How I Made it in Marketing

Marketing Pragmatism: Embrace ‘hand-grenade math’ over false precision (episode #101)

June 10, 2024 Kiara Kempski Season 1 Episode 101
Marketing Pragmatism: Embrace ‘hand-grenade math’ over false precision (episode #101)
How I Made it in Marketing
More Info
How I Made it in Marketing
Marketing Pragmatism: Embrace ‘hand-grenade math’ over false precision (episode #101)
Jun 10, 2024 Season 1 Episode 101
Kiara Kempski

In the fast-paced world of marketing, precision can often be a double-edged sword. In our this episode, Kiara Kempski, Vice President of Global Consumer & Vendor Marketing at The Knot Worldwide (, shares why sometimes ‘hand-grenade math’—a rough yet pragmatic approach—is more effective than chasing false precision.

I discussed forecasting, along with resilience, entertainment, and many other elements of a marketing career with her.

Intrigued by Kempski’s insights? Listen to the full episode now and subscribe to our newsletter for more marketing wisdom ( Think you have a story to share? Apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing (

The Knot was a public company traded on NASDAQ until 2018, when parent company XO Group merged with WeddingWire and to form a privately held company in a $933 million buyout deal. Today, The Knot Worldwide connects nearly 4 million couples with approximately 900,000 wedding professionals per year. It earned $450 million of revenue in 2023.

Kempski leads a team of 150 marketers.

Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Kempski that emerged in our discussion:

  • Find a business problem and recommend a solution. 
  • Entertainment is powerful for brand building
  • Resilience is the key to success…and mental health 
  • ‘Hand-grenade math’ is good enough, don’t chase false precision (and everyone thinks they are a brand marketer)
  • Stay data informed, but lead with vision and strategy
  • Be purpose led
  • Never be complacent or stagnant – always keep learning

Discussed in this episode

There are 4 days left until the official launch of the full-featured MeclabsAI (parent organization of MarketingSherpa). Use it for free (until June 17th) at

Entrepreneurial Resilience: Many of the day-to-day annoyances that inspired him to sell, he actually missed after he sold (podcast episode #78) (

Female Entrepreneurship and Marketing: Having built a big community doesn't mean you will be able to monetize it (podcast episode #71) (

For more insights, check out...

This podcast is not about marketing – it is about the marketer. It draws its inspiration from the Flint McGlaughlin quote, “The key to transformative marketing is a transformed marketer” from the Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages free digital marketing course.

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application –

Show Notes Transcript

In the fast-paced world of marketing, precision can often be a double-edged sword. In our this episode, Kiara Kempski, Vice President of Global Consumer & Vendor Marketing at The Knot Worldwide (, shares why sometimes ‘hand-grenade math’—a rough yet pragmatic approach—is more effective than chasing false precision.

I discussed forecasting, along with resilience, entertainment, and many other elements of a marketing career with her.

Intrigued by Kempski’s insights? Listen to the full episode now and subscribe to our newsletter for more marketing wisdom ( Think you have a story to share? Apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing (

The Knot was a public company traded on NASDAQ until 2018, when parent company XO Group merged with WeddingWire and to form a privately held company in a $933 million buyout deal. Today, The Knot Worldwide connects nearly 4 million couples with approximately 900,000 wedding professionals per year. It earned $450 million of revenue in 2023.

Kempski leads a team of 150 marketers.

Stories (with lessons) about what she made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Kempski that emerged in our discussion:

  • Find a business problem and recommend a solution. 
  • Entertainment is powerful for brand building
  • Resilience is the key to success…and mental health 
  • ‘Hand-grenade math’ is good enough, don’t chase false precision (and everyone thinks they are a brand marketer)
  • Stay data informed, but lead with vision and strategy
  • Be purpose led
  • Never be complacent or stagnant – always keep learning

Discussed in this episode

There are 4 days left until the official launch of the full-featured MeclabsAI (parent organization of MarketingSherpa). Use it for free (until June 17th) at

Entrepreneurial Resilience: Many of the day-to-day annoyances that inspired him to sell, he actually missed after he sold (podcast episode #78) (

Female Entrepreneurship and Marketing: Having built a big community doesn't mean you will be able to monetize it (podcast episode #71) (

For more insights, check out...

This podcast is not about marketing – it is about the marketer. It draws its inspiration from the Flint McGlaughlin quote, “The key to transformative marketing is a transformed marketer” from the Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages free digital marketing course.

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application –

Kiara Kemspki: It's also something that, you know, frankly, I get a lot of like, just personal joy from working. And I think that if you're going to spend so much of your time and career building and working on something, you know, any time you can try to attach it to your personal joy, you're just going to get so excited to wake up every morning and lean into it.

And so just for me, it was kind of the big unlock that, hey, I can make entertaining content that tells you something about a product or service. Number one, you're going to enjoy and, you know, watching it and being entertained by it and be, I think, hopefully convey some of that value much better than I did before. So that, that was a key unlock for me.

And a lot of those shows and series did that. It's also one of the things that I was really excited to bring to the not when I joined.

Intro: Welcome to how I made it in marketing. From Marketing Sherpa, we scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncover specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz. Real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now here's your host. The senior Director of Content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa, Daniel Bernstein, to tell you about today's guest.

Daniel Burstein: You have got to make yourself vulnerable if you want to be in the profession of marketing, because this is an ideas industry. We have to put our ideas out there to our business leaders, to our clients, and ultimately to the world. And at least for me, those ideas, I get attached to them. They are a piece of me.

So when they hit oh wow, what a great feeling. However, however many times they don't. Ouch. Swing and a miss. But you got to take that body blow and just keep moving forward. Which is why I love this lesson for my next guest. Resilience is a key to success and mental health. Here to share the eye assumes a somewhat painful story behind that lesson, but also many more joyous lessons and stories.

Is Chiara Kamsky, vice president, global consumer and vendor marketing at the Knot Worldwide. Thanks for joining me, Chiara.

Kiara Kemspki: Yes. Hello, Danielle. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to share some of my war stories, insights with everyone.

Daniel Burstein: We're going to have fun. And first I got to mention as someone named Daniel Burstein, which does not roll off the tongue. Chiara Kamsky is just a name made for podcasting. Like the alliteration there with those hard K's, I love that. but before we jump in your stories, I want people to understand who I'm talking to. so let's take a quick look at your background.

Kara was a senior marketing manager for Yap Stone, senior director of Brand media and global programing and Ancestry. And for the past three years, Kara has been at The Knot Worldwide, where she is now vice president of global consumer and vendor marketing, but not was a public company traded on Nasdaq until 2018, when parent company XO Group merged with Wedding Wire to form a privately held company and a $933 million buyout deal.

Today, the Knot Worldwide connects nearly 4 million couples with approximately 900,000 wedding professionals per year, and Kamsky leads a team of 150 marketers at the knot. So here I give this a sense what is your day like as vice president of Global Consumer and vendor marketing?

