The Marketing Haven Podcast

Episode 1

Young Han converses with Arthur Root

Follow the link to listen to the podcast along with a transcript of the podcast below.

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Arthur Root: 
Hello and welcome to the Marketing Haven podcast. I'm your host, Arthur Root, and I'm joined today by a very special guest, Young Han, who is an investor in my business. Nostra, an advisor to many, many businesses is and also a fantastic marketer. And entrepreneur, Young welcome.  

Young Han:
Hey thanks Arthur for having me on this show. I appreciate the invite.  

Arthur Root:
Well, I'm glad to have you here. So to get us started, I'd love to kind of hear who is young. How do you get to where you are today? You know you can start off with, you know your university days or kind of whatever the the the genesis of who you are and how it started to come together. So I'm going to hand it over to you now.  

Young Han:
Yeah, I'd say that that's a very, very tough one to answer because unlike most people, I think I've never really followed a straight path. I definitely started to find opportunities everywhere I could find them and things that interested me and engaged my mind and piqued my interest and I would be very, very aggressive in chasing those things down. And I think that it actually was very fairly counterintuitive during my earlier professional career because I basically would switch jobs so often. But now that I look at it, in hindsight, I think it's actually what's allowed me to be where I'm at today and be able to offer so much to so many people because of the vast experiences that I was able to amass during my early professional career. Not that I recommend that journey, 'cause I think it was a rife with luck. A lot of luck and a lot of good timing. And I think that's helped me. Obviously, stabilize some of those risks and adventures that I've taken, but just to kind of give you some more context in what I mean. I've probably had over 50 jobs in the last 20 plus years. Yeah, and so there's quite a bit of like random things that I've done. And I think that's has that has helped me a lot in my current job, which is. you know mostly consulting, but I've started to dabble in Angel investing advising and I'm really just like super passionate about helping startups scale and grow.  

Arthur Root: 
Fantastic, and so you touched on a little bit about what you're doing now. Do you want to dive it in a little bit and talk about kind of the marketing components? About as well as the. consulting and kind of everything under the sun there.  Young HanSure, I've always wanted to be a marketer, and I've always loved marketing and I like I love the idea of creating things and processing things. And then driving things to completion, especially with the digitization of marketing, especially over the last 10 or 15 years. I have a natural propensity or or or desire to kind of go into what I'm comfortable with. Like every other human being right? We want to do what we're gonna actually good at and and that's kind of for me. It's been numbers and statistical analysis and and analytics and. Over the last 10 or 15 years, there's a huge shift from like needing to be the most creative person in the world to being able to employ. Variations essentially, and test to see what the conversion rates are and being really good at analytics has actually helped me be very very successful in marketing as you don't necessarily need to be as creative as you may have needed to be prior to 2000 and so I've really leveraged that in my marketing career. And what I've also found through that process is that it's not just marketing per say that I enjoyed. It's actually just operations in general, and so I've dabbled a lot into operations and using that same mindset of like statistical analysis, find the problem, find a funnel, find a path, and then you know, use math to kind of solve problems, and I've parlayed that into program. Management, finance and all these other departments that I've been able to experience and exploring. My career and all of those things combined has led me to a midlife crisis, so I turned 40 last year and I basically started a consulting business. I didn't want to expend any more time doing things that I didn't want to do. Uhm, as much so. For example, like I think my motto has been, if I love a job, you know 25% of what I do then the 75% becomes worth it. I turned 40 and I just like said I don't want to do that anymore I only want to do the 25%. I love 100% of the time and so I just had the audacity to say to my wife that I wanted to try this and we started embarking on this adventure of like how I can take all the different knowledge that I have. Any experiences that I have accumulated over the last 20 plus years and just do. What I love to do, which is problem solve and drive to drive to. Drive to like I guess what's called Drive 2 conclusions of my thesis is that I come up with. And it's been very, very good for me. It's a very good decision that I made and I've been very, very successful over the last year and a half. Probably more successful than I than I possibly could have imagined, and it's been a really great journey. Being able to pull from all these experiences that I actually thought were kind of failures in a lot of ways and all those. Experiences are proving to be so useful in my consulting career, and being able to help all these startups succeed because I've seen so many different types of businesses, so many different types of prog. Problems and so many different types of industries and roles that it's allowing me to be more beneficial for these companies that are going through growing pains and then more functionally as a marketer. There are a lot of clients that still use me as a utility marketer, meaning that there are at least a handful right now as we speak. That use me as their interim head of marketing. It's not necessarily the thing that I'll that I'll probably stay on forever, and it's not something that it's necessarily what I sell, but our clients will use me for that because I do have a heavy background in marketing, and I've spent probably the longest amount of my professional career doing marketing.  

