Jared Gardner (Sprinklr) - The Energy of Vincent
Jared Gardner, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Sprinklr, discusses the company’s recent IPO, the ins and outs of “technical marketing,” as well as the future of cookieless marketing channels. Gardner also shares the unexpected tasks that come with being a promotions director for a radio station. Ajay is preparing for a trip to New York and Vincent is happy to be hosting events again.
Jared Walls: Welcome to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ears. I'm Jared Walls, associate producer and Stirista's creative copy manager. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders to get their take on the current challenges of the market but also have a little fun along the way. In this episode, Vincent and Ajay talk to Jared Gardner, vice president of digital marketing at Sprinklr. They discuss the company's recent IPO, the ins and outs of, quote- unquote, technical marketing, as well as the future of cookieless marketing channels. Gardner also shares the unexpected tasks that come with being a promotions director for a radio station. Ajay is preparing for a trip to New York, and Vincent is happy to be hosting events again. Give it a listen.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's The Marketing Stir. I, of course, am your host, Vincent Pietrafesa, the vice president of B2B products and partnerships and still interim general manager of axis B2B. They have not removed that title from me yet, so I'm keeping it as long as I can. First off, you already listen to the podcast. Thank you to all our listeners out there, but in case you are listening for the first time, you don't know who I am, you don't know who Stirista is, Stirista, we are a marketing technology company. We focus on identity. We own our own databases, business to business, business to consumer. We help companies utilize those databases to get new customers. Who doesn't need new customers? We do that through email marketing, we own our own DSP, AdStir, we can deploy, display, connected TV, account- based marketing. We are here to help. Email me at vincent @ stirista. com. That is how confident I am that we could help. The other thing I'm confident in in life is I can always rely on this next person, my co- host. Ladies and gentlemen, I will see him in New York very shortly. I'm counting down the days. I'm getting ready and prepared. Ladies and gentlemen, you know him as the San Antonio Slayer. I know him as our CEO, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's going on, Ajay?
Ajay Gupta: Hey, Vincent. Your wife might get jealous if she heard our podcasts.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I know. She will. That's my admiration there. She's going to go from jealous to angry because of those dinners I'm sure we'll have in town and those nights out. So she's going to get angry real quick.
Ajay Gupta: Yeah. Look forward to being back. It's been a year- plus. I don't know the last time I went without seeing New York City for this long.
Vincent Pietrafesa: January. I was just talking to our amazing producers on the podcast, and I said, " I think it was January when we kicked off the Marketing EDGE award season," if you will, but that was virtual. We're back in person for the Marketing EDGE Awards. Stirista's receiving the Corporate Disrupter Award, so that'll be good. That is in September. But, yeah, it'll be good to have you. What are you looking most forward to in New York?
Ajay Gupta: Looking forward to the food, man. I think San Antonio is great when it comes to Mexican food, but there's not really another place in the world with quite the food diversity that New York City has, so hoping that a lot of the restaurants are still there and looking forward to that. Yeah, I think the last event we did in New York was at NASDAQ, so that was fun.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That's right, the NASDAQ. Yeah, San Antonio is great, but no one is ever like, "You have to try those San Antonio bagels." No one says that ever. I don't think anyone's ever said-
Ajay Gupta: Maybe the tacos, San Antonio tacos.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Exactly. That's what people say. So, yes, looking forward to seeing you in person. Also, I just found out yesterday that yours truly is going to be the host of the Direct Marketing Club in New York's Silver Apple Awards, slated for November 4th. I've done the event in 2018. They asked me back. It's a good thing for Stirista. I love doing it, and it'll be also a nicely well- attended event. So I'm looking forward to that.
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, it looks like you lost your job for a couple of years, but they decided they wanted you back, so that's good.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I lost my job for one year. In comes a new president. They're like, " Hey, let's change it up." That same president two years later is like, " Wait a minute, I think we need a little oomph," and they had asked me back. But it's great. It's great. I'm happy to be back doing it, looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to this guest. Ladies and gentlemen, I met this guest in person. It's not every time. There's only maybe a handful of our guests that I've met in person. I actually haven't met him prior to him doing the podcast or agreeing to do the podcast, but I met him and his lovely wife in person in New York City, that amazing New York City. It comes back to that all the time. We cannot wait to talk to him. Let's give a warm Marketing Stir welcome to the vice president of digital marketing at Sprinklr, Jared Gardner. What's going on, Jared?
