The desire to grow and diversify is obviously fairly universal for marketers. The question is how do we break into a new vertical? John Buglino is on the show this week discussing just that. We discuss how he and Optessa are trying to write the stories about new verticals that tell their customers and partners what Optessa can offer them. As well as an ingenious way to use the trust system we have developed with our partners. What are you waiting for? The play button is right there!
Telling the Right Story: Diversifying Brand Through New Verticals Transcript:
Announcer: You’re listening to The Kula Ring, a podcast made for manufacturing marketers. Here are Carman Pirie and Jeff White.
Jeff White: Welcome to The Kula Ring, a podcast for manufacturing marketers brought to you by Kula Partners. My name is Jeff White and joining me today is Carman Pirie. Carman, how you doing, sir?
Carman Pirie: Man, I’m optimistic.
Jeff White: You’re optimistic.
Carman Pirie: That’s how I’m doing. Yeah. Yeah.
Jeff White: Just generally? Or about the show? Life?
Carman Pirie: Well, it’s May, you know? May is a very optimistic kind of month.
Jeff White: Yeah. It’s pretty easy to be happy when it’s this sunny.
Carman Pirie: Yeah. Summer’s around the corner.
Jeff White: That’s right.
Carman Pirie: Yeah, so I’m generally optimistic.
Jeff White: Just booked some vacation. Yeah.
Carman Pirie: Yeah. And I’m optimistic about today’s show, as well, because we talk a lot about kind of we’ll beat heads between SaaS marketing, and software marketing, and manufacturing, so now we’re gonna turn it right on its ear and bring somebody in that generally is marketing software but to manufacturers. And I just think it’s a fun number of layers to this particular marketing challenge.
Jeff White: Yeah. Absolutely. So, joining us today is John Buglino. John is the Director of Marketing at Optessa. Welcome to The Kula Ring, John.
John Buglino: Hey, guys. Thanks very much for having me today. It’s a pleasure.
Carman Pirie: John, it’s great, and I tried to tee Jeff up for an easy segue to say the word Optessa with optimistic and he completely botched it.
John Buglino: I caught it. I caught it.
Carman Pirie: Man.
John Buglino: It’s all good.
Carman Pirie: I’m just toiling here and just trying to get by.
Jeff White: The genius. It’s real. Yeah.
Carman Pirie: It’s great to have you on the show, John. Thank you for joining The Kula Ring today. Look, why don’t you give our listeners a bit of background about you and tell us about Optessa?
John Buglino: Yeah. No, absolutely. Again, appreciate the time, and for having me on the show today. So, John Buglino, Director of Marketing with Optessa. I’ve been with the company for a little over three years now and we are an advanced planning and scheduling software targeting global manufacturers that have complex problems and are experiencing issues in their operations. And yeah, we just look to have conversations to see where the pain points lie, and really just getting in front of the manufacturers that have these… Like I said, complex problems that really require the right software to really get them the solutions they need to drive the real business results.
Carman Pirie: When we say complex problems, we’re talking about optimizing supply-
John Buglino: Everything related to supply side, S&OP, so supply side, operations, planning, so making sure you match your demand with your supply, making sure you have the right materials where they need to be, when they need to be there. The staff and the machines, everything running in an optimal fashion, and things over the last couple years… I know you guys are familiar with it. Even pre-pandemic, these issues existed. The pandemic just exasperated these items and brought it even more to the forefront. And now we’re kind of in this… I’ll call it a recovery, but we still have problems with the execution, right?
So, now everyone’s just drowning in data, and orders, and systems, and tools, and things that are happening, but really lacking that execution side of it, and that’s where we really come in. So, it’s really now that you understand where your demands are or what your demands are, now it’s time to actually execute and get things out the door to then meet your customer needs and also your business needs.
Jeff White: And I think the thing that’s interesting about the marketing and sales challenge that an organization like Optessa and many others have is that your solution is out there. It’s helping organizations like this move and digitally transform in the way that they need to in order to progress and understand what they have to do. But they don’t necessarily know that yours is the solution or that this is a solution and what to look for. And that makes it difficult.
Carman Pirie: Well, and I guess that’s probably because we’re solving a lot of different problems for different people. Right? I mean, just as John was mentioning it, there was kind of a lot of ands. Like, “We solve this, and this, and this, and that,” and it’s like every and makes it really hard to market I think.
