That puzzle is one of the hardest to really solve, particularly at larger organizations. Sometimes larger companies have money to launch a product, but they're trying to find a problem to solve. The product isn't really solving a consumer challenge. And so that makes marketing really hard. So trying to help make the product and pricing really fit a consumer need and then being able to promote it successfully has always been that sweet spot in the middle of those four things is kind of been my specialty and what I enjoy most. It's not easy because I have had situations where... You've heard the term lipstick on a pig... the product just isn't sellable. That's a challenge of marketing because good marketers will say, " You don't need to spend a penny on this product. We need to get the product right before we try to market this thing." And relying on consumer data and consumer research to do that is mission- critical. And so having a little bit more of a background in quantitative research has also been helpful. Because if you can let the consumer speak for you, your job is easier in marketing. You don't have to just say, " This dog won't hunt," instead, you could have the consumer say that. Sorry, I'm doing all my country colloquialisms for you guys.

Speaker 3: Well, no, I appreciate it. I'm a city kid, so I'm like, " This is great. I love these." That's awesome. And also just wanted to focus on something that separates you, Renee, like the way you approach marketing in your career that's kind of been a game changer for you.

Speaker 5: Well, in addition to finding those win- win scenarios, I mean, I think you can work with any situation as long as you and the team you're working with are all pointed at the same goal. That's been one of the most important parts of my career, is finding out where the win- win is. But there are a lot of people, particularly let's say people in finance or even some CEOs that think there is a magic to marketing, like there's pixie dust, like somebody has this special something that no one knows about. It's a secret, it's a magic bullet. That doesn't exist. And so, marketing is just a lot of hard work and making sure you have the right portfolio of marketing tools in your arsenal to reach the right client at the right time with the right message. And so that hard work side of marketing has always been what I've leaned on and less about this magical big idea. Now, there are a lot of companies that have come across magical, big ideas, but they've had a really good product in addition to having some great and creative ideas. But in financial services and the time I spent in healthcare, it's a lot of hard work to reach the right person at the right time through the right channel. So being a hard worker, I guess, is the answer.

Speaker 4: Renee, what are some of the channels that you are actively focusing on right now?

Speaker 5: Well, our digital channel is key right now. The other thing that we're focusing on is in this space where our market has really gotten a lot smaller to just that subprime consumer, we're actually leaning in on the data side of things to go back a year, a little bit longer, to consumers that we know we can help and for whatever reason we're not able to reach them. And so we're looking at new ways to reach out and get in touch with those consumers. It's really leaning in on data and figuring out based on what we know about these consumers what's the best way to reach them right now to get them to respond and work with us. I would say we're really getting back to the data side and then figuring out from that data how to best reach consumers that haven't connected with us for whatever reason.

Speaker 4: We love data-

Speaker 5: One quick thing, I haven't said this before, but marketing is only as good as the data you have. I've been lucky to work at large companies that own databases of every consumer in America. Well, this company does not have that, but there are other ways to get the right data that you need. And so having really smart people in your data group is one of the most critical things for a marketing organization to be successful. But I interrupted you, Ajay, sorry.

Speaker 4: No, I love that, the data company. I like that sentence you had. What's, Renee, your favorite part of your job?

Speaker 5: Working with the people. We've been in the office through the pandemic, and there is a lot to be said for hybrid working or remote working, but there's also a lot to be said on the types of conversations you have in person with people. And so I find those to be some of the richest dialogues. And so, marketing in my opinion is only as good as the marketers you have on your team. Marketing is very people intensive. Yes, there's a lot of data use and digital use and that sort of thing, but what's behind all that are people making smart choices on the audience segments and the timing of campaigns and that sort of thing. And so, to be able to encourage and engage your marketing team to perform at their highest is one of my favorite things to do. For example, right now we have a very young marketer on our team, and recently there was an opportunity for her to step in to a broader role. And to see a young person just bloom and take off and learn a whole new space and take it further than you even thought they could is one of the coolest things I get to do as a marketing leader. So it's working with the people and figuring out how to maximize each person's skillset to do what needs to be done to support the business. That's always been my favorite, whether I've had teams of 200 or team of five, the people are what really I get jazzed up about every day.

