In the latest interview of our leading B2B marketing professionals’ series, Mario Blandini, VP of Marketing at iXsystems, an open-source software storage company, sat down with Mike to discuss his career, how he came to work in the data storage industry and his top marketing tips.

Mario discusses how open-source companies work and the benefits this can result in for both the customers and the business. He shares the campaigns he is most proud of and some advice on how companies can attract young marketing talent.

Listen to the podcast now via the links below:

About iXsystems  

iX is an Open Source pioneer and the company behind TrueNAS®, the world’s most deployed storage software. Relied upon by millions in over 200 countries, TrueNAS is an award-winning universal data platform used by a majority of Fortune 500 companies.

Time Stamps

[00:45.06] – Mario explains how he ended up as VP of Marketing at iXsystems.

[08:34.0] – The right time to move from propriety storage to open source.

[11:43.0] – What is open source?

[18:07.0] – How do you promote something that will drive no immediate revenue?

[22:42.0] – Mario shares the campaign eh is most proud of.

[28:09.0] – What is the best piece of marketing advice you’ve been given?

[31:53.0] – Ways to get in touch and find out more.

Follow Mario:

Mario Blandini on LinkedIn:

iXsystems website:

iXsystems on Linkedin:

Follow Mike:

Mike Maynard on LinkedIn:

Napier website:

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Transcript: Interview with Mario Blandini – iXsystems

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Mario Blandini

Mike: Thanks for listening to marketing B2B Tech, the podcast from Napier, where you can find out what really works in B2B marketing today.

Welcome to marketing B2B technology, the podcast from Napier. Today, I’ve got Mario Blandini, who’s the VP of Marketing at storage company iXsystems. Welcome to the podcast, Mario.

Mario: Hey, thanks for having me, sir.

Mike: So Mario, I mean, you’re actually a bit like me, you started your career, technically, as an engineer. John, tell me a little bit about you know, why you chose to be an engineer, and then maybe move on to why you moved from being an IT engineer to being a marketer.

Mario: All right, I have a pretty interesting story, working class background, my father was in the Vietnam War in the Navy. And he told me that I was such a slob, idiot and loser that I would make it not even one day in the Navy. So instead, I joined the Marine Corps serve six years, and I had a special job fixing Honeywell DPS six mini computers from the late 60s. So I got to touch all of the oldest technology. And it’s really helped me because I have a view of technology, how we stored things from core memory storage, all the way up to today’s cloud storage, where it’s a ethereal, where is it? Nobody knows. But it doesn’t matter because you have access to it. So I’d say I became an engineer, and I realised I just couldn’t code faster or automate faster than my, my colleagues. And so believing my voice probably being my superpower, I just naturally gravitated toward explaining how technology works. Rather than building the technology.

Mike: I’d love to talk to me a little bit about, you know, some of the highlights of your career. So where you worked, perhaps as an engineer, and then then how you moved into marketing and, you know, some of the companies you’ve enjoyed working with, because you’ve got a great history.

Mario: Okay, cool. i One might argue that it has too many stops along the way. But some of them were long. Okay, so I’ll let me try to do a rapid fire thing, I went from being a Marine to a tech support person at Toshiba, troubleshooting upper memory block issues. And this is getting all geeky it so think, early 90s, IT support and then I went from that to working for a payroll company as a systems engineer, because I wanted to be on the customer facing side, I got a job working in automation, and testing for Adaptec, which, at one time was the number one semiconductor maker for all storage applications. So I got to start at a huge company was able to show me what a big company operates like, because if you’ve only seen a small company, big ones, and small ones are different. And it’s not that you can’t be successful in both. But just understanding how they work. It was really, if you say my past was varied, I think that was one of the blessings, I got a chance to work for enough big companies to understand how that works. Fast forward. From there, I became a sc again, for a storage service provider, the first wave of Bust where the thought was build an Amazon s3 Like service, and everybody will use it. Well, much like web van, which if you ever saw there, they I live in the San Francisco Bay area, a food delivery company two decades before its time. Now it’s quite normal, that that’s just what everybody has. So kind of a cool thing that didn’t work. I’ve spent the last 10 years being a head of marketing, taking all that experience and doing it with either, you know, under 100 million dollar companies or startups.

