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Discussing The Future CMO with Bill Macaitis, former Marketing Leader of Slack, Zendesk, & Salesforce – Episode #117

“It doesn’t matter if you’re employed or not, it matters if you’re employable…if you learn the skills around how to grow ‘capital-efficiently’, [affecting] the growth curve in a positive way—that’s incredibly employable.”

Bill Macaitis is an advisor and board member, guiding aspiring unicorns and helping build out world class teams and innovative go-to-market strategies. Over his 20 year career Bill has achieved five successful exits and powered growth at three of the fastest-ever growing companies: Slack (CRO/CMO), Zendesk (CMO), and Salesforce (SVP of Marketing). He has also held leadership positions at Fox Interactive Media (SVP of Online Marketing) and IGN Entertainment (VP of Marketing).

Questions and topics we covered include:

  • When is the right time to transition as a marketing leader from one company to another? 
  • What does it mean to have a “marketing philosophy” as you grow in your career?
  • What does it mean to be an employable marketer?
  • The early challenges a 1st-time marketing leader faces when working at a startup.
  • How can marketing teams infuse a personality into their brand?
  • Finding the right balance between goal setting for various channels?
  • How would you define capital-efficient growth?
  • What does the future CMO look like?
  • What are some common misconceptions around brand marketing?

And more!

You can say hi to Bill via LinkedIn here:

Here’s that Kahn Academy course on reading a company’s financials that I mentioned:

Full Episode Transcript:


Kenny Soto 0:07  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the people Digital Marketing podcast with your host, Kenny Soto, and today’s guest, Bill myositis. Hi, Bill. How are you?


Bill Macaitis 0:21  

Hey, I’m doing well. Thanks for having me, Kenny.


Kenny Soto 0:23  

All right. So you have a very impressive background, a very extensive career in marketing. And I always like to start each conversation for this podcast the same way. So I’m going to ask you a very straightforward question. How did you get into marketing?


Bill Macaitis 0:40  

Yeah. So I gotta say, I think I’m an edge case. But I knew I loved business at a very young age. I was the nerd in the back reading like Fortune, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal. I just love this stuff. I think my mom made me think she’s pretty smart. She subscribed to The Wall Street Journal. 


And I think she just was like, encouraging me to like, kind of expand my horizons. And I kind of got into the business, just at a really young age. I was like, future entrepreneurs of America, something like that. You know, I went to college, and I got my degree in business and marketing. Actually, it was Supply Chain Management, but it had a lot of marketing classes. So I just always knew I love this stuff. I just thought it was a ton of fun. And you know, from an early age, I just really geeked out on it.


Kenny Soto 1:27  

And I guess from there, how did you get your first marketing gig and what was it?


Bill Macaitis 1:35  

Yeah, so really, the first one out of college, I actually worked for a company called system software associates. They did supply chain management software, which was my degree, but I kind of knew, I don’t know, I didn’t want to work on it, like Supply Chain Management about things like Logistics and Distribution and manufacturing. And it was kind of weird. I majored in that, but I didn’t want to kind of work in a warehouse, or, you know, we’re going to a distribution facility. 


So I found I was always passionate about tech too. And so I kind of found the best of both worlds when I found a company that was making supply chain management software. But you know, I got to kind of leverage my domain expertise coming in from college from that, but going into that company. And then you know, I worked there for a couple of years. But what I was doing in the background as I also did my first startup. So in college, I, you know, co-founded a website with several other guys. 


And you know, we grew it to like 10 million members, we got profitable, we ended up selling it. And that was kind of like my side gig. And eventually, when it got big enough, we were able to move to that full-time. So it was kind of a, you know, kind of a balance of both worlds. You know, I kind of started out simultaneously doing kind of a very traditional kind of marketing role in a larger company, and then also doing like a startup on the side.


Kenny Soto 2:50  

And I’ve seen that I have seen excuse that you’ve had many leadership roles, both IGN Salesforce and Zendesk slack, this leads me to think that there could be some signals that you recognize when you’re nearing the end of a leadership position at a company. When do you know it’s the right time to transition to a new opportunity?


Bill Macaitis 3:17  

I think when you left it was better than when you came in. You know, I’m a big believer that I always want to try to improve things, whether it’s, you know, my personal life, trying to always be focused on self-improvement in my career. And you kind of hit a natural inflection point, sometimes, you know, at Zendesk, we have just gone through an IPO, like a company from kind of very early stage or an IPO. 


