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Why is it important to have diversity in the world of marketing?
This week on the Inbound Success podcast, HammerTech VP of Marketing Virginia Chere Lucett joins host Kathleen Booth for a candid conversation about diversity in marketing.
From why so many marketing conferences lack diverse audiences, to the lack of diverse options when it comes to stock photography, the importance of precision in how language is used, and how the way we write job descriptions can inhibit our ability to recruit diverse teams, Chere and Kathleen cover a variety of topics that influence diversity not only in the people who work in marketing, but in the marketing campaigns and assets they develop.
Check out the full episode to hear what they had to say about diversity in marketing, and why it is so important for every organization to consider.
"Kathleen (00:00): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I'm your host Kathleen Booth. And this week, my guest is Virginia Chere Lucett, the VP of marketing for HammerTech. Welcome.
Chere (00:22): Thank you. Thank you for having me. This is exciting.
Kathleen (00:25): I am really looking forward to talking to you because you know, we are having this conversation at an interesting moment in our world and lots of conversations happening around diversity and all of the different aspects of that. And, you know, I think diversity in marketing is a fascinating topic and I thought you brought a really interesting perspective to it because of your particular situation.
You're a woman working in a very male-dominated industry.
There, there's all different dimensions to this. So maybe to kick off this conversation you could tell us more about yourself and your story and how you got to where you are today. And then also what HammerTech is.
Chere (01:13): Perfect. So I will, I will say that I am a Latina who got to this position through, I would say probably blood, sweat, and a lot of tears sometimes. And I've been in marketing. I started in marketing 20 plus years ago and all the different avenues that sort of surround marketing or that are directly related to marketing.
Then, you know, as marketing has evolved, all the different niches, I've been able to kind of see the change in our industry over a long, a long period of time. So that that's been helpful.
And I graduated with a degree in English and which was really sort of one of the best degrees you could have, but at the time, the question is, what are you gonna do with a degree like that. You're either going to go into something like a legal career, or maybe you're going to go to be a teacher.
Chere (02:14): And I really found myself in, in marketing, on accident and it came through content and writing and, and being able to have that skill that was able to help drive me through. It opened a lot of doors for me.
It was never my first focus, but, as many of us do, we tumble into the career and then, and then we're lifelong marketers, and now it seems like we're going to be moving maybe more into revenue as, as you know, what I do. That evolution is interesting.
HammerTech is a construction safety SaaS platform. Obviously the focus within the construction industry is to help keep people safe. And with construction being one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, it's something that is very near and dear to our heart. We're a very purpose-driven company. And the purpose is just to help people, keep people alive, save lives.
Kathleen (03:21): And I will say, spoken as someone who was a political science major and now a marketer, amen about the story and how we sort of fall into it. Yeah. And funny enough, and with political science too, it was like, what am I going to do with this degree? Everybody I knew went to law school, except for me. So I think we could have a completely other conversation about that, probably.
So you, you have this really interesting kind of mix of factors that, that are playing into, you know, who you are as you show up in your role every day. You are a Latina, as you said. And you're a woman. You're in a male-dominated industry. Although, interestingly, I feel like marketing is by and large female-dominated. Construction is male-dominated.
Chere (04:12): Construction is male-dominated. So when looking statistically, while it may seem that women still sort of are, you know, kind of we're the majority. It's, we're still showing that we've reached parity. Like we may be at 45% to their, to their 55%, funny enough, but we aren't, we aren't anywhere near 75 or 80%.
Not saying that that's what I want. I'm not saying we should take over the world, but yeah. I mean, we seem that way, but we're still sort of, we're still sort of getting to that 50% when it comes to just being a female. And then when you talk about being a female, being in higher leadership position, it's false.
Kathleen (04:55): You still see a lot of male CMOs. Yeah, yeah.
Chere (04:59): Construction. Yes. It is a very male-dominated industry. And I've been in mostly male-dominated industries throughout my career, which has been really interesting for me. Because it's, it's just, it's sometimes difficult to be taken seriously to have your voice heard. But you offer a very different perspective than your male counterpart, counterparts often do.
So, and then yes, being a Latina within construction is also really interesting because when you look across the board, when you look at some of the larger contractors, even some of the smaller contractors, you're talking about mostly white male founders, board members, company owners, VPs, C levels.
You're starting to see more women rise to the, rise through the ranks and take on those positions, but very, very rarely are you seeing anyone of color in those positions.