Mike: That’s great. You also had a passion projects in your history, your resolve networks. Tell me a bit about that.

Mario: All right, well, those of us of a certain age, they call it middle age, crisis, maybe it was that I, we had recently done some big moving my wife and I with our daughter going to college moved states, we wanted to just figure out, hey, if that first half was all about driving value for your employer, maybe the second half would be how do you do that and achieve some of your passions at the same time? So the thought process, believe it or not, was that there, I made a video game where you do good deeds in real life. And those earn coins that become cash that goes to a nonprofit. So for example, you volunteer for a nonprofit and you spend four hours, not only do they get your four hours of volunteering, they earn $15 per hour for the hours you did. And companies are ready to sponsor this right. I think my idea was, let’s just say ahead of its time. I’m standing by to write a book actually, to give this idea away along what I’ve learned here at my most recent stop here at iEX. My second open source company, maybe my maybe my opportunity just to give it away and be a podcast guest going forward to sharing what I’ve learned. But I think it’s a cool project because the same things we do in targeted marketing, as B2B enterprise marketers, if nonprofit had that same ability to do it. Think of the impact they can make? Because we all know like in marketing, heck, if you’re batting 300 sales seven times, but when three times, you’re still going to the All Star game, right? Nonprofits are batting 5% 3%. And if they just operated like a modern marketing organisation and philosophy, imagine how measured outcomes would be understood, tested, and you’d work toward achieving it versus right now, a lot of that industry is just stuck in the 20th century.

Mike: That’s great. That’s so inspiring. And actually, I love the idea of you talking about giving away the idea because, of course, you work for a company based on open source software. So very crudely, you’ve got a product that you then proceed to give away. I mean, talk to me about how that works.

Mario: All right, cool. So there is a great video by Dan Pink on motivation. Look it up. It’s very famous. He talks through several examples of purpose in a company. In fact, that’s how to be more relevant to this discussion of being an open source company, because you’re have that unfair superpower of having a genuinely higher purpose. Because your first motive isn’t profit. So that’s, that’s a very, very cool thing. But in the video, he talks about how 20 years ago, if he would have went to his professor and said, I got this great idea, we’re gonna get a bunch of smart people, and I’m paraphrasing, they’re going to take their very limited discretionary time doing work that’s more complicated than the work they do for a living. And we’re gonna give it away for free. Economists would have just said that was the most idiotic thing. In modern times. Data is it’s conclusive that an open source model eventually, along gardeners parlance is where marketplaces go, when the plateau of productivity no longer can sustain the margins, where the big guys find that it’s a worthwhile business. And it’s not to say that the stuffs not valuable, but storage is such a commodity now, do you care? As long as it works? Awesome, and cost the right price? Does anybody really care? I think that’s where it’s gonna, where I’m specifically going to do it. But it applies to all companies in terms of your purpose, hey, capitalism is cool. I’ve been in all capitalistic companies too. And you can still have the same ideology, even though you may not have that business model, because you can use as an analogy, customer success as the higher purpose, right. And so I have already given tidbits of knowledge when I’d give away to other people for free. That’s one of those things we as technology buyers, or technology, marketers don’t leverage enough because everybody’s trying to say the same things and everybody’s greenwash and all that actually, you’re probably different least one or two ways, lean on those and, and make that part of your customer success.

Mike: I love that. So, I mean, talk to me a bit about this, this idea from Gartner that everything ultimately ends up No, I

Mario: said that. So I Gartner doesn’t say that because it’s just if the game being what it is, we love Gartner and where we are Gartner subscribers, that there’s this concept of the hype cycle. And so I won’t go through the details. But the plateau of productivity is the final stage. What happens when a technology is on a plateau of productivity and 20 years elapse? Does it stay on the plateau of productivity? Or is there this other phase that’s not tracked by Gartner called the I no longer pay 70% margin for this, I pay a lower margin because it’s a commodity and the commodity works. Awesome.

