Christine Prins (22squared) - Grow and Evolve

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This is a podcast episode titled, Christine Prins (22squared) - Grow and Evolve. The summary for this episode is: <p>Ajay and Vincent chat with Christine Prins, Chief Marketing Officer at 22squared. As a part of a company over 100 years old, she talks about the importance of being able to embrace change over time to uphold the best relationships with clients. Ajay shares the tennis team's victory, and Vincent enjoys live conferences.</p>
Episode intro
00:38 MIN
How Christine got into marketing
01:55 MIN
Working remotely and how that's affected work culture
03:20 MIN
How to keep clients for decades
01:46 MIN
Social responsibility at 22squared
01:30 MIN
How Christine approaches marketing
01:13 MIN

voiceover: 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.

Vin: 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 associate producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their takes on the current challenges of the market, and we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Ajay and Vincent chat with Christine Prins, chief marketing officer at 22Squared. As a part of a company that's over 100 years old, she talks about the importance of being able to embrace change over time to uphold the best relationships with clients. Ajay shares the tennis team's victory, and Vincent enjoys the live conferences. Give it a listen.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's, The Marketing Stir. I feel like it has been so long since I talked to our amazing listeners. It is so great to be here with you. Thank you. The Marketing Stir. Who am I? Come on, you know me. If you don't and you're a first time listener, thank you. I am Vincent Pietrafesa, the vice president of B2B products and partnerships here at Stirista and your co- host of The Marketing Stir. Stirista. Let's pause for like 10 seconds. The only time we talk about Stirista. Who are we? A marketing technology company. We own our own data, our own business- to- business data, business- to- consumer data. We help companies utilize that data to help them get new customers. We have our own email sending platform, our own DSP called AdStirs. We do connected tv. We do display. Email me, vincent @ stirista. com. That's how confident I am that we can help. And thank you for those emails, by the way, most of them, most of them. A lot of them are positive about the podcast. A lot of them just want to sell me random, weird things that have no interest to what I do. Do your research, people. Do your research. Oh, the other thing that I'm confident in is my cohost, ladies and gentlemen. I will see him very soon. I feel like it's been a while since I've seen him. He was supposed to come to Boston with me. He did not. You heard that on the podcast. You heard the things I said. He was right there. It wasn't behind his back. Ladies and gentlemen, the CEO of Stirista, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's going on Ajay?

Ajay Gupta: Hey, Vincent. But I will be seeing you in two days though. So there is the positive there.

Vincent Pietrafesa: There is the positives there. And our tennis team that Starista, the Starista Bandits, did well in that big tournament. I said,"All right, I'll let Ajay slide on this one." But yeah, we did well. Tell us about that.

Ajay Gupta: That was good. Yeah, we were injury hit. For those who follow my misadventures, I have unfortunately torn my meniscus and my right knee now, and that wasn't even the most serious injury we had on the team. But all things considered, we finished third in Texas, so not too shabby.

Vincent Pietrafesa: No, the bronze metal in the whole state of Texas. Texas is huge. This isn't Rhode Island we're talking about. Texas is a big state. The meniscus. Wow. I know. I had just celebrated my 44th birthday, ladies and gentlemen. I tell people all that. I don't mind, and boy am I in a lot of pain all the time. My ankle, I am literally going to physical therapy because I sneezed awkwardly one day. True story. Can't make it up. I now go, shout out to Fusion Therapy on Reed Street here in New York City. They don't listen to the podcast, but it's okay. But yes, it's great. You've missed a great conference at the Encore in Boston. A lot of listeners to the podcast, Ajay, a lot of people asking," This is for our marketing department. Hey, you guys should do a live episode on stage." I know, I know we should. So yes, we have a lot of listeners there and we found some new amazing podcast guests just from meeting people and some of the panelists. So that is fun. Let me tell you about this next guest. I have so many things in common with this next guest. We are both cool New Yorkers. She's cool. Am I cool? Not really. Again, I sneezed and I'm in physical therapy. Not that cool. But she is very cool. And we also realized that we still live in the same neighborhood here in New York City, but we literally lived one building apart. I'm not telling people what that building is. What? Are you crazy? I can't have that. But we lived literally about 30 yards away from each other and we never met in person. We will. We will now that we're pals. I first met Christine when she was the CMO of Satchi and Satchi and we were talking and then now, she's at an amazing company, 22Squared. And I said," You have to come on this podcast. You are way too fun and you are way too knowledgeable and have great experience." Here she is, Ajay, she's with us. A warm Marketing Stir welcome, ladies and gentlemen, the chief marketing officer of 22Squared, Christine Prins. What's going on, Christine?

