0:00:01 – (Matt Widdoes): Welcome to the Growth@Scale podcast. I’m your host, Matt Widdoes, and today we are joined by Ryan Maloney. Ryan Maloney is a powerhouse in sales and marketing with a rich background in gaming, sports, media and entertainment. He spent time driving growth at Hard Rock Digital, Facebook Gaming and PlayStation, showcasing his experience in brand management and performance marketing. His leadership has directed over $1 billion in marketing investments, driving innovation and substantial user growth.

0:00:26 – (Matt Widdoes): Ryan, welcome to the podcast.

0:00:28 – (Ryan Maloney): Thanks, Matt. Happy to be here today. I think over my 20 year career at some of the brands you’ve mentioned, I’ve had the privilege to lead and drive growth. I think the underlying principle to everything I do is trying to apply customer centric brand and product strategies to ultimately integrated marketing communications that are going to deliver brand business and performance growth. So, looking forward to getting into how I approach marketing today and looking forward to our discussion.

0:01:00 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, same here. And I think that a lot of people tend to kind of separate the two things between brand and performance. It’s almost like cats and dogs internally at times where it’s – the performance person will say, well, that’s just a brand thing, and roll their eyes, and the brand person will be like, it’s just performance putting out terrible creative that goes against our brand. And all they talk about, all they care about is performance. And they don’t realize —

0:01:23 – (Matt Widdoes): The damage they’re doing to our brand when they kind of go off script a little bit. And so, yeah, really looking forward to the deeper discussions there later. So I’m curious, like, you’ve spent a lot of time building really massive companies, and when we’re at large companies, we have the privilege of working alongside deep expertise in a bunch of different areas. There’s no shortage of heads. Sometimes that can also be a downside. But as you think through go-to market strategy generally, which a lot of our companies are, and even go to market strategy for well established companies that are just bringing something new to market.

0:02:01 – (Matt Widdoes): I’m curious, any areas that you found that have significantly impacted the chances of success for either a new product or a new company generally?

0:02:09 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah. So I think from my perspective, I think the process is very similar in terms of developing the go to market strategy execution and the activation may be different depending on size and scale. I think, you know, before you get into the strategy, the first thing to really look at, and hopefully it’s apparent to everyone listening, is that, you know, you must have a good product. It doesn’t have to be a great product. It doesn’t have to be the perfect product to launch and roll out. But you know, it should be a minimum viable product and you should have product market fit. Otherwise, you know, the marketing efforts are, are going to be a waste of resources, time and energy because you’re not going to be able to retain and grow the business. So assuming you have that in place, I think for me it’s kind of five key areas and we can kind of maybe come back and dive into a couple of them if you want, Matt. But sure, first you got to understand your target customer in depth and make sure your product is meeting their need and that will be kind of the foundation of your strategy.

0:03:12 – (Ryan Maloney): Second, you need to have a strong brand product positioning. Know who you are, know what you stand for, you know what you’re going to deliver and communicate. The third piece is really understanding your audience. So, you know, in a consumer world, we talk about that typically as a segmentation. You know, in a sales-led B2B world, it’s probably a customer persona that you’re going after. So really truly knowing who those people are. And oftentimes it’s more than one, but it’ll depend on the situation.

0:03:43 – (Ryan Maloney): The fourth piece, and this is probably more so for new businesses or new products, but having a strong brand operating system. So your design, your tone of voice, understanding your messaging hierarchy that you’re going to need to communicate across touch points is extremely important. This is where I think brand and performance marketing come together because you should be consistent in a similar way, just as you would as a brand team or a brand manager.

0:04:15 – (Ryan Maloney): And then the last piece is your distribution strategy. Again, this will vary and differ by the company at some of the brands that I worked with with significantly more scale and budget. Our distribution strategy was the full media mix at Hard Rock Digital. When we first launched our product, it was two platforms. So it’s just going to vary and change. But each of those components, I think, are really critical to your successful strategy. And then you’ll flex up and down the execution and activation based on scale and size of the opportunity.

0:04:50 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, I’d love to revisit some of those because a few of the ones that you mentioned, I think are often overlooked. And I agree that they’re critical. And so, you know, particularly on, you know, there’s probably a whole nother conversation to be had about how do we find product market fit, because if that’s the prerequisite to going out, you know, there’s, there’s sometimes like a chicken, the egg, but really I find that so many people want to in the product seat or maybe even the CEO seat, they just want to launch with paid. They’re like, let’s just get it out there. Let’s just see what happens and, and, like, refine from there. And I think there are some elements of that that are valid. And they’re in, in some, like, small doses where, okay, you know, after we have some, you know, we understand the customer a little bit deeper. We have some sense of their desire. We have some sense of the kind of target segments.

0:05:45 – (Matt Widdoes): Sure. Let’s run some creative, let’s run some – let’s run some tests to kind of see if we’re getting more heat. You know, we have seven Personas. We want to kind of narrow that down to what we think the top 3 are. And we have some insight, maybe oftentimes on the depth of those. Right. So, you know, homeowners that also have dogs, that’s a pretty big segment. But for our other segment that are vegan surfers who live in Southern California. Okay, that’s, that’s probably not gonna, even if it’s our top performer, we understand that that has a much bigger, or, sorry, I should say, a much lower cap on it as far as volume goes. And so you have to kind of always balance that as well. But really, what a lot of this boils down to, uh, in the, in the kind of handful of things that you mentioned is understanding the customer. And so few, especially in the early stage companies, I feel like they, they don’t spend as much time, and in some cases any time talking to their customers and really trying to understand it. It’s more push versus pull. So they’re kind of telling their customers what their value is and just kind of running with it versus ever checking in and saying and finding out that actually the reason that people buy our product and use it is for a totally different purpose than we had anticipated. And that that might actually be the number one thing that we do. And so kind of riding alongside that, I’m curious, like, kind of, as it goes to that kind of consumer insight side, any, any kind of high level stories or thoughts about process that would kind of help our listeners better understand that early stage of understanding the customer so that we can unlock some of these other things like brand and persona.

0:07:21 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:07:21 – (Ryan Maloney): I think, you know, when you look at, you know, if you’re an early stage company and you’re, you’re building something, right, there’s a problem you’re trying to, to solve, and hopefully that’s a consumer need or a customer need if you’re, you’re in the b two B world. And so that’s, that’s probably where you start, right? That’s where you should have you started with your product development. And that’s a, that’s a good foundation. I, you know, you don’t have the resources to go out and survey the entire population as you would if you were, you know, procter and gamble and a huge brand, and you have an entire, an entire team. But, you know, you can start with where you were building for, and then as you stand up your product and launch, there are opportunities, whether it’s in product feedback, CRM tools and systems.

