By: ICwhatUC • 31 August 2022

Employee Spotlight Series: Kristen Gray, Marketing Manager

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Q: What was your experience before joining the ICwhatUC team?

A little bit of a lot of things. I’ve always enjoyed working in roles where I could be a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ so I could really figure out what I want to be doing long term.I started out in the hospitality industry while I was studying Communications in university, and stayed there for 7 years. I just loved the hustle and relationship building aspect of it. Then I moved into a SMB where I was able to get involved in each stage of the customer journey from lead generation to product delivery and follow-up. When I moved to Calgary I started out working in commercial real estate in an admin and junior marketing role, and then I came to ICwhatUC as their Chief of Staff back in 2020.

Q: What does it take to be a world class marketer?

Overall, you need to have a deep understanding of your product and the audience you serve, the ability to think of a unique perspective and communicate it simply. If you’re working with an early-stage startup like ICwhatUC, it helps to have a generalist marketing background (definitely including copywriting and analytics skills) and the willingness to get involved with every aspect of the marketing function.The marketing influencers that I follow are all very good at conveying their personal value and the value that marketing brings to their teams. I think it’s an important skill to have because marketing can involve a lot of correlations and it takes some experience to build out the reporting that backs them up.

Q: What do you think is missing in the way that B2B marketing is currently done?

A sense of humor. I think some people forget that, at the end of the workday, we’re all human. We all go home (or leave home) and focus on our hobbies, spend quality time with family, and dream about things completely disconnected from work. B2B marketing can be so dry and serious sometimes. A sense of humor and some originality goes a long way in making a brand memorable.

Q: What have been your biggest accomplishments on our team?

The first one is something I never imagined I’d say, but I won over $630K in government funding for our company in my time as Chief of Staff. Grants are a lot of work but the payoff is the indisputable knowledge that you’ve contributed significant funds to the company.I’ve also been able to play a big role in launching our company’s first digital marketing campaign.

Q: What’s the most unique part about working here?

Where do I start?It’s exciting to be part of a team that’s eliminating the frustration we all experience when contacting customer support, and turning it into a more enjoyable experience for the contact center agent and the end customer. We're going to look back years from now, thinking ‘I can’t believe we ever settled for that’ and knowing that our team played a big role in creating a new norm for service delivery.I also love how, if you’re willing to learn how to do something new, there’s an opportunity for you to put it into practice. I have never had the chance to develop and apply so many skills as I do working with ICwhatUC. The leadership team prioritized my professional development goals and helped me move into a role that was more aligned with them.Overall there's so much room for creativity and collaboration. We are constantly trying new things, and my creative brain loves that. Our team is always open to feedback and new ideas which helps us pivot quickly if needed, and it keeps things equitable and exciting.

Q: What are your favourite things to do, in and outside of work?

I really enjoy writing so I’ve appreciated the opportunity to develop and use that skill so much here. I’ve recently discovered that planning out a content strategy and digging deeper into the everyday needs of our prospects and users gets my creative gears turning. Overall, I love the psychology behind marketing and user behaviour.Outside of work, you can find me hiking, making ceramics, spending time with my dogs, or enjoying a beer at one of Calgary’s many fantastic craft breweries.

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