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The lowdown on startups and scale-ups

Carol Howley - Vice President of Marketing and Communications

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Carol Howley
“So if you have a strong plan, then you know what you need to focus on, and then you can resource your team around that.”

When it comes to startups and scale-ups, Carol Howley, VP of Marketing and Communications at Panintelligence and former Global Head of B2B Marketing at Skyscanner, couldn’t be better placed to discuss the dos and don’ts of growth success. She also chats with us about building her perfect team, as well as business intelligence and predictive analytics with Panintelligence.


Speaker 1:                        This is ClientSide from Fox Agency.

Introduction:                   Hit it. That’s what I’m talking about. Wait. Okay now, from the beginning.

Nathan Anibaba:             Carol Howley is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Panintelligence. She was the former Global Head of Marketing for Skyscanner. She’s got over 15 years of experience in the digital and technology space for established businesses and startups, specializing in growth marketing, go-to-market, run development communications, automation, and customer research. Skyscanner welcomed over 100 million monthly website visitors last year and were bought for a record 1.4 billion in 2016. At Skyscanner, Carol was responsible for the B2B marketing teams looking after distribution partners, APIs and data products, and was also part of the team who managed the global rebrand in 2018. Carol Howley, welcome to Client Side.

Carol Howley:                  Hi Nathan. Thank you very much for having me.

Nathan Anibaba:             Let’s start with your history and background because you’ve got an absolutely fascinating one. You started your career in hospitality before moving to the disruptive scale-up called Skyscanner, which we’ll talk about in depth in a moment. Now you’re with a really innovative BI and analytics company in Panintelligence. When you graduated from Northumbria University in 2005, did you ever think that things would have turned out in the way that they have?

Carol Howley:                  To be honest, no, not at all. I think I didn’t really have a planned structure of, “I’m going to definitely work in this industry or that industry.” Beyond the fact that I’d obviously graduated in business and marketing and that was what I really enjoyed doing. So no, I had absolutely no idea that I’d end up exactly where I am. So it’s a complete mystery how it happened. But I had some really exciting and interesting roles along the way. So definitely something that I’m really pleased with and very happy with the way things have turned out.

Nathan Anibaba:             Let’s talk a little bit about Skyscanner. You joined the company as growth manager in 2014. You knew far more about hotels at that time because you had just come from Best Western. What first attracted you to the company?

Carol Howley:                  So just right before I moved to Skyscanner, I was working at a company that was part of Visit Scotland. It was just the Edinburgh branch of promoting the city. And within that, I was working on the agendas and building up the city to be a real digital version of the city. So putting everything online, bringing all the attractions online, looking at bringing up access to investing, visiting, meeting, and really opening up the city to tourism as well. So within that, I was doing an awful lot in the Edinburgh region for promoting the city, looking at promoting air routes with the industry and going out and speaking about Edinburgh and Scotland on a global stage, a lot of time in China and America.

So I was really, really busy sort of traveling around. And within that, I actually pitched for the air route for Qatar alongside Edinburgh airport, and met some of the business development team for Skyscanner, which really opened my eyes to Skyscanner, beyond just using it myself, and realizing it was in Edinburgh and immediately wanting to work for them. So applied pretty much within a week for a job. And luckily got the job with them. And I always loved travel and being abroad and all the exciting things that you could do with travel, and that it brought all the exploration side of everything. So it was a really great opportunity for me to work with them.

Nathan Anibaba:             Really interesting. Skyscanner is obviously a fascinating company and one of the scale-up success stories of the last 10 years or so. Phenomenal growth over a very short space of time. It’s obviously run into troubles recently with the global pandemic. But in 2015, growth was slowing down and the marketing team worked really hard to transition to a growth-focused model based on data, iterative cycles using data to really improve marketing efficiency. What role did you play in that transition to growth marketing, growth hacker marketing at the company?

