Employer Branding is the Intentional Strategy that Aligns People with Mada Seghete with Branch Metrics

Everyone knows the power of branding your company. Let me share with you an emerging concept of employer branding. Discover how you can use this to attract talented people to your company. Today’s guest is Mada Seghete, Co-founder & Managing Director at Branch Metrics. Inc Magazine ranked his company #365 on the 2021 Inc 5000 list. Branch Metrics is transforming how brands and users interact across digital platforms. Branch Metrics mobile marketing and deep linking solutions are trusted to deliver seamless experiences that increase ROI, decrease wasted spend, and eliminate siloed attribution. Mada gives you insights on employer branding and how you can use it to grow your company. Use the strategies to improve your employer branding to leverage the power of the concept.

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Mada Seghete: The Transcript

About: Mada co-founded Branch in 2014, masterminding the community-driven marketing strategy behind the company’s early, explosive success. Mada currently leads marketing and new market development for Branch, and she remains deeply involved in the company’s global culture initiatives, which have led to several industry awards.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Mada Seghete: [00:00:00] You have your product and you have your company and you brand yourself on what you can give to your customers. And that’s like your company’s branding, but then you also in a way your employees you’re also marketing to them and you are trying to understand that you’re giving them the right product, the right product in their cases, like a job in something that they love doing the right thing. So I think employer branding is really how you position yourself and how you market yourselves, not to your customers, but to the people inside your company, your employees.

Intro: Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs, the fastest-growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?

Gene Hammett: We’ve got a thought of all of the work that you put into branding your company. You actually use it to get clients. Well, what we’re talking about today is employer branding. This is a new term for many people because you think of product branding or product marketing, [00:01:00] but there’s some of the core elements that go into how you talk about your company, how you talk about the culture of the company. Values how you position the company, why you’re different. All of that is a very important episode. I think it’s even more important now than ever before because attracting the right people has been never been harder. Also never been more expensive and it’s never been more important to attract the right people. So today we look at employer branding with the co-founder of brand metrics. They’re a marketing company.

that does Attribution across the many channels that we have and bridging these technologies together, really great company. They were number 365 on the Inc list this past year. And the co-owner I’m talking about is Mada Seghete, I probably butchered the last name, but I really enjoy this conversation with her because she really thinks intentionally about who the company is. And why you exist and how you’re serving the people across the company and how you come up with that. We dive into this whole aspect of employer branding, what are the core elements of it, but also how do you, as a [00:02:00] leader tune into what is the most important aspects of that and how do you communicate that across the prospects, but also the current employees and the returning. That you may have all inside this episode for, you know, my whole job is to help you become an extraordinary leader. I love companies that know that leadership is a critical force inside the growth of their companies. Those that believe that we just execute and just things get done. , they’re not necessarily my people, but those people that understand that leadership is the key to more growth.

And to creating a place where people are performing at their best, and that creates growth beyond measure. That’s my people. So if you are curious about what’s next in your own journey of leadership, I’d love to have a conversation about what is getting in your way. I do this all the time. I’ve been an executive coach for 10 years, and I love to have conversations about the thinking that gets in your way of being an even stronger leader and how that is translated across the organization. What your opportunities for improvement are. If you want to have that conversation with me, all you have to do is go to Genehammett.com and schedule your call inside that call. We’ll have a different kind of conversation. The one you’re not having with your [00:03:00] co-founders, your board, your investors, or your executive leadership team, we will have a kind of conversation allows you to grow in that moment and have new insights and a new sense of awareness.

If that scares you great. If it scares you away, then you probably need it more than most. But I offer this to you because I really believe that leadership is the core force of growth. You want to have that conversation with me? Just go to genehammett.com and schedule your call. Now here’s the interview with Mada.

Gene Hammett: Hey Mada how are you?

Mada Seghete: Great

Gene Hammett: Excited to have you on the podcast.

Mada Seghete: Super happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Gene Hammett: Well, we’re going to jump into a very interesting topic today, but before we get started, tell us a little bit about your company, brand metrics,

Mada Seghete: branch metrics. , we are a mobile linking and attribution company. We help companies Bill cross-platform experiences. Imagine getting a text message. You click on a link, you have the app, you don’t have the app. We take people to the actual content inside the app. They have that, they have it maybe to the app store, and then they download the app and to the right content after. So we helped bridge all of these crazy experiences. Webinars online to offline and measure, and we help marketers and [00:04:00] brands actually measure those experiences.

