Welcome to Inspired Marketing, where we find creative CMOs (and future CMOs) and grill them about all things marketing—data, social media, those annoying buzzwords—but mostly about how they stay inspired. For this installment, we spoke with Filemon Schöffer, co-founder and CCO of Hubs.
Hubs provides engineers with custom parts for manufacturing, using innovative methods like 3D printing. Originally from the Netherlands, Filemon previously worked as a strategy consultant and a researcher. Here’s what he had to say to us.
1. As a marketing leader, your team is often responsible for the first experience your customer has with your brand. What’s the impression you most want to provide?
As we’re in manufacturing, a large part of our business is about “trust,” similar to the banking sector. Users should be able to trust us to deliver their parts on time and according to specifications. In order for users to take a chance on Hubs, our strategy is to make our online quoting portal as seamless as possible, almost to the point where it’s hard to believe it works.
So, two keywords for first experience: trustworthiness and seamless.
2. What’s your most valuable skill as a marketer? What’s your most useless skill?
My most valuable skill is that I think I can get a strong performance out of a team while raising morale and team spirit.
And my most useless: I’m a physicist. Not much use there.
3. What’s a tool you rely on now that you didn’t 3 years ago?
We rely heavily on Hubspot, our CRM.
4. What’s a tool that doesn’t exist yet, but that you really want three years from now?
SEA for dummies (still quite specialized, seems unnecessary at the moment, but I’m keeping an eye on it).
5. What’s the key to getting good work out of creative people/teams?
Clear and inspiring goal setting. The hardest challenge for every manager is to understand where the business should be in a couple of months, and translate that into measurable KPIs for individual team members that will inspire them to get there. Managers should be minimally involved in how to get there; “managing by editing” is a trap and highly demotivating for team members. Let them figure it out. Good team members are better than you.
6. What’s one thing creative teams need to do great work?
Like I said earlier, creative teams need inspiring goals! Also, pure skill seems to be undervalued sometimes. It’s cliché, but a company really needs top performers in its field to get great results.
But, for example, top performers without clear goals will NOT succeed!
7. What’s your least favorite buzzword? Why? Which buzzword or buzzy phrase do you secretly love?
I’m not a fan of “Growth Hacking,” a paradigm that promises ever better results through experimentation. I’ve personally seen several teams lose all of their time in meaningless experiments while perfectly following the “growth hacking” doctrine.
8. What type of professional experience do you look for in candidates?
I look for specialized skill sets over generalist skills. I only hire candidates if I know what metrics I want them to move. That movement is typically something that requires a specific skill, which I then hire on.
9. How much of your day is spent thinking about social media?
5 minutes. Not very much at all.
10. What’s been the most pivotal moment in your career?
It’s been pivotal for me to understand that good team members are better than me in what they do. If a manager doesn’t believe this, they either hired the wrong team or is unsuitable for the job.
11. When did you realize you were good at this?
I’m not sure I am 🙂
But I look at 3 things:
- Are we hitting targets?
- Are team members progressing?
- Are they happy to work for the team?
If I fail on any of those, I should not continue.