Hi everyone, and welcome to Finding Focus. This is a podcast that brings you a series of interesting, hopefully, and actionable conversations around how and why people find focus in this increasingly distracted world. Yes, as you know, sometimes we bring in focus experts and most of the time we talk with real, real cool people about how they find focus in their day jobs in their larger life. And today I'm very excited to present a good friend and an amazing woman, Jean Hopkins. She is the [email protected] and in her past roles has also been VP of marketing at HubSpot. And incredible leader in the marketing space, of course with the CRO on her title. Now she still gets to belong to the cult of marketers, but we're thrilled to have her here with us today.
Hi everybody. It's really exciting to be here. I have enjoyed all my different roles. I feel in many ways a CRO is really a combination of marketers, salespeople, and customer success leaders. And so by actually integrating all those things together for everything that's customer facing, your go to market is at a lot more integrated in one area. But of course you have to have really strong lieutenants on your team as well. Cuz it's not about me, it's about the team. So that's kind of where I am right now, Melissa.
Yeah, and before we dive into that, because I'm very excited. Tell us a little bit where you are physically, too. Tell us where you're dialing from.
I, we live in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, which is on a cove in a bay, Buzzards Bay, which is in the Sound Long Island Sound in the Atlantic Ocean. And so we're pretty well protected here, but we're right in, I'm looking at across the, the ocean, I'm looking at Cape Cod Canal, which is where the two bridges go over. Born and Sagamore Bridge go over to the Cape and we have the benefit of a new view every day, because the ocean changes every single day. Fantastic sunrises, beautiful sunsets. And we get to see cruise liners and transport vehicles and tall ships go into Cape Cod Canal and come out. So it's a quite a fun, fun place to live.
Now I'm actually gonna stick with this for a second because I actually, especially in the remote work world, people have chosen to live in places that actually really mean something to them and clearly are passionate about where you live. If we, if we think about finding focus, how does where you live actually play into what you and your overall kind of focus is in life? Is that part of why you decided to be where you are? Tell me a little bit about that. This is not a topic I've been into before, but I'm curious.
Well, I've been transferred a number of times in my career though. We, my husband and I, when our twin daughters were born, we were living in downtown Boston and the, we had a nice condo unit with two bedrooms, two, you know, nice nice unit in a very convenient area.
But the people that lived below us didn't like hearing little feet pittering around on top of them. So we bought a house in the suburbs in Newton, Mass, and we were there and we had bought the house, the first house in Mattapoisett as a project. It was a, a project kind of a thing. It was a 1972 house with, with the mustard yellow refrigerator and stove and the whole thing. And we did a gut rehab on the house just as a project, something to do. And then we sold it and after we sold, we, we got two full price offers on the house and we sold it. And then a, a few weeks later we had this nice house in Newton
We happened to be driving around, it was wintertime Christmas week. And we saw this house that was for sale and it had, the deal had fallen through. So we were able to get a good deal on it because these people had already bought something else and we got a good deal on it, we could close on it. And we had to replace all the windows. We had to re shingle the house. We had to, you know, there's a whole bunch of stuff that needed to be done because it's near the ocean. It's considered a high velocity zone, which some people may be aware of a high velocity. So in storms, hurricanes and northeasters that we have here, 70, 80 mile per hour winds are not unheard of here.
But it's a very sturdy house. It was actually built on cement stilts and it's, it's a post and beam construction, so it's pretty solid. But man, when that wind is whipping, it is something, but it's actually kind of fun. Not fun, fun, but it's, it's okay fun to, to live it out through a storm. We've lost power a few times, but not a lot. But living here, it was always the, the, the goal was we would summer here no matter where we worked or no matter where I worked. And I've worked in a number of different places and the deal has always been for our daughters to be able to come back here and be able to have summer.
So they have summer friends here. And then after I left Marketing Sherpa and went to work for Mar for HubSpot, we moved here permanently. So we have a big storage facility in Florida full of our good furniture. And, and so we're living out of a very much smaller house right now, which is kind of bursting at the seams. Our daughters have, both 24 year olds have left, but I'm trying to figure out how to get them to take all their art projects and all this other stuff outta the house so we can start making some room.
I mean this is a story that a lot of people probably have, which is that life comes and goes and you move for work and you, But I think it's really interesting because I, there's such a love for, you know, for Massachusetts as you and I have talked about before, but the sense of place actually I find comes up a lot in the conversations we have about focus. Just as a grounding force.
