The Power of Connection and Collaboration, with Jennifer Pascoe

November 25, 2020
PRODUCED BY POLLY YAKOVICH

For over a decade, Jennifer Pascoe has been carving a way for marketing leaders to make a positive impact while driving a successful bottom line. Having worked with beginning startups to big-name brands, Jennifer focuses on strategic direction and overall brand experience first and foremost. She’s known for her creative collaboration and resourcefulness that allows no vision to be too big or too small. This approach has led Jennifer to many successes, such as managing and developing a promotional and events department, expanding market share for a new financial product nationally, co-owning an agency, and creating sales programs.

Jennifer loves the ability to flex practical wisdom with creative thinking. She also appreciates that the best ideas come from collaboration and loves working with talented teammates to learn something new every day.

When not tracking budget spend and crafting campaigns, you can find Jennifer hiking the beautiful PNW trails and volunteering with local entrepreneur organizations.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Jennifer defines "humane marketing", and how she uses this principle to inform her overall marketing efforts
  • Why collaboration has been crucial for understanding customers' needs and pain points, and how Jennifer fosters a culture of teamwork and communication in her organization
  • What "regenerative business thinking" is and how it provides a positive and self-sustaining feedback loop within the business
  • What differences Jennifer recognizes between her male and female mentors, and how she works  to make a difference and be a supportive presence for her own mentees
  • How Jennifer and her team have adapted to the global pandemic, and what future changes she anticipates within marketing because of the pandemic
  • How Jennifer and her team have used the global pandemic as an opportunity to refresh their digital marketing presence, listen to customers, and meet their needs in other ways
  • How Jennifer's team is working to support each other through the emotional weight of the realities of the pandemic
  • Why "the power of people" can be an invaluable tool to promote and exponentially expand your personal brand, and how Jennifer is working to define and clarify her brand

Additional resources:  

Show Transcription:

Intro:

Welcome to A Brave New Podcast, he podcast all about how brave entrepreneurial companies are unlocking their business potential using inbound marketing. Here's your marketing expert and host Polly Yakovich.

Polly Yakovich:

Welcome back. I'm your host Polly and I am joined today by Jennifer Pascoe, who is the marketing director at OAC Services. Jennifer and I have a really cool conversation about her marketing leadership and some topics that she is really passionate about, including humane marketing, and also using the power of people. I also really, really love the way she described building influence and collaboration for her team, and the marketing department internally at her organization. She has a lot of really great and valuable tools to offer you. So, I hope you enjoy our conversation. Jennifer, welcome to A Brave New Podcast. I'm super excited to talk with you today.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Likewise, thank you so much, for having me.

Polly Yakovich:

Can you start out by just sharing a little bit about your bio? How you came up in marketing? What kind of things about that journey stood out to you? What you're doing now?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. It's been a unique journey for me. Definitely, I don't think I've taken the traditional path by any means.

Polly Yakovich:

Is there a traditional path in marketing? I'm curious.

Jennifer Pascoe:

No. I don't think there really is actually.

Polly Yakovich:

Just a bunch of history majors and English Lit trying to find their-

Jennifer Pascoe:

Sociology here.

Polly Yakovich:

There you go. Polly, sci.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Totally. So, actually, maybe it is a more traditional after all. Yeah, so I started right after college, I was able to work in retail and went into management really quickly, that led me then to another opportunity in sales. Started off as a sales coordinator, and then within that actual place, I was able to identify a big gap that we had, and an ability to really reach out and create a promotional department, which I did, and I used an old technique, which probably isn't that great now, but I went and hired models.

Polly Yakovich:

Oh, nice.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And was able to use them to really promote our brand and have great results and that kind of started something. And I was like, "Oh, that's really fun." It was just fun, at the time. Then that led me down the path where I was working with huge events, and promoters and vendors, and getting my own network known, my own foot forward. And that led to contract work, and being an independent consultant, and starting to understand really how groups thought, how movements took place, and most importantly, how people reacted to things. And then from there, actually took a side journey, and went back to school. And I actually got a background in holistic nutrition and Chinese medicine.

Polly Yakovich:

Oh, wow.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Oddly enough and-

Polly Yakovich:

Fascinating.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Kind of broke out and tried to have my own practice, which was really fantastic because I had not really learned the business side of partially running the business forward. And once you've done that, it opens your eyes in an entirely new way, and you understand things that really need to be important that you would never know about. So, I did that. I loved it but I also sucked at it, at the business side too.

Polly Yakovich:

It's so hard.

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, I needed to start that. It's so hard.

Polly Yakovich:

Especially as a solo practitioner, I think it's almost impossible.