Kiara Kemspki: Oh, man. Well, I have to say first, every day is different. it depends. And and I think I start my day in particular prepared for the level of context switching that I'm going to have to go into, on any given day, whether that's, you know, going deep on brief reviews or campaigns or, kind of brand strategy teams or we're going deep into, you know, data triage for my B2B marketing, teams on that front.

So every day is a little bit different. But, one of the things that makes it true, is consistent is that we are super focused on really understanding our couples, that are coming to us that are looking for help. And, and the same thing with how we're going to support our pros that are also looking for us to, to be connected to a couple.

So we spend most of my day really kind of thinking about that big problem space. and how do I make sure that the rest of my team is actively thinking about solving that too?

Daniel Burstein: What a great, just overall explanation of what it means to be a marketer. On the one hand, there's that constant context switching, like you said, like that term, because you're jumping around to too many things. But the one constant hopefully is the people we serve. So I love hearing that. So let's take a look at some of the lessons from the things you made.

I like to say I've never been a podiatrist or an actuary or some other profession, but I do feel like as marketers, we get to make things and that's a little special about our our industry always love that. We make brands, we make campaigns. so your first lesson, you said find a business problem and recommend a solution, which I love.

At first glance, it sounds kind of obvious though, right? So walk us through this. How did you learn this? Take us into this story.

Kiara Kemspki: Yes. No, I'd be happy to. I think, it's funny. It seems so simple, but yet, like, I don't feel like we actually learn that until much later in our career. Like, in the beginning, you're trying to think about, like, what do I need to learn? What's my value? How? You know, my role and how do I stand out and what role am I, you know, playing or delivering and, and some of those kind of introspection and, and so I think it really comes in a little bit later in your career where you start to really think about, oh, wait, like, I really need to think about how am I bringing value to this organization

or how am I bringing value to a customer or what's needed. And I have found that if you can really suss out and figure out what is either a business problem or a customer problem to attack, then you're just going to be set up for the most success long, long term. And after you solve one move to the next, move to the next, it also just makes really strong strategy.

the ways that I've kind of tried to narrow in a little bit and really find what those are, which ones to pick and which ones to solve is I've really leaned into a lot of my customer listening data. that's always been kind of tried and true. sometimes I think we can discredit kind of qualitative data.

a little bit too early. and so I love looking at open and qual research, kind of finding out some of those open ends and, you know, how questions are certain answered. I love looking through our social comments and figuring out, what what you know, our customers are or even fans of our brand or using, or saying about us or thinking about, or super relevant example for me, when I first joined the not was when I was looking at some of the marketing in the marketing programs or what we had done, it was really clear that our playbook and our strategy was super focused on the needs of

millennial audiences, the way they planned, hyper detailed. right. The the resources they were looking at for inspiration, where they were consuming media. Right. Today's show playing a big role and things like that. And it was clear that we weren't super focused on the customer of tomorrow, which we all know was a lot of talk around it as Gen Z.

But there was a pivotal moment where it was like, oh, wow, we deeply need to learn this user and what their pain points are and how different that might be than the user pain points we were solving before. And so that created a lot more of kind of some ways that for us, but really like embracing that learning across the marketing organization, little things we would start doing was I would have our PR team send, all of our executives kind of Gen Z latest trends, memos, competitive insight to really start nurturing some of that learning and education and what they're thinking about.

So we could build for it. it also started to think about and challenge, you know, if you would do a side by side of your audience today and the influencers we were picking and working with. And how does that compare to the audience of tomorrow, what we're solving for? So finding little ways to kind of move us towards a customer problem opportunity, what all needs to change, as we really start to, to lean into that audience and what we need to evolve.

So that was a huge, kind of pivot for us. But it really started from this opportunity of like our customers changing. We got to change with them. We got to figure that out. and now it's led to most of our kind of prompts or meetings. We'll start with, you know, this is the customer business problem that I'm solving today.

Or, hey, this brief really addresses this customer pain point. And so I look at it as a huge way that I know my team is now thinking in the right direction. and it took little tactics, a little ways to get there.

Daniel Burstein: That's great. Can you think of a specific example of something you learned about the customer, about that Gen Z customer and how you learned it, and then how you went to solve it? Because I joked around and said a all about like, okay, find a business problem, recommend a solution. Well, that sounds obvious, right? But this is it's so often not done.

And the one thing I see often is, yes, there people find a business problem. I think this is really prevalent B2B especially, but even in B2C, yes, companies find a business problem. We try to solve it, but it is the seventh most important business problem to that that target customer. Right? It's not the most pressing things. Right. And when you see that value proposition, you're like, well, it's true, they should want this thing.

But this isn't the burning hot desire. And add to that, like you mentioned, the changes that you have to constantly keep up with. So at one point it was the burning hot desire. But now it's not. For example, with AI that has changed a lot for what companies are looking for, right? They might have been looking for a manual solution or something of the point AI solving that.

And when you talk about the wedding industry, it's funny I mentioned to my wife that, I was interviewing someone from the not and she because we got married, my gosh, like 24 years ago. And not even back then. I think she was looking at the not and I think about over that time how much it's changed to mean to get married, just societal changes about what marriages, technology changes.

I mean, we didn't have a social media at our wedding, so that's that's hard to keep up with. So can you unpack for us and think about like how did you find like, okay, this is a really pressing business problem. It's not like the kind of low problem on our list. And then here's how we're going to solve it.

Like a specific one.

Kiara Kemspki: Yeah. No. Sure. I'll think of that. it's kind of an easy example. And then potentially a kind of more, complex or macro one. But, sometimes the customer problem is, is easier. So when you're thinking about our customers, when they're thinking about wedding planning, one of the first, most important aspects of that planning is the inspiration phase.

Right? Like you have to know what your couple vibe, what your style is, what what does that mean before you can pick okay, the venues, I'm going to go look for that budget I'm going to need. Right. This inspiration phase is actually the first part of that decision journey. And so one of the things that we know and that we recognize is where inspiration, where are our couples generationally, we're seeking that inspiration.

We're vastly different. and so platform, for example, social play a huge role in that, where in the past Pinterest was and, you know, pinning and seeking inspiration. There was a huge part of that journey. Now we're starting to see that, oh, wow. TikTok started to rise and there's over a billion views for like, wedding talk. Right. And so how do we how are we intercepting that conversation or what role is that actually playing.

Because it was nowhere on our radar. previously. So little things like that of like, oh, inspiration is now playing a bigger part of that journey. So where, where are we moving and what do we need to do? I also think, another kind of macro example was there were kind of perceptions, that we had around the role and importance of marriage, to given couples.

Right. So this idea of, oh, younger generations are less interested in getting married and the significance of it. Right. And and so we started to see some rise of, of interest in like, you know, love celebrations, this kind of formality of marriage and the documentation of it and the significance of merging finances and things like that were becoming a, a difficult point for, newer generations when we really started to dig in and unpack that data point.

Right. What does that mean, exactly? That's where we started to see. Note there's not really a lack of interest in Gen Z of overall getting married. It is the pressure and formality that older generations had put on it that gave that perception. When we started to actually listen in and do some surveying against, Gen Zs, they were like, no, we're so excited to find a partner.

