David Young (Stride) - Into Marketing by Accident

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This is a podcast episode titled, David Young (Stride) - Into Marketing by Accident. The summary for this episode is: <p>Vincent and Ajay chat with David Young, the VP marketing adult career learning at Stride. He talks about how the pandemic lead the company to making some drastic choices in marketing options, such as turning it off altogether, and learning the value of marketing as a whole. Vincent Ajay sneaks in some time competing in tennis during recovery, and Vincent says he's more of a football guy.</p>
How David got into marketing
00:54 MIN
How to thrive in a variety of roles
02:20 MIN
Lessons learned throughout the pandemic
01:16 MIN
What makes David stand out in marketing
03:14 MIN

Vin Lapsley: 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 take on the current challenges of the market. And we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Vincent and Ajay chat with David Young, the VP of marketing for adult career learning at Stride. He talks about how the pandemic led the company to making some drastic choices in marketing options, such as turning it off all together, and learning the value of marketing as a whole. Ajay sneaks in some time competing in tennis during recovery, and Vincent says he's more of a football guy. Give it a listen.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode Stirista's The Marketing Stir. I am your host Vincent Pietrafesa, the vice president of B2B products and partnerships here Stirista, and still interim general matter of access B2B. That title's still here, but maybe not for longer, who knows? Let's see, I'm enjoying it though. It doesn't come with any perks. But anyway, it is great to be here, ladies and gentlemen. I love doing this podcast, and thank you for all the positive feedback that you email us. And when we were recently at some in person events that you came up to me, and said some great things. What a cool feeling that is, as long as it's positive. Hasn't been any negative feedback yet, so I don't know, I'll handle that too if there is. But it is so great to be here. Ladies and gentlemen, just let's pause for some station identification, there's no station. But Stirista, What do we do? We are an identity marketing company. We have our own technology, we have our own data, business to business data, business to consumer data. We work with our partners to utilize that data, email marketing. We have our own DSP, display, OTT, connected TV. If you're a B2B marketer, that's become really popular. Email me, vincent @ stirista.com, and that is all I will talk about Stirista. Wasn't that easy? Ladies and gentlemen, the other thing that's easy, easy in my life, great. He keeps me on my toes though, he keeps me very, very grounded, that happens every day, is my commander in chief. Captain of the Bandits, captain of Stirista. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's up, Ajay.

Ajay Gupta: Hey, Vincent. You'll be glad to know that in spite of medical advice, I decided to play a tennis match this weekend.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Against the grain Gupta, that's what they call you anyway, against the grain Ajay. I knew you were going to play. Where were the matches, in San Antonio?

Ajay Gupta: No, these were in Austin. So I was just there to cheer, but I got a little tired of cheering, so I decided I was going to play.

Vincent Pietrafesa: They called you in. That's what happens, sometimes when you're on the sidelines and you know what? I'm still going to dress, but I have the clipboard. And they're like," Wait, we need him. We need him in. Get the helmet." I'm referring to football, because I don't play tennis, I played football. But yeah, you had to do it, man. That's great. Did you win your match? Do I even need to ask?

Ajay Gupta: Yeah, thankfully I did. Otherwise it wouldn't have been good. When you put yourself in that position, you kind of have to win. You know?

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. If you go win it's like, all right, I'm here to win. So I'm still waiting for my Bandit's t- shirt. I told you, give me a double X just in case. My shoulders, as you know in person, Ajay, are enormous. It's a gift and a curse, because then people think I'm strong and I can help them move. I'm like, these are just for decoration.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah. And it's not easy to move in New York City. It's not like going from house to house in San Antonio.