Jared Gardner: Hey, Vincent. Hey, Ajay. Thanks for having me on. Vincent, it was a blast getting to actually meet real- life people. Not only that, but hopefully we created a bond that you'll just be able to feel like we're best friends on this podcast now. And, Ajay, it's great to meet you for the first time, man.
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, good meeting you.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, see, Ajay's not at best friend level just yet, Jared, so he'll have to earn that. But, yeah, I always say this. I feel like when you spend an hour with a person on the podcast, and then sometimes we have a call with our producers prior to that, the bond already starts. But when you share face- to- face, you share drinks together... We'll get to the reason why you met me in person. I'm not going to reveal the reason why. I'm not going to ask the question. That's for my co- host to bring that up. But, yeah, it was great meeting you. You visited New York City. I'm also going to talk about why you were in New York City, very exciting news as to why you were there. But before we start, Jared, for those of our listeners who don't know Sprinklr, tell us about Sprinkler and then within your role. I love that you have a very targeted role. It's digital marketing. We've had people in various fields of marketing here, various titles, maybe one, two with digital in there. But that's your focus, so I'd love to learn about Sprinklr and then your role within Sprinklr.
Jared Gardner: Yeah, yeah. I'd love to talk about that a bit. Sprinklr is an enterprise software company, so we make a unified platform for all customer- facing functions. We call that Unified-CXM. CXM has been a category that's been around, customer experience management. Prior to us, customer experience management was really customer experience measurement and so surveys and people asking you how your experience was after interaction, a transaction, MPS surveys, CSAT surveys, things like that. What we really offer is the ability for companies to unify all their customer- facing functions from advertising to marketing to social engagement, social publishing, live chat, things like that across our four product suites of care, advertising, marketing, engagement, and research, really enterprise- focused historically. We help them bring all their data together and make sure that if a customer has an issue on social media that then trickles into an email- based care case, that they can stitch that together and understand that it's the same issue that somebody was having publicly on social media as what they came in through live chat or came in through an email- based ticketing system. So we help unify all that.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. Talk to me a little bit about your role specifically there, Jared, and how you got into marketing in the first place. You're definitely young enough to where you probably studied digital marketing because digital marketing, I am revealing my age, I will be 43 in August, there was nothing. Digital, forget it. The marketing I studied, there was an envelope and they're like, " This is direct mail," and I'm like, " Okay." But tell me about your individual role there, some of your responsibilities, and then how you got into this space.
Jared Gardner: Yeah. So I joined about three months ago to start a digital marketing department, which we, post- COVID, really have had a focus on growth and marketing, so my scope is really digital demand generation, and that's what I'm focused on primarily, is the demand generation part. I have three teams on my team. I have a performance marketing team, which is channel and ads. I have a web team that's just managing our digital properties. Then I have a marketing operations and analytics team, which is working on lead flow and making sure that we have quality hand- off from marketing to our SDR organization. I think my career path here has been fairly linear over the last, let's call it, six years ago. I started in technical marketing, or at least what I like to call technical marketing, so searching and optimization, digital analytics, merger rate optimization, really working closely with websites. Eventually, that evolved into more of the demand generation, where once I started owning websites, I was responsible for a pipeline number, and then as I brought on more channels into that suite that I was managing, the pipeline number got bigger and eventually, now, I own the pipeline number for all inbound marketing inaudible. So that's where I'm at now. I didn't have as easy of a path here as you would think of studying digital marketing. I actually went to school for radio broadcast. I worked in radio as a promotions director. Promotions director is a fancy name for the guy who drives the van around and sets up the tent. So I would drive the radio station van around, wrapped in the logo, had a light bar on so you could clip the lights on and pull up on the curb. Basically, my job was to go, mostly car dealerships, but car dealership to car dealership and do remote broadcast. So I'd set up the broadcast equipment, and then the DJ would come out and we'd do a live broadcast. I did that for about three years, had a ton of fun when I was 21, got into a lot of bars before I was 21 and opened tab and everything like that. So that was a ton of fun, but I quickly realized, this was when Pandora was big and Spotify was first coming up, that this is not an industry that's going to be around as it is today and it's not one that young in my career I should just bet on this industry forever. So that was fun. I got to do a lot of event marketing as well, got to produce some concerts for... I've been able to meet Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube and Train and Panic! At the Disco for these radio station concerts, so producing concerts was my favorite part of that. Then, coming out of that, I said, " I need to get into something that has a better career path, something that's going to be around for 10 years," and I literally just started applying for anything that sounded entry- level digital marketing. I was like, " The Internet's going to be around for a while," and so I got into search engine optimization, and the rest was history, just started evolving from one channel to another.