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, so the whole team really worked together really well. When we say slowing down, for Skyscanner at that time, it was slowing down. So we were going through ridiculous hypergrowth and everything was going super fast and things weren’t quite as fast, was pretty much the best description for it.

Nathan Anibaba:             But still really fast.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, still crazy fast. I think most companies would have been like, “Hey, this is awesome. We’re growing so fast.” But for us it wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t what we were accustomed to.

Nathan Anibaba:             Sure.

Carol Howley:                  And the business did take a step back and a lot of people were asked to do a lot of reviews in the area and look at how marketing was operating and if there was opportunities or our structure was right, because we’d gone from a few countries to around 30 countries very quickly. So it was how to structure all of that, how to talk to people, how to take into account regional and country-wide variances and different ways of working, et cetera, that we hadn’t really done as well as we could have, because we were so busy growing and doing everything to make that happen. So within that, I personally saw that we were doing an awful lot, having come from B2B marketing in the past and done both sides, I could see that actually there wasn’t any form of B2B team. There was no form of proper managed corporate identity and brand identity and employer brand.

So it was something that I thought was a huge opportunity for the company to take advantage of. So I pitched to the CEO and the COO at the time, Gareth and Mark, and said to them, “Here’s my document and my research, and this is why I think it’s a hugely important opportunity for the company. And I would really love that we could do it.” Kind of thing. And gave them all the documents, all the evidence, all the money, did all the financial explorations. And was super fortunate that they were like, “Actually, yeah, you’re right. We should do this. Off you go.” So literally gave me a mandate that it was something I could do, and set me off on a path looking into that. And started off just with myself looking after the APIs, white labels, all the data products, all the business elements, and then moved very quickly to take on advertising, distribution partners, corporate identity, a lot of brand work and a lot of communications and PR around that side as well.

So it was a really exciting opportunity for me and amazing chance to take over all of that and really grow the team from myself to in the end about 10 people with pretty much every function represented. But we operated as a central global team across all industries, and focused on different regions depending on the opportunities.

Nathan Anibaba:             It strikes me that that seems to be the culture of Skyscanner to be quite forward-thinking and innovative when they’re looking at new opportunities. When you presented this new idea to the leadership team, the COO and the CEO at the time, did they welcome you with open arms straight away? I would imagine that in other organizations there are reams and reams of bureaucracy. It’s harder to really get things done. Stakeholder management is a huge thing in large businesses. Does that speak to the kind of culture of Skyscanner, the very iterative fast-moving pace of tech that they were able to give you that opportunity without the bureaucracy or something else? Talk a little about that.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, I suppose it was. Skyscanner now is a huge company. It’s over a thousand people and got lots of departments and everything’s staffed and fully functioning. At the time, we were growing and so things were a bit more movable and flexible. But within Gareth’s way of running the company was always an open door policy and he was very visible and very accessible and as was the rest of the C-suite. So if you had ideas and you had feedback or you wanted to discuss something at that point in the company’s growth, you could go up to them. They were sat in an office in the middle of the office and you could go and chat to them. You could go for a beer with them, have a coffee, suggest your ideas and they’d listen, and they’d give you feedback and tell you what they thought very honestly and openly and candidly.

There wasn’t an opportunity to just do everything or anything that was there. You had to have a good business case and logic behind it and have scoped your idea properly. But they were always willing to sit and listen to things. And they did try to keep hold of that as they grew as a bigger company and things became more formal. But obviously I think there’s certain stages in company’s ability where you do have a bit more flexibility to try things.

Nathan Anibaba:             Really interesting. And then you mentioned that you subsequently built a team of roughly around 10 people to help execute on that vision. What have you learned about building great teams that can help you execute on that vision? Everything from hiring, finding, remunerating, motivating, what have you learned about building great teams?

