Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 306: Q & A MK Getler @mkgetler
By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
If you’re not already subscribed to Sales Pipeline Radio, or listening live every Thursday at 11:30 a.m Pacific on LinkedIn (also on demand) you can find the transcription and recording here on the blog every Monday morning. The show is less than 30 minutes, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.
We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities. You can subscribe right at Sales Pipeline Radio and/or listen to full recordings of past shows everywhere you listen to podcasts! Spotify, iTunes, Blubrry, Google Play, iHeartRADIO, Stitcher and now on Amazon music. You can even ask Siri, Alexa and Google!
Join the conversation and hear about what makes sustainable marketing the core of everything you do, how you can build diversity in your team to create diversity in your marketing, and how your influence can start with anything, anywhere.
Listen in now, read below, or watch the video!
Matt: All right. Well, welcome everybody to another episode of the Sales Pipeline Radio. My name is Matt Heinz. I appreciate everyone joining us today. If you are watching us live on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on YouTube. YouTube, MK, is no longer doing scripted and unscripted shows. They’re not doing pre-programmed shows. So, this is it. This is all they got now are these kinds of shows. So, if you are watching us live on any of those channels today, thank you for joining us in the middle of your workday.
It is now officially late January. If that’s not terrifying to you, then you’re probably not paying attention, but excited to have you here. The advantage of you watching live, if you are, is you can be part of the show, and feel free to watch us on LinkedIn. If you make a comment, I’m going to see that, you may become part of the show, and I may reference you, so thank you very much for checking this out. If you’re checking out the show on demand, either on LinkedIn or through the podcast, thanks for watching, thanks for subscribing, thanks for downloading. We are on episode 350 of Sales Pipeline Radio, it’s been a while. If you like what you hear today, we try to cover good topics in B2B sales and marketing. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Every episode of Sales Pipeline Radio available on demand at salespipelineradio.com.
We try to feature some of the best and brightest minds in B2B sales and marketing. I think we do a good job of that, but every once in a while, MK, we bring someone on like yourself. I’m super excited to bring you on today. MK Getler, she is the CMO at Loop & Tie. It says on the screen here [crosstalk 00:01:32] But, MK, Loop & Tie, one of my favorite companies, also one of my favorite people. Thanks so much for joining us today.
MK: I am thrilled and honored and 350? Is that really the episode count that we’re on right now? [actually 306]
Matt: Yeah, we do them almost every week. So yes, it’s been a while.
MK: That’s huge. I mean, congrats to you. That’s a massive success.
Matt: So, 350 for me, first for you, first for D, so thanks for joining the show for the first time today. Oh, my goodness. Yes, we got to be careful here. We don’t want to have like a Marshawn Lynch Manning cast moment where we have to pay money to the FCC. Not going to go there.
MK: No wardrobe malfunctions here. Everything-
Matt: No. It’s firmly on. We’re going to be fine. Anyway, like very excited to have you here. So, MK, I’ve gotten to know you a little bit from some of your pastoral. We saw each other last at the CMO retreat in Austin, in December. You did a phenomenal TED talk the first day. If anyone wants to see that is now available on demand. I’m happy to send anyone a link. We’ll put that in the show notes here, but today I think there’s so much, we can talk about. Like first, for people that don’t know you and don’t know Loop & Tie, let’s fill them in.
MK: Yes. Excellent. Well, again, my name is MK Getler. I am the CMO at Loop & Tie. For those of you who could be listening in with any visual impairments. I’m about five foot five sitting in my home office where behind me, I have displayed a few knick and knacks of things that are meaningful and are important to my life. I have short hair; I wear brown circular glasses and I’m wearing a light denim shirt. I am so stoked for this opportunity to talk about sustainable marketing, because I often joke with our CEO and founder, Sarah Rodell, that Loop & Tie is actually a sustainability company with a gifting problem. So, our focus today is to help build better connections, build better invitational commerce between folks and do that through gifting. We see gifting as an opportunity for sustainability to impact, not just our environment, but economies as well as our social atmosphere. Our company prioritizes using gifts and our marketplace, which are sourced from independent creators and makers. We spend a lot of time sourcing our gifts that are environmentally friendly and or are built with folks who are from underrepresented minority groups. We love our female founders. We love our queer community. We love our BIPOC owned businesses, and we know that there’s a huge opportunity, especially in the corporate spending power that’s available now to redistribute those funds and bring them into the lives of some of these small, independent creators and makers. So sustainable marketing is at the core of everything that we do. And I cannot wait to chat more about that with you today.
