John Kuehl Marketing Tech Talk

Balancing Martech to make your team successful

In the latest episode of Marketing Tech Talk Widen CEO Matthew Gonnering sits down with John Kuehl, Hankr co-founder and entrepreneur, and talks about balancing MarTech using marketing technology competencies, mobile technology, photography and content strategy. He has a great story about how he went from working in digital marketing for corporations to becoming an entrepreneur and starting his own company, Hankr.

At 1:00, John talks about his transition from working in digital marketing, advertising and PR for 15 years to becoming the president and one of the co-founders of Hankr. He says one day he realized he wanted to be doing his own thing.

At 3:02, John discusses how all his past experience in promotion, photography and app development had prepared him to build Hankr. He realized he had the experience to do it and the passion, so he decided to go ahead with it.

At 4:45, John gives his marketing philosophy. He says it’s ever-changing and it’s okay if he learns something that he used to think was totally true, just isn’t true anymore. He also likes to listen to the ‘How I Built This’ podcast from NPR and likes to take inspiration from other CEOs and leaders to tweak his own marketing philosophy. In general, he approaches marketing as ‘everything is a problem’. He believes you need to have a very clear understanding of the marketing problem and what the customer needs and then you can figure out how to solve it.

At 7:29, John talks about his love for marketing. He says what he loves most about marketing are the stories. He’s been really lucky to work with companies and brands that have had great stories to tell and has been happy to bring those stories to life.

At 8:39, John discusses his passion for analytics. He really enjoys figuring out the “why” in marketing because that’s the most difficult. He says if we as marketers understood the why, we would never get anything wrong. Which is the reason the why is almost impossible to know and a never-ending quest.

At 12:56, John shares a quote he heard from the founder of Southwest Airlines, “If you act small, you’ll grow bigger”. He likes to live by this quote with his own business. He says he still celebrates when he gains one single customer and will always continue to do that. He takes just as much pride in gaining one customer as gaining some major victory.

At 15:54, John talks about how he prioritizes marketing activities. He says that now that he is in a new role, as a head of a company, it’s been a little more difficult with a small team. He’s trying to stay true to his principles in his new company. A lot of things seem important when you’re new, which is also a challenge. He says he doesn’t have a good answer right now but he is focused on not doing anything before his team has agreed that it matters. And he enjoys having these conversations with his team.

At 20:56, John walks us through his agile marketing process and technologies he’s using to assist in that process. He starts by saying that agile is not one size fits all and his company is still figuring out what agile means to them. He uses ScrumDo to help himself and his team see their work in manageable chunks they can go get done. 

At 25:32, John talks about how he thinks it’s important to bring the technical mindset to the communication mindset — or how it’s important to bring marketers and developers together. He thinks developers should sit on marketing teams. He says he would rather have that level of connection between people that build things and those who have the strategy.

At 29:15, John shares how much competency he thinks marketers need in technology to be effective in the marketing landscape today. He says he really values a technical knowledge base in a marketer. But it also goes both ways and developers should understand marketing as well.

At 32:35, John reveals what he thinks teams lack in general, which is an agreed to framework for how to get things done. He thinks it’s important for leaders to communicate to their teams what they care about and what success means.

At 36:45, John expresses the need to keep communication consistent across different teams. He says it’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to talk about concepts and be committed to that plan.

At 39:00, John shines light on the COPE (Create Once Publish Everywhere) principle, how organizations can do it, and why it should be a guiding principle. He also discusses tools that can help with COPE and how the most important aspect is that users know how to use the tool.

At 44:40, John discusses how it’s not the tools, it’s the team. You have to put a lot of value into your team so they can be successful. For example, he says there are marketing principles that a person has to understand before they can use marketing automation software. One shouldn’t champion the tool, but the process or the strategy behind it.

At 48:10, John answers the audience’s questions on how to measure success, content strategy, and other marketing challenges.