Jennifer Pascoe:

I mean, you absolutely can. People have but-

Polly Yakovich:

Absolutely.

Jennifer Pascoe:

The one thing that I took away from them more than anything was this idea around, don't ever do just one thing. So, don't ever just offer one service, make sure you've got a product backup service that you can generate an income while you're trying to hustle that service. Yeah, but I wasn't about the hustle back then. And I didn't really value money back then or how to even be okay with the concept of money. And that definitely impacts you when you're a business owner. So, I stopped that. And I really focused on the areas of that, that I really loved. I also got burnout working with people about health and nutrition, because it's a really intense on a one on one relationship that people have with their nutrition and just my overall focus shifted.

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, then I went back into the business world and started working with a company that did affiliate marketing. And that was really fascinating to me. And I learned a lot from that and then catapulted still as an independent contractor, and then eventually a business partner that was just an absolutely brilliant graphic designer. And then with his skill set and my skill set, we co-owned a small boutique agency, and we had big name brands, small name brands. And I fell in love with the strategy of bringing that brand together and then have it into the world that really was kind of more from a holistic standpoint from my background of seeing the bigger picture and being able to connect like a brand essence with the service and the audience and telling that story on all different levels. And so, that then led me eventually where I'm at now, which is marketing director of the place called OAC Services. They are a construction management and forensic architecture firm that's national.

Polly Yakovich:

How long have you been there?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Two years and two months.

Polly Yakovich:

Okay. How long did you own your own boutique agency? Tell me a little bit more about that.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Yeah, that wasn't a super long endeavor that was a little less than two years. So, we came together, worked together. Yeah, I did that. And then we separated business partnership, because we both wanted different outcomes for the firm.

Polly Yakovich:

Talk a little bit about, you talk about something called humane marketing. I'm really interested to talk with you about what does that mean to you? And how have you developed that perspective? You have such an interesting and broad background, I'm wondering how all those components have come together for this passion.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Yeah, that's a great question. And one that I actually get a lot. I used to think that having this broad background was a really bad hindrance. And I found that it's been my greatest gift.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, I would agree with that, for sure.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Yeah, thanks. So, humane marketing really is, think about it as like, I try to think about it as the overall impact in the bigger picture. I think as a marketer, I know for me, like when my click rates doing really well, or my sales funnel is just doing flawlessly. It's exciting. You love to watch the stats, and those metrics just go up and you're like, "Yes, this is working. But the thing that we often forget is if we get so stuck on that, and so stuck on that one thing, that we're missing the much bigger opportunity that's out there, that's going to help our brand expand inland and stay for a long time.

Jennifer Pascoe:

An example of this is if I'm driving a one product sale but I have gone and maybe connected with my customer service team or my HR team. And I haven't learned that maybe this product isn't at full capacity to launch as strongly as I am. Or maybe there's some component that isn't connected to this overall message that I'm driving. So, I'm going to make a sale, it's going to go great. And then the experience, though the end experience is going to be not so great, it's going to fall flat. So, I've made a one time sale, and maybe I would have had the opportunity to have a full on customer experience that was exceptionally positive that's then going to create that regenerative practice of going out, having a great experience and loving the brand, telling your friends, getting new people on board.

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, really, it's that main focus of it's not just this one sale, or this one thing that we're doing, but how is this impacting everything that we're doing? And when I talk impact, it's not just like, "Let's make a sale, but are we sharing this message that's going to be authentic to us?" But also inspire our audience to be whatever that message is for them. I really encourage my team like, "We might be able to say this but in three months from now, or two years from now, that gets regenerated out. What's that impact going to be to our audience and to us?

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, we have a responsibility as marketers, in my mind to be able to drive results but you also are starting to build the fabric of a social society. And how are you doing that?

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. HubSpot, I don't know how familiar you are with HubSpot.

Jennifer Pascoe:

I love HubSpot.

Polly Yakovich:

But they talk about the flywheel, which I think is very similar.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

And also sort of builds off of this cohesion around what they talk about as content marketing or inbound marketing as being helpful to the audience. Right?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

So, it's not just about making the sale, but it's about meeting them where they're at. And then making it so delightful and important for them that that flywheel continues to spin as they either buy again, or they share their experience.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely, right and so, well articulated, how you said that. Thank you. Perfect.

Polly Yakovich:

What kind of changes do you feel like you've made? You talked about a couple of them but I think it's really interesting how you talked about working with internal departments to understand better what the customer experiences?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

How has your team adapted to what your audience wants and needs? How do you learn from them and also from internal groups so that you can respond to what they are wanting or the problems that they're trying to solve?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Yeah, I think a really great thing that I'm able to do with the role that I have, is I have direct contact with all departments of our firm. So, I'm able to go and talk to the head of departments, I'm also able to talk to the people on the ground. I want to know their challenges. I want to know what's exciting them, I want to know what they're proud of, I want to know what they care about. And we did this when we did a rebrand about a year ago. We went and we met with a huge sample population of the internal firm because first and foremost, I wanted it to be authentic for us.