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, there’s a huge amount of areas there that you covered, but I think the biggest thing, and from me coming from a startup where you don’t necessarily know what you’ll need next year or you don’t necessarily know where you’re going to be in a year’s time because of the growth and because of the way you’re building the team, you have to resource for scale. Even if you don’t quite have it. So I always found that it really helped me to sit back and think, “Well, what’s my key priorities? What can I do? What can’t I do? What do I have to?” The hardest decision is always, “What do you have to leave behind and what do you not do?” And that’s always the hardest thing, I think because you can’t do everything at that point. So if you have a strong plan, then you know what you need to focus on, and then you can resource your team around that.

I think for startups, it’s hugely important to have someone in good product marketing initially, and probably a good digital person who can do the two sides of the coin, in the sense, of really describing a product and starting to give you the identity and that messaging and explore the customers and make everything focused around the customer, while you’re also able to promote yourself externally. And so they’re usually the first two roles that I look at from a marketing perspective. But obviously, it does depend on what product you’re selling and what you’re doing and what you’re building, et cetera. And then just plan it out from there; make sure you’re optimizing, getting the business in versus keeping the customers, retention, et cetera. So it’s always a balance. But I think just scaling really sensibly with what you know you can do and what you know can deliver and scoring things and being really critical and not doing things.

And then in terms of hiring, I don’t really go in for the kind of… I suppose you know what you want more or less in a skill set, but then I always like to talk to people and find out what they want. And I think the most important thing is to really actually listen to people, not listen to the skills you’re trying to tick a box for, and listen to what people are saying and what they want and what research they’ve done in the company, how passionate they are about their job and where they want to go. And I think a lot of people can then, whether or not they have the exact experience that you’ve gotten your box or they come from the same industry, if they’re passionate and motivated and they’ve delivered some great results somewhere else in a different sector, then they’re probably the best people to bring on board rather than the person who’s done exactly what you’re looking for, in a sense, before.

So I always look for passionate, excited, eager, open to learn, very open people. So when I’m building a team, that’s what I prioritize. Obviously really love it when people turn up and they’ve done their research and they know what we’re doing, and they’re ready to talk about things with a lot of information as well.

Nathan Anibaba:             Really interesting. And it’s not so important to you that they’ve actually coming from a similar sort of business. Their background isn’t necessarily important. It’s their passion and enthusiasm and their willingness to do the role.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah.

Nathan Anibaba:             Maybe talk a little bit about that, because, I guess, for Skyscanner, there weren’t very many companies that had been on the journey that you’ve on. So it was very difficult to find people that had come from that sort of place. So getting a mixture of different backgrounds and experiences was important to you.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, just having that mixture in the team, and once you have started with a few people, you can see the types of culture and the types of people and the types of behavior that would fit well with that team. And also, no matter how amazing and incredible someone is, if you know they’re not going to gel with your team, then you need to manage that very carefully. Because having a high performing team involves them all trusting each other, being happy and confident, having a good degree of psychological safety within the team so that they feel able to create and do their best work. So yeah, I think the personalities and the people and the attitude is just such an important factor.

And I think for people who like working in the tech industry and like working in startups, a lot of the reason behind it is the cultural side and the opportunity, the chance to grow, the chance to take your ideas online, the chance to share ideas and to have that ownership and that authority over your work and that ability to take decisions that you don’t always necessarily get in a bigger, more traditional company, I think is possibly fair to say, without wanting to put anyone down in a bigger company. I think there’s brilliant.. The amount of work they do is incredible. But I think you possibly have a lot more freedom to define your own path and to define where you want to go and what the company looks like when you’re in a smaller company or a fast growing tech or startup situation.