That’s kind of like a good, you know, transition after that. You know, Salesforce, I’ve been there a good four years, I just learned a ton. I just thought it was a good choice. Good choice, a good chance for me to kind of move on. And I had an opportunity to take on a CMO role there. You know, IGN, we were acquired by News Corp. and I stayed on for a while to help manage that transition. And then, you know, at some point, Salesforce reached out to me and Mark was looking to bring a little more b2c DNA into the company. 


And so I don’t know, I just feel like, you know, you kind of know what to do, right? But that being said, I am a big believer, I know that a lot of people are starting their careers on this pod. Like if you’re gonna look, right, like don’t just take the first thing. someone’s like, Oh, we got this job over here. Oh, that’s cool. I’ll take it right. Even when I was after the Zendesk IPO, and I was, you know, kind of exploring my options. I was entering a ton of different companies. 


I think it was almost like I had five simultaneous job offers, I took the slack one but I really did a lot of diligence, right, because it’s like, Hey, this is these are big decisions, you know, for sell for your career. You know, and also just a good fit, right? Like, you know, the more you do marketing, you’ll start having different philosophies on it, like how you run it like I’m a very customer-centric marketing philosophy. 


So I always like to think about the brand as the sum of every single experience someone has with you and really tried to delight people and measure things like net promoter score and CSAT, but not always like that, right? And it was one of the reasons I joined slack was like Stewart really believed in that. And the board believes in that customer-centric approach. But some companies don’t. Right. And they have different approaches to it. 


So I really think like, if you’re gonna look, look, right, like looking is almost a full-time job too, right? It’s hard. You gotta, you know, you’re, you’re doing multiple interviews, you’re researching companies, you know, you’re preparing for these, you’re, you know, working with headhunters and recruiters are applying, I get it, it’s really hard. But at the same time, like, you know, it’s really important the jobs you choose, reflect on your career, they also reflect on the opportunities in front of you. 


And sometimes, a crazy opportunity comes up, right? And you gotta be willing to kind of, you know, like, I’ve moved several times in my life. And it was like, a lot of times those were career opportunities. And, you know, you got a big believer in like, carpe diem sometimes just gotta seize the day, right? Like, when there’s a great opportunity, you gotta run with it.


Kenny Soto 5:54  

You mentioned marketing philosophies. And I think, with this new wave of both marketing influencers, and b2c, but just b2b as well, there’s a lot of people out there that are sharing great advice. But at a certain point, there’s a threshold of information that someone can take in. And I guess my follow-up to what you just mentioned, would just be, how do you know when you’re solidifying that marketing philosophy in your life?


Bill Macaitis 6:25  

For me, you know, my customer-centric approach, that’s a really fancy word, it basically just means like, Hey, would you like to be treated this way? I wrote, like, sometimes, like, I would learn about, like a new b2b software, like someone would tell me like, Okay, I’m gonna go check this company out, and I go to the website, and they wouldn’t really say what they did, but they had a nice video that would explain what they did. But in order for me to watch that video, I had to fill out a giant form. 


And then once I filled in the form, I was like, immediately contacted by sales and harassed and like, Hey, I read a bias or a bias or a bias. And, you know, if I eventually even did buy the software, all the salespeople would run away, and I’d be assigned, like, one 1000s of a customer success person to help me on my account. And if I did ever need help, like, I had to find the Customer Support link, which was buried, like five pages down. 


And you know, you couldn’t call Or you were forced to go some weird routes, and it took forever. And I just remember thinking like, those are, those were a lot of my first impressions with this brand. And it was just a horrible experience. And I just think, I don’t know, you should treat people right, you know, you should try to delight them and give them a good experience. And especially in software, it’s so much more than just the software itself, right? It’s all these different touch points, many of which happened outside the software. 


And so, you know, that philosophy was really important to me. Also, when I went to Salesforce, Marc really was strong in that too. He was always talking to us, Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, he’s always talking to us about, hey, we got to make sure our customers are successful customer success like we had this stack, ranking goal, priority setting thing, and customer success was always at the top. And I think that kind of stuck with me. And you know, my marketing philosophy evolved over time. 


