TMC Interview Featuring Caitlin Smith

On Tuesday, April 25, Cait Vlastakis Smith will be presenting at #TMCtonight. Her presentation will be focused on journey mapping and how marketers can use this tool to improve how they interact with customers. So, if you haven’t RSVP’d yet, go ahead and check out the TMC Meetup page. This will be an awesome event that you will not want to miss!

Caitlin-SmithThe Interview

As most of you know, we conduct an interview for each of our TMC speakers. We do this each month in order to help you all, our awesome members, get to know the presenters and relate to them on a more personal level prior to sharing their message. In preparation for our next event, I was given the opportunity to interview Caitlin Vlastakis Smith and learn about her career.

Once we arranged a time to conduct the interview, I began creating a list of questions to ask Caitlin. On the day of our virtual meeting, I placed my laptop in front of me, grabbed a bottle of water, and had my questions ready to go. After everything was in position, I called Caitlin to begin our interview.

If you don’t mind sharing, could you tell me a little about yourself?

I went to college for art and creative writing, and even as my career has evolved to focus more on the business side of things, I still believe creativity is what drives us forward. I love creative problem solving because it’s both art and science.   So, throughout my career, I just followed that same truth: chase down interesting problems, try to look at them differently and, most importantly, work with great people.

Do you have any cool hobbies that you love doing outside of work?

I like to hang out with my daughter and husband, which means going to the playground and acting like a big kid…I try to go down the slides with my daughter, even though I’m much too large. You’re never too old to play!

I also do a little bit of art on the side. I like to sketch and draw. I also like to write whenever I can. Not working within the constraints of a business problem, just drawing and writing for fun.

What led to your desire to have a career in marketing?

I never had a moment where I realized, ‘Hey! I want to be in marketing.’ I just followed what I was interested in and that has led me through various roles that are either within marketing or tangential to marketing, like technology, design and content strategy. I love figuring out what makes people tick and understanding the “why” behind their behaviors. Humans are interesting creatures, and I like studying them.

What do you enjoy most about working in this field?

I enjoy the blend of creative and analytical thinking. I enjoy not living in just one area but being a connector across different disciplines. That allows me to flex different muscles, and I really enjoy that.

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful marketer?

Relentless curiosity. I believe the most important trait for a marketer—and any professional, really—is to remain curious and to always ask, “Why?” The answers will often take you down many different roads, and you’ll realize how much everything is interconnected. As marketing, technology, and business become tangled together even further, it’s going to be important for people within neatly categorized departments to expand beyond their siloed group and remain curious about the larger ecosystem. One of my personal favorite pieces of writing is this one, where I wrote about obsessive curiosity and uncompromising idealism.

I saw that you have been published in Advertising Age and Content Marketing Institute. Could you tell me a little about that?

For the Content Marketing Institute article, “Content Planning: How to Use UX Research to Uncover Hidden Needs,” I was writing from the perspective of a user experience strategist and seeing the really important overlaps across UX research and content marketing, and how understanding customers better can help marketers with their work.

For the piece in Advertising Age, “Four Lessons from Losing a Pitch,” it was an interesting moment for me because it required taking a risk: being vulnerable and sharing a failure. I’d recently read ‘Daring Greatly’ by Brene Brown and recalled reading about the strength and importance of being vulnerable and talking about failure openly, so we can learn from it. I had no vision of actually submitting the article to Advertising Age. I credit two awesome people, Erin Grohs and Brittany Kotary who saw the potential in the piece and submitted it. I’m very grateful to them for that, as well as to my team who submitted insights that I packaged into the article itself.

At the TMC event in April, you plan to speak about “Journey Mapping for Marketers.” What do you consider to be your favorite thing about journey mapping?

It is a way to bring people together and get them focused on solving problems for the end customer or end user. It drives really important collaboration internally and gets cross-disciplinary teams rallied around the customer to create meaningful experiences and content.  Journey mapping helps us get out of our own way, get out of our own mindset and focused outward on our customers.

Do you have any specific advice for marketers who may have never created a journey map before?

You can do it! That is my only piece of advice.

Where do you see journey mapping and marketing going within the next five years?

Journey mapping within some organizations turns into, ‘Oh, look at this pretty map or this pretty artifact that we created,’ and there isn’t any action applied based on the activity of actually building the map.

So, my hope is that we continue to focus more on the insights and the actions from the journey mapping activity and focus less on just creating a really pretty artifact. Speed over perfection is important.

What is one major key takeaway that you hope the TMC audience leaves with after hearing your presentation?

The one key takeaway I hope they take home ties back to question five about becoming a successful marketer, and it’s that in order to truly understand your customers you have to be genuinely curious about who they are as humans. Journey mapping is one activity that can help you remain curious, and it’s a springboard for asking smart questions.

Caitlin is an awesome person to network with, and she has a lot of great advice and experience to share. If you’d like to reach out to her before the event, check out her website, Medium, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I can’t wait to hear her presentation and learn about journey mapping on April 25. I hope to see you all there!

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.