Yes, yes. I think my parents some 20 years ago moved to the foothills of Georgia, which is terribly inconvenient and especially since I'm managing their healthcare long distance and I'm going down there on Tuesday to bring them to doctor appointments. And it's, and and I've often said, you know, they were sick of the snow, you know, they had 11 acres in Wilham side of a mountain. They lived there for 42 years, you know, and they, there was one wicked snow storm that they just said, can't take it any longer. And so they decided they were gonna move and, and it was like, okay.
And all right. And about five years ago, you know, they, their health was starting to deteriorate, right? And I'm like, you know, guys, I am not moving to Georgia. And so I think now's the time that we gotta figure out a way to get you up to Massachusetts where I can at least keep an eye on you. I call my family, I call my parents twice a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and just to check on 'em. I ask what are they having for supper? You know, because now they don't wanna leave the house, really. And, and I think their sense of, and this is what I've been thinking about, is you're stuck down there. You don't have any family down there. You don't, because of covid, you didn't stop going to church, you stopped going to quilt club, you stopped going to book club, you stopped, you know, all these things that you used to do and you're kind of locked down in your house. And now, now that's all you know.
And if they were to come back up here and I was to bring them where, you know, they spent the vast majority of their life, right? 60 years at least, they would have some, because, you know, as they get older, they're remembering further and further back. So, you know, there's a lot of talk about me when I was a baby. Like, I care, but well that's, that's, I remember when you did this. And I'm like, Oh, you know, please stop remembering that. And it, it, But I think that that sense of place and knowing, knowing kind of like where you are, that anchor, there's nothing, I mean, this is not where I grew up and it's not where my husband grew up, but we're, we still feel like we're Massachusetts or whatever you would call us ices or something. Yeah. But I think that we feel, and a lot of people say, you know, well the taxes and this and that. Well, you know what? You're taxed everywhere. You know, there's a usage tax for everything.
And if you think, think that the states haven't figured out how to balance it out in some capacity, you're crazy. There's no free ride anywhere. But, you know, in Georgia they tax everything. Groceries, they tax absolutely everything. It's like eight and a half percent or something. And it's ridiculous to me. So anyway, so I digress.
Oh no, I I, you and I could chat about this all day, I'm sure, I think, but I, I do, I think there's that piece of where you're living today, right? Is, is core to your goals and like what you're out, what you're trying to do. And so for you, you having a place for your daughters to be, but also for, for like your connections and for your parents' connections, I think there's so much sense of place tied into that. And yes, perhaps it's a little digression, but an interesting one.
I find it fascinating that with the roles that you've been in, especially these leadership roles that you've been in, you've been able to navigate, you know, not always being immediately close to the company, and certainly in the last few years as all of us have been around. But that makes it harder, it makes it harder to keep yourself on track sometimes with what the company is doing. And then it also makes it harder to lead teams.
Talk to me a little bit about kind of how, you know, I know that especially as a leader, you're an incredible leader, so how do you maintain kind of that team direction and, and you know, staying on the right track for yourself, but also for the people you lead?
You know, I, I think I've, when I was working for Mike Volpe. I really like Mike a lot. I worked for him at HubSpot and it was a business travel management software company. And the company had to retrench after Covid because nobody was traveling for business. So you had the platform fee, plus you had all the, the revenue that was coming from airplane tickets, hotel tickets, and car rentals. So it went in the toilet. So Mike had to essentially cut 50% of the workforce and try to pivot to a new a spend management platform with the remaining runway that they had. So, and I respected him and on being able to do that, and he didn't, you could tell it was really hard for him to have to do that, but that's the job of a CEO, right? You gotta keep the, the trains running on time. You've gotta have, you have a fiduciary responsibility. So I had a, because it was so early in the pandemic, I was able to get three offers, Two of which I turned down because I always want to, as a Head of Marketing, I wanna make sure that I'm gonna have a natural affinity for the sales organization. And when it came down, both organizations, board the whole thing, getting to, you know, they're recruiting me heavily
And the, the last conversation, one was with the head of North American Sales, who felt that marketing was, was the reason she didn't make her quota for Q1. There's no responsibility for her, but it was all about marketing, right? Wow.
So I always ask this question, if I've ever interviewing salespeople: how do you work with marketing? How, you know, as leadership, what kind of, how do you figure out how to make things work? What are the SLAs, what are the things that you're trying to do together? Like, if I give you this, what are you gonna give me back? You know, it's a give get, it's like anything, right? And it, it, the second one, again, bored the whole thing, the whole shoot and match. And I talked to the head of sales and he said, We don't, I don't like marketing, I don't need marketing.
