We couldn’t end 2019 without taking a moment to show our appreciation for Leslie Weller, our Director of Product Marketing!
Leslie works remotely from Southern California (yes, we’re jealous of her proximity to beaches that are actually warm) and lights up the office with her bright personality every time she visits the San Francisco HQ. Keep reading to learn about her key role at Canto, advice for remote employees and ocean kayaking adventures!
Tell us about what you do at Canto!
As the Director of Product Marketing at Canto, I aim to bring clarity and simplicity to our users so they can be happier and more effective marketers. My role is to market a really great DAM product to marketers, leveraging everything from tutorial videos and in-app guides to email, live interactive webinars and more.
Our customers represent some of the most iconic brands in the world. I feel the responsibility to deliver clear communications, expand feature adoption and grow product usage at scale to keep these beloved brands running their A-game.
You’ll often find me at the crossroads pulling cross-functional teams together. For example with new releases, I’ll work with the product team, with our creative and marketing resources, with sales and account managers to translate new features into clear, compelling benefits and deliver the information across every channel and medium.
You’ve been at Canto for almost 7 years! How has the company evolved since you started?
I can’t believe it’s been that long! The company has gone through a tremendous transformation in the 6.5 years since I joined.
We have a startup vibe which is really energizing to be a part of. Every couple years it almost seems like a whole new company and I love it. I never get bored or complacent at Canto.
When I joined, we were primarily selling highly-sophisticated, on-premise, IT-driven DAM solutions with the majority of employees based in our Berlin office. Now our new business primarily comes from our cloud-based, highly-intuitive SaaS software that is made for marketing teams and business users to manage on their own.
The past one to two years has been especially exciting as we’ve really experienced significant growth. When I joined there were maybe a dozen people in our San Francisco office, but now I struggle to know everyone since there are four times that many and growing every week.
As a remote employee, what advice do you have for staying in sync with your team?
I work primarily from my home office and a shared space in Carlsbad, CA (in San Diego County), far from our San Francisco HQ and even further from our Berlin office where many of our marketing team members are located.
Like most workers today – Slack is my good friend for impromptu conversations! And having tools like Zoom, Guru and our central team Canto digital media library help too.
Even in the earliest years of my career, I worked closely with European and Asia-Pacific clients and partners. It’s really all I’ve known to work across time zones and multiple geo-locations, so it comes pretty naturally for me now.
But that wasn’t always the case. My best advice for remote workers is patience and discipline:
- Patience, because you don’t know why someone’s not able to respond right away – there could be in-office gatherings, impromptu celebrations or any number of things outside your purview causing delays.
- Discipline, because there is no one looking over your shoulder making sure you accomplish your projects. Commit to daily, weekly and quarterly goals to give yourself and your team tangible objectives to keep yourself on track and always adding the most value.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on at Canto?
I’ve been a part of many rewarding projects – but by far, my favorite was our rebrand in 2017 from Flight to Canto.
At the time I was the overall Director of Marketing. As our SaaS product matured, I was inspired by our web developer who rightfully reasoned that we would have more success branding “Canto” than competing with airlines for SEO traffic for “Flight.”
I worked with key stakeholders to develop a whole new identity for Canto and launch it to the world – the one you see today. We went from a ‘house from brands’ (Canto the company with two products: Cumulus and Flight) to a ‘branded house’ (Canto) where we could focus our energy on building a strong Canto brand.
What are your favorite things to do in San Diego and your must-do’s when you visit the team in San Francisco?
My favorite thing to do in San Diego is to go ocean kayaking with family and friends.
My favorite kayaking memory was last year on Memorial Day. I went paddling in the large San Diego Bay with my then 9-year old son on his youth kayak trailing next to me. We were dwarfed by large yachts, sailboats and occasional ocean liners passing in and out of the marinas. We tied up our ocean kayaks on a dock to eat at Tom Ham’s lighthouse – a fancy schmancy place with incredible bay views – wearing just our swimwear, feeling underdressed yet totally happy.
When I’m in San Francisco – I always have to meet with the Sales Team. I am a huge believer in close Sales and Marketing alignment. With it – you succeed. Without it, you’ll never realize your business’ full potential.
My other must-do is syncing up over lunch with our Head of Product. There are countless great places to eat in San Francisco and we love to scout out new finds. Recently it has been Oren’s Hummus for the win.
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