We have such hopes for one day getting married and enjoying it. I just my wedding or my celebration will just look different. It might be, you know, a celebration of love. It might be, you know, a different type of fun filled weekend or day experience. and so some of that perception of had wind data, and really it was a trigger point for us to go a little bit deeper to truly understand what was that.

And now how do we tailor our messaging accordingly? Right. Do we want to say wedding? all the time? Do we want to introduce celebration? Right. Let's plan your celebration, in some of our marketing. And so it really starts to even help how we think about changing the language that we use as well.

Daniel Burstein: No. That's great. Some of the things that have been most helpful for me in my career is, I mean, you mentioned surveys, but just other ways too, and seeing the language the customer uses to talk about that thing because it can be different than us. And so, you know, back in the day, you had to be like a focus group or something like that.

But now, yeah, go on social media, look at reviews, go look at forums like sometimes that word or the way you're thinking of it, it's just a minor difference. And then boom, you hit them right between the eyes because you're speaking their language.

Kiara Kemspki: Yeah. It's great. Exactly.

Daniel Burstein: So you mentioned things like looking at for inspiration on TikTok and Pinterest, and it gets me thinking of, you know, that's inspiration. It's also entertainment. And not only has, weddings changed over the past year, but my gosh, entertainment has two. It's become okay. There's still the big time entertainment movies and TV shows. There's all this, you know, consumer generated entertainment like, social media.

And you mentioned entertainment is powerful for brand building, which is so true. So how did you learn that lesson and how have you applied that in your career?

Kiara Kemspki: Yes. oh, I'm excited to talk about this. So I think the biggest, so if anyone is familiar with ancestry, and and, as a brand, you have probably heard of or seen one of our entertainment shows. it was, NBC's show. Who do you think you are, then? We have long lost family on TLC.

on cable, we also had, and worked with, Henry Louis Gates on Finding Your Roots, which are PBS. and I was a huge part of bringing a lot of that programing to life and really kind of seeing how monumentally impactful that can be to creating a category and really driving demand and interest in the category.

at the time, when I was at ancestry, I was trying to think about because it's such a it's a niche category, right? It's a niche hobby. and many ways you're trying to think about like kind of what's your industry parallel or what's the greatest competition. And at that time, the greatest competition was actually like gardening, right?

Because it's this hobby that's pulling away time. and so how do we start to create those parallels of like, no, no, no, it's like you can get joy from this. Like, this is a hobby, as well. That can actually be pretty life changing. If you do it. Invest the time. And so we found that this long form storytelling of entertainment was just massively inspirational to getting users to think about the joy, the things that they could actually uncover.

you know, long form storytelling needed to play a bigger role in conveying that more than sort of a static, you know, social ad could really do. And so when we started to invest in programing and really started to expand that for our new product features as they came out, nothing quite moved or moved the business and moved interest in demand for our products and services, the way entertainment based programing is, or the way that it did, and it was just hugely transformative and led to some of the, you know, massive evaluation and product sales that that we were able to achieve at that time.

It's also something that, you know, frankly, I get a lot of like just personal joy from working it. And I think that if you're going to spend so much of your time and career building and working on something, you know, anytime you can try to, attach it to your personal joy, you're just going to get so excited to wake up every morning and lean into it.

And so this for me, was kind of a big unlock of, hey, if I can make entertaining content that tells you something about a product or service, number one, you're going to enjoy, you know, watching it and being entertained by it and be I can probably convey some of that value much better than I did before so that, that was a key unlock for me.

And a lot of those shows and series did that. It's also one of the things that I was really excited to bring to the not when I joined, which was like, if you think about how many existing entertainment series or shows exist in wedding, right? You've got to say yes to the dress franchise, which is massive. You also have a ton of just like kind of brides, all the tropes and and shows and series that exists.

within that space and 90 Day Fiance and some of these, you know, every dating show possible. Right? There's just so much in that connection marriage, wedding journey down the aisle show, that exists, that just created an opportunity for us to really think about. Okay. Hey, I know this can work over here. Hey, there's already a lot here with no brands owning that space and no narratives, right?

That we can really shape. there's no one really quite telling the story that go into wedding professionals and the roles that they play. Right? The artistry behind it all, the work that goes into it. right. A lot of the amazing before and after. So there's a lot of parallels that I, I observed, with the things we were solving for on the ancestry side that I'm excited to really embark on for the not that I think you can have the same level of success as well.

Daniel Burstein: Can you give us a sense for one of those shows, one of those examples, and tell us how you align the value proposition of this show with the value proposition of the brand? Because I love you here. Are you saying I can I can imagine someone listening and saying, well, I'm not going to get a show on NBC.

Like, you know, I'm not Seinfeld, I'm not going to do my cheers or whatever. But I think what you're saying, it's not just I don't think you were just successful personally because of the exposure from being on a big network. I think that's part of it, of course. Yeah. To me, why those things work. Is it something I've always tried to teach?

Always trying to tell, show, don't tell. So yeah. And so I saw an example today we're going with a small music company and I'm so I think you work for any company that has a software and they're, they've got a video on the page and they're saying, oh this is a great software. It's a great software versus, hey, wouldn't it be fun to make ten videos and say, here's a cool song, here's how I made it with the software.

Right? And that's your point. Then that becomes entertainment. That becomes what I would call so content marketing. And it's effective not just because of exposure. It's effective because you're not selling right. You're just telling someone you're helping them something. So can you give us a sense? Because I think whether anyone listening to the show on NBC or not, they need to know, okay, how would I build something that's helpful for the audience that also communicates a value proposition that's entertaining and can be a value proposition?

Kiara Kemspki: No, absolutely. And to be honest, like I think the the root principles apply in a digital environment as well, right? It's not just being on those. Those networks are unlocking that. I think the core foundation of it, and where I kind of associate the way that it can work for a lot of different brands or businesses is really number one.

What what branded entertainment allows you to do is it allows you to make your product fun and a part of whether it's the everyday use or the lived experience of your customer. Right? You really showing them the role that it can play and you're able to kind of show the fun, that it can actually have in that life or to that user or to that, you know, protagonist in the series or show.

I think the other thing that makes it really compelling and that worked, particularly well on the ancestry side, was that it actually allows you to show the discovery. You can show the unlock, right, the business value that was achieved or the, the kind of proof point of value in a, in a cinematic way. And so an ancestry, it was really like, oh, wow, that person or that, you know, celebrity discovered that thing.

Oh, I can maybe discover that thing also on, on that platform. or hey, I can actually have a wedding like that. I never thought that was possible. Right. There's this element of really showing that discovery and that moment. that is just so well told. and, and kind of a longer form from content and I think the other key element, which applies to other channels as well, or other tactics is really you have an endorser, right?

You have someone that is actually either showing how it's being used right in their your guide through that, or you're leveraging a celebrity or a talent to actually create some of that, endorse an implied endorsement behind it. It's a core principle around why influential or influencer marketing works so incredibly well. and being able to to kind of do that and show that.

And so anytime you can leverage someone, to be a little bit of that endorser of the usage or the product or kind of showing it some of that testimonial impact, that's a core principle that makes, you know, brands branded entertainment work so well.