And certainly like, Hey, that’s not just talked about, but let’s measure it, right? And that’s where I really got into net promoter score, and CSAT, and da use and all these acronyms that basically mean like, Are people using your product? And Are they enjoying the product, I think it is important to have a point of view, right, because there’s a lot of different, you know, approaches you can do to marketing, and having a philosophy align allows you to kind of align behind it. And also, you know, like Mark, like-minded marketers find like-minded companies that also share that philosophy where ultimately you’re going to have a much better fit.


Kenny Soto 8:40  

So finding your philosophy not only helps you become a better marketer over time, but it helps you identify those opportunities that you might want in the future.


Bill Macaitis 8:48  

Yeah, yeah, definitely. Right. And I mean, even, you know, you’re, you’re like, hey, find out what some, if you have a particular philosophy, find a CEO that believes that to maybe you’re really both passionate about it, reach out to him, like, reach out to me on Twitter, reach out to him wherever, right, I’ve seen plenty of times, like people, you know, catch the interest of CEO and that’s just, you know, for an opening a little wedge into the company, right? 


And maybe you get your first role there, or maybe you catch their eye but you know, if you have just a different diametrically opposed viewpoint. You know, either your values for your own personal life or even just your marketing philosophy, it’s going to be hard, right? You got to make sure you got that aligned on both sides.


Kenny Soto 9:27  

You’ve had conversations with both marketers at various levels, but especially marketing leaders, and this next question really ties to the fact that we are in an unpredictable market. I mean, it’s always unpredictable, but really, now it’s intense. And I’m wondering what your opinion is on what it means to be employable. And 2023?


Bill Macaitis 9:53  

Yeah, great question, Kenny. So, one, I’ll give a little story. So the first job was software systems. We would do a last day lunch for people like if, you know, they moved on to another job, what do we sell? It’s just tradition like, hey, that’s every we take him out that person out for lunch. 


And so I remember, I would always ask the same question to everyone, like, last day lunches, I was like, Hey, what’s your best piece of advice, right? You know, trying to improve, and I was just out of college. And the best piece of advice I ever got was, Bill is like, it doesn’t matter if you’re employed or not, it matters if you’re employable. 


And that always stuck with me, you know, and I think especially in marketing, especially in digital marketing, online marketing, b2b marketing, the skills are always changing and updating and the level of knowledge on just like the tech stack, right, just like geeking out on like, multi-touch attribution modeling, which I love, and I could talk for hours on that, that’s how boring I am. 


But like, you know, that’s evolved a lot, you know, move from like, no attribution to first touch attribution, the last touch to any touch to AI regression modeling, to different, you know, pure-play software that measures it to other like, just blended into general marketing, automation software, you know, in the tactics are always evolving, you know, like Account Based Marketing, targeting, SEO, you know, viral loops, product, like growth, I think that, like those skills are, are always evolving and changing. 


And so I think one thing that helped me was just trying to stay on top of that, and just be curious and learn, right, like, and I remember, even with SEO, when I first started learning about it, I was like, Oh, this is really interesting. But there wasn’t like a college course. And so I remember I just spent like, every day after work, I spent a couple of hours just reading every single SEO forum, I could write, and I learned about, like, you know, white hat, SEO, black hat, SEO, you know, Domain Authority, you know, Link popularity, just all the different signals that the algorithm uses. 


And I became an SEO expert, right? And everybody looked at me for that. And that really helped me in my career. So I do think like, you know, we’re entering some tough times, right, there is, most people are predicting, you know, us is going to go and recession, you know, the global economy probably is gonna go into recession. And unfortunately, you know, we’re marketing, marketing is awesome, it tends to get the discretionary budget, when things are good, and it tends to get discretionary budget cut, things are, are not going good. 


So I think, you know, staying employable is really important, never worry if you’re employed or not just worry if like, you have the skill set, right? Always be taking classes, listen to great podcasts, like this one, you know, go to different sites, go to different conferences. I think like that’s in the long run that that’s your best way to kind of, you know, a future proof you against recessions.


Kenny Soto 12:47  

Let’s paint the story or the picture of the first-time CMO, first-time head of marketing, and first-time VP of Marketing, what are some early challenges you would anticipate them facing during their first 3060 90 days? A startup?


