#StandApart: Crystal Henrickson, Head of Community Management, Invoke Labs

This is the fourth installment of our @BCAMA Evening Speaker Series, “If I knew then…” Peter Reek facilitated a panel of five leading Vancouver marketers. He asked them to examine ‘aha’ moments, epiphanies, and things they may have done differently in their careers. Crystal Henrickson has worked in community management since its birth in 2009. Making a difference at startups like Yelp and ChimpFund before landing at Invoke Labs, Crystal has become an expert at building community. Today she dives deep with us on how to be a #StandApart Community Manager. At their core, people want to feel like they belong to something. – Crystal Henrickson You are going to be receptacle of feedback. People want to tell you everything you should do with your product. Relaying that information back to your team is an art form, choose your words wisely. Prepare to be a therapist, cheerleader, and a friend maker. But still, keep your phone number for your personal circle of friends only. Building community means getting people to come out of their shells, encouraging them to socialize, eat sushi, have beers, and ultimately, make friends. Be a role model and a leader. Community Managers are the doers in startups, they are the CEO’s of whatever their domain is. The capacity to take a product or project from beginning to end is essential. Have the ability to work on your own. How simple or complicated to make a project depends on your resources, and if you only have yourself, that’s how simple you have to make it. We learned from throwing spaghetti at the wall, seeing what stuck, and continuing to do those things. If we’d measured, we would have been better able to focus. – Crystal Henrickson Switching between being a doer...

#StandApart: Kari Grist, Managing Director, Marketing & Communications at UBC

This is the third installment of our @BCAMA Evening Speaker Series, “If I knew then…”Peter Reek facilitated a panel of five leading Vancouver marketers. He asked them to examine ‘aha’ moments, epiphanies, and things they may have done differently in their careers. Kari Grist is the Managing Director of Marketing and Communications at UBC. A passionate marketer, her career has propelled her from the ground up; from launching the first carbon neutral Olympic Games with VANOC in 2010, to above the clouds with Wardair and Canadian Airlines. Wherever she goes, whether it be financial services, aviation and tourism, or environmental services, barriers fall and milestones are reached. Here are Kari’s career takeaways on how to #StandApart: If you’re going to do something, make sure it’s unique, and awesome, and kicks ass. – Kari Grist Much of today’s marketing is rooted in fear, but it should be rooted in fearlessness. At the  2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, Offsetters, with a budget of $35 000, took on global giants Coke and Sony. With an innovative media campaign, they floated the concept that without winter, there would be no winter games, and proposed the new sport of ‘bobwheeling’. This campaign had big impact globally, and its trajectory lead to a start up with twenty-five employees today. You only regret the things you don’t do, so don’t shy away from your big ideas. Don’t be afraid of change. It can be hard to know what career path should look like, and which decisions to make. Kari has changed cities, changed organizations, changed industries, and changed roles, and not regretted a one. My only regret is not going for a role that I thought was too big for me. Can’t go wrong as long as you let your personal...

#StandApart: Braden Hoeppner, CMO at Coastal Contacts Inc.

This post is the second in a series from a recent @BCAMA Evening Speaker Series entitled, “If I knew then…” .  Our Founder, Peter Reek, facilitated a panel of five Vancouver marketing leaders.  He asked them to look back on their careers to examine their ‘AHA’ moments, epiphanies, and zero in on things they may have done differently. They were also prompted to articulate the “It Factor” and zero in on what caused people they had worked with (0ver the years) to #StandApart . Today, we share what Braden Hoeppner, Chief Marketing Officer at Coastal Contacts Inc. learned about how to #StandApart: “To stand apart: have passion in your life; triumph, and fail, and don’t regret it, because if you’re not doing it in your company, your competitor will.” – Braden Hoeppner Starting his career at the Loewen Group on the day they filed for bankruptcy, Braden had a crash course on how to work your way up in this world. His career insights on how to #StandApart are as sincere as Braden is entertaining. Work hard. If it comes easy, it’s not worth doing. People had doubts about selling glasses online, and many said it simply couldn’t be done. With persistent hard work, Coastal Contacts has become a leading retailer of online eyewear. Not only is it rewarding, it’s more satisfying to achieve a hard-earned goal. Never stop learning from people around you. Everyone around you is much smarter than you are. When you keep this in mind, you open yourself to learning about things, big and small, that can add value to your career. Become indispensable at something. Even if it’s filling the coffee pot, people will notice. Seek out a mentor. Find someone you can learn from, either by traditional methods or by inventing your own. Take risks...

