Jen Carroll

Episode Transcript

Show Notes for Flying Solo as a B2B Marketing Manager With Denise Hobson

In this episode, recorded last November, we take our maiden voyage with interviews of professionals who deal with the day-to-day challenges and successes of marketing, sales, or customer service for small to midsize businesses. Our first guest is Denise Hobson, the marketing director of the Great Lakes Region of Visual Edge Technology, headquartered in North Canton, Ohio. Visual Edge was formed as a developmental startup in the wide format printing industry. Through many strategic acquisitions, the company has become one of the largest, value-added resellers in the office automation industry.

As the only in-house marketer for Visual Edge, Denise flies solo, an arrangement we’re sure many marketers can relate to. She started her marketing career as an accident, as she describes it, before the Great Recession of 2008, and in this interview, she shares a wealth of knowledge and experience about the complexities of marketing for many brands within a brand.

We hope you enjoy this insightful interview.

Small Business Shoutout

Our small business shoutout in this episode is actually a nonprofit called Compassion Delivered, which provides meals for people in the Stark County, Ohio area who are coping with a life-threatening illness.

What We Are Drinking

Denise is drinking green tea, and Jen is drinking Kenya Kosabei black tea from Ohio Tea Company.

Please don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and give us a review.

Note: This content was created, and is best consumed, as audio, an intimate communication experience. Transcripts fail to capture tone, voice inflection, emphasis, and the other characteristics of audio that make it so personal. So, we hope you’ll listen.

If you do choose to read, please be aware this transcript was created using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and a little bit of human editing; it may contain mistakes and typos.

Jen Carroll 0:02
Hey there, it’s time once again for the Meaningful, Measurable Marketing podcast. I’m Jen Carroll.

Annalisa Hilliard 0:07
And I’m Annalisa Hilliard,

Jen Carroll 0:08
And together we are the names of Data Dames Marketing.

Annalisa Hilliard 0:12
As the Data Dames, Jen and I are marketing strategy consultants who help our clients align marketing, business goals and measure results that matter.

Jen Carroll 0:20
As longtime friends we avidly consume and critique all kinds of drinks, spend as much time outdoors as possible, and are always learning.

Annalisa Hilliard 0:27
We also strive to stay on top of what’s happening in our industry.

Jen Carroll 0:30
Our goal with this podcast is to look at today’s biggest marketing trends, many requiring enterprise level teams and budgets to fully implement and try to apply them in ways that make sense for small to midsize businesses.

Annalisa Hilliard
We hope you’ll subscribe to our podcast and leave us a review. You can connect with Jen and me via our website,, or on LinkedIn where we do most of our social media networking.

Jen Carroll 0:53
So here we are today on the Data Dames Marketing podcast, and we are trying something new. We have invited Oh.

Jen Carroll 1:07
We have invited a guest today to join us. I’m welcoming Denise Hobson. She is the marketing director, Great Lakes region of Visual Edge Technology. Hey, Denise.

Denise Hobson 1:21

Jen Carroll 1:22
Hey, nice to have you with us.

Annalisa Hilliard 1:24
Welcome to the show.

Denise Hobson 1:26
I know that you know and and we’re gonna get started right away with the serious stuff. Oh, I know. I know.

Annalisa Hilliard 1:36
It’s hard. It’s a Friday, so

Jen Carroll 1:37
I know. So I’d love for you to tell folks a little bit about yourself and then tell them what you’re drinking today.

Get ready to make sure that seriousness.

Denise Hobson 1:53
Okay, a little about me. Okay. So I am the like you said, Director for the Great Lakes region. And locally what that means is marketing for Graphic Enterprises and Copeco. We are an office technology company. And that includes offices in Michigan as well. See,

I am not drinking anything exciting. I’m drinking green tea with honey right now.

Annalisa Hilliard 2:22
Hey I just had that.

Jen Carroll 2:23
Yeah, that’s an Annalisa favorite.

Denise Hobson 2:26
Okay, all right.

Annalisa Hilliard 2:27
Are you doing iced or hot?

Denise Hobson 2:30

Annalisa Hilliard 2:31
Okay, good.

Jen Carroll 2:32
It kind of it’s it’s time. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I just finished drinking a really large mug of Ohio Tea Company, Kenyan tea. So with a little bit of Oh, I know with a little bit of cream and sugar. So I do at the British way. We got some, some black Kenyan tea. And that’s how I was handling my afternoon. Just a little kick of caffeine to finish the day here.