Gene Hammett: I was talking to a client the other day, getting ready for a black Friday sale. And I remember this was probably two months ago because they were really getting in the early stages of that. And I said, what do you want to create? He said, kind of what you just talked about. I want a full experience, like a 360-degree experience. Yeah. And it sounds like that’s what your technology does is ride marketers and companies with the ability to use mobile and use all these things together

Mada Seghete: and bridge these experiences and measure the entire journey. I think we, you know, marketers think about things as channels and platforms but the user only thinks about it as one journey. You know, they want to get into the store and maybe they don’t have the right pair of shoes or the right size. They want to scan a QR code and get to the online store in order, you know, a different color or a different pair of shoes. They want to go on a website and say, oh, I want to actually get them up. And they want the link that actually takes them. And the app is there and they should go. They’re going to the same content that we’re experiencing on the desktop was in the mobile app. So that continuous journey is actually quite hard today. And we help brands create that continuous [00:05:00] journey

Gene Hammett: We’re not going to talk about the technology is fascinating as it is. We’re gonna talk about the company and some of the things that have made you guys who you are today. I’ve got in my notes here. Got over 450 employees. Is that accurate?

Mada Seghete: Yeah, that’s great. That’s accurate

Gene Hammett: and then you guys were on the Inc list number 365 last year. A lot of people remember these the first time they make the ink list I don’t know if this is your first company making the ink list, but do you remember the moment where you got notified that you’re going to be 365?

Mada Seghete: I remember I just, I just kicked on the link and I was like, okay, this is where we are.

Gene Hammett: I’m just kind of curious. What, what was the first thought you came through your head when you realize it was that high up?

Mada Seghete: I mean, it was cool. , it was honestly it was like, it should be higher. What can I do to make this higher? , I think we were on a. One of the different lists. We were like number two in the bay area. And like, I think in my head, I think I, I tend to be a little bit of an overachiever. So I think I’ve definitely looked at the list and I was like, okay next year we’re going to be higher than this. So yeah,[00:06:00]

Gene Hammett: I get that. Most of the people in the list, especially at the levels that you’re at are driven and unique ways. And they feel like they could have done better or been higher. We’re going to talk about, you know, some of the key factors you’re doing this. I think a lot of people are struggling today with, hiring and finding the right people. And what we found in our discovery with your company is you’ve got a different approach to this than most people you call this employer branding. So before we go any further, what is employer branding to you?

Mada Seghete: You know, you have your product and you have your company and you brand yourself and what you can give to your customers. And that’s like your company’s branding, but then you also in a way your employees you’re also marketing to them and you are trying to understand that you’re giving them the right product, the right product. In that case, it’s like a job and the something that they love doing the right pay. So I think employer branding is really how you position yourselves and how you market yourselves, not your customers, but to the people inside your company or your employees.

Gene Hammett: And it really is probably outside the employee market too. So it’s not just employers, it’s prospect employers as well. You’re nodding.[00:07:00]

Mada Seghete: I think the majority of people think about detection more is prospect marketing yourself. The prospect. I think about it as both. I think prospects are important, but I think helping the internal folks understand. What they can get out of the company and making sure that like they make, they take full advantage of the opportunities and companies, I would say is part of that. But again, I will agree that the majority of people don’t, they think employer branding, they think of themselves like marketing to new prospects.

Gene Hammett: Let’s dive into this a little bit deeper. Mada, you brought up this concept of employer branding with my team. And we were looking at this and how this works in today’s world. What are the key elements of employer branding like at a high level? What are the most important?

Mada Seghete: It’s the same as like there’s with like really regular marketing, right? You have to understand that, have a positioning statement. You have to understand what makes you, you know, company different. You have to have communications, make sure that people understand that even if, you know if you have it to come up with it, but no one knows about. Then, you know, you’re not doing a good job and then you [00:08:00] need to communicate both internally, but also externally making sure that when you think about new, new people, joining your company, making sure they’re aware of that.

And then the way you communicate that and the way you build awareness, I took him pains and programs just the same way. , if you’re doing regular marketing except, you know, the target for that is current employees and that should in place. And actually, I would add a third one, which I don’t think a lot of people think about, but I do think that there’s this like the third category of like returning them. So people who may be left your company, but on good terms and you want back, and it’s the same way. As reasons resurrecting users on the marketing side, this is like resurrecting and employees by, I think people come back and we’ve actually had quite a number of people come back to the branch in the past few months so I think that has also been very interesting to see and drive.

