Ron Schneidermann is the COO and CMO of AllTrails, a platform for off-road recreation. He co-founded and was CMO of Liftopia, and also served as the head of growth for Yelp Reservations.
Ron joined Lauren and Ian in studio to talk about his background in marketing, why he serves as both COO and CMO, and what it was like to raise money from Chris Sacca.
How Ron got Started in Marketing - (2:40)
- “When I graduated in December 2000, that whole world went to shit overnight. It was just like I was standing there looking at this smoking empty crater of where everything used to be. With my plan shot, I went to on-campus recruiting with my tail between my legs.”
- He felt he was being pigeonholed when he was focusing exclusively on business development, so decided to branch out and found a company.
Time at Liftopia - (8:40)
- “I gravitated toward marketing. I loved that I could go deep in a spreadsheet and grind through numbers, find some truth in the data, and then immediately shift gears and focus on messaging, imagery, empathy, and connecting with my end users.”
- Naturally sorted himself into the CMO role.
- He learned tactical marketing skills out of necessity.
Why CMO and COO Go Hand in Hand - (11:35)
- While marketing used to be a top-of-funnel function, it has evolved to the point where the CMO has touch points on the entire funnel.
- A story from AllTrails demonstrates how marketing decisions can have operational impact and vice versa.
- “If you look at metrics in a silo, it’s just way too easy to juice your numbers.”
- “As an executive, you have to have that holistic view about the overall health of the business, even if that’s in direct contrast with the goals that your individual department might have.”
Change Management Lessons from Yelp - (22:35)
- What makes change management so difficult at large, established organizations?
- Ron shares his experience at Yelp and what it taught him about implementing a growth mindset in an organization.
Raising Money in a Recession at Liftopia - (36:10) - What it was like raising money from Chris Sacca.
- Why founders need to have thick skin.
- Favorite app, favorite book,favorite podcast, favorite ad, and the future of marketing.
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