You Should Talk To

Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at Goodwipes on the return to brand building

June 06, 2023 YouShouldTalkTo Season 1 Episode 30
Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at Goodwipes on the return to brand building
You Should Talk To
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You Should Talk To
Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at Goodwipes on the return to brand building
Jun 06, 2023 Season 1 Episode 30

In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, host Daniel Weiner sits down with Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at goodwipes. Tom shares his candid perspective on the marketing industry, asserting that everyone is essentially "winging it" due to the constant changes and challenges in the field. Instead, he encourages marketers to be more creative and to stand out, likening it to being the "purple cow" in a field of regular cows.

The conversation takes a deep dive into the current economic climate and its impact on consumer spending. Tom argues that consumers are still spending, but brands must drive relevance and make people feel good to attract their dollars. He also discusses the concept of the "lipstick index" and how consumers still seek self-care during recessions.

Towards the end, Tom discusses the importance of team well-being and the role of culture in an organization. He also expresses his excitement about the shift back to brand building in marketing and the potential of artificial intelligence.


đź’ˇ Name: Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at goodwipes

đź’ˇNoteworthy: Tom brings a fresh perspective on marketing, emphasizing the human element and the importance of brand building.

đź’ˇ Where to find Tom: LinkedIn

Key Insights

The Human Touch: Personalization in Outreach

Tom emphasizes the importance of personalization in outreach. He suggests that everyone wants to feel special and heard, and it's crucial to inject a level of personalization into your communication. However, the sheer volume of communication can be overwhelming, and it's easy to miss opportunities. He suggests that successful outreach requires an element of humility, humor, and the luck of catching someone on the right channel at the right time.

Consumer Spending and The Lipstick Index

Tom discusses the concept of the "lipstick index" - the idea that even in a recession, consumers still want to treat themselves, albeit in more affordable ways. He argues that consumers are still spending, but brands need to drive relevance and make people feel good to attract their dollars. This puts more pressure on brands to be relevant in a target occasion and meet consumer needs.

The Pendulum Swings Back: The Return to Brand Building

Tom expresses his excitement about the shift back to brand building in marketing. He believes that the pendulum is swinging back from performance-focused strategies to a more holistic approach that includes long-term brand building. He argues that every opportunity is a chance to build a brand and to perform, and marketers should think about their strategies holistically.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, host Daniel Weiner sits down with Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at goodwipes. Tom shares his candid perspective on the marketing industry, asserting that everyone is essentially "winging it" due to the constant changes and challenges in the field. Instead, he encourages marketers to be more creative and to stand out, likening it to being the "purple cow" in a field of regular cows.

The conversation takes a deep dive into the current economic climate and its impact on consumer spending. Tom argues that consumers are still spending, but brands must drive relevance and make people feel good to attract their dollars. He also discusses the concept of the "lipstick index" and how consumers still seek self-care during recessions.

Towards the end, Tom discusses the importance of team well-being and the role of culture in an organization. He also expresses his excitement about the shift back to brand building in marketing and the potential of artificial intelligence.


đź’ˇ Name: Tom Spaven, VP of Marketing at goodwipes

đź’ˇNoteworthy: Tom brings a fresh perspective on marketing, emphasizing the human element and the importance of brand building.

đź’ˇ Where to find Tom: LinkedIn

Key Insights

The Human Touch: Personalization in Outreach

Tom emphasizes the importance of personalization in outreach. He suggests that everyone wants to feel special and heard, and it's crucial to inject a level of personalization into your communication. However, the sheer volume of communication can be overwhelming, and it's easy to miss opportunities. He suggests that successful outreach requires an element of humility, humor, and the luck of catching someone on the right channel at the right time.

Consumer Spending and The Lipstick Index

Tom discusses the concept of the "lipstick index" - the idea that even in a recession, consumers still want to treat themselves, albeit in more affordable ways. He argues that consumers are still spending, but brands need to drive relevance and make people feel good to attract their dollars. This puts more pressure on brands to be relevant in a target occasion and meet consumer needs.

The Pendulum Swings Back: The Return to Brand Building

Tom expresses his excitement about the shift back to brand building in marketing. He believes that the pendulum is swinging back from performance-focused strategies to a more holistic approach that includes long-term brand building. He argues that every opportunity is a chance to build a brand and to perform, and marketers should think about their strategies holistically.

YouShouldTalkTo - Tom Spaven

[00:00:00] Tom Spaven: It, you know, you, you have to

[00:00:02] Daniel Weiner: Hello and welcome to another episode of the YouShouldTalkTo Podcast. I am your host, your sponsor, your everything, Daniel Weiner. YouShouldTalkTo pairs, brands and marketers for free, with vetted agencies and or freelancers for marketing and tech needs because finding great partners is a giant pain in the ass.

[00:00:17] I am joined today. By my guy Tom Spaven, who is VP of Marketing at goodwipes. We also just found out, Tom, before you even do an intro, Tom doesn't use multiple screens. We just found out throwing him under the bus already. Tom, thank you so much for joining us.

[00:00:32] Tom Spaven: Thank you, Daniel. Uh, I thought you said no throwing anyone under the bus.

[00:00:35] Daniel Weiner: Only each other, you said only yourself

[00:00:37] Tom Spaven: Only. Only ourselves. Yeah. Fair enough. Um, thank you. Yeah, no, you're right. I'm just a one screen guy trying to focus, you know,

[00:00:44] Daniel Weiner: That's, that's good. I like the answer. Uh, we'll dive right in. What is your, outside of multiple screens, what's your unpopular opinion or hot take of sorts in the, uh, marketing world?

[00:00:54] Tom Spaven: so. I mean, I think the, the hot take that I'm gonna bring is that, um, you know, everyone in marketing is and has always been just winging it. How about us.

[00:01:08] Daniel Weiner: No, please elaborate. I love it.

[00:01:11] Tom Spaven: Um, yeah, I mean it's, it's one of these popular themes we see that everything's changing all the time. Um, and I think there's a tendency for marketing. For anyone in, at any level to feel overwhelmed. Um, and as such, I think there's a, there's a behavior in the industry now, which I, I don't love, which is just everyone trying to pretend that they're an expert at everything, and realistically, that's impossible.

[00:01:38] Right? Marketing is so broad now, uh, the expectations of, of anyone sort of director level and above is that they're, They are perfect at every, every aspect of it, and it's just not possible. Um, so one thing that I like to dispel is this myth, you know, that, uh, a marketing director or vp or a CMO is just this pro at everything.

[00:01:57] You're not, you have to hire where the gaps are. Um, and, uh, I know what I'm good at and what I suck at. And it's been liberating, I think, in the last few years to kind of fake, you know, confront that and, and, and be vulnerable with that cuz you really just, you know, opens up the possibility to, to hire.

