unpackingDS_podcast
Michael_Moumoutjis
PODCAST - Unpacking the digital shelf

Interview: How to be #1 with Mike Moumoutjis, General Manager, Goodbaby International

Winning in digital means picking your battles, building a test and learn strategy, and then scaling. Peter Crosby and Molly Schonthal spoke with Mike Moumoutjis, General Manager at Goodbaby International, to get real about what it takes to get closer to the consumer and become their first choice.

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Transcript

Peter: Welcome to Unpacking The Digital Shelf where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age. Hey everyone, Peter Crosby here. There's no question figuring out how to win in digital, how to focus your teams on the right goals, organize the work to test and learn, and then scale. Well, it's super hard. Molly Schonthal and I got to speak with Mike Moumoutjis, general manager at a juvenile products company Good baby International and Even Flow. This is a must listen conversation for any executive in any category who is striving to pick the right battles and get to number one. What's the last thing you bought online or what's a great experience you had recently?

Mike: So the last thing I bought online, um, I basically, uh, had a little test with my group to go on and have them look into their orders that they've had at Amazon, their last five orders because everyone loves to tell me how we can use Amazon to be this incredible shopping channel and engage with the consumer at such a higher level. So what we did is we all went in and looked at our last five orders and see what we actually purchased. And every single person bought a piece of garbage. Just something that basically fit, you know, fit the bill. You didn't know the brand, you didn't really even understand that much about the category. You literally went in there and you purchased something just for the immediacy or the expediency of what it was. So, you know, I think it really, what I bought was some accessory from my echo blower to blow leaves out of by gutters. And did I go to the echo website to buy the accessories? No, did I buy the one that's fitted for by my blower? No, I bought the one that came up first and the rankings that could actually connect to my machine and enough people said it could work. So it's weird how us professionals look at ourselves in the, in the world and what we think the consumer does. And then we'd go out and just do the exact opposite, which is we just get our needs met by the internet and the most expedited way as possible.

Peter: I love that. And I think that's so true. It is sort of balancing the difference between, uh, we should be creating these great experiences and there's all these, these opportunities for enhanced content and people are convinced by all of this other stuff. But the basics matter and you search for something, you found it, you could get it when you wanted it and you clicked buy. And it sounds like that was the experience with the rest of your staff.

Mike: Right. So how many, how many purchases have you guys made, which you spent at least an hour of time in a week on, right? Like how many considered purchases do you have the bandwidth to make every single week? And, we did a couple of studies with moms. You know, moms have a lot of time on their hands when they're first time expectants to bone up on the category. Most first time moms know nothing about having children. So they really, they really get at the details every week. You know, they're there, they're getting ready for that exam because you know, that final test is that baby in their hands and even there where you have this tremendous anxiety about trying to understand things, there's certain things that people gravitate towards. Really spending an hour or two understanding versus, eh, I'll just buy that, you know, because you only have so much bandwidth. So let me ask the group, what's, what's the most amount of time that you spent online researching a purchase in the last three months?

Molly: You know, I used to have this story that I would give as part of a talk and that was about how much time I had to invest in brand identity or finding a specific brand online. And the example was this pair of Italian kids shoes that I was looking for, for my son. He got them when he was two and we got them in Chicago and they were great shoes. Like I remember he wore them every day. He wore them right out and we had moved to New York and I could not remember for the life of me the name of the brand. So I'm like on Google, like kid shoes, Italian kids shoes, Italian toddler shoes, shoes, shoes from Italy, like honestly. So finally the brand comes up and I'm like, great, I got the brand. Um, and I go to Amazon and there's like, not the right size, not the right color.

Molly: I'm like, okay. So I'm still going, so I'm going to go to their D2C site, right? So I'm on their D2C site and it's like an Italian. For some reason my web browser was located outside of the US so like, it's in Italian, but I'm still in the game. I'm like, okay, what's the word for, you know…

Peter: (Laughing) And then you’re going to Italian to English dictionaries to see if you can get the website? 

