Alexis Contos on the Key to a Successful Marketing Campaign

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a brand marketer by background, having spent nearly 20 years building brands both large and small across the globe. I consider myself a textbook right-brain thinker, creativity fuels me and I make intuitive gut decisions (which drives my husband crazy). I am a photographer and interior designer in my free time and the mom of a sassy 9-month-old little girl named Callen Georgia.

My friends and family call me ‘The Networker’ -- they constantly joke that no matter where I go, I always find a way to meet new people. I consider myself a connector, I love the psychology of humans and relationships.

In my free time I’m a cyclist and runner, and I’m passionate about health, nutrition and learning about the human body.

If you had a song to define your life, what would it be?

Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. For so many reasons -- first, it’s the theme song that my girlfriends and I always celebrate to when we are together but more importantly, the lyrics ring true to major moments in my life. Such as, moving across the country to a city where I knew no one to going through challenging career moments that have made me stronger.

How did you get into Marketing? What are your tips for womxn who don't have a 'traditional' background to enter the marketing industry?

I attended Boston University with the plan of studying early childhood education. By my sophomore year, I became intrigued by our Advertising & Marketing program, which is #1 in the country and decided to switch my major. I loved the study of blending psychology and creative elements to result in business outcomes. My first job was at an advertising agency in Boston called Arnold Worldwide as an Assistant Account Manager -- it was an incredible first job, where I learned the ropes of marketing strategy, creative ideation, production, and client management. My suggestion to those trying to break into marketing is to be curious and try to find unique and creative ways to spin your experience in other industries to how they might be relevant for marketing (i.e. sales or leadership).

What's the key to creating a successful marketing and communication strategy?

Oh boy, I’ll try to keep this short ;) in a nutshell, know your customers inside and out -- listen to their needs and ensure that the product you are selling delivers on those needs. Otherwise, no marketing effort will ever be successful. The key components are relevance to your audience and differentiation from your competitor's offerings. That, combined with world class creative execution, are the foundations to a successful marketing program.

What does a typical day in the life look like for you?

Wake up at 5:45 to get a workout in before my daughter, Callen, wakes up. I try to spend mornings with her before I start work calls with London and Mumbai offices around 8 am. COVID life has some wonderful silver linings since we have a baby and we’re so grateful to be able to see her during the day while my husband and I are working from the kitchen table (we call it the conference room). Sometimes I try to sneak away from Zoom meetings to put her down for her nap or give her a bottle, those moments are fleeting so I really try to soak it in as much as I can. Days are filled with zoom calls with our agency partners as well as our leadership team and portfolio companies, I appreciate that my job gives me variety in the projects and people that I work on/with. I often try to wrap up by 4pm to spend time with Callen before dinner/bath/bedtime. COVID has also given me the opportunity to cook at home more which I enjoy, and I’m lucky enough the my husband does the dishes :) After the little one is asleep, I sometimes have evening calls with our China team.

What is the biggest lesson the pandemic has taught you?

Enjoy the little things and be grateful for everything you have. We have been so lucky to have our health and to have brought a child into this world during a crazy time like this --- it makes you realize how blessed we are with what we’ve been given.

Stress is real! What’s your go to stress reliever and how do you take time for yourself while running a start-up?

I’m an endorphin junkie and always find that working out is a big stress reliever for me -- whether it’s hopping on the peloton bike or going for a run or walk outside -- it always puts me in a better headspace.

You work in such a global company! How do you keep tabs on local trends and cater to them across the different regions? Does your approach change?

Such a great question, I tend to tap into a lot of the regional tech publications to keep a pulse on what’s happening locally. I also rely on my regional colleagues to keep me up to date on how culture is shifting due to COVID, because it’s happening real time and that has a real effect on marketing and event efforts.

As you know, Community is everything to us, how has your community helped you? Personally & professionally.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my amazing network of people. It truly is my life force! I pride myself on keeping connections across so many aspects of my work and life. My friends often joke that ‘Alexis knows everyone’ ;) but its because I feed off of other people’s energy and I love connecting with others -- especially to expose myself to other ways of thinking that are different from my own.'

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