Nathan Anibaba:             Let’s talk a little bit about Panintelligence. You are currently the Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Relatively new role. The company is relatively new as well. You are a company that is a three in one solution; BI provider of choice for ISVs, very niche. Tell us a little bit more about the company. What problems do you solve for your clients? And give us a little bit of a history and background for those that don’t know.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, of course. So Panintelligence was founded… I haven’t actually prepped this for the interview. But it was founded quite a while ago, actually, around 2014, I think. Probably be corrected. But the two co-founders, Zandra and Ken bought the software and the company, they had been working with it for a while from a financial services area. And they decided that it was something that they could really take as a standalone product. And so they’ve been working on that for a while and have… I think it was 2019, in November, they took a Series A fund raise for around 5 million, which set the company on a path to really start expanding, building up the technology, building out the team to put us on that path as a startup and going through those fundraisers and that growth plan and to put us in that position to really, really grow the product and the team.

So, yeah, Panintelligence is obviously, as you say, it’s a three one solution. But what that really means is it’s a very comprehensive solution and a really comprehensive business intelligence analytics option for companies. One of the things that’s quite unique about us is we only sell to other companies. We’re only a pure B2B model. So our ideal customers and the people that love us, luckily, are SAS company. So other SAS companies who happen to be in need of analytics. So a lot of companies, as they build, they suddenly realize that a huge element of their roadmap is their analytics and building the analytics capability is a massive factor for them retaining customers, for people being able to use it for being able to work really well with that SAS company and the cloud models, they need good analytics.

And so what Panintelligence does is the simple reporting element of the analytics, where you can go in and you can see problems, you can see what’s happened. They do all the visualizations and the dashboarding. So you can make it look good, you can start to work out how things look and present things really well. But they also do a lot of the predictive elements. So you can start to model what could be possible or what could happen or what scenarios would be the future situation. So it gives you a very comprehensive view of your company performance. And as I said, we work with other companies. So most recently we’ve been embedded into Lead Forensics, which is a big marketing technology platform. We’ve signed the contracts, and they’re in the process of building the capabilities for Lead Forensics and their other partner companies, which is Webeo and Web Insights, which hopefully most marketing people will have used at least one of them. But they’re a fantastic lead generation and marketing tool. So if you look at the analytics, then going forward, once you’ve done the integrations, we’ll be helping them with that side of things. So that’s what Panintelligence is and what it does.

Nathan Anibaba:             So maybe talk a little bit about the landscape and the environment that you’re operating in, because there are many other BI vendors and analytics vendors on the marketplace that do, from my limited understanding, a very similar thing. Maybe talk a little bit about the environment that you’re operating in; who are the main players, what does this sort of ecosystem look like? And where does Panintelligence play in that ecosystem?

Carol Howley:                  I guess the embedded BI analytics market is a little bit fragmented. So you have a lot of people that are hindsight, which is the reporting. So like I said, they’re looking back at what’s happened and reporting on things. So you have the more traditional things like Cognos and really all SQL servers, where it is just really reporting. Then you start to move into the insight areas where they do the visualizations. So you’ve got a lot of people use things like Tableau and Sisense and Looker. And then at that point, you’re really just looking at why did something happen, finding the root cause of the problem, analyzing that and resolving it.

But as I said, where we’re going is more of the predictive and prescriptive kind of elements where you’re starting to look at future and have foresight, in a sense, to base things going forward. And so there’s obviously ourselves within that market. There’s also, I guess, Microsoft AI, IBM’s Watson, all those areas of things. We’re looking and moving very much into that area. So we’re more on the prediction, the understanding the knowledge, the planning, the foresight, the forward looking side of analytics. So yeah, within analytics, you have most people are sat towards the left side, where it’s the reporting and the dashboarding, where it is just understanding your data, presenting your data, being able to make decisions based on that. Whereas where we are is sat… Obviously we do all of those elements very, very well, but we start to look more at the prediction and the knowing and the understanding of how to better resource or better plan or better prepare for the future.

And so that’s the difference within our focus and our product and why it’s very much the three in one solution is what we really go with. And I think within the global BI and analytics market, 2020, I think it was around 53.6 billion and is growing really fast. Obviously COVID has hugely accelerated the move to the cloud for the companies, the real need for SAS tools, for SAS businesses to be working. And we see an awful lot of success within markets especially that are growing at the minute, like FinTech, education technology, retail technology, all the areas right now that are really growing very fast because they’re seeing a need. So that’s where we’ve seen an awful lot of business growth in the last year.

