5 Minutes With SnapApp’s New SVP of Marketing

5 Minutes With SnapApp’s New SVP of Marketing

Dan Trefethen 3/22/16

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The team here at SnapApp has some very exciting news to share! In early February we added a new member to our leadership team, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Aaron Dun. So that Aaron can be formally introduced to our readers, we sat down for a quick Q&A to gain some insight into his thoughts on SnapApp and modern marketing. 

Q. What does your marketing road to this point look like?

I have a pretty diverse background in both startup and larger global tech companies in various roles. Before joining SnapApp, I was the CMO for Intronis through its acquisition by Barracuda Networks. While there I worked closely with the sales and product teams to reposition the product, restructure the go-to-market strategy, and rebrand the company. Most recently, I was leading the setup of Intronis’ global operations after the Barracuda acquisition. 

One of the interesting components I’ve found is that with both small and large organizations, the challenge and mission are generally similar: find the unique story for your product or service and align a go-to-market strategy to scale demand gen, drive marketing. 

With the marketing tech community, there are a few additional elements in the playing field. Marketing to yourself (as in, other modern marketers) is always a fun and challenging experience. The bar is sufficiently raised – how to create a dialogue for someone who understands marketing as well, if not better, than you do.

I’ve been in and out of the marketing tech community a few different times. Each time, I’ve always enjoyed engaging and talking with the marketing community as a marketer – exploring newly developed tools and ever evolving best practices. It’s a thrilling time in the marketing technology field. I’m excited to join SnapApp and establish ourselves as a leader in this emerging content interactivity segment. 

Q. What’s the most exciting thing about marketing? 

I’m definitely most fascinated by the explosion of all the different channels that can be deployed to create a dialogue with your customers and prospects. The options continually seem to be endless, and the exciting part is how we think about harnessing and deploying certain channels in a way that is actually going to drive results. Though there are thousands of things to do, the question is how do we figure out which will work for us today and which will work for us tomorrow?

These days, incremental growth really isn’t enough. You have to continually be looking for what I call a 10X change. If you want to grow from 1000 blog subscribers to 100k, just growing by 25% isn’t going to get it done. You need to change the scale of the opportunity, THEN you will push yourself to find things that will create that big change.  

I’m big into testing. Test to fail, test to iterate testing, test to grow – that’s the way I think about finding solutions. Because there’s a constant and dynamic growth happening in tech communications, you have to be exploring and trying new approaches continually. If you’re not pushing the envelope and pushing the result, then you’re not doing much of anything interesting.  

Q. What aspects of SnapApp most appealed to you?

With SnapApp, what really excites me is the mission of creating a whole new industry category centered on content interactivity. I know that my teams have continually pushed to find better ways to create engaging experienceswith our customers and prospects. Having a platform that marketers can use to create compelling content that pulls more people into and through the funnel, and connect that content to revenue, addresses several marketing leadership mandates. I’m really excited to be in an active conversation with the tech community and other marketers to create engaging new ways to communicate with our customers.

Plus, joining at this specific stage of a rapidly expanding company, one that already has a strong customer base and a committed team which we are continuing to grow is very energizing and inspiring. I’m thrilled to work with this team and help take SnapApp through the next phase of its rapid growth. 

Q. In just a sentence or two, how would you describe SnapApp’s company culture? 

There’s a dynamism here with very smart people coming together to build something amazing. Everyone is very driven with their eye on two main objectives. One, creating the best outcome possible for our customers, and two, have some fun doing it.

Q. What do you see as the future for marketers?

I think there are essentially three key trends that marketers need to consider. All three are connected by the idea that you must create content that truly resonates across increasingly segmented audiences in order to scale the business and ultimately create raving customer fans. 

To get there, we need to be constantly thinking of how to create raving fans out of our customers and unleash them to be our best advocates. I’m really interested in the advocate marketing work Influitive is doing in this area. 

The next area of focus would be account based marketing. Marketers need to adopt a much more portfolio-based approach to their targeted accounts – creating different and modified strategies for each account or audience segment in the B2C world. It’s something that has been in the works, but in a narrow way. It should and will be much more of a key strategy focus.

And the third is the importance of resonance. It’s no longer enough to just publish more content. I think about it this way: If content 1.0 was about deploying a content strategy and producing content, then content 2.0 is about publishing at scale, and using different tools to accelerate delivery. That’s pretty much where many of us find ourselves today.

Content 3.0, however, is about creating content that engages and truly resonates with your audience to create a differentiated experience for your customers. When you create an emotional or intellectual response in your reader, the connection sticks around and continues to ring well after they’ve finished engaging with your content. That is what gets them coming back, sharing, participating. Marketers using resonant content well are seeing massive lifts in leads and sales funnel, while continuing to optimize their strategies. For the first time we can measure the impact of each piece or area of content in the different stages of the funnel. I know that has been a struggle for me in the past. Having those metrics driving your content strategy will have a massive impact.

Quick Fire Round

Q. Favorite travel destination?

Key West is always a lot of fun, sometimes a much needed winter escape. 

Q. Last movie you really liked?

I just saw Spotlight and it was amazing. Having lived in the Boston area when the scandal was initially breaking, it was, and still is, a very big deal. 

Q. Last album purchased? 

The Civil War’s most recent album. I’m really excited about the Alabama Shakes album, too.

Q. Extracurricular activities?

Still an avid basketball player.

Q. Last book?

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. 

Aaron’s just one of the great people we’ve brought on recently. Learn more about our other new team leaders that are taking SnapApp to the next level. Stay tuned for interviews with Matt Carey, our new head of Sales, and Al Seeley, our head of engineering soon. 

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