Christine Prins: Hey, thank you so much for that warm welcome. It's hard to believe that we actually did literally live next to each other for all intents and purposes and probably never even saw each other on the street.

Vincent Pietrafesa: No.

Christine Prins: Classic New York story as are most things. New York is a big little town, I guess, just like any other.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Exactly. Or we crossed each other's paths 47 times and we don't even realize it. It's one of those as well. We had a previous guest on, and he is the CEO of an agency and he lived at the other side of where you and I live and we were like, we had no idea. We were neighbors as well. And now I see him all the time. I see him all the time. It's crazy. But yeah, now we probably will. Now we're walking around. I'm like," What? There's Christine." But that's awesome. It's so great to have you on, Christine. Like I said, we met and we chatted and you were moving to a new company. I said," That's all right. We want you on," and we're happy to have you. So Christine, for those of our listeners who are not familiar with 22Squared, talk to us about the company as well as your role within the organization.

Christine Prins: Sure thing. Well, first off, thank you so much again for having me. I'm really thrilled to be here with you today. 22Squared is a really interesting agency because we're actually a 100- year- old company. So if you think about it in the context of agencies, we're older than some of the more storied and larger agency now that you hear around the way. One of the things that's really unique about 22Squared is that we are 100% independent and 100% employee- owned, which is really unique, especially nowadays in the agency world and the agency landscape. That's something that's been true since the beginning, since the onset. We are fiercely independent. Anyone you speak to in the organization will tell you they're not interested in selling the agency ever. So maintaining that legacy of independence and really supporting that spirit, that fearlessness is what the agency is all about. Our mission is to make our brands and our clients impossible to ignore. That's the bar that we set for everything that we do, which is really exciting and a very sort of different take and a different perspective on the industry as a whole.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That is exciting. And before I get to asking you, because one of our signature questions about how you got into marketing, I wanted to employee- owned, that's something you don't hear that often, so talk to us a little bit about that.

Christine Prins: Yeah, absolutely. All of our ownership board is comprised of active employees within the organization. So the people making the decisions are actually the ones that are in the work and driving the decision- making throughout the organization and really focusing on our people, on our talent, on our clients, and what we need to be successful, and really not tied to anything other than doing what's best and what's right for our clients and for our people and for ourselves. That makes us really unique in the space, especially at the size that we're at. We're 350 plus people and we're also a work- from- anywhere company, which is amazing. We have folks all over the country ranging from New York City where I am, and some of the leadership is as well, to Georgia and Florida and California and all the way in between and back again. So it's really exciting to be able to have that depth and breadth across the country, but also have locals in very specific markets where we know our clients are and where they're trying to reach consumers within those areas in that spaces. It gives us a really unique perspective on the country as a whole, but also on local, what's happening on the ground and what people really care about.

Vincent Pietrafesa: No, that is cool. Like I said, it's something that you don't hear that often. That's certainly unique. And this is a question, like I said, that is also unique because the paths of our guests in marketing are all unique, even if it's like," well, I studied marketing and here I am." That's unique. We haven't heard a lot of those. So talk to us, Christine, about how you got into marketing.