Polly Yakovich:

I think that's good.

Jennifer Pascoe:

But then I also went and we interviewed our clients too. And because I wanted to know from their perspective, of course. And then we found those core themes that rang true because they were authentically who we were. And that's what really informed our brand. Since then, though, it's one thing to have a brand, it's another thing to live and breathe that brand. So, I work with the HR department in helping them how they create the culture, and they do a fantastic job. And I'll actually kick off campaigns to then get their feedback or their thoughts and how this is going to be taken internally, as well as externally.

Jennifer Pascoe:

We just kicked off an ambassadorship program for the whole firm. So, we're bringing the entire firm together, we shared our brand, we shared our brand story. And now we're actually taking them through exercises to teach them things like active listening, how to share a message on social media, how to update even your own background to be a representation of what the firm means to you so that it's a part of who they are, but it's also a part of this bigger part as well. So, that's kind of how I go and talk to all different parts.

Polly Yakovich:

That's fantastic. I feel like you're describing sort of the best possible use case in a couple different ways. I think we see a lot of branding projects fall short, because of that internal implementation, because everyone's so tired at the end of it, and they don't spend the time.

Jennifer Pascoe:

[crosstalk 00:11:14].

Polly Yakovich:

It's exhausting but they don't spend the time to get everyone internally onboard. How do we live this out? How do we create those brand ambassadors? How do we create those feedback loops? I think that's great. And the other thing you're describing too is so important for organizations, but very hard, which is to integrate the marketing team throughout the entire org.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. It's essential.

Polly Yakovich:

Because it can be very hard to do that but you cannot be effective without it.

Jennifer Pascoe:

You cannot. You're never going to get direct access to the things and the stories and the content and the objectives that you need if you don't have people there, having those conversations.

Polly Yakovich:

Do you have a culture that was very open to that? Or were there things that you could... People really struggle with this, is there any advice? You're laughing, so I feel like there might be some good advice on the other side. This is very hard, particularly I think, and I always hate it when people set up marketing to be adversarial but particularly with sales teams, it can be really hard to integrate. And so, I'm always looking for people to share some of their tips and tricks for how they've really built that culture because, I mean, marketers, if you think you can be successful by looking at a spreadsheet and your data and your numbers, you can't.

Jennifer Pascoe:

You absolutely cannot. You need that experience, that one on one. Absolutely. I'm not going to lie, it's not always the easiest.

Polly Yakovich:

No.

Jennifer Pascoe:

For sure. I think-

Polly Yakovich:

We have to remain always optimistic, never give up. That's the marketers mantra.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. We have been known to have happy hours with the team too

Polly Yakovich:

That helps.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Keep the things going. I think a lot of the success that we're getting to now with being able to do this is one, we have a CEO that's pretty forward thinking.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And understands that this needs to be at the forefront. So, he's been really supportive. When I was originally hired at the firm that I'm at now, we had another leader, he was the COO, and he really felt the same way. It was a huge component of helping drive and really bring those separate pieces together and get us at the same table. With that said, though, it has also been there's just a lot of team building and networking within the company itself, spending time with people, and then kind of removing that sense of fear and control. I think a lot of times, especially with sales teams, it's like, "This is my contact. This is my lead, I'm going to recruit. This is mine." And you want to get to a point where you're like, "Yes, this is yours and I'm here to help support you do that. Let me show you ways that we can work together."

Jennifer Pascoe:

And then I do also use just some basic skills and how to have conversations, and active listening and building rapport. So, a lot of those soft skills actually go a really long way.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, I agree. I think marketers that are really driven by empathy, go a lot further, because you can put yourself in the shoes of your audience or your customer or your prospect but you can also use those skills internally as well.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

Because really, collaboration is the only way that marketers can be successful. So, having to sort of be humble and find a way to work with people with whatever it is that they're valuing, I think is really important. It's really nice to hear how you've done that.

Jennifer Pascoe:

I'm not always well, please, I'm doing that, trying to do better every day at that.

Polly Yakovich:

I think that's the case for everyone but it's just helpful to hear about how that gets integrated because I do think sometimes it's just human nature, you get your hand slapped a few times, and people say that things are theirs and then you sort of stop asking, and you're just not going to succeed. You have to keep trying to keep that integrated. You have to hear internally and you have to build those feedback loops. And I think making other people look successful is one of the better ways to do that as a marketer.