Molly: And then I got fed up with the Italian website after about, you know, five to seven minutes. So now I'm back on Zappos, which is Amazon, anyway. so I'm back on Zappos and while I'm searching for another seller, probably a third party seller who's selling these shoes. Uh, another option comes up that is exactly the right size and exactly the right color. And, and, and there I go, I'm gone. And it was like 15 minutes of loyalty, which I thought was pretty hot.

Mike: That's pretty good that you spent that amount of time on just searching a brand that you wanted to connect with. You know, most, most people I think would have given up a lot earlier than, than just going down to shopping. So spending time on brands, you know, spending time on products online. And it's a, it's a big part of what we sit here and focus on internally, right? As marketeers and as product people or even, you know, brand people. And, and the truth is that how we look at the world and how we set up our campaigns or how we set up our products. It's very methodical. You make a spreadsheet, you put down what you do, you put down with someone else, might do, how they performed, and then you expect for the consumer to go out and shop the same way. I'm going to pick this guy's product, this guy's product, this guy's product.

Mike: I'm much better than theirs and I purchased it. Meanwhile, our studies show that 75% of consumers in the baby space only shop a single brand. So you're, you're, you're basically spending so much of your effort on the 25% with a lot of other brands versus figuring out the right metric to get you to where people really shop. You know, and, and we just talked a couple of those uh, examples of no one wants to waste time comp shopping on the internet. They like page one, they trust Amazon or you know, they're, they just need their, their, their, their uh, their needs fulfilled. So this transactional approach really is what wreaks havoc on a lot of brand and marketing and product teams. They don't know how to just get in there and, and beat the, the consumer to the punch. And I think we spend a lot of time down in the weeds trying to be an also ran in the other 25% of brands which are considered with other brands. We know that that's a big part of what we try to focus on here at Evenflo is, you know, how do we become number one? And even though it's a hard fight, it's a lot easier fighting on a big number across a larger group with, you know, uh, resources which are aligned versus trying to just be very, very fine in that smaller subset. 

Peter: Yeah.

Molly: Mike, what have you noticed, um, in terms of the change between what it used to take to become number one, say 10 years ago on what it takes now? So I'm specifically referring to the old world of brand manufacturing and going to market and the new sort of hybrid commerce world.

Mike: Yeah, I think the biggest change is the financial metrics of how you measure success. So back in the old days when the internet was a little bit smaller, um, you used to just  just, you know, do a little bit of trade-marketing, you laid the product out in the marketplace, you focused on price of it, and then you were ramping relatively to your run rates in a very, very specific period of time. Usually it was under eight months before you knew what your sales rate was for a specific item. And it was very, very clear. You knew exactly what happened at these points of distribution. Today It is the exact opposite. Today, you're not very clear. Uh, pricing on line and advertising is very dynamic. So what you think about what would have taken you eight months in X amount now takes you 24 months, 24 months and double that.

Mike: So it's really wreaked havoc on people really being able to get down and provide true visibility of what success looks like. Because I always have content management teams just telling me, well, just what is the number we'll give you whatever money you need. And to be fair, some, some of those things change, you know, day by day, week by week. So that is the hardest part right now in the new digital age is being able to forecast what success looks like, um, and coming even within the ballpark. So we're getting better. But I think it is going to continue on as the consumers have, you know, more channels of information, uh, where they can gather their insights.

Molly: So what are some of the things that you do now that you didn't know to do last year or the year before? And what are some of the areas that you're like, I just can't wait to figure this out? Like I’ll be so rich when I figure this out. 

Mike: You know, and I'm still, I'm still on that journey of figuring out what's going to make me rich. But the, I think where we've gotten better and you know, I don't want to bore anyone with specific tactics. It's really coming down to having everyone isolate and agree first things first, having a strategy of what you want to change with the consumer in the digital space. That's a big one. Uh, a lot of times we don't have a strategy. We just have either an intent or desire. Um, and that doesn't always equal out to success. So what, what we've started looking at is what really do we want to change over the next one to three years? Because what we have learned is you can't boil the ocean, you know, with, with, uh, tons of different touch points and, and very, very small budgets which had been broken up across many different inputs.