How Triangle Marketing Club Can Help You

In a previous blog that I wrote, I discussed why you should be attending the Triangle Marketing Club, TMC, events and listed multiple characteristics that contribute to the success of the events and benefits of attending. The purpose of this post is to really point out all of the ways that TMC can help you.    

At TMC, we love our members and our goal is to help them in any way that we can. Our goal is to create a relaxing atmosphere for you to network and learn once a month. No matter where you are currently at in your career path, TMC can help you. Our motto at Triangle Marketing Club is, “Learn, Network, and Mentor.”


Triangle Marketing Club prides itself on introducing awesome speakers at every event. These talented individuals have years of experience and a lot of advice to share. Their goal is to educate the TMC members on important and relevant business related topics. Through their presentations, they provide valuable knowledge and allow time at the end of their discussion to answer any questions that the audience may have.

Regardless of where you are at in your career, you are guaranteed to leave the events with new information and tips on great topics. However, the learning doesn’t stop after the presentation concludes. Our TMC interns are continuously learning new skills to add to their resumes and expanding on their learning of marketing and business concepts.


Whether you are looking for a job, searching for talent to add to your team, or just wanting to grow your network, Triangle Marketing Club provides members with the monthly opportunity to meet some of the best professionals in the Triangle. At TMC, we want to help you excel and build connections. So, whichever your intent may be, let us know. We’d be glad to introduce you to someone that fits the description you are looking for.

The great part about TMC is that there is an event every single month. This means that you can maintain the relationships that you are creating through these monthly meet-ups, and you can always meet a new connection at each event.


Not only do we want to help you network, but we want to help you build strong relationships with one another. For instance, if you are interested in mentoring the upcoming generation of marketers, let us know. We have a large number of students who would love the opportunity to learn about your career and accept any advice you may have for them. These students are the future of marketing, so why not lend a helping hand and teach them what you wished you knew when you were in their position.

On the other hand, if you are looking for someone to be a mentor for you, we can also introduce you to some of the Triangle’s most talented marketers. These mentors would love to share their knowledge with you and introduce you to some of their personal connections.


Overall, there are many reasons to attend these great events. Not only are they a lot of fun, but you will gain a lot as a result. So, if you haven’t already, go ahead and RSVP for the next event on Meetup.

Hope to see you there! #TMCtonight

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.


5 Certifications Marketing Students Should Consider Completing Prior to Graduation

As a student, we strive to stand out among our peers. Especially when we have begun the stressful, but exciting job hunt. Many of us have even been told that continuing education will not stop once we have secured a job after graduation. So, why not go ahead and acquire some of that extra knowledge and skills that could potentially help land you in the resume pile that might actually reach the hands of the hiring manager at your dream company. In fact, it also might give you a head start and an easier transition from being a full-time student to beginning your new professional career in the marketing.

Outside of my own research on certifications, I’ve networked with multiple marketing professionals over the past year and asked for their advice. Many of them have recommended certain certifications that they believe would be a great addition to any future marketer’s skill set that would set them apart from the average student.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool that all digital marketers should understand how to use. Using Google Analytics will help you better understand your customers and learn their behaviors. It tracks the traffic for your website using metrics and gives you a better understanding of how effective your website is.

Obtaining this certification is free of charge. In fact, if you create a Google Analytics account and link it to your personal website, you can practice implementing the skills that you learn while studying for the certification exam.

Google Adwords

You know that little green box that says “Ad” when you Google something? Well, that is a great example of Google Adwords. Businesses pay Google to display their ads on the search engine. Here is the catch, they only pay Google when someone actually clicks on their ad.

This is such a great tool for businesses to use to reach out to potential online customers. It’s pretty effective because the people who are searching for those specific keywords that relate to your business really want your service and will most likely click your ad because it’s what they are already searching for.

So why not get certified in this as well? It’s also free to take the certification and to practice for this exam.


Act-On is a marketing automation tool used by marketers who want to provide a great experience to their customers while measuring the results that can help provide insights on who their customers are and understand their descriptive attributes. You can also create automated campaigns through this software that your whole team will love.

I became certified in this software over the summer through my work with DCD Marketing. I received my certification through Brainshark and really learned a lot about Act-On.


Another certification that I recommend is with Hubspot. According to their website, “Hubspot is inbound marketing and sales software that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.” This tool is all about engaging with the customer.

This certification is free of charge, and you can begin preparing for the course here. Similar to the other tools, all you have to do is create an account, study, and then take the exam.


As businesses are becoming more familiar with the use of popular social media platforms, it is vital for them to not only provide relevant content on these channels but also remain active. Hootsuite allows users to easily manage their social media accounts and schedule posts in advance. The company provides five free online courses on their website for individuals to use at their discretion. However, in order to become certified, you must pay a one-time fee to take the certification exam. Each fee varies depending on which test you are taking.

Hootsuite also provides other resources to help further the social media knowledge among their users. For instance, their blog consists of learning topics such as Facebook Marketing, Twitter Marketing, Instagram Marketing, and Video Marketing. Another great source of learning assistance comes from the Hootsuite Help Center. This resource is designed to display common questions and answers as well as accept specific questions that you may have.