We are going to do our small business shout out. But we’re going to do a little bit a little bit of something different today. We’re going to let Denise take the floor and she’s going to give her shout out today.

Denise Hobson 3:19
Okay, cool. I just would love to give a shout out to an organization called compassion delivered. And they are a nonprofit in Stark County. And their main focus is to create cook and deliver a nutritious meals to folks who have cancer or basically if they have some sort of life threatening illness, that they’re spending their time either in cancer treatments or other treatments. And they’re not really getting interest. The last thing on their mind is a nutritious meal. So what this organization does is they work with the hospitals and get referrals from them and people apply and then they make all these meals, they deliver them to them. And even through COVID that is one thing that they wanted to make sure that these people still had access. They even went above and beyond like delivering groceries and other things that they needed. So yeah, so it’s a great organization and I fully support them. And I think they are absolutely amazing what they do.

Jen Carroll 4:26
Wow, I have not I didn’t even know that was going on right here and in our backyard. What’s it called again?

Denise Hobson 4:32
Compassion delivered

Jen Carroll 4:34
Compassion delivered. Do they have a website?

Denise Hobson 4:36
They do is

Okay, You know, I’m thinking you know, a lot of times people are part of faith communities or other kinds of things and they do you know, meal trains for people who have have need, but this sounds like an amazing organization because there’s probably a lot of people who, who don’t have, you know, a group come around them and like make them meals. I think that’s I think that’s really awesome. I’m glad you shared that. Thank you.

Annalisa Hilliard 5:07
Do they have a just one office location? Are they mostly just remote or?

Denise Hobson 5:13
the office location is or working out or home a couple who started as Amanda and Daniel Anschutz, and they make the meals a church has let them come in to use their kitchen. So they make all the meals their volunteers deliver the meal every week. They have really, like I said, they even during COVID they have really stepped up and and it was one of those things where How could you not?

Jen Carroll 5:39
Yeah, yeah. That’s it’s That’s awesome. I didn’t even know. And now I know. Cool. Yeah. Thanks, Denise. Yeah,

Denise Hobson 5:48
yeah. And you know, this, they would have had a big fundraiser this year. And they were not able to do that. Obviously, they have a big gala that they put on every October and they try something different to raise money through a little drive thru experience. They were able to raise some money. But again, you know, just like every other nonprofit, you know, right now, they’re just not getting the donations that they typically would, because everybody’s focus is elsewhere. So it’s a great organization and like to support them.

Jen Carroll 6:19
When we’ll, we’ll definitely share, we’ll share the link to their website and our podcast transcript. And, and so it’ll be available there for people to find as well. Thanks, Denise, for that. Cool, you’re welcome.

When we’ll, we’ll definitely share, we’ll share the link to their website and our podcast transcript. And, and so it’ll be available there for people to find as well. Thanks, Denise, for that. Cool.

Denise Hobson 6:30
you’re welcome.

Jen Carroll 6:31
So, tell us a little bit about your career in marketing. How, you know, how long have you been in marketing? And how have things evolved over the years?

Denise Hobson 6:43
Well, you know, I’m an old person,

Jen Carroll 6:46
like me

Denise Hobson 6:49
doing this back, and they’ll actually I kind of started by accident, it was one of those moments where I was working for a builder basically doing admin things for them. And they needed someone to put together brochures and light descriptions of their homes. And they started doing that I’m like, Hey, I’m really good at making them look good to maybe I, you know, further my education, but the building industry, you know, 2007 2008 kind of really took a nosedive, that was when the economy was really kind of bad. So I could kind of see the writing on the wall on the wall, I could, I knew that I would have to look for another if I wanted to see you in marketing, which I thought, This is my passion, I would have to finish getting my degree, which I started many years before, and then I would have to look elsewhere. So in the middle of all that, of going to the University of Akron and getting my degree, I started at Graphic Enterprises and Copeco 13 years ago, when I first started there, they really didn’t have a marketing department, their advertising marketing was spending 1000s of dollars in yellow page ads.

Jen Carroll 8:02
Oh, wow.

Annalisa Hilliard 8:04
Talk about old school. Yeah.

Denise Hobson 8:06
Right. Right. And normal for their industry to do that.