Mike: That’s fascinating. So I mean, I’ve certainly worked as you know, as an engineer in the past and understand that storage was incredibly complicated now. And actually, as you say, storage become that commodity today that that people pretty much forget about. So you feel that today’s you know, the right sort of time for people to move from expensive proprietary systems, which maybe make them feel a bit better, because they spend more money into open source systems that are going to be lower cost.

Mario: It’s even easier than that. All I want them to do is just try it for free, spend an hour, try it for free for no other reason than continuing professional education as a means of just understanding what it can do. Because when you understand it can do all the same things, the one that cost more does, maybe you think about using the free one, the next time it comes up, or if free doesn’t work, and you need the supported one with 24 by seven, expert support, then you buy our product. And that’s how we fund our passion project. We sell these hardened appliances the same way they buy proprietary storage, except they’re less expensive and have all the same features and characteristics. So it’s one of those things where we get an opportunity to say yeah, we have to pay for one but we don’t want to talk to you about that. First. Try it because if you don’t like that you’re not going to like to pay for one and how many people can allow you to try the full featured product for free anytime you want. And then use it forever for free, never asking for a penny. It’s a different position by which I’m marketing. I’m not trying to get them to decide to do something, I’m simply asking them to understand that there is a choice, and that it’s worth investing the time to understand what that choice can mean, on their ways of doing it. And face it, we humans are creatures of habit. And we say these technologies swerve. I mean, you probably us old guys will remember this, they said mainframes would be dead. In the past, more, more profit. And revenue has been made on mainframe computers today than in the history of the world just turns out, it’s a small segment of the overall one. It’s not the mainframes fault, the market drew around it with all these new things. And so to kind of bring that full circle, a lot of technologies, at least for the right, why it’s the right time now, the right time, is that I think people understand how this pays you go pay only for what you want to use, they’re able to do that with lots of other things. And they’d say, You know what, I wish everything worked that way, right. And while it can’t yet work that way, in storage until the next generation, let’s just say, you can start making choices like open source ones, which are already compatible with the new way. And that’s what we’re trying to say is it just hey, if we can’t give you a reason to try it, then then we’re not doing the right job. But I’m, I don’t have to sell anything, I just have to get people interested enough to try it. And for all you guys if you know an IT person out in your personal life, ask them if they’ve ever tried true NAS T ru e n a s, and if they haven’t, they’re gonna thank you that you pointed them to it. Because it is the world’s most use Storage operating system just is more of an on the planet than anything else. It’s just because we don’t make money off of it. We’re not as big as the competition.

Mike: I love that little advert in there. That’s fantastic. I just want to go back to this. Try it for free, because I’m sure some people listening. That may not be technical. They’re marketers. They’ve heard of open source? I mean, can you just explain exactly what this is? Does this mean that the software that you’re selling in your systems, people can go and download for free from the internet?

Mario: Yes. So imagine, we’re like a software that you could touch a button and put on your phone, right, so that software works there, we also can sell you a phone that’s perfect for running that app, this software can run as a container as a virtual machine, as you name it, right? You can instal it just about anywhere, with about the same ease as just clicking out as a couple more clicks, but just click download, you’ve got it. And then you can start using it. Naturally, the horsepower of your phone would be much different than if you were running that app on a supercomputer. So the idea is, while that’s good for lots of things, if you needed a more demanding use case, well, you need to need to put it on higher powered hardware, which you’re free to do we have lots of universities that pay us nothing yet store petabytes of information and be able to put the money that they used to spend on storage back into research, which then allows them to buy more storage to do more research to buy more storage and do more research, you see how that it goes on there. It’s really where open source has taken off in academia, as you might imagine, it’s always been there, we really want commercial companies to see the same thing. Now, if you’re not an open source company, I think you can still run this same play because I’ve done it in a proprietary company, as well as in a quasi open source VC funded company. In both cases, the solution was complicated enough that no one would ever buy it without seeing it work. It’s just one of those things. It’s like you would never buy a car sight unseen without taking a test drive, people are starting to do that. But generally speaking, get off your butt and drive five minutes away, you can do a test drive, right, and make sure you like it, we make that test drive process infinitely easier and assessable. So you could anything you can do in my past I’ve made I would I couldn’t do a free software download, I held a daily office hours with our customer guru, right kind of like a nerd bar or whatever they call that a geek squad or whatever, you’re one of those. And that served as the people who come ask things for free, it was just about helping people be successful, a venue for other customers to ask other customers, we’re gonna be able to create a bunch of content off of that and drive people to that as a means of engagement, warming them up toward when would be the right time to talk to somebody in sales. And that that works for any technical product, right? If you’re seeing it as providing value with no expectation of anything in return other than you’re just trying to help them be successful. This is now Customer Success one on one thing, so think of the things I’m doing as maybe even a more primitive version of what customer success is, regardless of industry. And if you have a software product that people can evaluate, even if they can’t evaluate it 100% Create a demo that shows people it’s basically a guided tour, have one of your technical people just do a guided tour video, you can drive people to that, as that experience that warms them up to get them qualified to be a lead.