0:08:09 – (Ryan Maloney): At Hard Rock Digital, we did things as simple as emailing out our customer base, a survey monkey league, to understand what were the features and benefits they used most. What are the areas that they need more of, like what did they like to see in the communication. So that’s kind of a good starting point. And then obviously, as your business and organization grows, you can bring on a customer insights team and start to run ongoing surveys and trackers and all of those things that really truly understand the needs of your customer.

0:08:46 – (Ryan Maloney): Because if you don’t understand the need to customer, you’re just guessing when you put your paid media out there and you may find something and maybe it works. But hopefully there’s enough expertise within the business in the category that you at least have a foundation and a starting point and a customer need that you’re trying to solve, that you can then match your communication strategy and positioning to start and then over time, iterate as you scale.

0:09:14 – (Matt Widdoes): Well, I think so many people to that point try to divine the answer to these questions through their own intuition and even through some data. So they’re like, hey, look, people are clicking on this all the time. It must be really popular feature. And they don’t realize they’re clicking on it to close it because it’s like the data doesn’t always tell the story. The intuition tells some of it usually, or it kind of points you in the right direction. But there’s really no substitute for talking with your customers, literally. And I think the early, early stage have the ability to get this right because they have so few customers. They’re like, oh, my gosh, somebody signed up today.

0:09:49 – (Matt Widdoes): What are they doing? And they’re like, you have a whole team of people kind of watching and like, oh, that guy came back and, oh, he’s spending now, like, you know, depending on the product, particularly take a gaming segment or something where you’re like, oh, my gosh, that guy that came in Tuesday just bought everything we have. It’s like, yeah, all right, let’s talk to him. Right? It’s like so simple, right? It’s just, he’s one of 15 emails that we have, so why don’t we give him a call and talk to the CEO? And it’s like, no problem.

0:10:13 – (Matt Widdoes): But we find that that kind of practice around speaking with your customers, especially as you get busier, especially as you’re scaling, it’s easy to kind of lose that. And we oftentimes will ask customers and clients, can you send us like the latest customer survey you sent or something like that just so we can kind of get a grip on what customers are saying? And oftentimes we’ll see people kind of being like, oh, I don’t know if we have that. Or like when.

0:10:39 – (Matt Widdoes): I don’t think we’ve done that for like 9 months or something like pretty significant. And you don’t have to have a full time consumer insights person to kind of draw that stuff out. But it is easy in the day to day shuffle of like, you know, you don’t want to bother customers, whatever. And what are we even going to ask them that’s going to be directional. It takes some effort to really think through if we’re going to go out to them and try to get some feedback, how do we do that? Also in a way where we’re not kind of leading the witness and getting the answers we were seeking, like how much do you love this new feature? A lot.

0:11:08 – (Matt Widdoes): A whole lot or whatever. If there’s no option of, like, what feature are you talking about, then we’re going to get some dirty data back. And so let’s say you have that you’ve got pretty good grip on what your customers are seeing value from. You have a good idea of what the market may desire that you really have an opportunity to win at. Even if that doesn’t have a perfect overlap with what your customers are seeing today, let’s think about, or maybe dive into brand and product strategy, which you also mentioned, and really kind of the purpose of the business and the positioning.

0:11:41 – (Matt Widdoes): Any, any kind of feedback thoughts there as far as, like, how you build that early, how you kind of test that and validate it and how you build on it over time.

0:11:48 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah. So I think, you know, it kind of follows on what we just talked about because, you know, ideally your, you know, your positioning for your business is meeting your customer needs. I think a simple way I like to think about it and to hopefully, you know, boil it down to really get to the one thing you’re, you’re going to stand for is like, what are you for and what are you against? And usually in that space, there’s typically, you know, a truth that you can, you know, apply. And this, you know, for this isn’t meant to be a campaign tagline, right? Like, it may not even be consumer.

0:12:26 – (Matt Widdoes): Facing, may not be external.

0:12:28 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, it may not even be external. Like at PlayStation, when we launched, you know, PlayStation4, our tagline was, was ‘Greatness awaits’. The input to that was we wanted to invite and inspire everyone to achieve their own personal greatness. And that was the positioning there. And that’s how the creative team came back with the campaign and that lasted throughout the generation and helped scale. So I think it’s truly understanding those things, and then it’s understanding what your offer is.

0:13:03 – (Ryan Maloney): And when I say offer, I don’t mean ‘10% Off’ at retail or a discount or a promo. It could be if that’s where you are in your category, in your market and you’re driving a discount led business. But really, what is your product offer? What are the features? What are the benefits? And that will ultimately allow you to develop a positioning that you can support and stand behind, because there does need to be that connection. You just can’t, you know, say it and then not deliver on the promise.

0:13:41 – (Ryan Maloney): And, you know, ultimately, this is an area where you try. You want to try to get it right because it should differentiate you from your competition unless you’re, you know, building a category that’s brand new, that doesn’t exist. And hopefully this will be something that can be sustainable over a mid to long term time horizon that you can point your team to. I think we’ll maybe talk about in a little bit. But like at Hard Rock Digital, we did a rebrand, I don’t know, about a year into the business because we had a product change and introduced some new features. So we had to go from sportsbook to something that covered both sportsbook and casino.

0:14:21 – (Ryan Maloney): Our positioning stayed the same, our brand name changed, our guidelines changed, our design system changed, but underneath the whole thing, the positioning was the same. So you do want to have something that will continue as you iterate and learn, and it should hopefully be that foundation of the house you’re going to build over time. And you may remodel it as you go, and it may look slightly different, but it’s kind of a good place to start.

0:14:49 – (Matt Widdoes): Well, I think so. You know, so much of the brand and the positioning, it doesn’t, or at least it shouldn’t happen in a vacuum with a brand team. Right. Because it has such broader implications for the business. You have to have leadership aligned because over time, as you mentioned, one, you need that bedrock and the work that you put into that is going to be touching everything that you do. But it bleeds into product. Both feature design, like feature. What features are we going to release next?