Arthur Root:  
Wow, that's what I mean. And you know, I know so much about you and I've been watching you kind of at arms length for, you know, for a lot of your journey. And so I've been incredibly impressed about you know everything that you've done. To dive a little bit more into kind of the interim head of marketing and kind of the marketing tactics. And uhm, things that you try to bring to the table for your clients and kind of what you've learned over the last 20 years. You really know examples, ideas, you know concepts that you like to that you like to use in your work.  

Young Han:
Yeah, I think the biggest thing that I've learned and I've learned this from like a very very notable and famous marketer Andy Cunningham. I worked for her in her firm Cunningham Collective, she is by far the most famous marketer I know personally, right, and she her claim to fame is, you know, she helped Steve Jobs launch the Macintosh, helped him launch next computers when he you know got let go from Apple and they started next and then he also launched Pixar. To help them with that as well too and then and then, just the dizzying array of you know. That era tech companies and now obviously she's doing it for this era tech companies, but she's like really focused and developed this importance of like positioning before you start marketing. This idea that you have to know who you are and why you matter and where you sit before you even start. It's like the stuff before you even come up with the branding. It's like the rational aspects of like what are the factual points of what you are? What, why you matter, who you are, where do you sit in the market like all these kind of like? Things that seem very obvious but people forget and they get right into the color and the naming. And like whatever that may be. And that was really really beneficial for me to see her do that and kind of teach me that and get to learn that through osmosis, because I never really put that much stock into it. You know, I love the aspect of creating. I love the aspect of branding and what does that make me feel like? Can I? I think that needs to be an output of what the ethos of the company is, and so the importance of positioning is very, very important to me now, and I know how powerful it is and how much faster you can move as a company if you if you actually take the time to stop and do the positioning exercise and get your position down right first.  

Arthur Root:
Oh absolutely, I could not agree more. Oh that's unbelievable advice and. that is one thing that marketer. We'll never have to worry about automation or AI taking up. Taking over a job in that industry. Think that there's a big trend of, you know, automation using big data to make decisions. When it comes to optimization, and you know how who to target with what at. What time exactly? But that that that granular strategy that you're mentioning is the fundamental of market. Thing, and that is something that that all marketers you know we should be spending their time on this. In my opinion, that's where marketing time should be spent.  

Young Han:
Yeah, that's an interesting concept. I like that you just parlayed kind of like macro trends because as we start to further digitize the analytics portion of this and that kind of statistical analysis that I was talking to you about, and you're also, you're also a pioneer in that. I mean, it's one of the reasons why I invested in you because you're like literally championing this concept that we can use. Technology and AI to our advantage right to start doing the stuff that I was personally doing 10 or 15 years ago. Like you know, through statistical analysis and spreadsheets, you're able to take that and automate it, and then not only automate and optimize it right and start thinking proactively, and so it's really interesting that you bring that up because. We're only going to go more and more in that direction. It's not something that you can like. Put your head in the sand and just like hope that it doesn't happen like you need to understand that like as a marketer. If you're going to be successful now, you have to understand the technology that's coming out and what people like. And it's very very important to be aware of that, that technology in that trend? Because if you don't, you're going to quickly realize that, like the importance of what you're doing for the company and the value that you're providing for, the company may have shifted underneath you and. You know that you didn't even realize it.  

Arthur Root:
Absolutely, absolutely to shift it more back to you and kind of hearing more about your job. Do you mind kind? Of going over some of the problems you faced, kind of getting to where you are now. You know you've had so much success, and especially in this last, you know year and a half. But you also mentioned that you've had, you know, 50 different jobs and you kind of talk about some of the problems you face and how that led you to where you are.  