Mike: That feels almost like you’re taking the concept of content marketing giving away useful information. They should, and implementing it in the real world. I mean is is that basically what you’re doing?

Mario: Well, they say that legislation, computers, everything we know today, we knew back in the mainframe world, we just have better kit, the same thing could be true, I think for marketing, content marketing having its heyday and still being obviously super big. I think now with the fact that we have a Twitter or x or whatever we should be calling it these days attention span, that there’s this idea, you have to put the entire payload of all value proposition into 140 characters. And the reality is, you just want to give people a reason, the same way the the Internet giants are the most profitable and prosperous companies in the history of humanity. They’re just giving people something they think they might want to look at at their height time, we as marketers should be doing the same thing. And not in the sense that we’re just trying to sell sell their data, but for us to understand based on their behaviour, if and when the right time is to lead them to the next step. Because attention span is everything, I’ll give you a stat in our company, we have a lot of things going for us because our community is so big, but with respect to doing direct email engagement to what we’d otherwise consider qualified personas with some lead score, we’re able to put them on ultra long lead drips that don’t work the first quarter don’t work the second quarter. And the reason they don’t is there’s no project in the first quarter. And there’s no project in the second quarter. People say, Oh, gosh, what have you done for me now. And my thought is unless you start really irrigating those long, lead drips, you’re not capturing the ability to take the people closest to your gravitational pull and sucking a man right. And content is marketing is what it’s all about. I am a content marketer, a product marketer by background before I was a marketing generalist. So content marketing, is it but I think it just like the like anybody, you’re just, you’re competing for eyeballs? And dang it isn’t your competition, doing everything that you’re doing, if not three times as loud and more annoying. Right? So how is it you just find them at the right time? And I’d say that yeah, there’s, there’s things you can do with content marketing, back to lead scoring? Because they were on they were on the verge at one point? How do you push them over the edge?

Mike: I think that’s fascinating. It really reminds me of what LinkedIn is talking about, with their B2B Marketing Institute, where they were saying, you know, 5% of your customers are probably in market ready to buy, and 95% are not ready. So your marketing should think about that. 95%. And I think as marketers, often we’re all too focused on the No, no, everyone should buy now just buy now, even if people are not ready.

Mario: Well, I mean, that’s a lot just Don’t hate the player hate the game, right? I think our incentive structures are usually in those organisations done that way. My my KPIs here, have a lot to do with how many new people we get to download the software, how many people we get to store more than a certain amount of data? So it’s kind of fun that way.

Mike: I think it’s interesting. I mean, actually, maybe one thing I want to ask you about is, you know, you’re getting people to try the software that’s inherently a low bar, because it’s free. But how do you market to that? Because obviously, free is not immediate revenue. You talk about these long drips and multi quarter drips? I mean, how do you decide about your marketing budget to go out and promote something that you know is going to have zero immediate revenue?