Jen Carroll 8:10
So well, this seems like very appropriate time to ask how, how the marketing function is structured at at, at graphic enterprises and copy code. So tell us a little bit more about that evolution then.

Denise Hobson 8:27
Right. So I had to bring him into this century.

Annalisa Hilliard 8:31
You’re not that old. You were

Denise Hobson 8:37
a grandma for crying out loud.

Annalisa Hilliard 8:40
That’s only a title. That’s right. That’s right.

Denise Hobson 8:45
That is true. That is true. Well, we started looking at the website, which was barely functioning at that time. And there was so many more things that you could do with a website. And basically, when I got there, you could go on, you can request a service call, or you could request someone send you supply. So that has come a long way still has a long way to go, as you know, changes daily,

Jen Carroll 9:10

Denise Hobson 9:12
Every time I say something like oh, we really have to work on our SEO, they’ll say now what is that again?

Jen Carroll 9:18
So so you’re still dragging them into this into the site? A little? Got it?

Denise Hobson 9:23
Yeah. You know, they call them legacy employees, people that have been around in the industry for years and years and years. And you know, they are all about feet on the street making the phone call, which is what you should do, but there are other ways that you can get those inbound leads which would make their life so much easier. So

Jen Carroll 9:43
and I guess that speaks to you know, how sales and customer service and marketing might work together at at Copeco or

Denise Hobson 9:55
it’s complicated just because they’re two companies and you know what in marketing, for one, you have to do a separate video marketing plan for the next one, some things are similar, but you can’t do the same thing, especially when you’re writing, you know, to website content. And then you’re working with our service department, and they have needs that they need to do. And then you have our supply sales. And then you have our feet on the streets, the equipment representatives, that that go out there. And it’s, it’s a delicate dance. I guess.

Jen Carroll 10:31
I like that, you know, that. That makes me that makes me think, you know, you aren’t alone, I’m sure in old school organizations that you know, are looking to, you know, new technology to help with the marketing and the sales. What advice do you have for other marketing managers? Like, you know, I guess I didn’t define this originally, do you have a team that you’re working with? Are you you know, kind of falling solo? And then how, you know, what, what advice do you have for other people in similar organizations?

Denise Hobson 11:11
I am flying solo, I am the sole marketing person, any support that I have what I have some IP support, I have a digital marketing team that I work with the website designers,

Jen Carroll 11:24
are they in house or you work with or not?

Denise Hobson 11:28
We contract with them, they’re not in house. Okay? Yeah. So my advice would be to keep learning, learn everything, you know, learn about design, you might be designing your own, not just website, but your own brochures, your own fliers, to support your sales teams. You know, a lot of times they say, if I only had a piece of paper that I could drop off and say that I was there, you know, they’re they’re going to want some sort of special or something to help explain what they are and what they do. So learn design, learn the back end of how search engine optimization works. Don’t put all your your eggs in one basket, though. So you have to learn about algorithms, learn about how Twitter works, how Facebook works, learn about advertising, learn about Google, you just have to constantly learn about everything that you can. Because all we have, you know, it’s hard to sometimes prove ROI. And all we have is what we can prove that we’ve done. So we have data, you know, data?

Jen Carroll 12:46
Well, that’s a great actually a great segue, how are you using data? I mean, what have you, I guess, what have you found to be the most valuable data asset that that you’re measuring?

Denise Hobson 13:00
Anything that I can take to our company President, he’ll go, Wow. Wow, stuff? Yeah. Yeah. So you know, you know, things that I take him it’s like, Okay, what is what is our anything you can pull up on on your your Google is, you know, what, what pages are visited. But, you know, we’re finding blogs that somebody wrote many years ago. Would that be? Jennifer Carol? Very, very smart lady.

Jen Carroll 13:39
Thank you.

Denise Hobson 13:40
Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, back then, it was actually a new concept writing blogs. Right. Yeah. fairly new. In our industry. Yeah. As a way to get keywords onto your websites that, you know, Uncle Google can’t come in and say, yeah, we’re not recognizing that anymore. So it was a way to do that. So we knew that we had to do something, to get that information on our website and make us look smart. You know, we contacted the very smart lady to help us do that. But those blogs, say most shameless plugs are still doing very well. It’s crazy that they are but they still are doing very well. So awesome. Stuff like that. Like, you know, I told you, we shouldn’t stop writing blogs because look at this, there’s still you know, doing very well, people are visiting our website just to get that information. You know, right now, it’s about our digital, how lower we do Google ads. We work with one of our manufacturers, HP and they’re very much into digital advertising. So we have to do a certain amount of ad placements, things like that, so that HP will say, okay, you know, we’ll reimburse you for that. So anything that I can show him that that, Okay, last year, we had this many visitors to our site, that So we have the same as is for a site, that impressive thing. And then what are they doing when they get there? Right? What are what pages are they visiting? Where they they hang on? Stuff like that?