0:15:17 – (Matt Widdoes): Especially in a sea of potential that you have. And it lets you kind of come back, the whole business come back to this like touch point that says, is that, is that really honoring though? You know, the letting everybody get their personal back, you know, reach their personal greatness? Right. Okay, well, if not, then maybe we reprioritize this other thing. But it also, so it can, it can impact feature design, it can impact feature itself. It can impact, of course, all the outbound marketing, but it can also impact, like, the types of people we hire. And so it is, so brand is not a tagline to your point, like it is a derivative of it.

0:15:56 – (Matt Widdoes): But I think oftentimes people treat it not necessarily as an afterthought, but just kind of a thing they have to do. And they don’t really let it permeate throughout the business. It dictates how you write your outbound email as far as the tone and all these other things. And it also allows you at scale so that as you’re building really quickly and you’re going from maybe a 15 person team to a 250 person team, it creates that baseline by which people in the organization can make decisions on things like comms without, with a very small, limited set of rules that don’t require one person in the to say no, that’s on brand or off brand. We have clarity in that. And that just requires so much work. And I think that and expertise and I think so many people kind of skip it or do the bare minimum there because it is so, can be so daunting, is like, okay, we’re gonna set our brand guidelines for the next decade or the next three years or the next whatever. And a lot of people kind of who don’t fully understand brand, I think, have a tendency to maybe roll their eyes at it or kind of question how much does this really matter at the end of the day? And it does matter a lot as you scale.

0:17:07 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, I think, you know, the misconception that brand is marketing’s responsibility is just wrong. Right. Your brand strategy is really your company strategy. And it’s, you know, a layer just as much as, you know, your p and l and financial management and it all comes together and, you know, it takes time to build and get right, but you can also lose it very, very quickly if you don’t have that alignment across the organization. Right. Like marketing was off with the world’s best, you know, brand marketing strategy and positioning and somebody emails customer support and they have the worst customer support experience of all time. All that credibility is going to, well, yeah, so you need, I was going.

0:17:49 – (Matt Widdoes): To say you don’t want it to be used against you either, where somebody says, oh, wow, like you’re player-first, okay, great. And then look at this screenshot from me and customer service where that hadn’t been bubbled down or they weren’t living those values and like, yeah, you say that to me in ads all the time and then it becomes like a, it becomes weaponized against you. So that, I think speaks to that importance of making sure that that rolls out company-wide and it permeates in everything that you do.

0:18:17 – (Matt Widdoes): And so let’s talk about that. So, like from a, you had mentioned, I think an operating system, like a brand product operating system, let’s kind of double click into that a little bit. And particularly maybe as it relates to kind of persona stuff as well, you know, how do you think about that as this kind of underlying, like what are other ways other than what we just discussed where you start to see that kind of play out basically during a growth phase and well into a sustained growth or kind of maintenance phase as brands grow from kind of small, medium sized to large.

0:18:54 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:18:54 – (Ryan Maloney): So I think, you know, the operating system really is your toolkit. Right. And it is everything from design, which could be color palette, visuals, design, graphic elements, to your tone of voice, which is how you’re going to speak to your customers, having your messaging aligned across that and consistent. So bringing the teams together. So your marketing communication, your CRM email and your in-product messaging sounds like it’s coming from the same person.

0:19:27 – (Ryan Maloney): You know, if product is speaking very technical in product and, you know, marketing is not, there’s going to be a disconnect when consumers arrive and really ensuring the teams from an execution standpoint across the business, you know, have a toolkit to look to. I mean, there’s, you know, as you grow and you get more particular on brand, you’ll have logo guidelines and spacing guidelines and you’ll have somebody in your business, when a partner sends you something, you’ll send it back and be like, no, there’s, my logo’s too close to this other logo. And this is why, you know, that’s not going to be in a startup in a scale up environment that’s going to be a Fortune 100 type company, but it really becomes your kind of toolkit and roadmap for anybody that’s working with your brand. And when done correctly, it’s something somebody can kind of pick up and interpret. Right? So if you have an agency partner, they can quickly understand, you know, what your tone of voice is, what your positioning is, and they’re able to, you know, activate against that. They know your color palette for your brand.

0:20:31 – (Ryan Maloney): Not that, you know, everything has to always be consistent. And you can’t use colors for a Halloween promotion if it’s not part of your brand, you know, palette, but there are, there’s always, always an exception and, you know, it will help you differentiate the business. I think certain businesses I have been in, you know, if you have different products or different customer segments, you know, you’ll use the brand operating system to make sure it’s consistent and then each underneath it will have its own, you know, identity and development so it can, can stand on its own, which is important. So if you’re a startup and scaling up and all of a sudden you’re going to go from one product to multiple and you’re going to become a, you know, portfolio business. You know, I think, Matt, you were King previously and, you know, across their products there, there was a, a parent king probably brand strategy and operating system and then each of the games had their own, but there was be a consistency across that in many places and it would all ladder back up to the parent brand. So it’s kind of you, it’s that architecture of how you think about your business and your growth as you go. And that’s probably where you see the most change, is when you add new products underneath the parent brand. It’s those tough decisions and discussions about which elements carry through which need to be different. Because there’s a reason why you’ve released a new product to the market and it needs to stand alone. But it’ll ultimately become an architecture for the entire business.

0:22:01 – (Matt Widdoes): Well, and you have to be deliberate about it and you have to defend it because you’re building a brand over time. Right. And whatever it is that you want to be, you’re usually not with everybody or not from day one. And so you look at companies like Apple who are wildly defensive on their brand and it serves them well, right? So from the time you go to purchase something on the website and the technology enables that really easily and it’s really straightforward and simple, it’s like super high tech, but really accessible and understandable to the time you receive your product in the mail and you unbox it, it has a nice little tag that you tear. And then you’re like, okay, that’s off. And now I’m looking at the phone. I take that off and there’s a little tab. What’s under here?

0:22:41 – (Matt Widdoes): Oh, that’s the charger and all this. And that kind of is not just like the delight you’re trying to drive, but it’s like that simplicity, you know, the black and white with them. Like, everything is simple. Right? And I think they had used that to position against Microsoft as, you know, being a little bit rough around the edges, maybe a little bit more technical, a little bit less simple, a little bit less elegant. A lot less elegant, maybe.