Christine Prins: Yeah, I actually did study marketing, but I took a little bit of a left turn. I knew I wanted to eventually be in marketing and advertising in particular at a certain point. I wasn't sure, I didn't have sort a laid out plan and a pathway to get there. I just knew I wanted to get to New York. And so that was my first priority. So I took the very first job I could get to get me here and that just happens to be in banking. It was actually in credit card payment processing, believe it or not. It was a startup when I first started. So I did everything from find office space to assemble chairs and write contracts and balance the checkbook and everything in between. So it was really an incredible learning experience for me. And I did that for about four years, eventually moving into an operations role. I mean, handling customer service and elevated escalated calls, which was a really, really interesting time for me and very insightful actually, to just really speak to people when they're having a tough time and getting an understanding and being able to empathize with them. And then the company grew. Luckily, we grew quite a lot over the four year span that I was with them and they got bought and they were going to relocate the company to Nashville. And I wasn't super interested in going to Nashville at that point in my life. I had really just started to establish myself here in New York. So that's when I decided it was time to kind of shift back and try my hand at the agency world. I, believe it or not, responded to a Craigslist ad. I'm sort of giving away my age a little bit with that, back in the day. And that's how I got my first job in an agency and that's how it all started.

Ajay Gupta: Christine, being a CMO of a marketing and advertising agencies got to be interesting, especially when it comes to your own marketing. So what are the channels that you focus on, what's been working, and what are channels that might not be working?

Christine Prins: I think that, as a whole, agencies are really amazing at giving their clients the best possible advice and focusing on their clients. We're not necessarily always the best at taking our own advice and heeding our own words. So that's where my role really comes into play and just thinking about how we represent ourselves, how we speak to and about ourselves in the industry and beyond and to our clients. So for us, it's really, there are multiple ways that we do that. I think relationships are a really pivotal part of that pie. There are a lot of influencers in the space. I have a lot of long- standing relationships with consultants, who tend to do agency searches and our heavy influencers in the space. But I think the basics, like getting our website in order and making sure that people know how to navigate and find what it is that you do and really representing yourself in that way, especially given the B2B context. And then getting our social media presence sort of up to snuff and consistent, whether that's... We're really doubling down right now on Instagram and on LinkedIn. We're going to be building out some other channels as we continue to refine and get really, really precise on those and have a great sort of cadence. And then we do a lot in the PR space as well and ensuring that we're out there and that we have a voice and that our point of view is coming across and elevating ourselves from that perspective and talking about the work that we're doing because we're doing a lot of really interesting and different types of work. And I don't think that there's enough out there. So I'm about, I'm just shy of six months on the job. So those are just some of the things that I'm focusing on at the moment, ensuring people just know who we are and recognize our work and our voice and our tone and what we're all about to attract new clients, of course, and partnerships, but also to ensure that we're attracting the best possible talent, the best and brightest there is in the industry and beyond, and that it's really diverse and that we're representing the audiences that we're aiming to reach across the country.

Ajay Gupta: Christine, you must have started towards the, I guess we're still in a pandemic, but in the latter half of the pandemic hopefully. So how has been working remotely been for the company? And from what I understand, you guys went working remote pretty early, so how has that affected work culture?

Christine Prins: We did. I think our CEO, Erica Hoholick, she actually started right at the beginning of the pandemic actually at the organization. And one of the first big decisions she made was to go work- from- anywhere and commit to being a fully remote company. And I think there were a lot of reasons for that, but I think that it was the right call and it's really given us access to talent that we would've never been able to access before. Because I think being tied to one location or to one way of working can be really limiting, especially when it comes to creative roles. And so there's always a little bit of that question of," Okay, how does that affect the culture?" And it's something that we take very, very seriously in the organization. 22Squared has always had a really powerful culture. And as I said, it's a collective of independence. And so that sort of mindset and that ethos is something that's really important to us, especially as we look to the next 100 years in our history and as we look to grow and evolve with our clients and across our practices. So that's something that they didn't take lightly at all and we certainly don't take lightly at all. And I think that people really embraced, especially early in the pandemic, that ability to be flexible and to evolve and to commit to allowing people, creating an environment where people can do their best work regardless of where specifically they are. And so one of the concerns obviously coming in as a new employee just about a little bit shy six months ago, as I said was," Oh gosh, how am I going to get to know these people?" A lot of them have been at the agency for a good amount of time. That's one of the great things about our culture is that people tend to stick around because they love it and they have great relationships with clients and also internally. And I was concerned, I was concerned like," Oh my gosh, how am I going to figure this out?" It was my first time starting a job as a fully remote employee. And I have to say, it was just such a lovely and warm welcome that I received. And I actually have been, we still have a couple of physical office locations, one in Georgia, in Atlanta, and one in Tampa. I've been fortunate to visit those offices and we've done some town halls and some happy hours and things around that, and actually some client meetings and other things. And the ability to translate between the virtual and the physical world has been really smooth and seamless. And I think it's because we did take those steps early and we just committed to making it work and finding the tools and the capabilities and enabling people to find what works best for them. And if that means that you meet once a week at a coffee shop or at a specific location, at a designated workspace, whatever that is, allowing people to do that, but then also to travel and spend some time with their families while they're working and do all the things I think that a physical location can really limit you on.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And Christine, I picked up on a few things you mentioned there. You talked about 100 years, that's insane for any business. As far as the agency goes, how does 22Squared continue to stay relevant the next 100 years? And what do you think makes you stand out against your competitors? Because you mentioned independent. A lot of these other agencies, they're under a huge umbrella to support that. Talk to me about that.

