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Tech Qualified

The Differences Between In-House and Agency Marketing with Tory Kindlick

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Episode Summary

In this episode of Tech Qualified, Justin Brown and Meredith Metsker dive into the intricacies of marketing in the tech industry with Tory Kindlick, VP of Marketing at Corti. They explore the challenges and strategies of creating content and leading marketing teams in specialized fields.

Tory discusses the transition from interviewing experts in various fields to leading marketing efforts in the healthcare technology sector. He shares insights on leveraging storytelling and subject matter expertise to build credibility and trust with medical professionals, a key audience for Corti.

The conversation also touches on the importance of clear communication and simple tools like Google Docs for team alignment. Tory emphasizes the value of an agile approach to keep the team focused and efficient without micromanagement.

Finally, Tory and the hosts reflect on the leadership styles that drive marketing success. They highlight the shift from directive to collaborative roles, with Tory advocating for a “lead from the front” mentality. The episode wraps up with Tory’s perspective on prioritizing hires in content creation and paid media to bolster marketing operations.

Tony Kindlick

VP of Marketing

Noteworthy: Transitioned from interviewing experts to leading marketing at a healthcare tech company.

Key Insights

Crafting a Marketing Narrative 

Tory Kindlick highlights the importance of storytelling in marketing, especially in the healthcare technology sector. He praises his brand and communications lead for exceptional storytelling skills, which are pivotal in crafting the narrative of Corti. This narrative is not just about writing content but also about managing PR and video production to effectively communicate the company’s vision. Tory emphasizes the need for his team to focus on these strengths, suggesting that a clear and compelling story can significantly impact brand perception and customer engagement.

Manufacturing Credibility in Tech Marketing 

In the tech industry, credibility is key. Tory discusses Corti’s approach to building trust with their target audience, which includes medical professionals who value expertise and credentials. By combining the technical knowledge of Corti’s team with the experience of respected medical practitioners, they create a powerful blend of credibility and innovation. This strategy involves engaging with doctors and other healthcare experts to endorse and explain Corti’s technology, thereby enhancing the product’s acceptance and reputation within the healthcare community.

Leadership and Prioritization in Marketing 

Effective leadership in marketing, according to Tory, involves setting clear priorities and leading by example. He shares his method of starting each week by outlining key priorities, thus setting the stage for his team’s focus. Tory avoids micromanaging, instead providing a roadmap for his team’s efforts. This approach not only clarifies the direction for the team but also allows Tory to balance his dual role as a leader and an individual contributor. He uses simple tools like Google Docs to maintain transparency and guide his team, demonstrating that effective leadership is about clarity and empowerment, not control.

Episode Highlights

Setting Weekly Priorities for Marketing Success 

Tory Kindlick discusses his approach to leading a marketing team by setting clear weekly priorities. He starts each week by defining “must-win battles” to guide his team’s focus. Tory emphasizes the importance of balancing his roles as a leader and an individual contributor, using simple tools like Google Docs for transparency and efficiency. His method avoids micromanagement, instead fostering an environment where team members understand their path and focus on the most critical tasks.

“Every single Monday […] I really lay out my key priorities for the week and say, these are ultimately the must-win battles that we have over the next five days […[ I use something as simple as a Google document and just explaining what I’m doing, why I’m doing it.”

Building a Balanced Marketing Team 

In this segment, Tory Kindlick shares his strategy for building a balanced marketing team, focusing on operations, content creation, and paid media for near-term wins. He reflects on his experience at RefineLabs and how it shaped his current marketing philosophy at Corti. Tory’s approach to team structure is to establish a strong foundation and then drive growth through a mix of long-term content development and immediate campaign wins.

“The thing that you would hire first would be a content person to be able to create […] tell stories, what have you, and then the thing that you would onboard […] would be that kind of paid media person.”

Maximizing Event Marketing Impact 

Tory Kindlick talks about enhancing Corti’s event marketing strategy to create memorable experiences and generate evergreen content. He aims to extend the value of event participation beyond lead collection by creating content that continues to resonate post-event. Tory’s goal is to push his team beyond their comfort zones, encouraging them to think creatively and make a lasting impression at trade shows and events. 

“Trying to give him the freedom that he can think creatively and help us figure out the right way to stand out and create these memorable experiences at our events and trade shows so that we’re not just showing up […] but rather doing things that […] can create evergreen content.”

Emphasizing Quality in Content Creation 

Tory Kindlick speaks on the challenge of meeting high-quality standards in content creation set by Corti’s CEO. He advocates for producing excellent content over a large quantity of mediocre work. Tory’s focus is on creating high-value, high-production content efficiently, without the delays typically associated with such quality. He seeks creators who can deliver across multiple formats, emphasizing the need for skill diversity in his marketing team.

“Our CEO has a very high standard for quality […] if it’s not excellent quality content, don’t do it at all […] it’s about how can we create this really kind of high production value stuff and do it in a way that, you know, it’s not going to take us six months or a year to do it.”

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