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Most of us spend an awful lot of time at work, and as a result, there has recently been a movement to make workplaces into places you actually want to be. Whether that’s in the form of in-office activities, having the best tech available at all times, or having access to healthy and filling food, companies that want to recruit and retain top talent are focusing on creating the best environment possible. One of the companies that are helping create those environments is SnackNation, and on this episode of Marketing Trends, the co-founder and CMO, Andy Mackensen joined us to explain how he’s growing his business and leading by example by creating what Entrepreneur Magazine called one of the “top company cultures.” Plus, he dives into the marketing strategies he’s used in order to get as close to the customer as possible.

3 Takeaways:

– You have to “eat your own dog food” — so if you’re selling healthy snacks and a great working experience, you have to cultivate those things in your own company as well

– You have to create content beyond your core product in order to connect with and deliver value to your customers

– If you want true insights on how to grow, get as close to your customer as possible

Key Quotes:

“We’re not a healthy snack delivery company. We’re not a snack company. We’re a workplace experience services company and we’ve got to live it, right? We have to really focus on having a great culture and making sure that we have a great employee experience here inside our walls. Because our mission is to nourish and inspire people to do the best work of their lives. And if we’re not doing it here in-house, then we certainly can’t have that mission go out to thousands and thousands of companies all across the United States. So it is something that we take seriously. And at the same time, the only way you can have a great culture is that actually have fun. So we take fun very seriously.”

“If you notice, we are not writing about office snack delivery, which is our core product… We are trying to find that next layer of keywords and content to help people do their jobs better. That’s where the keywords like ‘fun office activities’ come in, and ‘employee engagement’ and ‘employee appreciation’ and ‘executive assistant tools.’ So these are all key words. And so the point for marketers out there is to look at who your avatar is. How do they need to do their job better? What is important to them? What is their pain point? And figure out the keywords that are very important to them and then write the best damn content on those keywords.”

“Content ladders up into community and I think the most successful companies today have a thriving community. And so for us, we want to create a place that office managers can hang out, chat with one another, and get information and drive value for each other.”

“Get as close to your customer as possible. When I say get us closer to the customer, what I mean is send surveys to them, get on the phone with them and talk to them one-to-one. Do stuff that doesn’t scale like having a one-on-one conversation on the phone or, even better, a Zoom video where you can see their face. Block off an entire day and just talk to your customers. By the end of that day, you have so much insight.”

“When people ask, ‘How the heck can we be like Facebook and Google with our food programs?’ You don’t have to be like them. You can still do this on a budget in an affordable way.”

“No is just as good as a yes because it means you don’t have to chase them any longer, and you can focus on the yeses.”  

SnackNation Bio:

Andy Mackensen is a  two-time Inc. 500 founder, growth marketer, and combat-decorated U.S. Naval Officer, Andy oversees all of SnackNation’s marketing efforts, including demand generation, brand marketing, and sales enablement. The native New Englander earned a BS from Boston University and an MBA from Stanford University. He lives in Manhattan Beach, CA with his wife Carrie, and sons Brady and Jake. What fuels his fire? Powder skiing, being active, clever jokes, and high fives!

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