Mario: Well, here’s the cool thing is that, and we talked about this in the green room, when you work for an open source company that our company does more than $100 million of revenue, and we spend less than a million dollars in marketing. All in. Like all in employees, headcount services, everything is ultra lean, because simply by having what we call the machine, or what a marketer might call the mousetrap, our mousetrap is just to get people to try it. And then just over over time, they raised their hand, right. And what’s cool is, for us, once they download the software, that software, their agreement, opps them into doing a lot of things where we touch them on a regular basis without seeing a lot of unsubscribes. And not seeing a lot of complaints, right, because people don’t mind receiving something on the weekly if it’s how to get more out of something that’s free in providing value now, right? It’s just ideas and other stories. So I think we have an unfair benefit there. We can probably do more frequency than anybody else. And that applies also to those less interested folks who are enterprise folks who timing is it very few people are doing research on what they’re going to be implementing next year, right? It’s like, what are we barely surviving this quarter and what’s going to be assigned to us next quarter? And I think that’s one of the reasons why the whole go to market has changed. What used to be face to face sales calls as a part of the 17 touch process has shown that you can get It deals done in 12 touches and no face to face, same deal, same everything B2B, all the complexity, the pandemic brought that on, but to us, it’s like leaning in the favour of an open source company, because it’s leaning in the way where the the most productive activities, the ones that don’t cost money that would be outside the reach of us, because we just don’t have budget to buy leads or pay for, you know, qualifying services, etc. Let me give you another idea, because I know we’re probably running short on time on, I feel compelled to do this, because it’s been a big win for me recently, this idea that if you are a global company, there’s an opportunity in every department in a company to leverage qualified and high performance talent in the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, other areas too. But generally, it’s this virtual assistant, the pandemic created the virtual assistant industry, where there are college educated, usually mothers who work the same work hours through the middle of the night as their client, and take care of their kids send him to school and sleep during the day. These people love working at iEX. And it’s because they’re doing things that cost us a lot less money, but they can do very valuable and offload the people who are already strained, who you’re not getting to enough stuff, the only way you can add is really to figure out how to spend less on what you’re currently doing. So you can add more stuff, right. And I’m I just found that this is something that worked. And I think it could work for anybody. Because there are virtual assistants waiting to just do whatever work you want them to do in marketing. There’s plenty of busy work, like clean this list and append to this and fix you know that so it’s it’s been a cool boon for us. They’re still employees, but they work in the Philippines, then we have an intern programme, then we have our regular marketing. So another way reason we can compete is that we can be headcount heavy while driving costs a little bit lower with a structure like that. But pay for profit companies can do the same, but they’re trying to recapture spend spend on programmes.

Mike: Yeah, I think increasingly, we’re seeing that with for profit companies, offshoring stuff, to places where you have very smart people who don’t need as much salary as maybe they do in the States or in Europe,

Mario: and they’ve already worked for an American company and or some international global brand, and have already proven that they can be successful, you know, as a part of the team. And I think that’s, there’s a good supply of those right now. Demand for them is probably going up. But that’s another tip for all marketers. And I think you guys provided Napier provide a lot of value as far as how to put those strategies together, though. Title, the I’m not a client.

Mike: You’re right, we’re running a little short time. So let’s go to a bit of a more quick fire round of questions. So I’m interested to know, you know, whether it’s iEX or somewhere else, is there a campaign you’re particularly proud of that worked really well?

Mario: Sure. And it’s that to incentivize or not to incentivize question, specific to appointment setting. I think in most B2B funnels, the marketing KPI is how many qualified meetings did the sales guys actually have, followed by how many of those continued on to the next stage in the funnel, that that is what we really focus on. And so a campaign that incentivizes to get there, the biggest issue you throw incentive on, you get a bunch of unqualified people, you can make keep it really targeted, but you may not be able to get much in the in the way of results. We found a recipe at a company I was a private yet $500 million company I was working for in the past, where I think we perfected this, which was a lot of people would do the Hey, well coffee’s on me or lunch is on me, if you take a meeting. We did it where take this survey, and it was, you know, kind of your average survey thing just to get an idea of whether you could benefit from this. People do that? Guess what the answer was almost always, yes, you can benefit from that. And the idea was in that context, then go click because now the sales guy has a least a valid starting point for the meeting, because the customer can least articulate why they were interested. And they don’t mind taking those meetings because they can become either Hey, contact me next quarter, or yeah, let’s talk now. So the incentive was 25 bucks, and it was well worth it. Because ads for full conversion, we have to pay $1,500 per opportunity. And we were delivering opportunities at 100 bucks because the incentives was what 25 and the rest of it made for a very low cost appointment setting campaign that didn’t involve people. It just got us a lot more people wanting to have qualified meetings.