Vincent Pietrafesa: It is not. And if you still require your friends to help you move, you're not an adult yet, you're not an adult. Just pizza and beer doesn't cut it anymore. I'm in my forties, you think I'm going to help you move? You're crazy. But also, I will see you in person soon, Ajay. I will see you in person in another month or so. And then hopefully beyond that, as some conferences become back in the spring, summer months, so that should be great. So looking forward to that, it's been a few months.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah, yeah. Things seem to be improving generally across the country, so we should get together soon.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Absolutely, absolutely. Ajay, we've got a great one today. We've got a great one today, because it's tackling something that we haven't tackled here on The Marketing Stir. Education, adult learning. It's just one piece, but it's what we're talking about with this next guest. So we really haven't explored, right? A lot of people, adult education, what are they doing? Are they going back to school? Are they learning? Are they getting certifications during this time? We heard from a lot of people that they wanted to hear, and we found an amazing guest. We've already spoken, we already hit it off. Not to the point where he let me know he was in New York City where I live, but we're getting there. We didn't know each other yet. But that's what happens when you spend almost an hour with us here on the podcast. Please, a warm Marketing Stir welcome to the VP of marketing adult career learning at Stride, David Young. What's going on, David?

David Young: Hey, thank you for having me. It's great to be here. I'm looking forward to jumping into all your questions, and hopefully lending some insights into adult education here at Stride, and elsewhere.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Absolutely. No, we are happy to have you, David. I was joking about the New York thing. Now when you come in, we're going to hang out, we're going to get a coffee. I'm going to show you around New York City, give you a non- touristy bird's eye view into the city. I tell that of all my guests that come in, and friends. But David, let's get right into it because this is a topic that a lot of our listeners have been asking about. This is a topic that frankly, Ajay and I were talking about. We're like, inaudible what people were doing? Even some people in our own company getting certified in different areas. But talk to us about Stride. What's some of the work you're doing there? And I'd love to learn about your role within Stride.

David Young: Sure. So Stride is an online learning company. They originally and still predominantly, have a really big business in online public education, K through 12. The biggest brand we maintain is called K through 12. So as you can imagine, we've been around, I don't know how many years. Let's call it 15, something like that. And when the pandemic hit, when everyone was forced go online, it kind of shifted from being a real niche activity for some people, to a more predominant activity for everyone. So, that was a big difference in the business. And then aside from the K12 business, there's these adult learning boot camps. So those, we have three of those so far, will probably build or acquire some more. But right now we've got galvanized tech elevator and med certs. So, those are all for essentially people already out in a career who may want to change careers, and become a software engineer, or become something to do with a medical support role, like the people who would take blood, or code medical procedures into insurance codes, things like that. So, that's what Stride does. We have a variety of online learning opportunities, and we're glad to be here, and help people during the pandemic.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And David, talk to me about, the twofold question here is some of your responsibilities within your role. And then we love asking this question, this is a staple here, is how you also got into marketing.

David Young: Sure. So, I'm a vice president of marketing in the adult career space. I was previously vice president of marketing, and demand generation for the K12 business. So, I've been involved with all of that. The way I got into marketing is a little bit by accident. So as an undergraduate, I was a finance major, and then I ended up in sales for a while, for a year afterwards. And then decided I was going to go back and get a master's degree. And how could I mix some aspects of sales, which I liked, with maybe more of an analytical bent, which I'd naturally had? And so, that led me to marketing research, and that led me to marketing analysis. And I've been in marketing ever since that master's degree. Along the way, I took a lot of statistics courses within those degrees, and then later, and that's been a big part of my marketing logo.

Ajay Gupta: David, tell us a little bit about your current marketing strategies. What are some of the channels you're using, what's working for you guys?

David Young: Sure. So we use all the channels, I would say. I think the things that have worked best, well, paid search is always good because that's lower funnel, and those are people who are looking for products directly related to your area of interest, so those are always high value if you can get them. The problem with paid search is like any media channel, there's only so many people who are doing those searches, there's only so many people you can get out of a particular channel. So, once you've hit that sweet spot of getting your fair share as it were, of the people doing those searches, spending more money on that, just kind of bids up the price. And so, you start spending more without getting more. And so, it's best to then look at your other channels that can be productive as well. We've had good experiences with national TV. We've had good experiences with connected TV, and social as well. So, I'd say those are maybe the four that are perhaps the most productive, but we have media expenditures in all kinds of other things, digital radio, like say Pandora or Spotify. Other types of social channels, YouTube, Display, you name it, we've got something going on there.