Ajay Gupta: Jared, going from radio to working for a company that recently IPO'd, would love to know what the experience of the IPO was like and how things are going.
Jared Gardner: Yeah, yeah. So the IPO was fun. I did get a chance to go out to the IPO, mostly for some other meetings that were happening in New York at the time. It's interesting. I've been here for three months. This company's been around for 12 years. So part of me felt some survivor's guilt that I was like, " I didn't help build this company for 12 years." It was fun to be a part of that. At a previous company, I prepared for two IPOs that didn't quite happen, one because they got acquired and the other one, I left right before the IPO happened. So I joke that that was my rollover IPO. I was like, " I get that for work I did in the past." But it was a ton of fun. It's kind of a crazy day where you're just focused on that ceremony for the day. It was a ton of fun to be a part of. You can definitely see how much it means to all the people who had been there for 12 years building the company brick by brick.
Ajay Gupta: I'm guessing you have been to New York City before?
Jared Gardner: No, that was the first time I've ever been to New York, actually. Yeah, I'm on the West Coast, and so I've been all over the West Coast and, actually, many cities in the East Coast, but New York just is never one that I landed in. So when I took the job at Sprinklr, I knew I'd be out there pretty often, as our headquarters are in New York.
Ajay Gupta: That's great. Can you tell us what your ideal customers look like? I know you work with generally larger companies, but are there specific verticals that you focus on as well?
Jared Gardner: Yeah. So we're pretty vertical agnostic. We can help, whether that's public sector, education, retail, tech. We can really serve all of those industries horizontally. We do have very tight persona targeting for each of our products. So for our Modern Care product, we're targeting director of customer service, director of contact center, people who are running large customer service organizations at these big companies. For our research product, which is largely social listening as well as some other listening sources on the open web, such as reviews, like Google and Yelp reviews, things like that, we're targeting an insights manager, a market researcher, people who want to use that public data to inform their company's decision, whether that's product feedback or location feedback or data that people are posting on Twitter, on Reddit, on a lot of these open forums. Then we have a marketing and advertising product. That one's pretty clear. I'm the target audience for that, director of digital marketing, director of media, things like that. Then we have a sales and engagement product, which is largely social publishing, live chat as well as employee advocacy. So that has its own buyer set as well from mostly social media type titles. We find most success with the director, vice president level, so people who have budgets. But, obviously, a lot of times, with an enterprise platform, you need a groundswell of users, so you get the practitioner who would be using the platform every day. We target it in a mix of that, but it's really around job function that we target, and then, historically, it's been large enterprise customers, but we'll probably eventually start to move down the market a little bit into some of the smaller companies.
Vincent Pietrafesa: And, Jared, this being The Marketing Stir, we always like to ask the guests where some of the marketing channels... That was the personas you talked about and your ideal customer. What are some of the channels that you are using at Sprinklr that are working successfully for you? If there's some secret sauce, maybe not reveal that to the masses, marketing people who are listening to this podcast, but some of the channels that you utilize. Were there channels that your other experiences in other companies that you're bringing with you that, " Hey, we used this, and this works, we were using connected TV," just some examples of that?