Daniel Burstein: So now we're talking about this show on NBC. We're talking about some of the different shows you that are great, but I am sure to get there. Your career is littered with these great ideas. I never saw the light of day right? Because I know mine is like, I love, I like, I agree, I love come to work, I love entertainment, I love, you know, print out to to the audience.

But to do that you got to swing and miss a lot. So, you know, I love when I read a podcast guest application, one of the lessons like, hits me right in the chest and I feel it. And that to me, that was this lesson from you. You said resilience is the key to success and mental health. I love that you added that as well.

So take us through like, I mean, I assume there's some you must have had some pretty big misses in your career to fuel that, right? I mean, we all have, right?

Kiara Kemspki: Yeah. No, absolutely. I mean, to be honest, I think if you're not if you're not missing, you're not swinging enough. And as a marketer, like it is our job to be the tip of that spear, it is to be the at the forefront of innovation and helping both, you know, our, customers think about it as well as the business, right?

In many ways. And, and how can we be at the tip of that? And that does not come without some risk, but also like huge rewards. I'll also say to I was reflecting on this when I was, kind of sharing this, this insight with you that, you know, I most recently I was, looking at, the work that Bumble had done, for example, that had come up with some, some criticism recently.

And I think that I like to observe and learn from a lot of other brands on what they're doing and, and see if, if there is a miss anywhere. Would we have spotted that Miss Right? How would we have responded to that? What room would we have been in to identify and really think about it? Right. Because I view the craft of marketing is this continually learned experience and all of our peers and all other marketing leaders, we're learning from each other, right?

This podcast being a great example of that. but there is not a senior marketer, a VP, a CMO out there that I can tell you that is not afraid of failure. And in today's culture, having that fear of a brand crisis ism is immense. And I do think at times it really that fear can limit our creativity.

And it start, you know, it starts to water down some of the creativity and innovation that we could be having. And so how do we build resilience or kind of preplan some of this resilience into the way that we think and what we do, so that the craft of marketing, can still remained that bold, you know, amazing place that so many of us have, have built our careers and we just love working in and for.

And so I do think it's important, to build this sense of resilience both in you, the individual knowing that, like, I'll try something and I can't fail. But one thing I know for sure is that I will rise smarter and if you really anchor to this idea of like, no matter what it is, I'm going to rise smarter and I will survive this thing, whatever that is.

There is so much power in that I find both for mental health, but also for innovation within marketing. And so, there have been numerous times, gosh, I've worked on, product launches or product tests, right? Where you're just like, oh my gosh, we have built so much money into this product, launch that just, you know, didn't get traction, it didn't build up traction the way that, we had expected, that it would or, a great one, that there's been so many brand campaigns or ads created, you know, one that that comes to mind is, I'll use ancestry and I can share some, some other more recent ones, but

we were taking on this inside of ancestry that was, such a huge learning for us, which we were trying to solve this customer problem. Okay, go back to customer problem. We're trying to solve this customer problem at that time around customer urgency. Right. We were noticing that like, couples are waiting. I'm sorry, not couples. people were waiting for retirement to use our product.

Or when they had maybe time off and some of this idle time to to jump into this new hobby. But one of the things that we were trying to solve from a business perspective was like, hey, how do we actually drive some urgency for people earlier in their life? Because we were starting to see insights around the things that people were discovering were actually having a meaningful impact on the way that they lived.

Their life today. And so this idea being, hey, if you start early, you'll actually be able to extract a lot more value from the experience and shape your life. So we were like, okay, we're going to start with customer stories and we're going to pull out some testimonials that are really talking about how people's lives were transformed through this experience.

And then we're going to make an ad campaign about it. and it's going, oh my gosh, that's that's the magic. It's got testimonials. So we know it's anchored to real, you know, product stories. And so that'll be a sure example of it. And oh, this problem is, is huge and it's big enough to be solved. So we go through and make some of the best creative ever hire.

gosh, top ten agency. and spent a lot of money in doing it. and, and this is one where the strategy being right, but execution not is, is kind of that, that sub context here that I learned. But, one of the things we figured out was the examples that we were showing were pretty, pretty.

They out there, they were pretty extreme, right? We had examples where people had quit their jobs and moved and done a, a passion, of theirs. Or they had discovered a, brewing, recipe in their family tree that had created. They wanted to start their own brewery or, had kind of, changed huge aspects of their life.

And users came back and they were like, that's amazing. I don't want to change my life or like, hey, that feels that might be true, but that feels really unbelievable that you could be so inspired by something and kind of transform your life. And so that was one where we were like, goodness, great strategy, wrong execution. It really fell flat and it didn't move what we needed it to do, at the time.

And so, you know, I've also done, you know, even in the smallest sense, right, of I have and I'm sure we can all if you're heavy into testing, which absolutely is right, most marketers are and you're thinking about that, running a test and not letting it run, long enough. Right. Something as small of that of just, like, calling, you know, calling something too quick or we're going to look for a statistical significance against, you know, traffic or something to that degree.

But there are elements where, not calling things or not having the right channel mix or some of those other elements that you you learn through testing and you really figure out, but some of those things are just every day like, oh, that was a mess. We we could have pursued that and say, you extend something longer or you run another version of it or redoing something, but, those things big or small can, can really come up.

But I try to really think about it, encourage my team to think about that. This is about rising smarter every time you do something and learning is what we're in pursuit of, so that we can really be the best, best marketers we can.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. No, I mean, when you mentioned testing, there are specific validity threats. So if you are engaging in testing and experimentation, make sure you understand those. But I do want to ask you about the team part because yeah, I feel like we live in such a punitive society. I don't mean just marketing. I mean like our society has become that way where like, they're very unforgiving for failure.

So I want to ask, what have you done? Or what do you do? Or if there's any specific examples of something you do to encourage your team and your vendors, whoever, to really go out there and push the envelope and it's okay to fail as long as we're learning from it. And I came across two examples that I love that I want to share.

While you're thinking, first of all, I don't know if you saw it, Jerry Seinfeld's, commencement speech at Duke. I'm a big Jerry Seinfeld fan, but he said, because he's specific. I love this quote, and I think I shared it with, like, the hashtag a b testing, marking, experimentation, something. If you try something and it doesn't work, that's okay too.

Most things do not work. Most things are not good. That is part of working in a creative profession, right? Most things don't work. They're not good, right? The other thing I want to mention to I, a previous interview I'd had, Rich Davis, founder and chief creative officer of Think Spark. I interviewed him on how I made it marketing, and one of his lessons was most clients would rather have passion versus perfection.

And he shared this lesson of, some how they messed up a media by. And, you know, they offered to totally pay the money back to the client. And, I mean, it would have been a blunder. You told for the agency. But, you know, they offered to do that and the client turned them down, said, hey, don't worry, we'll shift around our budget.

And he felt like they did that because they saw, hey, this agency was working for them. They were passionate. They were really pushing. They were doing a lot of the right things. You're going to make some mistakes. So, you know, I want to ask you care like for your team, for your either in-house team, for your agencies, like what can you do to set up that culture of we're going to mess up, but that's okay as long as we're learning and not make them feel like they can't make any mistakes or that's a yes.