My Call to Action for You

Get certified as soon as possible! Of course, there are many more great tools that marketers can get certified in, but these are the top 5 that in my opinion are worthwhile to obtain prior to graduation. If you are currently enrolled in a college degree program, I highly recommend researching the courses that your university offers. For example, this semester at East Carolina University I am taking a class called Marketing Technology and Automation, and I will leave this course with certifications in Google Analytics and Act-On.

So, research your classes and take advantage of the opportunities that your university offers. If you can’t find one that offers certifications, then be proactive and dedicate a weekend to getting certified in something that would enhance your resume.

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.


Sponsorship Spotlight: Brasco///

As a member of Triangle Marketing Club, you probably now know how much we love our sponsors and appreciate all of their dedication to our organization. It’s truly because of them that we are able to have such successful events every month. This week we’d like to recognize our sponsor, Brasco ///.

In order to learn more and to properly introduce them to our members, we asked Brasco /// a few questions about their great agency. So, stick around to read what they had to say.


Could you give me a brief description of your company?

“Brasco /// is an award-winning, creative branding and digital marketing agency located in the Warehouse District of downtown Raleigh. Since 2007, Brasco /// has focused on providing marketing and branding expertise to a wide variety of clients including Fortune 500 companies, young technology start-ups, government agencies, and non-profits. For the past two years, Brasco /// has been voted one of the top Raleigh marketing agencies, and top 20 in North Carolina.”

What services do you offer?

“Brasco /// offers a long list of marketing and creative ad services, both online and offline, to include: branding, strategy, creative design, web development, search engine marketing, advertising, video, PR communications, interactive media, and much more.”


What makes your company different from the rest?

“What makes Brasco /// unique is our ability to find creative ways to engage audiences through purposeful marketing. Over the years, we’ve developed an effective, metrics driven strategy to develop campaigns that achieve results through a creative approach. Another differentiator is our team, which is made up of talented specialists that range from branding and marketing strategists to creative designers, web and app developers, and digital marketing experts. Each person comes from a different background bringing different unique perspectives that help us when developing campaigns for our clients. We are driven by the mantra, “Be Authentic” which motivates us to seek real connections and innovative experiences for the brands we represent.”

What’s the story behind the beginning of your company?

“Brasco /// began as a few friends coming together, sharing their talents, to deliver quality design and web projects. We took a boutique agency approach during the first couple of years, focused in branding, design and web development. In 2010 Brasco /// rebranded to become the agency we are today, taking a brand and marketing strategy approach, to continually lift the quality of our work. Brasco /// is now in a high growth stage, developing an all-star team of talent to deliver a fully integrated suite of marketing and advertising services. Brasco /// has grown to become one of the top agencies in the region.”

What kinds of customers do you look for?

“Brasco /// has worked with a wide range of companies (B2B & B2C), large and small. As we continue to grow we believe we add the most value to companies looking for creative ideas and a brand centric strategy to reach an audience. We are looking to continue to adding new clients, ranging from medium to large brands, stretching verticals from technology to healthcare, food services, manufacturing, and consumer goods.”

Does your company have a mission statement?

“We engage audiences to tell brand stories through purposeful marketing. We exist to add value to our clients through creative ideas and marketing expertise that helps our clients solve their problems.”

What are the overall goals for your company?

“Our vision is to build a unique creative ad agency that effectively delivers on our mission of engaging audiences and adding value to our clients. We want to add great people who are talented and want to help our team grow. We will grow over the next five years (2020) to approximately 25-30 people, in two to three offices. We are working toward being able to open a new office in 2017.”

Is there anything else that you would like the TMC audience to know about your company?

“We are always looking for talented marketers, designers, web geeks, and all around smart people. Feel free to share your expertise with us >>


Thank you so much for being a loyal sponsor, Brasco ///. We are so grateful to have you as part of the Triangle Marketing Club family, and we look forward to continue working with your agency.


This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.


TMC Interview Featuring Jack Kosakowski

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a successful salesperson? Or, just a great, well-rounded business professional in general? Well, Triangle Marketing Club presenter, Jack Kosakowski, knows just what it takes.  

During an interview I conducted with him, Jack shared some valuable knowledge relating to his sales experience, and he gave me a lot of great advice. For instance, he stressed the importance of giving back to others, being adaptable with change, networking with smart people, and continuously innovating.

I learned a lot about Jack during my conversation with him, and you can too at the TMC event on July 25th.

The Interview

It was a cold Monday afternoon, at least for me anyway. I was in the little town of Willow Spring, North Carolina and was about to call Jack Kosakowski, who was in Arizona at the time, to conduct a speaker interview for Triangle Marketing Club. Despite the fact that Jack will not be presenting at TMC until July, I wanted to talk with him as soon as possible to learn about his exciting career path. Due to the fact that we lived states apart from one another, we were unable to meet face to face, so we decided that a phone call would suffice.

After I had all of my interview materials in place, I dialed Jack’s number and eagerly waited while the phone rang. Once he answered, we greeted each other and discussed how we have both heard great things about one another thanks to our mutual connection, Chris Douglas. After chatting a bit, I explained the TMC speaker interview process and then we began the interview.