Kathleen (06:04): Yeah, that's interesting. You know, and, and there are so many things running through my head right now, you know, and I think the first question somebody might have as they listen to this episode is, well, why are we talking about diversity on this podcast? Because the podcast is usually about, you know, people doing successful marketing campaigns or, you know, who are experts in certain strategies or tactics. And you and I talked a lot about this, and, and I mean, I have certain opinions about this, which I'll share. And by the way, if you're listening, we, Virginia and I both agreed that, that we're going to go there. We're going to talk about things that are uncomfortable and tough because there's really no point in having this conversation if you don't. We, otherwise we might as well just talk about, you know, pay per click ads or something like that.
Kathleen (06:53): But you know, my, my I've been asked many times in my career, why is it important to have diversity in marketing? Meaning if you have a marketing team of 10 people, why is it important that that team be diverse? So I had a similar conversation with somebody about marketing conferences. You know, speaking only for myself, I go to a lot of marketing conferences and, and my anecdotal observation is that I walk around and it is a sea of white faces. Now, maybe I'm just going to the wrong marketing conferences, which is entirely possible. But you know, while, while at least anecdotally again, I see a lot of women, I don't see a lot of racial diversity in marketing, at least in the places that I've been. And, and so that question has come up several times to me. And my response has always been that I do feel like it's important and, and I have certain reasons why, but I'd love to hear your take on this. Why do you think it's important to have diversity in marketing?
Chere (07:56): Here's, you know, I am a very, like, I have a strong creative side, but I have a very logical side. So I like to break it down by numbers. If you're a performance marketer and you look at the population at large, right? So Hispanics, Latinos make up, Latinos, sorry, all of us make up about 18% of the population. Blacks, African-Americans 13% Asians, 9%.
We'll just take those three minority groups, right? So you add that all up and you're looking at a pretty hefty percent of the population. Now you look at media spend and how much dollars are spent towards those populations. And you're looking at like, you know, for Hispanics, less than 4% for blacks, African-Americans, you're a little above 1%, a percent of media spent and Asians, I believe are around maybe 5%.
So let's just talk about numbers. Let's talk about performance and how your media is performing against those cultural groups, right?
If you don't have enough spend towards them right now, you're not going to see as great of results. And you're talking about almost what, what does that almost 40% of the population that is not Caucasian and they have different socio, socioeconomic differences. They have different cultural norms.
If we want to be better marketers, we have to be more diverse. You will see better performance of the money, of the dollars that you're spending, when you can be more empathetic towards the individuals you're marketing to.
Kathleen (09:40): Yeah. That's a great point. And you know, it's interesting. I think this goes back to that notion of unconscious bias. Like I think a lot of marketers would say that they're not biased. You know, they don't, that they feel that they can, can create marketing campaigns that are for everyone.
But I think there's so much that we don't realize we do.
You know, for example, when we're designing our websites and we go to stock photography sites and we pick images, you know? By and large, a lot of the images you see on many sites are white people, or they're the Benetton ad, which just looks sometimes very forced to me.
But the reality is in some cases it's because we choose those things. In other cases, it's because there isn't a supply of good diverse photography.
Kathleen (10:29): You know, I was involved for, for several years in planning a large marketing conference, and we had this conversation about our speakers and why is it important to have diverse speakers? And, you know, there was some pushback.
Somebody said, well, shouldn't we just have the best marketers and the best speakers? And yes, of course I would like to believe that we can find a diverse group of amazing marketing speakers. But beyond that, I remember I worked with somebody who was a person of color and she said you know, we're not going to attract a diverse audience if the audience can't see themselves in our speakers.
And that affects how you sell tickets. So I think there's a lot of that.
It's very unconscious in many cases. It doesn't have to be this deliberate thing, but deliberate or not, it is equally as impactful in terms of the results to me.
Chere (11:18): Right. So was somewhat amuses me when it comes to marketing is, is a good part of our job is to understand psychology, right? We need to understand sociology. We need to understand anthropology. And if you're a really great marketer, you're constantly trying to put yourself into the shoes of the individual that you want to have a conversation with or that you want to attract, right? And when you, when, and when that's a big makeup of what you do is in marketing, it's almost sometimes, I wonder, why are we not thinking that way then? So if, if somebody is trying to market to me, that has no true understanding of what it's like to be a Hispanic in the United States, it, it can become very stereotypical and offensive. And that's never what any marketer wants to do. I think when you start stepping back and, and, and, and doing the human to human marketing and putting yourself in other people's shoes, you start to become very aware of how ill-equipped you might be to truly talk to different multicultural, diverse groups, without having some intimate knowledge of what they might be going through.