0:23:04 – (Matt Widdoes): And so that’s like a great example of seeing that permeate kind of throughout the customer experience from communication all the way down to customer service. I mean, if you’ve ever had to repair an Apple, it’s pretty straightforward. They make it really simple. And you mentioned that kind of parent strategy. And so, yeah, if you look at King or you look at Supercell, you can tell almost immediately that I’m dealing in a Supercell game or a King game. Right. And it’s. And there’s these really minor nuances.

0:23:33 – (Matt Widdoes): And I think that kind of science and that rigor that goes behind crafting that is you have to get that, like, really tight so that you can defend it. Because if it’s not tight internally, nobody knows what the rules are. But separately, because you’re building a brand and the purpose is building a brand, it’s almost in some ways, like SEO, is that it pays off way later. It’s not like immediate return.

0:23:57 – (Matt Widdoes): You have to be tight and you have to be consistent because we’re trying to kind of position ourselves in the minds of everybody on the planet. And I remember there was this, at the Discovery museum in San Francisco, there was this really cool feature that they had where you and I would go up to this wall. We’re both in advance. We’re supposed to agree on a person that we both know. So we say, okay, you know him or her. I know him or her. We both know them pretty well.

0:24:24 – (Matt Widdoes): Great. Now, on one side of the board, you have a little slider that says, you know, from disagreeable to agreeable, from, you know, technical to simple, I don’t know, whatever. But all these different measures of personality, like a risk taking, low risk taking, but, you know, maybe like seven or eight of these. And so you place your slider for each one of these things where of somebody who we both know equally really deep, we’ve known the same person for ten years and then I do the same and then we reveal them and we kind of step back.

0:24:54 – (Matt Widdoes): And what you see on that experiment time and time and time and time again, we have wildly different views of the exact same person. And you think they’re really super high risk taking. And I’m like, they’re the least risking, risk taking person I’ve ever met. And like you start to find like hold on, how, why do you think that? Why do you think that? And so, but people don’t have brand well defined, adhered to brands where we move all the time. We’re different at different times. If you knew them in their twenties and I knew them more in their thirties, they’re going to be different. They morph over time because they’re a person.

0:25:22 – (Matt Widdoes): Companies do too. But the goal of those constraints of brand is to keep it so tight so that if you and I went to that same wall and we did the same exercise on something like Apple, my guess is it would be the delta between our opinions and views would be much lower than ours of a person which is much more dynamic and less scripted, confined, and like, they have to do this thing this way. And so I think when people see that frustration with brand, it’s important to kind of understand they’re defending a lot of effort that went into a plan. And if at some point in the future the organization doesn’t feel like that is, that is no longer serving us and we’re going to do a whole shift, not just like a logo change, but we are drastically changing everything about how we operate in the market, which I don’t know many people that have actually done a full like values redefine at any sort of scale.

0:26:13 – (Matt Widdoes): That’s the reason why. And I think it’s important for people to kind of keep that in mind whenever they’re getting pestered by the brand team because the logo is a little too close to somebody else’s as an example, which can be frustrating when you, you just want to get something out.

0:26:25 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, and look, there’s a, there’s a business benefit to all this, right? Like in that supercell or King example, like if you’re a customer and you love, you know, Supercell game and there’s another game that kind of feels and looks like the same and you don’t ask, maybe don’t even know it’s from Supercell and you’re going to be willing to try it and hopefully your acquisition cost and the cross sell on that is going to be less. And I think in gaming it’s probably an opportunity for a lot of companies to look at, right. There’s now these large mobile gaming holding companies that are operating very similar to how the console companies had operated previously. Right. Like, you know, an EA Sports game, every time you turned it on, whether it was FIFA or Madden, you know, it’s that EA Sports and there’s that sound and it’s in the game and you know, right, it’s, it’s in the game and it’s that instant kind of credibility that, you know, Madden and FIFA are both going to be a great EA Sports experience and you know, by having that kind of brand strategy across the entire organization and portfolio it’s only going to improve your performance marketing on your individual products because you’ll take all of that earned trust and credibility that you’ve had previously and you’ve already captured that versus starting from scratch every time you launch a new.

0:27:43 – (Matt Widdoes): Yes, you know, you get to shortcut.

0:27:46 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, it’s just a shortcut in the consumer’s mind and it’s going to be critical to, you know, continuing to grow and scale.

0:27:53 – (Matt Widdoes): And I think on that quality piece as well. I don’t think a lot of people necessarily go straight to Kirkland or Costco when they think about brand, but maybe they do. But Kirkland, they have so much more to lose if they’re going to release a Kirkland jelly bean to compete with Jelly Belly. It’s got to be amazing because if your jelly beans aren’t any good, I’m going to stop buying your toilet paper. And what’s your Kirkland toilet paper business worth? It’s worth a lot. And so that like brand defense on quality for their, in their case on value and all these other things like you can, by getting it wrong you can erode all of that really quickly as well. And so it can be used to be a shortcut for trust so long as you’re able to maintain that in the brand values that support that like quality or any number of other things.

0:28:44 – (Matt Widdoes): And I’m curious, like how do you think, because like we said at the top of the call, brand and performance can oftentimes be kind of cats and dogs. How do you think about cats and dogs coexisting and you know, maybe the balance of brand and performance. But like how should those in a healthy organization where in many organizations they kind of are constantly at odds and in some cases, honestly, we’ve seen them kind of actively undermining each other because they both want to, they want to take credit for growth and they’re like, well it’s because of this or that, which is, you know, anytime any organization is actively undermining another part of the, you’re kind of already on your way to, to decline if not well on it already, but kind of. How do you think about that balance just given you’ve got such a deep background in performance?

0:29:30 – (Matt Widdoes): Specifically too, we spent a lot of time talking about brand, but they are so intermingled and important at scale if you’re going to succeed. What are your thoughts on that generally?

0:29:39 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, I think first it probably comes from organizational design. I think marketing organizations should just get rid of the term like brand and performance marketing in terms of teams. I think, you know, marketing is, marketing is marketing. The, you know, end goal of any communication you’re putting out is to drive, you know, sales or purchase. I think the, you know, this performance marketing mindset of the digital world, you know, that everything is measurable.

0:30:13 – (Ryan Maloney): The kind of last touch, last click, you know, attribution is where that kind of conflict comes. And you, you know, a brand person has a tv ad or an out of home billboard, they’re wanting to run, like maybe it’s not as measurable. So there’s that friction in the organization, but truly everything works together. And you know, if you step back for a moment and you put yourself in your customer shoes, they don’t know what the tactic of the ad that you’re delivering, you know, is meant to do. And you know, if you look at an example I like to use is like if you’re driving down the highway at 70, there’s a billboard, you’re going to capture that and you know, that would be classified as a brand ad.