[00:02:14] Really well, so yeah. anyone who says they're good at everything is, uh, is lying, I'm

[00:02:19] Daniel Weiner: Full of shit. Yeah, no, I totally agree. I think the biggest takeaway, uh, for me of working for myself and doing the whole, uh, entrepreneurial journey is when I first started and I would talk to like CMOs or VPs of marketing at relatively like well known companies. I was like, oh, these are gonna be, they're gonna know everything.

[00:02:34] Like, like what am I doing on this phone call? How did I get in this room? And. To your point, like no one knows what they're doing. Like everybody is smart at that level. But I find like my most candid and fun conversations with CMOs is similar to you when they're like, I have no clue. Like the internet and technology has changed everything.

[00:02:53] Like I don't know what's going on. Like how do we figure this out? And they're the best at admitting that and finding partners, whether that's full-time employees, agencies, freelancers, to take on that burden and hire smarter than themselves in certain areas.

[00:03:05] Tom Spaven: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:03:06] Daniel Weiner: I don't know what I'm, I don't know what I'm doing any day of the week, uh, with this thing.

[00:03:10] So, uh, luckily it's, uh, going reasonably well, but, uh, yeah, I don't think anybody knows what they're doing either.

[00:03:16] Tom Spaven: No. Um, yeah, I mean, let's, I guess that's why you hire agencies sometimes.

[00:03:21] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, that's, thank you for the plug, Tom. We appreciate it.

[00:03:24] Tom Spaven: Hey, that's not a product for you

[00:03:26] Daniel Weiner: yeah, yeah, yeah. Not me. Yeah, just agencies in general, but that's good. That benefits all of us. Um. You lead marketing at goodwipes at the moment, but you cut your teeth at some pretty large consumer facing brands. Uh, I know L'Oreal Bacardi. Tell us a little bit about the journey and kind of what's been the biggest shift for you personally, I guess, in working for quote unquote mature companies that you know, people have ever heard of to more of like a startup atmosphere.

[00:03:50] Tom Spaven: Uh, yeah, I mean the journey's been pretty, pretty broad and, and varied. I mean, that's worth mentioning. I think I started off. Even before kind of jumping into big CPG and these kind of behemoths that, that you mentioned, that I started very small and choppy at the beginning of my career, which I would recommend to anybody starting out, is to try different things, you know, when you're in your early twenties or even, even before that because you just get a sense of what you're good at, what, what fills your cup, you know, the kind of people you like to work with and, and just the amount that you learn just from even being somewhere for three months.

[00:04:26] Um, is extraordinary, right? So I worked as a, a concierge in a hotel. Uh, I worked at a creative agency, uh, in, in Spain for a little bit. I worked on a sports desk, like writing tennis results, middle of the night. Um, and, uh, and you know, and I worked as a recruitment consultant. These, these were all in like tiny increments of time and I started freak out, you know, that.

[00:04:51] Well, where was I going? But realistically, looking back, that was, that was incredibly formative because you just have, you have so many experiences in a short space of time. Um, but yeah, eventually I got into L'Oreal, um, in London at the management training scheme, grad scheme, whatever you wanna call it.

[00:05:07] You know, I think p&g do a big one here. And, uh, and that was sort of my marketing career up and running. Um, It's funny you mentioned L'Oreal and Bacardi. I actually never worked directly on, on L'Oreal, Paris or Bacardi rum, like the, the, the most famous brands into the names above the door. Uh, I was on, uh, sort of smaller luxury brands like keels, some of the fragrance brands within the, the portfolio of L'Oreal.

[00:05:33] And, you know, that, that really taught me about, um, you know, the power of brand and consistency and, and, and, um, premium and luxury, which I've taken with me throughout my career. Um, and then, you know, moving into Bacardi, it was, um, you know, alcohol, um, probably something that at the time I was, uh, closely, you know, had a close affinity to, I was young and wanted to travel the world and learn about spirits.

[00:05:59] Um, marketing, which is actually quite similar to fragrance marketing, if you think about some of the codes of, of, of that, of that category. Um, yeah, great experience, but I, I, I wanted to shift into startups. This was 2021. You know, this is after about 15 years working in those companies. And you know, I, I know myself and I know that I'm someone who, uh, likes momentum all the time and doesn't like things stagnating or slowing down.

[00:06:27] And, you know, big companies don't always operate as quickly as as you want. Um, and I, yeah, I wanted to test it, test myself in, in the startup world. So I went to a tequila seltzer startup called Volley, uh, the, the Clean Tequila Seltzer, just three ingredients. Um, Cool experience. Uh, they're still going, going strong.

[00:06:45] Shout out Chris and Camilla.

[00:06:47] Daniel Weiner: What's the, what's third ingredient? Tequila Seltzer and what? Water.

[00:06:50] Tom Spaven: tequila Spark, uh, it's a hundred percent agave, tequila, sparkling water and organic juice. Nothing else. It's almost too, too clean for its own good. You have to flip the can to spread the juice out cuz there's no stabilizers. No, it's, it's a really extraordinary product, but,

[00:07:05] Daniel Weiner: Maybe they wanna sponsor the podcast. We can get some free tequila over here.

[00:07:09] Tom Spaven: Hey, well, I, I'm sure I can get you some. Yeah, great if you, if you're a real tequila fan, it's, uh, it's a, it's fantastic.

[00:07:15] Daniel Weiner: real tequila fan.

[00:07:15] Tom Spaven: Um, and, uh, and then, yeah, I mean the, you know, I, I, moving to startups, you know, you, you realize that you, you chop out all of the wonderful things like job security and this class travel, all these wonderful things I took for granted

[00:07:33] Daniel Weiner: Tom, no one has job security these days.

[00:07:36] Tom Spaven: true. Um,

[00:07:38] Daniel Weiner: I don't think that matters where you are.

[00:07:39] Tom Spaven: no, no, it's, that's true. Um, but, uh, I, it's been invigorating and, you know, goodwipes is a fantastic company, um, with, you know, strong leadership, servant leadership, and at that point, you know, I just knew what to look for and, and who to work for. And, um, yeah, it's fun building a brand in a, in a sort of quite sterile clinical category in trying to build something very playful and exuberant and.

[00:08:03] There's a lot of upside and a lot of, lot of head room for growth, so yeah, it's a good time.

[00:08:08] Daniel Weiner: What's been the biggest shift for you? Or I'm curious if there has been a shift. When I think of like the brands you mentioned, they're, you know, people know them and, you know, you're, you're not fighting an uphill battle of education oftentimes, I presume, with something like goodwipes. How are you thinking of just the consumer in terms of like many people presumably haven't heard of it, or maybe they don't even know the category you guys approach that?