Chere (12:34): You'll be more effective when you can have more voices in the conversation that allow you, and they give you the deep insight that make what you do more impactful.
Kathleen (12:44): So what would be like an example of that? Because I think for a lot of people, this is such an abstract conversation. They need, almost need to have like concrete examples to be able to understand how this plays out.
Chere (12:56): So, I mean, even right now, and I think you see it a lot, the sensitivities of, of advertising, it's a very difficult position to advertise to multicultural groups right now, if you are not someone who has had in-depth conversations. Like not understanding what, what gaslighting is. Not understanding the value of, of like what, what of knowing moreso the emotional impacts of how, of different scenarios. And I'll speak from the Hispanic side. If you don't understand the deep family connections with Hispanics and that, you know, it is a very, that just culturally, how, how women are. How women have worked through, you know, the cultural Hispanic, like way of thinking of what women do and what women don't do. If you don't understand a lot of the dynamics of being a first generation American and an immigrant family, those are very difficult things to speak to. And they can come off very surface uncomfortable, very I guess, what's the word?
Kathleen (14:09): Glib?
Chere (14:09): Yes. Almost like you're, it's almost like you're, you're making fun, right?
Stereotypes exist because there's some truth to them, but mostly they can be very painful because they're trying to pick at something that somebody just does, culturally feels very natural for them. And so if you're creating an advertising campaign and you don't understand some of these deep-rooted socio cultural norms, you can make huge missteps.
So please don't, you know, assume, like, I think I told you that I've walked into a building for, for a job interview. And, and, you know, I was asked if I was part of the cleaning crew. And I had to say, no. Although you know it, because there's a stereotype to that. There's nothing wrong with that. I cleaned houses to get my way through college, but you know, that's not what somebody, when I'm going into a job interview wants to, wants to feel like, right. So when people make inferences about a culture that aren't necessarily true, that's where the danger lies.
Kathleen (15:14): So how else have you seen that play out? Like, what are some common mistakes that you see marketers make?
Chere (15:23): This goes back to kind of what you're talking with the Benetton ad, the token, the token pictures of people of color being placed in scenarios where there's like, there'll be three white people.
There'll be one Mexican, one Asian, and one black person. And you're okay. That's great, but that's not what it's like, right? It feels really unnatural.
It feels unnatural to just try to straight translate Spanish to English when the connotations are very different, the meanings are different. You can't just, you just can't just take one language and translate it to another and think that's okay.
You know, there's, there are so many of those little intricacies when it comes to understanding culture that are so, so important, that could be so offensive to people. And so I would say like straight translations without really thinking through what it might mean in different cultures. I don't know if you remember long ago, the Chevy Nova.
Kathleen (16:31): Oh, yes. I even know this story.
Chere (16:38): Perfect. That's a perfect example, right, too? If you're going to try to advertise a car that translates, and translate in Spanish "no go," don't expect us to be the first people lining up to buy your vehicle.
Kathleen (16:52): Right. I used to teach a class on this kind of stuff. And I would tell the story and I'd be like, it seemed like a great idea, right? Because when you have a product name that you're going to sell globally, you want something that's easy for everybody to say, no matter where they are. So simple words that, that work in any language and Nova is something that's pretty easy to pronounce, right? And it's like a star. It seems such a cool idea, but yeah, it does mean no go. So basically like your car is a lemon.
Chere (17:21): Those are the things that you have to be careful of. And I'm, I am actually very sensitive to to pictures and to what I see. And, and you're exactly right. If I, if I see somebody marketing and I see the majority of their marketing imagery does not reflect me or a very diverse cultural base, then, then that's also, that's very difficult for me. Because then I think, how do you know me, if you, if you don't have anyone sort of, you know, you're not showcasing that you'd know about me and about, you know, the way we interact and the way we like to, the way we culturally, you know, network and, and, and work together.