Speaker 1:                        Predictive analytics. Could you plug into the tool whether you see another pandemic on the horizon? That would be useful to know.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah. No, you can actually do that. Any publicly available data source, one of our consultants… We have a lot of consultants and offer services to help businesses. So one of our consultants could definitely plug in the information and look at that. I think we did a lot of COVID dashboards initially, working out problems during the first lockdown phase. And they’ve done a lot around Moneyball kind of analytics for who’s going to win football and things like that. So it can do fun things, but obviously usual application is within business software and modeling your returns and costs and pricing and all of those side of things. So yeah, we could do that.

Nathan Anibaba:             Amazing. So you talked about the fact that you’re a pure B2B company. How do B2B companies, or how do you, sell to other companies in this environment? Traditional events, conferences, face-to-face meetings have been shut down completely. There is increasing fatigue on Zoom and on webinars. How do you sell to other B2B companies in this environment?

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, so for us, we obviously utilize our website, the website’s a great tool for getting people in using SEO, PPC, all the tools to get people to come to your website. A huge strategy really that I’ve started, so the marketing team is quite young, I’ve been there two months, is around content, basics of inbound marketing, but really focusing on our content delivery, on our thought leadership, on our narratives and our storylines and what the company is, what the brand is, what we stand for. And starting to get that messaging out there so that we can buy in traffic, we can target people on LinkedIn, which we obviously do, through InMail, through advertising, through other social media channels, through emails directly out to databases through partnerships, through events that do still run, but happen to be online. So not quite as nice being able to go for a beer with people and chat over a beer and things. Yeah, so we do use all the traditional channels. But one thing that I’m really focused on building up for the team is that inbound and content marketing and moving then into the account-based marketing side of the real sales techniques within that.

So yeah, we’re doing a huge amount of work on thought leadership and producing data and reports and utilizing our capabilities as a company to show off what we can do to companies and sending that out directly to them. So really the full mix. And integrated campaigns are the bread and butter, they’re really based on telling the story of the company and the capabilities and showcasing the heroes, which are the people that we talk to every day, the people who use our solutions, they’re the people that are building some incredible apps. There’s fantastic company building some great apps that helps the NHS, amazing apps that do huge amount of impact for companies and solving problems. So they’re the heroes for us, in a sense. They’re taking our technology and making it work in real life situations. So we focus a lot on the customers and their satisfaction and why they use us and what they’re doing and building. So yeah, it’s really a full mix. But definitely miss the opportunity to go to conferences and meet people and all of that side of things.

Nathan Anibaba:             So there’s something about your background that attracts you to startups. Panintelligence are roughly around 50 employees, relatively early stage company. I know that they were founded in 2014, but it seems as though the growth of the business has really taken off in the last few years, I would say. Very different to Skyscanner in terms of the size and the scale, at least right now. What have you learned about the differences between the challenges of growing as a scale-up on the B2C side versus selling high value, complex B2B products and services?

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, so obviously when I joined Skyscanner, it was quite a lot smaller than it is now, but definitely bigger than Panintelligence is. So it is very different. Within my role at Skyscanner, it wasn’t necessarily on the B2C side, it was initially for the first year or so, but my real focus was on growing the business as a B2B pitch. So it was those big, high value accounts from British Airways through to The New York Times selling our travel via their pages, through to companies building apps against our databases, like Hitlist and LuckyTrip. So my experience within the Skyscanner remit was around building companies and long-term partnerships and developing those accounts, and multi-million pound deals that we were doing with people. So my focus was very much on growing that side of the business, which then supported our capacity and our capability to scale the other side of the business. So it was a two-sided marketplace, I suppose, Skyscanner. But my focus was on building the capacity and the scale and the distribution and the partnerships so that we could grow the business.