Bill Macaitis 13:05  

Yeah. So and this would apply to any marketing leader, CMO, VP, or Director, even if you are the single person on your team, right? Like you are the SEO manager, you are the, you know, Director of ops, you know, and you have a little team underneath you, or you’re just your own person, the biggest challenge, and it’s the same everywhere. Like my current life, I do board advisory roles for all these different startups. 


And so I talked a lot for marketing teams and our CEOs. And the challenge is almost always the same. And here’s what it is. You’re in marketing, which is awesome. And I love marketing. Here’s a thing about marketing. Everybody thinks they are good at marketing, right? I don’t care. If you’re a developer, you think you’re good at marketing. If you’re in finance, you think you know marketing, if you’re the CEO, you think you know, marketing, there’s more to that, you know, marketing, we chose a field that a lot of people are like, oh, yeah, I kind of get that I know what marketing is, I know, I’ve seen ads. 


And what that means is everybody’s gonna have an opinion on marketing. And everybody’s gonna have an opinion on what you’re doing. And if that’s the right thing, if that’s the wrong thing. And so, the biggest piece of advice, I, I learned as I was like a CMO and leader and Amon, I would tell all my, all the direct reports I had was, hey, you have to devote a percentage of your time to identify the various stakeholders within your organization. 


And by stakeholders, I mean, peers at different functions, right? So if you’re the VP of marketing, and you’re the leader, hey, you got to know your VP of sales, you have to know your VP of product, you have to know your VP of Finance, you should know your CEO, maybe you know the board too, right. And you have to spend time in cycles, educating them, educating them, talking about hey, this is what marketing is, is what I believe it is these are the right metrics that I think we should be tracking. 


Hey, here are the top things we’re working on. You know, what do you think you think we should be working on Do you think there are other things that are more important, you know, building bonds building partnerships, evangelizing that for what marketing’s role is and the impact you can make? 


And that’s hard. And so a lot of people where I’ve seen people struggle, and I did too, was like those first 3060 90 days, you just go heads down, like, I’m just all right here, I’m doing my SEO, I’m doing my demand gen, I’m doing me this event that’s coming out, and you never talked to a soul outside of that, right? Or all your communications are within your own team. Right? So in my experience, that’s the best thing you can do is identify those internal stakeholders, and almost treat it like a marketing campaign. Right? 


Like, almost be like, okay, like, these are prospects. All right, what are their fears? What are their hopes? You know, how can I educate them about the role of marketing? How can I, you know, get them excited about it? How can I show them the results of it? and track them over time? Right, like, see how their sentiment has changed? And are they aware that they bought into what you’re doing? And that is no easy feat? Like, that’s, that that takes a lot of cycles?


Kenny Soto 16:07  

How can marketing teams infuse a personality into their brand?


Bill Macaitis 16:12  

Yeah, so awesome. Love these questions. So I am a big fan of that. infusing a personality into the brand. I think partly it’s because I came from a b2c background originally. And so for most b2c marketers, you’re like, Yeah, of course, we have to have to build a brand. And it’s got to have, you know, a visual identity. And it’s got to have a unique tone and voice and you know, it’s got to be big, and it’s got to stand out and differentiate us. 


And when I went over to the b2b side of the house, business, the business, and again, my focus was always on the software side. A lot of that just wasn’t there. I mean, you could look at a, like a space like marketing analytics or something or data warehouse, and all the software looks the same, right? Like all the companies look the same. And to me, that was an awesome opportunity to stand out and differentiate yourself. 


So the biggest thing I say is, hey, I don’t care if it’s b2b, I don’t care if it’s b2b, SMB, b2b, mid-market b2b enterprise. People sometimes say, oh, you can’t have a strong color palette, or we can’t we have to sound really boring amount of time. No, it works. People love brands, people love when you can connect with them. So I always say like, don’t be afraid to stand out, like choose it. Like I’m, I started as a board advisor for this company. You know, love them, like really cool, you know, conversational AI. 


And they’re also asking my advice, and, you know, how can we increase our leads? How can we do all this stuff, they go to their website, and they’re called, and there’s no yellow anywhere. It’s still like a white background of ducks. And I’m, like, you’re calling Like, I can’t think of an easier layup than it’s just like, Hey, have that as your primary dominant color on your website and your product. So, you know, choose something like I love mascots. I think those were awesome. 