Matt: Thank you for all of that. So, I want to break down a few things there. First of all, for those of you who can’t see me, I’m a white male heterosexual, neurotypical. If you can’t see me face for radio, for sure. Recording this in my basement with a little bit of all different knick-knacks around me. And I bring all that up, not to joke, because I have, I feel like I’m a privileged white, fairly typical male. There’s a lot I have learned over the last couple years about what I know and what I don’t know. The privilege I didn’t know that I had, the fact that you think about people that are listening to this that are experiencing this… I don’t think about setting a picture. I don’t think about like, “Oh, there’s going to be a transcript on the live version of this.” And thank you, LinkedIn for making that automatic. And I think about that in the window I have to that that is still candidly opaque… I wouldn’t say opaque, I’d say translucent, hopefully now. But getting to spend time with you, getting to spend time with Katie Martell, with Adrian Chang, with people that are different than me. Our entire leadership team, except for me is female. We’re trying to diversify our team. We have a long way to go, but I know we want to talk about sustainability, but let’s talk about the importance of diversity in marketing as well.
Not just putting different colored people in your ads, but also diversity of the input, which I think is really important. And we covered this in the CMO talk a few months ago. And one of the themes that just really stuck with me is like, if you have a diverse group designing and develop your marketing, you are more likely to have diversity in your marketing.
MK: Yeah. [inaudible 00:06:28] the way in making future folks be successful and have a leg up in the world around you and representation in all facets of how we bring our show up in our marketing collateral, how we show up in the team that we hire around us. They’re all acts of sustainability, of what I call social sustainability. We are building a regenerative environment where there is equity and equality built in all of our practices. And so, I think that they’re not mutually exclusive to think about environmental sustainability or economic sustainability or social sustainability. They’re all interwoven within each other. And I also always love to celebrate and applaud folks who recognize that you are learning in the process, because we’re all coming at this with very different buckets of experiences and very different reference points in our lives. So, thank you for recognizing where you are in your journey and for sharing that so openly with folks. And I love that. I recognize everybody, wherever you are in your journey own that. And let’s find new ways to have sustainability in your social sustainability practices.
Matt: I appreciate that. I also appreciate that you mentioned that Loop & Tie is a sustainability company, right? I think there’s a business and then there’s a values and purpose component to that. When I think about the old Blockbuster video, they rented movies and rented VHS tapes, but that was a real estate company. Like McDonald’s, like fast food has been a real estate company. And then Netflix comes along and Netflix initially like the pre-digital version when they were mailing out DVDs, that wasn’t a real estate company. That was a direct mail company.
So understand what’s your purpose? What are you trying to do? And it doesn’t just define what we are delivering to the market, but it really becomes a compass for how you make tactical and strategic go-to market decisions. Talk a little bit about why that’s important to recognize that and what that means for both sort of strategy as well as culture.
MK: Yeah. I love talking about this topic and I wish I could be as poetic and as articulate as the legendary Simon Sinek, he talks about this in the reference point of the finite and the infinite mindset. He talks about businesses that are playing a finite game, which is largely dependent on binary wins and losses that are playing a game where rules are very clear. The other contestants and competitors in the arena are very clear and someone wins, and someone loses. It’s a very binary type of way to be thinking about business. And this expresses itself, oftentimes in business, by people being maniacally obsessed with their competitors, like spending time thinking about, is their competitor on top? Are they on top? Also, I think a thing that started to happen too, is getting really obsessed with how much money you raise in your rounds of funding and your company’s valuation. Like these are finite mindsets to have, and there’s nothing wrong with any of these things. It’s just that when someone reinvents how the game is played or reinvents who they are and how they present themselves in the world, they are introducing the infinite mindset, which will always win against the finite mindset. You mentioned McDonald’s thinking about themselves as a real estate company, like they essentially own a lot of real estate. You think about Loop & Tie as a sustainability company. Our job with this infinite mindset is to be thinking about how we can rewrite the entire way the game is played, and how can we go after goals that are just so big, so audacious that what we will do is something far beyond just the art of gifting, that what we will do will leave impacts and… I can’t even like, emotional resonance is the word I’m thinking with folks in ways that we never ever imagined. And that’s where I think marketers can spend a lot of time thinking about that bigger picture, thinking about games that are not even the real financial game that we’re playing right now, games of how we’re playing, impacting our environment, impacting the lives and the worlds that are around us.