Kiara Kemspki: Now that's a great question. And some of those examples remind me of, if it was Michael Jordan, which was like, yeah, I want a lot. But I also like all those misses. yeah. That that's, that's in there too.

Daniel Burstein: Wayne Gretzky, I think he said I missed 100% of shots. I never yes. Right. Yeah, yeah.

Kiara Kemspki: Yeah, yeah, exactly. very much in line with that. So there's a couple things that I do, and I'll say that like, this is a muscle that we're building and we're continuing to build. I won't say that we're kind of an expert at this, because anytime you are trying to shift a mindset or cultural behavior of a team in a large team, it's, you know, don't think one one attempt is enough, right?

It's really around, you know, repetition does not spoil the pressure here. You have to really continue and work at this. So some of the ways that we're doing it is, one so as part of some of my team town halls, we do these things called fail forwards, which is a little bit of like, hey, here's the test we learned here was the strategy or test we ran.

Here was strategy, which is always important you have to bring what was the strategy? Why did you test it and what didn't work. and there's not a lot of those, but when they come up, we use that as a catalyst to discuss it. Right. And talk about it. I do that, I bring that in with the stuff that we do.

we also do case studies that we try to bring in of other brands, especially in a comms. I usually have my comms seen kind of evaluate, like, what was the miss here? You know, what were some of those elements? And can we kind of do a little bit of those, preview or, analytics and analysis of what didn't work around us in that space?

so just know that, like, that's a pretty darn good marketing organization. But like, those mistakes happen. Are those things right? Many out of work. I think one of the things that I have found to be particularly, effective in having my team kind of think big or take some of those bolder recommendations, and this might seem super simple, but, you know, the most simple things are the things that typically work is budget year.

So it's like, hey, this idea is usually grounded in like what we think we can do, or it is, you know, budget restricted. And so I always will ask the team to like give me what, like three x. That budget idea would look like, so that we start to build some range where we can either pick apart some things that we try to figure out.

Hey, the great idea, that big one that was being blocked by something else. and that usually helps them kind of think about what's possible, but then push beyond it. a little bit too. we usually meet in the middle and find a great idea or solution, but those are some of the different ways that we just we normalize that, we talk about it, we stretch to risk ideas, and things like that.

Daniel Burstein: I love the budget tiers because when we, we do benchmarks and every year every marketer, B2B, B2C, when we ask what's your biggest challenge? Not enough budget, right? And what I find.

Kiara Kemspki: Every idea that has budget, I mean, that's always going to be the case.

Daniel Burstein: I'm sure it wouldn't work if we had a bigger budget. That's why I felt like we were.

Kiara Kemspki: Totally I wonder if like Geico, you know, has that they're notorious for their budget size. Do they ever feel like they don't have enough?

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, we could have bought every single ad in the country instead of every third ad, right. Anyway, okay. Those are some great lessons from some of the things Cara has made. In just a moment, we're going to look at some of the lessons from people she has made them with, because that's a great thing we get to do as marketers get to make things.

We get to make them with people. Before we get there, though, I should mention that the how I Made It in Marketing podcast is underwritten by Mech Labs. I, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa. Right now you can get a three month free full scholarship to the AI Guild at Joint Mech Labs to help you prepare for the Artificial Intelligence marketing revolution that's joining Mech Labs to get the most out of AI.

All right, let's take a look at some of the lessons you learn from people you work with. You first mentioned Mike Linton and you said from Mike you learned that hand grenade math is good enough. Don't chase false precision by the way, everyone thinks they are brand marketer. So I love just the name Hand Grenade. Matt is so visceral.

I love that. So tell us how you learned that lesson.

Kiara Kemspki: Yes. gosh, I learned so many things from Mike. And and he had so many one liners. But I think the thing that used to come up, most often because I, I was focused on, brand strategy and, and brand media work at the time, with him. And so we were heavy in a lot of these conversations where, gosh, everyone had an opinion, right?

About something. and, certain ideas, what you get, like super watered down or we were solving for too many things and he'd be like, no, no, like, the first problem is you gotta clear out the room. You gotta get less people in. Just a few experts that, like, are deeply knowledgeable about the thing you're solving for, and you really trust their opinion.

You're like, okay, okay, let's clear out the room. Clear out the room. Like, who do we really identify? Are those two brand experts? that are like, deeply kind of building that skill set and that knowledge because it is such, it is such a if you really find those expert is just a massive strategic unlock. But so one of those elements of just like, let's clear out the room for the true experts and really try to lean into that and let that be your guiding principle when it comes to brand strategy.

Work on that front. The hand grenade math part, gosh, that came up so often and he would always use that. But, for me, that was a really great. And I took it with me as a key way to think about when we're just trying to get too precise around things. But just at the end of the day, a don't really matter be, you know, if you've ever done any forecasting or there's so many assumptions that just get layered in and you build on top of and then by the end you're like, okay, I'm four assumptions deep.

Do I think this will be accurate or am I chasing kind of false precision around things? whether that's with my, my partners and, and and a or any of our analysts. And so this idea of like, hey, hand grenade mass, am I going to be off by you know, a couple thousand dollars here of, of potential or, you know, a couple, 100 users and you start to really think about scale in a different way.

You know, if I'm in blast radius of a hand grenade, that's likely good enough. and so how do you know when to choose precision versus not and so much at the time, he would kind of say that back to us. And challenge some of that thinking. And I was like, you're right. This is a hand grenade. Math opportunity like that makes a ton of sense.

Let's just move. and that thinking helps a lot of marketers be able to move a lot quicker to, I know getting to a certain accuracy and some of those areas, but kind of freeing us up to move a little quicker. it's a really helpful phrase that I just return back to every now and then.

Daniel Burstein: Okay. I love that idea because I'm horrible at forecasting in numbers, but, so take us through how do you sell an idea internally? Like because I imagine the CFO or other folks on board, like they do want to know a certain level of precision. And I mean, there is certain forecasts where I know if you're working with sales, if you're working with whoever.

Yeah, you got to hit some numbers. You're reporting it up to other people. So I mean, I like that idea. I think sometimes that we get too focused on that. And like you said, I love this for assumptions deep because like, oh, well, if all this hits exactly this will happen. And it's like, that never happens, right? That never happens.

so so how do you do so so you've got those general numbers. That's great. Now take us then sell it to the CFO now, or sell to whoever you need to sell it to to get that budget, who also has to probably put out to either your investors or the public or whatever, some very specific numbers.

Kiara Kemspki: Yeah. No. Absolutely. Well, I think the, the key element of this that I use and that I think is it's been successful is really thinking about this general principle right, of like aggressive versus conservative. Right. So if you're going to you're always going to have to forecast the impact of something. You're always going to have to size, right, the potential of an opportunity or, you know, a Roth CPA like, you know, cost per acquisition, of launching a new channel or something to that degree.

But this idea of, okay, if I on a conservative lens and here, of what I think that value can be in an aggressive lens with I have all those assumptions stacked, where will I land? And if that margin of difference is like, hey, in both cases, okay, okay for the business, okay for us, then like we should move, right.