Gene Hammett: I definitely want to talk about these returning employees, but you said something in there that I think is really interesting. I know in marketing, why you’re different, it’s such an important piece. I haven’t really thought about it and how it applies to. When you talk about employer branding. So just looking at why you’re different, how do you use [00:09:00] that to attract the right people for your company?

Mada Seghete: I think it’s like, I think for us, it’s, it sits into two different buckets. One is like the company culture and the values and kind of like trying to describe how it is to be working in-branch and also what we expect from people. What are the type of people that would work you would work with at branch? So that’s part of it. The other part is. You know what you will gain from coming and work in our company, why you should pick our company and come work for us. , so parts of it are the culture and how we’ll be working here. But part of it, the other part of it that maybe we haven’t done as much in the past time we focused on here is really describing like the opportunities that you get.

And, you know, the things that are like maybe less about the culture, but more about like, if you come here, you’ll get this amount, this type of opportunities that you might not get in a different company. So I think the two of them come together, right? Like this is the culture. This is how you’ll feel. Working here. Decide the type of people you’ll work with that. Follow our values and these is the things you’ll get to work on. And the things that make us different

Gene Hammett: when you explain it like that. One of the things I think of is most companies [00:10:00] probably have things that they say, but they’re not very intentional. Right. They haven’t really thought through specifically what the, what do we say about the culture? How do we describe it? What are the words we use? Whereas if we were describing our product in the marketplace or we’re in a sales conversation, we know exactly what work we have. That workshop we’re always refining it, but what you’re saying to us. Is it really helps to understand, Hey, what, what makes us different with culture and what are you going to get as an employee while you’re here?

Mada Seghete: And you have to be intentional. You also have to understand what resonates and you have to do interviews. I think when you were like four founders in a room, that intention comes from you. I like to describe culture as it’s like driving. And at the beginning, it’s a baby dragon. And you like, you know, you decide where to dragon goes and you set the direction for the dragon. When you are a company of 450 people, you can’t fully, it’s like a beast, it’s a giant beast and you can kind of like hear it, but you can’t fully control it.

And a lot of what you have to do as a founder and as a leader in. Also, describe what it is. So if the shift dragon has shifted in that direction, then maybe [00:11:00] it’s not exactly what you had in mind. , but this is how the culture is. You either can work shifted, or you can say, actually, this is how we are. I want to make sure that we communicate that to the employees. So they understand there is no disconnect between how you describe the company and what they will experience coming in. And I said more in the latter category. When we were young, we came up with our values in the room, and then over time we actually change them, not like a lot, but as, as the company evolves, the values shifted. And every few years I interviewed everyone and I try to understand how they think, what they think we value in people. And the last time we did that, we actually shifted some of our values to describe more where we are today, which was slightly different. That like, you know why we had put on paper when we were like nine years ago.

Commentary: mind if we talk about why your company is different. Nope. She talked about a couple of different things that are really important, like the culture and what’s in it for the employees, but I’d like to add something here. Why is your leadership different? Give some examples in stories of that, to help people understand that leadership is an important piece. Not only is it important because [00:12:00] that’s what they will receive, but that’s what they’re expected to give is be strong leaders. And if you create a place where people understand that you will be attracting the right people, which is really important, but you will also create a place where people are really gonna accept that leadership is a critical force inside the company. I think why different is a very great thing to think about intentionally as it relates to your company, but include in there why your leadership is different in how they’re different across this and why that matters. Back to Mada.

Gene Hammett: I think a lot of people need to hear this message about values and how important they are. If we looked in your organization, how do you use the values to make sure they’re showing up every day?

Mada Seghete: A lot of ways. I think from, you know, during the onboarding, we have a long conversation with you for a lot of examples, how people live our values. , when we talk about hiring. We have a value, a person outside of the team that’s hiring then needs to interview on values. And we have questions that they have to go through to make sure the person kind of lives up to the values. The we, [00:13:00] when we make, like, when someone gets both like, you know, promoted, but also sometimes firing decisions are based on values. Someone really, for example, one of our values is humility. And I can say that sometimes we’ve had people that were amazing, but they were really not, you know, great to working with others.

They were really not humble at all. And we have let go of people in the past because of this value specifically and maybe, and also others. , when you do shout-outs at all ends. We’ll talk about values. We have a yearly value award where everyone submits people on the values, and then we actually choose winners in each category, but everyone who gets nominated gets their nominations and we really celebrate them living our values.

Gene Hammett: So Mada in the day today, there, there needs to be a lot of that. And it has to be around like your decisions in like, I think the hiring promotion and firing decisions made based on values make a lot of sense. Certainly in alignment with a lot of the conversations we’ve had here. I don’t want to go through all of them. I know you mentioned humility, but how many values did you choose to have?