Kathleen (18:05): Yeah. You know, I've, and I've for sure been guilty of this because, you know, I look as a white person, it's not something you have had historically to spend a lot of time thinking about. And definitely something that I, I feel I need to work on more. I know there was one company I worked for where I was head of marketing and we were posting pictures of a conference that we had put on and we were marketing the next year's event. And we had just, honestly, it was like candid photos of the crowd at one of the happy hours for the past year's event. And they were great shots and we put them up on, I think it was Facebook, and some Facebook ads, and somebody commented like "nice sea of white faces". And it's true. You know, like I didn't look at it through that lens. I didn't look at it and think, what does this represent? It was just like, Oh, here's a great picture of a bunch of people at happy hour. But then as soon as somebody pointed it out, I was like, Oh yeah, that is all white people. How about that?
Chere (19:03): That's such an uncomfortable conversation. I can relate from both sides, right? It's difficult for someone like me to point it out because also being sensitive, I want, I, it's not maybe something that you, that you all understand the differences. There's a lack of real talk, a lack of real education, right? Between us. Why does it matter so much to us? It's a difficult conversation for you to have on the other side, because also I don't think, and I could be very wrong again, it's that unconscious bias?
I don't think there's a good majority of people that don't intentionally, they're not intentionally trying to hurt, right? I don't feel that way. I might be the minority of minorities. I feel like it's a matter of sitting together and having people, and there is some positive discrimination that I think has to happen to allow people to open some doors, for people to step in to some of the, to some of the positions, to step into marketing, to have these opportunities.
Chere (20:07): But it really is just a lack of conversation and really being open to understand each other.
Why is it important to us to feel reflected in, in the conversation within the imagery we see? To have our voices in there. What are our true differences?
It's okay to be different. And we should talk about what our differences are so that you can understand the next time that you have this group that is all white.
Like, it's not for you to feel bad. It's just to understand that we want in too. Maybe it's not been as easy to get in, and we really need your help also to help pull us in, into something. And we, to be a little bit more intentional.
Kathleen (20:49): Well, and I think the most, the greatest thing that came out of that particular instance was that it got us thinking, well, why is this a picture of all white people? Number one. And the answer is, well that's because 98% of the people who came to the event were white. And then the next question was, well, why is that?
Why does it seem to attract that, that crowd? And you know, that, that was where that conversation started about, well, when you look at who's speaking, that's really what that looks like. It's a lot of white people, you know, and, and then it became a question of, well, how can we make us a more diverse event from top to bottom? And does it need to start with the people that we invite in as speakers? Does it need to start with how we do our outreach to the business groups that we promote it to? That sort of thing. You know, and I think it just goes back to that, the point I made earlier that like, some of it is like, where you sit is where you stand.
Kathleen (21:45): You know, you notice the things that first affect you the most. And so I've always been highly aware of like situations where it's all men, because I'm a woman. And so I, I see that. It's just something I see more readily.
But I think that's why going back to the first kind of point I was making, like, that is why it is important to have diversity in marketing. Because if you have a team of diverse individuals, where they sit is where they stand and they are going to see different things that not all of us can see, you know?
And I think it was actually you and me, correct me if I'm wrong, but when we first spoke, was it you who, who alerted me to the Twitter account Manels and Wanels?
Chere (22:29): No.
Kathleen (22:29): Oh my gosh, this is great. Okay. So I don't know who I was talking to, but somebody pointed this out to me. There are these Twitter accounts, Manels and Wanels, I think they're called.
And Manels calls out on Twitter, panels, panel discussions, or conferences or events or webinars where all the speakers are men. And Wanels calls out the same types of events, where all the speakers are white. And somebody pointed this out to me, and I was like, okay, this is really interesting. I have to go check this out.
And then as soon as I did it, I have a big event I'm planning for my job next week. It's a three-day virtual summit. And I went back and I looked at my lineup of speakers. And I was like, okay, it's not all white, but it is all men.
And I mean, I'm surprised I didn't even see that at first as a woman. Right. But I didn't. I was just sort of going along my merry way and picking people I thought would be great speakers.
And then I thought, well, this is ridiculous. I'm sure there are great women speakers in this case on IOT security. It's not like there's no women experts in this domain, you know? And so, and so it is, it is that awareness that I think is sometimes lacking if you're not sitting in and walking in those shoes all the time, seeing that.
Chere (23:46): Absolutely. And I guess this whole thing for me now that we have our eyes more open to it, and we're willing to have the conversation and to be willing to have the conversation is a huge step because you can see that a lot of people are taking it personally. Like, like they're getting defensive. Like it's not my fault. I didn't, you know, I didn't, there's that sort of defensiveness in some people and other people are going, wow, I never really realized, right.