Ajay Gupta: You've been at Stride for almost four years now. So, what's your favorite part of your job there?

David Young: I guess my favorite part is discovering new ways to squeeze a little bit more value out of the media dollars. Well, I guess I would think of myself as kind of a... I want to say inventor, but that sounds too grandiose. But I do like looking at things a new way, framing the problem differently, and seeing if I can extract more value from the same dollars.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And David, I want to talk about something you said in the beginning there. You've worn a lot of different hats at Stride, different positions, and you have a background in sales as well as marketing, which I always think is extremely helpful. But what are some of the secrets? How do you succeed in such a diversity of roles that you've had?

David Young: Well, I really think in some ways it ties back to the statistics courses I took. Because I think that marketing has evolved over the last 30 of years. There's more and more data every day, there's more and more information. And so, those analysis skills become more and more valuable to me. And so, I think that's really helped me thrive in a variety of roles. But I would also say that it's not... It doesn't come down to like a particular technique. It's not necessarily even what you could say, an advanced technique. I think it comes down more to seeing through what's not being said. Because almost all the data comes from some vendors with their own agenda, so everyone wants to spend more on their thing, and everybody wants to take all the credit they can. And you add up all those things and it tends to be more sales than the company's got. And so, there's always things to reevaluate. Like for instance, I would say that remarketing is a good example. So people come to the website, and then they leave, and then you send them an advertisement and then they come back and they buy something. So, typically the way people count that is," Well, we spent$ 10 and that's associated with these sales over here, and that's worth more than$ 10, so we're good." And I would argue that's not always true. Can be true, but it could also be the case that maybe if the sale was apps absolutely necessary, that you did that remarketing, then the cost of that sale would be all the money you spent to get them to the website in the first place, and then also the remarketing. So that's just an example of how you have to look at things other than the way they're being presented to you, to see what the real cost benefit is for these things.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, no, that definitely makes sense. David, is there any truth to what I was saying earlier in the beginning? During the pandemic, did a lot of people get those certifications? What was the online education space looking like?

David Young: Well, obviously there was an avalanche of K through 12 people going online, because they were obligated to, and we got a share of that. So that was a huge social movement, if you will. It was also true, but not as clearly true, among the adult education group. So a lot of people, especially in retail, a lot of businesses closed down, people lost their jobs, they thought about retraining. So in that sense, there was a lot more people out there. On the other hand, most of those intensive boot camps, they're intense, and they were typically in person. And so, then that was a roadblock to shifting some of those in person classes into online. And so, there was a plus and a minus in terms of that. There were a lot more people who wanted to do it, and then there was a more difficult transition as well.

Ajay Gupta: Do you think during the pandemic, people have become fatigued with Zoom, especially when it comes to online learning?

David Young: I can relate my personal experience. So, our company effectively has shut down the corporate office. They're going to open another one with a smaller space, but essentially we've shifted to be online ourselves. I would say that, yes, you can get fatigued being on Zoom all the time, but the way to combat that fatigue is actually really similar to what you would do in a regular classroom. So in a regular classroom, if the professor just spoke nonstop for the whole class, maybe you're in class one after another, so all day long you're just hearing somebody speak, you're going to tune out and not be interested. But if you intersperse the lecture with individual assignments, and group activities and other things, then you're not constantly on Zoom. Or if you are, you're not doing exactly the same thing. Sometimes you're speaking, sometimes you're listening, sometimes you're doing an activity on your own. And I think that's the key to combating Zoom fatigue, the same way you would combat lecture fatigue.

Ajay Gupta: And are there other lessons for you or the company that came out of the pandemic?

