Cid Carver – Running Campaigns Today. Marathons Tomorrow.
There’s no slowing down Lumen’s Marketing Director, Cid Carver. We’re pretty sure she doesn’t have a pause button. However, her and her adorable dog, Koomi, were able to sit with yellowCHAT to talk about her experiences in the marketing industry and share some things she learned along the way.
If she’s not in the office promoting this cool new device, then you can probably find her training for the next big race, climbing a mountain, scuba diving, doing yoga, fighting off alien invasions – okay, we made up that last part, but you get the point.
The woman cannot be stopped.
She came to Israel on a Birthright trip after university, and never got on the plane back home. After living in a hostel for two months, she made her move official.
Cid made her way through several positions in various industries, but she just couldn’t connect to them. She found herself struggling to find a career that she could be passionate about in a country where she didn’t speak the language.
In 2012, Cid began doing sports and got really into it. We mean REALLY into it. She started running half marathons, partaking in half iron man, full iron man, ultra-distance, and other running terminology things. She took part in the Maccabiah and fell in love with it all.
She came across a company that made hats and helmets for cyclists and runners to track their heart rates. Her eyes lit up. This is what she had been searching for.
After helping run their Kickstarter campaign, it was time for Cid’s next move. Her boss at the time recommended her to his friend’s company. They created a device that helps with posture and needed someone with Cid’s skills and talents to run their crowdfunding campaigns. (Do you see a trend?)
When it was time for Cid to move on, her boss then told her something similar, “I have a friend with this company. I think you would be perfect for them.” She took the interview and was hired to lead their crowdfunding efforts to launch the product.
Lumen is the first-ever device and app built to hack your metabolism, optimize your workouts, help you lose weight, and overall boost your health and fitness. By measuring your CO2 levels, Lumen makes daily meal recommendations to help you reach your fitness goals!
Now, I know what most of you are thinking. “What kind of sorcery is this?!”
It’s not magic. It’s science.
What kind of marketing campaigns are you running for your product? What have you seen work best for you within these campaigns?
Quick little thing about Lumen – I’m the first marketing hire. I joined the company before the product had ever been shown to the public.
We launched an Indiegogo campaign for presales, so everything we did was oriented towards that. Our biggest, biggest, biggest efforts was email lead generation, and then Facebook, Instagram, Google advertising/retargeting, and YouTube.
The campaign had ended so we took a two-month hiatus, but we are still in presales.
We will begin shipping the product in this August. We will be shipping more than 12,000 units in presales to more than 100 countries, which is awesome.
The only marketing efforts that we’re currently doing are organic social media and paid campaigns on Facebook/Instagram ads. Once that’s a little bit more stable, we will open up Google advertising.
Right now, the goal is to continue with a steady growth that we’re controlling. It’s better to have control. Growth at first is unsteady and every other month can be sporadic, so we like having controlled growth.
We’re running a campaign with yellowHEAD. You guys are amazing. We came to you because you’ve been recommended as one of the top agencies in Israel to work with us for growth in this scale.
You’re welcome. So, it’s presales until October, and then it’s going to be direct to buy online in November, at which point we will be scaling at a much higher rate and opening more channels.
Until then, our number one goal will be delivering the product and making sure that we have happy customers. Once the product is on the market, we’ll definitely look into affiliates, referrals, and things like that.
We also believe in doing one or two things excellent versus doing many things just okay.
This is why we’re working with yellowHEAD. You guys are experts in your field and help us in the areas where we need it.
Since you’re running Facebook campaigns with yellowHEAD, we would be happy to know: What kind of advice would you give someone looking for a mobile marketing vendor?
Know your KPIs. A vendor is only as good as your knowledge and background. A vendor can bring you sales, but if you don’t know your personal KPIs, what you’re looking to achieve, or a roadmap, then the vendor is not going to help you solve all of those problems.
You need to know internally what you’re looking to do, what your growth rate is, and what you are hoping to achieve. What is your max CPA and CPM? It’s the vendors job to reach it, but you need to give those numbers to them and be prepared.
Also, it’s a team effort. You can’t just say to your vendor, “achieve these goals.” It’s a two-way street. It’s a conversation. It’s a partnership.