[00:08:29] Tom Spaven: Completely different. I mean, if you, if you're working on a household sort of legendary brand, like, you know, Bombay, Sapphire, gray Goose, you know, your, your main job there is, is to, is to drive relevance. You know, you're not, you're not driving awareness. Um, everybody knows it. No, the issue is no one's thinking about it.

[00:08:46] Uh, or not enough people are thinking about it, and it's not top of mind and relevant. So very different, um, strategies required. Um, you know, when you are, when you have a 1% brand awareness, Uh, in, in a category that has about seven or 8% penetration, you know, it's a completely different job. Uh, it's a, it's more exciting because you're essentially going out into the world to introduce yourself, um, to, to an audience that doesn't really think about it or care necessarily.

[00:09:14] So it's like, how do you do that? So, very different challenge. Um, I think it's a more exciting challenge cuz you've gotta kind of muscle your way in. Uh, and drive attention and, and, you know, that's when what really forces you, I think, to be more creative and be the purple cow as Seth Golden would, uh, would say.

[00:09:31] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. Um, with economy and flux, what's your kind of advice, or I guess maybe opinion, uh, to other marketing leaders, uh, in, you know, when, when consumers aren't spending, how do you get the most out of your marketing dollars? What should they be doing? What should they be thinking about? How are you thinking about budgets and stuff like that?

[00:09:50] And this kind of weird, uh, time we're in.

[00:09:53] Tom Spaven: Big question and a good one. I, I, I hate hesitate to always say good question because,

[00:09:59] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. Don't give me any credit, Tom.

[00:10:01] Tom Spaven: Um, I would actually say that consumers are spending., I mean, you know, we're, we're pockets are tight, but people, consumers are spending, I think that it can sometimes be an excuse to blame the economy. And look, there's obvious challenges in, in the economy when you look at poverty levels in the US and, and you know, when, when people are struggling to pay the rent.

[00:10:23] Um, that's, that's, that's a huge issue. And, and, you know, we don't shy away from that. But I will say that the, if you are a brand that can drive relevance and, and, and find a way to make people feel good, like people will, will still come, there will shift spending around, um, you know, we all know about, well, I dunno if we all know about it, but the, a familiar phrase in, in the kind of luxury world is the lipstick index.

[00:10:47] Uh, have you heard of that?

[00:10:48] Daniel Weiner: Have not.

[00:10:49] Tom Spaven: I mean, it's basically, um, uh, the dynamic where, In, in a recession, you know, people still want to treat themselves, but they just can't necessarily afford a, a Prada purse, they're gonna go for the Prada lipstick. Instead, they, they're gonna trade down, but they're gonna still seek out that element of self-care.

[00:11:08] Um, and I think that it, it just puts more pressure on brands to drive relevance and, and, and, and be relevant in a target occasion and meet consumers where they are. But people will still come, you know, even if things are tight. You, you can't go through your week or your month without, you know, without engaging with a brand or buying a brand that makes you feel good.

[00:11:27] There are different ways to do it. So we, we, we think we've, we've found a good alchemy to do that. Um, but um, yeah, it just means you've gotta be more creative. You've just gotta be better.

[00:11:38] Daniel Weiner: No, I like that. Um, what's your overall opinion on agencies since that's my world, how do they fit into the ecosystem? At, uh, at goodwipes?

[00:11:46] Tom Spaven: So, two questions there. Overall opinion on agencies. Um, I mean, we, we, we, I've never worked at a brand that hasn't, hasn't worked with an agency. Um, it's always

[00:11:59] Daniel Weiner: are very polarizing in my world. Like if you say the word agencies around folks with your title, often I get like, ugh.

[00:12:05] Tom Spaven: Yeah, I know. I know. I know.

[00:12:07] Daniel Weiner: an overall exhaustion, uh, is more the, uh, the point of the first part of the question. I'm curious if you're, uh, very pro or just, I don't know.

[00:12:15] It's a necessary evil is what I hear as well from some folks in, uh, in your shoes.

[00:12:20] Tom Spaven: Probably somewhere in the in between. I mean, so I do think you get out, I think we'll get into this. I think you get out where you put in with with agencies and. You know, I always come back to the, the point that, you know, the, the reason you would work with an agency is either cuz you don't know how to do something yourself or you just don't have time.

[00:12:37] Right. Or probably a combination of the two. And, and you've gotta be so conscious of why you go into an agency relationship. Like what are you, what are you solving for? And I do think for the effort, anyone's from an agency listening that they'll probably nod their head but clients don't always know what, what they want.

[00:12:56] Sometimes they might just be grandfathered into an agency relationship or, you know, sleep, walk into it, not know what they're, what they're asking for. And, and so you gotta really be clear on what your needs are and what you can cover internally. And that comes from having, you know, an annual strategy, probably, hopefully a longer term strategy about how you wanna build brand.

[00:13:16] Um, but yeah, I mean, I. I, I've had wonderful agency relationships, um, in my career. Um, what I always try and do is, is manage the, you have to manage the relationship. It's not something that you just turn on and, and, and will always deliver for you. Like agencies have limited capacity and resource. So if you suck as a client, you're gonna get the B team or the C team.

[00:13:39] Uh, so you really get what you put in. Um, So, yeah, I think it's just all about, you know, really identifying what your needs are, um, and, and laying that out and being transparent with, with an agency, um, which I'm sure we'll talk more about. But

[00:13:52] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, we will. Um, I'm curious with, with your title, this is maybe my favorite question of the podcast that I ask everybody, everybody with your title, even director, level director, vp, and especially CMO, are getting hit up like, I don't know, every 12 seconds, uh, via every single channel apparently, LinkedIn, text, phone, all the things, email, uh, by agencies and vendors, uh, you know, selling to them.

[00:14:14] Is that the case for you?

[00:14:16] Tom Spaven: that is the case.

[00:14:18] Daniel Weiner: How do you manage it? I hear it's, uh, become even more overwhelming, uh, than usual. I interviewed, uh, who you know as well, Kaylin Durham, who is C m O of Aaron's, uh, yesterday for the podcast. And told, uh, a war story of getting a pod or getting a, uh, an iPad in the mail from a vendor. And when she opened it up, it was a video of the, the person's face, like talking to her and

[00:14:42] Tom Spaven: that's not bad. I wouldn't mind that.

[00:14:44] Daniel Weiner: Hyper. So this is the point, my whole theory of this entire world, which is why YouShouldTalkTo exists, is you gotta know your audience. You would love the, the iPad the video talking to you. Do you

[00:14:55] Tom Spaven: whoever you are, whoever you are, if you're listening, redirect your direct mail My way. I'll take it.

[00:15:03] Daniel Weiner: I'll get, uh, I'll get the information from Kaylin of who it was, see if we can get you a free iPad. But no, I am curious if there is anything that, uh, any vendor like that or agency can do when you are not in buying mode cold that will pique your interest and encourage you to take a call or not?