Could you tell me a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Iowa so, I’m a Midwest boy. I currently now reside in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I came out here to go to school. I’m a 12-year sales veteran, I guess you could say, now almost 13, and essentially, I have been in all types of sales.

Google pay per click was my first sales job before anyone knew what or who that was. Then, I worked as an assistant director of admissions at a nursing school, so I worked in higher education. After that, I went into manufacturing sales and sold manufacturing equipment for a pallet rack manufacturer, then I got into the world of SaaS.

I was with Act-On for about two and a half years. I did about $1.3 million in revenue with the startup and the average deal size was about $9-12k so it was a pretty big accomplishment. I guess, per se, what I found was social selling, or what they call social selling these days, was the real deal. So I was in sales, and then I learned how to become a marketer, and the main reason was because I was selling marketing automation software to marketers. I knew nothing about marketing but knew a lot about sales and then I realized, I can’t sell to marketers until I knew what the hell marketers do.

So, I started to understand social media from a marketing perspective and then kind of evolved, left Act-On, and started the U.S. division of a global agency called Creation Agency. And actually, the owner of Creation Agency, which is based out of London, United Kingdom, was my customer at Act-On. So now what I do is run a digital agency of the U.S. division and we have seven of the Fortune 500 as clients.

There’s my story in a nutshell.

So what led to your desire to pursue a sales career path?

I have two degrees in hospitality and restaurant management. I did hospitality for a long time so I worked in every department of a hotel you can think of. Once I graduated college, I was going to go into the management and training program at Starwood Hotels. Right before I was supposed to go in, I met with the manager that was kind of getting me into the program.

I looked around his office and saw that he had pictures of his kids everywhere evolving age as they grew up. So I said, ‘Why does it look like you have an evolution of your kids all over your desk.’ And he said, ‘Because I live the life of my kids through pictures. Get used to it that is the lifestyle that you are choosing.’ And I said, ‘Nope, not going to happen.’ So I decided because my family has a background in sales, and they’ve all been pretty successful at it that I would go into sales.

I never looked back after that… that wasn’t the lifestyle for me.

What is your favorite thing when it comes to working in sales?

People. I love people, and I love solving problems and disrupting people’s mindsets. I love to see the outcome as a result of those that listen to me.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

I love to travel. I just got back from Paris and London. I’ve been to 6 different countries this year.

Do you mostly travel for your job or as more of a hobby?

Usually it’s for work. The company that I am a partner in they are based out of UK so a lot of times I will go over there. The other thing is that I do some international speaking. I just spoke in Warsaw, Poland a few months ago, and I have a few international gigs coming up in 2017.

Do you enjoy speaking?

Yeah, I do. It’s kind of grown on me. It’s a lot of work but, I do enjoy it. I’m running a company so it’s kind of tough to balance the two because it takes a lot of time from the business, but I love it. My passion is educating which is pretty much what I am doing when I am speaking.

After connecting with you on LinkedIn, I noted that you stated, “My goal each and every day is to add value to someone else’s day.” How do you go about accomplishing that daily goal?

In my role, I’m very fortunate to have a lot of people who want my time so one of the things that I try to be very aware of is giving away my time. It’s a little bit harder to do as I get more successful in business, but I try to give my time to the people that ask for it, amplify my message, or advocate for me personally or professionally. I try to give as many people my time to give back as I can. I get a lot of requests on LinkedIn of people that ask questions and so forth. My thing is just staying connected with the people who are the reason I get to live the lifestyle and generate the business that I do.

Could you tell me more about your experience working with the marketing automation company, Act-On?

When I started, Act-On had less than 100 employees. They had an excellent product but still today I think they kind of struggle with brand awareness. Some of the challenges were trying to sell a product that was, in my opinion, better than a lot of the competitors but you are trying to sell against brand recognition and trying to convince somebody that what they were seeing was actually real.

We do it on a daily basis. If you go out and try to buy macaroni, most people will pay more for the Kraft Macaroni because that’s what they know. It’s a branding thing. So, one of the toughest challenges in sales especially when you’re with a product that is new, a startup, is not a lot of people know about it. Not only do you have to sell the value of the product, but you also have to sell the value of the brand. That can be very tough when people don’t know who you are. There’s a correlation between trust and awareness, and it can be tough to convince people past that.

I’d also love to hear about your time with Creation Agency. What do you usually do on a daily basis?

I oversee seven employees, and we are managing four major clients and part-time three so we are trying to scale the business. I am pretty much doing every aspect of marketing, sales, content, management, client relations… you name it, I’m doing it. I have an amazing group of people that are around me that are part of this movement that we are trying to create but you know there is a lot of inner challenges. A lot of obstacles because what you think is right is typically never ever right. You always are kind of bobbing, moving, and trying to keep up with the change that happens on a daily basis. It’s sometimes like I say, ‘it’s minute by minute. You never know what is going to happen next.’

How do you usually go about keeping up with that change?