Christine Prins: Yeah, no, I think that, for us, it's really centered around, as I said, our mission, which is to be impossible to ignore and really trying to live up to that in everything that we do. I think one of the ways, and one of the key ways we think about that is reframing everything as a what if statement to allow us to explore those possibilities. So of course, we have to ground ourselves in the realities of a business, of what's going on in culture, of what's going on with technology, how consumers are evolving, how competitive landscapes are evolving, what the trends are out in the world, and what's been done. But really, the way we brief our teams and ourselves internally is really about," Okay, here's all of the things, all of the richness, all of the data and analytics that we need," but that is centered around what is actually in existence. Our job, as we see it, is to push past that and think about what if? What are the possibilities? How far could we go? How far could we stretch it? And then, and how does the client fit into that? What makes the most sense for our clients? And how are we going to stay true and authentic to who the brand is while continuing to surprise and delight our audiences and bring them into the fold and make them a bigger and bigger part of what a brand in a business can be?

Vincent Pietrafesa: And because you've been around for 100 years, you must have had customers and continue to have customers and clients for decades.

Christine Prins: We do.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, you mentioned a little bit there, but talk to me about the appeal. What would your customers say about you? How do you keep clients for decades? That's amazing, Ajay. So I'd love to hear that.

Christine Prins: Yeah. I would say I've never seen it in the industry. It's pretty rare. We have several clients that we've had for multiple decades. Publix is one of those clients. We've had them for over 33 years. I think it's the reason why our clients stick with us and our partnerships are so strong and they've been able to stand the test of time is because of what I just said, because we're never complacent, we're always looking at what's next and thinking about the future and what it's going to take to get there with an eye on what our audience is. What do people out in the world want and need, and how are we going to set our clients up for that success? And key to that is relationships and having shared values, which is a really important part of how we think about our partnerships and how we think about growth very thoughtfully and strategically. It's not about growth for growth's sake, it's about what's right and how are we going to be the best possible fit. Our values are really important to us, especially when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. That's a core pillar of who we are. It is something that is not just about the makeup of our staff, it's really about the work that we do and put out in the world, and we want to ensure that our clients are aligned with us on everything when it comes to our values and our mission and the way that we see the world and also shared KPIs. Our success as an independent organization is inherently tied to the success and growth of our clients. We don't have any other agenda or any other measure for our success. It's really about being tied to what is going to make our clients more successful so they grow and we can grow with them. And those are really the things, the pillars that we think make the best possible relationships with clients.

Ajay Gupta: Interesting. Related to that, social responsibility is a big thing for 22Squared. Can you tell us about some of the initiatives you guys have regarding that?

Christine Prins: Yeah, as I said, we're really committed to being a values- based organization as much as we are an organization that's for profit. But with part of that, it's really about doing good in the world and providing value in people's lives. I think our partnership with the NAACP is a really good example of how we do that. Our commitment with them has been longstanding and one of the key initiatives that we did with them not so long ago was an initiative that we called Invisible Hate. We created this application and we created this whole program really geared towards removing Confederate monuments across the United States, which was, as you can imagine, a really key and monstrous initiative when you think about it. Very few agencies have had the ability or can claim that they've been able to impact something so big and broad and inaudible societally. We've been lucky enough with our partnership with the NAACP to have, I think at this point we've removed over 21 monuments and we've been able to engage people with us. We've been able to engage people across the country to begin letter writing campaigns to their local representatives in order to help us drive these initiatives forward and then harness that power that people really have to make change across this country. It's something we're really proud of as an organization.