Jennifer Pascoe:

I think that's the number one way to success. If you allow people to follow one, like a part of it. We all want to be a part of something that's going to work and going to be successful and then give the credit to where it's due absolutely. I was also able to take a team that's fantastic, and lean on them and allow them to go out and spend time actually visiting our different departments, going to our job sites, and then sharing the positive experience that they had-

Polly Yakovich:

That's great.

Jennifer Pascoe:

In the form of content. So, that also creates buy in to. Right?

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah.

Jennifer Pascoe:

People start to trust you more.

Polly Yakovich:

I think that's nice, too because it's a reminder, like you have to leave your desk or your office and connect with people.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Please do.

Polly Yakovich:

Talk a little bit about, you also talk about regenerative business thinking.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

How do you think about that? How do you define that?

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, how I think about that and what I mean by that is, it's like a feedback loop or a full system flywheel with the terminology that you've brought in, which is perfect. And I kind of look at it like compost, bear with me but when you eat this delicious food, you have scraps, you put it in this pile, and then it turns into something that goes into the ground, that then creates more food and actually more healthy food than it would have been in the first place. And then you consume that, and you get more energy, more nutrients, than you would and then you continue that process. So, it's an ongoing system that in essence always feeds itself, and preferably in a positive way.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And I kind of try to look at business and marketing in the same system. We recently ran a campaign based around education, which is a target sector for us. And one thing that we did that was a little different is we created an online event where we actually brought educators to the table. And we're not educators, like we don't teach school, I mean, we help build buildings, and we help lead change that way. But we saw a need with the pandemic, where this sector really has been in a place of unknown and unrest. And there was a lot of different questions and challenges and people were frustrated, and tired and excited.

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, we created a space where they could come in, and they could feel heard and they could learn from one another and just be real and emotional and talk about the challenge, but also share with what they're doing that's working. We did that without really doing anything else but giving them that space, and then being able to share what we've learned from our clients too. And then we put that out. And then from that, though, we've been able to get feedback of, "I thank you so much, I was able to connect with so and so. My network's expanded, I was able to implement what they suggested. And now I also want to hear about what you guys did for your clients and how that impacted the building too."

Jennifer Pascoe:

And so, we've helped a bigger problem by bringing people together giving them a resource to one another. We've also helped ourselves by getting our name down and creating those leads, in essence. And now we're going to go back and we're going to offer it again here in a few months when more change has happened so that people really feel like it wasn't just us trying to push an agenda, it's really as trying to help them get through this. You have a whole system that feeds itself and keeps repeating.

Polly Yakovich:

I think that's good. The thing I like about it a lot, too, is like one of your solutions could be helpful to them. But you're being helpful to them more broadly about their pain points and what they're needing. We talked a little bit about this earlier, but like in this specific instance, how did you identify that that was something that the sector is needing or missing?

Jennifer Pascoe:

That's a great question.

Polly Yakovich:

Do you just keep your ear to the ground? Or like what is the best way for people to tune in? Because I think we hear these things and we understand intuitively like, "Oh, yeah, that makes sense." And then it's like, but how do I find what that thing is?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Yeah, absolutely. And that comes back to what you asked prior. How do you talk to these different departments and get buy in? And so, that idea actually came from some of our leadership that worked directly with those clients. They were like, "Hey, we need to have an event where people can talk about how to deal with this stuff." And then I was able to come in and be like, "That's fantastic. Actually, let me talk to some people that would be at this event." And then I was able to interview them and gain those core challenges and the things that they were doing when they reach out to others and kind of find those core trends.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And then recognize like, "Hey, we have more than just like how do we get students back in seats that are six feet apart. We have an opportunity to go to that macro, which is what you're talking about."

Polly Yakovich:

That's great.

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, it really was a group effort that brought us to that. And then really it is keeping the ear to the ground. So, I'm attending so many different types of meetings within our firm that some people would be like, "Why are you here?" And it is for that specific reason because I'm listening and making those connection points and then I'm able to take it back to our leadership team and come up with some really innovative ways to approach.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, that's great.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

I also think it's great that you're reaching out to prospects, or even maybe clients that may have the need for something like that. And just asking them how you can be helpful to them.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

It's nice to know, you don't always have to have the answer. Sometimes you can just say like, "Hey, what are you missing right now? And how could we help?"

Jennifer Pascoe:

That's been probably a secret sauce. I spend more time in open conversation with people just asking them questions of curiosity and wanting to learn them, and then taking what I learned back to my team, and then that's what we create all that content that really drives that traffic for us.