A lot of times it’s just about understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are and really evaluating what’s best. Not what you think is best, but what does the team as a whole think is best and understanding and educating yourself so you make the right decisions. Because a lot of times what happens is what we think is the right answer, because it is what all we know, is not always the case.

So it’s really just being adaptable to change and really listening to people that are around you. If you don’t do that, especially in a leadership role, you kind of stump yourself. You keep yourself from moving forward and sometimes you can be your own worst enemy by doing that.

Since you have a lot of experience using a marketing automation system, what is your opinion on the use of these systems?

That’s actually the main source of business for our agency. So what we do is run the marketing automation for companies. We are usually the team behind, for example, IBM we run their marketing automation in Europe.

We believe that marketing automation is not a “nice have” anymore it is a “must have.” If you’re not tying all of the different things you are doing in the digital world into one major source where all of the data flows, and you can’t market to your buyers or potential buyers on a one to one level based on their behaviors, then you are in big trouble in 2017.

Do you see that a lot of agencies are starting to implement that through their practices? Or do you see that a lot of agencies are still behind in that category?

Agencies are very far behind. Now, companies are starting to get it, but they don’t really understand all of the moving parts that are involved in order to be successful with marketing automation. Most people are sending an email or they are using one or two little components of marketing automation, but they don’t have the strategy, and they don’t have everything built around the strategy that they need to have a maximized true success through marketing automation.

With all of your experience, do you have any advice for marketing professionals such as myself?

Get around really smart people and have mentorship, especially for your age group in college. Get around the smartest people that you possibly can and give away your time. Trade value for value. A lot of time what I see… exactly what you are doing right now. You’re doing some internships and working with a really smart guy who has learned the ropes.

Get to know the right people, work in the weaves with brands and companies that are using marketing automation, and learn every aspect. Just eat up every single piece of information and apply it while you can. There’s nothing more valuable than learning and applying at the highest level at your age. So, you’re going to go really far for learning what you know right now because of your mentorship.

On the other spectrum, what advice do you have for someone who has been in the industry for a while?

You never stop innovating. I think if you want to get the competitive advantage, and you want to stay around long term, you have to understand that you never know everything. What you are doing always is going to change, and you need to change before everyone else figures out that they need to change.

Use innovation as your competitive advantage.

Without giving away too much of what you plan to present at the TMC event, what is the most important thing that you hope the TMC audience will learn from your presentation?

One of the things that I really want to get across and educate on is the power of digitally surrounding your buyers. So, being valuable everywhere that they live and encompassing that as a strategy. I think where a lot of marketers struggle is that they think they are going to do social or they’re going to do email, and what they do is they pigeonhole themselves into a strategy that is siloed. So understanding how to be everywhere at all times and stay in front of your buyers six months before they even know that they are ready to buy and do it in a way that organically brings the buyer to you over time when they are ready.

After the close of my interview questions with Jack, he mentioned to me that he enjoys knowing who will be in attendance at his presentations beforehand so he can tailor his message to the audience. He likes to research what companies the members are with, what are they doing now, and what should they be doing. Jack uses the audience’s own personal data to personalize the way that he presents.

I was given this amazing opportunity to pick Jack’s brain with multiple questions to learn about him and his fascinating career. Now, it’s your turn. Go ahead and connect with him on social to let him know you will be attending the TMC event on July 25th.

You can find Jack on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Also, check out his awesome Youtube channel!

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.


Why #TMCtonight

Are you interested in meeting talented professionals from the Triangle area? Or, learning about awesome topics to incorporate within your skillset? Then Triangle Marketing Club may be the perfect place for you! There are endless opportunities within this organization, and I can promise that if you attend one of these monthly events, you will leave with a numerous amount of connections.

I’m sure you’re currently thinking to yourself, “This sounds great, but I’d like to know more.” Well, have no fear, because you are about to find out exactly why you should attend #TMCtonight.

Multiple Opportunities to Network

Triangle Marketing Club holds an event on one weekday evening every month. On average, the events usually last around two hours so there is plenty of time to make multiple connections. The first portion of the event is dedicated specifically to networking. Marketers from all over the Triangle come together to network with one another at these events.

If you want to get a head start on networking prior to the event, you can check out the TMC Meetup page to see who has already RSVP’d. If you see someone you are interested in meeting, go ahead and find them on LinkedIn. Once you two are connected, send that person a message and tell them that you too are attending the TMC event, and you’d really like the opportunity to get to know them.

After the event, I highly recommend reaching out to your new connections on LinkedIn or through their contact information from their business cards. This way you can continue to build the relationship with them and expand your network. Also, Meetup has a neat feature that allows you to send each person that you see at the event a “Good to see you” message. I personally really like this Meetup attribute because it helps remind each person who I am and that I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with them.

Brilliant Speakers

The second part of the TMC events is reserved for spectacular presentations. All of the TMC speakers are very talented and have a lot of real world experience. Within the past year alone, we have had some awesome presenters such as:







We love our speakers, and we can’t wait to welcome more knowledgeable presenters to the Triangle Marketing Club events next year! If you haven’t already, go ahead and take a look at the Meetup page to see some of the speakers who have already confirmed a date in 2017.