Ajay Gupta: Christine, tell us a little bit about, you've been working in marketing for a long time, so what are some of the favorite campaigns that you've worked on?

Christine Prins: Oh man. Well, I've worked on quite a few that I'm very fond of. I would say at my last agency, and to work on is to perhaps overstate my role. I really am here to support and promote and make sure that the team is set up for success. But certainly at my last agency, a big client of ours was Tide and I was really proud of that, the work that we did around Tide Ad and some of those initiatives. It won a ton of awards, but more than that, it was really highly effective and something that obviously is one of those moments, rare moments in a career where the creativity was really on stage and really celebrated by audiences everywhere and loved and recognized, but also drove incredible results for the client and then also garnered a ton of in industry recognition. So I would say that's one that kind of stands out in my mind. And so again, really proud of that work because of the results that it drove and what it did for the client. From what we're working on at 22, I would say the work for the NAACP was before my time, but certainly something that I'm just really proud to be in an organization that represents that kind of commitment to social responsibility and to driving change, cultural change in this country. I think we've been through quite a lot, all of us, over the last few years, and it just seems like every day there's something else. And so whenever we can commit to really driving change and tangible change in the world, that's something that I'm always going to be proud of and I'm so thankful that 22Squared is such a powerful voice, not just in the industry, but in culture and really able to move the needle there.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Christine, talk to me about something that has been different about the way you approach marketing that you think sets you apart or has been a game changer for you.

Christine Prins: Yeah, I would say, I don't know if it's a game changer or not, but my focus is really on building relationships and being really thoughtful and strategic about growth and about marketing as a whole and having that empathy and that lens of being on the other side of the table. That's something that I really focus on in my role of driving growth for the agency is really putting myself in a client's shoes in a client's perspective. When clients are running agency searches and doing big reviews, quite often, their jobs are on the line. They have a new boss or their organization is evolving or they had a negative experience with another partner and there's a lot of emotion tied up in all those things. It's not always what you get briefed on and that's on the page. It's really about thinking about the context and looking at that. That's something that I really spend some time thinking about and focusing on and putting that lens on the way that we show up and how we represent our work and our thinking for the clients is really just putting their shoes on for a little bit and thinking about the bigger picture from their eyes.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And this is sort of a similar question, but it's something that our listeners have been writing in about. You put your email address out there, Christine, people will respond and it's like you said...

Christine Prins: Yes, they will.

Vincent Pietrafesa: ...there's some good response here. So this is a new question that may become a staple question, but it's your smartest productivity hack. So people are like," Hey, ask all these amazing guests what their secret is." So we would love to hear yours.

Christine Prins: I don't know how smart it is, but I think the best thing that I've done for myself when I really feel stuck or when I feel like I'm not quite nailing it is really stepping away and doing something that is completely unrelated to what I'm focusing on. For me, that's been, whether that's going for a walk around the block or, I hate to say, it's very cliche, but I think my best thoughts come to me in the shower, believe it or not. That's when I feel like all the thinking gets unlocked for me is when I'm completely sensory deprived and the only thing I'm supposed to be doing is washing my hair. I think stepping away and just giving myself perspective or looking at something that's completely unrelated usually tends to somehow make my synapse this fire in a different way and unlock ideas and solutions for me in a way that sometimes trying to overly focus or spend too much time in thought or in conversation doesn't get there. So I don't know how smart that is, but I think sometimes giving yourself a break and having some grace and giving yourself a little bit of distance can help a lot.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, no, I agree. I think, Ajay, since that's, I think, the first time we've asked that question, I thought, I was like," Well," and as Christine's talking, I'm like," Well, what's mine?" What's yours, Ajay? What would you think your smartest productivity hack would be? You're a CEO. So you got...

Ajay Gupta: Well, I think I have...

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah.