You need a vendor that you connect with, that you trust, that you have a good rapport with, and understands what you’re trying to achieve and is communicative.
The yellowHEAD team have been amazing. I’m in touch with them every day. We’re always brainstorming.
Because I personally am not on the campaign and fixing it myself, it’s still my responsibility (as the person in-house) to understand the basic fundamentals of how these campaigns work.
It’s not the vendor’s job to explain it to you; it’s their job to do it. You can get the most out of it if you have a basic understanding.
In your opinion, what do you feel are key ingredients to take into consideration when launching a product?
Know your shipping information prior to launching because that is a big expense that you don’t know. A thing you need to take into account is knowing the laws of the products because everything after that is how you set your KPIs.
Be involved. When you’re launching a product as the marketer, talk to the hardware and operations teams to understand the actual manufacturing and production process, because it is not as simple and easy as you think.
When I’m launching an online store, things can take time. The elements that go into it from accounting & finance and so much more. There’s a lot of departments you have to work with in order for you to do your job.
You need to be patient. You need to have good communication skills and you need to work across many departments.
But definitely hardware & operations will be your two best friends when launching a product.
On a personal note, what do you like to do in your spare time? Do you find that plays a role in your work?
It depends. It’s on a cycle. There are off-season activities, and then on-season activities. Definitely my dog is a huge part of my life (she’s adorable – it’s a challenge) and my boyfriend.
I go scuba diving. My boyfriend does underwater photography, so we really like to go diving. I started freediving a little bit, but not as much as I’d like. So hiking, chilling, scuba diving and lots of escape rooms are my off-season hobbies.
A few weeks ago, I did a race in Costa Rica, which was a 130-kilometer trail run. I got back and understood I was burnt out, so I’ll switch to yoga, climbing, scuba diving, or something. Then that’ll wear off, and I’ll transition back into training for some big race. Between “Oh my god! I need to train to do something huge” and when I actually train and do something huge, I get totally burnt out. Then I’ll decide to find another fun hobby, which is either scuba diving, yoga, climbing, something and then alter back.
That’s kind of the cycle. I’m not great at any of them, but I like ‘em!
My boyfriend and I went scuba diving in Iceland, so we got certified in dry suit scuba diving and did an emergency scuba diving rescue course, which is cool. I’m certified in Nitrox and the deep dive. Now I want to get navigation, then I’ll be a master diver.
It’s also a great way to travel. I think it’s just phenomenal. My boyfriend and I have already been to the Cenotes (which have cave diving), Egypt, the Maldives, and Silfra.
At work, I’m very focused on doing a few things great. Outside of work, just let me move and be free.
My very nerdy hobby, though, is that I love escape rooms. My boyfriend and I have done almost 70 escape rooms in six different countries. I really like escape rooms.
But now I am training for the 60KM ultra trail race in the Jerusalem mountains this December, with the Eilat desert marathon scheduled two before as a final training run. My goal is podium for the 60K run, I like winning also.
Is there anything new that you know today about product marketing that you didn’t know a year ago?
Truthfully, I think it’s just understanding, as a marketing manager or director, what a key role project management is and understanding the need to work with different teams and departments to make the product go to market and succeed. Whether it’s working with in-house teams or outsourcing to agencies, I think strong communication, strong leadership, and strong project management are the biggest things.
There’s a great TED talk that I watched about why introverts make the best managers. It’s because introverts are able to bring out the best in people around them. I think that one person can’t do it all themselves, so be humble and let the people around you shine but be able to know how to bring out the best in them.
It’s more of a manager thing, but that’s what I really understand today more than I understood a year ago.
What is your golden tip?
Digital marketing is changing literally every year, and faster than you can keep up with. Constantly be in-the-know and don’t be overwhelmed that there’s things you don’t know.
Have a good team all around you. Truthfully, the golden tip would be digital marketing is changing all the time and it’s changing fast. Constantly be up to date on what’s going on. Understand that what you learnt last week might change tomorrow and that’s OK. You have to be agile. That’s my golden tip – you can’t be stuck, and you have to be agile.
Also, be open to learning and have a good work-life balance. I think that’s really a golden tip.