0:31:00 – (Ryan Maloney): That user goes home, they’re like kind of doom scrolling at night before bed on, on Instagram, flying, but flying through their feed. They’re going to get an ad that’s going to be attributed as a performance ad on a view and taking the credit. But that consumer experience is the exact same. You have a fraction of a second to make an impression and get them to stop. So, you know, to me I think you got to just separate the two and not call them brand and performance. And it’s truly just, you know, marketing. You can have brand strategy, you know, but the execution and kind of media channels and distribution, it all needs to work together.

0:31:41 – (Ryan Maloney): And I think what we’re going to continue to see, and Matt, you’re talking to a lot more clients in the category than I am today. But like with the user privacy enhancements and the cookie apocalypse that’s going to come later this year, the last click measurement solution that performance marketers are so used to are going to be harder to do if not, I don’t know, impossible to do at the same, same level as it was pre.

0:32:07 – (Matt Widdoes): Certainly at the same level. Yeah, yeah.

0:32:09 – (Ryan Maloney): Pre-iOS. So, you know, a lot of tactics from big traditional brand marketing are starting to work their way into performance. Media mix models, for example, are an area that are starting to see a lot of pickup. Facebook released Robin, what, three years ago? Google released it last week, two weeks ago, depending on when that was. So, you know, I think as you start to think about things, the tactics that were used to measure brand in the past are going to be used to measure performance and the tactics used to measure performance are going to be used to measure, you know, brand. And it’s more of just about getting as many of the signals in and in a near real time manner as possible so your team can optimize the work. Like that’s what’s the benefit of performance marketing, right. It’s, it’s a quicker time frame to optimize and improve versus that traditional brand approach of ship it. Forget it.

0:33:06 – (Ryan Maloney): Let’s go back and measure it and see how our brand tracker moved like 6 months later.

0:33:10 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, and it’s hard, I think, as we’ve gotten and it’s shifting back to your perspective or to your point, but how in a performance driven.org where everything is focused on ROi as it should be. I’ve never had to sit in a brand seat. And so it’s got to be really hard getting those questions when you’ve got performance like slam dunking on the other side, spending 400 million a year and it all coming back and we have a lot of visibility, a lot of clarity into what’s going on and then brand’s got to defend doing a world’s largest blimp promo in New York City that they spent a million dollars on and everybody wondering why don’t we just spend all that here where we know it comes back.

0:33:55 – (Matt Widdoes): It’s funny, I think that inviting that can exist sometimes also comes down to like petty reasons like how much budget I get next year, which is like, this is not what we as owners of businesses care about and, but yet we’re, we’re, the organization is designed in a way that we’ve created these kind of perverse incentives between teams that really should be working together and not against each other, to your point.

0:34:17 – (Matt Widdoes): And so like, yeah, anytime I’m like, yeah, give brand tons of money like that, that’s great because I know it impacts what we’re doing on paid positively. And to your point on that impression and that recognizable like you might see in that same example, I saw some ad on the highway. I was driving, I was doing other stuff, whatever. I thought, oh, I should check that out, but I’m busy, I’m driving.

0:34:38 – (Matt Widdoes): And then a couple days later I had scrolled through, saw that same company. I’m like, oh sweet, like I’m going to click on that because that’s that same company that I saw previously. Okay. Like yeah, that was because of that, right? You set me up. I had, I had kind of like better awareness top of mind. Whereas for all we know I had scrolled past that same ad five times in the past with no context and I wasn’t interested because it didn’t stand out in this like doom scroll or this kind of sea of same across the board on everything.

0:35:05 – (Matt Widdoes): And so, you know, it’s, it’s really important to get right. It’s easy to overlook when you’re small and you have limited budget. Right. But I think the, again, like SEO, if you, if you’re planning on being around for a long time, it’s better that you put some stakes in the ground there early, at least to start to craft and shape, to have some stance even if you’re gonna redesign it later. Yeah.

0:35:28 – (Ryan Maloney): And I think to, you know, be clear, I’m not advocating for a startup or a scale up to big tv film brand anthem. It’s, it’s actually just having the, that strategy and the execution. And yes, you know, even if you looked at a platform and your, your entire marketing investment went to Google, just say that’s where you decided was the best thing for you. You have your search investment, you have your ad and display investment and you maybe have a YouTube investment that will actually end up running on connected tv and you can tell that story and you think about your different messaging and types of content across that.

0:36:10 – (Ryan Maloney): And what that will do is if you’re just doing brand search, you’re only going to capture the people that are, are looking for you, right? And maybe that has a great ROI and Roas and payback period, but you’re not going to grow if you’re not getting outside of that. And if you’re only capturing demand and not generating preference, awareness and consideration elsewhere, your population is going to be limited, especially when you are a performance marketer, primarily buying in an algorithmic platform. Right.

0:36:48 – (Ryan Maloney): If you’re launching a new social casino game and you’re running ads on Facebook, they’re going to serve that to people that have installed and made purchases previously in social casino. That is a great initial start, but unless your product, your positioning, your brand is significantly differentiated from the competitors, that person eventually is going to go back to the game they were playing previously and has built and invested their time in, or they’re just going to jump to the next offer they get.

0:37:18 – (Ryan Maloney): And so ultimately the rest of your opportunity to retain and monetize becomes more difficult versus if you can bring new people in, increase the reach of the category to potential customers, and then you own that relationship, you have a better chance of monetizing those people down the road 100%.

0:37:37 – (Matt Widdoes): And I’m curious, you know, you’ve seen a lot of, through your role on cross platform gaming sales with meta and your time at Hard Rock Digital, you’ve seen a lot of things in mobile gaming and in acquisition specifically. I’m curious, lessons you’ve learned from an acquisition perspective in mobile gaming that can apply to all sorts of different industries.

0:38:02 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, I think one of the things that was probably from my experience at Hard Rock primarily was truly the power of incentivized referral, I guess. So as a, you know, at PlayStation, word of mouth and advocacy and even our kind of go to market strategy was very much driven on a belief that we would, you know, have people refer us and help us grow and scale the rest of the category. But really in the mobile acquisition world was first time I had a depth of experience in incentivizing referrals. So looking at things like paid influencer content and strategy, being primarily driven on TikTok, but other platforms as well was critical.