David Young: Sure. So, one of the... Well, this is kind of a weird thing, but I'll just say that at one point we had so many customers that we were unable to serve them all. Either because we couldn't physically hire enough teachers, or we were hitting constraints that maybe individual states have on enrollment numbers, things like that. And so, there were just... At that point, marketing became less important because we were going to get so many customers that we couldn't even serve anyway. So, we had that opportunity to actually turn off marketing for a bit, to see what its total effect was. And that's sort of a unique opportunity that most companies will never have. You're never going to say, "Well, let's just turn everything off and see how effective this really is." So, I think that was certainly insightful and it confirmed the value of things, which can sometimes become unclear with different forms of tracking that may be tracked better than other forms, and things like that.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And David, I agree with you as far as the Zoom fatigue. Zoom fatigue in some ways, I like the calls that people have now. All of my conference calls, including, we're on Zoom right now, but this I like because you get to, instead of just call the number, this is fun. You get to do that. Where I'm really struggling with and really missing, is conferences doing the virtual. It's just not the same thing. Those trade shows, those conferences where... And even some are half virtual, half in person, so I think that's going to be a struggle with people trying to figure that out. That's not a question, that's just more of my observation on the thing. But David, I wanted to ask you something. You mentioned connected TV, you mentioned paid search. And I remember when you and I were just having a conversation, it was in your first role, you talked about nearly doubling the effectiveness of paid search and CTV. Especially CTV, as I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, that's become really popular in general, but I've been seeing it on the B2B side. But any advice there?

David Young: Sure. So actually, what I doubled was national TV. CTV hadn't existed in the company prior to my arrival, so that was new. I think it was, we'd made it a lot more effective, but I can't say we doubled it since I don't have a base of comparison. Let me tell you a snippet story of the doubling of national TV, and then we'll pop over to CTV as a comparison point. So, the national TV was interesting, we put in a couple of different tracking systems. You don't think of national TV as being trackable, but it is. There's a couple systems we used, one was iSpot, and the other was TVSquared. So, both of those have a bunch of... Well, iSpot has a fifth of the country's TV boxes tracked, and you can see who got different commercials, and then you can go back to your database and see who responded, so that's pretty good tracking. And then TVSquared is more of an incremental measurement kind of a thing. Really, there was a bunch of things that you were able to do with that. But the main thing I would say that it turned the corner, was the length of the TV commercial. So there was evidence prior to that tracking, that longer commercials were better. And that evidence was how many people would call the phone number if you put a phone number in the TV ad. I'd heard from way back when from a direct marketing association, that the longer commercials were better for direct response like that, because you gave people more time to grab their phone, see the number, you dial it up, all of that. So in a shorter commercial, you cut that immediate response down. But for us, we weren't looking for necessarily an immediate response. If you're going to take your child from brick and mortar school, to an online school, it's a big decision. You're not going to decide to do it instantly. You're probably going to check out the website, see who this company is, talk to your spouse, talk to your child. It's a big decision with a bunch of steps. So, it was more useful for us to give a short commercial, to get the person aware of us and interested, and then just begin that process. And this tracking allowed us to see that those shorter commercials were actually more effective. And the reason I would say that they are, though I sound like they're not, a short commercial, one commercial is less effective than a long commercial because you get less information. But the pricing of TV is per second. So a short commercial, let's say 30 seconds compared to 60 seconds costs half as much. Which means you can reach two people instead of one person, and that makes all the difference in the world. I often compare it to a dating analogy where if you wanted a date, or let's say I wanted a date, and what's my chance of getting a date better? If I ask one girl out for twice as long, or if I ask two different girls out? Well, obviously the two. I get two chances. So, there's all kinds of reasons why she might not want to go out with me. She's already got a boyfriend, she doesn't like the way I look, whatever it is. So if I get two shots, I've got more chances than if I just spend twice as much time on my pickup line. So, that's essentially the same thing with the TV commercials, where getting to talk to two people is more valuable than one for longer. So, let's kick over to CTV then. CTV is a different animal, and it's got advantages and disadvantages. It certainly costs more per person than national TV, although local TV also costs more per person than national TV. And so, they're not that different when you compare CTV with local TV. And if you need... Well, so there's a couple of situations where CTV is going to work in your favor. So if you need to advertise locally, like in our case we've got these different states with different regulations, different caps of numbers of students we can actually enroll in different places. And you might need to focus in on a place where you can enroll, or you can get students or whatever, compared to some place that had now met the cap, or is off limits or whatever. So, that's one reason. But then the other thing that's great about CTV, it opens up this whole opportunity to do this one to one marketing that everybody has been talking about for so long. You can get your database of information, you can find out who's more likely to respond, and you can advertise to just those people. So now, the somewhat higher cost per person is balanced out or even surpassed by the higher chance to respond. That's really where CTV can shine, and as there's more and more data to be had, there's more and more chances for that to be just that much more valuable.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's a great way of breaking it down, David. I like the way you did that. I like your analogy there, and that makes a lot of sense. So thanks for breaking that down, because a lot of people are asking, it's like TV, the linear TV, the connected TV, it's just such a big topic. Because, and we talk about it a lot in real life, and we talk a lot about it on the podcast. People are watching TV, there's so much programming out there, there's so many ways to consume it. People are at home, and really relied on television. As we've actually had a few people from NBC Universal and Disney on, we've had a lot of people talking about some of their programming, A& E networks. So, thank you for breaking that down. David, I wanted to talk to you about, because you have been, like I said, a lot of roles. But you've been in marketing, and you've been at Stride for a good amount of time where, we constantly talk to a lot of people in marketing on this podcast, where sometimes they're not at those roles a long time. Marketing tends to be one of those positions, along with a chief revenue officer sort of thing, that has a couple years shelf life, if you will. What's been your secret sauce, if you will, separating you, some of the methods that you use? What makes you different in marketing, David, do you think?