[00:15:19] Not really, unless you're in that mode of buying, which you would of course call me first, so probably not

[00:15:24] Tom Spaven: I'll call you. Why would I need anybody

[00:15:26] Daniel Weiner: That's what I'm saying, you know?

[00:15:27] Tom Spaven: Um, it's tough because there aren't enough hours in the day to engage every, you know, cold outreach, but, I, I imagined a world the other day where there was none, and I also didn't like that because then you're kind of like, maybe it's a FOMO thing, but like, it's just part and parcel of being a, a head of marketing or really, you're probably head of any department, right?

[00:15:49] There are agencies for, for, for everything these days. But it's, you've got to stand out. You've gotta be a good marketer to be, uh, to be in, uh, you know, on the, um, on the agency side because you have to. Drive attention, stand out and solve a problem. Now, some of it is down to luck. Some of it's down to, and this, uh, this hopefully doesn't make me sound like some sort of diva, but does sometimes depend what mood you're in on the

[00:16:16] Daniel Weiner: A hundred percent.

[00:16:17] Tom Spaven: if you have a

[00:16:17] Daniel Weiner: if you're, if you're a diva, we're all divas then, cuz that's a percent the case.

[00:16:21] Tom Spaven: right, but you've got, you've got, they've gotta have an element of luck in catching you at the right time. Um, I think that it's, it's often down to. You know, trying to, if, trying to understand what's going on on the client side, there are so many examples of bad outreach where sometimes you get the name wrong at the top of the email.

[00:16:42] I mean, the, the get the basics right, right. Don't, it's obvious when it's a copy paste. Right? And that doesn't make anyone feel, uh, heard or feel special. Uh, at the end of the day, we're all human and we want to feel special. Um, so you've gotta, you've gotta inject an owner personalization to it, but you know, if you can, and, and then, and I would say the standard has gone up, uh, across the board because people obviously have the ability to dig under the, under the hood now and look at data and they can actually provide insight to you, you know, before even you've had a conversation.

[00:17:14] Um, but the problem is the sheer volume of it is overwhelming. So you miss a lot. I'm absolutely sure I've missed some great opportunities with great people, uh, who could have solved problems, but, uh, I've missed it because they just kind of became part of the furniture. Um, or, you know, it was a bad day or whatever it was, or it went straight to my junk email.

[00:17:35] But, um, I was trying to think about when, like, when I picked up the phone and, and like, what caused me to do that. And it's just, it just depends. There's no formula for it, right? So it's not easy. But I think you've, um, you've gotta have an element of humility and humor. I think with any sort of outreach, uh, you've gotta have the luck of catching someone on the right channel at the right time.

[00:17:58] You know, you could be browsing LinkedIn at the right moment, but yeah, you just, uh, I don't want a world when, where it's not happening. Put it that way. It's a necessary evil. Um, sometimes it hits, sometimes it doesn't. And, you know, it can depend on, on the alchemy of the day, I would say.

[00:18:13] Daniel Weiner: I like that. No, I totally agree. Let's say that you are in buying mode. You've decided, hey, I'm looking for something. What, like in general, if you had to sum it up, uh, are you looking for from an agency or vendor, like once you start talking to them, how can they stand out?

[00:18:26] Tom Spaven: Um, obviously depending on the topic, you know, different needs, but I would say that, um, it ultimately just with anything in business comes down to the quality of a relationship, the quality of the human, uh, which of course is not easy to. Judge from the, you know, from the first interaction. But you know, the, I was talking to an agency, uh, this week about this and, and we had a few conversations with them and they, they had done everything right on the, on paper, right.

[00:18:57] The deck was beautiful, settled the right things, the people were buttoned up, but there was something missing, right? And it wasn't that I don't need the services, but there was just something. That I, that just, I wasn't feeling, and I, and I was very honest with the, with the owner. I said, look, this is not, doesn't feel right.

[00:19:15] And I know that that's not very clear feedback or you can't really do, that's not actionable feedback for you. But I think it had to do with the level of empathy and, and really understanding where we were in our journey. And, and you know, I don't know if there's enough people working on the agency side who have been a client.

[00:19:35] And, and the reason for that obviously is that agency work is so specialized and you look at sort of generalist brand management, you know, people and you think, well, they can't really fit. But I, I wonder if, if, if, if agencies could benefit on the sales side with more people who have just been in the weeds with CFOs and planning and who can speak language more.

[00:19:54] Because at the end of the day, like what I would want an agency to ask me is, what's keeping your CFO up at night? Like, what are you having to show? Her or him to get you through the next three months, and how can I help with that? Like, I think a question like that would, my ears would prick and I would be, I'd be in there, I'd be like, wow, this is, this is an extraordinary

[00:20:16] Daniel Weiner: You're gonna get that, you're gonna get that in your email on LinkedIn. Now, from all the people

[00:20:19] Tom Spaven: Maybe. Yeah. I'd like, yeah, who's listening? Prove who's listening. But you know, what's, what's, it's not really what's keeping me up at night. It's what's keeping, what's keeping the, the, uh, the bean counters up at night,

[00:20:30] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. No, it's, it's interesting to your point about, um, you know, it didn't feel right. I totally agree and I think too many people in your, uh, shoes sign contracts with vendors or partners that don't feel right. You know, I talk like there's like 90,000 agencies in the US alone, and when people are in your shoes are looking for an agency in general, they talk to like three to five for.

[00:20:54] Normal to small stuff, and then maybe like five to seven for bigger stuff. I generally advise at the end sometimes, like with clients I'm working with of like, oh, like, you know, like they're, they're great. Similar to you. Like, you know, everything on paper seems good, but like, I don't know, it feels a little off.

[00:21:08] We're not sure. And my response is usually like, this could be the worst decision of your life, but on the front end, when you sign, you should be really excited. could all fall, it could all fall apart a week later. But like on the front end, when you sign that thing and you fork over a bunch of money, like.

[00:21:24] You should be really excited and comfortable about like the promise of, you know, what can happen. Uh, and I usually encourage, I'm like, then you should have more conversations. And largely, unfortunately, I get the response like, we don't have time.

[00:21:37] Tom Spaven: yes,

[00:21:38] Daniel Weiner: like, well, it's gonna, it's gonna cause a lot more time if you guys fire each other and

[00:21:41] Tom Spaven: It's like

[00:21:42] Daniel Weiner: work

[00:21:43] Tom Spaven: isn't Yeah, it's like hiring. When you go through five or six candidates and there comes this panic where you need to hire to just tick the box and get on with everything else, which, that's when you make the mistake, isn't it? That's when you, you know, you do something in the short term that feels good, but you, you're just gonna hamstring yourself.