0:38:55 – (Ryan Maloney): Second, affiliate marketing and really allowing others to help kind of drive your traffic. Now there’s a little bit of risk in that and we’ll talk about that in a second. And then third is kind of that, you know, in product referral. Right? So yeah, mobile gaming has done that the best out of probably any, you know, industry or category there is. And, you know, entire games were built on that, right? Like words with friends and inviting people in and your contact list. And all of a sudden, you know, you don’t mind paying that high CPI because for someone that actually have a great experience with this game, they’re going to refer two or three other people.

0:39:32 – (Ryan Maloney): They’re going to come in organically I think that’s, you know, a huge opportunity for kind of any business that’s in a, you know, app based world and there’s a community to do. I mean, obviously in sports betting and online casino, it’s very similar to mobile games. And that was a key acquisition driver for us. I think the challenge you need to just keep in mind in incentivized referrals is not all traffic is created equal.

0:40:02 – (Ryan Maloney): So there will be, depending on your business and depending on where that traffic is coming from, there will be cohorts in certain segments that are going to be really valuable to your business. And those should be people that you’re willing to pay more and incentivize more for. And then there will be others that are going to be a low return and it may just.

0:40:24 – (Matt Widdoes): And there will be fraud on the incentive. Yes.

0:40:28 – (Ryan Maloney): Yes. Then there will be fraud. So, you know, I think that’s just the area that’s a watch out for any, you know, new business and new company. And I think it’s, it’s, gaming is a great place to look for that. And having those, you know, kind of almost like product led growth loops really to drive new people in is of critical importance.

0:40:50 – (Matt Widdoes): I’d add to that too, on the retention side. I mean, if you’ve ever played a mobile game, they are very good at retaining both in product features and kind of the game design and the essentially the underlying game economy that keeps you coming back, whether that’s like a gannet, like coming back after a day and opening up a chest and winning something, or it is like the progression map that shows like, oh my gosh, I’m like three levels away from reaching some new world. And I know that this world has changed really different from the last world. So I think I’m going to open up some new thing and that feeling of achievement and all these other things that kind of come into play there. But even absent the kind of product driven retention stuff, and some of this is from the data and the frequency and volume of data that you get in something like mobile game, that’s more bite sized from a consumption standpoint, a ton of lessons to be learned on how to reengage through lifecycle, be that push in SMS if they’re mobile, or even applying those same lessons to lifecycle.

0:41:49 – (Matt Widdoes): The lessons that come on the acquisition side from creative strategy and really mapping the user experience and desires and promises upper funnel in the advertising. And so I think there’s a ton to unpack there. I’m curious in a more general sense outside of maybe mobile specific or gaming specific, any kind of things that you’ve experienced in your career. We’re seeing kind of consistently in the kind of realm of what companies often get wrong with user acquisition. And like, any thoughts on, you know, maybe we can talk in a second about like the inverse of that. But like, any areas where you see people kind of getting things wrong.

0:42:33 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, you know, I think where people get it wrong is they think growth is just marketing is responsibility.

0:42:41 – (Matt Widdoes): It’s so funny, I was having a conversation with a friend this week and growth has like just been now growth is just like in people’s titles. So it’s like I’m a growth product person or product growth and marketing growth. It’s like what, what does that actually mean? And I think people have lost sight of the fact that, you know, growth came from growth hacker. And it kind of had a very different meaning.

0:43:03 – (Matt Widdoes): And really growth is not a function. It is a like philosophy. And to your point earlier, I think I can’t remember what, what function. I think it may have had something to do with brand, but it’s like, it’s everyone’s role. Like we’re not. You can’t point and say, well, we’re not growing. Go talk to the growth team. It’s like the growth team is the team. Growth is like the framework. It’s the mindset. It’s this interconnectivity. It’s the fail fast iterate, use data, it’s work cross functionally, it’s all these other things. So I love that comment because it’s just a reminder of like, it is a growth is not a person or a team, it is like the entire company.

0:43:44 – (Matt Widdoes): And it’s really an approach. It’s not, it’s not a function.

0:43:49 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, it’s. I mean, it’s the purpose of running a business, right, like that. That’s the end goal of what you’re trying to achieve. And I think it does require everybody to be aligned because, you know, marketing and product may have the best growth strategy in the world, but if, know, the finance team can’t find a way to fund and scale the growth and whether that’s a bunch of developers to build a new product feature or, you know, investment for marketing, you’re, you’re going to be stagnant and vice versa if you don’t have somebody watching the commercials. You know, marketing and product will probably do a bunch of things that maybe look like they’re driving growth in terms of users and acquisition. But you may never see a payback in return on those investments. So you need to make sure there is that, that balance so that it’s sustainable and profitable growth and not just user growth and acquisition. And a lot of what we’ve talked about today is this aligned organizational philosophy. And I know that’s hard.

0:44:53 – (Ryan Maloney): And as companies get bigger, their silos are developed and communication is more difficult. But if you can have the entire business involved, you have to, in your go to market strategy, not necessarily the activation, but like, if you have that and you have senior leaders and cross functional stakeholders involved signing off, aligning and inputting into it, you will increase your chance of success to build a sustainable business.

0:45:22 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And reviewing how things are going collectively, too. It’s not a once and done, it’s a constant, ongoing thing. I think the example I like to use when trying to kind of provide an analogy for this is really because it’s so simple and it ties into growth is like, think about growing a flower, right? Or a rose bush or something, or some tomatoes, whatever. And think of this, like, what does it need to grow? It needs water.

0:45:47 – (Matt Widdoes): It needs sun, it needs vitamins and nutrients. It needs good soil, it needs good drainage. It needs, like, all sorts of things. And so if, like, the water is sales and sun is marketing and all these other things, and you’ve got also multiple people walking around the plant, like, all of those have to be in concert. So you can’t just say, yeah, keep giving it water. Water grows plants. It’s like, well, that’ll kill it.

0:46:12 – (Matt Widdoes): Um, don’t. Don’t give it too much, son. Let’s. Let’s pull it in the house every once in a while. That’s, that’s going to hurt it. Um, or, uh, I water it. I don’t tell you, you water it. You don’t tell me I give it a fertilizer. You give it fertilizer. All I. You were going to give it. I thought you were going to put drainage in. We didn’t talk about it. You didn’t do that. Now it’s all rotting in the bottom. So it’s like you have to take that same approach. And it’s difficult. It’s hard to grow things of value.