John Buglino: Right. Yeah. And I think that’s the biggest piece of it, so the problems… How it’s being solved today are very… I’ll call them one note. So, it’s helping you do one and not the other, or one without considering anything else, so… The term is really, or phrase is like a greedy heuristic. So, it’ll help you do one thing really well and sacrifice absolutely everything else. For example, if you have to meet your customer delivery dates and that’s what you say, “That’s all I want to do today is make sure that all my deliveries go out on time,” but you fail to realize that you don’t have the material, the staff, the machines. It’s gonna take you 18 hours to do that. It’s just not possible.
So, what we really look to do is understand that, but also you tell us you want to meet your delivery dates, we’ll make sure we look at your entire solution space to give you that optimal view. This way, you understand the tradeoffs and you’re not just running through a wall and realizing now, “Okay, we did it, but it took 18 hours, and 6 hours or 10 hours of overtime, and the machines are now all broken down,” things like that. And you know, “We ran out of all our inventory.” So, we are the one where it’s the and, and the and, and the and, because we look at everything. We don’t leave anything out. So, we look at your entire operation, so if you have three lines, we make sure we utilize all three lines to their full capacity. Or we understand what that capacity or those capacities are. And that’s where when we look at current solutions only handle one note, or one thing, or are only helping with one item that’s right in front of that operations leader, or planner, or scheduler, whomever is in charge of that operation. We look at everything whereas right now they’re looking at what they can really understand themselves.
Carman Pirie: Interesting, because that… You know, the thing that’s an advantage to you is also probably a disadvantage in terms of even getting the opportunity to help somebody in the first place. Because of course, that problem that’s right in front of that operations lead is the thing that they’re going to search for a solution on. Not all of the other pieces, one assumes.
John Buglino: Right. Yeah. Absolutely. So, that’s why when we’re having conversations with our customers, or those that are looking for our solution, we bring it back and say, “You need to provide us with three things just to get started.” And these serve as our baseline, so we need to understand your orders, so we have to understand your customer orders and what’s in demand of you. We have to understand your materials and your constraints related to your lines, and your inventories, and your things like that. And we also have to understand your business rules. We have to understand what you’re hoping to obtain or do as a result of implementing the software.
And if you’re able to articulate those three things, we can hit the ground running. We don’t want to complicate it from the start and say, “Oh, I don’t have my labor digitized, or I don’t have my shift patterns, or I don’t have my inventory numbers for the next six months. I only have them for three months.” Remove all that. Let us get those three things first and then we’ll build upon it and grow with you as we progress, and mature, and we get this process done with you guys.
Carman Pirie: So, I think we have a good understanding of what Optessa does as best we can. Kind of curious. Let’s unpack a little bit about how you get the opportunity to do it. How do you actually get in front of the… Because you work in a lot of different verticals, my understanding, and that can often present a fairly large awareness challenge, especially for an organization the size of Optessa. Let’s peel the onion a bit on the marketing here. How are you navigating that discovery phase and kind of getting in front of your prospects early on?
John Buglino: Yeah, so there’s a couple really key channels for us. The first one is our customers. So, our customers were and are our foundation of how we were able to grow over the last 20-plus years. So, once we implemented with our first customer, then they walked us into our next customer, and then they told them about another auto OEM that needed us, and so we grew through word of mouth and the referral network there.
Then, once… I don’t want to say we exhausted it, but other things started happening as things progressed with the different customers, is we started looking at who else was working with that customer and kind of worked on that partner relationship because now you have individuals that are with these customers on a daily basis. They’re with these customers, having conversations about what they want to do on a longer or larger scale, and then we’re the common denominator to see where things fit. The other area is, of course, inbound, right? So, we have to be able to attract our prospects and also keep our customers satisfied through what we’re putting out from a content perspective, but through the lens of value, right?
So, we have a platform, and we can do everything that I mentioned earlier about constraints, and business rules, and optimization. That’s all well and good. But really, people want to know what’s in it for them, and they really want to know what pain or what problem you’re gonna solve for them. So, that’s where from an inbound perspective, or website perspective, we leave our customer stories and use cases. This way someone on the other end is researching a specific problem. We have that solution. And they want to have a conversation.
