It’s great to have you, Daniel! Thanks for finding the time to talk to us. For starters, could you tell us about your role as Marketing Manager at CompanYoung and what the company does?
CompanYoung is a branding agency that helps companies and universities attract and recruit students and young professionals. Everything we do revolves around young people. It’s the core of our company.
It relates to both the business we do as well as the people we hire. The average age of employees at CompanYoung is 27 years old.
We’ve been in business for over 10 years. Our customers and prospects are frequently surprised that a business with such a young workforce can deliver such great results.
You see, our effectiveness is dictated by the fact that we are true to what we do.
Combining this belief with our own in-house research department is what makes CompanYoung the leading young employer branding agency.
What does your day to day work look like?
My day is usually very dynamic, no day is the same!
Our marketing department is placed at a group level, meaning that we serve multiple business areas and companies. Our primary focus is CompanYoung, followed by Talenthub.io. The latter is a start-up that has created a candidate experience tool that makes it easier for companies to create a great recruitment process for their candidates.
And what are some of the biggest challenges in your role?
Since our marketing department is still new, building processes around the team and scaling activities is a huge challenge.
Especially so, when you’re working with multiple business units.
Also, working with different types of companies – an agency/consultancy and a startup – requires different skills and tools. Tasks between the two vary, and while this variety is exciting and fun, it’s also challenging.
Does managing marketing activities across several businesses mean that you also work with multiple marketing personas?
We have so many types of potential customers and, henceforth, marketing personas. Let’s start with CompanYoung, for instance.
As I mentioned earlier, we serve companies, schools, and universities (let’s call them categories).
Each category contains several personas. We further split them into sub-personas, because we offer so many different services.
As the company grew, and our service portfolio expanded, so did the number of our marketing personas. So, unfortunately, there isn’t just one ideal profile that I could discuss.
However, our sales team is very close to customers and is a great source of ongoing information. They know exactly what our customers value and what problems they experience.
Salespeople are one way to step into the shoes of customers. Is there any other method you use to review or validate your assumptions?
Our salespeople are of huge help in terms of identifying new goals, new pain points, new opportunities, etc. We’re a people business and we rely on people in every way – this also applies to customer research.
As mentioned at the beginning, we also have an in-house research department, which helps us collect data on our customers and leads.
Could you please tell us a bit more about how you work together?
For marketers, to have access to a research team is priceless!
The research department is led by Rasmus Lindgaard, who holds a Ph.D. from Aalborg University. When the research department joins forces with our sales team, they become an even greater source of information about our customers.
What the research team does is create academic-level work on customer segments. Having access to this type of first-hand information is equally helpful, as exciting.
Is the data the teams collect sufficient, or are there any information gaps that you try to fill up elsewhere?
Well, there is a lot of sufficiency in what they do. But pairing the insights of our Research team with the knowledge and experience of our salespeople really does create a strong foundation.
However, since our marketing department is fairly new, we still have information gaps. While the sales team is very knowledgeable about our customers, creating the knowledge spillover that is needed between two departments is always a challenge. But that is something that goes for pretty much all businesses.
Marketers use a lot of tools to boost their work effectiveness. What tools do you use on a daily basis?
There are two main platforms that we use daily – YoungCRM which supports our sales and marketing teams in lead generation. It also acts as our marketing automation tool.
And then there is also Podio, which we’ve essentially built our business around.
It’s a project management and collaboration software that allows you to create your own workspaces and develop your own workflows. It helps us in organizing our work more effectively.
For instance, we have a content workspace which we use for content planning, brainstorming ideas, and organizing new pieces. You can assign a time you’ll need to complete a piece of content, and its cost will be automatically calculated based on the rules we’ve developed.
And of course, we use Slack, just like everyone else – it’s just an incredibly efficient communication tool.
What piece of advice or story would you like to share with fellow marketers?
Well, there’s this classic 1963 comedy sketch – Dinner for One. It’s about the 90th birthday of an upper-class English woman – Miss Sophie. Every year, she hosts a dinner for her friends. And even though she has outlived all of them, she continues to host her party, pretending all her friends are still alive and sitting at the table with her.
The dinner is a traditional four-course meal, and each course is followed by strict rules. James, the servant, places a food plate in front of Miss Sophie. She selects a beverage to be served with the food. Dry Sherry, white wine, champagne, or port.
Then, James asks: “Same procedure as last year Miss Sophie”? To which she replies: “Same procedure as every year, James”.
I think that the last two sentences sum up many things in life. Here’s my advice:
Sticking to the same procedures might be comfortable, but it won’t get you places.
You should always challenge the status quo. Don’t be afraid to break the routine. And this, in itself, brings me to another story – this time, from my own life.
At a previous company, we wanted to establish a closer relationship with our partner – Pipedrive – in order to increase lead generation. However, they were simply impossible to get in touch with, we tried all traditional methods.
Then I decided enough was enough and had to try something we’ve never done before. I called a bakery in Estonia and ordered a cake with our logo and a short message printed on the icing. They appreciated my creativity – suddenly, they became much more responsive, and our cooperation has blossomed.
In the end, we got a lot of leads from Pipedive. Frequently it pays off, to do things differently. So, don’t be Miss Sophie.