0:46:39 – (Matt Widdoes): Right? Easier to grow a flower. Some things just grow on their own. Right. And so wouldn’t that be great in kind of in every business world? But I think that helps drive at home because it’s like, yeah, it’s so obvious when you talk about a plant that you need these things working in concert at the right depth and at the right time and sequence, and you can overdo things, you can underdo things. And it’s like, way more complicated with a business where you have all these different personalities, you have different budgets, you have different, sometimes different misaligned goals and targets, and they’re working at odds with each other. And at some point you have to zoom back and say, are we doing what’s right for the baby here? Are we doing what’s right to grow the best rose bush we possibly can? Or is everybody worried about, I’m the fertilizer guy. I’ll handle the fertilizer. Don’t ask me questions about when that’s going to go in or when it went in last like that.

0:47:32 – (Matt Widdoes): That’s just like fundamentally dysfunctioned. But, yeah, I think that’s a good point. So, on kind of the flip side of that last question kind of framed in more of the positive side, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned or just lessons along the way generally, that you think would be worth sharing to somebody who’s kind of about to go through the same thing so that they can avoid some of those mistakes or even just some of the, like, the wins maybe included in that? Like any, any kind of advice you may give somebody to just say, hey, look, look out for these things, try to not do these things, and then if you can, you know, try to do these things instead, anything that comes to mind. I know that’s a broad question, but just curious what your knee jerk, you know, you have, you’re passing, you’re at an airport with somebody, and he’s just like, man, I’m kind of going through this. What, any pieces of advice? Not knowing anything about my business kind of thing?

0:48:23 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, I think, you know, the first part is to really ensure your North Star is aligned across the business. So everybody in the organization is driving towards the same thing. And, you know, that can be both a short midterm vision, but also within your fiscal year, your calendar year. Like, what are the goals you’re trying to achieve is critical, and that’ll enable you guys and the team to really all push in the same direction.

0:49:00 – (Ryan Maloney): I think it’s a lot easier when you are a smaller organization in business and probably a smaller leadership team to make sure you have that alignment. But as the company and the business grows, it becomes more difficult and there’s a bunch of different frameworks that you can kind of put in place, but, you know, making sure everybody’s aligned and then also incentivized in the same way is critical.

0:49:29 – (Ryan Maloney): Like Matt how do you handle that at MAVAN?

0:49:31 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, well, great question. I mean, one, so it requires. It requires like, deliberate practice around that. And so everything that we do, I can tell you how we do it here, which is we have a. We do quarterly meetings with our entire leadership team. Once a year, we set our kind of broader vision, not just for, like the next year, but beyond. So we have a ten year vision that we work against that is set.

0:49:56 – (Matt Widdoes): We have a three year vision that ladders up into that. We’re not resetting the ten year vision every year. That that’ll get reset, you know, seven years from now, essentially, and will become our three year vision. And we’ll set a new ten year vision. And then off of our three year, we build the one year, and off of our one year, we build our quarters and everything that we’re doing with, with, you know, things like rocks, et cetera, of like, what do we have to do this quarter to achieve what we plan to do one year? We already know what we have to do in the year to achieve what we need in the, in the third. And we know what we need to be doing by year three to achieve what we want to do in the 10th.

0:50:28 – (Matt Widdoes): And so it requires a lot of effort. I mean, multiple days, multiple inputs. And really, the biggest thing I think that comes out of that is in order to get alignment and clarity, the entire leadership needs to be involved in building that. Because if you’re in the room thinking about your ten year vision and you’re not aligned, then either somebody’s in the wrong room or we need to kind of talk about this until we are aligned on it. And so, and it’s. And sometimes people are in the wrong room and so, but that gives you clarity. So it’s like, okay, cool, well, you don’t like that ten year vision, then.

0:51:01 – (Matt Widdoes): All good. Wrong boat. But we need to get somebody in and when we’re hiring them, we need to discuss that ten year vision and then we need to hold to that. And so, you know, without that, you can’t really have accountability within the – on what you’re going to achieve and what you’re trying to accomplish. You lack the framework to really understand where you should be spending your time, generally, if you’re going to hit that 10, 3, 1 and vice versa, or maybe of the same coin, really, when you know your one year with absolute clarity. And these are, you know, 3 to 6 things, these are not, you know, there’s like one target that are clearly defined and we use smart goals. So that they’re specific and achievable and measurable, et cetera. But, um.

0:51:41 – (Matt Widdoes): But if you don’t know that, it’s like the classic Lewis Carroll. If you don’t know which, if you don’t know where you’re heading, it doesn’t matter which way you go. And so from that, you get that alignment, and then from the things that we’re going to do, this ladder up to what we’re targeting for the year, people have to take those. They don’t, they can’t be assigned. So it’s like, okay, this needs to be done. Who’s going to do that? And it helps when you have clarity in departments and stuff where maybe it’s some finance reporting goal and, okay, that’s pretty clear. That’s going to go to the finance person. So they’ll take that and, and then that gets disseminated within the team. So ultimately, it’s probably a lot like, I hate using the, like, military style analogies, but it’s probably a lot more like the military where it’s like, okay, there’s a bunch of senior command that’s coming up with a strategy, are we going to war? Are we not going to war?

0:52:32 – (Matt Widdoes): Where and how and at what depth, that gets, that gets down to kind of the generals, and maybe that’s already kind of blended up, but, like, there’s this plan that gets built that’s owned at the appropriate spot within the chain of command that all ladders up. It’s kind of something we were talking about on the brand stuff a moment ago. And then as it gets all the way down to the ground, the ground people know exactly what they need to be doing, exactly what the mission is, exactly.

0:52:57 – (Matt Widdoes): You know, what we’re actually. Why are we even here? Why are we, you know, doing XYZ? And then they’re allowed to kind of tactically solve that within that framework however they see fit, because they’re on the ground. And when movement is happening or other things and data is coming back there, that’s getting bubbled up very quickly through that kind of chain of command so that more tactical, higher level strategic tweaks can be made based on what they thought would happen versus what did, or some major change that has come in that we had not anticipated. And now we need to regroup on that.