So, while we handle inventory, and business rules, and constraints, and capacities, and all those things, the person on the other end is really only looking for one solution to one problem, and we have to make sure we cast a very wide net and then funnel them in. So, it’s a multipronged approach, but again, it’s leveraging our existing customers, working our partner relationships within those customers, and then also developing the stories to attract future customers based on what we’re doing with the aforementioned two parties.
Jeff White: I have to think too… I mean, the partner channel is a real stroke of brilliance, and I think what really makes that work so well, and there’s lots of great SaaS examples of great software companies choosing to build a very strong partner network because they know that if they don’t have people who can help implement that solution, it will fail. So, you can have the best piece of software in the world, but if people don’t understand it and it’s not put in properly, and it’s not aligned with the goals and expectations of that organization, it doesn’t matter how good the software is. Nobody’s gonna use it.
John Buglino: Right.
Jeff White: And then it’s a failure. So, I think that’s brilliant, and I’d love to learn a little bit more about how you develop and grow that partner network, and how they help Optessa scale.
John Buglino: Yeah. So, that’s key. When we are working with a new customer, it’s a long sales cycle, and it’s also I would say a lengthy implementation process with a lot of moving pieces, right? So, best case scenario, every customer wants to be implemented in 90 days. Everyone wants to be implemented tomorrow. But we know that there’s limitations with staff, and resources, and time, and things like that, but also on both sides of it is there’s already individuals and partners working with that customer that has done these integrations, to your point, Jeff, to where now we’ve just had to make sure that the partner can connect to, and write to, and use our software, and inject it into the systems currently with that customer.
So, it kind of alleviates a bunch of the implementation or integration process, and again, the other piece of it is the customers are really risk averse, so aligning with a partner and having them walk you in as a trusted partner through them gives that sense of stability, and that calm of like, “Don’t worry. Here’s a solution that’s gonna be able to help you with these three things. We will help implement. We will take things and make sure everything works. No problem at all.” And that’s really what we’ve done because at the end of the day the in-house teams at these customers, and these manufacturers, are stretched thin, so they’re leveraging partners with these integrations. And then when we’re partnering with them it’s an easier kind of fit.
From a revenue standpoint, or a profit standpoint, or whatever you want to talk about, we take care of the SaaS side of items and then the implementation integration services is all with the partner. So, at the end of the day everyone wins, from the solutions provider standpoint, but ultimately the customer wins as well, because they now have a new solution that is now integrated through their trusted channels and partners, and now we just move forward.
Carman Pirie: I think that trust element is a really critical piece and Jeff mentioned the notion of partner networks being fairly common. Of course, in a marketing agency land, everybody will think of HubSpot, but in there the polarity is almost reversed. You have a bunch of agencies that are trying to live off of the trust that a big brand like HubSpot brings to market. And interestingly your partnering approach is kind of operating in the reverse, where you’re looking to leverage the trust that those partners have inside those client relationships. Fascinating. I agree with Jeff. I think it’s a stroke of genius in your three-pronged strategy, for sure.
John Buglino: Yeah. And I think another piece of it is… I think I mentioned earlier the partners are having the conversations with those customers and are really in tune with their needs as a business. And so, not only are we selling to the partner. We also have to sell to the customer once everything’s taken care of. But the partner is the one that’s gonna reach out to the solutions providers and say, “I’m working with a customer. I won’t tell you their name just yet but here’s the things that we think you guys can handle, or here’s the project scope. Here’s where we think you can fit.” Or you can get the partner to say, “I’m working with a customer. Here’s the 10 things they’ve identified as opportunities over the next 6 to 12 months. Let us know what part of the business you want to vie for and what solutions you can provide, and we’ll work together to understand that and then we’ll work together on a solution jointly with the customer and bring it to the customer’s attention.”
Carman Pirie: I mean, I’m always… I don’t know about you, but as a marketer I always get a little nervous when things seem to be going pretty well. You know, you look at you’ve got three sources of kind of biz dev here. We’re leveraging our customers. We’ve got a strong partner network, an inbound lead flow, and that works well until it doesn’t, I guess. And I’m curious kind of where are you looking to take some bets? Where are you looking around the corner to say, “This is where we might be able to go next?”