Because like everyone else, you go about your day. You live in your bubble, you don't have the same experiences or challenges. And so you often take for granted that those challenges or experiences exist. And now it's not only this openness to say, okay, there's a problem. There's an openness now. Okay. Have a conversation. Now, there has an open, there has to be an openness to be intentional about making sure that we are, we're providing room for all the voices to join the conversation.
Chere (24:43): And it's been, it's been interesting. So I will say that my husband is, my husband is white. He's, he's Irish and Irish American. And we've been together for 20 years. And over 20 years, I've, we've gone through different difficulties being a mixed race couple. Even being Hispanic and white, it's more common. But there, there have been subtle differences. And after this has all kind of come forward and we've had hours of really in depth conversations, because I used to say to him, I feel very uncomfortable in here. I don't feel like I belong, or I'm being watched or followed in a high end store. And it feels very uncomfortable to me. And he's never really understood what it felt like. Well, this week, just a couple of weeks ago, while all this was happening, we'd had a lot of these instances before, couple of weeks ago, when this was happening, we were sitting at a table at a nice wine bar and it was in California.
Chere (25:47): And in the central coast and we were having a lovely afternoon and there was a couple who was an, unfortunately, you know, it was a white couple who came from an area, and they were complaining how the area had gone, had, had been turned over and had gone really bad and became a crime-ridden area.
And they started talking about how all of the minorities had moved in and taken their nice neighborhood and really turned it. And people are steeling now and people like, right? And then all of a sudden I looked at my husband and they started whispering because they saw me. And then they started whispering and it was like this people, right. And I said to my husband, it's not the overt issues that bother me as much as it is these micro-racisms that happen. And that's kind of how I about like, the imagery.
Chere (26:45): That's how I feel about it. It's subtle, but it's death by a thousand paper cuts. And that's kind of the things that I, I think that we can look at and we can, we can change, right? And sometimes you just can't help people, but those are the things that really kind of get under your skin when you're a multicultural person trying to exist in an environment that you're not overly represented in. We can look at some of those little, those micro things and we can make those changes that make us feel more comfortable in different surroundings.
Kathleen (27:19): So one of the things that I think people tend to question when they hear something like this is you know, how do, how, how do I go about making that change? And what does that really mean? Because, you know, look, I've hired a ton of marketers over the year, and over the years, and I've seen hundreds and hundreds of applications. I would say the vast majority, 75% have been white people.
You know, and so I think, I know I've heard some people say, well, do I just, you know, do I have to hire somebody who's not qualified? Or, you know, how do you respond to that? Because that's interesting. It's such an interesting conversation that people then get into where they feel like they have to sacrifice something in order to get to that level of diversity.
Chere (28:15): That's such a great question because it's not easy. Well, first of all, hiring is never easy, right? I've hired a number of people. When you look at a resume, you really have to understand what exactly it is you're looking for, but at the same time, you have to read between the lines, right?
Not everybody had the same educational capabilities. Not everybody had the same opportunities in different companies. So when you're looking to be more diverse, diverse, and more inclusive, and you're intentional about it, when you're going to hire, there is a lot of talent out there that may just didn't have, they didn't have the guidance, they didn't have the opportunity, but they're driven.
And the, one of the most difficult things about, you know, hiring off of resumes is you really just don't know what you're getting until, until you, until you change the resume process, where you allow people to do some video resumes, where you ask some different types of questions that get to the foundation of the person.
Chere (29:15): Because if you're just looking at opportunity and you're looking at career, they're not, it's not going to be one to one. We don't have the same opportunities all the time to go to school. We don't have all the opportunities to get the same experience, to get the same internships, to work under the same bright people. So the resumes aren't going to be as glossy, but the people probably are. And they're probably just looking for, to come in and say, nope, you may not have the same experience, but do you have the same ability? That's something that really, if you just, even if you looked at my resume, the ability would outshine the work that you've done, that, that you can list on a sheet. And I would hope that anybody would look at, would look to talk to me to get a sense of what I know and what I can do and not be judged about whether or not I had all the chances that everyone else did. Because I certainly didn't, you know, I had to work really hard to get through school. And I had to fight my way into every position.
Kathleen (30:20): Yeah, this is, this is a really interesting topic to me, you know, and I come at this as, as a woman who probably spent too much on her education. I literally just paid my student loans off a few weeks ago and I am, I'm not going to say how old I am, but it's, it's way too many years. I did two graduate degrees. You know, I have no regrets. But, but that's you know, that is one end of the spectrum. But then I really think back, because somebody said this to me.