[00:22:02] Um, it's the time thing is everything. So another thing, I told this, uh, this, this person this week was, The admin that they, that their team requested from us to even get a proposal together. I understand why, but I was like, this, that's too much. And, and this is the problem, right? Because they're trying to do rigorous work and they are asking the right questions of us.

[00:22:24] But I was like, I literally have no time to do this, so we can't, this isn't gonna work. I'm sorry. And I was like, look, I'm so sorry because, um, you know, this is all valid, this is all logically valid, but I cannot get you that because. I don't have a team, like one of my team, one of the guys on, my team's out.

[00:22:41] I've got one in-house creative. We are, we're not able to deliver something for Walmart next week. I'm out, we're cut. Sorry. Let's pick it up and, you know, pick it up next quarter. Classic. You know, when can we get time in? But yeah, it was like, sometimes we don't have time, so, um, it's, it's very hard. Uh, I do empathize and I, I would never, I would really try and like never sort of be short with.

[00:23:07] Anyone. I mean, I ignore a lot, but I, I would never sort of like, you know, never shit on anyone for trying to get on my calendar. I would say that like a, a phone call out of the blue at the wrong time isn't always great. Um,

[00:23:23] Daniel Weiner: One sec. Oh,

[00:23:25] Tom Spaven: no, I lost you.

[00:23:27] Daniel Weiner: just my headphones.

[00:23:37] Tom Spaven: So I can hear you. It just sounds more echoing.

[00:23:39] Daniel Weiner: of it. Yeah. It's not coming outta my headphones for some reason.

[00:23:43] Tom Spaven: Hmm.

[00:23:44] Daniel Weiner: Hmm. All of a sudden

[00:23:50] it's still recording, so we're good. Yeah,

[00:23:54] Tom Spaven: I can hear my. Echo, which yeah, we will hopefully fill that out.

[00:24:01] Daniel Weiner: Cannot be changed. Mark, what was an adventure? What the hell? Speaker? Still hear me?

[00:24:14] Tom Spaven: Yeah.

[00:24:14] Daniel Weiner: Is better?

[00:24:16] Tom Spaven: that's, that's good. And I can't hear my echo, which is

[00:24:18] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. I turned it off, I don't know, 23 minute mark. There. Let's just keep going. What, um, I'll prompt you again. What were you saying?

[00:24:28] Tom Spaven: Uh, so I was just saying like the occasionally a like a phone call on the cell out of the blue at the wrong time can be really annoying. Um, but I'm also imagining a world where that never happens and I'm like, how it's so tough. Like how do you catch someone? Um, so the only time I might ever be a bit of an asshole is if. I'm imagining I've got a five minute break and I've stepped outside to try and get some air try and prepare for my next meeting, and then someone calls me to pitch something. I'm like, I'm like, sorry, I haven't got time for this right now.

[00:25:07] Daniel Weiner: hate the phone. That to, to the point of knowing your audience, like I. I'm under the opinion cold calling is dead, but apparently it is not. Like I

[00:25:14] Tom Spaven: no.

[00:25:15] Daniel Weiner: much about b2b cold calling and people having success and power to 'em. Like I have never. I just hate it so much when random people call me that I can't bring myself to do it to other people.

[00:25:30] Tom Spaven: I, yeah, I wouldn't do it. I mean, it's, uh, it's, it's tough. I, uh, I don't love it.

[00:25:37] Daniel Weiner: I've seen a bigger shift, uh, especially since Covid, a little before, since I came from a smaller agency of bigger name brands moving towards smaller independent agencies, specialize in like one to two services. I'm curious if you, what was it like, um, you know, working on keels, uh, working on some other luxury brands, um, in the fragrance space?

[00:25:57] You know, were you working with. Humongous holding company agencies, you know? And now are you working with smaller agencies? Like what's your preference in terms of the type of agency you're usually looking for?

[00:26:08] Tom Spaven: Uh, yeah, I mean the shift from big to small is not surprising. Um, it's only gonna continue. But yeah, my, a lot of my, my big CPG days were working with the Giants. Um, you know, in many ways it was great cuz you obviously benefit from media buying power that smaller shops can't, can't. Can't, you know, do, but it was, it was really the, the lack of agility and, and the excess bureaucracy that, that I would struggle with.

[00:26:37] So, you know, there, there were so many agencies at the same time. Um, and, and what was hard was kind of managing an i A T, The classic sort of, you got your PR and you got your shopper marketing and your media and your creative and just trying to get them to speak the same language was hard enough.

[00:26:54] Um, so I, you know, I do understand the, the shift toward a smaller shop that, that can perhaps not necessarily be more specialists, but just be leaner and you, you've got more chance of interacting and working with a founder. You know how many times have, have, have we spoken to an amazing agency ceo, uh, you know, head of growth, and then the moment you get going, you know, you're working with a very junior account person who then after three months has either left the company or, or, you know, shifted through a bigger client than perhaps that's indicative of how I was as a client, but. What you want is a long-term relationship with a, with an agency who you can grow with at the right level. Um, I love it when agencies say that they don't want to be big because they don't want to have to take on, you know, 13, 14 new staff within a year just to service, you know, an at and t or whatever it was.

[00:27:47] Like they don't wanna do that. Like life's too short for that. Cuz then you've gotta manage 15 human beings,

[00:27:53] Daniel Weiner: It's funny, I work, I

[00:27:55] Tom Spaven: full-time job.

[00:27:56] Daniel Weiner: I work some agencies who have told me that, and I even have one, I won't name who they are, but they have like a number in their, uh, name and they have, that was intentional. They didn't wanna grow beyond that, and they've like doubled since then. So I find I, I hear that a lot from agencies, but then if they do good work, like they can't say no and it's hard to like not, you know, like that's, that's the organic growth side of it.

[00:28:16] Tom Spaven: Yeah, I mean, I love the idea that agencies interview clients as well, like of course. I mean, that's always happened, but. We've gotta be conscious of that, right? Like, they don't have to take you on. Like why would they want to work with an asshole client? Like the, like, life is too short. I think we've all evaluated the full picture in the last few years about what, what makes us happy, and hopefully that will continue because why should you have to take on a client?

[00:28:43] Uh, you know, it's not, it's not a God-given right? That a client has to, to be able to pick agencies like, I, I like the agency's interview, interview us, and I want to put on a good show and. It, you know, you, you have to manage a relationship with, with an agency, just like you manage a personal relationship.

[00:28:58] Like it, you've gotta put the time in, you've gotta keep it going, uh, reward, you know, and, and, and, um, and, and, and, you know, fill their cup just as much as they, as they kind of service you. So, yeah, I mean, shops, you're more likely to have the relationship and, and, and for it be a partnership.

[00:29:15] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I saw, I can't remember who posted it. I saw a quote recently. No, I don't think they came up with it, but they equated it to a agency world and it was, the grass is not always greener. Uh, on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it. Uh, and I do find a lot of folks I talk to, like the second things go awry with an agency, their first reaction is, let's fire 'em.