Speaker 3: We love hearing that. Renee, as we're about to wrap, let's get to know you personally, some of your hobbies, what you like to do. You're a LSU grad, the Tigers, the world champs a few years ago. Shout out to Joe Burrow. He doesn't listen to the podcast, but you know what I mean. What brought you from going to school down there to the Colorado area? Tell us about what you like to do in your spare time as well.

Speaker 5: Yeah, absolutely. So yes, I am an LSU graduate, go Tigers, and yes, Joe Burrow, love him. Hate they didn't make the Super Bowl but that Super Bowl was a great game. Yes, I spent 25 years in Louisiana starting out, that's my home state, and then I spent 25 years in North Carolina. Those were my years working with Wachovia and Wells Fargo and now I'm in Colorado following the role I'm serving in today. I am very lucky to have a terrific daughter who's at Boston College, so much closer to you Vincent. She's a sophomore studying, so you can tell that she saw enough about marketing to not go down the path of [ inaudible 00:35:20, whatever that's worth. She'll impact a lot more lives in medicine I'm assuming. And so, for fun, I love people, as you could probably tell, so cooking is one of my favorite things. Life is good. Entertaining and cooking is my thing, which is a little bit being a Cajun, I think it comes with the territory.

Speaker 3: That's awesome. That's awesome. Yeah, proud mom, great. Shout out to Boston College up here in...

Speaker 5: Eagles.

Speaker 3: ...Northeast. Yeah, so you're probably up here every once in a while. I'm New York, but I'm a couple hour Amtrak ride away to Boston. That's amazing. Renee, a closing thought, something you'd love to leave our audience with, just some thoughts, some final words?

Speaker 5: Yeah, absolutely. The thing I would impress upon folks who are in marketing, a growth mindset is something that's absolutely needed. I've noticed that people as they go through their career sometimes can develop a very fixed mindset where they feel like there's only a finite opportunity set or a finite ability to impact the business. I think for the marketing organizations in any industry, having a growth mindset, being the one on the leadership team saying, " It doesn't have to be either or, it can be both. We could actually take this market segment, not just make a small impact, but make a huge impact." So I think the role of that growth mindset leader is the role of the chief marketing officer and their entire organization. And so, having and maintaining a growth mindset and maintaining that glass is half full and finding the opportunity even in the most difficult situations. You've probably seen the best brands take negative situations and turn them into a positive. And so, in so many ways the role of marketing is to find how the glass is half full and how do you beat a challenging economic environment like we have today and find that consumer and do that thing that will drive the business. So growth mindset is the most important mental state of any marketing person. So that would be what I would leave you with.

Speaker 3: We love it. Words of wisdom. We really appreciate it, Renee. Ladies and gentlemen, check out I wish I knew about iLending. My very first car that I bought when I was about 22 years old was a Nissan Altima, and I had a 10% interest rate. I wish I would have never... True story. That's when my credit wasn't so great. It's fantastic now, people, so don't get it twisted there, but it's a great credit score. But I remember 10% and I wish I had something like this. True story. But I haven't owned a car since. But for those of you out there who own a car, have those high interest rates, check out iLending. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. That's Renee Brown, the Chief Marketing Officer of iLending. That's Ajay Gupta, we're so happy he's back. I, of course, am Vincent Pietrafesa. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll talk soon.

Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista. Please like, rate, and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, please email us at themarketingstir @ stirista. com. And thanks for listening.


Renee Brown, the Chief Marketing Officer at iLending, discusses partnerships and a focus on digital advertising, and how both make a big difference for marketing. Vincent and Ajay both enjoy traveling for conferences.  

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