David Young: Well, I think it's a little bit what we talked about previously, in the sense that I try to frame the questions differently. So I gave the example of the remarketing stuff. But I'll tell you a mistake I made, maybe that'll be the flip side of this. So I had determined that," Hey, this paid search stuff, it looks great. We need to spend a bunch more money on it." That was my first year in to Stride, I'd said that. And then it was wrong in the end. I could say, well, it wasn't really wrong, but in the end it was wrong. And it was wrong not because it wasn't a good deal, it was a good deal, but it was wrong because it couldn't scale as much as I wanted to. I saw that there was a good return on that money, and I thought, well, we'll just spend more over there. And unfortunately, when I said earlier that you can bid up the prices, that's because that's what happened. So, live and learn. I saw that I juiced up the money too much. We bid up the price, and so we ended up paying more money for the same clicks. And so, it didn't really give us that incremental value that we were hoping for. So I guess your question to me was, well, what sets me apart? I guess one, I would say that I have used data to figure out things. And I think the other thing though, is that I'm willing to admit failure and change course. So, this is one of the failures that I had. And since then, we've found it to be much more productive to... We still want to get more out of paid search, but we also put strict limits on the cost per clicks we're willing to pay, so that if we do pay more it's because we got more, instead of accidentally bidding the price up. So I think that's the other thing that would maybe set me somewhat apart, is I'm willing to admit that I was wrong. Obviously you don't want to be wrong too often, or you run into this problem you've mentioned of the shelf life, the shelf life becomes a little shorter as you make mistakes. But I do think that I've seen companies that will make a mistake, won't want to admit to it, and ride that mistake until they're into the ground. And that's the biggest shame. Ideally you'd have generated enough confidence within the group, that you're able to say that, "That was wrong. Now I'm going to do a different thing based on new information, and move forward." And if you can establish that kind of rapport with your management, I think that's where you can really find a lot of success.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah, that's a unique one for us. And I think it's very relevant, I think we're living in an age where people don't want to admit mistakes, whether it's work or even we see that in our tennis team. If somebody has a bad match, especially in doubles, they're almost always going to blame it on their partner versus admitting any mistakes on their own. So, I think we live in a world where admitting mistake is seen as a failure. So, that's a great answer.