Nathan Anibaba:             Mm-hmm (affirmative). And as you think about how marketing is changing, I’m interested in knowing what are you most excited or curious about trying or trialing in the next few months or stroke this year? It’s probably a really good year to start experimenting with things because things are changing so much, because of the fragmentation of media, because of the number of choices that we have at our disposal to target our target audience, what channels, what strategies, what ideas are you thinking about over the next six to 12 months that are most exciting to you?

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, that’s a really good question. So we’re doing an awful lot more than we were doing on webinars, having some amazing… I think a lot of partnership work, maybe. Possibly because of not being as close to people and not having as much contact. But we’ve been doing a lot of webinars in partnership with people that are using our platform, and also with communities and building up a lot of people around that side of things. So I don’t know if it’s a direct response from of COVID and things, but we’ve been really enjoying working with other companies and working together on things.

Our founder recently set up something called the No Code Lab, which is a fantastic community for people who are building no code solutions and, effectively really, at the very, very start of their journey who are wanting to gain access to technology, who have great ideas and want to solve problems, but don’t necessarily have the background as you usually do with someone who’s a founder, they’re very often a techie who’s come in and builds the first iteration of something and then can take it to market. So they’ve got something in their hands. Whereas these people have got nothing in a sense. They’ve just got fantastic ideas.

So Zandra set up the No Code Lab to really facilitate this and bring partners; so people we work with, like ourselves, there’s a fantastic company called Ninox and UserGuiding who are all sponsors. And we give away some of our technology for free to help these people build things. So we’ve been doing an awful lot around that, around communities, looking at how we can help advise and support and build that network for people, as well as just purely promoting our company, I suppose. So that’s been a really great channel that we have loved working on this last few months, and really are looking forward to seeing more of. So we’re building out our network of people. We’re starting to see more companies coming in with supporting some really fantastic development opportunities for companies that are building opportunities to solve problems. So that’s something I’m really, really excited about and really keen to support and see grow.

We’ve been doing a lot more on podcasts, I suppose. So very keen to come on this one. We’re looking at whether or not it’s something we can do ourselves within the SAS industry. I guess another thing is around community. We’re really looking at how to help support businesses like us that are at the stage where they’re either going through their first fund round or the second or third, and how to look at the best way to scale and grow and resource, and facilitate that within your company. So it’s all around sharing resources and ideas and supporting that community for us. So very much a democratizing and opening up and supportive environment, actually, through Panintelligence, which is a really nice situation to be in. I think the company very much likes to support the network and the tech community and how we can build things.

Nathan Anibaba:             Really interesting. Last question before we get into our speed round, it’s about working with agencies specifically. So I guess what I’m interested in is what have you learned about hiring and working with and getting the best out of your agency partners, both from your previous experience at Skyscanner and where you are now? And when do you start thinking about bringing in that external support to Panintelligence, if you haven’t already?

Carol Howley:                  Oh no, I, absolutely have definitely. So yeah, I find hiring agencies so hard. I know we’re obviously on an interview for an agency. But it is so hard because it’s almost like hiring someone. It’s such an important choice, and it’s such an important opportunity to work with an agency and they bring so much to your business, but it does have to be a match for both the agency and the company, to be fair because it’s got to suit them, it’s got to suit their skills, what they want to do, or they can’t deliver in the way that they want to.

So it’s not like an agency has failed [inaudible] if something doesn’t work, it’s just that I think the match wasn’t quite right. And so I think that’s why it’s such a hard decision, is to really be able to articulate what you need and what you want and what your targets are and what you want to measure things on upfront to an agency. And for them to be honest and open of what they can actually deliver. Because I think often a lot of the time it’s quite aspirational to win the business. And then obviously that doesn’t end up being a great situation for everybody.

Nathan Anibaba:             Sure.