And so, it's not about not doing the work to get the rigor behind the decisions or the, you know, presenting to the CFO and making sure that that's the case. It's really about not letting perfection be the enemy of good. And how do you think about ranges of decision making and ranges of loss? Right. If I don't do this thing, am I leaving?

You know, half $1 million on the table or hey, could I have actually unlocked in this future multi, you know, million dollars of revenue for a business. And so how do you use it to really shape that degree of comfort and risk. And so I reuse it in that range of like in both cases we should probably move.

Right. and are we okay with that level of, of potential loss in a, in a low scenario or not. and so using it to just kind of bring up some thinking also has been an effective.

Daniel Burstein: So obviously there's math in the, you know, financials in the ROI and trying to get those budgets. There's also math and all that data we have flowing through. Right. and you say lesson you learned from Jenny Lewis is state data informed but lead with vision and strategy. So again, it seems like you're trying to figure out how do I use the numbers but not get like locked in the prison of the numbers?

Kiara Kemspki: Yes. So gosh, I've had the the wonderful privilege to work with Jenny now for a couple of years. and she is just a powerhouse of strategy. So she, came to the not worldwide from Uber and just, has been a powerhouse of strategic thinking. and I find that the, the value and the focus, that I learned from her of just being super strategy lead has been really important.

And the, the reason why it has been particularly important is because it really has helped make decisions and trade offs a lot easier, right? Like there are great ideas everywhere. There's way too many that we can ever fund or way too many that we have the capacity to execute. And so being strategy lead really helps us to narrow in on that okay.

This one takes a strategic box and that's why we're going to we're going to move forward with something. I think it's also an area where as you're looking at your company in the way in which you can influence direction, if you can influence direction around being, you know, strategy lead, it's it's it's really impactful, to bring everyone together to a shared, you know, view or a shared vision of what success will look like when I say this potentially, controversial idea of, being data informed as opposed to data led, I think, I, of course, live in, San Francisco, in the Bay area.

And, coming from a tech background, we always talking about data informed decision making, right? Data informed decision making, true and true. And one of the things that while I think that is absolutely vital and you need to be data proficient, there is no ifs, ands or buts about that. There is also a true limitation to data.

If you're really trying to innovate and you don't. If you're building a product for a customer that doesn't exist or traffic that is not coming to your website yet, AB testing is not going to be as relevant, right? In that experience. And so sometimes there is a lack of data or there is a lack of, of that information available when you really do need to lean into strategy.

and so knowing the difference, knowing when some KPIs might be to, you know, strict that are going to limit innovation, how do you make those trade offs and how do you build comfort around that? that's where that's one of the things I've learned from her that I, I try to remind myself of is often, when those situations come up to really try to make sure that we're, we're using data to make as informed decisions as possible and be as smart as we can, but also making sure that we're following a given strategy or we're in pursuit, right, of this, this innovation forward.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. So you mentioned something really interesting before. You said, you had a certain strategy for ancestry, but the execution didn't work correctly. Right. So I wonder if you can take us through, like in this example too, like how can you tell when's the strategy or when's the execution? Because I can see and a lot of times you can see, oh, the data shows it didn't work right.

Because data is just numbers. It's really the interpretation of them. But is it the strategy or the execution? I remember working with the company and their commercials. The very show was a security product, was very serious. Pregnant commercials are very flippant. They're like fun and funny and stuff. And I really said, I really think this is the wrong strategy.

It's a security company. I mean, like, you're, you know, you're off on a business trip and your home gets broken into and you're worried about your wife and your children and like, I don't want to see something funny. And they're like, no, no, no, we've tested it. It works. We've tested it, it works. And so finally I had to be like, all right, walk me through these tests.

And what they did is a focus group that. Right. And so that again, they had data. But I would argue there's a different experience of being in a focus group where you're getting paid for a gift card in a mall, whatever you want to do something entertaining versus getting a security company. Your house just got broken into. So I think that's a great example of, yeah, you can be data driven, but where'd you get the data?

How'd you get the data? So I wonder if you can kind of help us build a past that you did this great thing you said earlier? Well, there's a strategy and there's an execution, and it might be the right strategy, but the wrong execution or is. It's just the wrong strategy.

Kiara Kemspki: Yeah. No, that's a that's a, that's a really great question. I think, for me, when I know that a strategy is sound and. Right, two things are likely universally true. One, the customer problem is the right one. We're solving. And you'd be surprised at like, it can take a little while to actually get to the right customer problem to solve.

whether that's, hey, is it a big enough problem that is actually felt by enough people, or am I kind of building a solution for a very niche audience? so really understanding, like, is that the right customer problem to be solving or the business one for that matter? And whether it's, you know, competitive disruption or something of that degree.

So one is the problem the right one to solve. number number one. Number two is the solution we are proposing truly fixing that customer problem. Now that can play into, of course, product market fit. It could play into a marketing messaging problem. Right. In the example of like hey customer urgency, we knew we had to increase customer urgency in that previous example, but also that we knew, hey, if you learn something about yourself today that would change the way that you live for the future, that solves that problem.

The way in which we show you what those things are. what are those inspirational things that will change your life, is where the execution, wasn't quite right. And where we we're going to take a number of different paths forward. And I think that comes up so many times with creative too. Your a great example of creative testing.

right. Are we getting are we either asking the right questions and focus grouping, or are we throwing enough various stimulus to give an audience that counts for painted door testing as well? Are there enough right versions of stimulus? Right. or building out a product? And are there enough creative versions telling different value propositions against this particular creative to learn our way and, and find some similarities and traits?

So I find that once we know, hey again, customer problem is right, our proposed solution and offering is also right. Then it really becomes around like okay, that go to market strategy. That's probably where we have the most room, an opportunity to adjust and figure out. And you have to balance that with the runway and the budget. You have to do that.

Right. but any sort of variations you can do are built into that, or any pre-testing you can do to be as informed as possible will usually set you up for for far more success.

Daniel Burstein: All right. So we've talked about business and customer problems. we've talked about building solutions for those and the right strategies and stuff. But here's another word you bring up. And I wonder how it fits into all these on purpose. Purpose. There's another one. Be purpose led. You said you learn this from the mirror. So how did you learn this from Vineet?

How does it all fit in with everything we've talked about so far?

Kiara Kemspki: Yes. Well, Vineet, if anyone has had the the pleasure and the opportunity to work with or for Vineet, I feel like no one can get a market or more charged up and excited about, you know, a vision of what we can do together. and I guess I just had a I have such fond memories of just being so inspired by him, and and he had a he was a hugely, influential in my career as far as thinking about and pushing me to truly challenge myself and challenge my, my thinking and, and push us forward.

and so I, I view him in that. But one of the things that, was so important to him in my time with him was this idea of really leveraging the purpose of a product or service or brand. What role are you playing in society or you're trying to play and really coming back to that whenever possible, right.

It cannot truly be the anchor of a marketing organization. can that really be the anchor of a product organization? we sometimes get so caught into the day to day that we really you'd be surprised at how much we don't actually think about purpose, and the role that, that plays. And so if you can try to infuse that into everything, you show that to your customers, you can bring that in.