Ajay Gupta: I think I've undiagnosed ADHD, so I put everything on my calendar. So if it's not on the calendar, I will miss my flight if I don't have it on my calendar.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, well no. I think mine, I don't know if it's kind of along the line, like Christine you were saying is stepping back. I always feel, it's not a productivity hack per se, but I always feel like my best ideas come right before the thing I'm supposed to do. If I'm supposed to be, I don't know, on a stage at a conference, if I'm supposed to have something done, if it's a deck, I feel like within that hour before, that's when my ideas, I feel like that pressure and that is what helps me. I don't know if it's... So I guess, inaudible.

Christine Prins: Procrastination. Procrastination.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, so don't take what I just said and listen to it, listeners. Just, yeah, wait as long as you have to and maybe you'll get some... No, but I don't know if it's a hack, but it's the way I kind of focus on things by, I guess, not focusing is the answer. Sorry, go ahead, Ajay.

Ajay Gupta: So one of our staple questions is around LinkedIn and I'm sure you get a lot of junk messages on your LinkedIn account.

Christine Prins: I do.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah. So what's kind of one that really annoys you and what's one that gets through that you'll actually respond?

Christine Prins: I got to say, I don't respond much. I think, and this is going to be, I'm sure others have said this, but getting my name wrong or writing to me about something that is completely unrelated to what I do or pretending like you know somebody that I know in common, anything that is really, those are really some of my pet peeves. I think the very least you could do is take a minute and see what exactly it is that my organization does and that maybe, perhaps leasing cars would not be something that I'm focused on or, I'm making that up, it's not an exact example. Or I think the things that I respond to best are the things that are really clear and direct and really thoughtful in terms of what I might be looking for in my role or that are very specific and also have a little bit of personality and understanding that I potentially do get quite a lot of requests and are focused on why this one might be specifically interesting and important for me in just thinking about the context.

Ajay Gupta: Interesting. Tell us a little bit about your non- marketing side when you are not busy listening to the Marketing Stir podcast. What are your other hobbies?

Christine Prins: Yeah, I love to read, but I don't read a lot of industry books. I read books from all over the place. I don't read a lot of workbooks. It's my escape, so I feel like I read a lot in my everyday job, very specific types of things. So I read all kinds of books, just not a lot of career books. I love to cook actually. I really enjoy it. Travel is a big one for me as well. It's something that really invigorates me quite a lot. Spending time with friends. I'm a really simple. I'm at my happiest on a beach, really like simple, having a nice day in the sun and relaxing with friends and family around. Those are the things that really keep me grounded and connected and just really relaxed and unplugged so that when I am in my work environment, wherever that may be, in that head space, I can really focus on that. Then when I'm not in it, I can really spend some time with my husband, with my family, with my friends. Those relationships are really the ones that invigorate me. Travel is the best education that there is.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And what I gathered from that LinkedIn question from you, Christine, is you're like," Well, I don't respond to much." I'm like," She's a New Yorker. She's definitely a New Yorker now." I don't know where you were from before, but you're definitely a New Yorker now from that.

Christine Prins: Yes, absolutely. I've like almost, it'll be 19 years, very soon that I've been in New York. So I'm a Miami native, born and raised in Miami, but I've been in New York quite a long time at this point.

Vincent Pietrafesa: You don't get usually that opposite. Well, I'm in this beautiful climate called Miami and boy, do I love January in Manhattan. But no, that's...

Christine Prins: I didn't say that. I did not say that.

Vincent Pietrafesa: You didn't say that. Well, you're like,"Oh, well I still go to Miami three months a year." But no, that's awesome. So that's the LinkedIn pet peeve. Let's talk about marketing pet peeves. I want to share with one that just happened to me today. So Ajay and Christina, I just mentioned that I was at a conference, I was in a conference in Boston and now, of course, you meet a lot of people, you go by their booths, follow up. Follow up from a booth is very important. Here's my marketing pet peeve. This just happened to me. I got two emails back to back from the same company. One of them said," Hi Bob." And then underneath, it said," Hi Vincent." And then everything was in different fonts. Now, you got my name once right and then," Hi Bob." I'm not a Bob. If you're watching me, I don't look like a Bob. I look like a Vincent or a Vinny, right? Come on, do your research. And then they sent the right one." Hi Vincent." But still everything is different fonts, you're copying and pasting. Was my interaction with you at that booth cookie cutter? No. I like to think that I have some personality. Say something. Like you said," Hey, I remember..." Each day, I had a brightly colored jacket on, because that's me in a pocket square. Make a comment about that. Shout out to Custom Men. I'm picking my two new jackets very soon, Ajay. But anyway, that's my marking pet peeve. Come on. This wasn't a 25, 000 person conference. Do your research, right? Sorry, your marketing pet peeve, Christine.