Free Admission, Food, Beer, and SWAG

These events are completely free to attend! Not only that but also, TMC provides free beer from Compass Rose Brewery and some delicious appetizers to snack on while you network your way around the room and gain knowledge from relevant topics.

Also, at each event, you will be given the chance to win something totally awesome! For instance, we often give away a pair of free concert tickets courtesy of our sponsor, Live Nation. Another one of our sponsors, Proforma, also provides really cool giveaway items for each event.

On top of the giveaway items, Proforma and BP Studios have provided some of our previous events with great SWAG items at the check-in table.

For example, some SWAG items that Proforma has given out are hand sanitizers, chapstick, and bottle openers. Our other sponsor, BP Studios, has also given out SWAG before at some of our events like the phone screen cleaners that can be attached to the back of a cell phone.

As you can see, there are multiple reasons for why you should attend #TMCtonight. We have some wonderful sponsors, talented speakers, and a great team that all contribute to the success of our monthly Triangle Marketing Club events.

If you don’t believe me, I highly encourage you to come see for yourself!

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.


Sponsorship Spotlight: Adapt Partners

You may wonder how
Triangle Marketing Club pulls off such great events every month. To start, we have a spectacular team who devotes a lot of time and energy into making each event a success. Although, these individuals aren’t the only ones who are dedicated to our cause. Triangle Marketing Club has a great list of sponsors who contribute to the success of our organization.

Specifically, we would like to recognize Adapt Partners for their sponsorship with TMC and introduce this awesome group to our members. We can always count on seeing part of the Adapt Partners’ team show up at our monthly networking events. So if you haven’t gotten a chance to meet some of them, be sure to introduce yourself at the next event on November 29th!  

Adapt Partners

Adapt Partners is a technical SEO agency located in Cary, North Carolina. You may have heard of them before or have noticed their name on Moz’s Recommended List. They are among this elite list because of the hard-work and talent that they have demonstrated over the years. Of these 50 companies known for their SEO and Web Marketing, four are located in North Carolina, which includes Adapt Partners. Being placed on this list definitely sets this company apart from the rest and acknowledges them for their superb SEO talents.


Although they are a full-service agency, their primary focus is on SEO. Adapt Partners has 3 full-time people on their team with a background in technical SEO, one being the CEO and the other two at the director level. Adapt Partners assures that each account team has a full-time dedicated technical SEO member with more than 10 years of experience. When a client chooses Adapt Partners, they are guaranteed to have a talented team to help them along their journey to success.

Services Offered:

  • Technical SEO
  • On-page SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Quality Link Building
  • PPC
  • CRO
  • Online Reputation Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • UX Recommendations
  • Content Strategy and Development

Adapt Partners creates customized packages for each of their clients. Each package is based on the specific needs of their client. For example, if a client is interested in a particular service, then they would incorporate it into their client’s retainer. Once the services are chosen, the client then would purchase a certain number of hours per month.


This company is very passionate about their clients and will do what it takes to lead their customers to success. Prior to working together, Adapt Partners wants to fully understand their potential client’s business and goals. They firmly believe that if they aren’t helping their customers succeed in business, then they aren’t succeeding as an agency.

“Our philosophy is simple, we succeed when you succeed.” -Adapt Partners

Adapt Partners does not limit itself to only working with a specific target industry. In fact, they work with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small mom and pop stores. The clientele of Adapt Partners is very committed and must understand that it takes time to see true results such as ROI from SEO strategy. Before a business can see any improvement, it might take months of sustained effort and dedicated strategy to boost an online presence for that company and maximize ROI with SEO.

Do You Want to Work at Adapt Partners?

Adapt Partners is searching for a project manager to join their team. Check out the position here.

We love having you as a sponsor, Adapt Partners. Your dedication to our group does not go unnoticed, and we are thankful for your constant support.

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.


Your November Speaker, Drew Robison

Triangle Marketing Club will be welcoming software architect, Drew Robison, on November 29th. At the event, Drew will be discussing how we should be building our websites in order to produce better leads. This is going to be a great presentation by a very talented computer science expert with over twenty-five years of experience.

Drew’s journey began at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. He chose this career path as it was the big upcoming job at the time, and he believed it would be a great adventure for him to explore.

After graduating, he worked at the Research Triangle Institute,  RTI International, where he held the position of research and development engineer. Within this position, he was given the opportunity to work with agencies such as State Bureau of Investigation, NASA, and the Department of Defense. A month after he concluded his work with RTI International, Drew began working with the Institute of Academic Technology at UNC Chapel Hill. He worked there under the title of Multimedia Support and Technologies Manager.

Drew has worked on a lot of really neat projects over the years. For instance, he was able to be part of a project that utilized technology in order to help train people who are blind. They were able to utilize audio technology by taking pieces of audio and video and capture each of the frames. Drew and his team at UNC created a clip maker that was designed to piece together all of the clips to help train people who were not able to see. Another project that Drew took a part of was writing the drivers for the multimedia extensions in Windows. A prime example is when he and his team wrote a video driver for the first multimedia extension. The video driver was created as a means to link a display adapter to an operating system such as Windows. Another project example that demonstrates his success within the field is his work on the creation of the precursor for the very first browser.