Somebody was like, we should stop requiring college degrees on applications. And, and you know, I don't have anything against that in general. And then I really started thinking about like, who are the best marketers I've ever hired? And three particular people came to mind. Two of the three didn't have college degrees when I hired them.
Kathleen (31:12): Interestingly, one of them I hired and I barely looked at her resume. I just, I knew her writing work and it was outstanding. And I just thought, I need this person on my team. And then I found out after I hired her that she didn't have her college degree. And I was like, well, it doesn't matter because you're amazing. You know, and she wound up earning it like on the side over time or whatever.
But it wouldn't have made a difference to me. And the other one, and this goes back to your point about like grit and determination, the other one didn't have it. And I knew she didn't have it. And I actually ruled her out. This was for a lower level marketing position, kind of more entry-level marketing manager. And I ruled her out initially because she didn't have any degree, let alone a marketing degree and she didn't have any relevant marketing experience.
Kathleen (32:00): And I was like, you don't, you don't have the qualifications. I had a lot of other applicants who were more qualified and she came back and she was like, okay, but I really want to work there. Is there, do you have anything? I don't care if it's a marketing job, do you have any role in the company? I'll take it. I want a foot in the door. And I did. I had like a project manager position for something that had nothing to do with our marketing work. And she came in, she took the job and she was unbelievable.
And within something like, I don't even know, six months, we had moved her into the job that she originally applied for and she wound up being one of the best people to ever hold that position, you know? And, and eventually she too got her college degree like over time at night or something. I don't even know, but again, it wouldn't have mattered.
And so that really opened my eyes between the two of them. I was like, maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong. You know, and, and and, and she, she actually was funny. The second girl posted something, when she finally got her degree, she was like, no looking back. Salaries over sororities, you know? And I was like, man, you're smart. I don't know it was, it was eye opening.
Chere (33:11): I think it's a fantastic conversation. When you look at just some of the socioeconomics of, I'll just say the Latin population, of the Hispanic population, the ability to go to college isn't always there.
However you have just as like, just as any percentage of the population, statistically, you're going to have brilliant people within that, but just don't have the finances; don't have the capabilities or, you know, can't leverage their parents or, or savings to really go.
And maybe they'll go to junior college, you know, and be able to get an AA, which is a more affordable opportunity, but then when you have these requirements on your, on the job application, or excuse me, on the, the job posting, it automatically tells people, you know, I'm probably not good enough for that position, when the truth of the matter is they very much could be.
Chere (34:07): And often, I don't hire based on the bucket, based on whether or not they have a degree or not. Or if they have a degree that fits with marketing, because we're both living evidence that that doesn't matter.
But when you, when you do have that, it limits them. I like not having that because I want to see who who's going to come with the most creative minds, who's going to bring the most diverse experience and ideas. And it doesn't even have to be multicultural diversity.
It's just diversity in a way they go about things. I mean, that what makes you a really great marketing team; when you have people that don't always think alike, but you get them into a room and you start to get them to collaborate. Just like the great, best advertisements come from just these great minds working together, who come from different perspectives. Some people are driving or some people are just great writers, some people are visual thinkers. You put them all together, they share their experiences and you come up with something fantastic.
Kathleen (35:06): Yeah, I agree with that. And I also think it's really interesting. Sometimes hiring for the degree can backfire on you. And the example I'm going to give, and maybe this is maybe this is prejudiced thinking in and of itself, but I'll say it because we're going there today. You know, I think there are definitely cases where you hire somebody who has the marquee degree from the amazing university and who has worked at like a big name company.
And in reality, what happened was, you know, they had, they came from money, they had family connections. They were able to get into a good college because, you know, either have a family legacy or a donation was made. I mean, we're coming off of a year of college entry scandals. So they got, they got into, you know, the Harvard or the Brown or whatever.
Kathleen (35:51): And once you're there, you are in a network of other kids who come from those backgrounds, very powerful, very privileged. The network in and of itself is one of the values of a, of a degree from a place like that. And so that gains you entry into, you know, early career jobs that, that have also got marquee names. And you get those because you came from the great university, you have the power network.