And I'm like, Okay, well maybe you should have told the CEO. So why am I sitting there? And I'm like, you know, why am I having this conversation with you? Right? So the, the other opportunity was in Rhode Island, which is the next town over from Mattapoisett. And they did a full-court press because I was very concerned about going to work for a Rhode Island company because a lot of people, it's an insular kind of state in that people that are born and raised in Rhode Island don't typically leave in Boston. Being 40 miles away is like, you know, going to the moon apparently. And so I was worried about the tech scene, and so the CEO and the chairman of the board, you know, were bring, you know, like, Oh, we got this person here. Can you convince her that, you know, we have a tech community and, and they don't.
So I went to work for them consolidating. They, they were all over the place. And what I noticed at that particular company was a lot of the female, I'm just gonna call 'em managers because they weren't treated as leaders. And I felt they had been looking for this person to be able to fill this role for a year. And, and after I was there for close to a year, I knew why. And it was very, very personal. Like the personal relationships that went back 10, 15 years, even if those people hadn't grown and you were trying to grow them, or you were trying to edit some on the team, like they just weren't cutting.
And so I ended up going to another portfolio company that I had been advising. And another this is, you know, we can get into the whole what do you look for when you're looking for a role and not, not fully under the problem is I'm being brought in when you should always have, you know, have you addressed the market? What's the market size that you're trying to deal with? And then the next step is, do you have a product, you know, what is the product? And then at that point, you know, then you bring in marketing and then you bring in sales. And what I've noticed is a lot of companies just wing BDRs at the wall and think that they're just gonna magically come up with a bunch of revenue to be able to meet your revenue targets.
And that order of operations is not necessarily followed. And I've, I feel as though I've been told in the initial stages, and I have no way of being able to verify that the product is where they think it's gonna be. You know, sometimes you look at the website and it's a thing. Yeah, exactly. You know, it's, it's much bigger. And, and it, I think that, okay, you can understand the addressable market, right? But if you don't have a product, you're, you know, if you're like a, a company in search of something to be able to hang your hat on, you can only have so many conversations. Right? And it's been somewhat disappointing for me because I als now I'm learning, I'm learning that I, I want, I wanna work at a company with a strong sense of business, a holistic look at the business, some financial responsibility. I, I want a product, I want something that everybody is passionate about and they know what it is.
Because in many organizations, the employees have no idea what the product is that they're selling. You know, it's, it's a lot. Think about it. How many are just like ideas? And it's, there's nothing there, there yet. And then when you try to talk, Go ahead.
Oh, was just gonna say, I love this, I love this thinking cuz as marketers we're often like, marketing is very important, marketing is critical, but marketing also can't do what it's designed to do and what we do best until you have those foundational things. And so how are you supposed to come in and start marketing something when there is no focus, there is no product, there is no clear direction, it's very, you're just gonna spin wheels. Right?
Well, and that's kind of what has unfortunately been happening to me is that I think there's a thing, and I wanna believe that there's a thing. Cuz I believe 99.9% of people tell the truth. So, you know, and I, it's, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm not going in, you know, with rose-colored glasses, I'm just, okay, what do we got? And then when you start asking the, the hard questions, right? It's like, yeah, right. Don't worry about it, We're gonna get there. I, well, I.
So take me through a little bit because I think I'm really fascinated by your evolution and, and actually the way we started out the episode, you talked about the CRO role and how you see it actually bringing together the whole go to market function. I think that's really fascinating because it, I mean certainly I will say I believe it is more of a trend we're seeing, right? As opposed to CEO, CMO, we often see that CRO role, and I love the idea that CMOs are essentially rolling into that role. There's a couple different skill sets that can.
I'd love to hear from you, like, I mean, let's go best case scenario. How do you, what are some of the things you've been doing to literally bring it together, together? You told us one thing, which I think was great, which is don't, you know, make sure you have the pieces in place. Make sure there are all components in place, not just chuck some BDRs out there. Right. Take me through a little bit more about that. Like what are some of the things that go through your mind as you step in and say, okay, from a CRO perspective, here's how we're gonna bring it together. That's a well.