Polly Yakovich:

That's fantastic. I want to pivot a little bit and talk about one of my favorite topics, which is women and leadership. I'm curious just for your experiences, what that's been like for you? What you value as somebody who I'm guessing has had good mentors, and is mentoring others? How can we be responsible women at leadership?

Jennifer Pascoe:

That's a great question. And I think we have to look at it as an ongoing journey. Right?

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. 100%.

Jennifer Pascoe:

It doesn't stop by any means. I think part of the most powerful moments that I've had to help me with becoming a woman in leadership is those mentors that I had. And some of them I didn't even know they were a mentor when they entered my life. But they really instilled this ability to have belief in myself and that took a long time, I'm not going to lie. We often question and wonder, I am not good enough moments, that still perks up too. But they really helped me learn that I have something of value but more importantly, that I have meaning and purpose. And that if I just come from that place, because I know what that is for me now, I really can't go wrong.

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, that was a big movement for me. And then also... Go ahead.

Polly Yakovich:

I was just going to say, I'm so curious, because we all have our experiences but were your mentors more male or more female?

Jennifer Pascoe:

That's great question. So, I had two really strong female mentors when I was in my 20s. And then since then, I've had three really strong male mentors. And I would definitely say the women were more hard asses, absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, they had to be.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. A little terrifying sometimes too, but I grew so much. And then the men mentors that are in my life, and they're still in my life, they were able to give me a perspective that maybe I might not naturally think of, and helped me really hone in on some of those more strategic components. One of them was great, he was like, "You need to learn about money and finances if you're going to be playing in this field. And I think sometimes we forget that but that was very powerful for me.

Polly Yakovich:

Well, I do think it's common, it's commonly talked about that women just don't think about and talk about money enough, and men do. I mean, that's a really broad generalization.

Jennifer Pascoe:

It is very broad.

Polly Yakovich:

But that is something that I've experienced both managing and being managed by men and women, is that, I do feel like I've coached women to be more upfront about money and think about it more.

Jennifer Pascoe:

I do too. And I think for me, a lot of them know a lot about it, they're just not comfortable talking about it, and being clear about it, and voicing exactly what they need or what they feel like they deserve. So, I think there's a blend, I had to learn about actual finances, because I didn't study that. So, I had to be able to articulate in the big meetings and be able to understand how that impacts the work that I do.

Polly Yakovich:

Sure.

Jennifer Pascoe:

But then I also have to be comfortable with being like, "No, hey, I actually should should be here."

Polly Yakovich:

And I think it's a reflection of the industries that I came up in but I had male mentors for the most part, because there were only male leaders. But I spoke with somebody recently who only had female leadership in the tech industry and I found that so fascinating.

Jennifer Pascoe:

That is so fascinating.

Polly Yakovich:

But I think she really sought that out and probably knew something about herself that I didn't know, I was more of a reflection of like, "Well, these people are around me so this is the only option I have." It's just a really interesting journey. How do you think about mentoring and coaching women?

Jennifer Pascoe:

I think it's a beautiful gift and opportunity. And I don't know if I would consider myself a mentor. I mean, to me, I'm like, "Oh, gosh, I don't know if I know enough yet." In fact, you're just talking to this wonderful woman who's got this new app she's about to launch called Upnotch. I don't know if you're not familiar with it.

Polly Yakovich:

No. [crosstalk 00:24:59].

Jennifer Pascoe:

And it carries mentors with mentees and tries to help people that way.

Polly Yakovich:

Is that local?

Jennifer Pascoe:

I think so, yeah.

Polly Yakovich:

I think I might have gotten an email from her. It sounds really familiar. I was curious about it. I'm supper passionate about mentorship, because it's been very meaningful for my career.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Well, it is, and it works. And if you weren't raised to seek it out, or to have the right connections, you're not going to get it. And I didn't get my mentorship until my late 20s, 30s. So, I was kind of behind the bar with the people that have had that since high school and up. So, for me, I really tried to approach it as a way to, of course, make new friends, and allow them to go through their journey. And I'm not so much there to tell them what to do, or always share how I did it. I'm more there to help ask those questions to help to get them to think about something from a bigger picture and how they can really lead it. I find the most impactful experiences I've had with people that I've mentored is really not so much like, "Hey, how would you solve this." But I'll twist it and be like, "Hey, if this was your firm, what would you do now? And would it be different?" And so, that's been really, really powerful for them.

Polly Yakovich:

I think when I think about mentorship, I always think just about leadership in general. And that hopefully, the relationship is always very symbiotic. You're getting as much out as you're putting in and you're both learning and growing.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. Especially right now, some of the people that I'm talking with, they make me be a better person, they make me super aware of how I'm coming across. And they also make me aware of things that I need to go and get updated on to. So, it's definitely a back and forth.