John Buglino: Yeah, so I think… So, our biggest challenge in things that we’re trying to do is diversifying, right? So, the biggest thing that we’ve heard not only from our partner network is that we’re very strong in automotive or discrete manufacturing and then we need to increase our use cases and case studies when it comes to process industry, so penetrating things like food and beverage, or pharmaceutical, and things like that. And we do have those stories, but I think it’s a disadvantage optically when you look, or research on there, so the bets that we’re taking is really looking to the software and to the platform to say, “Here’s what we’ve identified as gaps in these other verticals where we want to be stronger. And now here’s how we need to address those items.”
And I can say with confidence that we’ve addressed those, and we were able to land a new logo in the last three months based on those efforts, right? So, we always have to adapt, we have to change, we have to do R&D, we have to listen to our customers, we have to listen to the industry about what’s needed, and we have to educate ourselves, right? Because we can’t walk into a pharmaceutical company or opportunity with a partner for pharmaceutical showcasing things we’re doing for discrete. It’s a complete mismatch and you lose them from the start, so you have to be able to understand the nuances between the different verticals, and the different customers, and then adapt your software to showcase those items, and then make sure you can deliver when called upon in implementation.
Carman Pirie: Man, obviously the use cases would be very diverse between those various categories, and how… I guess I’m curious, how different have you found the actual selling environments to be? Are the buying committees generally larger on the automotive side than the process side? Any patterns that you’ve noticed?
John Buglino: They’re all definitely complicated. I think there’s other… Certain industries are a little more risk averse than others. So, when you’re thinking about aerospace and defense, they’re highly risk averse. They want to really work with trusted partners, advisors, internal teams, and really want to do a lot in house. From a process industry standpoint, there the high volumes and high volatility related to their products and what they have on there, and their delivery dates are a little bit more near term as opposed to say like automotive or those aerospace types of items. So, working and understanding those nuances and those differences is really our advantage when we’re talking to these customers.
When it comes to the business rules, the process industry is a little bit more in tune with their inventory, and their levels, and changing things out, so changeovers. That’s a universal pain point, but the process industry, their changeovers and their changes happen more frequently. You know, and you’re also dealing with a little bit more sensitive type of materials, so different ingredient mixes, allergens, and different things like that. Liquids and chemicals. So, it’s a little bit more detailed as opposed to say on the automotive side, like doors and buttons and things like that, so it’s a little bit more… I would say a little bit more descriptive on what’s really needed there.
And again, like I said, if you walk into a process manufacturer showcasing discrete types of items, it’s, “How are you gonna rotate my tanks and clean out my lines? I don’t see the symmetries here. I don’t see the alignment. I don’t quite understand.” But when we showcase, and have our demo, and have our conversation, we showcase how we handle the changes with lines, and how we handle those types of business rules and requirements, so those are the types of items where we have to go on certain assumptions, and then they validate those assumptions and we say, “You know, others in the industry seem to have a lot of issues with changing over tanks, right? Is that something that you guys are dealing with? No? Are you guys dealing with volatility with your ingredient mixes? Are you dealing with things like expiration dates? Are you dealing with issues with color matching or things like that?”
So, we have to kind of understand those different use cases and kind of lay them out there, and then have the prospecting customer really respond to those types of items and just have that conversation.
Jeff White: One of the things that I always find so interesting about software and selling software into other organizations is that oftentimes, especially in the SaaS world, the audience for a lot of SaaS products is limitless. You know, whereas what you’re talking about we’ve got these automotive OEMs, and there’s only like… What? 15 of them in the world or whatever? And you know, and then you have the process companies, and you’re looking to get into pharma, and other types of things like that. I’m reminded of a story I heard years ago about a wedding photographer that pitched on trying to shoot the latest Audi car. You can’t even get consideration there because you just don’t understand the industry. You’ve never done that kind of thing. There isn’t a direct transferal of skills.
So, kind of building up those case stories about each industry as part of… Where do you introduce those in the sale? Is that coming in first? Is it a qualifier? Or is the partner qualifying you and then you use the case stories to help close? What’s the order of operations?
John Buglino: Yeah. It’s a combination. If we’re working with a partner, we make sure that the partner’s well aware of where we start and end, right? So, we have finite start and end, so we are on the supply side. We take… So, if a partner comes to us and asks for us to be part of the demand side, so understanding things coming in, that’s not where we fit. We take demand as an input. So, we make sure they understand once you have all your materials, things like that, so we articulate where we want to be and play to our strengths, right? And we’re very clear. That’s the other thing is we’re very transparent in saying, “Here’s where we can help and here’s where we cannot help,” so we also don’t overpromise and underdeliver, because nobody wins when you do those types of things.