REPOST: Interview with Smart Savvy + Associates’ Founder and CEO

Interview prepared by Ray Wang for Smartt Digital Agency Blog on May 20, 2014.   Peter Reek is the Founder and CEO of Smart Savvy + Associates, a Vancouver-based talent recruitment agency specifically for marketing teams. Here are his thoughts on digital marketing: What do you consider essential skills for a marketing team these days? Solid analysis and decision making competencies are in hot demand. Especially since everything is measurable today. Teams need to execute quickly and accurately in order to stay on course. Using KPI’s – not simply churning them out, but actually paying attention to them – is paramount to success. Otherwise, you’re careening down a hill without a steering wheel. Be results orientated, be a visionary, be resourceful, and you’ll find yourself on target. Perhaps more importantly (although somewhat related), we like to represent people who #StandApart.  Individuals who possess the proverbial “it factor”.  Which, according to Simon Cowell, is “one of those nebulous, undefined and subjective attributes one either has or doesn’t have. It falls into the category of you-know-it-when-you-see-it.”One of the best definitions of the #StandApart factor I’ve heard, came from a panel I recently facilitated, in which one of the panelists, Anne Farrer, VP & Managing Director of Karo Vancouver,  was asked to define the ‘It Factor”.  Anne said, “It’s the team member who can see around corners”.  You know, those people who look ahead all the while contingency planning based on potential outcomes.  They are fully engaged, committed to outcomes and their ‘spidey senses’ are on high-alert. What do you feel are the most underrated skills in a marketing team these days? I can think of a few. Taking something complex and making it simple and digestible is an art form. There’s an elegant magic involved in distilling a complicated...

#StandApart Profile – Katie Drechsel, Vega

Making TELUS talk in 140 characters or less; that’s been the mandate of Katie Drechsel, Manager, Digital Communications for the telecom giant, until a few weeks ago. Now, Katie’s taking up a new challenge: Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Vancouver based Vega, a North American leader in the plant-based natural health and performance products industry. With past roles at Bell, Parklane Homes, Boston Pizza and TELUS, Katie’s become a force to be reckoned with in Vancouver’s digital and social marketing scene. She’s helped break new ground for local mega-project, TELUS Garden, pioneered the first Canadian brand partnership with Songza and led TELUS’ social media strategy to grow their online community to more than 1.2 million connections. “To think, just 5 years ago, at Bell, we didn’t even have a Twitter handle,” says Drechsel, reflecting on just how far she’s come. “Online is my air.” We’re excited to share Katie’s story as she blazes through new social, digital and mobile heights with an athlete’s precision and a hand-picked ‘board of directors’ (her people) that help guide her career and keep her motivated – inside and outside.   Describe your current role in 140 characters or less… I support a talented web team focused on health education, driving online engagement and delivering the tastiest plant-based recipes to your inbox. We strive to create inspirational online experiences to help you thrive in all your goals.   One word that best describes how you work. Passion (& sparkle)   What is your “Superpower”? (What is the one thing you do you do better than most?) My drive. I’m always looking to concur the next challenge, for opportunities to learn, for new people to meet, for ways to empower & grow my team. I love to achieve goals and dream...

