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Interview with Mark Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer at ROCKETSHP

Rhythm Singhal By Rhythm Singhal in Interviews on

Mark Hayes is the CMO of a digital marketing agency ROCKETSHP. He has been featured on the front page of the NZ Herald Business Section, interviewed by TV3, and had many companies mentioned in Wired UK, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of the book on growth hacks for the modern digital marketer, “The Growth Hacker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Mark has worked with VC-backed startups with backing from $1mil right up to $40mil.

Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.

I worked in corporate for almost 10 years before I moved into marketing.

I had been working as a BDM for a large multinational company but wanted to do something different and I was really intrigued by marketing. This desire had me read everything I could get my hands on in regards to marketing and this has stayed with me my whole marketing career as I am constantly devouring new knowledge in order to continue learning and growing as a professional.

I initially started off as a freelancer, working for a couple of different agencies before I went on to found my own agency which later got acquired. Sometime later I went on to start my second agency, ROCKETSHP!

About 2 years into ROCKETSHP I wrote a 30,000-word blog post on growth hacking which went viral and, as a result of this, it became published as a book (an actual book that you can hold). This lead to me being asked to speak at many conferences internationally and I traveled through the Asia Pacific and to the Middle East to speak about various marketing related topics.

This opened up a lot of opportunities to expand our client base outside of New Zealand and to include clients in Asia and the US. In 2017 I met Gabriel Walker who went on to join me at ROCKETSHP and become CEO of the company. My passion is being the CMO and creative head of ROCKETSHP, so it made sense for me to bring in a business-minded CEO to take care of that side of the agency.

Gabriel and I make one of those dynamic teams where our skill sets complement each other which has allowed us to expand the company into China this year working with Chinese brands wanting to market themselves to Western markets.

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

We have done everything from traditional media like print and television to digital media and social media like Instagram and Snapchat. My advice to any young marketer would be to get experience with all facets of marketing from creative to PPC. I am a big fan of the concept of a T-shaped marketer. Growth Tribe did this cool test on their website to explain the concept but what it means is having a large breadth of knowledge in different areas of marketing and specializing only in a couple of areas.

The benefits are huge especially in smaller teams such as being able to provide analytics insights to your manager on how a campaign is performing or what AB tests could be implemented to see if you can get better results.

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

It’s not marketing software but Asana has been one of the most useful tools we have used in terms of project management and process. We could not live without it and it helps us plan all of our marketing campaigns with clear goals and communication.

Would you like to share a few words about any marketing software that you absolutely love and always recommend it to others?

FullStory – It is a SaaS platform that delivers digital experience analytics, on-the-fly conversion funnels, session replay and the advanced ability to search and segment. For data junkies like me, it has become one of my go-to tools.

Drift would be my 2nd recommendation – Drift is a conversational marketing platform it’s based on the concept that the most effective way to generate strong leads is to have a conversation. I need to point out that it’s more than just a chat box sitting on a website as it has some really advanced chatbot features called playbooks which allow us to channel people through a marketing funnel and enable a conversation with the person they should be talking to as well as qualify them in that playbook if they are a good sales lead.

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

Read as much as you can and never stop learning. Marketing is an ever-changing field and you need to keep on top of the changes happening. There is nothing worse than people that give outdated advice to clients on marketing tactics that may have worked 15 years ago but have long since moved on.