Matt: Yeah. I love that. You know, I think about fast food, I think about coffee shops, they’re not selling burgers, it’s really about burgers in a convenient place, right? And so, the location, the real estate, it’s a strategic advantage. There’s a difference though, between strategic advantage and purpose. And they can be one and the same, they can be together. But I don’t know that McDonald’s thinks about their real estate and a location, if they’re really good at picking locations great, but I don’t think that’s about their purpose. But if I think about Loop & Tie, I think about the opportunity, not just organizations have, but also just marketing team. I mean, for people watching, listening to this, they may not be on the board, they may not be the CEO, they may not be the founder of an organization that can immediately impact this…
Matt: Yet. Exactly. But we all have influence over something, and all of this starts somewhere. If you are going to change and impact an organization, if you’re going to create a movement, it may start with just you evangelizing it, you talking about it, you sharing, you’re getting other people in your company excited about it. And when that starts from the top, with a company like Loop & Tie that says, “We are about sustainability. And we happen to do X.” Talk about how that then, I hate to use the word trickle down, but how does that inspire and empower employees throughout the organization to figure out how do I play my role in that purpose?
MK: Yes. I might actually think about, and kind of contextualize this for folks in how it goes wrong, if it isn’t something that’s baked into the DNA of the company and that infinite mindset isn’t part of your company’s ethos. In June, every June on LinkedIn, I watch as company after company, after company changes their logos to their rainbow flags, to be there in solidarity with their queer LGBTQ+ community of employees, customers, and partners. And then I watched that on July 1st, all of those fall off. And that’s all we hear from these companies of their representation and the amplification of the needs and the voices and the stories of folks that are in the LGBTQ+ community. And same thing happens in April for earth day. Same thing is going to happen probably here in a couple weeks, February for Black History month. There’s also Asian American history week that I think also happens in February or early March as well. And I say this because you can tell the companies who have this as a dangling participle, it’s performative, right? That’s when they start to do this, and you can tell that it’s there because they check the box and then they’ve moved on from that box that they have checked. As opposed to the companies that are continuing these conversations and keep bringing this at the forefront of everything that they do and what they post in. Even the images they use, the language they use, the teams that they hire and upscale and promote and develop. You can see that real difference between the authenticity that comes through with companies that have ethos with infinite mindsets versus the companies who have those finite mindsets that are doing some of these acts in a more performative standalone type of an action.
Matt: It’s interesting. I’m almost done reading The Art of Happiness, which it’s basically the teachings of the Dalai Lama, and at one point in the book, someone asks him, “Hey, I bet in your life, in your work, in your travels, you’ve met a lot of people that are at an advanced stage of discovering enlightenment.” And he actually says, “I don’t. Probably, but I tend to find that the people that get to that level, aren’t very noisy about it, they don’t really talk about it.” You can’t really tell externally. So, I think there’s performative tends to be noisy, to be good at doing this, to do this as part of your culture, to make this part of your daily routine, isn’t about changing your logo. It’s about having an impact and having legacy beyond just those actions. So how does that purpose become something that not only creates an impact, but also drives legacy? I think a lot about sustainability to me, that also means it sustains beyond what we do. So, let’s say we don’t go to the trade show, and we do something else instead, or we create a more sustainable marketing program, or the moment George Floyd gets murdered, we go and do some noisy things. How do we make that sustainable? And how do we think about the actions and initiatives and priorities we have in a way that can sustain beyond us and to successors in the organization and beyond?
MK: Yeah. I love that question. I think that’s the question that we’re all actively working to figure out together right now. We’ve hit this form of, we go back to marketing where we have the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage. We’re right there in between what I consider the awareness and the consideration stage, where we’re becoming more aware of, as you put it, of our legacy. If you haven’t listened to Matt talk about the legacy that you are building today and how you’re going to build that legacy beyond yourself, definitely take time to listen to that, because you’re just so beautifully eloquent when you talk about the legacy that you leave, but we’re in this phase now where folks are becoming more empowered with what legacy they want to leave behind and how they want their life to unfold.
