Welcome to Target Audience, a new interview series by Perfect Search Media! In each Target Audience interview, we’ll pick the brains of marketing experts to learn more about their experience in the industry, insights they’ve gathered over the years, and which songs pump them up the most.
In our inaugural episode, we spoke with Drew Brucker, Vice President of Growth Marketing at LASSO, a workforce management software company that helps the live event industry work smarter. Read or watch our interview with Drew below.
Drew Brucker’s Marketing Insights
How did you arrive at your position as the VP of Growth Marketing at LASSO?
I started my career on the sales side of sports management and didn’t really know anything about marketing at the time. As I got deeper and deeper into the sales world, I realized that that wasn’t necessarily the career path for me – it felt too transaction oriented. But as is the case with a lot of professionals, I think you get exposed to certain things and I was exposed to marketing and someone within the industry took a chance on me.
Once I got involved with that, I knew right away this is where I wanted to be. I saw marketing as this thing that is going to change and change quickly, but also something that I could really feel passionate about diving into further.
Ultimately, I think what’s gotten me here is the willingness to learn, to be curious, to ask questions and not settle for anything. To be constantly pushing the ceiling of potential and opportunity for myself, that’s landed me where I am today.
What’s a recent marketing industry update that is going to have an impact on your work?
One thing I think people are talking about a lot is the new privacy feature within Apple. Privacy as a whole is kind of a hot topic right now. A lot of free will has been surrendered online and now I feel like a lot of folks are fighting to get some of that back.
It’ll be interesting, now that the pendulum has swung over here, to see how that starts to go back the other way, so that’s one thing I’ve had my eye on.
I’m also really intrigued about how AI is going to integrate in with marketing. How does that affect strategies? Tactics? SEO?
Speaking of things you’ve had your eye on, what’s a piece of marketing that has caught your eye recently?
There’s a lot of personalization occurring right now! One pathway that I went down recently was this customized organic dog food. Those brands are out there competing very heavily for that market right now and there’s a lot of personalization that occurs within that. What’s your pet’s name? What’s their weight? What kind of breed? What do you want them to look like? What kind of food do they enjoy? It’s really that tailored custom experience for your dog and humanizing the dog industry, the humanization of dogs is such a moneymaker. People are really willing to invest in that, and as a dog lover, why wouldn’t you?
Life Advice, Work Lingo, and Fantasy Football
What is some of the best advice that you have ever received?
I have a lot of these, but I go back to a few that really helped me put things into perspective. One, you’re going to encounter a lot of different things of which you’ve never experienced before. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness! It’s a sign of strength. You want to ask questions – no one got to where they are today without help along the way. On the flip side of that is to return the favor.
Two, don’t take yourself too seriously. Plenty of brilliant people started in jobs they hated and took paths that weren’t right at the beginning of their careers. Professional development is no longer linear, it’s this ongoing thing that comes in many shapes and sizes. Trust that, with hard work and dedication, you’re going to figure it out. The universe has a great way of making those things happen.
What is your least favorite work lingo? Phrases like “circle back” or “on my radar,” that type of stuff.
How much time do you have? There are so many! But I also want to put this into a little bit of perspective. There are a lot of words that are probably just cringe-worthy at this state, right? You just hear them over and over, day in and day out. Things like “deep dive,” “30,000-foot view,” “lean in.” The list is endless.
But the one thing I want to drive some attention toward is the fact that this kind of lingo allows people to speak the same language, right? It brings our differences into one communication style that everyone can kind of participate in.
However, there is a sacrifice being made around authenticity and personality. We want to strike the right balance, we want to speak the same language, provide that context, but at the same time we want to be true to ourselves and we don’t want to be a robot. You have to be yourself.
What sort of things do you follow online for inspiration? What do you follow for distraction?
Love this question! When I’m on any social media network, or any website, I’m evaluating everything both from a consumer lens and a marketer’s lens. Is there anything that maybe I can adopt or avoid in my role? Are there any lessons there to take away? It’s not one thing particularly; I’d say it’s a more holistic picture. Any time I’m opening anything up – if I see a great email subject line or a great creative ad or a great campaign – I’m noting those things in my head. I’m evaluating them, I’m analyzing them.
In terms of distraction, it’s much more simple. I love sports. I’ve always loved sports, so for distraction I’m focused on the NFL, the MLB, college basketball. I have a knack for fantasy football, and I know a lot of people will say they’re good at fantasy football, but I’ve been very good.
How’s your fantasy team doing this season?
Pretty good! That’s the nerdy stuff I won’t get into but we’re in a good place.
Having Fun with Grandma, Harry Potter, and Pump-up Songs
How would you describe what you do to your grandmother?
I recently had this conversation with my grandmother! We have a very close relationship, she’s very involved in asking about how things are going at work, what I’m doing.
I think the easiest way to break it down went like this: “You remember when you used to look something up in the yellow pages to find what you were looking for? Well, this is like that. You go to the internet and type it in, and Google gives you the best results; you don’t have to flip through all these different pages.”
What fictional workplace would you love to work in?
I feel like Mad Men would be tremendous to experience. I don’t know in terms of sticking it out or what that career path would look like, but going back to the wild, wild west of marketing, the golden era of advertising, I think would be intriguing.
This is less of a workplace, but how could you not say Harry Potter and that environment? Wands, magic, monsters – I’m in on all of that!
If you could market any product from Harry Potter, what would you want to market?
Oh man. That’s a tough question. What did they call the game they played?
Yeah, Quidditch! But what was the little ball they used?
The Golden Snitch?
The Golden Snitch! That’s what I would love to market! It’s already got a killer name. Who doesn’t love gold? It sells itself.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve searched for on Google this week?
I really haven’t had any! But I will say, I love watching that happen for other people. If I know I’m doing a long-tail keyword search, I will always stop after the second or third word to see what else comes up. The other day I typed in “never put” and I stopped there. Some of the results were “never put down a healthy dog,” “never put a sock in a toaster,” “never put new shoes on a table” – just crazy stuff. And then to see the numbers behind it, the actual volume behind them, it’s laughable!
One last question for you, Drew. What is your pump-up song?
If I’m narrowing this down to one song, it’s going to be the 80s hit from Eddie Murphy – Party All the Time featuring Rick James. Hands down, not debatable for me. Watch the music video before anything else!
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