Well I kind of have my own gene playbook and initially what I like to do before I go to a new company is I wanna see the budget. I wanna see where's the money going and why is it going there. And I wanna see what things can be stopped because they don't make sense. I, I talked to a company re recently and they're spending $5 million with vendors and nobody is managing the vendors. They don't have a programs manager. So I've talked to two companies recently that the CEO and the cro or whoever the other C person is have split marketing. And I, I've, I've said I don't wanna be part of that because one of 'em said: I really like marketing. I like, I like making those TikTok videos. I'm like, really, really Well, I have a theater background. I'm like, Okay. It's like, I'm just thinking to myself, can you imagine trying to tug that stuff away from people that felt that way. And then, and then when you get that stuff and you're trying to cancel contracts or renegotiate the fees that are being charged. And, and this happened to me at one company where I took a look at what we were spending on some of these vendors and they weren't giving us anything. And I'm like, Why are you writing $5,000 checks to people so a can them, And of course they call up the CEO and go, you know, Jeanne, Jeanne got rid of us.
And it's, and then he comes to me and he says, Why did you do that? I'm, I'm like, looking at him going, Do you really wanna just be throwing $10,000 out a month extra that you, that you're getting no value for? I, I didn't respond in that way. I was just like, I'm, I'm thinking to myself, what are you nuts? And, but I, it it's this lack of basic business skills and being able to say, you know, it's not my first goat rodeo, you know, I've done this before. I know where the money goes. I know what things should cost and I know what value we should get. And if we don't have anybody managing these particular projects, if I don't have headcount, then you're just wasting money.
We have to figure out how to have people be able to manage things and to be able to grow and figure out what the next logical steps are. And you know, when you inherit people, you know, it's sometimes they're okay and other times they're not. So I'll go back to, I like to look at the budget and I wanna look at the budget because I wanna look at revenue. I wanna be able to look at how long does a customer stay with us? What is a percentage of churn? Okay, what are we looking at in terms ofac, what is a reasonable cac? What does the business plan say that we should have for a C? And then working backwards from there to be able to say, Okay, this is reasonable. So I was talking to a friend of mine formally from HubSpot, and they're bringing in a lot of customers at the top of the funnel, but they're losing a ton at the bottom, they're not renewing and why aren't they renewing? So to me, that's customer marketing that needs to be addressed in a very big way because there's something that they're not seeing the value of your particular offering. And granted it's not that expensive, but what are you doing to make them more valuable as, as employees?
So we kind of talk, you know, in in the team about providing some sort of automated dashboard to be able that they, and then teach them how to share that internally. Marketers don't market themselves. They never, you know, and, and I, from my point of view, I can, I can send out all the things I want. Say, Hey, look at this. Kaylee did this and Aaron did this, and so and so did that, but it's better for it to come from them. I want Kaylee to send the email. You know, I want Aaron to remind people that he's alive and in Detroit. Right. You know, let them know and, and they're the go-to people, not me. Right. I don't, I don't wanna be the focus of the universe because, you know, I'm just a blockage in, in that respect.
But if people know that they have the right go-to people, that's great. So the budget is important to me. The team is important to me, being able to see the tech stack, because once it, it's a, every company I've gone to work for, they have no idea what's in their tech stack. And do you know how long it takes to uncover that tech stack? You know, you keep learning new things. So I assign one person on my team to be responsible for the tech stack, the contracts, when they renew the passwords, who owns it.
I got really excited about this. Yeah. Like kind of a tools audit, because also it's a security issue too. People are using things left and right and if you are not keeping good track of that tool audit and.
This is my, my flash warning to whoever's listening, If you haven't done an audit of your tools text app, Jeanne and Melissa are here to tell you, get that done.
Well, it’s important too. There's, there's a really good company that I've worked with. I, I worked with them at one company when we were renewing our Salesforce contract, and we were wanted to do the service cloud in addition to the sales cloud and vendor V E N D r.com and talk to Brian Thorn because he's amazing. I worked with him at HubSpot. And it, what they do is they're able to negotiate because of their purchasing power better, rather than you going one on one mono amano with Salesforce. They have so many inside, they're constantly renewing millions of dollars worth of contracts and they can help you.
But this concept of the tech stack is something that there's an expectation setting. And you know, you think about Zoom licenses, you could buy a Zoom license for a couple of hundred dollars a year, go to webinar license for $500, this, that, the other thing. But how many of them are out there and who's using them and why are they using them? And you know, does it make sense? Because it does turn into a game of ventures with budget. But I also look at waste of time, you know, if you're not standardized on one type of platform that you're comfortable with, it just, you know, I I can say that in every company I've gone to work for recently, nobody knows how to do a webinar. They don't know how to, exactly.
And to me it's like, really you, it's, you don't know how to do Go To Webinar. You don't know. And they don't, and it's a, it's intimidating, I guess for, for some people. So yeah, you've got the budget.