I mean the great resignation is maybe on the downswing, but people started to come to that realization when the last two years had to sit quietly at home with their thoughts, and say like, “All right, cool. So, I’m aware of all of these things that I can be active and be impactful with and for.” And so, the way that I think about this from a company is that I have put a lot of pressure on marketing around this too, because I think marketing tends to be the voice and the visuals of a company’s ethos, whether or not they are doing it intentionally. We had a big debate as well too, at our CMO conference of if employment branding sits under the umbrella of marketing. And I’m going, for the purposes of this conversation, actually put that in the umbrella of this is marketing’s responsibility. But you can tell a company’s ethos, you can tell a company’s charter just by looking at their website and their marketing materials. You see the language that they use, the word choices that they use. And a company themselves, you can look at the leaders and how they conduct themselves in the workplace and how they celebrate diversity of thought and innovation. And my founder, Sarah, thinks about this as the meritocracy of ideas and where do good ideas come from about an organization and how are those big ideas matriculated to the surface? And so, you start to put all these smaller, tiny itty-bitty pieces together. And the sum of their parts suddenly becomes this beautiful mosaic that when you take a step back and you realize you’ve created this stunningly beautiful picture with just small acts of sustainability for your peers, for your economy and for our environment
Matt: With that, we are talking to MK Getler today, the CMO of Loop & Tie on Sales Pipeline Radio, and love this discussion. And we’ve covered a lot of ground. When I think about sustainability, I think about diversity. I think about acceptance. I don’t think there’s a destination here, one of the things I mentioned in my legacy talk in December is that this is a journey, not a destination, that journey is it. We are constantly trying to make ourselves better and making people around us better, and any given journey. One of my favorite means about entrepreneurship, is people think, “This is the line.” Now the line is like this, right? And I feel like all of these paths are like that. And if we are being authentic and intentional about trying to get better, to be better, to have a bigger impact, we are going to make mistakes.
So like at the beginning of this show, I literally introduced you as a she and right there on screen, it says they and them. So, again, this is a journey and I know I’m fallible. I know I have a lot to learn. I know that there are things that are ingrained in me from my childhood, for my family, from the things that, when you read you think are, these are the constants, these are the truths. So, to question and discover and to change those over time it’s not sitting down and talking about it for 20 minutes. It takes some time. Talk about what this takes from an organizational perspective, as well as an individual perspective. Let’s say someone watching this, no matter where they sit in the organization, they say like, “I want to be better. I want to do better. I want this to have a bigger impact.” How do you lean into that journey and how do you encourage people to be okay with the missteps and failures that may be inherent in it a long way?
MK: Yeah. I love this question and I also just want to thank you and celebrate that moment where you went back, and you put vulnerability in the line. And I think without even realizing it, just that act answered this question that you were asking to me, it’s that we have to all approach the work that we’re doing with vulnerability, and more importantly, with empathy, empathy for others, and those that are around us, but also empathy for ourselves. We tend to be the hardest on ourselves. So I think sustainability and the word regenerative can complement each other really well in this scenario, it would not be regenerative in the social context of me to get angry and to laugh out at you for miss using pronouns for me, that wouldn’t be helpful for you, actually it would cause you to seize up and to be sad or mad or scared of ever trying again and putting yourself out there. Instead, a more sustainable, a more regenerative approach to that would be for me to celebrate that, to recognize that, “Hey, this is a cool moment in time for all of us. And let’s all just try to be better and show up for each other in small, but meaningful ways ongoing.” And I think that act of always thinking about how can this moment and how can my reaction in this moment cause a more regenerative, a more sustainable pattern for everything that we do, is a good frame of reference to use.
So if you’re an individual contributor who is really passionate about making sure your work is not performative or the dialogues that your company is having about a more inclusive health benefits or really important, always be thinking about how can I have regenerative conversations that open up the dialogue, instead of shutting down the dialogue and causing more tension and friction on a topic that everybody’s coming into a different context and clarity. If you’re an executive, how do you have more sustainable, more regenerative conversations with the folks on your team that’s life giving? Instead of trying to take away from folks’ energy and energy sources, but I think it all comes down to how you approach things.