You know, something you can do to soften the brand, humanize the brand. I also think if you’re in the software space, which I am, you know, you really have to think about how do we not just build a fancy website, but how do we infuse that brand into the product itself? Right? So for software, it’s like, you know, a lot of times you go to a website, like, Oh, this is a cool, cool colors mascot, they’re talking fun. And then you go into the product. 


And it’s, you know, white background black text, everything is super sterile and boring. And, so can you infuse any color palette into the product? Can you infuse a unique tone and voice into the product? Can you have some delightful moments with the product? You know, that might just be like a, you know, a firework display when you complete your first action. It might be the signup process was written by someone that has a personality, you know, we had a person like that at Slack. And she was amazing. 


And she helped make slack fun to use, right? And so I do think that’s really important. And that applies even beyond software, right? You know, even if you have a physical product, you know, maybe you send a little thank you note that has some fun words in there or something or how you open the box, right? Or just all these little elements. Those are all little touch points that help you know the shape of that brand.


Kenny Soto 19:13  

We can go anywhere with this next question, but I’ll paint several scenarios to create some scaffolding. So certain teams right now, people who are listening to this podcast, might just be one person at a startup. It’s a full company of six people and there’s just one person managing marketing. Another midsize company could be a team of nine people and then they have three agencies and a couple of freelancers. 


And then you have the big enterprise company where a person is just doing one specific channel and then there are three other people advising and helping on that specific channel. How can marketing teams prioritize goals and channels this year?


Bill Macaitis 19:55  

Well, the first thing I think you said is you do need to prioritize. I think That’s like, you know, one of the best lessons I learned. And it was something we did it Salesforce, Marc Benioff again, every year, he would start off and say, Hey, like, here are the five things we’re going to do this year. But here they are in stack ranked order, which is actually kind of hard like your you know, because you’re kind of choosing between your kids like, which kid is most important that year, but he would do it. 


And it was super helpful for all of us because we would go okay, like this year, the service clouds most important, all right, or, you know, moving to get higher market share in Japan is most important, right? And so we would focus most of our efforts there. You know, I think the process of stack ranking in goal setting is really important, you know, and how you do it in marketing, everybody has different methods, whether it’s, you know, easy to mom and Salesforce, there’s the OKR, Google uses a bunch of other ones out there. 


But the base idea is like, Hey, you choose your focus, you set up your metrics, and you go. And I do think that that’s, it’s really important too because marketing. One of the hard things about marketing is there are like 100, things you could do, right? And I’ve seen marketing teams, or even marketing individuals kind of go down a bad path where they try to do everything. 


And usually what ends up happening is you don’t end up doing anything really, you know, particularly good or nothing excellent. And so I’m kind of the, you know, the school of thought, which says, Hey, if you’re a one-person team, if you’re a 10, person, team, whatever it is, think about, like, hey, you know, aligned to your overall company goal. So hopefully your CEO has gone through and said, Hey, you’re the most important thing this year. 


And here’s what we have to do, then you think about your marketing strategy, how can we best, you know, help the company achieve those goals? You know, what marketing metrics are we going to use? And then you know, what strategies are best for that. And the strategy is always evolving, right? Like, there are different resources out there that you can kind of see like, hey, how people, where’s your budget spend going to this year? How many? 


Are you doing content marketing versus like your demand gen, AdWords, you know, events, Field Marketing? Or you can just go, Hey, where’s our best skill sets? Right? Like, where do we think we’re really good? Like, I remember when I was at Zendesk, we had, we had a couple of people there that were amazing at doing videos. And we’re like, you know, what may I see? Well, let’s, let’s lean into that. So our ad campaigns, we did a lot of video ad campaigns, and we did them all in-house. 


And we did a ton of demos and videos, and it really helped differentiate us. Now, if I didn’t have a team that like, had a copy of a really great video, I probably wouldn’t have learned this much. But you know, it’s like, Hey, if you got to, you know, get Shaquille O’Neal on your basketball team, you hope your basketball strategy is gonna be, you know, pass it to him in the post, you got to go with what you’re struggling at.


Kenny Soto 22:34  

We’ve talked about in the past several guests what growth is and everyone has their own definition. My specific question for you is, how would you define capital-efficient growth?