Yes, you’ve got the waste of time, you've got the sprawl. And then it also just, if you think about the way we communicate within companies, especially as they grow and you've got all these teams, if you're all using different products and you're all, you know, I was laughing about the, like the collaborative work boards, right? You've got like mural and mirror and Google, Google Fig, you know, FigJam and Google, whatever Google's is jam Jamboard. Like.
Everybody's using different ones, and not to draw right back to the topic, but like this idea of you are completely unfocused, right? Everybody's looking in different directions. Even the way that you use those tools can be very, right, like undertone of lack of focus, right? People are thinking in different ways, they're using different tools, They're not pointed in the same direction as a team.
And that's an excellent point, Melissa. And I find that a lot of organizations or people on the teams feel like this tool is gonna solve, it's gonna be the silver bullet. This is my unicorn, rainbows, glitter, and I'm gonna have it. And I, I, I will reject that for as long as I possibly can because usually my question is who's gonna own it, right? Who is gonna do the implementation? Who is gonna train the rest of the people on the team? Recently having gone through that with a tool, you know what, it's still not deployed. And we bought the tool in April and it's still not deployed. So, you know, and I, I said if I sign this, I want this deployed in four weeks because you guys are saying that you need this for X, Y, or Z, and we still have another tool that we're using, you know, so it was monday.com, which is a decent tool, but the, the team felt like it wasn't strong enough, so they wanna click up. Well, the challenge with click up is they have these massive implementation fees, and it's sort of like when you pay for it, you're never gonna get rid of it because, you know, you just gave your firstborn Yeah, you just gave your firstborn child to click up and you're, you're gonna just stick with the, the contract.
Now there's nothing wrong with either of those, but the, the users, the users were originally somebody wanted monday.com and then it became like, it's unworkable. And it's like, well, you're still using it, so what else could be work? No, we definitely need click up. And I would go through, I went through the demo with click up and I'm like, what the heck? Well, I mean, I, it's like I, I mean, I don't see a clear advantage. I mean, help me out here and, and, and one was month to month, and then the second one was an annual. And so then once you convert to it, you're, you're subject to, you know, you're subject to the cost that price increases or anything that they have.
And it's, it's, another thing that happened is one peer person on my team, this is where trying to get the finance team to say, do not approve any invoices or any contracts, right? So I had team members signing contracts, so they, somebody signed a contract with Meltwater and for $12,000. Holy moly.
See what Meltwater does, it's great. But just to have someone sign it without strategically placing. And, and I, I, you know, I was on a, like, I was invited to a demo call and I'm like, you know, I'm sorry guys, but I've had very bad luck with Meltwater and I had two PR team members on there and they both had very bad luck over the years with Meltwater. So if you had told me that you wanted to buy Meltwater, it would've been a big NO for me.
So you know what, that tool's never been used. And the idea was we would be able to look at the social sharing of, and I'm like, well, you don't need a thousand dollars a month tool. And we had other tools that our PR team could have done for us, and you didn't have to, you know, how many people, how many of you are trained to be able to go in there and pull reports?
Well I, you know, I love, I'm really hearing, like, so first of all, one of the things that you, you, I'm kind of hearing you say you do, which I think is really critical, is getting the tool alignment itself, but the tools around like how we use them and why we use 'em, right?
Why the bigger picture is the budget, right? Like how are we spending it and why? And to your point, right, it all comes back to the why. I mean, if you don't have the why we need it or why are we spending it, then everything else kind of falls and who's gonna own it? Who's gonna own it? Cause it sure as sugar plums is not gonna be me. I don't want to own it, you know, I'll sign the invoices, I'll pay it, but you know, someone else has to own it because if you don't own it, then you know, what's it gonna be the next time It's gonna be something else. It's gonna be the, the magic beans that are gonna make your life so much easier. Yeah. So the next thing I look at is the database, the state of the database. I, I wanna know recency, I wanna know how you're collecting this information. I wanna take a look at the forms on the website. I wanna know how are these things converting?
And so if there's a form completion, does that count as a lead? Probably not. But what form completions, where are the form completions coming from? How are people getting to those landing page, whether it's paid, paid media, organic, whatever they're doing, How, where are these names coming from and how recent are they? And have they been touched? And you know, being able to slice and dice your database, because I've been told over time, Oh yeah, we have a hundred thousand names in our database. And it's like, well, how many do you email on a regular basis? Oh, we don't do that active. Well, yeah, so you're, you're like, well, why, why? And, but it's a, and you can't just like say, Hey, I'm gonna send a hundred thousand emails to people that don't know who the heck we are, because that's a sure way to get blacklisted. Yes.
