10 years ago, I lost my job at a startup amid the global financial crisis.
Professionally, it was one of the best things that ever happened.
It encouraged me to launch my own business, a marketing consultancy focused on strategy, messaging, and brand storytelling.
Over the past decade, I have worked with more than 100 clients, ranging from boot-strapped startups to fast-growing companies fuelled by venture capital.
But now it’s time for a change.
I’m now the VP, Marketing with Daisy Intelligence.
You’re doing what?!
Yes, I’ve taken a full-time job.
My journey with Daisy started last Fall when I ran into Maurizio Milani, the company’s CFO, at the Elevate conference.
Maurizio told me that Daisy was looking for help with marketing. After meeting with the management team, Daisy became a client.
Over the next three months, I helped Daisy revamp its Website, relaunch its blog, generate new sales and marketing collateral, and establish a marketing strategy.
It was the type of consulting engagement that makes consultants look good. A lot of work was done and the results were tangible and significant.
As important, I liked the people and the corporate culture.
At some point, the idea of working for Daisy started to emerge.
At first, it didn’t strike me as tempting because I like being a consultant and running my own business. But the more I learned about Daisy and the opportunity, the more intriguing the idea became.
As context, Daisy is a B2B SaaS company that offers A.I.-powered software to grocery retailers and insurance companies. The company is enjoying strong sales and it has customers around the world.
Daisy helps grocery retailers drive higher sales and profits from the products they promote on weekly flyers. Right now, many retailers select products to promote based on intuition, what they’ve done the previous year, or financial incentives from vendors. Daisy lets them use A.I. to analyze massive amounts of transactional data to select products and prices that drive better financial results.
For insurance companies, Daisy makes it easier for them to detect fraudulent activity saving them millions of dollars in claims payments.
Given Daisy’s growth and its position as one of Canada’s leading A.I. companies, the decision to become the V.P, marketing became more appealing.
From a professional perspective, the opportunity to learn and do something different. After all, life is more interesting when it’s chock-a-block with adventures, twists and turns, and doors opening when you least expect it.
Since leaving/escaping the newspaper business in 2006, I transformed myself from an ink-stained journalist into different characters: startup co-founder, entrepreneur, advisor, and marketer.
Daisy is another chapter in my career.
It’s an exciting opportunity to build and operate a marketing engine to help fuel Daisy’s growth. After years of working with clients that scrambled to invest in marketing, having a marketing budget to make things happen is like being a kid in a toy store. Of course, unlike a child, I need to be excited and disciplined!!
At Daisy, I’ll get to manage people, work with freelancers and contractors, and select technology partners to drive brand awareness, leads, and sales.
I’ll also learn a lot about artificial intelligence, which is a core part of Daisy’s technology. Over the past three months, it has felt like a crash course…and I’ve only scratched the surface. For example, I had no idea that reinforcement learning was the “True A.I.”!
As important, I’ll be a B2B marketing executive, leveraging the skills and experience that I have obtained over the past decade.
One of the realities of today’s work landscape is people have multiple careers.
To be honest, I always thought I would be a newspaper journalist. I enjoyed discovering and writing about new things, meeting all kinds of people, pursuing interesting stories, and have a public profile.
Then, the Internet emerged and I became fascinated with technology. I provided advice to startups, launched mesh, a popular technology conference with some friends, and embraced blogging, including an interesting ride as a curious observer of Nortel’s demise.
Daisy is another adventure in a multi-faceted career. It’s new, different and incredibly exciting.