Jared Gardner: Yeah, yeah. So I think for us, because this team is fairly new, we're still putting a lot of our eggs in the proven baskets. For us, that's LinkedIn, that's Google search. That's starting to expand out into pretty targeted Facebook and Twitter, things like that, with customer match type audiences. So those are working pretty well. Facebook is tough in B2B because of the targeting, so there's a few ways you can get around that, customer match audiences or licensing data, where you're basically syncing over an email address or somebody that you know works in an enterprise company in the customer service department. That makes Facebook prospecting a little bit tough for an industry like ours. So because of that, we've seen a lot of success with LinkedIn, which I think is no surprise for most B2B companies. We can target on company size, we can target on industry, we can target on titles. Let's use a huge account, like, say, Microsoft. They have not only multiple brands, but they also have all these different departments that we have a product for. So the title targeting gets really important so that we can make sure the ad matches the use case so that we have advertising style ads to an advertising style persona. I think that's probably no surprise there as what's working. I think the secret sauce, so to say, or how to make it really work, it all comes down to the targeting and making sure that you're using all of the targeting options that you have available, from customer match audiences to account match audiences in LinkedIn to title targeting to interest targeting, and trying those all out to see what works and then making sure that you're using that first- party data or that customer match audience over in channels such as Facebook or Google that doesn't allow you to do company- level targeting like LinkedIn does. So I think that's the theme, is use the big channels because that's where the audience is, but make sure you're using unique and robust targeting to get to the right people in those ponds. Because there's a lot of fish in the ponds, but you only care about certain pockets of them. So that's really where we're focused. I think we have a few up- and- coming channels from content syndication, with more of an ABM style, which I think is some of the stuff that you guys offer as well. So, eventually, we'll have to talk about that. That's one where we're starting to see some success as far as lead quality. Then we always have the challenge of, " I can get a bunch of quality leads at this price, but none of them are qualified to talk to sales so they don't convert to opportunities." So trying to balance that, of how do we acquire names at a good price but also create opportunities, which is always going to be a more expensive exercise, to get people to raise their hand and do a demo over to the SDRD.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yep. Yeah. Totally. See, that's a focus of Stirista, is helping that, so we have tons of things to talk about, you and I, Jared. We're friends for life, as you mentioned, but that is also something... Happy to talk to you about it at any time. But I want to get into the nitty- gritty as far as you being a digital marketer. Cookieless, the cookie going away. Well, is it going away yet? Maybe in a year or so. But how big of a concern is that for you, and are you already starting to look into the cookieless channels? How important is that for companies to adapt?
Jared Gardner: Yeah. I think that's one of the biggest things that I spend time thinking about. I think for all marketers that are doing any paid demand generation, that's whether you're B2C or B2B, it doesn't matter, right, being able to target accurately and measure accurately. So there's two sides of that, right? When the cookie goes away, you can't target because you... Let's use Facebook as an example. I can't see that so- and- so went to, let's call it, adweek. com, a publisher, and I can assume that if somebody goes to adweek. com three times a week that they're probably in the marketing world, and then I can advertise to people that go to adweek. com because they're probably interested in marketing. With the cookie going away, that Facebook targeting, and, really, a lot of companies who use third- party data like that, is a lot less valuable. It's actually impossible, more or less, until some of these new technologies like block and fingerprinting become a thing. So the targeting goes away, it's way more difficult. Then the other side is the tracking and analytics. If iOS is blocking Facebook from firing conversion pixels back to Facebook, now your conversions aren't showing up. So, one, your ads are not performing as well because your targeting sucks, but then you're also not measuring what actually is working, so you're actually losing efficiency on the targeting and then you're losing visibility on the backend on the reporting. So the answer to that, really, is first- party data. A couple of things that I've really been focused on lately is building a first- party data stack that makes you self- sufficient because as soon as you own somebody's email address, you can go target that email address and Google and Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter, so on and so forth across all of these channels. I really like to build around a customer data platform. Segment is my favorite too, so Segment should probably be paying me at this point because I talk about them so much. With Segment really being able to capture... When somebody fills out a form, regardless of what they're downloading, whether it's a demo or they're downloading an ebook or they're downloading a webinar or, even better, if you're using a product- led growth, you're able to get people to become free customers by signing up for a trial or a freemium offering. Now, you own that data. That's a customer of yours, and so if you can take what previously you would think of as customer data and apply that to the prospect model... So how can I get this email before they're a customer so that I can target them as if I was a customer on Facebook? Your data architecture is really super important, so making sure that you have a customer data platform that, one, captures all of that in a central place and then can sync that over to all the platforms. So from Segment, you can use their Personas product to sync over an audience to Facebook, to Google Ads, to LinkedIn, and you can do that with a centralized definition. If you're in eCommerce, you can say, " I want people who added to cart, who have purchased in the last 60 days who have something in their cart that they abandoned, and I want to sync that over to all the ad platforms with one definition as opposed to going to each ad platform and defining that audience just a little bit different." Then you have one central audience definition and push it everywhere. So that helps with the targeting side, and to do that, your marketing activities need to move a little bit up the funnel to make sure you're acquiring that first- party data. Then your technology, making sure that you can centralize that collection and sync it everywhere. So that's the audience targeting side that you lose, and then on the measurement side, the ad platforms honestly have some catching up to do. I think Facebook is really leading the charge here, so Facebook has a really robust conversions API, and through a tool like Segment, you can say when somebody requests a demo... Instead of firing a conversion pixel off to Facebook like you would traditionally do, I can have Segment, which is a first- party data collection tool so it's not getting blocked by iOS, send a server- side conversion to Facebook on the backend that doesn't get blocked by your OS from my server over to Facebook's server to count that conversion. So your conversion tracking gets better. Now, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter have some catching up to do with the server- side conversions, but I think it's just a matter of time before they catch up.
