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Interviews

How Marketers Stay Productive: Carmen Apostu of Saasler

November 9, 2017

This week we feature Carmen Apostu , Product Marketer at Saasler. Saasler is the easiest and most powerful tool designed to leverage your existing API and quickly create full native integrations right into your app.

In this interview, you can read more about her work at Saasler, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as her advice for budding marketers.

Your location: The team is located in Barranquilla, Colombia, deemed South America’s Silicon Valley, on the coast of the Caribbean sea, with sun all year round, and the happiest people in the world (at least according to a study by WIN/Gallup International Association).

Your favorite gadget: My smartwatch, for sure. I used to check my phone unnecessarily a hundred time a day, now I’ve lost that habit and only focus on important notifications.

You start your day with: A 10-minute meditation session (alternated with Tony Robbins’ morning routine) and a big breakfast (or at least I try to have one every day). My work day starts with replying to emails and organizing my priorities for the day.

Your favorite time-saving trick: To stay on top of my craft, I read a lot of guides, blogs and books every day. Tim Ferriss’ speed reading technique helped me save a lot of time, while increasing my focus and understanding abilities.

Your top 3 blogs you read daily: Growth Hackers (for marketing/business content), The School of Life (for more philosophical questions), Product Hunt (it’s not a blog, but I check it every day — probably more frequently than any other website).

Teamwork at Saasler

Describe an average day at Saasler?

The team usually gets to the office at 9am. We begin with a daily standup, which is sometimes done in one of the conference rooms available, othertimes via a message in Saasler’s development Slack channel. Everybody answers in a threaded message answering the 3 questions of the day:

1.What did you work on yesterday?

2.What will you do today?

3.Did you have any inconvenient situation yesterday (something that blocked you)?

We work in two-week sprints, which are separated by planning and grooming meetings.

When something unexpected happens, something that we somehow missed during the meetings (maybe it appears during the daily status update), we gather, go to a white board and start discussing about the issue or come up with a plan.

As a Marketer what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?

I use a lot of tools to streamline my workflow and be more productive. I use tools like Franz and Station to organize my workflow. I also love 1password. It keeps all my accounts and passwords together and everything in my browser extension.

I use Convergely to schedule recurring messages on Slack and assign tasks.

I always keep an eye on Product Hunt and try at least 5 new tools every week. Not everything makes it into my daily routine, but if anything makes a positive impact on my work or on my life, I adopt it. The more time-consuming, recurring tasks I can automate, the better.

As a person who is well-versed with online marketing/ inbound, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3–5 tools you use?

I love Hootsuite or Buffer for social media posting, Crowdfire for growing audiences, Yesware for email marketing, Mixpanel for getting precious product analytics. One of the more recent tools I started to use and love is ManyChat, a tool that allows us to create our own Messenger bot!

Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?

Customer insights help us continuously customize our marketing efforts, but not just that. Really getting into the minds of our customers, understanding what drives them, what pains them and what needs they have, helps us improve our product, and build something that’s truly useful.

What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?

To convert visitors into customers, website copy is obviously important. You need to be as clear as possible, and really speak to their needs. With a product as technical as Saasler, it’s tempting to be descriptive, but at the end of the day, potential customers want to know how you’re going to solve their problems.

In that sense, our product speaks for itself. For us in marketing, the key is attracting the right crowd in the first place, SaaS companies with an actual need to integrate with other apps.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?

A lot of the work these days can indeed be automated, but I’ve found you get the best results when you speak to your prospects from a real humane level. Nobody wants to feel like they’re a number you’re trying to achieve or that they’re talking to a bot.

Personalization is key.

If you don’t track the right metrics, in marketing it’s easy to get lost and do a lot of work that doesn’t really have an impact on the business. Don’t work a lot, work smart. Every task you perform should be part of a plan that has a real result on business goals. Otherwise, it’s just filler.

Once you start working smart, you don’t even have to worry about being productive, because it’s not a numbers game anymore, it’s all about loving what you do, seeing immediate results and the impact of your work. That’s going to push you even further and make you not just more productive, but a smarter worker.

How do teams at Saasler have fun at work/ make work fun? OR Describe one fun activity you did recently that energized your team?

A big majority of the team likes playing board games. We have Settlers of Catan (with expansions), Exploding Kittens, Rick and Morty’s Anatomy Park and Regular Poker cards.

On other occasions, the team likes getting together to play video games. We have a Nintendo Wi and our favorite game: Smash Brothers.

Our office is located in an area that has a lot of restaurants, bars and pubs. We try to hang out together outside of working hours too.

How do you make use of your downtime? Any hobbies, out of work interests that rejuvenate you?

I love traveling and photography. Growing up, my ideal job was for National Geographic. I obviously didn’t end up a photojournalist, but I still love seeing new places. Nowadays, I travel mostly for work, but even so, I get to move around quite a bit and work from very different environments (I’m now working remotely from Romania).

A big thanks to Carmen for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out Saasler.

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