Bill Macaitis 22:45  

Yeah, another great question. So I think like, again, those that chose marketing, it’s a lot of fun. It’s hard sometimes, right? And during good times, you know, marketing tends to get a lot more budget than it’s usually the case spin. And it’s not a shiny object spending in good times, right? Like, hey, we did these massive events are looking with this, and it’s an amazing, shiny object. Fantastic. 


But you know, when, when times are not good, you know, you see a lot of shift towards capital efficient growth are basically like, Hey, are you growing efficiently? Are you doing it in a way that doesn’t cost a ton of money, and you’ll find in marketing, or I found, there are a lot different ways to grow, right? Like I always say, there’s like the spectrum, right, from like, pure outbound sales, cold calling, to more inbound marketing, you know, SEO, content, marketing, PR, to pay to advertise marketing to like a product, like growth, virality, all those have different like costs associated with them, and some are much more efficient than others. 


And so, look, if you’re part of a startup, and you wanted to do well, maybe you got stuck in there, you’re thinking about it, I would really lean in and start, you know, researching, Hey, what are capital efficient ways to grow? You know, like, there’s, I’m a big believer in a product-like growth. And that’s the basic concept that everybody spends their time on the product and the software. So how do you create virality loops? How do you measure things like net promoter score and product qualified leads and daily active users? It’s like, kind of a different mindset. But you know, that’s always gonna be changing. 


And I just think, you know, from again, an employable standpoint, if you can learn the skills around how to grow but efficiently capital efficiently, right, that you’re not spending a ton of money, but you’re still inflicting that growth curve in a really positive way that’s incredibly employable, right? You know, during good times, and definitely during bad times, recession times.


Kenny Soto 24:33  

Before I ask my next question, this just prompts a thought in my mind, for the listener, to learn how to read financial statements. And if you want a specific recommendation of where to learn how to read financial statements and balance sheets, Khan Academy, I started using Khan Academy to learn how to read the financials of a company, both from an employee point of view and just trying to take a step back and think like the CEO, it has changed the way I think about hiring, I think about campaigns. 


Because now I know that everything I do, there’s a cost associated with it even down to my salary. And if I can’t, at least at the very least 5x 6x 7x my salary within four quarters, I have to rethink what I’m doing to be more capital efficient. Yeah, great point. 


Yeah. Now, speaking of investments and financial statements, what is? Well, let me take a step back, there’s generative AI, they’re short-form videos, there’s TikTok, there are viral loops, there are all these different things that have been emerging since last year. And this year, we don’t even know what’s going to happen. I can only imagine what’s going to happen in the next four years, let alone the next 10. Can you paint a picture of what you think would be the future CMO? What does the future cmo look like?


Bill Macaitis 25:57  

Yeah, it’s gonna be just chatting. GPT. Right. What the Batu strategy, um, I don’t look, I’ll say this, I don’t know. And I know, right? Like, I don’t know what they look like. But I know this, like, they’re that CMO is going to be adaptable. They’re going to be always learning, there’s going to be like, five years from now, there’s going to be five new strategies, right? That we’re not even using right now. 


And maybe that is maybe the season chapter GE T to do content marketing, to do you know, real-time conversational AI. You know, there’s, I know this, like, it will change. And so the market, or sometimes I see a struggle, are those that maybe when they get a good gig with a good company, but they just, they keep using the same playbook year after year after year, they don’t update their skills, right, they get dusty, and a new go to market motion comes along, that’s much more efficient. 


And, you know, either they don’t learn it, so their career suffers, or the company suffers, right? Because it’s just using a very inefficient, like, you’re 567 Maybe they’re only growing 234 x, right? So to me, it’s like that CMO just has to be malleable, you know, hungry, curious. Just want to learn it, because it’s always gonna swing to Right. Like sometimes there are swings to like, creative CMOS, and sometimes just swings to data-driven quant CMOS. 


And then sometimes your swings to like CMOS that was great with sales and things that CMOS that was great with, you know, product management. I don’t know in the future where will go, or even the different lenses, but I do know that the ones that are just hungry and curious are gonna do their best. And, by definition, everyone’s listening to this pod. 


You’re ahead of the game, right? You’re listening to a podcast. So you didn’t have to this wasn’t in your I don’t, your manager said you must listen to all these podcasts today. Right? You’re doing it on your own time. And that’s amazing. That means that you’re a curious learner. And that means that I think you’re going to be you know, well-suited for the future.