When we’re working with inbound or individuals reaching out, we try to disqualify early, or earlier on, because if they’re looking for something that does not fit our needs or does not fit what we do, again, it doesn’t make any sense to overpromise and then underdeliver, and string them along. It’s a lengthy enough cycle already to then start saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ll take care of it. Yeah. We can do that. No problem.” We look to qualify, to your point, Jeff, earlier on, like, “Explain to me what your problems are and where do you think our software can help.” And that’s… They have to get talking. So, it’s open ended.
We get inbounds, and I’m sure others listening, and other marketers experience it. I want to see your software. Okay. I can show you my software. No problem. You can go on YouTube and see my software. Why do you want to see the software? So, that’s not a conversation. That’s an email back. Give me the one reason that you reached out to me and articulate it back to me. Let us understand. And if you don’t want to email, let’s jump on a quick five-minute phone call and let me understand what you’re looking to do or the projects there. So, again, we look to disqualify earlier on to make sure we don’t waste effort, and we also don’t waste the effort of the prospect, or those looking, and also the partner, right?
Because if the partner comes to us and says, “Here’s the five things they need in the next six months,” and we can’t handle any of it, we have to walk away from it. And too many in the business want to just be part of it that they say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We want to be part of the project.” But if it’s outside of what you do, there’s no value. There’s no value to the customer or the partner because now everyone looks foolish when you now have to deliver on that task that you can’t. And that really, to the earlier point, Carman, you break that trust instantly because now you’re making everyone look bad and you should have just said no from the start. This way everyone could have moved on.
So, I think that’s the whole piece of it, is be very clear about what your expectations are of the prospect, and what the prospect’s expectations are of you. This way, everyone wins in the end.
Carman Pirie: I’m curious how you… There must be some sort of inclination to want to stay engaged with that prospect. I appreciate the notion of disqualifying early. There’s not a need for us right now. But if you know that that’s an organization that you could do business with, they maybe just don’t have the pain point that you solve right now, have you found any kind of particularly successful way of growing that awareness pre-problem identification, so to speak? Or how have you nurtured some of those relationships along until the point that they actually do need you?
John Buglino: Yeah. Absolutely. That’s a great point. And when we disqualify, say for example they’re looking for an ERP, or they’re looking for something that’s outside of what we’re able to control or able to provide, we still learn about the organization, about their operation, about their pain points, about why they’re even looking to implement the other software or platforms and things like that, so we always learn from each of the engagements, right? So, that’s the whole piece of it is if it’s not right now, it’s, “Okay, you’re implementing this piece of software. Here’s where I think we’re gonna come in and fit. Tell me a little bit more about your operation. Tell me a little bit more about your structure, your lines, your team involved. Tell me about how you utilize your labor. Are there any other things?”
So, you kind of plant that seed a little early and kind of say, “All right. Well, I know the next six months you’re gonna be heads down with this implementation. I’m gonna reach out in six months and see what’s happening in your operation and understand if things have changed from what you just told me and where you are at that point.” And see if it makes sense to kind of reengage at that point. So, to your point, Carman, we always learn from the conversations and then apply it forward.
So, if we’re working or speaking to someone outside of our normal verticals, we look to get as much information as we can to learn, to understand, and then we take that back to our team and say, “Here’s what we heard from this beverage manufacturer and here’s the problems they’re having. And it’s all around cleaning and sterilization, and how could we show this in the software? How could we develop messaging around that type of thing?” Or, “Here’s what we heard from aerospace and here’s what… They’re low volume, but they’re high mix, but their mix is all around their labor.” We have to understand skilled trade. So, we learn from each engagement and look back to apply it to the product and then we also look at it from a messaging standpoint of how can we utilize what we heard to kind of bring a pain forward using different types of messaging.
Jeff White: Digital transformation is hard enough that choosing to go into something that you don’t yet understand and end up with a customer who can’t use it, or is it doesn’t accomplish their goals, or even if it’s one of your competitors that does the same, I mean, it ends up painting the whole supply chain automation digital transformation business with the same brush. So, I think it’s important even for your competitors to be listening to your messaging here, like don’t screw it for the rest of us, you know? Because you really do need to have a good handle on that to make sure that it’s a good experience for everyone all around.