After working at RTI and UNC for a number of years, he decided to begin his own company. Drew was very well known around the nation for having the ability and knowledge on how to convert multimedia, so starting his own company would be a great investment. According to Drew, he saved up his money and purchased a big PC that had Photoshop capabilities providing him the opportunity to kickstart his company. He had the opportunity to speak about multimedia at several different universities and then launched BP Studios in 1994.

Drew really enjoys taking the talents that he and his team at BP Studios have and being able to apply it towards people who may need their skills and knowledge. For example, they have used their talents to help people with disaster relief needs. He noted that he loves seeing technology being used to help manage those type of events and seeing the outcome which brings people together and helps those in need. Drew values the use of technology for the good of the community and bringing his team together to make a difference in multiple aspects of community involvement.

After years of experience within the industry, he can attest to the engaging and rewarding aspect of the job. Drew noted that he enjoys having the opportunity to always learn something new within this field. His self-motivation to push himself further in his career as well as desire for learning new skills has contributed to his success.

Drew hopes that the TMC crowd will gain a lot of insight from his presentation. Most importantly, the ability to be able to understand the complete picture, from beginning to end, of the B2B sales engagement life cycle in an automated way. So come out to the event and learn about how you can create better leads through your website.

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.

Sponsorship Spotlight: KnowledgeTree

Once every month, typically on a Tuesday, our outstanding group of marketers meets at an awesome workspace to network, listen to a great presentation, snack on some delicious appetizers, and drink yummy beverages. However, Triangle Marketing Club can’t take all of the credit for such great monthly events. We owe a lot of thanks to our wonderful sponsors!

One sponsor in particular that has been a tremendous supporter of our events is KnowledgeTree. We are so grateful for them and the great space they provide for us all to relax and network every month. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out a Triangle Marketing Club event and see their company’s space, come out to their facility on November 29th and see for yourself!

So what is there to know about KnowledgeTree? Well, I got to find out first-hand from Senior Marketing Manager, Shelley Cernel.



KnowledgeTree helps sales teams know what to say next to advance any prospect. The solution uses predictive analytics to analyze which content works best for any sales situation and automatically pushes winning content to where reps work — in their CRM and email. 

Also, KnowledgeTree helps marketing teams identify gaps in their content library and gain insight into what content is advancing deals and how. As a result, they are able to optimize their content creation efforts.

They work by their mission statement, “We help every sales team know what to say to advance any prospect,” which allows them to provide the best content and guidance for their clients.


The Story of the Beginning  

KnowledgeTree was founded as a content management solution. According to Shelley, the company identified one of their customers doing something “particularly interesting” with their solution. Meaning, they were assessing the Return on Investment, ROI, and tracking the content performance.

As a result, they realized that this analytics-driven approach to sales content was a massive market opportunity that their company could easily embrace.



The two primary software products offered are KnowledgeTree Launchpad and KnowledgeTree Fusion.  

  • KnowledgeTree Launchpad provides a web-based, enterprise-grade application for storing, managing, and sharing sales enablement and marketing content.
  • KnowledgeTree Fusion assesses which sales enablement content is most effective for any sales situation. It pushes those recommendations to reps where they work.

Specifically, they created KnowledgeTree Fusion as a software to address the market opportunity for incorporating the use of analytics and sales content.



Like other companies, KnowledgeTree loves their customers. Their clients tend to have growing or large inside and field sales organizations.

Specifically, hyper-growth companies such as Zuora, RingCentral, and RealPage all depend on KnowledgeTree. As customers of KnowledgeTree, they are guaranteed to receive constant support with their sales processes and relevant content for their sales reps.  


Competitive Advantage

As a salesperson, it is essential to make sure you use the right content that engages your prospects. So why not get assistance from a company that can help you do just that? KnowledgeTree uses a dual focus on “predictive analytics for sales” and “embedding in a rep’s workflow” to help their clients accomplish their goals. As Shelley stated, “We see content use triple and prospect engagement double when sales teams use KnowledgeTree.”

We really appreciate all you do for us, KnowledgeTree. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you and your fantastic team! 

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.


A Project Management Mentor – Tera Simon

On October 25th, the Triangle Marketing Club will be welcoming Tera Simon, an NC State alumnus. You may have heard of her before as she has been asked to speak at many conferences around the United States and will continue to do so throughout the rest of this year. We are really excited to have her present at this month’s event and share her project management words of wisdom with us. So, if you haven’t RSVP’d yet, you should do so now!

So, what is there to know about Tera Simon?

To start, she is an avid reader. If you see her waiting in a line somewhere, I can assure you that you will find her reading a new book series on her kindle. She also enjoys working out at Flywheel and playing on her two kickball teams every Tuesday night.

Tera is also a die-hard NFL fan. Currently, she is in five
fantasy football leagues and continues to dominate in one league in particular as the only female. Not only does she love NFL football, but she is a college football fan as well. As a big Wolfpack fan, she tries to attend every NC State football game to support her alma mater.