It's a it's a hugely motivating, a place to work from and operate from. And and it's one where for me really thinking about purpose, and brands that do purpose really, really well, it's something that I like to really focus on and frankly, it's, you know, what makes me like marketing and working for the companies that I do?

on a personal note, it really drives me to want to lean into a lot of just kind of mentorship work that I do. it also makes me it brings in my passion for DNI, and a huge way, for the work that I do. It led me to establishing our entire DNI strategy for our, ancestry and also led me to, really make sure that I joined.

And I was a, I'm an executive sponsor for an ERG group with the not right now and making sure that that's core to our impact work for the company. it's why, you know, our corporate social responsibility programs, for the nod are becoming more and more important as we think about our broad strategy, right, of how do we support more and more wedding professionals, small business, owners that are entering the wedding phase?

and so when you really kind of figure out, okay, what is our purpose? Why are we existing? And you move that as an anchor into strategy? I found it to be really quite impactful for both me why I come to work, why other marketers come to work. But it's also something that can be a really great rally cry.

to unify, a lot of different teams that you might work with.

Daniel Burstein: All right. So how I made it marketing. We you never try to stay surface level. I always wanted we got to dig in to that support. So we're having these conversations. We got to dig it into and understand these ideas already. You seem like someone I can dig into this with. so I just want to say purpose.

Like, boy, that sounds good at a surface level, but yeah, boy is the devil in the details. So let me ask you. And I'll give you an example. Like do you have an example, specific example of how you've aligned a purpose and a value proposition? Because we talked before about, hey, let's see how other brands failed. This is where this is.

Might be one of the hardest things to do as a marketer lately. And this is where a lot of brands have stumbled in figuring out what is the purpose and how is it aligned with what's going on in society in our brand. But one example that I like, you mentioned Airbnb previously when when we were I was looking at your application and I interviewed, Cordova flew the marketing director of TMW on how I made it marketing, and one of her lessons from earlier in her career was market localization is important, and she told a story about Airbnb experiences in Africa where she lived and how, you know, at first they were trying to come

in as a global company and they were going to do this like once for the size fits all approach. And then they learned like, no, this is going to work. It's hyper localization. That's what's going to make it work. It really became about the local cultures and the communities and the lifestyles, and not just about some, you know, big brand coming in and telling them how to do stuff.

And so to me that I was thinking like, okay, that to me is a great example of purpose. It's well aligned with the value proposition of the organization. And and it does seem to be truly serving a community, a group of people in a way. However, I also see, like you mentioned, the acronyms. People feel like they have to follow certain acronyms and they don't understand how their brand fits into society, either because they get involved in a conversation that maybe their customers, not all their customers, but some of their customers would want to, because their their customers want them to support that.

Or the worst thing is they support it and their customers are like, what are you doing supporting this? Like, I don't believe it. You know, you're just trying to sell me something. So I think that's a long way of saying one. Kiara, you can correct me on any of this and I may be 100% off base, and I'm fine trying to stumble through this cultural conversation.

We're all going through. But also, can you think of a specific example in your career of how you've done that tricky thing of align a brand and a value proposition and a purpose?

Kiara Kemspki: Yes. No, I can I'll give you I'll give you a couple examples here because I think you're right. Right. Like this idea of purpose can be so broad and lofty, it's often hard to translate it into the day to day actions you might take. And how do you be truly anchored to that? I'll give you two examples.

I'll do ancestry because like, their purpose is just written all over, right? That that product, that service, the work that's done is just so transformative. But this idea of their, their real purpose was to discover, preserve and share. And so when, we were building out marketing strategy, we would really try to anchor to like, okay, what can we do that is actually helping to fuel discovery, come to the platform, discover something.

Right. this idea of preservation, we would be super focused on, what are some of the ways that we could innovate around preservation that led us to, a lot of social media, work. We had one campaign, that we did, which was, about Winter Olympics, and we created these like, kind of, sports cards, like baseball cards.

But, in that, in those baseball cards, it was actually the information that you had discovered, within your family tree. And so that was like a preservation element that we wanted you to be able to take and be able to share it. So we would find little elements of like, okay, how does this thing, how do you get it to actually share on social?

How do you actually get it to to be an element of this particular campaign that you could share with, your family? right. Is there a is there a nugget in here that would actually allow us to, to do that? on that front, at the not, one of the so our, our purpose and sort of our vision, at the not is around celebrating the moments that make us.

And so we do that and we incorporate that with a lot of internal things like our town halls and, and our marketing leadership, meetings are, sorry, our marketing town hall meetings where we actually celebrate and we pull up every significant life event that happens for anyone in marketing, whether that's buying a house or everyone, they got engaged or just had a baby.

And and we make it a thing. and we do that, we take that and we mean it literally with our influencer strategy where we're like, no, we're we're going to gift you for your engagement and we're going to celebrate that thing, that happened. Or even if it's postage, we'll follow that relationship through, with the bump, our parenting brand.

Right. And if doing that moment, happens overall, another one is, this ability to support small business pros during Covid, which was like the massive pause button for the industry overall, right? Weddings above all else, were for a highly paused at that time. But it was really important that we created a funding relief strategy for pros that we know we're going to be massively disrupted.

And so, that was one of the the leading things that we prioritized doing at the time was a $10 million relief fund, and to get our industry through it. And that was as a leader in that industry. It was really about these moments that are going to make us and how do we make decisions that really support that all the way through?

the way we go to market and the things that we do. So it's about finding those kind of tactical things that you should be doing, and it's the right thing to do, connected to your purpose. But it can be big and small, right? It can be an element in a campaign. It can be a huge funding relief strategy.

It can be the way in which you you lead your team meetings to, and reminding all of us of that.

Daniel Burstein: That's great specific examples. And and first of all, thank you for helping us all navigate through this. this is great specific examples and showing how we can be big or small. And it doesn't I mean, sometimes we feel like there's this big cultural conversation and we got to be there. We get to say that exact right thing versus finding where do we fit into the customer's life, and how can we do it in many different ways.

And not every brand can do it. And in the biggest way possible. $10 million for, helping small business is a great example, but there's probably some small businesses out there that can help in little ways, too. last, last lesson here, and really just ties into the whole what we're trying to do with how I made it marketing never be complacent or stagnant.

Always keep learning. We're all always trying to keep learning. So I love this. You said you learned this from, Tim Chai. How did you learn this lesson?

Kiara Kemspki: Yes. So, Tim, she is our CEO. And, gosh, one of the most just optim, optimistic and future forward leaders that, that I've gotten to to really work with and collaborate with. And he, he says this thing which is like, hey, you got to be learn it all. Not a no at all. And how are you thinking about the next thing you're going to learn that's going to make you smarter?

Be able to share that, that knowledge, with someone else. And so, some of the ways that that he's done that and really created, a lot of just, I guess, momentum within our leadership team around, are things like, it's you. I mean, first and foremost, what's the biggest lead for us when it came to like AI, which is like, how are you using it to everyone?