David Young: Yeah. It reminds me, I haven't played tennis in a while, but it does remind me of somebody saying," It's not the racket, it's the hand."

Ajay Gupta: So, what's up and coming, what's new for this year for Stride?

David Young: Well, Stride has put a big emphasis around career learning, and we're going to continue down that path, both in the high school environment and the adult learning environment. So in the high school environment, you have typically a bunch of electives, and they're whatever. So they could be music, or art, or speech, or debate, or track or whatever they could be. So one of the things that is the right move for a lot of students, is to take a cluster of those electives and center them around a career choice. So, whether you're going to start a career after high school, or whether you're going to go on to college, it kind of varies. But let's say, you're going to go into a career after high school. If you could take a bunch of healthcare courses while in high school, and be qualified or halfway qualified to be a beginning level nurse, then your salary potential after high school could be tremendously larger than just with a typical high school degree. If you're going to college, or you have that path, again, that's where you could explore careers, find out what you really want to do to make that college choice better, and or take dual enrollment courses, and college credit tech courses that were in a path that you plan to take later. I know I personally had a bunch of typical jobs for high schoolers. Back when I was in high school, I worked at a couple of Dairy Queens, I worked at a car wash. I don't know what else I did, but things like that. I worked for the Texas Highway Department repairing some roads, you know, stuff. And I based my judgment on those jobs and said well, gee, I've liked or disliked these jobs because of who I worked with. And so my whole plan going into college, as limited as this plan was, but hey, I was 17. What do you want? My plan was, I'll go into business so I can be the manager, and hire people I like, so I'll like my job. So that was my philosophy, a fairly weak one I would say looking back, but that's all I had to go on. And I think if you had the chance to more thoroughly explore some real career options in high school, you could make a better choice than that. I think a lot of people are in that situation.

Ajay Gupta: No, that's great. I know I changed my mayor at least three times in college. Never really knew what I was going to do. So David, this is one of our staple questions we like to ask at Marketing Stir. So, what is a LinkedIn message or an email that really annoys you? And what's one that gets your attention, that you actually respond to?

David Young: That's a tough question. I get lots of messages from lots of people, and I've mostly learned to ignore them because there's so many. If I try to respond to all the messages, I'd do that instead of my job. So I guess the thing that I would say... I have responded to some, you guys approached me in LinkedIn, and so let's take that as an example. So this was, I hope for both of us will be a real exchange of value. I hope this podcast will be valuable to both parties and the listeners. So, that is an interesting proposition, whereas a lot of other messages that I'll get will be," I'm so and so with generic company number three, tell me about your challenges." I was like, come on. So, that's not as interesting. So I do think to really cut through the masses of things that people get, you've got to find a way to offer some concrete value, or have something pretty unique to offer. I do remember another place that contacted me regarding combating Display fraud. And they had a pretty unique offer, and it wasn't something we were dealing well with at that time. So, I think you've got to either have something pretty unique to offer, or have some kind of exchange of value, or both, to get the ball rolling.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. No, we hear that a lot, David. Especially, I like your answer, it's the second answer in a row from our podcast guests about that question. It's like, well, if I just responded back, I wouldn't do my job. I love hearing that. We've had never heard that until recently, where people are like oh yeah, that makes sense. And people love that question. People approach us about it via email or social, and people learn from it. We hope that companies, there's these titles, right? Sales development reps, business development, BDRs, we hope that people listen to this and the 12 prong approach to reaching out to people doesn't work." Did I say something to offend you? I haven't heard back."" No, I'm just not interested in your solution." So it's that sort of thing, coming up with something compelling. That's great. David, we have just a few minutes left. I assume tennis as well, because you were talking out that with Ajay, the Ace, Gupta there. But what else... Are you into tennis? What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do for fun?

