If you have ever met Reid Vander Veen, you’re probably familiar with his versatility and wide range of marketing skills. He’s led multiple teams in a wide range of industries, and as our chief marketing officer, he gets to help lead our team and our clients towards their marketing goals.
Since he’s one of the newer personalities around the office, we wanted to ask him about his previous experiences and see how that applies to what he does at HS.
Why were you drawn to work for HS?
With HS, I love that I get to apply what I’ve learned throughout my career as an in-house marketing executive and business owner to help other organizations grow, whether that’s through setting effective strategies, improving their operations, clarifying their messaging, or solving any number of other challenges.
To me there are few things more exciting than studying and understanding human behavior, stretching clients to achieve more than they imagine, and developing employees and leaders. There’s no better place to do those things at a large scale than here at HS for all of our clients.
What do you do in your role as a fractional CMO?
The Fractional CMO offer is one I’m really excited about. Think of it like a marketing director for rent–a business growth consultant with a marketing perspective. In a nutshell, I step into organizations from the standpoint of a true partner, not as a third-party vendor or outside agency. For our FCMO clients it’s my role to help refine their strategies and create realistic plans to accomplish growth goals or achieve other key initiatives.
Looking to launch a new product or service? Improve internal sales and marketing operations? How about opening a new location or expanding your trade area? Maybe you want to set aggressive sales goals but don’t know how to generate a high volume of inbound leads.
It could be that you want someone to bridge the gap and solve communication challenges between your marketing and leadership teams. Perhaps you simply want to be hands off and focus on operating your business while trusting your marketing efforts to someone with more experience.
Any of those instances, and many others, are great examples of areas where a Fractional CMO can step in and make a big impact in a client’s business.
What previous experiences help you succeed in your role here?
I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in a number of different organizations over my career. I’ve worked as a marketing team of one with small local startups, owned my own businesses, and led large departments for international organizations. I’ve worked in fields from technology to agriculture, retail, finance, and consumer goods.
Some of those roles were heavily focused on brand building, others more focused on corporate strategy, and others still on internal operations. That range of experience offers a world of value to our clients who are looking for a wide variety of marketing support.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love getting to have a positive impact on so many organizations in our community. That’s the thing I’m most excited about with the switch to the agency world.
Seeing growth and success is an awesome feeling when you’re working as part of an inhouse team at a particular organization. Having the ability to do that now for so many different companies, many of my own favorite brands and organizations, is a real joy and makes this role incredibly fun.
You asked for one favorite, but as a youngest child, I’m not much of a rule follower, so here’s two more.
I’ve often told my teams that everything we do in marketing is an experiment. Marketing is a real-time laboratory where we get to experiment all day every day. Have a crazy idea? Let’s try it! Being able to learn new tactics and techniques and constantly test out ideas is a blast.
Beyond that I love to teach. I teach sales, marketing, and communication courses at the undergraduate and masters level at one of the largest universities in the region and have also played roles in developing internal leadership curriculums.
There is no higher honor as a leader than to help others succeed in life and work, and I love being able to lean in and develop my coworkers and clients.
What was the best hunt you ever had?
The best hunt is always the next hunt! I have so many amazing memories of hunting. Aside from my family, it’s definitely my favorite passion.
I love being in the mountains going after elk, backpacking through rough country with nothing but some food, a tent, and my bow. I love the camaraderie of hunting groups and sitting around camp with family and friends.
All that said, whitetail hunting is probably my favorite. I think the closest thing I’ll experience to Heaven on Earth is sitting 20 feet high in a tree enjoying nature undisturbed waiting for that big buck to pass by.
I took a Boone and Crocket whitetail with my bow a few years back that is really unique. We had a history of pictures and encounters with the deer over the years and it turned out to be a giant.
He was eight and a half years old, blind in one eye, had 16 points and scored 193”. I took it a few days after Christmas near the end of the season after pursuing it hard all fall. I remember a lot of details about most hunts, but that’s one I’ll never forget.
Wondering how a fractional CMO works? Get in touch with us to sit down with Reid and discuss your marketing goals.