So you wind up with this really strong resume earlier in your career, but is it because you were the best person for the job? Is it because you're the smartest? Is it because you're the pluckies and the hardest worker, or is it because you were in circumstances that made it easier for you to be in those places? And so I think sometimes you hire those people and, and they haven't had to work as hard. They haven't had to hustle as much.
And let me just tell you these days, especially at a time like this with COVID, great marketers have major hustle. You know, they don't follow a playbook. They do whatever it takes to get the job done and to bring in the results. And that requires some hard work and some grit.
Chere (37:03): Absolutely. Also, you know what I, and where I come from, you know, I didn't come from a lot, but street smarts when it comes to marketing, man, there is something I give in sales to street smarts will get you a lot farther in my thought than a textbook education on marketing techniques or sales techniques. What I like about you know, about individuals who've had to your point, they've had to hustle, they've had to find another way, is they're not afraid.
And when you don't have fear, because you haven't been sort of, the pedagogy has informed you, you have to believe this way. You have to do it this way. They're the ones who are really expanding the industry. We're coming up with cool ideas. We're bringing things to the table that are changing the way we market, the way we look at things.
Chere (37:56): They're, they're really, really shaking things up. I love that about, you know, that scrappiness, because then you don't have to have these big million dollar budgets. We've seen great things happen with budgets of like a thousand bucks and its viral because somebody just knew they were at the pulse of something. They understood how to follow that pulse. They understood how to do something that could step outside the norm. They weren't afraid to fail. And then you have this now, this new phenomenon, right. That we all end up going as marketers, Oh, that's really cool. Somebody came up with that. We're going to start doing that too. So I do think they're the ones that are really pushing the envelope that are making us all better.
Kathleen (38:36): This is awesome. I've loved this conversation. I feel like I could go on and on forever, but we are going to run out of time. So if somebody is listening and they are in a position where they feel they need to go to their boss or the leadership of their company and say, it's really important that we have more diversity in our marketing. Like, how do you suggest they approach that conversation?
Chere (39:02): Well, like any, any time I approach my C level or even the board, I always go back to data. If you want us to be higher performers, if you want to see more out of your marketing dollars, then just look at the numbers. And I'll go back to the start. You can't, you can't you can't put out 40% of the population. You cannot just, Oh, like you have to be very specific with what you're doing with them. If you want your marketing dollars to, to help advance, if you want a good ROI. I've just, that to me is always looking at the numbers. If you have 18% of the population, that's Hispanic, we should be really looking at what can we be doing here to make sure that we are, we are absolutely hitting that 18% where they, where they're gonna feel like they want to be a part of what we're doing and whatever industry you're in.
Chere (39:55): You're going to have a certain percentage of individuals that are within that industry always looking to see how can we be the best marketers for that subset always is, that's a performance objective. And that's one way to go about it, right? The best way to go about it would be just from the moral standpoint.
I mean, it, it doesn't from a moral and ethical standpoint, it doesn't make sense to not have a diverse group of individuals in your company. It just, you know, we're not doing well by each other and creating a truly collaborative, open, you know, environment. So I mean, those are two ways. I, I always go back to numbers because I am a numbers person, but at the same time, when you go to the C suite, when you go to the board, they're numbers people too.
Kathleen (40:41): Yeah. I think that's really smart. I mean, it's because the message you send is this is not a rubber stamp thing. This is not a check the box thing. We're not just doing this so that we said we did it, or because we have to, we're doing it because we literally cannot afford to not do it.
Chere (40:55): Yes. We can do better. We can. And talk about just, just from when you go back to the numbers and you say, look at the opportunity we have in front of us to really gain mind share, to really grow as a company. Just look at the numbers. If we did it the right way, imagine what we could do as a company from growth and scaling. It's yeah. It's phenomenal for every company. It's the opportunity every company has right now..
Kathleen (41:21): Yeah. Well, I'm fascinated to know what people who are listening think about this. And I think this is one of those episodes that really lends itself well to a conversation. And so, you know, I would just encourage you, if you are listening. And if you have a question or if you have a different viewpoint on this, or if you totally disagree with us you know, let us know. You can certainly tweet me at @workmommywork. And I would love to see those comments and get a discussion going.
Because I think, you know, Virginia, as you said, we have to have these conversations. That's the starting point, you know, for any changes, just talking about it and, and acknowledging it. Shifting gears, we can't end without doing my usual ending segment, which is two questions. I always ask every guest, the first being, the podcast is about inbound marketing.