Mike: So now that we've actually all agreed on what the big thing is that across the organization we want to focus on, it helps drive a little bit more momentum and how to change or like our big thing honestly is it's to be a top choice. We don't want to be a number two choice. We want to be a number one choice no matter what that is. Um, so when you start looking at that and you didn't look into the components of that, so what does product marketing have to do in order for us to work to that level? What is sales? What is brand? You know, what is communications? Because it changes it from just, I want to change my A cost at Amazon over the next 90 days. So I really, to answer your question, Molly, I think people actually have to start looking over longer term with digital marketing versus the short term because you're going to get eaten up by ants in the short term and it's very, very noisy with the data that comes back. Whereas a long term and more people aligned to pushing behind it actually boils the ocean, right? You want to just get the ocean up one, one point right. And that really is what we've learned in the Last, I actually, so I learned last 10 years of just trying to chase the next shiny thing.

Peter: Yeah, it really does sound like it's, it's focused at the, at the center, right? That your deciding, here's the, the end. Tell me if these are related, cause you talked about focusing on the top 25% and not trying to do everything and at the same time you're choosing that is it that in those 25% you want to be the top choice and that kind of focuses everyone's effort across the organization.

Mike: Right? So it's, it's more of like how, how big of a KPI can you share where everyone can, can provide input to, right? So it translates differently depending on, you know, what KPI your in, uh, if it's digital marketing or trade-marketing or, or sales. I think that the, the key piece you want to do as, as, as a person who's trying to influence your brand or your products connection with consumers is just make it very, very clear and have everyone understand that this is a slow process. It's not a fast process of what you're trying to change in your relationship with the consumer. So, uh, you know, for example, you know, our, our big piece here is we want to get more intimate with the consumer and we want to find more ways that they can evaluate us as a top brand, meaning first decision versus second, third.

Mike: Now sometimes that can be an entire channel play. It can be, you know, where we invented a whole new sub brand within our brand called Evenflo Gold. Evenflo Gold. gold is direct to consumer brands. We don't trade it with any of our customers. It has its own product set. Um, it is not, it wasn't developed to make millions and millions of dollars for us. What it was developed to do was to make us the first choice of a specific set of consumers. So since we can't get everybody to be picking us for number one, we picked people who would really, you know, be excited about a pure digital value proposition. Who wants a hundred day return, lifetime warranty. And granted it's a small group of people, but we found a way to make it number one with them. 

Peter: No, I was just wondering, when you, when you think of that sort of broader sense of risk versus reward and, and placing bets and thinking about where you're going to sort of put your attention, uh, this seems like that's one example of those where you've decided, I'm, I'm guessing that in addition to you building this sub-brand, this digital brand that, uh, that you can focus on and can be successful in this, you know, relative sliver is your expectation that you'll be able to take lessons from that journey and apply them then in other places?

Mike: Exactly. It's really about how, where did you, where'd you go, right or wrong in the assumptions on kind of his micro scale? Yeah. We didn't really lose that much time or effort focusing on a sub brand in a direct to consumer model. Uh, and it also allowed us to go across the entire organization and say, see, you know, we, we, we can actually win with groups that we may or may not been able to reach before because our biggest issue, right, is we want to reach people, right. And become that first, that first choice. Well that's, that's a tough thing when people start thinking about, wow, you want to beat Coke and you’re RC Cola. And I'm pretty sure we're not, we're, you know, we're, we're not the only ones who have this like this mental hurdle that you have to get over. But small tactical wins actually drive a tons of insights back of the organization. So one key thing, uh, from what to say, you Evenflo Gold, one of the biggest thing people told us and interacting with directly was, you know, we really want to be communicated to in a very, very simple, simple manner. You know, strip your pages enough, enough with all the mumbo and makes you happy, get down to this level of content. And we took that entire insight and that'll, that's not just going to roll out to Evenflo gold it'll be rolling out across our entire catalog. Cause those are consumers we want, anyhow.

Molly: So what came first? The Evenflo gold brand or the intent to capture that small sub segment?