Christine Prins: Yes.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Your personal and then also personal pet peeves. We get to that too.

Christine Prins: Oh my. Well...

Vincent Pietrafesa: We get to know you on a personal level here at the Marketing Stir.

Christine Prins: How much time have you got? No, I'm just kidding.

Vincent Pietrafesa: inaudible peeves. Is that more the personal ones or the marketing ones?

Christine Prins: Hey, I mean, again, it runs the gamut. It runs the gamut. No, I say jargon is definitely a big pet peeve of mine and it's tied to my other one, which is complexity. I think that the best ideas, the best communicators, the best approaches are inherently simple, digestible, understandable, and they just cut through noise. So I think there is a tendency not just in our industry, you see it across the board all over the place, to use very specific jargon and it creates confusion and it adds to this other layer of complexity to things, and it can be confusing. I think that the brightest minds and the people that I admire the most are the ones who are able to take things and really break them down and make them very accessible and digestible. And that's something that I always try to aim to do. I think that a lot of folks hide behind this air of complexity. I think that it's our job as marketers and as humans in general is to connect and relate. I think that complexity is really a big barrier to that.

Vincent Pietrafesa: No, I love that. I think, yeah, that's a marketing pet peeve. It's like also, with B2B marketing, it doesn't have to be so complex. It's also still people making those decisions at the end of the day. Yeah, no, I love that. Now, personal pet peeves, any of those that you have that you know? We'll shorten it down to one or two, if not, I'm kidding.

Christine Prins: I guess, like most things, it says more about me than about anything. I think I really like things to be, I like to be punctual. That's something that's really important to me, especially in a professional context. I think that's really important. So I think that's one of the things that can be difficult to grapple with, especially in a professional setting. I think not having a point of view is a little bit of a pet peeve of mine when people are wishy washy and they don't have a perspective on things. That bothers me a little bit on a personal note, but also I think it leads into the professional, right?

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah.

Christine Prins: I think a lack of authenticity is another big one for me. I think authenticity is a thing that is most important to me. When I meet people, even if it's for the first time, it's just feeling like you're getting the real deal from them and it's something I'm striving for in myself is really just showing up as myself and representing who I am to the best of my ability, but not being something that I'm not.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, I know. I like that. Being, a lot of mine, punctual. I also, a new one I have, a personal pet peeve because I witnessed it with a table over, be nice to service people in the service industry, waiter or waitress, come on. I witnessed it. I was at a restaurant this weekend and I was just like," What? Who are you?" Authenticity. I love that and I love that. I love if I'm at a dinner party and my wife was like," Don't do this." I'm like," I don't want to be around these people if I can't be myself," and my company allows me to be myself. So thank you, Ajay, for you and I doing this thing and letting me do this and you do this. So it's great. Christine, this has been awesome. It's been a pleasure getting to know you. We thank you for being on the podcast. We hope you enjoyed yourself. I know our listeners will. This has been awesome. Ladies and gentlemen, that is Christine Prins. She's the chief marketing officer of 22Squared. Check them out, 22Squared. Check out Christine. She's on LinkedIn, but she's not going to get back to you, so just, it better be a real great message. I'm kidding. She's very nice. I'm messing with you. And that's Ajay Gupta. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you soon.

Vin: 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.


Ajay and Vincent chat with Christine Prins, Chief Marketing Officer at 22squared. As a part of a company over 100 years old, she talks about the importance of being able to embrace change over time to uphold the best relationships with clients. Ajay shares the tennis team's victory, and Vincent enjoys live conferences.

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