Annalisa Hilliard 15:12
Yeah. Which I mean, I think speaks to not just the searchability of those blog posts, you know, certainly, as you said, keywords, you know, but also probably from a user standpoint, there’s something there, that is worthwhile. That’s, you know, educational, informative, etc, that it gets their attention and keep them there to, to explore other parts of

Jen Carroll 15:39
Yeah, so bringing your end users or your visitors value. That’s, that’s huge.

Annalisa Hilliard 15:47
Really. That’s right. That was the whole thing behind content marketing. That was the purpose from the start, right? Yeah. provide value to visitors.

Jen Carroll 15:59
And I think in some ways, that was a kind of a sort of a whole new concept. I’m not saying that marketers never provided value before, that’s certainly not the case. But I think that that idea of using education or you know, valuable information, as a way to reinforce your brand, as well as draw people to, to it was was kind of a, you know, revolutionary concept and marketing. Obviously, it’s matured quite a bit now, but it’s still, that’s still the goal. That’s still the, you know, why why you do it,

Denise Hobson 16:37
right? marketing with intent now, instead of just blowing off the keywords, and, you know, making sure they’re in there somewhere now, it’s with intent, you know, 10 years ago, that was a new concept. Yeah.

Annalisa Hilliard 16:49
Just like with, yeah, how you evolve, marketing at, at Copeco and graphic enterprise, online now, as an evolution of its own,

Jen Carroll 17:02
but I like what you had to say too, about, you know, learning, obviously, that’s one of our guiding principles at Data Dames is learn, always be learning, and I liked how you talked about how you provide other kinds of content for the sales team, and I’m sure that that’s a really valuable thing for, you know, marketing to be to be doing and working hand in hand with sales. You know, as you mentioned, that, you know, it’s not just the online content, although I think that’s, that’s key, it’s, you know, making sure that they have what they need in their hands to, to do what they need to do. And that’s probably I would guess, that’s a big part of your work,

Denise Hobson 17:43
right? I mean, they have to be able to tell a story, and provide the customer with not only their story, but what all we can do now. So, you know, it used to be just copiers and copiers can do all these things. Now, now, it’s been a new, we’ve added printers, now we’ve managed IT services and managed print services, and you just keep we keep as a company adding value, and it’s harder and harder to tell that story in a 30-second elevator speech, you know, you know, that’s what sales are used to doing. So we have to find ways for them to be able to tell their story and keep the message consistent. And, you know, you get these young people come in, and then you have these legacy employees, and they’re all doing it differently. But the message has to be consistent. So that’s another way that that marketing is in there, helping them guide that piece of it.

Jen Carroll 18:35
And, you know, messaging is something that I talk a lot about with clients, you’ve kind of talked about, you know, the messaging from product and service standpoint, I’d like to like maybe flip that a little bit and and ask about how do you find out what the pain points for your primary audiences are? How do you find out what those pain points are those those challenges they’re facing so that you can align your messaging with the what those pain points are?

Denise Hobson 19:05
It’s conversations with our sales staff, you know, going into their weekly meetings and you know, talking about you know, what’s what’s happening out there, what, why we’re Why did you not make this sale, but the sales? Why were we able to meet their needs here, cutting those promises, and sometimes it’s people writing in different emails to saying, Hey, you know, you did a great job, we were able to do this, this and this, and if that person found our what we had valuable, how can we capitalize on that and make that available to everybody and be sure that messaging is out there consistently as well?

Jen Carroll 19:46
Well, there’s another Yeah, another example of where you’re working hand in hand with sales. You know, while he said it’s a delicate dance, I’m definitely you know, hearing you say it’s, it’s also you know, a critical aspect of of what you do every day. as a marketer, and I, I still encounter, you know, businesses where, you know, sales, customer service and marketing are all siloed doesn’t sound like that’s a, that’s not a great strategy.