Mike: Yeah, I think that’s brilliant, because probably the people who are taking the survey are almost self qualifying themselves before they take the survey. You know, generally speaking, they’ve got an idea that probably it’s worth meeting and so they’ll take the survey. I love that. That’s fantastic. Yeah,

Mario: well, you take the survey. And if they choose to move through with it, then at the end of that they get the 25 bucks. Which, which, which is this thing that we’re not trying to fool you, we’re just saying we can talk about this. And if you think it’s valuable to you, then book it. And so that was that that was probably the one I’m most proud of. And I say that because the fruits of it, started to bear it, the trees blew up a year after I left the company. And today, I I’m very good friends with the same agency that’s continuing to work with that company. And he’s reported that it is they’d let it run like a chicken with its head cut off, it’s still performing today, it’s still the top lead source.

Mike: And I’m sure a lot of people listening, taking down notes on that and thinking, how can I do something similar? But I also know people want to know what goes wrong. So is there a is there a campaign you’ve run that, you know, you thought it was going to be great, but actually in reality didn’t work? Why do you think that was?

Mario: Alright? It was a brand campaign, I was working for a company where it was quasi consumer high end consumer prosumer. And business business was profitable, the prosumer stuff less so unless you could do it at scale. So the thought was, you need to be reviewed by the number one product reviewer of Apple products, a editor for The New York Times, who then went on to Google, etc, we got into the New York Times, we invested more than 50% of the net effort for three quarters to make that happen. And in the end, it didn’t make a sound. Really, it came out no perceptible difference in our demand gen metrics, except a bunch of people complaining on the internet about critical things he said. And then the competition, taking things and blowing out of proportion, and all that sort of stuff. So what you thought was your, you know, your use of video game analogy was the thing you grabbed, and you have now in your head about protection, it’s the opposite, you grab it, and it kills you. So the moral of the story is, never put more than 10% of eggs into any one basket, or at least into the first phase of what someone wants you to put it into. Because your board, the community, your investors, everybody could ask you, Hey, you know, I want you to go do this. We’re not going to be there until we have a Superbowl commercial, or until we are on the front page of The New York Times in a product review. Well, sometimes be careful what you ask for. Because, hey, who knows what works, what works? Now, it’s not something that takes six months, it’s what’s something you can ideate prototype, test, launch, and iterate on inside of a week. Right? So put your energy there, you’re gonna get a lot more engagement than what would be more like just that kind of checkbox. Okay, hey, we had this product review or review, it was a positive review to just didn’t, just didn’t didn’t make a sound.

Mike: Yeah, that’s fascinating, because I think I know you’re talking about and every supplier has something to do with Apple wanted him to review it.

Mario: Why not? Who doesn’t want free publicity? Right? I’m just saying that free publicity that which was so desired, was not desirable by our target audience.

Mike: Amazing. So, in terms of market advice, you’ve given a load of advices, loads of great information, but I’m interested, what’s the best bit of market advice you’ve ever received?

Mario: It’s really simple. When’s the best time to plant a tree? Yesterday in the past, right? The best time and this is something I have with my team. And I think it works especially well in marketing is that you ask for help. On the earliest signs that there’s a probability you may ask for help in the future. I don’t know if I said that the right way, which is this idea is that if I only would have just waited, I F around for five hours on this one, I literally could have done this and it would have been done. choose that path, right? Ask for help and or give it to somebody else rather than pouring your energy into it. Because right now, time is our currency as marketers, we are one of the only organisations where there is an infinite number of things to do, because everybody has an opinion on what needs to be done in marketing, because we’re all consumers, therefore we all have an opinion, you’ll never do everything that’s in the queue. Right? The only thing you can hope to do is prioritise. And so for me, that’s a part of the prioritisation exercise is by at least having names for things and knowing what it is you’re gonna invest the time on. If you just find you’re investing your time too much on one thing, that’s your signal to say, Can I hand it to an intern? Can I hand it to someone in the Philippines? Can I hire somebody who is the integrated marketing manager and makes the whole team better by you know, just having the things run smoothly through the machine? Right? I think it’s really more my advice is be on the lookout diligently on the lookout for signs that you probably wish you would have asked a question sooner.