John Buglino: Yeah. And I think digital transformation, I smiled as soon as you said it, because it’s one of those topics where everyone’s involved, or everyone is doing some sort of digital transformation, and everyone’s saying, “No, this is right. No, that’s right.” Everyone’s right. Digital transformation, it goes a layer further into maturity of the digital transformation, right? Going from pen and paper, or whiteboard, or notes on pieces of paper, to something digital, I don’t care what it is. Just putting it into Notepad, or just putting it on your computer, or getting it someplace in an email, that’s digital transformation. That’s a step for that company.
Then there’s others on the other end where they currently have an ERP, or they have connected systems and software, and they’re looking to either rip out and replace, or complement with new. It’s all part of it and that’s that wide range of you have someone with pen and paper that’s gonna put it in an email, and then put it on a shared drive, and then you have others that are in it where they’re trying to balance nine different connected systems and one connector broke. We have to figure out what to do.
So, digital transformation is a great topic to talk about, especially when a customer or prospect identifies that, because then we instantly learn where are you in that maturity? Are you coming from spreadsheets? Now you’re looking to finally use a platform? So, it’s like from a marketing perspective, a CRM. CRM could be on paper. A CRM could be in a spreadsheet. A CRM could be in an actual CRM provider like you mentioned earlier, Carman, like HubSpot. You’re all right, it’s just a matter of where are you. What are you looking to do and what are the goals? What are you tracking? What are the goals related to that?
So, that’s a great conversation to have with a prospect or even a customer of, help me understand where you are on your digital transformation journey. And then we’ll work and have that conversation around that as our baseline.
Carman Pirie: I think you’ve also done a great job of illustrating why the words digital transformation aren’t particularly useful positioning, right? It means a lot of very different things to a lot of very different people.
John Buglino: Right.
Carman Pirie: John, I’m wondering. I’m always curious. People get along in their marketing career and they’ve figured a few things out along the way. I’m always curious what type of advice they would give to their younger self starting out. What advice would you give to the younger John?
John Buglino: Oh, the younger me. The piece of advice I would just scream, and write down, and just mail letters to, would be network. Your network is tremendous, and networking is tremendous. There’s so many doors that open. There’s so many things that happen if you have conversations with people, and learn from other people, and connect with others, because the world is not as big a place as we think it is, and I think we mentioned pre-show there’s people that move and change roles while you’re talking to them about implementing software. Six months from now is a long time. And you never know where that person is gonna be, or what that person’s gonna be doing in the next six months, or who they’re connected to, and the other bonus piece of advice is when you’re talking with someone and they just joined your network, and they say this phrase, or they give you this line of, “Hey, look at my connections, and look at my network, and let me know if I can introduce to anybody.”
I take people up on that offer and they’re shocked. And it’s like, “That’s what we’re doing here. I can reciprocate. I have a large network.” I’ve been in marketing for now my 17th year. I will happily introduce you to individuals, I call them, that are on my bench that can help you and elevate you. So, when I ask you, “Hey, can you introduce me to Stacy?” Yeah, I want to talk to Stacy. Here’s why. And here’s what we’re gonna cover and here’s what we’re not gonna cover. So, first thing, network. Network like crazy. And also take people up on the opportunity to leverage people in their network because again, it’s just like we do with the partners.
Carman, if there’s someone that you know, that means that you have that relationship and now we have a relationship. Help me understand and help me walk into them and understand how I can help. And take advantage of that relationship to your advantage. So, that’s what I would tell my younger self.
Carman Pirie: Thank you for sharing that, John. I appreciate it. It’s been great having you on the show.
John Buglino: Oh, this has been fantastic. I really appreciate the opportunity. Good conversation.
Jeff White: Thanks for joining us, John.
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John BuglinoDirector of Marketing, Optessa
John brings his experience in demand generation, lead generation, marketing automation, and social media marketing to Optessa. Started out his career with New York Community Bancorp as a marketing assistant and later worked for iCIMS and the Hermetic Solutions Group in versatile roles driving new business and elevating the brand within their respective industries. John holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and advertising from Seton Hall University.