Ajay Gupta: Jared, for you-
Jared Gardner: So that was a very long- winded answer for how we're trying to get around that, but it's not an easy thing to solve and most companies aren't really set up with a customer data platform. They're using a lot of point solutions. With Sprinklr, our advertising product allows us to create a centralized audience and push it to LinkedIn, push it to Facebook, push it to Twitter, and you can sync that over from your CRMs and say, " Show me anybody without an open opportunity with a company revenue range of this. Sync that over to all of my social platforms in one place." So there's quite a few tools that are leading the charge on it, but most companies just aren't ready.
Ajay Gupta: Jared, I had not heard of Segment, at least in this depth, so I was looking it up as you were speaking. It looks like a pretty interesting tool.
Jared Gardner: Yeah, there's a couple. Tealium and mParticle-
Ajay Gupta: Got it, okay.
Jared Gardner: ...have a very similar offering. I'm most familiar with Segment, personally, so that's my tool of choice. But I know Tealium is probably the other big player in that space.
Ajay Gupta: Got it. Because your audience target is somewhat small, how do you do digital targeting? Do you often have issues with not having enough to target to make a meaningful digital campaign?
Jared Gardner: Yeah, yeah. That just actually came up this morning. So we had kind of a niche persona of where we... I mentioned our research product is kind of traditional. Traditionally, it competes in the social listening category. So there's a lot of different buyers in a company that could benefit from social listening. Think of your product manager. If you're the product manager for iPhone at Apple, think about all of the things that people tweet about complaining about their iPhone. For example, one of the ones I know pretty well because I have a friend who runs a podcast app is how much people hate the Apple Podcast app, and they tweet about it all the time. My friend has made a growth strategy by just responding to the people on Twitter who complain about the app with, " Hey, try my app instead," and that's his whole growth route, and it's working for him.
Ajay Gupta: I like it.
Jared Gardner: It's working for him pretty well. So that's an example where traditional market research and product user research, they're sending you an MPS survey and then getting product feedback, right? So that's a solicited feedback channel. With social listening, you get the unsolicited feedback. That's one example where Apple doesn't need to survey people to see that people hate the podcast app or what they love, for example. There's plenty of features that people love, like people love that you open your AirPods case and it automatically syncs with your phone. That's a feature people love and they tweet about. So using that public data as market research can really inform decisions. That was kind of all to say that, traditionally, we would target this product at a market researcher to say the person who's doing the research should have access to all the data. But there's other parts of the company that we can target on, too. So we can target that to the product manager to get them product insights. We can target that to the PR manager to get them media insights. We can target that to somebody who's in charge of reputation management for a brick and mortar, so, for example, Starbucks. Thousands and thousands of locations, and there's tons of unstructured feedback on the web between Google, between Twitter, between Yelp, that reviews that. So now we're like, " How can we take this product and really have it help more departments get insights about the thing they care about?" So, now, to your point, Ajay, it's like, now, we need to target just product managers at these companies of that size. And to your point, the audiences can get pretty small at times, and so we're always balancing that. We like to slice the cake in a few different ways, so it's like persona slice, company size slice, region, geography slice, right? We traditionally would break up our audiences by region from AMEA to Americas. Sometimes, we need to combine those slices, so it's either like, " Open up the company size a little bit more," or, " Add a few more titles together," or, " Let's combine one audience for Northern Europe with America so that we can get the audience size." But it is a delicate dance that we're always playing to make sure that we're targeted so it's effective but also a big enough audience so that we can get reach and actually have enough data to make decisions.
Ajay Gupta: That's great. So another kind of related questions is of, between the various platforms that you're using, and it sounds like you're a pretty robust strategy there, is there one that really stands out for you for your own demand gen?
Jared Gardner: As far as advertising platforms or ad gen?
Ajay Gupta: For lead generation. I guess, which platform is leading to the most number of leads for you?
Jared Gardner: The lead number versus the opportunity number differs, right?
Ajay Gupta: Got it, got it.