0:53:30 – (Matt Widdoes): But if you don’t have alignment, you have to be able to talk about it clearly. In order to get alignment, you have to kind of fight those battles on alignment one time. And this is kind of that, like, disagree and commit philosophy of like, but like the time, if we leave that meeting aligned, we’re just doing that. We don’t want to go a month later and say, well, I don’t really think that’s the right strategy or what. It’s like that. That was a month ago. Like that. That’s the time to have that disagreement.

0:54:00 – (Matt Widdoes): And, but once you have that, and if everybody’s truly aligned in that, you need good people who will speak up, then the rest becomes fairly straightforward and it allows you to, as an organization, focus on what’s actually most important in the, and not lose sight of that. But if you don’t have that stuff defined, you’re going to wake up in a year and be like, oh wait, we never do that feature. What about this feature? And like, you have no structure by which those things can be accomplished and so you really need kind of a business operating system in order for that to be facilitated.

0:54:30 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, I think that’s, you know, spot on. Like, not to use one of your, like, military analysis, but no, every great plan is great until you make contact with the enemy.

0:54:38 – (Matt Widdoes): Right.

0:54:39 – (Ryan Maloney): And so at some point you do have to iterate, but as long as you know what the North Star is and that is consistent and isn’t changing, then have that flexibility within your business.

0:54:50 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:54:51 – (Ryan Maloney): To evaluate and in a, you know, a startup scale up world where, you know, planning is, is probably, you know, six months, one year, two year, you know, maybe there’s somebody somewhere in the business has a three or a five year plan versus, you know, a large company that has 510 year roadmaps and all of those things, it does iterate quickly and speed is important. And being able to have that flexibility to, to adapt and change is something you need to allow for in your system.

0:55:23 – (Ryan Maloney): But the North Star should never change.

0:55:25 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:55:26 – (Ryan Maloney): Because otherwise your prioritization of resources and decision making will be extremely inefficient and you’ll have, you know, one team building something and another team going in another direction. And there isn’t that alignment to the top piece. And I think, you know, as you talked about, having a process for, you know, tops down, but also bottoms up feedback and ensuring the leadership team and management team are aware of what’s actually happening on, on the ground is, is critical.

0:55:55 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:55:55 – (Ryan Maloney): And so I think, I think how you’re approaching it, MAVAN’s, you know, spot on and the right way to… The right way to do it.

0:56:02 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And I think for anybody listening who’s wondering, do I have, I mean, if you, if you don’t have a North Star communicated, then you don’t have alignment on it. For one, everybody should know your ten year, three year, one year so that they can figure out their quarters. Right. And the quarters should be set by the leadership team for their departments and then they roll that out. But if you’re wondering if you have alignment, ask people, you know, go survey, go walk around if you’re, if you’re in the office, but ask people on the ground. Ask people in the middle, ask your senior leadership team first, if nothing else, because if they don’t have it, the people within their orgs don’t for sure.

0:56:36 – (Matt Widdoes): But go ask them, what is our North Star? What are we trying to accomplish here? What do we value? What’s the year end goal? What’s the big thing we have to achieve this year is a must achieve. And if you hearing that right now, think, yeah, if I go to my top five leaders, they’re going to all have a very similar answer. Good. Go ask and just sanity check that. But some of you may hear that and say, yeah, we would not, we would not have that. And so it’s like at some point you have to take that step back and invest the time into that clarity of where are we heading. So that it does matter which way you go versus, you know, it doesn’t really matter. Nobody knows. We’re just kind of like dealing with fires. It’s the ‘I Love Lucy’ cookie, you know, conveyor belt where it’s just like you’re going to wake up a year from now, three years from now, you’re going to have a lot of stuff.

0:57:30 – (Matt Widdoes): It might be built at odds with each other. You might have two systems to track the same thing because two different teams weren’t communicating about it. You may have desired to build those things in house, but you didn’t set that as a, as a target. Right. And so like, you’re, you’re going to be, you’re going to be missing out on stuff. And, and all of that that we just discussed is growth. That’s also growth. Right. And so it’s so easy for people to say, well, growth is media buying on Facebook. That’s growth team or maybe a product person, too. No, none of that stuff can be enabled if the teams don’t have fundamental clarity on where the business is heading.

0:58:01 – (Matt Widdoes): And so our job as leaders is to make sure that that’s clear. It’s well documented, it’s discussed frequently. And that everything, you know, when you have that year target, where the quarters map to that, and we’re checking those things off, then the quarters map to the weeks. And so every week we know how we’re progressing against those big things. We, of course, have day to day things that come up. We have other things that distract us. But most people, many companies, maybe not most, live in this world where they’re so on fire dealing with the next feature, dealing with the next push, dealing with the next this and this and this that. Nobody is looking at, like, the bigger picture and nobody’s kind of risen above the jungle a little bit to see if we’re even still on track to the beach or if we’re just kind of meandering around and maybe we’ve come full circle and we’re in the exact same spot we were two years ago. So that’s, nobody can lead that other than the leadership team. And that ultimately is responsible responsibility.

0:58:53 – (Ryan Maloney): Yeah, kind of like, interesting. And how you had the prompt of asking everybody on your team, what are we trying to achieve this year? And so much of what we just talked about from like a business perspective in terms of North Stars and OKRs, like, a lot of this even just filters back to what we talked about at the very beginning of the call, which is your kind of your brand strategy and your go to market strategy and your positioning. Right. You’re talking about what’s the company’s mission, vision and values, which each have different time horizons against it. Like, what is the positioning of the business?

0:59:27 – (Ryan Maloney): Who is our customer? What are we trying to solve for? At the beginning, we talked about how it’s really the entire brand is the entire company’s responsibility, and what we just talked about in terms of growth and the North Star framework, it all brings it together. I think that’s why it’s so critical. Like, even if you are only running a performance marketing user acquisition business at startup and scale up and large companies continue to only run that.

0:59:55 – (Ryan Maloney): But you need to have, and maybe you don’t call it brand strategy in your organization because of confusion, but it is that kind of that North Star, that alignment, because not only is it important internally, it’s important externally in terms of how you show up in front of customers consistently over. Over time. So I think it’s really interesting that, you know, those two pieces kind of came together.

1:00:17 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, no, I think, and there are a ton of similarities there. Well, Ryan, thank you so much for the time today. I think we could probably do a whole nother podcast on a number of these subjects, but really appreciated it. And I’m positive our listeners will have.

1:00:31 – (Ryan Maloney): Well, awesome well, thanks for. Thanks for having me, Matt. Look forward to speaking again.

1:00:37 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Thanks so much.

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