Mike: I think that’s brilliant. We see that I the way you’ve expressed it, you know, I can see that particularly in more junior people coming into the company, and they want to try and prove themselves And they want to do something and they just spend day grinding on something that they could have asked the question and got it solved in minutes. And I love that advice. Think it’s brilliant.

Mario: Yeah. But we need to do it for ourselves. Can we catch ourselves doing that? Right? I think that’s one of the things it takes a village. And we believe that obviously, it’s an open source company. But in days where marketing teams are being really cut down, and we’re going toward models where it’s in multiple different agencies and stitching them together, it’s ever more important to really then understand how you assign workload and divide labour and do all of those sorts of things. And I think that that’s where I wear an agile company. I don’t know if I mentioned that last bit of advice, who would have thought that the company would do a backflip when marketing suggested, hey, we’re already using JIRA for Project product management in or for managing projects in engineering, why don’t we just use the same thing in marketing, guess what, now there are no extra apps, we don’t have an HR app or this app or that app. So marketing, actually, through our advanced knowledge of tools can help make impressions across the rest of the organisation to bring them more agile. So that’s another bit of advice is that young people do not want to work in an organisation that is not yet agile, because everybody’s asking for those skills. And so if you already have JIRA, in the, in your environment, get off of, or Basecamp, or whatever you’re using there, because we free to you. And you’ll actually do things with a higher level of quality, because you’ll follow more, a more scientific repeatable process of making sure things are QA, et cetera, et cetera. Thanks for inviting me today. As you can see, I’m a fountain of information. And I do enjoy sharing with others. Just make sure you ask questions, right. I think being humbled to ask questions is really the biggest takeaway, that to answer your question, because preventing guilt or regret in the future, means being more aware in the present.

Mike: I love that I’m in the spirit of asking questions, I guess, you know, one of the things I’m thinking is people are listening to this, they probably got a whole bunch of questions for you. What’s the best way to get ahold of you?

Mario: All right, I would suggest that if you wanted to go to Toon, just go into the live chat and say, Hey, Mario, like, believe it or not, the VP of marketing does actually look at the live chat. Right? Cool. I probably see you there. If not, somebody on the team is gonna say, hey, Mario is not here. And then we can get that way. Or you can email me at M Blandini. At IX,, or Turns out there’s not very many M bland genies in the world. And otherwise, yeah, if you’re like any of the ideas that I’ve talked about, what I’d say is one of the easiest ways to to get it get into a cohort group of people who are like minded like you meetups in the back in the day, were the great thing. And then it kind of went virtual, we forgot about that. Just having a couple of people in different industries to commiserate with is really, really cool. So even if I can’t answer the question, I’m not saying anything wildly inventive. You could probably go and network with your local group of meetup folks, and and build some relationships that way. Because the reality is companies I found this at my company to being 20 years old. You don’t know what’s going on on the outside, because you’ve only been in this side for so long. So as marketers we kind of get to specialised, I know that there’s some people who have a market where it’s literally every customer is known I had this in the telecom industry. Well, it still doesn’t mean that you can’t go and build for them a company reason to do it. Right. So that’s my other bit of advice. Heck, ask your boss whether or not you can brag a little bit more about what your company does, because odds are you do it in a less humble, less authentic way, when you probably could just state something that’s absolutely true about your company and find some power in that. Anyway, hit me up on the live chatter and and Blandini at

Mike: So scenario, it’s been such a great pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. Yeah, my pleasure.

Mario: Hey, y’all, and best of luck.

Mike: Thanks so much for listening to marketing B2B Tech. We hope you enjoyed the episode. And if you did, please make sure you subscribe on iTunes, or on your favourite podcast application. If you’d like to know more, please visit our website at Napier B2B dot com or contact me directly on LinkedIn.