Polly Yakovich:

Talk a little bit about just this current atmosphere that we're in. I mean, going on month question mark nine months of the pandemic with like nine to 100 months more, who knows? Maybe forever.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And more suspense.

Polly Yakovich:

Always.

Jennifer Pascoe:

I know.

Polly Yakovich:

I just ordered only like leggings for the fall.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Which is fabulous.

Polly Yakovich:

So, what have you been learning? How have you been adapting? What trends do you see emerging that you think will stay? Just talk about what you're doing in this environment?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Yeah, that's a question top of mind right now. For us, because I'm in the construction and AEC world right now. And so, I think this really helped them wake up to the idea that it really is about digital innovation now like we have to be a part of that world, there is no going back. I think this is going to change the way that we show up to jobs for our industry. And even us as marketers, we're going to have a brand new probably working way more often at home, workspaces are probably going to change. So, you're going to see a whole target market shift. I also look at it, we're in a pandemic, this has allowed us to see the core essentials that are really powerful for us, which is food, health care, anything that has to do with those basic necessities are going to be top of mind right now.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And my favorite one, though, is those those areas that are being opportunistic with the pandemic. So, the companies that are pivoting and what are they pivoting to? And how can you gain insight from them? Great example of this is the distilleries that went from alcoholic to hand sanitizer. Your restaurants that all of a sudden went to a delivery system, or thinking outside the box of how to get people outside, but still eat at our restaurant. So, I think that's been a huge shift. And if you can have that mentality of opportunistic entrepreneurialism, it's going to be really beneficial in how you're marketing and how you're looking at your own target markets.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, I agree.

Jennifer Pascoe:

As for us, we're really focused on continuing with what we were doing, and then finding new ways to be digital and outside of the box too.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, I think for us, our firm is mostly handling B2B sales with a really high value long sales cycle. Right?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Right.

Polly Yakovich:

And this is a broad statement, because lots of people have been in the digital space doing this for a long time, but one of the things we talk about a lot is you can actually qualify and manage these sales to a large degree online, you may not-

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

You may not close the deal online, because they do require relationships and maybe a large buying committee but some people who haven't made that pivot into putting a lot of that lead qualification in demand gen online and have relied on events and word of mouth and other things like that. This is really a good time. Well, it's been a bad time to point out that you're behind but a really good time to get caught up.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. In fact, I would say if I was being honest, that was us this year. We were probably more focused on more of that traditional approach back in the day, events, word of mouth. And then my other background, I come from a more digitally minded lead gen type of perspective. So, we've been able to start to move the needle that way forward. For us, it's been a really successful, actually.

Polly Yakovich:

What things have you found specifically, like tactically successful? You talked about your event, I think that that's really great. People's events have been moving online. Have you been producing more content? How have you been reaching prospects?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. So, we definitely did some webinar series. And those were very, very beneficial for us and successful. We definitely upped our social media, and social media presence and our overall digital marketing. We started doing online live e-events and then we took the opportunity as well to do some internal training. So, we were able to go-

Polly Yakovich:

That's great.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And level up our teams, and then definitely a lot more content, articles. We actually redid our website, so we were able to really look at our digital presence and see where we could grow.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great. What do you think as people are coming sort of like up in marketing right now, particularly in this like season that we're in, what skills or focus areas do you think... What are you looking for as you're cultivating leadership within your team?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely, good question.

Polly Yakovich:

Are you looking for tactical skills? Are you looking for thinking skills?

Jennifer Pascoe:

I'm so glad you brought that up. I'm actually looking for both, but if you would hear me on my side conversations, I'm constantly like, "How do I help myself too? But how do I help us critically think?" And I think that's one area where at large, we might not be so focused on but we should be, instead of just following the tactics that you've been taught, or the checklist, take a step back and look at the project you have and how can you do this? Either better, more creatively, or more efficiently. So, that's a big one that I would love to see more of. And then of course, yes, tactical, absolutely. I mean, someone very strong in digital and strategy, definitely beautiful graphic design, I always appreciate.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Now, there's so many platforms out there that you don't have to be an absolutely pro at like Adobe Suite, but you still have to have the understanding and use those talents to drive an action. So, yeah, definitely have the tactic and the critical thinking. And also too we're finding out since we're working remotely, and since we actually have become more busy than we've ever been so stress is high, deadlines are quick. So, how do you cultivate a team that can work well together under such high demands, and still have a little bit of fun? And that takes a lot of EQ and team building. So, I really look for people that can do that well too.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. Do you rely on others to do that? Or does that seem like a false to you? How are you doing that right now?