[00:29:33] Let's get a new one. And that is the case sometimes, but like, You know, it, it's often better to, uh, invest in your current partners as well, which goes against my own best interest. But, uh, I do think, uh, we are marketers are quick to, to cut ties, uh, a lot more You don't hear of, when I hear of brands who've worked with agencies for like two years now I'm like, oh my God.

[00:29:54] Like retention, you know? And back in the day, you know, you heard brands working with the same agency for 10, 15, 20 years in some case. So,

[00:30:02] Tom Spaven: yeah. That you want. Really more than just like the brand and the agent you want. You wanna work with the same team within an agency. If that's what really matters, you know, cuz you could work with an agency 15 years but have gone through 50 teams. Uh, that's not gonna be a good reflection of, of anyone.

[00:30:20] And it's the work will suffer, I think you

[00:30:22] Daniel Weiner: The people at the agency make up the agency. The agency matter name matters significantly, uh, less in my

[00:30:28] Tom Spaven: right, right. And you know you want to, and there's a reason people follow people to new agencies cuz you just have, you just build a way of working and understanding with certain people. And there, there are people that I would and will follow. Wherever they go. Um, and I'd like to think it was, it was reciprocated because, you know, you, you can just do it like, you know, you understand each other and, and, and, you know, get into this kind of fluency, uh, together.

[00:30:53] But yeah, you definitely have to invest in it, um, you know, to make it work.

[00:30:57] Daniel Weiner: Sure. We'll, uh, we'll move on to the fun portion where we, uh, talk some shit. Do you wanna do the positive agency experience or your negative agency experience First, I give

[00:31:04] Tom Spaven: Let's start with a positive. Why don't we do that?

[00:31:07] Daniel Weiner: That's what we like to hear. All right. What's a great agency experience you've had past or present, and what made it so positive?

[00:31:15] Tom Spaven: I will say that there was a project that I led, um, when I was working on Gray Goose at part of Bacardi with, uh, an agency called Ragged Edge in London, who a design agency, um, founded by, you know, a guy who's now a great friend of mine, like he was at my wedding. Uh, and I think that's testament to how we.

[00:31:34] How we work together. But it was a, it was a brand standard visual identity packaging, point of sale, barware whole thing start to finish. And we did it intensely. We did it quickly and that required quick decision making it, you know, and some conflict, like healthy conflict, which we managed to navigate really well because there was trust.

[00:31:59] As a foundation. Um, and I think that's the key, isn't it? You have to trust each other to be able to have the right conflict to get to a better solution. Um, and you know, it's kind of been held up. It has been held up in the industry as a great, great example of partnership, execution, results, delivery.

[00:32:16] Um, so I always look back at that as a kind of bookended, you know, project that I love. I will always wanna work with them again in some capacity. Uh, they've gone on to become famous and. Very expensive, so I now can't do

[00:32:29] Daniel Weiner: can't afford them. Now, was gonna say,

[00:32:31] Tom Spaven: Um, but, but you know Right. Rightfully, but you know,

[00:32:34] Daniel Weiner: They, they won't take your call. That's how it should be, you know?

[00:32:36] Tom Spaven: Yeah, I'm always ringing, like Max keeps screening my, he's like, oh, leave me alone.

[00:32:41] No, but that's, it was, I mean, it's just, I, I think, uh, the key there was trust and passion, uh, and, and getting to a shared, kind of shared language and, And just knowing exactly what we were aiming for, uh, and sharing that vision. So yeah, it was, it was cool. I'm very proud of it. Um, would love to do something like that again one day.

[00:33:00] Um, and, you know, current, yeah, 

[00:33:03] Daniel Weiner: say to to other marketing leaders may be struggling to get to that point, or they haven't had a lot of experience working with agencies. What's your advice to them on how to get the best out of your partners, um, you know, is it increased? You like collaboration, you wanna be told what to do, somewhere in between.

[00:33:19] What's your advice to them?

[00:33:21] Tom Spaven: I, I honestly think it is to start on a completely level playing field. Think of it as a partnership where they're in-house, you are in their house. And it is a relationship that you work on together. If, if there there isn't a foundation of trust and transparency there, you are not gonna get the performance from the agency.

[00:33:42] And, and you know, you're not. And, and I think a lot of it comes from just enjoying it. Um, so have being vulnerable, sharing everything that you can share with them. Agencies do want to see more than you think, right? They want to see the context behind a brief. They, if they're good, they want to know the financials, they want to know it's not just about the budgets.

[00:34:02] Right? Of course, of course that has to be squared away, but it's really not. It's about what the strategy is and, and, and, you know, and they'll be able to help. Like they, the amazing thing about agencies they get to work with so many different businesses and different industries and, actually have an incredible knowledge about, you know, of, of different categories and can actually add value if you let them.

[00:34:22] But for me, you know, I, again, I don't wanna sound like a broken record, but you get out what you put in. So you really have to invest in the relationship. Um, but also be honest with yourself when it doesn't feel right and, and, you know, is this person gonna end up being a friend of mine At the end of the day, like, you have to work with people who you would go dinner with and not feel like it was a chore or like it was a meeting.

[00:34:44] Like you want to be able to enjoy the time. Because out of that relationship will, will come trust and transparency and humor and all, all the things you need to, to just develop great work, honestly, like that's,

[00:34:56] Daniel Weiner: if you don't end up in Tom's wedding, you were not a true.

[00:35:00] Tom Spaven: That's hard. A high bar. Yeah. Uh, also, hopefully, uh, hopefully I've only had one wedding and I will

[00:35:06] Daniel Weiner: that's what I'm gonna say. I, I wasn't gonna say it. Yeah.

[00:35:09] Tom Spaven: No, no. You never know. But

[00:35:11] Daniel Weiner: came you came to my dinner on your anniversary, so don't ever do that again. But,

[00:35:15] Tom Spaven: No. Or there may, yeah, that may send me down the path of

[00:35:18] Daniel Weiner: I was gonna say,

[00:35:19] Tom Spaven: at some 

[00:35:20] Daniel Weiner: No, I was, I was honored. Let's do, uh, let's do the negative now. Tell me about a, hopefully horrific. We love a, a little bit of drama here.

[00:35:26] Tell me about a negative agency experience you've had and what made it so, uh, so negative.

[00:35:31] Tom Spaven: I will. I'll tell you about,

[00:35:32] Daniel Weiner: Yeah.

[00:35:33] Tom Spaven: I won't, obviously won't name any, any names, but I will tell you about a negative overall experience that involved an agency. Uh, this will ring familiar to a lot of people. Um, but you know, big companies, there are sometimes too many steps and too many people involved in developing something fairly simple, right?