Denise Hobson 20:12
No, it’s never going to be a great strategy, because you’ll never, if you’re the marketing person, and you’re in a silo, and you’re just throwing darts, if you’re not communicating with your customer service team, they’ll come up with something that, you know, we should be doing this better, we should be doing this better. Okay, well, let’s see how we can do that. It’s again, keeping those lines of communication open, making sure that they know that they can come to you, and you’re listening, you have to work with your sales team. It’s not ever going to be easy. But then I could tell you plenty of story, however. However, however, but that’s, that’s, that’s part of the job. If you’re not working with your sales team, if you’re not figuring out what their needs are, and you’re not making sure that you know, they’re they will cooperate with you and send a consistent message out and let’s, they’re getting what they feel like they need as well.

Annalisa Hilliard 21:07
Well, that’s well said, Well, 2020 is I’m sure been a fun year, right? Yeah. And I know that plenty of marketers are, pivot has been the word right. I I’m very sorry, over you pivot. Yep. The year the pivot overused, sorry, but Well, I guess what would you say, you know, when we see adjustment, and instead of pivot? What is what’s your biggest challenge that you’re that you’re looking at right now? And how, you know, how are you contemplating or adjusting? What’s that look like for you?

Denise Hobson 21:46
You know, I had this, this genius marketing plan for this year

Jen Carroll 21:51
that you rolled out in January,

Denise Hobson 21:53
they rolled out in January, and then market came to a screeching halt. Yeah, well, I guess the the adjustment had to be making sure that the customer knew that accepted at the beginning, the essential companies that we were working for the hospitals, the police departments, the doctors offices, those messages had to be, hey, we’re still here, we’re open, because we have to support you. And we’re supporting essential businesses. So we are considered essential. So we’re still here. So the messages changed from, hey, we’ve got this product, we’ve got this back to, we’re still here, we’re gonna support you, we still have a service team, you still have sales people that will get you set up to help your workers work from home, we’ve got our IT support that will help you make sure that the workers that are working from home are safe, and they’re not getting any bugs and things and their equipment, if we need to get you a printer and a laptop, we can certainly handle that. So the message hasn’t had to change quite a bit. To to cater to people going home, and working from home. It went from, you know, large pieces of office equipment to that, look, make sure that you have everything that you need your printer, if you need one your laptop, if you need one, your it backup if you need one. That’s how we messaging had to completely change in March.

Jen Carroll 23:19
Yeah. And how did you what was what do you think was the most effective channel for getting that message out? Where did you see like, people really getting that message? The best?

Denise Hobson 23:31
Yeah, that is a great question. And I’m not sure I can answer that. Because we by myself was in panic. Right. So I, I sent, you know, vows on a consistent basis. Is there anything that you need? Here’s what we have that kind of stuff. I made sure that our website had the message on there, saying we are still open. We are we are taking all the precautions necessary. We change the messaging on our service. You people requested service on our website and filling out the format or change the form to say, is there anything that we should do ahead of time, any safety protocol, deletion overhead, and before we come out there, and then making sure our service department called them ahead of time, make sure they could still get in? And your customers that were completely shut down? Yes, our copier folks that you can’t come in. So that does that answer your questions.

Jen Carroll 24:23
I Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I mean, I know it’s kind of like, I feel like it’s still an evolving process to get a messaging heard right now. There’s so much noise, at least and I’ve talked about that many times that there’s there’s a lot of noise going on right now. And lots of layers of of challenge this year. It’s not just like one challenge. It’s been like 10. So all right. Right. And yeah, we’re just, we’re all just on, you know, focused on let’s let’s get to, let’s just put one foot in front of the other right now. So I get So I guess that brings me to the question, you know, what wisdom have you gained? And I mean, obviously, I think if our listeners didn’t already know, you’re, you know, a b2b marketer, and there’s b2b challenges that are very unique. What do you feel like is been some wisdom that you would like to share with, with other marketers who, like you are in b2b and who are pivoting? Who are, you know, adjusting and putting one foot in front of the other right now? Don’t panic? Don’t do what I did No, no, no, no,