Jennifer Pascoe:

That's great question too. When I started, it definitely was me. And now that I've been able to elevate some of my team into management roles, I do lean on them. And it's part of their growth to figure out how to bring the team together, how to create that sense of unity, and collaboration and still bring in components of fun, or dorkiness, because that seems to fit well for our team.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, that's great. It's hard because you thought like, "Okay, well, we'll be managing this like mindset for a while, and everyone's anxious." But it does feel like outside of work, just like in our social fabric, it's just been one hit after another. And so-

Jennifer Pascoe:

Very intense year.

Polly Yakovich:

It's been an intense year. And it doesn't feel like it's going to get better anytime soon. I feel like all of the things you hear about are really great in the short term, but it's like, how do you help with these strategies over the long term? How can you be there for people? As some of the articles out there that talk about psychology are like, "We actually did okay, at first because we use this sort of like fight or flight reservoir, and we were fighting something, but now we're kind of ran out of that backup energy." And now we're just in this long game. And that is harder for us to handle.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

And I think it's harder for us, I mean, we're feeling it as leaders, and then also we're trying to lead teams, how do you think about that for the long term?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Well, for one, burnout is real, right?

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And when you have burnout from just a really busy profession, and then you place a pandemic on top of it, and then an unknown ending of the pandemic, you have elevated levels of burnout. So, I'm constantly thinking about like, "Okay, this is real, how do we help support a team?" It's been a really big focus for us for taking time out for self care. And it sounds a little cheesy, but it's very, very true. So, we encourage that in any way that we can. I've sent the team gift cards for DoorDash like, "Have a night off, have sometime for you. Take some time during the day. So, now that we work at home, they manage their own schedules and take the time that you need. If you need to go take a walk, by all means, please get outside, if you need to take a nap, by all means, please take a nap. Do anything that you can't really help nourish you."

Jennifer Pascoe:

And then we also try to create a space where people can just be really real, that's a really big component of who I am, when it comes to managing teams, is I want you to feel that you can come in just be like, "You know what, I'm stressed out. I hate the world today, I need some chocolate. Leave me alone." And we can be like, "Absolutely, here's some chocolate, virtually. Have a good day. And then let me know what I can help take off your plate to give you that break." But for a long term, really it is addressing the people now and helping them feel as safe as possible right now. And then really just bringing the next thing up, I think if we look at the full spectrum all the time, it creates an overwhelm and a shutdown. So, finding those moments of inspiration or wins or successes, and keeping that kind of showing up week after week.

Polly Yakovich:

I really like that honest approach. I really have enjoyed reading about companies that are embracing this culture of like, "It's okay not to be okay." Putting a happy face on it all the time doesn't actually help us and it's just going to prolong whatever it is we're feeling. So, being okay to just be like I need a beat.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. It's huge.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great. You talk about coaching people to use the power of people. How do you do that? How do you promote your personal brand through your colleagues and contacts? And why is that important?

Jennifer Pascoe:

I think using the power of people can be a way for you to expand your brand exponentially quickly and very cost effectively, as long as it's authentic. I'm not going to ask my firm to go and promote ourselves or their own brand if it's not real, because it won't last and it's not true and that has a way of always showing up. But again, with this brand and ambassadorship program that we're doing, we're really allowing this bigger picture, this story, which is really all of us like, I'm not driving the brand, it really is all of us coming together to deliver an experience for our customers.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And then making sure that they feel that brand experience. And then they go on and tell their friends and family and then that can be infused in every stage that we're doing it. So, you've seen some of the tactics show up in his program where we're teaching people about the customer experience, but looking at it not just for the people that you work with, but also your internal teammates too, and having that mentality with everyone that you work with. So, that is an ability for us to show up in that presence and deliver that experience to anyone, so that might be a client, that might be your cousin that we don't even know about, it might be someone three states far away that we've never met, but somehow starts to experience and feel who we are now. And therefore, we reach many more people that way.

Polly Yakovich:

Do you encourage people to think about their personal brand, or their career goals in a really honest, forthright way? Or do you feel like... How do people represent that especially coming out of the marketing team? People want to be things and do things, how do you balance that with sort of your company's objectives?

Jennifer Pascoe:

We actually did an internal workshop on how to brand yourself, and why you should and the importance of it. And when you talk about something like that you can't help but talk about your own personal goals and your professional goals, because they're tied together. So, I think when you're talking about your own brand, you're absolutely talking about what you want to become, where you want to go, how does that show up right now? And then what can you do right now to help create that new brand of where you want to be?