[00:35:54] So in this particular case, it was, um, you know, shopper marketing, point of sale development on, on some big brands. And, you know, essentially it took 12 weeks to get from a briefing to, uh, a basically a poster. Which in, even now, like, it just seems absurd when you think about what can be achieved, uh, through like an ai, you know, for literally for free.

[00:36:19] Daniel Weiner: I'll make you a poster today in Canva.

[00:36:21] Tom Spaven: And I won't tell you how much it costs, um, but the, the, I

[00:36:25] Daniel Weiner: gotta know, Tom, give us, give us the budget. I love, I love these things. I a hundred thousand dollars. Give me something.

[00:36:31] Tom Spaven: gonna tell you that it was, um, north of that as an eye watering amount of money. Um, but, but really just because of the bureaucracy and, and the people involved. So, you know, everyone's gotta, everyone's gotta have an opinion. what happens then? Then the edges get filed off A good idea. You get Frankenstein design, and of course what comes back is actually garbage because too many people have looked at it.

[00:36:54] It's, it's drifted away from the original brief and the original vision. Uh, so then ironically, you end up, actually, I remember at one point, I hate to admit this, but I, I actually created one myself. That overruled what came back through this clunky process. Of course pissed everybody off because it's not just not what you do, right?

[00:37:13] You don't do it, but

[00:37:14] Daniel Weiner: you then charged them a hundred thousand dollars

[00:37:17] Tom Spaven: you Right. Fired them. No, I mean, you know, then you just go through this, you go through this process. It's just, it's just a negative experience because I don't think anyone actually is enjoying it. It doesn't reflect well on the agency. I don't think they're proud of, of the work. And it's funny cuz you see.

[00:37:33] These people from, from these agencies saying really smart things in, out in the world on LinkedIn. And you're like, where is that? Like, where was that stroke of genius when we were doing? And the problem is the process. It's not, not the people or the talent, there's talent everywhere. Uh, I just think you have to have relationship and you have to have a process that allows freedom and agility of, of ideas to, to flourish.

[00:37:57] Uh, which is obviously incredibly difficult when you have. Large, complex, you know, organizations. So yeah, I mean, it is what it is. But yeah, I hope to never go through anything like that

[00:38:07] Daniel Weiner: being the ethical person that I am, I can remember, uh, at my former agency working on a big brand, something similar, not a poster, but a, a small deliverable. Uh, and the budget was obscene and we kept making update after update because they would rope in like a new person or team to like every meeting.

[00:38:26] And I remember we were like, we wanted a long-term relationship. Of course. We were like, this is getting like, Fiscally irresponsible of us to continue doing this. Like it's insane. And I called them and I will never forget, I was like, Hey, like, you know, we love the billables, but like this is getting a little ridiculous.

[00:38:42] Like, are you guys sure you wanna spend this? Like, this is where we're at currently. I'll never forget. They're like, yeah, just bills doesn't matter. Like,

[00:38:49] Tom Spaven: No accountability. No, just, it's an abuse, it's an abuse of shareholder capital. I mean, it's just, it's, it's absurd. But when, you know, if you're far removed from it, um, unfortunately that's what happens. But hey, Good for you for calling it out, but then if, if it's uh, if they agree to

[00:39:05] Daniel Weiner: I'm mo I'm mostly money grabbing. Don't worry, I will never do that again. But in that yes, felt, uh, ridiculous,

[00:39:12] Tom Spaven: Wow. That's amazing.

[00:39:13] Daniel Weiner: eh? Uh, overall, what do you think? Something, what is, uh, something agencies oftentimes get wrong or something you wish they got more?

[00:39:22] Tom Spaven: I mean, it's never just clean cut agency getting it wrong. It, it, it is because of some issue in the process. Um, you know, I wish, I wish that they would, sometimes I think I'll come back to it. I wish they would sometimes understand a bit more of the holistic picture of what's going on behind the scenes.

[00:39:42] And again, it comes back to just, but then clients don't always invite them in to understand that. So, you know, the, if, if an agency is trying to get on your, on your books to discuss something that is relatively unimportant in, in, in that week. It's not the agency's fault, that's the client's fault, but yeah, they sometimes get it wrong.

[00:40:02] They'll sometimes, you know, I would say overestimate the importance of something in the context of what the client might be dealing with. Um, you know, which is, which is hard to deal with. Uh, but it's, it's not really their fault. Like, um, I, I think the one thing that agencies consistently, uh, get wrong is over complicating things.

[00:40:26] So, I'm a keep it simple person and I think that you really can demonstrate, you understand something if you can say it in one sentence or put it on one slide. And there is a quite annoying culture of just more is more everywhere and often that is a proxy for, you know, rigor and being knowledgeable.

[00:40:48] But I just don't believe that anymore. Look, I don't have time for, uh, heavy slides, text, phone calls.

[00:40:56] Daniel Weiner: It justifies the retainer often. It looks like it.

[00:40:59] Tom Spaven: just, I mean, it's just bullshit. It does, uh, that doesn't work for me anymore. Uh, I, I think it's working less and less. And now I think that, you know, the, we had, um, we had a, an incredible guy come through the office, uh, this week.

[00:41:13] Um, uh, very famous, you know, for like top, top Fortune 15 ceo and the. How relaxed he was and how top line he was on everything was remarkable. Right? This, this is a, this is a guy who, um, doesn't need the detail, um, has the ability to simplify and, and, and kind of cut through. And that that's what you want to aim for.

[00:41:38] You want to be able to get everything to the point where can, if you're in an elevator with someone like that, you can tell them what's up and, and keep them interested, right? You can see when these people switch, start to switch off cuz you're talking too much and. I just think everyone needs to just slow down and say less and get to the point and think more about what is being said and written.

[00:42:01] And I think, I think the world will be a better place. The world of marketing would be a much better place. Um, you know that. So yeah,

[00:42:08] Daniel Weiner: What are you most excited about in the marketing space at the moment? Uh, we've got artificial intelligence

[00:42:13] Tom Spaven: AI

[00:42:14] Daniel Weiner: everywhere. Yes. Was gonna say that. I me more views if, uh, we just mentioned AI a

[00:42:19] Tom Spaven: mention ai. Yeah. Get, get it in there. Um, I am actually excited about ai. I was, I was playing around with a friend on his, on this app and I was like, well, design me a, um, a craft beer that was designed by a samurai warrior. And this thing was unbelievable. It was like one of the cool things I've ever seen, and it was created in 15 seconds.

[00:42:41] Um, but I don't, I don't think the thing that I'm most excited about is the gradual shifting of the pendulum back to brand building. Um, I think we've seen peak performance bullshit now, and what I mean by that is that doesn't mean that I don't believe in performance. Like, tell, show me a marketer that doesn't want their brand to perform, right?