Announcing the Smart Savvy Oscar Pool Contest

Sure, you’re up on industry news but how about pure entertainment? In the spirit of red carpet season, we thought it would be fun to bring together Vancouver’s A-list companies and professionals for the first annual Smart Savvy Oscar Pool Contest. That’s right, we’re pitching marketing vs. sales, communications guru vs. product lead, you vs. the water-cooler gang to a game of make-your-bets on the years’ very best in cinema. The poolis free to join and we’ve included some GREAT PRIZES to get anyone still sulking from a bad Super Bowl pick excited. Here’s How to Join: 1) Email us at OscarContest@smartsavvy.com for details on how to join the online pool 2) Make your picks online before March 1st, 2014 3) Watch in your best tux/gown/pj’s (with friends or without) as real-time pool results are calculated online during the show 4) Reign supreme and collect your prize (hopefully!) Now for the good part! What can you win? Everyone needs a break from the office! If you make the most correct picks, your next movie (or several) could be on us!   Pool Winner (Highest Points) – $100 Famous Players Gift Card   Second Place – $75 Famous Players Gift Card   Random Draws (x 2) – $50 Famous Players Gift Card We hope you’ll join the fun. Get the whole office involved or recruit an industry rival. There’s no cost and only 100 spaces available, so claim your spot on the Smart Savvy Oscar Pool today! You in? Email us at OscarContest@smartsavvy.com for details on how to play. Good...

so you were born… then what?

This question is taken from an exercise we use in our interviews to get better acquainted with our candidates.

Smart Savvy Career Resolutions

Team Smart Savvy overtook the Quince Studio kitchen this week for our annual staff holiday party. Somewhere between shaking up the perfect Nuoc Cham dressing and polishing off the final chocolate souffle, we picked up a few career lessons that we’ll be porting into 2014. Here they are:   Smart Savvy’s Top 4 New Year Resolutions for Cooking up a #StandApart Career:   1. Branch Out in the Cereal Aisle “I feel very honoured to receive this award. I’d like to thank my parents for making me the Chocolate Cheerio that I am. ” – Rodan Gopaul-Singh (newest Smavvy team member) One of the highlights of the night, was our (mock) Smart Savvy Breakfast Cereal Awards. Each team member was recognized and presented with the box of cereal that best represents the unique ‘flavour’ they bring to our team. For example, Julie was dubbed “Honey Sunshine” — she’s not always in the office, but when she’s there, she brings pure energy, warmth and light (she can also burn you with her razor-sharp wit) and I was honoured with the “All-Bran” award (apparently for making sure all communications channels are clean and clear). I can’t help it – someone has to keep these people ‘regular’. This year, why not make a point of branching out in your own personal cereal aisle? What are you best known for around the office? If you’re the fun-loving “Fruit Loops” guy, why not try cultivating a more grown-up flavour, like Vector? And if you’re squarely in the Cheerios category (a trusted stand-by), you could aim to implement a more “Holy Crap” approach to delivering big, noticeable wins (note team member Jaylene Crick was bestowed with this). The point is to figure out how people experience you at the office and, if you’re not satisfed with their measure, start marketing yourself a...

What is Your Leadership Style?

Truly effective leaders should be able to describe how they will behave as leaders. Why?

Are you a Marketing Futurist?

The debate rages: is marketing a cost center or a profit center? Well, Kristine Steuart, CEO of Vancouver cloud software provider, Allocadia – a start-up dedicated to helping CMOs and marketing operations lead and build data-driven marketing organizations – answers the question. And, best of all, she does it for all marketers. Here’s how… Steuart, who founded Allocadia with her twin sister, has been quietly lending her experience (she’s a vet of Business Objects and Crystal Decisions) to anyone looking for advice on the evolving world of the CMO 2.0. And she’s sharing it all in her new blog series: Leading in Change: The CMO Leadership Series. Are you a marketing futurist? Steuart says, “The rapidly changing world of marketing and the evolving role of the CMO… present a host of opportunities for young marketing leaders to take charge and grow in their careers.” It’s a simple call to action – with huge results for those who take the challenge: “How can today’s marketers start taking a leadership role in their marketing organization?” Pointing to a recent IBM study of 1700 CMOs that reveals big opportunities for young marketing leaders, Steuart advise that those who establish themselves as eager, high-potential “marketing futurists” have the ability to drive positive change in their marketing organization” – and get rewarded for it. I couldn’t agree more. Representing marketers – especially those hoping to make THE leap to a C-suite role one day – I can definitely point to a common theme in ‘who’ passes go. Here’s Steuart’s advice on how to establish yourself as a high potential employee on your marketing team: 1. Don’t take the easy road Try and solve the big problems. Steuarts’s own business, Allocadia, was built around a huge business pain: helping CMOs achieve better Marketing ROI. Q1 profits of...