Carol Howley:                  So yeah, I’ve changed all the agencies that we had at Panintelligence, apart from one who are still there and doing really, really well. And I’m not sure if I’ve made the right decisions yet, but I’m hoping so. But we also started working with a couple of agencies for our digital marketing and our SEO, because we don’t have that skill in-house. I’m hiring for it, but I don’t have it in house at the minute. And also for our PR and brand building, a bit of support around thought leadership and research and content within the marketplace. So it’s like you want to match the skills that you don’t necessarily have in your business to help you grow, whether or not you’re recruiting or it’s for a period of time or for good. But then have a partner that you can go to, you can trust, it’s collaborative, they can come up with ideas, they can sense check your ideas as well. So I think that’s why it’s so hard. It should be a partnership and it should be a two-way street for both sides.

Nathan Anibaba:             Really interesting. Okay. Let’s get into our speed round now. I’m going to ask you three questions, and if you could fire some answers back to that would be mostly appreciated. What excites you most about your current role and position?

Carol Howley:                  I think it’s the opportunity to grow a business. The team that I’m working with are really wonderful and they’re really nice and really dedicated. The company, obviously, has a huge way to go in terms of growth and where it wants to be. And it’s a new businesses, so everything’s to do and to build and to fix and to create. So I think that’s what excites me most is the opportunity and the chance to roll your sleeves up and get on with it. So you’ve got your strategic view of where you want to be and the kind of plan out for how you meet those horizons and how you meet those targets, and you build the company and the capabilities. But I think it’s the opportunity and getting the work done that really excites me.

Nathan Anibaba:             When talking about what you do to your parents, your children, or your partner, what did they think that you do?

Carol Howley:                  Well my husband’s a consultant in intensive care medicine, so we couldn’t be much more different, to be fair.

Nathan Anibaba:             Does he get it?

Carol Howley:                  Not really. Well he does more. We’ve been together a while, so he does more now, but he always laughs about the amount of acronyms that we have in marketing. Not that they can talk in medicine. But he always laughs about the acronyms and what we’re doing is like, “Grow, grow, grow. Scale. Do this, do that. Build this.”

Nathan Anibaba:             It’s a race. Innovation.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah. He’s like, “You guys use so many buzzwords and things.”

Nathan Anibaba:             Disruptive innovation.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah, definitely. So yeah, he does think it’s quite funny. And my parents, I think, they’re very proud of what I do, but they have no idea what it is.

Nathan Anibaba:             Something with computers.

Carol Howley:                  Yeah. Something to do with computers and she talks a lot.

Nathan Anibaba:             Final question. What advice would you give to a recent college graduate who wants to start their career in a global B2B brand?

Carol Howley:                  It’s a good question. I guess, to be really honest with themselves, what their skills are and what they want to do and where they want to go. You really can’t beat the experience of a very large brand. But for some people it isn’t the right thing and it’s not what they want to do. So I think just do your research, look into the company, look into the culture, look into the opportunities, where they’ve been, where they’re going and what they say about themselves. Really be selective of what you want and then try your hardest to get a job there. But also do your research and be prepared to back up your ideas with data, I think. Marketing is so data focused and it’s so digital and people can see through things if you don’t know your stuff. So I think it’s do your research, do your work, and be selective of what you want to do.

Nathan Anibaba:             Great place to end. Carol, thank you so much for doing this.

Carol Howley:                  Thank you. No, it’s really kind of you to have me on. It’s really strange to talk about yourself instead of talking about a product or something else. So it’s been then a lovely opportunity to talk to you.

Nathan Anibaba:             Definitely.

If you’d like to share any comments on this episode or any episode of ClientSide, then find us online at If you’d like to appear as a guest on a show, please email The people that make the show possible are Chloe Murray, our booker/researcher. David Clare is our head of content. Ben Fox is our executive producer. I’m Nathan Anibaba. You’ve been listening to ClientSide from Fox Agency.

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