Marketing Gets Real Episode #1: Cari & Dana Did What??

What happens when you bring a pair of longtime friends and B2B marketers together in the same room for 30 minutes? Turns out, you get lots of laughs, a ton of revealing true confessions, and plenty of juicy insights about how to make B2B marketing more authentic.

That’s what’s on the menu for Marketing Gets Real, Unreal Digital Group’s delicious new podcast hosted by our partners and co-founders, Cari Baldwin and Dana Harder. They cook up an entertaining dish in our first episode, “Lessons Learned for Authentic Marketing.” You’ll hear them talk about their careers, give advice to their 20-year-old selves, and discuss the “oh shit” moments that taught them invaluable lessons. You won’t believe what they reveal!

“I will never make that mistake again!”

Cari’s first “oh shit” moment was a doozy. It happened in the late ‘90s, when direct mail (can you imagine?) was the only way to get people to attend a webinar. Cari had worked on a huge direct mail campaign that included a barcoded registration form. She traveled to the printer. She signed off on the final proof. “It looked good. There were no typos,” she says. Then it was printed. And there was a mistake … in the barcode. 

“This was at the beginning of my career with my first agency; we were bootstrapped for cash,” Cari says. “I couldn’t just go to the client and say I f*cked up and we’ll pay for it.” Her lesson learned: relationships matter. “I had a relationship with the printer where I could ask for a favor and get some help on the cost of that reprint,” she says.

“Can I do this? Can I fix it? Can I hide it?”

Those rapid-fire thoughts ran through Dana’s head right after she learned she made a whopper of an error. She was planning one of her first B2B content marketing trade shows and was trying to juggle it all. Her undoing: An Excel spreadsheet with the wrong formula that ended up underestimating the food budget—by a lot! “Contracts were signed. We need to feed the guests,” Dana says. “I had to go to my boss and say I needed more money; I screwed this up.” She did just that, and it didn’t even cost her the job!

Her lessons learned: Details are important, especially in marketing, where everything moves so quickly. Also: Everybody makes mistakes, so if you’re good at what you do, trust that by being honest about your screwup, you’ll be OK.

Cari and Dana also reveal two other “oh shit” moments in Episode 1. In the clip below, watch Cari talk about why, if she had to do it all over again, she’d party a little bit less:

“The Gal Pal Network kicks the Old Boys’ Network in the @ss any day!”

When asked the best advice she’d give to her 20-year-old self, Cari didn’t hesitate. “Build your network,” she says. “We ladies stick together, support each other, and raise each other up—that’s the beauty of being a woman in tech!” Building a strong network means attending receptions and events, introducing yourself online and offline, supporting your connections on LinkedIn, and giving more than receiving. 

Cari and Dana talk about so much more in Episode #1, from their origin stories. And somehow they work in references to Dale Carengie, renowned security expert Gavin De Becker, and slip in a line from the beloved holiday movie “Elf.” Listen to the full episode now. Even better: subscribe to the whole series and get ready for lots of unfiltered adventures and reflections from some of the top marketers in B2B today. No jargon allowed!