So, if you’re like Tera and love football, swing by Lonerider Brewery after a great game, and try the “Sweet Josie” drink as it is based off of Tera herself!

What about Tera’s journey to project management?

She originally started out with a dream to become a sports broadcaster. It wasn’t until later that she “stumbled” into project management. While in college, she got the chance to work with three guys who wanted to start a show for WKNC 88.1 called, “Sports Revolution.”

She was in a class with the guys, and they asked her to join the team to add a female perspective to their new sports broadcasting show. She started answering calls and patching people through to the show. Then she began to answer the callers on air and would add her own personal opinion as she knew a lot about sports. As a result, they ended up gaining a lot of listeners. To this day, the show still exists with the unique characteristic of having three guys and one girl. Through this opportunity, Tera showed that girls actually do know and understand sports.

During her senior year of college, she had an internship with NBC 17 which led to a job offer from her boss who started his own production house. She began working as an editor and onscreen talent for a television show that came on before NASCAR. It was then that she realized she didn’t want to be on camera.

However, these opportunities made her realize her love for planning and facilitating anything that was complex. She took a job with another local production house which is where she really began her journey with project management. She enjoyed traveling so working at Centerline Digital was a perfect fit as she could work at events and with video production.

Later on, she moved to New York where she pursued her new dream in project management at a
video game company. At this company, she worked on a super cool project that helped influence high school students that accounting and finance can be fun. The project was to create and build a video game to be used in around 450 schools as an educational piece for high school students.

The video game was created as a six-week high school course curriculum assignment. Different schools would compete against each other and the winning teams would be offered scholarships to college. According to Tera, over the four to five year time frame that they included the learning game, they saw about a 5-10% increase of students who decided to major in business accounting.

Five years later, she returned to Raleigh and has been working with Atlantic BT ever since. She oversees the entire client engagement side of the company and handles a lot of their business development tasks.

What makes Tera the perfect fit for a position in project management?

Naturally, Tera has all the desired characteristics for being in a project management career. She has always been a go-getter and extremely organized. In addition, she’s an extremely good communicator which is another important characteristic of a great project manager.

With over 15 years of experience, Tera has continued to explore her passion of project management and use her natural traits to excel in the field. She understands what it takes to succeed and knows exactly how to apply those characteristics.

For example, she can read a room extremely well and can steer a conversation or relationship in the right direction. However, she isn’t afraid to do what it takes, even if it means having difficult discussions with her clients or protecting her team.

Tera loves building relationships with her clients along with teammates. Even after the projects with her clients are completed, she continues to maintain the relationships with them afterward.

Another factor that has led to her passion in project management is knowing that there is not a single project or a work day that is the same. Whether it’s watching something come together as a whole or working on different projects every day, she finds this particular career path very gratifying. She has always enjoyed the rush of facilitating the ins and outs of the many projects that she has worked on over the years.

How does Tera celebrate a win or a project accomplishment?

While we were talking, Tera made it clear to me that when you are working with a client or your production team, you should always celebrate a win.

Even if it is something small, acknowledge the success of your team. It can be as simple as bringing in a small treat for everyone, such as Krispy Kreme donuts like Tera often does.

Remember that it’s not always about the big major wins, but it’s also about celebrating the small victories. –Tera Simon

So celebrate those victories, whether big or small and get to know each of your team members! Tera explained to me that knowing what your team members like and don’t like can make an impact. For instance, when Tera brings in donuts to celebrate an accomplishment she knows which kind each of her team members prefers. As Tera says, “Make sure you’re the biggest cheerleader for the team.”

When it comes to big projects, do something special and incorporate a fun activity that the whole group would enjoy doing. Tera suggests to plan a nice dinner where everyone can relax and not have to talk about work.

She also recommended that it’s great to invite spouses and significant others as a thank you and to acknowledge that you appreciate them just as much as your teammate.   

Tera’s last advice when it comes to celebrating an achievement is to always include your clients. They too play a significant part in project completion. It’s important to continuously build your relationships with your clients and stay with them through all the project stages, even the celebration.

Always remember that your client needs to be involved in the celebrations as well. –Tera Simon

So, is project management for you?

Do some research about the subject, check out this TMC blog about project management, attend the event this month, and reach out to Tera. If you have some of the same characteristic traits and you enjoy watching things come together from start to finish, you may be a great fit as well!

How many plates can you have spinning at one time make sure none of them fall? That’s what project management really is. –Tera Simon

If you get a really high adrenaline rush off of getting to do something different every single day, then project management is for you. –Tera Simon

Project management requires a lot of hard work, but in the end it is completely worth it to see the final project come together and to be able to celebrate each accomplishment with your team and clients!

Have you RSVP’d yet?

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to better understand how to manage your clients’ expectations and learn more about project management from an experienced professional like Tera Simon! Her goal is to help you understand what it takes to set the right expectations for your clients and understand how to determine and manage their scope.

So, what are you waiting for? RSVP and come out to our next event to hear Tera present on this topic! Plus, follow her on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn!

See you on the 25th!

This blog was written for Triangle Marketing Club.