Denise Hobson 25:41
I think probably the biggest advice would be just to be open to the team, I think there’s a marketing person, this is something that you do anyway, you know, that you’re just kind of open to the changes that have to be made, and be able to adjust, you know, according to the wind, at any given moment, and, you know, see a single marketer, you know, working for a large company, being able to do a lot with just a little So, you know, don’t be afraid of change, I guess, don’t be afraid to try something new, don’t get so bogged down in something that you, you know, I think that was one of the things that I did early on is just like put don’t watch into, you know, really be passionate about this one piece of your marketing whole marketing plan, that you just focus on that just don’t be too married to any certain part of your marketing plant. Sometimes you get those and you’re passionate about it, you just want it to go, go go, and it doesn’t work. So just not be afraid to say to let that go bring on the next thing. And to be open minded, I guess is the biggest thing. Don’t panic and be open minded. I

Annalisa Hilliard 26:49
think that goes well with what we talk about when we talk about digital marketing being a long game. Right. And it’s, it’s more of a marathon than a sprint.

Jen Carroll 26:58
Yeah. And I think that a lot of people also have the misperception that that digital marketing is like, fast, fast, fast, when actually it it takes time and effort to to put all these pieces into place. And then like you said, you need to recognize, like, you know, okay, we put this piece into place, it’s not performing the way we want it to, we need to go in a different direction. And that’s okay.

Annalisa Hilliard 27:22
Yeah, but those initial blog post and perform are a couple of like, you didn’t really see the outcomes or the the fruit of that labor for typically, it’s I mean, three to six months is what we say for like, a short, short time to look at return on something like that. Depends on what industry and how competitive field is. But yeah, I mean, and then, but now, you’re seeing you’re still seeing outcomes from that content, which is, what how many years now that that content has existed?

Jen Carroll 27:54
That’s probably what got to be like, 8-9 years ago.

Annalisa Hilliard 27:58
Yeah, sure. So that’s kind of cool in an example, that you’re giving back and, and we talked about, like the paid side of online, third, and online marketing, and how like, it’s, it’s more of a short game. And and as soon as you stop running your ads, you stopped getting leads, and how that contrasts with the organic and the long term stuff like blog content on your site.

Denise Hobson 28:25
Right. Yeah. And I think the other piece too, is like you do not have to be in every single social media out there. Wait, wait, say that again. Say that again. Say that again. Just because it’s available does not mean you have to be on every single piece of social media. Just kidding. I tried, but these copiers, they’re just nothing about it.

Jen Carroll 28:54
That’s awesome. They did they wouldn’t do a video for you.

Denise Hobson 28:58
They wouldn’t do a video. tic toc is another one they review ever picked up the move? Oh,

Annalisa Hilliard 29:07
those those copiers? No, that’s wisdom. Yes. Yeah, we have like any handful of clients that we’ve gotten over the years like they’ll they’ll be like, yeah, we’re you know, we’re here here and here. And you know, what, what, what should our strategy be? And usually we’re like, well, let’s figure out which of those platforms you really should be active on and kind of forget about the rest.

Jen Carroll 29:34
Yeah, it spread yourself too thin especially well, that goes back to you being the only person in your role you you know, you don’t have like you’re not surrounded by you know, a huge team you you know, I imagine you have to choose pick and choose your like you said pick and choose your strategies because you’re only one person that you have like support. But again, you’re you know, you’re you’re kind of I don’t want to say flying solo, but yeah, you’ve you’ve got a lot of things You’ve got to manage. So I imagine you have to be pretty selective,

Denise Hobson 30:03
right? Where can I get the biggest bang for my buck? And, of course, that’s so cliche. But, you know, honestly, you know, if you’re trying to come up with content for every single thing, and then you find yourself repeating the same content for every little thing, you know, you have five social media platforms that you’re using, and you’re trying to create content for all five of them, then you find yourself running out of content running out of ideas, and then you’re repeating them all. I mean, just I feel like you just lose a little credibility. So these sets of focus and do that.

Jen Carroll 30:38
Yeah, that’s another big thing we talked about a lot. Yep. Focus, focus. Oh, well, Denise, you have a ton of wisdom. Thank you. Seriously. Thank you. Oh, no, um, tell us what is what are you learning right now? Since you love to learn and we love that? Or what is bringing you joy?