Mike: So the, the, the, the intent to capture the sub segment came first, right. The sub segment, which was basically, you know, there, there are these digital natives. Um, they are new, they are exciting. They um, will profetize your brand. They are also very, very specific and they're, they're very, very sophisticated in how they shop. We wanted to find a way to engage and connect with them, not as much as we said to be, you know, we, we never got to plan on being Casper or a hundred year old brand. We have a pretty established business. But it really was about if you could play on that field and satisfy some of their needs and have, and have that engagement and what are you going to do with that information? So definitely you need the intent and you need the strategy and the organization has to go there. And then of course we followed with the tactics.

Molly: So you had to do R and D and product development to fit a business case that was digitally oriented.

Mike: So again, you also want to pick the strength of your organization if you want to test these things out, right? So our organization, they'll spend on capital for a product on the drop of a dime. Okay. I've been part of other organizations that don't want to spend a nickel. Right? So here what we want to do is this is very innovative, they always want to put out something refreshing to the consumer. And we said, Hey, how do we take the strength of what the organization does well and what it likes and match that with where we want to be and which consumers we want to connect with. And it really was a very, very easy sell. The hardest sellings are if your organization, isn’t naturally inclined to win that way I wouldn't try and uh, you know, uh, get them to, to, to absorb a really, really complex and maybe kind of foreign way of doing business. So you want to match, you want to put shrank with, with, with strength.

Peter: And do you think, do you think Mike did part of part of this, do you think, Mike, that part of this journey is helped along because you are in fact the general manager of the organization, uh, as you said, you own sort of both of these pieces of sales and marketing. Does that help you be able to put that forward?

Mike: You know, I, to be honest, I think I'm, I am, I might even be like a detriment sometimes to it because I am very comfortable with risks and understanding digital and I make leaps and bounds in what I expect should happen. And I keep forgetting there's a lot of people who are uncomfortable with that rate of either risk or rate of, um, expectation. And I think sometimes, uh, you know, in my exuberance for trying to expand on something very, very quickly, people are left behind. Now the good news is we're not trying to, to do, do huge things with huge budgets. We really like think about it. Who, who's got tons of money for risk, uh, in 2020, you can mean like 10 companies who have just enough money where they could do whatever they want. Everyone else has to innovate with what they have. And if they are going to innovate and fail, it's gotta be to the level that really is, uh, digestible for the organization. So those are really the things that I battle with the most, which is I really would love to be able to innovate to a level where, you know, we could put $10 million into a campaign, but if we can't, then how do you still innovate and take risks and bring people along in ways where there is value and people, number one, don't feel like there are times wasted. And number two, something valuable came out of it no matter what. No matter what the level of success.

Molly: If I had a dollar for every time I moved fast and left people behind, I would be pretty wealthy. More mobile with some of my legacies. 

Peter: But Molly, when you think about that, like if you could turn the clock back, would you have not moved fast? 

Molly: No I think I would have continued to move fast, but I would have also had a very linear explanation for what I was doing that connected the dots for folks who think differently and build security and confidence in a strategy by having a rough outline of the steps.

Mike: Right, right.

Molly: But, uh, along those lines, I want to circle back to something that you've said earlier, which is, it's not necessarily a strategy but a desire that we're working off of or there's this desire to be the first or second choice. I, something that I used to used to use a lot at Mars and people are probably sick of me saying is it's better to be directionally right and specifically wrong than the opposite in the land of digital where things move quite quickly. How do you balance that need to be directionally right, sort of long term focused and then short-term agile?

Mike: You know, that's a really good question because everyone thinks digital is this perfect lock step relationship with the world, right? I put the money here and it comes out here and hence wise in your logic following that, uh, you know, that, that that line and you really are challenged, uh, sometimes now in digital marketing to be able to show levels of investment or effort with short term results. Um, the space has become so saturated and it's so competitive that it no longer is as linear as people want it to be. And with, with the advent of all the different technologies and the different platforms, it's even become more complex. So if you really want to be able to turn to a team internally and tell them, boom, I got it all out here as my spreadsheets here, my team, you need huge team to manage the ability to just deliver on someone who says, I want to see it from A to Z and getting it right.