And trying to explain to people about warming up your IP address again and actually segmenting your audience, like by form completions actually creating content, but not doing a one and done email blast that has absolutely nothing to do with the people that are receiving those emails is, is pretty important in my mind. So I know, I mean, you're laughing, but you know the drill, It's, I'm laughing.
I know the drill. It's, it's, you hear it and your heart just goes, ah, like I, I love how, you know, we were talking about like kind of the, the core of this CRO role, but like, so much of it, and what you're telling me is this idea of get your tools aligned, get your budget aligned, get your database aligned. And it's, it's sometimes gobs smacks us. Like that's why I've got, that's why I've got the laughter going, is just how unaligned and how scattered all of these can be when you walk into an org. I mean, that, that's, I'm just restating your own language!
No, you’re restating my thesis in, in a more accessible way. I mean, just because I'm complaining or ranting or whatever, it's, I, I don't mean to be ranting, I'm just No, no, we're doing it. I'm just saying. Yeah, I'm just, this is how I try to figure things out from the GetGo. You know, you, you come, you have, you always have like a 90 day plan, right? And your 90 day plan is usually a listening tour. And so you're trying to figure out where things are, where the potholes are, what hasn't worked, what has worked. And when you're an employee or part of a team, you're actually able to kind of dig in and you wanna be, And, and I find that the concept of communication with some, with your sales leader, your, your product people, your engineers, you know, all that very difficult to execute against if you're not in an office where you're seeing each other on a semi-regular basis and touching base and actually eye to eye.
And I think that I've been failing because it's because of Covid. I'm not connecting, I'm not connect, I'm not reading the room correctly. I'm not, I'm not able to do that. And I find I miss that so much. The third thing, the fourth thing, sorry, is looking at the team. Are they in the right spots? Are they, because I wanna build t-shaped people and I want somebody that is, you know, solid and a go-to person. You're the email person, you're the web person, you're the rev person, you're the programs manager for this, that, or whatever. And I wanna know that if they feel good about that role or do they wanna change that role? Do they wanna be doing something different?
I was talking to a company recently and this was the CEO and the CRO splitting marketing, and they have two designers on staff. Cool. Why do you need, why? And they, and those two designers don't like each other. I was just gonna say, no matter what designers, they're, they're probably gonna come head to head. They’re gonna have, and, and they redid their logo, their company logo, but they were so slow and I was, I was talking to the events manager there and we, we were just kind of going through some events, you know, your run of show and all that, and she couldn't get them to give her a, a resized logo, so she just went out to the events. No kidding. Really? You can't, I mean, you know, open up Adobe and take care of it. But apparently these premadonnas and I'm thinking to myself, you're a small company, you don't need two designers. And the two designers are not like working on the product. Just like marketing stuff. Oh my goodness.
I find that a lot of times designers have a really, they have such a sense of ownership design, some content, people are like that, you know. They don't really wanna be edited, but you, you need to be able to put a communications brief. But I find that in house designers, my experience has been, and I'm, I hope I'm, this is not a blanket statement, is they, they're they, they like to think, they like to create and they're good at it. They just don't move real fast. And what you would like is something like, here's our template, here's our brand guide, here's our style guide, here's our fonts, our colors, our blah blah blah.
And these are the things that are coming up and you have a backlog. And you would just hope, and I've had the benefit of this was the external vendors of, you know, you know, I need this and I'll get this and it'll happen quickly. But I think that, you know, sometimes the designers on staff are trying to fill up 40 hours of work and there's no sense of urgency. That's just been my experience.
I love it. And I, the, the mentioning of that skill, I think it's important too because you want people to have depth of experience and depth of ownership. So it's good when a designer has high ownership, but they also need to be able to, to go shallower when they need to and say, Okay, well I've owned this, but here I'll pass you that. Like in how they interact with the rest of the team. For sure. I have one question that I'm just dying to know. So you’ve got your thinking to look at these four buckets. We had tools, we had database, we had budget, and we had teams. You look at these, you think about what falls away, where the priorities are.
You're so good at that. How do you, Jeanne, keep yourself running? Like how do you manage all of these things that fall on your plate? How do you stay sane? How do you focus?