[00:43:04] This whole notion of like brand versus performance, I think is silly. I think it's misleading. I say this as, and as many opportunities as I can, you know, every opportunity is, is a chance to build brand and a chance to perform. Like you have to think about it holistically. But you know, the Airbnb shifted back to brand and, and have started to seeing long, starting to see long-term gains from that.

[00:43:27] Um, I just think that you, you have to embed brand building and some sort of long-term thinking into, into your planning and have to have that belief, um, that, that, that, that you are servicing something for the longer term. So I'm excited about that. Uh, I've always believed in it because of where I've come from and my training. Uh, and I'm, you and I work for people that believe in it. So that's, that's, that's an exciting development, um, which I hope to see more of.

[00:43:55] Daniel Weiner: And my final, uh, marketing question for you, I think the answer is, are you? Actually, don't tell me your C F O is the answer, but what keeps you up at night from a marketing or uh, or business standpoint?

[00:44:05] Tom Spaven: Yeah. Not the CFO anymore. uh, he's, he's good. Um, I, you know, depends what day of the week it is. It's, the jobs are so varied, but increasingly, I think it's more of the human stuff. Like, it's more about the team and how they are and what, you know, if someone, if someone in your direct kind of duty of care is not well, is not good, right?

[00:44:25] Mentally, physically, that is the number one priority, because obviously that's just more important at a human level. But it also means that you can't perform and, and you know, that you're gonna end up with, with, with issues, um, as a team. But, Yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's things like relationships and, you know, I still get put out if, if people behave, not unethically, but I just think, you know, you know, if people, uh, you know, are kind of out of line, out of pocket, I just think there's no time for that anymore.

[00:44:57] I think we've all got less patience for that, uh, in insincerity, things like that. I just think that that's, there's no, I call it out now, so, I'll, I'll stay up at night thinking about it, and I'll probably then deal with it the next day, sort of fairly swiftly, because I just think culture, is everything in an organization.

[00:45:15] And if it starts to rot, you know, that's, that's it. That's, that's trouble because then it is just gonna drive the wrong behaviors. So the culture values in line is, is what keeps me up at night. And, and what keeps companies, um, performing in the long term. Yeah.

[00:45:31] Daniel Weiner: Sure. No, that's good answer. Uh, we'll finish with a couple fun ones. What was your very first job?

[00:45:37] Tom Spaven: You know, I, I c I can't remember exactly, it's so long ago. But the, the one, the one I remember was I was, uh, I was doing a summer job, um, at the British Embassy in Stockholm, in Sweden, where we lived as a, when I was a teenager,

[00:45:53] Daniel Weiner: It's a cool first job.

[00:45:55] Tom Spaven: but I was gardening,

[00:45:57] Daniel Weiner: Okay.

[00:45:58] Tom Spaven: which I, I just remember it because it was just, I was

[00:46:01] Daniel Weiner: is why you're so relaxed all the time. You've, you gardening, live in, uh, I mean, you've got the, the most relaxing life there

[00:46:08] Tom Spaven: that's right, that's right. Just this farm, farm life. Um, but I was gone. I remember I was very bad at it. Um, and I remember this guy that was kind of leading and he was sort of ordering me around. I remember him telling me, of teaching me how to use a shovel. Um, excuse me. I'll probably, uh, turn, I remember him

[00:46:26] Daniel Weiner: Oh, I, I thought we had a guest. I thought you were surprise me with like a guest appearance

[00:46:29] Tom Spaven: Yeah, yeah. No, he, I remember him teaching me how to use a shovel, and then he observed, he looked at me and he's observed that I have a very long torso. And I was like, what do you mean? I've never, and I've never really been aware. I was 16 at the time. I guess my, you know, I was going through all sorts of, uh, biological changes and, and he observed that I wasn't the right shape doing that job.

[00:46:51] He was like, it's not gonna worry. He's gonna, you're gonna hurt your back. And I'll never forget that. I was like, well, maybe I'm destined for a, for an office job and

[00:46:57] Daniel Weiner: I was hoping the end of that was you'll never make it as a gardener, you should go into marketing

[00:47:02] Tom Spaven: You what? Pretty much, I mean, basically that's that maybe that was the most pivotal moment in my career when he told me I I was the wrong shape for outdoor manual

[00:47:10] Daniel Weiner: you're right where you're supposed to be. You

[00:47:11] Tom Spaven: That's right.

[00:47:12] Daniel Weiner: exact right spot. Uh, what would your final meal be?

[00:47:15] Tom Spaven: Uh, final meal in London, Indian restaurant. I dunno if you've ever been phenomenal. I'd go there for

[00:47:24] Daniel Weiner: I love Indian food though.

[00:47:25] Tom Spaven: Yeah, I would go there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on my final day on this earth.

[00:47:29] Daniel Weiner: Okay. And then my final question, who is somebody who inspires you either personally, personally, professionally, or both?

[00:47:36] Tom Spaven: Um, I mean, I look back at some incredible bosses that have had, that have an extraordinary, a disproportionate effect on your life without you realizing it at the time, just in terms of how to behave, you know, how to, how to be effective at work. But I will say maybe this is a little cheesy. But, uh, you know, as anyone who is a single parent inspires me, like I'm a dad of, of a three year old, you know, happily married, but it's hard, right?

[00:48:04] Whenever I see anyone parenting on their own, I, I think that's the hardest job in the world. I don't think there's anybody more resilient and, and important in the world than, than people doing that. So I, I tip my hat off to them and they do inspire me cuz they're essentially bringing up tomorrow's.

[00:48:22] Tomorrow's generation, so yeah, that's, they're get a shout out.

[00:48:25] Daniel Weiner: That's awesome. Yeah. I don't know how anybody, parents in general, watching my brother chase around, uh, two

[00:48:30] Tom Spaven: It's hard.

[00:48:31] Daniel Weiner: uh, all the time. I'm like, when do you guys like, do you guys ever sleep? They're like, nah, we

[00:48:35] Tom Spaven: No, no, not at all. No sleep. Sleep When you're dead.

[00:48:39] Daniel Weiner: that's the spirit. Tom, thank you so much for joining us. This was awesome.

[00:48:43] Um, for anybody out there, where do they find, I presume. Any, uh, any specials, any coupon codes? Where do you want 'em to go? In store, anywhere.

[00:48:52] Tom Spaven: Um, to learn more about us. You can buy online, but, uh, we're a nationally distributed retail, so check us out in, uh, target, Walmart, Kroger. Follow us at goodwipes on the socials, give our TikTok a good follow. We do some pretty chaotic, uh, unhinged stuff on there, so have a good laugh. So yeah,

[00:49:10] Daniel Weiner: Good. Awesome. We will talk to you soon, Tom, and thanks for stopping by.

[00:49:14] Tom Spaven: Thank you very much, Daniel. I enjoyed it. See you soon.