Mike: And some people can pull that off, which is why I would kind of hue more towards your, let's all have this shared vision of what success could look like over the long term. Okay, what's this longterm? Is this six months? Because in the digital world, six months is long term, right? Is it 12 months, is it 18 months? And I think in addition to sharing that vision, people can manage more not in the digital space to help also feed into the plan, right? So that they can become part of, of what you're either going to celebrate or assess in that short period. So what I would say is you really have to have, as you said, everyone's got to be headed in the same direction on the things that matter and you should be picking big numbers and by big numbers, I mean the big things that you really wanted to change in the digital space, you definitely don't want everyone, you know, kind of in the same exact conversation trying to figure out how to save 50 cents off your drop ship capability.

Mike: Like you could make it into a big capital project. But I think as leaders in the digital space, it is exciting to have people come along with you. Everyone feels like they're pushing it together instead of it being, you know, digital marketing come up and showing what their OIS is for the week. You know, I think it's a little counterproductive.

Peter: Yeah. Cause at the end of the day, you're a product company. You want to make things that delight your consumers, keep their children safe. I mean there's a mission behind that that I would imagine if you can focus everyone's efforts on how to innovate there and for a particular customer that's inspiring to keep going. Even in the face of all this uncertainty.

Molly: Can you take us through a time when you had to create some sort of bigger goal? Like, I don't know. The 2% of our revenue is going to come from digital. You hear this a lot, right? 50% of revenue is going to come from digital by 2025. Right. And two years, that'd be like 2027. Um, I mean 2028, but in any case, make stating some audacious goal like that and then having, having to translate it into six month goals like in order. So that didn't work. In order for, for that to be true, I actually had to tell them it's this, um, D2C KPI. It's this content KPI. Can you take us through, uh, some sort of story where you had to do that?

Mike: Yeah. So, you know, I think everybody in the digital space always has these big hairy goals put out in their face because, you know, everyone believes that digital really is just this, you know, it's just so simple, so simple, you know, look.

Peter: You just turn the spigot and electricity comes out! 

Mike: Yeah, it's just electricity and screens, right? So the challenge, everyone really has it. 

Molly: It’s just ones and zeros!

Mike: It's just ones and zeros. It’s servers like Facebook, you know, like all these things, they're like, you know, it's so, you know, like Trump got elected, it's gotta be easy. So I think it's one of those things. Yeah. You know, it's just, it's so simple. So simple. So I think the number one goal every digital marketer or a salesperson has to really put out there is explain the hard miles to your organization upfront. You got, if you're not in the details and you don't understand what the hard miles are and you're going out there putting out big, hairy, audacious goals and then you're talking about the variances to that goal every single month and you haven't, you haven't learned your lesson, right? So the first thing is, first I would tell anyone is if you're going to go out and you're going to try to make any step change in a digital organization, you better know your stuff.

Mike: You better be down in the details. Understand that thing granular. If you're going to make incremental change and bring people along, right? And have people understand what a five to 10% changes. So for example, I'll give you the, our, our challenge. Two years ago, our conversion rates on specific properties on the key, on our key pages. I wasn't happy with. They were very, very low relative to, to what I expected. And they're all driven by price. So we went through and did an analysis, came back and said, listen, you know, your communication, your content, tone of voice, everything that you're doing on these pages, you can take it up a notch. You really can like just take it up, you know, a significant level. So it took us literally 18 months, hundreds of hours across the entire organization to take, I believe we have about 340 items in our catalog of which almost every one of our online customers carry.

Mike: There's no way we're going to be able to upgrade them all. But we took a key set of them and said, okay, who's, who's going to carry us over the finish line with upgrading? Just the communication and the images and the videos, you know, whatever it took along with search, along with keywords and over 18 months time, we were able to change our conversion rates right from about six and a half percent to seven and a half percent, which one point change your conversion rate is ridiculous. It's phenomenal. Right? And I think that was something that really I felt quite proud of, of, of moving through. Everyone felt tremendous amount of satisfaction because they were part of it. You know, the worst thing is when you come in there and you know, you get that email from that vendor, let's offer a guy, I can sell you this thing and it's gonna do this for you tomorrow. You know? And then you try to just shove that through the organization. And as it, as a digital marketer, you should know, like you should know by now between what is just work and what is sorry to say just you know, BS.