Well, I do get crabby at times. I get crabby when people don't hold themselves accountable and, and you know, I don't like it when they deflect responsibility. That's a pet peeve of mine. I expect I'm, I've got your back but I also need you to have my back. If you tell me you're gonna deliver something on Friday and on Friday and I ask you about it and you say, Oh, I haven't started it, I get a little irritated and it's like, you know, I, I try to check in with my team frequently saying like, where are you on this project? Because usually I could tell that it's in play or not in play and because they haven't asked questions or ask for clarity. But for me personally, I found you're gonna laugh at me. I found my husband and I, we use Keep on Google. I like Apple computers and I, I had two Apples laptops that I use. I I like them but he doesn't like Apple phone. So I have an Android and I use Keep on the Android and on keep, I keep track of our groceries. It's a grocery list cuz I share it with him. And so when we're at the grocery store he can look at it and know what's going on. I share what's in the freezer cuz my husband accuses me of buying things when they're on sale. And then I have 90 million chicken thighs or something, what's in the freezer. And being able to cross that up. I keep track of all my parents medical stuff, their medical doctors, their, the tests, the things that they have happened, reminding them when their booster is, when they, you know, all the, the little reminders and then the to-do list at my parents, the things that need to get done. Like when I go down there next week, I've gotta find somebody that can mow the lower 40 for them. They, they it, the house is kind of on a hill and my mother, my mother gets very antsy when the grass gets overgrown.
So I've gotta try to figure that out. So I keep lists of everything and if I save a recipe, I, I I'll like save it to keep and just because I ha I don't wanna just keep printing out, you know, things that I find interesting or places to go or things to see. We put it on the Keep and I share it. So I use Keep and I have used Keep for structure. I've recently started using WorkFlowy and it kind of like these are the priorities for the day. I've forgot where I learned it about it, but I just started using that and being able to look at it on a daily basis. This is today. And then kind of feeling, because I've always used a notebook and so I had this webinar that I did a couple of weeks ago, so here's the printout of the webinar, but look at all my notes from all the things.
I've got 90 million notes on there. And so I like writing things down cause when I write it down, it better at retaining it. But when you're on a conversation, when you're in a conversation, you can't like go to your keep or you shouldn't be typing or doing something like that. So, you know, I'm trying to, trying to use different tools to allow me to focus and being able to say, these are the things that absolutely need to get accomplished. And it's, you know, essentially your five things to do every day. What are the, what are the five things? And I, I like to think about it the night before and think about it in the morning because priorities change, right? You, everything changes and trying to figure out your order of operations and sometimes it's people-oriented because there's a lot of crises that that happen for one reason or another. Someone's health, something happens, they need some degree of backup. Something's going on it today, last last day of the quarter, last day of q3. And you know, so there's a lot of priorities but that ship is sailed, right?
Well sometimes the priority does gets smaller at the end of the quarter because you're like, nope. It's just that there's one thing: one.
Yes and you've been really good about it because you've been asking people to share the information on gated about gated, about trying to get people to sign up because it's a free tool. And, and using Gated has also a, I get so many emails and if you look at how many e emails I get at the end of every month and multiply that by 10 for the end of every quarter. And when I look at all those emails, I appreciate it and I wanna be able to help these sales guys, but you know what, I'm, I'm not gonna buy something on the last day of the month, the last day of the quarter. I appreciate it and no, I'm not gonna set up a demo with you today. You know, it's, it's, I I feel like a lot, a lot of those conversations and right, lately I've been getting a lot of spammy, a LinkedIn messages, I'm reaching out on behalf of so and so and he wants to blah blah blah to da.
I'm like, no, no. And so you're just trying to clear out, like I, I go into LinkedIn once a day. I look at it, you know, to be able to, you know, just talk to people that are real. But the LinkedIn messages goes to my inbox, but in gated I have it all going to the gated stuff. So I don't choose to look at it. If my day is crazy, I will delete the 350 emails from that day or whatever it is. And cuz I, I just, it's not important. And what I found with the gated tool is that I was, was able to keep what was important. I'll read everything, right? Yeah, I'll read the headlines and I, and when you're reading all those subject lines, it's a distraction and it also further takes you away from the importance of what you're trying to work on in that day. Now we all have slack overload, overload. I, I wish I could figure out a way to gate Slack in some capacity.
I mean that's why we're having this podcast, right? Is we are being bombarded not just an email, but everywhere in LinkedIn and Slack and, and I think, oh God, it is only gonna get worse. And it really becomes this constant conversation that we need to have, not just on the podcast, but with our teams and with our friendly CEOs about how do we do, how do we take, you know, Jeanne’s amazing ability to cut things away when they are not priority, to look at the why, How do we do that in everything we do? I mean, I love kind of this core, these core four buckets that you gave for, you know, especially from the CRO perspective, well, what you would really attack, but that, you know, you could take that same thing and put it in your daily, your daily life, right? Like if it's not on the top of the keep list, it's, it needs to step aside and I mean, that's why we're here. It's not easy. It's a challenge and it's fun, but Well, it is, you've given us a ton today, you've given me quite a lot of even personal ideas.
