Episode 83 of Yes, and Marketing
Innovation doesn’t come from following best practices—especially in marketing. But we’re not the only ones who think so:
Kait Creamer is an award-winning email marketer and CRM marketing manager at Framer who believes marketers should, above all, “be weird.”
In this interview, Kait and Steve cover liberal arts, creativity, teamwork, and more:
- Why email is the best marketing channel
- How constraint breeds creativity
- Bringing EQ (emotional intelligence) to life in a startup environment
- How leaning into the things that inspire you makes you a better marketer
Tap through the chapters above to listen or read on for our highlights from the conversation.
Name: Kait Creamer
What she does: CRM marketing manager at Framer. Artist, musician, storyteller, and speaker.
Find Kait on the web: Framer | LinkedIn | Twitter
Get smart: “If you’re trying to do something really innovative in marketing, don’t look to other marketers. Look to the things that make you excited as a human being, and then find ways to relate that back to your work.”
Innovation doesn’t come from best practices
“If we’re constantly following that list of top 20 marketers to follow in 2021, we’re just going to keep repeating patterns that we’ve seen be successful in the past,” Kait says.
Replicating what’s been successful previously doesn’t lead to innovation. That’s why instead of looking only within her discipline, Kait looks beyond it to all the other areas that interest her: visual art, music, books on fungus, marginalized communities, and more.
She explains, ”Leaning into the things that inspire you are more likely to make you think creatively about marketing.”
By integrating learnings from other fields, she’s able to bring a fresh perspective and truly innovative insight to her work—one that’s unique to her as a human because it comes from her genuine interests and experiences.
If this philosophy sounds familiar, there’s a good reason: Our concept of “Yes, and Marketing” came from deliberately wanting to look beyond marketing for insight and inspiration from other areas of life. It’s an approach that’s near and dear to our hearts, and Kait is a living example of its success.
“Be weird,” she adds. “It makes it all a little more interesting.”
Why email is the best channel
“This is the only marketing channel where you can be a writer, you can work with individuals one-on-one, you can be a designer, you can be a developer.
…But the cool thing about email is not only do you get to put all of that stuff out into the ether, you also get this one-on-one relationship with people, so you can actually see how individuals are reacting to really hyper-personalized, really valuable content.”
Help others succeed in their own stories
“Everybody’s the hero in their own stories, and of course, I’m the hero in my own story, but you have to remember that the people around you, they have protagonist’s energy. They are the main character in their own stories. And so figuring out how we navigate around other people and help them succeed in their own stories—how can we lend ourselves to make other people better? That works out way nicer for everyone.”
One way to infuse EQ in your startup?
“User testing. Sitting down and having a conversation with someone. It doesn’t have to be filling out a survey. It doesn’t have to be using heat map software or anything like that. It’s literally just as simple as sitting down and saying, ‘Hey, tell me where you think this fits into your workflow. What would be more helpful for you here? What are you feeling when you’re starting to do work with this tool? What do you think this is gonna save you from feeling?’ and figuring out what the pain points are.
And really sitting down with a broad audience—I think that’s important to note too, not just your current customers, but the people who you want to be your customers, the people who you aspire to have. Sitting down with a broad group of people and trying to get feedback early and often, and being willing to check your own opinions at the door and try new things.”
How to recover from an email fail
“People love seeing ‘Oops’ in their inboxes because they want to know what went wrong. So if you get them to open that oops email, and then you make it something delightful and human and apologetic, that’s the best you can do.”
Teamwork > processes
“The ability to just check in with your team regularly and have good conversations—I think that matters so much more than a perfectly documented process.
If everybody’s bought into the success, then when invariably something goes wrong, you’re all bought into a solution together, and it makes it much easier to work together rather than just relying on a process being rock solid every time. Because at the end of the day, we’re humans. We don’t work like machines, and so we’ll screw up the process. And when that happens, if you have a good team to fall back on, that really helps an awful lot.”
When constraints help the creative process
“I wouldn’t say that constraints on creativity itself are necessarily that helpful, but putting constraints on projects and ideas and things like that can help you be more creative and help you just start.”
“EQ is really just this understanding of how your message is being received on the other end.”
“EQ, especially in marketing, is the ability to be able to stop and listen and figure out how you fit contextually in somebody else’s world.”
“You don’t have to be good at anything for it to be creative and fulfilling.”
“Putting constraints on something makes it so much easier to just start.”
“Leaning into the things that inspire you are more likely to make you think creatively about marketing.”
“If you’re trying to do something really innovative in marketing, don’t look to other marketers. Look to the things that make you excited as a human being, and then find ways to relate that back to your work.”
Kait lists Iterable as a favorite platform in her tech stack, along with Taxi for Email for creating a ton of emails at scale.
Disability Visibility by Alice Wong is one book that Kait says made her think differently about diversity, what it means, and what it brings to the table.