Molly: Yeah, I mean along those lines, like how did you figure out what it meant to take it up a notch? Because you and I have had this discussion, Mike, like there's a lot of stuff you could be doing with your content. Uh, you could be doing, you know, videos and laser light shows and 360 spins. And how did you figure out what the right level of improvement was?

Mike: So I think, look first things first, we, we did it simple. Okay. We did it simple, you know, I just said who's the best? Yeah, I didn't, I didn't, I didn't try to, I didn't try to make it too hard. Like I, I'm just rip 'em off. All right, so we'd go to Amazon's Bose page. Okay. We look at it, it's one of the highest converting pages in the history of Amazon outside their own products. We looked at it, okay, granted we're not Bose and we're not offering the same products, but I just said, what is it there that's working? Okay guys, they, it's a pretty sophisticated tool that they're selling and it's at a pretty high ASP, pretty well considered rip it off. So we, we started, we started pretty, pretty simple. We didn't, we didn't need to go into trying to understand every single KPI right away when you could start from the consumer back and that, and that's really how even our engagement with, with Salsify and launching on, on, uh, native selling at, on Instagram kicked off.

Mike: It's basically if we could work back from the consumer, we're fine taking those risks and understanding cause worst case scenario, what did we do? Did we waste anyone's time? No, the consumer is actually still getting a better interaction, a better relationship. Those are big places where consumers interact with and I can tell you, you know, you could, you could seed clouds to make them rain, you know, and that over time is going to drive just as much return versus someone come back to me and tell me how this one little box on this one little page over this many instances is going to all ladder up and create this fantastic pie in the sky. I just don't believe in that methodology. 

Molly: That sense of pragmatism is why I wanted you on the show and I keep calling you back is I've been inside organizations or discussions within organizations that are really centered around analyzing the details and trying to get third parties to help you solve a problem. And I know what you mean about a software vendor coming in and saying they'll fix it for you. And a lot of it is sort of this intellectual laziness or unwilling to kind of roll up your sleeves and get done what needs to get done. Um, meanwhile, you know, you're back at Good Baby going, all right. Like, who's doing this well? I mean, it's so obvious, right? Who's doing this well? Like you can find that out on Amazon by figuring out who is selling and making money. Okay. What do they have? What are they doing that we need to be doing? Okay. Rip them off. Like it is so easy. You don't need to pay a consulting firm to do an 18 month study to tell you that. And I just, I admire that you work in that way.

Mike: Again, I wish I can get a, a consulting firm in here for 18 months and could afford them. So you're, you're talking to, you know, uh, you know, a brand that has some money but we're nowhere near, you know, we're, we, we couldn't if we wanted to afford having really any extraneous, uh, resource or waste, but I can tell you this, the only thing I care about laddering up at the granular level, really is the financials and you have to give your teams the ability, especially in digital marketing or sales or what have you. You've got to give me autonomy to come back and be like, test and learn. You have your budgets. If there's some insight you want to share, bring it back to me. But at the end of the day, you know, did it pay off? And guess what if it didn't even pay off and it was accidental, but you learn something, I'm good with it because we don't have the ability anymore to say, you know, back in when I, I remember when I watched my first big website, I was like, great, go in 2003 and it was four and a half million dollars to launch a website.

Mike: You know, there was this all this capital and overhead and all these people need to be involved. Today, you know what, maybe in 48 hours I could put up a site on Shopify that will blow the doors off probably most fortune 500 CPGs outfit, uh, interfaces, you know, so, so what's your hurdle anymore? Right. Our hurdle is our intent, right. Our intent and our wills, I don't think anymore we have to worry too much about being perfect, uh, on the metrics.