Young Han:
Yeah, and I definitely think that it's important to note that I probably had more failures than successes, and I think that I would contribute a lot of my successes now to the fact that I've had so many failures and I've done so many wraps, right? And I've tried so many things, so there's a plenty of things that I could talk to you about. That I was struggling with and it really depends on in one aspect. But I can sum it up to one major theme that I think most. Some problems came from which was constraints. So meaning like you know, no matter what company I was at and and especially the companies that I was doing marketing at, the biggest issue was there's a million ways to do this. Do marketing I should say, and there's a million paths to take. Channels to use vehicles to expand types of marketing getting created. I remember when ABM first came out or influencer marketing became a buzzword. You know all these things? Yeah, there's always new ways to market as the digital climate changes and the ecosystem changes, but. Uhm, the biggest constraint that's common to all the problems is constraint, because you don't have. Unlimited budget, typically in these in these you know startups and that I've worked out and I can't speak for everybody that's worked at bigger companies send us all these big companies of massive budgets but and the companies that I've helped scale and build up. You know, when I was in charge of marketing, it's how do you do that and compete with these bigger companies at scale? You know with an advantage. You know, with the limited budget. And I think that that's the biggest problem that is hard to solve for, and most people get stuck with because. It's not so much. Like how creative you are, how many great ideas you can come up with. It's trying to find priority and focus in your marketing strategy, marketing strategy, channel strategy and execution strategy, right? And making sure you're maximizing what you have and trying to find an unfair advantage, because there's always going to be people that are in your space that are bigger than you, or that can take you over. Very very easily.  

Arthur Root
Absolutely, absolutely and when we talk about kind of young and kind of why you're here today. Uhm was are there any pieces of advice? kind of that someone gave you. Or is there any? Uh, was there a moment where kind of click and you know you can kind of share that with us?  

Young Han
Yeah, I think there's a handful of those moments. I think the biggest one that I can't come. I can't say it's necessarily about marketing, but more around entrepreneurship. Uhm, it's it's around this idea of like. Just do more like get things going and try things right and iterate and put into action. Some of these ideas. The concept really is is prolific in Silicon Valley, so I'm not entirely sure who said it's me that made it click, but a lot of people have said it to me. Advisors, investors, pundits you know celebrated entrepreneurs. VC's, peas, you name it. Everyone in Silicon Valley said that right and I think it's starting to get more widely spread across the. Across the globe, right? People are saying this concept of like move fast, right? But it's so true and I think that it's one of those things. If you look at it more tactically and programmatically and and statistically like the chances of you actually finding something that's successful is going to be so much higher. If you just iterate and test a couple of ideas in the market versus building what you think is this perfect. I know it sounds horrible because I think most people I'd say the vast majority of people won't even execute on their marketing plan because they want it to be perfect. Even they're even worse. Their business plan, like maybe they're passionate about a business and, and this is like this whole idea of like perfection, paralysis, sets in. Oh, I can't launch that. Because I don't have the right packaging, I can't launch that because I don't have the right team, right? And the reality is, nobody really cares about. You know? They care about what your color and your brand is so much less than you actually think they're going to care, and it's much better for you to launch it and get that feedback of someone going. Oh my. God that is so ugly, I hate it. That's actually valuable. And it's going to allow you to iterate and move faster to basically getting market adoption much more quickly. The chances of you being this one-hit-wonder. And like infinitely, just like growing this exposure overnight is so infinitesimal, and so if you could just like breakdown the emotions that you have about your plan, especially as a marketer, but definitely as an entrepreneur and logically think about you and your impact on. The world at scale. Cool and just launch and not worry about what the world says or hates hates about it and just use that data to iterate a better optionality. You'll be much more successful. You'll be much more successful because you'll be able to try 7 or 10 things by the time you have ideated a perfect plan and most likely will fail it anyways.  

Arthur Root
Absolutely young. Thank you for for for all the advice and you know, I've really absolutely loved having you on, and you know again, thank you and you know, good luck with everything. If people want to reach out. If they want to learn more about your consulting, your marketing How should people reach out to you?  

Young Han
Via Linkedin or my website would be great which is foreveryoung.agency 

Arthur Root:
Fantastic  

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