Kenny Soto 27:53  

More questions? There is, and I’m anticipating this, I’m assuming context for people out here that are listening. So I don’t want to assume but I am, there is going to be a decrease in performance budgets. And there may be some investments in the brand. So my second last question is what are some common misconceptions about the brand?


Bill Macaitis 28:17  

Yeah, and to clarify that, I think that there, I’m not sure if you meant this, but I think that there should be a decrease in brand budget, an increase in performance. So usually in like recessions, that’s what happens, right? Like, they will cut the softer stuff, the fluffy stuff like brand, I still think you can measure brand unaided recall sentiment. Sure, voice tons are good metrics to measure, but a lot of people don’t measure it. 


And what you don’t measure tends to be the first thing that gets cut during big budgets. And you know, the brand tends to look more long term too. So, you know, companies in recession, they’re thinking about the short run. And so usually the cup brand, they’ll actually, ironically, something will increase performance. So if you’re in performance or demand gen. Now, that’s actually a good spot to be like, I see a lot of the CMOS searches for companies I work with, they’re leaning a little bit more into demand gen backgrounds right now. 


So I don’t know, I mean, all that said, am I again, I think you have to be, you know, flexible with it, you know, take a modern approach. And you know, just do the best with what you have.


Kenny Soto 29:13  

This is why I love doing this podcast because I had that assumption. And I was proven wrong, which is great because that means I’m learning. So, Bill, my last question is a very important question. It’s hypothetical at the same time, if you had access to a time machine and can go back into the past about 10 years knowing everything you know, today, how would you specifically accelerate the speed of your career?


Bill Macaitis 29:38  

Okay, this is kind of, you know, philosophical meta. I’ve actually thought about this in the past and maybe I’m an edge case here, I would want it I’d actually scare the crap out of me I would want to do absolutely nothing different. Because I love my life. I love my wife. I love my kid. You know, if your watch is like a butterfly effect, you know, it’s all these little decisions that can somehow put you on a different path. I wouldn’t want to go on that path. I’m so I’m a such happy person. 


And I love the path I’ve been on. I don’t live with any regrets. You know, I, I just you know, but the advice I would give to people is, you know, carpe diem, like really seize the day, seize that moment, you know, I’ve seen friends I’ve seen people where they had amazing opportunities in front of them and fear to push them away from doing it, right like maybe it’s fear moving somewhere fear of like just taking a job that they were a little uncomfortable with that pushed them outside their, their comfort zone. 


You know, I always feel like in life, like you have these opportunities, like their little bubbles that are floating all around you and you just have to go out and grab it right? Like seize the day, go for it, you’re having your job, start looking like really look, you know, like, reach out to 50 Different companies, talk to them, research them, you know, have your career goals in mind like really believe it, like I believe that I don’t know if this is helpful or not, but at a very young age, I believe like, Hey, I was going to be CML, I had no doubt in my mind, right? 


And I think like when you believe it if you sit there and ask yourself listen to this podcast like what do I really want to be and then go I’m going to I am absolutely going to achieve that and then it kind of forces your mentality to shift like okay, I know I’m gonna get it now I have to work backward like how do I get there? 


Like what are the steps to it but if you know you’re gonna get there you, I believe in it like you will get there like it’s you know, the psychology behind it is behind you so anyways that’s a really long way of saying I wouldn’t want to change a darn thing but I do you think like you know, just going back in a time machine I always was I did try to be opportunistic you know and Carpe Diem was always kind of in the back of my mind whenever I made decisions.


Kenny Soto 31:40  

Bill, if anyone ever wanted to say hello to you online, where can they find you?


Bill Macaitis 31:43  

Yeah, reaching out to Billington is probably the best one, you know, shoot me a note there. And yeah, I mean, I wish everybody listening to this podcast I know we have a little bit of you know, a younger demographic or people that are you know, beginning their careers but like you can do it. This is a golden age of innovation. There are so many opportunities out there. You know, it’s a great time to be alive. Great time to be in marketing. So yeah, just you know, go out there and seize that day.


Kenny Soto 32:09  

You heard it here, folks carpet Diem. And thank you, Bill, for being on the podcast. And thank you to your listener for listening to another episode of the people’s digital marketing, with your host Kenny Soto. And as always, I hope you have a great day. Bye

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