Matt: I know we’re a little over our time, but there’s one more thing I want to cover before we run out of time here. I think we already ran out of time, but as long as you’re okay, we’ll keep going. LinkedIn doesn’t care. They’ll keep us like Clubhouse. We can keep going forever.
MK: Clubhouse, where are you Clubhouse?
Matt: What year is it?
There’s a difference sometimes with people that are still translucent but want to get better and are open to that feedback. And sometimes people aren’t as open to that. I think we’re like life and business, change is a constant. And most people are not inherently comfortable with change, and we are comfortable in what we know. And so sometimes if I see people get angry or fearful or defensive, if you look at that through the lens of fear, if you look at that through the lens of a place of comfortability and looking in a world or a business or some scenario that I don’t understand… I’m old enough now, I see this amongst friends and colleagues on the pronoun conversation, that’s not what they grew up with. And yet I then hear those same people say, yes do you know what, though? All the people that are younger, they come in and they introduce themselves and their pronouns, and it’s not a new thing. It’s a natural thing. So, knowing that the world changes, knowing that, it’s not productive. And quite frankly, just not even physically healthy to let that be a barrier, but just to approach it sometimes just with radical curiosity. And to know that the world is changing, the world that you grew up with, the assumptions you had, the world you went to school it is changing. And there are younger generations that are going to have… We always think the senior citizens get angry and defensive; we are going to be those people. How do you check yourself to make sure that you are accepting of at least open to some of those changes and at least trying to understand? Okay, I may not get it yet, but someone else clearly this is natural to them. So, help me find my place in that journey as well.
MK: I think that that radical curiosity complimented with being comfortable with being uncomfortable, those two things become the winning combination to grow with the evolution and the space of where we are and what we will experience further on down the road. When you combine those two variables, one, you’re just open to asking questions and putting that vulnerability out there. And two, that vulnerability at the core of just knowing that you’re probably not going to know the answer, and you’re probably going to get things wrong and that’s going to make you feel icky or uncomfortable. Like that’s where the rubber meets the road as you grow and evolve in this. And you’re right. We will be luddites one day, we will have this podcast, maybe we will still be on Clubhouse, 50 years down the road, it will be the only ones there. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Is that we’re going to not know the latest and greatest in terminology and hope that our empathy for ourselves and our empathy for others will allow us to just [inaudible 00:26:24] with everybody around us.
Matt: Yeah. It will be fascinating to see what our grandkids say and think and what they’re embarrassed about us for. I’m waiting for the day when my grandkids say, “Grandpa, you used a physical keyboard, you used your fingers to type things? Who does that?”
MK: Wait until we tell them that we had to turn the knobs on the television to change the channels.
Matt: I find myself sometimes telling my kids, “When I was growing up, there were four channels. There wasn’t even FOX, there were four channels. And if you didn’t like what you were watching, you had to get up, walk, and change the channel. If you missed a show, oh well, good luck figuring out when it’s on rerun. Because you never know…” Anyway.
MK: You don’t know, don’t get me started on how much of our anxiety and our generation is rooted in the fact that we had that quick 90 seconds to do what we needed to do between commercial breaks, whatever it was otherwise we would miss that entry. And it would just ruin the rest of the show too. So, yes. I hear you.
Matt: Just the pause button. I am clearly in, “get off my lawn territory” at this point, but anyway, which is a good sign that we need to wrap this up. I know we went a little long, and you’re super busy, still relatively new in the group. Growing your team, tons to go this year. Thank you so much for joining us, giving us all your time. This was a phenomenal conversation. Can’t wait to help more people get exposed this.
MK: Absolutely. The pleasure was all mine, Matt. Thank you so much for letting me share this space with you today. It’s a pleasure.
Matt: Well, thank you to, D. Thank you to, Christie. Thank you to, Brian. Thank you to a bunch of people that were watching us live here today. Thank you everyone for joining another episode of Sales Pipeline Radio, we will be here next week. Live Thursday at 2:30 Eastern and 11:30 Pacific, until then. My name is Matt. We’ll see you next week.
I interview the best and brightest minds in sales and Marketing. If you would like to be a guest on Sales Pipeline Radio send an email to Sheena@heinzmarketing.com. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Cherie@heinzmarketing.com