Molly: So what if I'm like a eCommerce manager at a CPG and I'm thinking to myself, Mike, that thing you said about will it pay off or attention to the bottom line is exactly the thing that's standing in my way because I want to try this thing that I think is innovative, but I know that our director, our GM is, is so hard on the bottom line that they'll say, how many gaskets are you going to sell through this channel? And I'll be like one to begin with and they’ll say forget about it. What would you say to that?

Mike: So, you know, at the end of the day, if you want to have money for innovation, right? And you want to have it, you know, you want to be granted the freedom to innovate in your space, you still have to earn your rights, right? And you have to earn your right with solid foundational, just straightforward digital marketing and mathematics, right? Like you still have to do the blocking and tackling. You still have to make sure things resonate. So many things are still the same. Like yes, there's tons of things that have changed, but going to Amazon and doing an OTP campaign and launching a TV campaign 20 or 30 years ago, all those building blocks are the same, right? So I think sometimes what happens is everything seems so, uh, you know, so granular, we lose a little vision of focus on the basics and the big numbers, right? And then experiment in your variances. Experiment where you have some room to mess up and take that and come back to the organization.

Mike: Say, Hey, you know, by the way, I don't think we have the room anymore to really experiment on the big numbers. If you have those, if you have those budgets or you're in that part of the world and you're working, you know, on 20 year plans, God bless you. I wish sometimes I was working there also, but I think for the rest of us and I caused the ham and eggers, our markets really aren't growing. Digital is saturating. Okay. Technologies are cheap as chips. So you're really just dealing with people's time. You have to still keep experimenting. But how do you experiment in a way where you still got to deliver upon your numbers? And then you also want to experiment to the level where you should be able to fail. So take care of your, take care of yourself, do the basics. Have that foundation strong and then really go out there and have some fun. Like there's so much, so much good stuff out there for fun.

Peter: That to me is a perfect way to close. Cause I, you know, I think we should play the Les Mis theme under it, you know? “Do you hear the people saying”, uh, should be on because I, I do feel like, um, kind of you, you sort of listed out a little bit of a bummer list. You know, like the market isn’t growing that much and digital is saturating and, and if you took that at its face value you would kind of say, well what's the point? But the point that you just made is that there's such room for, uh, for innovation inside of that for trying new stories, for attempting new channels. And, and it's for a lot of people that part of it is the fun. It's like taking something that you believe in, putting it into market and just seeing what works. It's that kind of that a mix of, of uh, creativity and science that I think people can really jam on. Is that what you find on your team? That they are just the people that love that

Mike: It's, it's the greatest part about, you know, being involved in digital marketing or even digital sales. Right? It's really the, it's the, it's the thing that makes people put their feet on the floor, finding something new, experimenting, getting into it, getting into something and seeing it from the other side of the telescope. That's what everyone wakes up in the morning for. We all want to be creators in some, you know, in some shape or form. You know, the creative team literally wants to be a creator. So what are the digital marketing team get? And if you tell a digital marketing team, all I want you to do is turn the screws tighter on the same, on the same machine. You're going to lose talent. And guess what? Over time you're not gonna be competitive. So how do you get these people excited and how do you get them into the game? Even if you don't have a tremendous amount of money, you take care of the basics and then you just say, hey, let's all focus some big numbers together. Big things that we want to change. Talk about it. And honestly over time, uh, over time it changes your culture because we've, um, I'm tired of hiring new kids all the time when they get bored of their jobs. You know, it's a constant thing, especially in Boston. And now I can tell you that

Molly: What about foosball and snacks? 

Mike: Right? Yeah. You know how, that's the good news, right? How far, how far are you going to get that we have a cafeteria here. You know, anyone listening out there who wants to come work for me, it's a real fun place. But more importantly, but more importantly, uh, people, you know, marketers and, and again, I appreciate the relationship with Salsify because we always are talking about some new ideas and it helps me get excited about what I do. It's all about pushing the envelopes and then finding the new stuff. So, uh, I'm truly appreciative of, of being in the space and for you got inviting on the, uh, on the podcast here and I look forward to our next interaction. 

Peter: Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing your, your formula for risk and reward in a really cool space. And we appreciate your time and your brain, and, uh, and thanks for joining us. 

Mike: Thank you.