Jared Gardner: So the simple answer is LinkedIn is the easiest place to get quality leads. Those leads usually aren't that warm. They're good leads, and we want to warm them up, and so we're happy to keep advertising there. But then you compare and contrast that with a page search, whether that's Google, Bing, or Yahoo!, where once somebody is looking for a social listening platform, that's like, " Ah, that person's trending to buy. I want that person bid up as much as we can." So that's kind of where we balance the funnel, is we have some at the top, which is like acquire names, and that's LinkedIn. The content syndication is really good at acquiring names inaudible cost. Then page search, SEO, things like that are really good a little bit lower in the funnel to get people to raise their hands. So that's how we balance it. If we could crack the code to make LinkedIn a request demo style hand- raiser campaign, then we'll just be printing money forever.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I'm going to get to our standard, not our standard, but our signature question on LinkedIn in a moment that we do ask because we were talking about LinkedIn. But, Jared, talk to me about some of the advantages of running all social media platforms through one platform. I wanted to talk a little bit about that.
Jared Gardner: Yeah. The biggest thing is consumers are on a crazy amount of channels these days. Having a robust platform like ours really allows, one, we can add and innovate channels quickly because we focus on this space and we historically have been the leader in enterprise social media management. So when TikTok gets big, we were one of the first people to be able to help brands manage their TikTok, Snapchat, so on and so forth as these channels expand. The channels will keep expanding, whether that's in Asia markets, whether that's WeChat and LINE. Around the world, these different platforms pop up. So having one platform is crucial because you usually have one team and you need that team to live in one piece of software. Every time you have context switching between, " Okay, you're going to manage Twitter DMs here, and you're going to manage Facebook Messenger here, and then you're going to manage Snapchat messages here," now, the company or the agent, whoever's doing that support and community management, is losing time and efficiency across that as well as you're siloed. That data is now siloed. So if somebody complains on Twitter and Facebook, if you're not on the same platform, you're not going to be able to tell that's the same person. Unifying all of those channels with... Those are the social channels, but also the example that I had in the beginning is if somebody complains in your Twitter DMs and then later live chats from your website, you probably want that to go to the same rep so that they are like, " Oh, yeah, I was already talking to this person about that issue about their flight," or whatever the use case is. The customer expects the company to know everything about me and the interactions that I have with the company, and if you're in siloed point solutions for each of those, you're just never going to be able to do that. You're never going to be able to know that, oh, this person complained about this on Twitter and then came to the website, which probably means that he's escalating because his problem is not solved. I think that's the biggest thing there. Then, on the publishing side, more of the marketing use case, just making sure that you can, in one place, be efficient and have an editorial calendar where you can see, okay, this is what's going on with Snapchat, this is what's going on on IG Stories, this is what's going on on Facebook. Just giving the single view to that team, even if you have channel specialists on that team, there's probably, at one point, a social media director who's going to be in charge of all of those channels, and so giving them a single view is crucial.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Very interesting. And let's take it back to social media. Let's talk about LinkedIn. We have a signature question here on The Marketing Stir, although you seem like a really nice guy. I know you're a nice guy because I've met you. But what is a LinkedIn message that you get... Your title, vice president of digital marketing, you probably get reached out to a lot. What is a LinkedIn message you just hate, you don't respond to, a pet peeve of yours? Then, on the flip side, what's one that gets your attention?
Jared Gardner: Yeah. So I think I have two that drive me nuts. One is recruiting agencies who will reach out and be like, " I can help you hire." They don't go onto our LinkedIn and see that I have a recruiting department of 35- plus people and that, clearly, the hiring manager is probably not hiring the recruiting agency. Go talk to our talent acquisition team, right? So that's one, and then sometimes it's people asking me, " I can help you hire skills that you don't even own," so that, recruiting agencies, are one that drive me nuts. Then this is pretty niche to anybody who's done SEO for a living, but I have a bunch of SEO skills and endorsements at old job titles that were search engine optimization, and so at least three times a week I get somebody trying to sell me backlinks. Those ones are easy to spot, and, usually, I'll get a connection request and it'll say, " Link- building," and I'll just decline, and so I don't get the DMs because of that. The ones that are bad is when you get a, " Hey, it looks like you do this, this, and this," and it's a personalized invite. You're like, " Okay, this looks like a real human who wants to connect," and then they pitch you right away. I'm a jerk and kind of just respond unsubscribe, but I get 10 a day, so I have to try to balance that.
Vincent Pietrafesa: What you described there is my biggest. If I do accept, right away. Like, come on, not right away. Just get to know me. But what was one that resonates with you?