David Young: Well, during this pandemic, we ended up chopping a tree down for... Because it's close to the power lines and whatnot. And I split this giant tree by hand with axes and wedges. And I ran through plenty of those, picking out which brands were going to work, which ones broke. But it was cost ineffective, I'm sure I spent more on the tools than I would have spent on have somebody coming to do it. But it gave me something to do outside when we were kind of in this no vaccine, scary place, where I needed to stay home, but I didn't want to be inside all the time. So we chopped down the whole tree, split this huge tree into a bunch of wood. And so, now I spend a lot of time with the fireplace. And I said my son came back to the house last weekend, and we played some board games in front of the fire, and that seems like a more common activity for me these days.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's nice. In my last apartment in Manhattan here, I actually had a fireplace. It was pretty cool. I wasn't chopping down trees or anything like that. if I had an axe in Manhattan, that's a whole other story. I wouldn't be here today. But it was nice, I love it. My new apartment does not have a fireplace, but I would buy wood from some, one of the bodegas, these little corner stores. I cheated because I had those Duraflames, I'd pop that in. But yeah, it is soothing. It's just, doing anything by the fire is something relaxing about it, especially those cold winter months here in Manhattan. But David, a final thought, a closing thought, a shining moment in your career thus far? Leave us with one.

David Young: Okay. Well, so I think the... Let me shy away from the shining moment, because I think I've talked myself up enough during this podcast already. I don't want to bore the listener. And instead, leave you with a final thought. So I think the final thought would be, I said the thing about being willing to change, and I think that's key, being willing to admit mistakes and move on to a new solution. I think the other thing that's key, is just keeping an open mind and looking at value where you can find it. Sometimes it'll be through analysis, sometimes it'll be through new channels, sometimes it'll be new creatives or messages, so maybe the conversion funnel could use some work. It is varying, and I think you need to open your mind to all those possibilities. Implementation is key. A lot of people overlook that, they'll come up with a plan and then pass it down the chain to be implemented, and then not really check on it again. And I think that is an area where there can be a lot of value. So, with this theme of being open minded, I would say that I read a book recently, which I enjoyed, and it's about the conquest of Mexico. It's called The Conquest of New Spain, is the way they wrote it at the time. And the reason it's interesting, is because it's a first person account. So there was a soldier, a literate soldier that was along there with Cortez, named Bernal Diaz, and he wrote a book about the events. And I think the thing that's really interesting about it, is in my day, as kind of an upper middle aged person or whatever, things were... Everything was, you could say whitewashed, I suppose to an extent. Columbus was the guy who discovered America, he did these great things, and the pilgrims came and they only had Thanksgiving with the Indians, and everything was nice. And today everything's terrible, and all those guys were dastardly, and they did all this bad stuff. And then the same thing with the American Indians. Either they were the bad guys, or now they're the good guys or whatever. And I think that none of that's completely true either way. And I think hearing that first person account, it's like the difference between hearing what some political candidate says, or hearing somebody else say what they said. When you get the spin, people saying what they said, you just want to hear what was actually said. And I think it's the same. So it's a very curious book, it's written from the perspective of somebody from 500 years ago, from a different culture and a different way of looking at things. And he certainly is not writing things with an eye to how it will be perceived 500 years later. So I think it's good, it's a good thing for anyone to take a look at.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, no, that's very interesting. Thank you for sharing that with us, David. We appreciate your time here on The Marketing Stir. Ladies and gentlemen, that is David Young, the vice president of marketing adult career learning at Stride. Check out Stride, stridelearning. com. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa, that's Ajay Gupta, this has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much for listening. We'll talk soon.

Vin Lapsley: 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.


Vincent and Ajay chat with David Young, the VP marketing adult career learning at Stride. He talks about how the pandemic lead the company to making some drastic choices in marketing options, such as turning it off altogether, and learning the value of marketing as a whole. Vincent Ajay sneaks in some time competing in tennis during recovery, and Vincent says he's more of a football guy.

Today's Host

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Vincent Pietrafesa

|Vice President, B2B Products, Stirista
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Ajay Gupta

|Founder & CEO, Stirista

Today's Guests

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David Young

|VP of Marketing, Stride, Inc
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