And it's one thing that I, I, I noticed, Melissa, you and I went back and forth, I, when I did this webinar with the marketing AI Institute, Paul Roeser, great guy. Yes. And, and I did some research to, I think I told you about this, about the average number of advertising messages we see. So I wanted to make sure that I had sources and I found them. So in the seventies we saw roughly 500 or heard 500 marketing messages per day. 500 in the seventies, somehow the seventies, right? Then the next data source I had was like 1981 that I found, and it was like a thousand and then it went to 3000.
And I'll share the chart with you, but, and now you know what it is, It's 10,000, 10,000 a day marketing messages. And this is not out and about. It's like every time when you look at a feed, any feed, it, you're just getting all, you're either getting retargeted or you're getting targeted or whatever, and you, you click on something accidentally and you find yourself like out, out in another place and you're seeing more messages. So I subscribe to four different newspapers and you know, I, I don't want alerts on all of them, but I, I go and I look and I look at their different points of view. One's local one's, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe, of course. So I, I click on them and I look at them, But what about all those messages I'm seeing or the messages I'm not, not seeing, but they're there right in my face. And what do you hear? You hear 'em, you see 'em, It's, it's, it's overwhelming.
Well, I think, I think, so you and I have had some really good learnings today on kind of more the how do we, how do we in the role based focus the teams and how do we cut things away? I think there's an entire other conversation. So we're gonna at some point record a whole new one and it's gonna be around how do we in our own roles resolve the fact that we literally are contributing to that. Like I think there's a really cool discussion and maybe to our audience, we're gonna have this, how. Do you break through the clutter? And how do marketers approach that to say, yeah, there is too much out there. So not, so both how do we break through the clutter? And then also how do we kind of, you know, take our place in, in the problem and do it in a way that is actually, you know, marketing and marketing well in a way that works for everyone. And that's, it's fun. Maybe we’ll do a roundtable…
Yeah, that, that would be a lot of fun, Melissa. Yeah, it's, it's, it's not more email and I feel bad for a lot of these poor BDRs and sales people that are just relying on email for outreach or relying on, you know, very strange LinkedIn connections. People will reach out to me and then as soon as they send me a sales message, I'll unconnect from them. I'm glad to listen to you and I'm glad to learn new things, but don't try to sell me, you know, offer me something of value, something that I, that that makes sense for me or my company or my team in some capacity. And I, I feel like we're not, I think Google's new algorithm being, talking about helpful content, that's what we need to focus on. Helpful content.
Peter Capta, who I worked with at HubSpot, he's the CEO of Databox and he has been really working hard on providing value. So they just launched, Databox just launched this benchmark series where you can benchmark yourself again, 700 different industries and it's, it's databox is not expensive. It's, it's, it's a good value for what you're getting for the product and you can glue together all these different integrations and integrate together into one nice dashboard. But being able to, being able to benchmark yourself in your industry, to me has a huge value. That's value. Yes. And I, I think that a lot of times we haven't figured out, we haven't figured out as marketers what is the value we're offering.
We're we're, we're all kind of saying the same thing sometimes. And I like the tagline for Gated: noise canceling headphones for your email. That to me is a value proposition. And I don't even remember, I think I started using you guys back in March, Andy, your co-founder. I don't know how I got across, I don't know how, but I set it up for Save Our Waves and people just trying to get to me. When Jenn Steele posted something on LinkedIn, It's like, I'm using gated and if, if you're not willing to pay two bucks to get to my inbox, I don't wanna talk to you. Yeah, right. Yeah.
Or your time as we've learned today, your time and the time of, frankly, that's why we're building Gated: everyone's time, right? Not just because you know you, but everyone's time is valuable and, and honestly their attention is limited. And we're in this world of marketing that where we're often stealing attention and really, Right. Yeah. Thanks for bringing it to Gate. I always have always like, I don't wanna get a sales, but we need to be, have more tools that are built to protect our attention and to help you do what's critical. Not to, you know, clutter the mess. So Yeah.
Yeah. I don't wanna be awake at midnight clearing my inbox, so, you know, that, that kind of makes sense. So yeah, it'd be great to have another conversation, Melissa, thanks so much for today. Appreciate it.
My pleasure. Everybody stay tuned because we are gonna pull together a round table around marketers talking about how to market in a world of too much marketing.