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Interview with Cara McNabb, Chief Marketing Officer at What’s The Deal?

Rhythm Singhal By Rhythm Singhal in Interviews on

Cara McNabb is the Chief Marketing Officer for What’s The Deal? a mobile app featuring restaurants daily deals, happy hour and specials in your vicinity. What’s The Deal? the aim is to level the marketing field for all restaurants; from small independents to large chain restaurants. She has experience in B2B and B2C marketing in technical focused industries. Cara has worked with start-ups in Canada and Europe, helping them reach new milestones. She is a soon-to-be graduate from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce. Cara juggles her time with many extracurriculars such as volunteering for school clubs, writing for a local online magazine called Yeggers, and working full time at What’s The Deal?.

Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.

– I am currently a student at the University of Alberta studying business with a major in marketing. I started out studying general business, but I soon realized that my passion was in marketing. I loved the creativity and the human psychology of it all.

– During my university career, I’ve traveled to London for an internship with a start-up called MotivatePT. At MotivatePT, I began to understand how frustrating, yet so rewarding it can be to work at a start-up. I was in charge of creating content and developing social media campaigns. I collaborated with 10 different local businesses in London in order to increase MotivatePT’s brand awareness and exposure. After my 2 months working in London, I flew back to Alberta for school.

– Before leaving to London I was working with a local tech startup in Edmonton for 3 months called, What’s The Deal?. I began as an intern and after those 3 months before leaving for London, they asked me to be a business partner and I now have shares in the company. Working with start-ups has opened my eyes to so many opportunities such as multitasking, innovation, teamwork, and organization. I think it is always great to choose diverse jobs throughout your career to challenge yourself. I will be graduating at the end of summer and I am excited to see where my marketing career will take me!

What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?

– As I began my path in marketing, Instagram was becoming a huge asset and extremely important for brands to build relationships with their audience and increase awareness. For the business I am working with now, What’s The Deal?, Instagram is the primary marketing channel we use to understand and reach our audience. We implement contests and collaborate with many different local businesses to engage our followers. Instagram has helped What’s The Deal? grow and reach a much wider audience than we ever thought we could.

– Understanding your audience is the best advice I have for young marketers. Consumers are very powerful in the market system. Their demands and needs influence marketers decisions and will ultimately determine the success of the business. Find the marketing channel that speaks to your audience and utilizes that. And most importantly, be authentic.

What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?

– For small businesses, I recommend utilizing different software’s and become strategic with which ones are more useful for your particular business.

– A great marketing software I use is, HubSpot. Marketing has continued to evolve as technology becomes more advanced and consumers behaviors change, but HubSpot has continued to support and help marketers through these challenges. It keeps everything organized and is a great way to assess customers interactions.

– I also really enjoy using G-Suite/Gmail/Google Drive. As a small business, the organization gets thrown under the bus because there are so many different tasks to do each day. Since getting G-Suite, it has impacted everyone in the business in such a positive way.

MailChimp is useful to send out great emails including invitations, newsletters, etc.

Slack is another great tool for internal communication and organization. It is great for creating different chats for different departments in the business.

Would you like to share a few words about any marketing software that you love?


i. What do you like in the software/ tool?

– I use HubSpot because it has endless amounts of tools and features that are beneficial for many different businesses. I use HubSpot to schedule out social posts, advertisements, and it is a great tool to track sale plans. Our business is a mobile app service and we have a sales team that we need to keep organized. HubSpot is great for increasing organization and keeping track of leads and prospects.

ii. Scope of improvement in the software/ tool.

– HubSpot has allowed us to make deeper connections with our customers and because of that, we have gained a significant amount of trust. Trust is a huge factor for businesses success. Using HubSpot to create blog posts, creating interactive social posts, developing newsletters and much more has helped build strong relationships within our business and outside.

iii. Did you consider other software for this use case? If yes, why did you decide to move forward with this software?

– HubSpot is a major competitor in the marketing software industry. It has gained a lot of trust from many different marketers because of its easy and effective software. We never considered anything other than HubSpot for our marketing tools. In my eyes, there is no competition.

iv. How likely are you to recommend this tool to others?

– This marketing tool is great for businesses of all sizes. With a small business like What’s The Deal?, it has helped us significantly. I would recommend this software to any business that is looking for a great inbound marketing solution for sales, customer service and of course, marketing.

Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.

– As a young marketer, my advice would be to build sustainable relationships with the right people. In any business, it is crucial to make connections and sustain those connections in a positive way. Those connections could be customers, influencers and even competitors. Building relationships is the key to successful long term marketing.