Even though today, we talked all about diversity, which I think is very important to inbound marketing. Do you think there's a particular company or individual that's really killing it when it comes to inbound marketing these days?
Chere (42:28): So this is always a tough question for me because you never really know if, if they're killing it or if it just looks like they're killing it. Okay. Because we don't know their data. We don't know what's coming in. We don't know if this is the right inbound. Right. So I will say though, I'll say two companies that I just love. Because I think that they're, they're really doing well to gather mind share and bring in, bring in the right eyeballs. And I will say Drift and Outreach.
Those are two companies. And funny enough, I don't use their technology, but I love them so much because they have really relevant conversations at what feels like, just like to the right people in the right way.
And I think that the content they put out there, really understanding like who they're talking to. So to me, I feel like they're killing it. I don't, you know, I don't know the numbers, so I'm not for sure, like I said, I'm a numbers person, so you never know, but I really like what they're doing.
Kathleen (43:22): That's awesome. And I think that's the truest testament to the, to the effectiveness of what they're doing is that you are not a customer. Doesn't sound like you plan to be really soon, but you know, you're just a fan and that's awesome.
Chere (43:35): Yes. And I'll think twice. I mean, we, we have, we've looked at both technologies. We're not at a place where we're there yet, but when we are, I'm going to be the first one calling in and saying, don't bother showing me the system. I already know everything you guys do. Just sign me up.
Kathleen (43:48): Yeah, that's great. I love that. Well, second question. Most marketers that I talk to, their biggest pain point is just how quickly the world of digital marketing changes and how hard it is to keep up with everything. So how do you personally keep yourself educated?
Chere (44:02): Well, I, in like you are a part of the Revenue Collective, I think that's, that's huge. That group of individuals is so important to me because you get such fast and engaged marketers who share a lot of information. Women in Revenue. I demand, demand or excuse me, Digital Marketer. Saastr. I have a lot of different places that I go read. A lot of books, podcasts. I love what you're doing. I like that you're functional and very specific so that I can go I'm, we're having a problem scaling like, like the one you had, I want to move from 1 million to 10 million, what's the best growth team to have. I mean, I think it's fantastic.
And then Sales Hacker is always really good for me. I think in marketing, the more you can know your brethren over in sales and really incorporate and integrate into what you're doing, the better marketer you'll be. And so I, you know, I tell my team that come in, get very familiar with learning all about sales and take take some calls, do some, do some outbound prospecting, because you're going to be much better marketers. So I always advise them, to give them the get some education around, around sales. And so that's a lot of the stuff that, that I go to.
Kathleen (45:21): That's such great advice. I could not agree more. I, I have spent six months working in just a sales role. I mean, I've always done sales because I used to own my own business. And when you're a small business, you're, you're the CEO and the, you know, dishwasher and the chief sales person. But I did spend six months after that working in a purely sales role. And it was the best thing I ever did for my marketing career because it gave me so much more empathy for salespeople and such a better understanding of what they need in order to be set up for success. So totally spot on with that.
Chere (45:53): Yeah, no, I love it.
Kathleen (45:56): So before we wrap up, if somebody wants to learn more about you or connect with you online or check out HammerTech, what's the best way for them to do that?
Chere (46:08): Well, please connect with me on LinkedIn. I, I don't always post as much as everyone else in the world. And I read all the time, like, you know, from Kevin Dorsey and Justin Walsh and everybody, you know, you build your brand and yes, I'm going to be doing that. But please connect with me on LinkedIn. I love having good conversations and that's Virginia Chere Lucett. So LinkedIn is the best, best place. And if you want to check out the company, it's, it's HammerTechglobal.com.
Kathleen (46:35): Awesome. Well, I will put those links in the show notes. And again, if you're listening and you're interested in this conversation and you want to take it offline or well off, off podcast, I guess you know, tweet me, send Virginia a LinkedIn message. You know, I think it would be really interesting to keep this conversation going and to kind of start, start a broader dialogue within the marketing industry about diversity. It's so important. But having said that, that is it for this week.
If you are listening and you found value in this episode, or if you're a regular listener and you regularly find value, I would love it if you would head to Apple Podcasts and leave the podcast a five star review because that's how other people find us. And if you're listening and you know somebody else who's doing kick ass inbound marketing work, definitely send me a tweet at @workmommywork because I would love to interview them. That's it for this week. Thank you so much, Virginia.
Chere (47:31): Thank you for having me."
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