Jared Gardner: Ones that resonate with me are... Obviously, I respect SDRs out there hustling, cold- calling, creating opportunities because I'm in a demand gen role so I understand their job. But I really respect the ones who say, " Hey, I've talked to so- and- so at your company. Sounds like that's not a good fit. You might be the fit. I did a little research. It looks like you're using these other technologies. Here's three sentences of why if you're using Salesforce, our product is really great to pair up with that, or if you're using this CMS, our product is great for that," then a case study of how a reputable company is using their product to do that thing. So I think those are the outreaches that I value, is where somebody's like, " I know you're busy. Look, this product really does have value." If you just say, " Hey, I want to sell you the thing, can we connect for five minutes," that's going to be a hard no. But if you got my attention to read the message, which I read most of them, which I probably shouldn't say this on a podcast... But I read most of them. I don't respond to hardly any. You have my attention for 15 seconds. Give me your elevator pitch, right? If your product's good, I'm going to look at your product. If you just say, " I want to learn about your goals," then I'm like, " I don't want to tell you about my goals, see you later," as opposed to saying, " This is what we do, here's the results that another company you saw, this is what it would take to show you the platform." I think it kind of relates to... I just tweeted this before the episode started, but I said, " There's a special place in hell for people who Slack you,'Hey there,' and then don't ask you the question until you respond of,'Hi.'" I think the cold outreach is the same thing. You got my attention. Don't make me come back to this conversation in 20 minutes or an hour after you respond. Just pitch me what you're going to pitch me, and if your pitch is good enough, I'll bite. If not, I'll at least know what you're trying to sell. If I don't know what you're trying to sell right away, then I'm out.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I like that. We do have a lot of SDRs who listen to the podcast, and they say this feedback is always great, so awesome.
Jared Gardner: Nice.
Ajay Gupta: So, Jared, I was paid to ask this question. You can answer it truthfully if you want as well. We won't let Vincent take offense. But I heard you saw him perform live. How was that experience?
Jared Gardner: Yeah, I did. We did a pre- meeting for this just to make sure that it was a good fit for the podcast, and I mentioned, "Yeah, I'm going to be in New York soon," and he's like, " Oh, what do you" ... Or, actually, I think one of his questions to get to know me was, " What do you like to do in your spare time?" I said, " Camping, concerts, food, and I love comedy." Vincent just lights up. He's like, " No way." He's like, " I actually do stand- up comedy." I'm like, " Ah, sure. Everybody does stand- up comedy. How bad is this guy?"
Vincent Pietrafesa: Everybody does.
Jared Gardner: "How bad isthis guy going to be?" And if he pans over, I think I can even see it in the corner there. I think there's a flyer next to him about one of his... Yep, exactly. So I'm like, " All right, he's got flyers. He must be the real deal." So he offered me, " Yeah, when you're in town, come out and you can come to one of my shows." I took him up on the offer and saw him perform, and he killed it, man. It was really good. The energy of Vincent is Vincent, right? This isn't an act. I've now seen him in a podcast, I've seen him onstage performing, and then we had a couple beers after the show. It's the same Vincent, right? He's just telling different stories. Here, he's telling work stories. Onstage, he's telling life stories that are funny to other people. Then when you're hanging out with him, he's just talking about whatever you were in the moment or whatever comes up in conversation, but it's all the same guy. He was good. I would go see him again.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Ajay Gupta: Jared, I'm sure you have made his month if not his year.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That's it. That's all I need. I'm taking the rest of the month off.
Jared Gardner: Hopefully, that's a big door behind him so he can get out there when his head gets inflated.
Vincent Pietrafesa: No, I need it. Some positive feedback is great. I appreciate it.
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, especially when he-
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, I only invite people where I'm like, " Ah, okay, if they mentioned comedy." I never start with that. I was like, " All right, I think Jared will get it. He'll get it."
Jared Gardner: Yeah, that's got to be... Not all stand- up comedy would be the type of stuff that you're performing in your office, and so that's got to be a little dangerous, if you're like, " Can this guy handle these jokes, or is he going to be super offended?" So that's got to be a tough read to get, to put on people when you're living both lives.
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, you should see his HR file.
Jared Gardner: I can only imagine.
Ajay Gupta: So, Jared, one last question from my side is what's been a shining moment for you in the last few years in your marketing career and professional life?