Jennifer Pascoe:

And so, I think different tactics can be taken to get you there you can do the marketing tactics, you can update your LinkedIn, you can start become a thought leader in creating your own content, becoming a speaker and getting your own message out there. But if you haven't spent the time to develop who you are, what you want and where you want to go, you're going to generate a lot of energy out and maybe not get a lot of return. So, I work with my teammates to really figure out what it inspires and engages them in the current work that they're doing.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And what would they like that to look like in five years, 10 years from now. And then we kind of base their current workload with what they need to do. And then we infuse bit by bit things that they need to do in the future to get from there.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Does that answer you?

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, that's great. How do you think about your personal brand? What are you thinking about looking toward growing in?

Jennifer Pascoe:

That's a great question too. I keep saying that. I'm sorry.

Polly Yakovich:

No, it's okay. I've only good questions. It's just natural.

Jennifer Pascoe:

That's my nature. That's timely, right?

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah.

Jennifer Pascoe:

I've actually been sitting down maybe because of the pandemic, you've got time to sit and think. I just got new head shots.

Polly Yakovich:

Oh, great. That's a step.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Because I really am thinking about that, right?

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah.

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, is my brand right now truly a reflection of who I am and who I believe that I want to be? And I had a really hard conversation with myself. And I said, if I was honest, my brand is not where I think it should be or where I want to be known for. So, I think it all started with that internal reflection, about how I'm showing up, and most importantly, where I'm spending my time. So, if we are leading, we have a lot of things on our plate and what you say no to defines you just as much as what you say yes to. And I definitely have been saying yes to too much. And so, I have been pulled in too many directions. So, I actually don't have a very clear message on who I am as a marketing professional right now. So, right now I'm in process of getting a very strong core message. And then I'm reading this book called Do Less. It's spectacular.

Polly Yakovich:

Oh, yeah, I read it.

Jennifer Pascoe:

It's fantastic.

Polly Yakovich:

Great book.

Jennifer Pascoe:

So, talking about what are my vitals? So, those few things that I'm really going to be focused on day in and day out. And how is that lining up to my brand? Where I spend my time, the organizations that I'm involved in, and where I'm giving back to even?

Polly Yakovich:

That's great. I'm also, as the listeners of this podcast know, because I did a podcast recently, solely on this book, I'm a massive fan of called Essentialism.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Oh, fantastic.

Polly Yakovich:

It's similar to Do Less, but very good, very focused. It talks about a lot of those things.

Jennifer Pascoe:

That's great.

Polly Yakovich:

Talk thinking about how you give away your power, by saying yes to everything without thinking about what it is you want to do, and be in, how you spend your time. And so, you just sort of like make these exchanges without really thinking through what your values are. And you just become very, very pulled in many directions instead of pushing all your energy into that one direction you really wanted to go and getting that.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely, absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

It's a great book. It's a great book. Well, I've really enjoyed talking with you. I'd love any last thoughts that you feel like, as it's come up, we haven't really talked about, about any tools that you really rely on to get you through the day. Any advice you have for people who are sort of in this place we all are, which is like trying really hard to stay engaged, but doing all the things and juggling a lot?

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely. I think, if I could give you one piece of advice as you go out right now is make the time to be able to think.

Polly Yakovich:

That's a great one.

Jennifer Pascoe:

And I think as busy professionals, we're always driving and going and doing 10,000 things. But if you can, however you do it, get outside, go for your bike ride, do your dishes, whatever that you need to do. Give yourself that time to think and be creative and your results are going to be 20 times better than they are right now.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great advice. I've been trying to make more time for that and it's been really fruitful for me. That's another thing Essentialism talks about, that's how you trade away so easily those things that actually bring you life and feed you.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Absolutely.

Polly Yakovich:

Because they don't seem important now, but then not having them really adds up.

Jennifer Pascoe:

It does, without you even realizing it.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. So, the question I always end with, I love this question. I stole it from a researcher friend of mine, I'm obsessed with it. But what is your superpower? What would you say is that thing that you do that's very unique to you that makes you able to do all you do?

Jennifer Pascoe:

My amazing sense of humor that nobody sees but me so that's very much a super power. No, I definitely am able to see the bigger picture way before a lot of people. Not that I can see it better, but I can just see it and then I can work backwards really, really quickly-

Polly Yakovich:

That's a great superpower.

Jennifer Pascoe:

To help execute.

Polly Yakovich:

Especially for a marketer, I like that a lot.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Yeah.

Polly Yakovich:

Well, thank you so much.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Thanks, Polly.

Polly Yakovich:

I've really appreciated you having you on. It's been such a fruitful conversation and a lot of food for thought, I think a very good conversation for any marketer right now. Thanks so much.

Jennifer Pascoe:

Appreciate it. Appreciate the time, you have a great day.

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