Go try testing this thing. Let's go figure out this. What is the the gap? and really kind of challenging answer some of those questions that force us to go learn, figure it out, think about it. or sometimes it'll be, you know, massive podcast sharing around this, like, new thing and this new principle. And it'll have nothing to do with our industry.

but this idea that, like, you can learn and apply principles broadly, he is, is always key on, sharing that and talking about that. when he, gets on stage or we have him, you know, keynote type things, there's always this element in his presentations around the future, that he wants to make sure that is always incorporated.

And so using this kind of forward looking view as an element of like, you don't know what today, but you should know it tomorrow as a catalyst for all of us to really kind of go learn and figure something out. And so using it as a as a presentation topic, is a great way that he's done that and that I've learned from him.

And I try to incorporate as I think about, different presentations I might give or things like that as well. but what are you learning next? and even if it's not specifically about your job or your industry, there's so many things that we can actually leverage, just skill sets, knowledge, that we should always try to kind of bring that ongoing into our everyday life.

Daniel Burstein: I mean, where do you go to learn? Where do you go for inspiration? Because the one thing I love you said doesn't have to be about our industry. One more place I go. I love hearing about standup comedy, the process. I mean, I like standup comedy, but the process behind it, I listen to podcasts, I watch interviews because to me, we you mentioned entertainment.

We as marketers can learn so much from that, right? It's about you're setting up a value proposition. That's a set up. You've got to conversion. People are going to laugh or they're not, you know, how are people going to go? And so kind of I mean, obviously I love the craft of marketing. That's why we're doing this. Right.

but I love, like hearing about the craft of other artistic or creative endeavors really kind of helps me get thinking, get inspired about our industry in a new way. As you mentioned, the entertainment element, I think that can be a part of it. So what are some other thing? I'm just curious, you know, where do you go to learn other than you know, about your industry?

Kiara Kemspki: Yeah. No. That's great. So, the there's a couple that I love. Gosh, I love that example about comedy. It almost makes me want to go and watch more of it and think about that, because you're right. Right in the setup and, and making sure that you have that, that punch are you deliver right against what you've just set up, is such a great analogy, but, some of the things that I do.

So, I send this weekly memo to, my whole, my whole team, my whole department, and it's really like what I was inspired by this week. and a lot of the examples I pull in will be like articles that I read, about random random topics, and I try to, like, pull it into or relate it to something about either like marketing or or, a content article that we could be leaning into.

I use social, and there's just so much education right now just floating around, on social or, or even, you know, examples of, creative, creative work, like true creative work. So, whether that's, you know, following painters and watching some of the kind of time lapse painting, photography, a lot of it is like Asmr type.

Why is that appealing to me as a user? Right. What is that? relief. And so I take a lot of like, art, just broadly as a category and try to weave that in as an inspiration and, and how I'm thinking about, either delighting someone or why am I intrigued by that or why are we intrigued by that?

I think podcasts, one of the big ones for me, that I'm really interested is just overall like just mental health and like, you know, this self, this idea of self-improvement, some of these core principles. And so I, I try to spend a little bit of time thinking about that and that that of course has a connection to leadership.

But there's some elements that I think are just broadly applicable, like this idea of resilience that I spoke about earlier, or where hidden biases might exist in preference. right. Or decision making that we need to to think about or if it's about leadership, development and building trust and how perceptions of trust are built. so I, I like studying and reading or listening to podcasts about some of those broader principles.

And I and I think about how that that often makes me think differently about my work or, you know, some of that creativity that I'm trying to inspire from the team or that I might be looking at. So some of those broader topics also help me with that.

Daniel Burstein: You know, I opened this podcast by saying we're an ideas industry and the human brain works in a funny way. I don't totally get it. But I know, like, I got to put a lot of stuff in it because then I'm gonna be thinking about this challenge, and somehow one of those things I put in it is going to pop an idea for this challenge.

So I love the breath of your inspirations. Right? I mean, one of the things I would always take this and someone coming from marketing Sherpa and be like, oh, you don't have a case study for my business. And I'm like, oh, you're an automotive industry. Let's say we have one of those. I was like, no, no, but I'm not.

I'm not an OEM supplier. I'm a secondary parts supplier. And so that doesn't apply to me. But what I would love is I remember we did, case study once at the time. And this is in political not taking sides. But the Obama campaign had done more AB testing than anyone at the time the 2012 election campaign. We did a case study about that.

And then I love it some very different businesses, obviously, that's politics would come and say, oh, that inspired us to do this or that or whatever. And that was just such a great example, so different from your industry. But learning is everywhere. It's everywhere.

Kiara Kemspki: Oh yeah. I mean, honestly, political campaign strategy, there's so many parallels to marketing. So like if that is an area that you want to observe from like a periphery, there's a lot of parallels there that I think that's really fruitful for learning as.

Daniel Burstein: Well, what we both call it campaigns. Right.

Kiara Kemspki: So exactly that too.

Daniel Burstein: We talked about so many different things about what it means to be a marketer, care if you had to break it down. What are the key qualities of an effective marketer?

Kiara Kemspki: It's a great question. okay. So for me, and one of the things that I find myself gravitating to, whether I'm interviewing or I'm really thinking about, kind of some of the, the top talent that I've had the pleasure of working with, over the years. And it is really someone that has this balance of left and right brain thinking, it is, you know, most, some of the most effective marketers have been really, you know, creative.

And they're able to be able to identify some of these cultural moment to be able to kind of tap some cultural tension. they're always thinking about how do I spend the next product saying, right, how do I create, more kind of relevancy and intrigue around an existing product where you, you know, in some cases might not have a truly robust, product pipeline, for example.

and that creativity can really rise to the top and make you incredibly successful and compelling. But the truth of the matter is, is you need to be able to translate that into business value and that, you know, business value delivery. And so you've got to do the math. We got to be able to understand it, be able to translate that, really become friends with with data and know when it will serve you and when it won't, and how to really connect those dots.

That's true. I believe, marketing magic and will really make a really successful, marketer. And then the last trait I will say is I'm going to go back to this idea of resilience, right? It's having this confidence. It really shows up for me in two ways. It's like knowing that you will rise again better and and and making sure that you can build confidence around that.

And it's also about this not having this fear of risk taking. Right. We we want that innovation and our industry needs it. And if we can really build some confidence around knowing that, you know, you'll rise and you'll be smarter and people will understand that, that you can kind of build some true resilience will make you be pretty badass.

Daniel Burstein: Well, I think that resilience and key thing is the people that are listening now, hearing you just transparently share some of your, for lack of a better word, failures. I wouldn't call them that, but things that didn't work out, I think it's really helpful. So thank you for being so transparent with us and sharing so much of your career with us today.

Kiara Kemspki: The force has been an absolute pleasure and thank you. I really appreciate the time and and the chat has been a great it's been awesome.

Daniel Burstein: And thank you to everyone for listening. I hope you found value as well.

Outro: Thank you for joining us for how I made it and marketing with Daniel Burstein. Now that you've got an inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas for your next marketing campaign. From Marketing Sherpas extensive library of free case studies at Marketing That's marketing RPA ecom.