Jared Gardner: I think I've gotten really lucky with the companies that I've worked for. This'll be the fourth B2B high- growth SaaS company valued at over a billion dollars that I've worked at pre- IPO, and so those experiences for me have been so valuable to my career. I was thinking about this the other day, and if it wasn't for some of the companies that I worked for, not necessarily the work that I was doing but the companies that I was working for where I got to do that work, I wouldn't be anywhere near the marketer that I am today. That's some of my advice for young marketers always, is take an opportunity on a company that you believe in, even if it's a title or a role that maybe wasn't as glorious as you hoped. My first role in Saas, I took a lateral move to doing the same job that I was doing at an agency with a smaller team, with no team, and less pay, but it was for a company that was super high- growth and the experiences that I learned there, I wouldn't trade them for the world. Those opportunities to work for high- growth companies have, I think, set up a foundation for me in my career, as well as just accelerated my path from manager to director to the vice president. So hitch your wagon to good companies. I think that's one of the things that I am most grateful for.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Nice. That's my plan, too, hitch myself to great companies. I'm in good company now. Jared, before we go, just talk to us. Any new things coming out from Sprinklr that you're excited about? Obviously, the IPO, that's new. Then what you like to do for fun. You mentioned it a little bit, but you getting back to the concerts? Love to hear more about that as we wrap up.
Jared Gardner: Yeah, yeah. We had a couple product launches that we're working on now. I can't talk too much about them yet, but feel free to follow me on social, and when those happen, I'll be able to share it with the world. Some of the stuff that we're super excited about is continuing to spread the product that we've been building for the enterprise world, the large enterprise world, with the rest of the business community, so really helping more customers as opposed to just focusing on the top 2000 brands in the world. With that, we'll obviously need to evolve our product sets, and we'll continue to work on that. But I think that's about all I got, nothing too big that I can share probably-
Vincent Pietrafesa: That's all right. The IPO's-
Jared Gardner: ...but stay tuned.
Vincent Pietrafesa: The IPO's big enough. Where can people follow you on social? What's your handle?
Jared Gardner: Yeah, Twitter, I'm really easy to get ahold of. It's @ digagardner is the handle. Then LinkedIn, super easy to find there, too. So pretty active on those two channels, don't use any other channels, so don't try to... If you try to connect with me on Facebook, I won't see it for three years. So Twitter and LinkedIn are pretty easy to find me.
Vincent Pietrafesa: And I know you love concerts. Have you been getting out to... Are they opening up a little bit? I feel like concerts are slow. I just had Lady Gaga cancel on my wife and I, very offended by Lady Gaga about that. I'm sure she'll get back to us. But what have you been doing there?
Jared Gardner: Yeah, we got a couple tickets planned for later this summer. August and September, we got some tickets. A couple reggae shows. Got some comedy tickets to see Tom Segura when he comes through town.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, awesome. Yeah.
Jared Gardner: Those are hard tickets to get, so glad we jumped on those. I don't know if you ever heard of Mark Rebillet. He's a YouTuber that does improvised music for two hours in a livestream every Sunday.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, wow. No.
Jared Gardner: He's just one of the most entertaining humans. It's half- comedy, half- music, but he's just a super entertaining guy, and he improvises his whole show. So we got tickets to that. I'll probably hit five or six concerts before the end of the year. A couple of them, like you said, have either got pushed back a month or two... So I'm hoping that doesn't keep happening because, yeah, tickets went on sale and we're like, " All right, we're back. We're back from COVID. Concerts are a thing again." But we'll see which ones actually happen.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, I hope so. Yeah, the Gaga one got pushed back. I got my wife tickets to Elton John's farewell concert coming to Barclays Center here in New York. I just scored Giants/ Dallas Cowboys tickets. I'm going to be in Dallas.
Jared Gardner: Ooh.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Then I'm going to a New York Giants/ Atlanta Falcons game, where they retire Mr. Eli Manning's jersey, so I already got tickets to that one here in New York. But, Jared, when you're in New York, any time, my friend, come on out. We'll get lunch. You can come to another show if you're not sick of me already. I'll make sure I get some new stuff for you. But it's so nice meeting you in person, so nice meeting your wife as well, and this has been great joining us on The Marketing Stir. Ladies and gentlemen, that is Jared Gardner. He is the vice president of digital marketing at Sprinklr. That's Ajay Gupta, my CEO and co- founder. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa. This has been another episode of Stirista's The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much for listening, and we will see you soon.
Jared Walls: 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, email us at themarketingstir @ stirista. com, and thanks for listening.