Denise Hobson 31:00
Yeah. Well, you know, and the year of COVID, we are focusing on the little things. The thing that is bringing me joy, as you as you both know, is my granddaughter. She’s five months old today. He’s just so stinking cute right now. And they just sent me a video for just giggled. At the second dog, it is so cute. But yeah, I mean, that’s new for me. And she looks so much like, you know, I have twin girls. And she looks so much like them, because he’s triplets when they were babies. So it’s just a bizarre, you know, deja vu kind of experience. But yeah, yeah. So it’s just so fun. And she’s just so sweet. And by me constantly trying to be with this baby, I’m also spending more time you know, with my daughters. Yeah. So, you know, parenting has changed a little bit. Believe it or not? I do. I do believe it. Right. Things that, you know, we did they don’t do now. And vice versa. Yeah. So. So you’re just you know, I’m learning. You know, the different you have to use special water for formula now. Oh, yeah. Just the technology that they have for babies. Now there’s this this sock thing that you can monitor their sleep?

Jen Carroll 32:26
Oh, so for SIDS or other kinds of like breathing and that kind of thing?

Denise Hobson 32:32
Yeah. So you see how often they wake up? You may you know, their oxygen levels are, you know, dip at any given point? Like, did I ever want to know that information?

Jen Carroll 32:43
I’m just gonna say, are we are we lucky that we’re alive? Because like, our, our parents had none of that stuff. Like, it’s amazing. We’re breathing.

Denise Hobson 32:52
There’s an app for that. Yeah, that’s the new that’s the new thing. She can turn on the sound machine from her phone. And I’m in the baby’s room. She turns on that sound when I’m trying to get her you know, to sleep or whatever. And she can turn it on and off from that. I mean, there’s an app for everything with babies now.

Jen Carroll 33:15
My kids are my kids are pretty much grown. So I missed out on the app for that. Yeah, wow. That’s, yeah, that’s I actually haven’t I haven’t really talked to anybody for a while. And who’s who’s got you know, young baby. So that’s really actually pretty interesting, though. Yeah. Are you are you feeling like you’re embracing all of that are? Not so much.

Denise Hobson 33:39
I don’t know. I just like, you know, I had twins, and we had bumper pads and they don’t do that anymore. And, you know, I didn’t have like a video monitor where I can look at my phone to see if my baby is awake or not. I just listened. So you know, I am I’m just fascinated by all listen, but that way I am fascinated by all of it. And I like to learn anyway. So that’s that’s a source of education for me. And of course I have a million questions which drives my daughter crazy, but to me is like, Is that necessary?

Jen Carroll 34:18
I don’t know. I love it. I love your Yeah, I just I love your desire to to keep learning and the curiosity and I just think that that makes you probably a great grandma. And although that didn’t sound good, you’re not a great grandma. You are You are a grandma who is great, great. Grandma, who is great work and also a great marketer. Denise Of course I have known Neil a long time and I just really appreciate that you that you came and talked with us today. Well, actually, you’re we’re we’re social distancing. remotely, yes remotely. And just All the wisdom that you shared? I Yeah, thanks.

Denise Hobson 35:05
Thank Well, yeah, it was my pleasure. Thanks for having me on today. Thanks for even considering me for thinking that I had wisdom. That and I also appreciate, uh, you know, relationships and getting to know Emily, but now, I love surrounding myself with really smart people who are passionate about what they do, you know, markers, we got to stick together.

Annalisa Hilliard 35:29
It gives us like a multiplication of learning. Yeah. Cuz like we’re learning and you’re learning and yeah, together. It’s like, free to share,

Denise Hobson 35:39
I say and just validating, you know, when you’re the lone marketer in your company, and you’re dealing with rows and columns, people, and you’re like, Hey, this is where I think we should go. And they’re like, No, I don’t think so. And then you meet with a bunch of marketers, like, Oh, my gosh, that’s a fantastic idea. Yeah. So it helps nowadays. Sometimes. Yeah. Denise, we

Jen Carroll 36:02
appreciate you. We appreciate the professional relationship we’ve developed and for all the wisdom that you shared. Thank you. Thanks, it was fun.

That wraps up another episode of meaningful measurable marketing. If you manage marketing, sales, customer service or operations for growing small business, we hope you found this podcast helpful. Any tool resource or article we referenced can be found in the show notes for this episode. And if you haven’t already, subscribe to our podcast or left us a review. We hope you’ll do both today. I’m Jen Carroll, my co host Annalisa Hilliard and I are marketing strategy consultants. And together we are the Data Dames of Data Dames Marketing. Learn more about us at