Mada Seghete: We have eight values

Gene Hammett: Eight,

Mada Seghete: Yeah, it’s a lot. [00:14:00] Yeah. I think the way we define values, it’s what we expect in people. We have something called the branch way, which is more, a little bit of a description of our values. And it’s more in line with our employer branding, which is built together, grow together, win together. So those are more like, this is kind of how it shows to work at the branch we’re builders. There’s a lot of growth opportunities and we really, we take on big challenges and we try to make a change in the ecosystem, but the values are a little bit different. The values is like, what we expect. In people and expectations, we haul around each other. So there are things like your initial, like initiative, humility, good judgment. So there are eight of them. It’s hard. Eight there’s a lot.

Commentary: Hold on. I just talked about the branch way. Now I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I think every company should have the blank way, whatever your name of your company is the name of my company is core elevation. The core elevation way is a part of our values, but it’s also why we are who we are, our mission. What I explained to my team members, the mission of the company, they really lit up because they knew [00:15:00] that what we’re doing matters. And I was able to do that because I was put this document together. Now, what is in the way document for you? Well, it really depends on who you are as a company, and you want to make sure that you have this. I actually love to have people come in and agree to these things and sign something physically. But does it mean anything? Is it a legally binding document? No, but it is something that puts them on notice that this is who we are. We take this very seriously, the way document that if you were able to do this. , really will help you in many beautiful ways. I had a client of mine that was using this specifically in the work from home, a portion of this, they want to add more flexibility. So one of the things we talked about is before they, you know, have this flexible advantage or benefit, why don’t you make sure that they understand the way that you work and let’s agree to what that text is and how that’s going to translate into the company that you want to create. And when they are working from home, that they will follow these guidelines. And that really will provide something is a context to reflect back on and lead them through if they are out of alignment, but also to move [00:16:00] forward and, and really help them with their job, be the performance people that you want them to be. And that’s just my perspective on this. , I love the fact that they’re using the branch way. You should have that for your company to back to Mada.

Gene Hammett: I want to go back to something you said earlier, Mada, you’re talking about returning employees. Now, some people will say, you know what, once they’re gone, they’re probably gone, but there are good employees that leave that you probably weren’t ready for them to leave. And you’re you have the door open for them to come back. You guys do anything different in that process of people exiting that makes them might want to come back

Mada Seghete: to me we try to end on good terms with people. And then we, I know, you know, like big companies have this alumni thing and we actually started it like two years ago and we do an alumni newsletter. So we keep alumni in mind and then we encourage people to stay in touch with people that have worked with branch. We’re moving offices, and we’re going to invite some of our alumni to our party. So we, I think we focus a lot on building those relationships. I can think of a lot of the examples of people who came back and they were. A [00:17:00] lot of them, I think they were like eight or nine in the past three months. And like, if I think about the examples, each of them actually came back because the relationship that they kept with someone like someone on my team continuing doing one-on-ones with her manager officer, she laughed just as a, an advisor.

And then, you know, she decided to come back. She wasn’t as happy as were, you know, company. One of the engineers from our early days, met someone on the street and then he’s like, I don’t think they’ll have me back. And this person is like, no, you should like, they will. And we like got them to come back. , my co-founder goes. Spiking with this guy who has a CSM all the time. And then there was a new position and we hired him in a leadership position. So there’s been a lot of, but it’s all based on this relationship. So kind of keeping the relationship going and not like being out your gone goodbye. So I think that has, it has really helped.

Gene Hammett: Yeah. I want to put a spotlight on that. You have such a good management structure and maybe it was just one individual manager. Even after they left the employee when it stays in touch and to get a little bit of mentor eventually comes back. That’s a really good signal that you’ve got great management in that team.

Mada Seghete: So [00:18:00] he’s, he’s already, he already is a fantastic manager.

Gene Hammett: We’ve been looking at this entire concept of employer marketing and employer branding. I’m sorry, when you, when we’ve talked about all this stuff, is there anything that we’ve left out?

Mada Seghete: I think the thing that’s really important is like, you should not go and do this in a room by yourself as a founder, or maybe with your head of DePaul. I think it’s very important that you act talk to a lot of people. So in my case, I interviewed 40 people and I also did the survey and got. like reponses for another 20. And then I also talked to leadership. So I think it’s very important, especially if you’re bigger, right? Like when you’re, when you’re re young company, you can say, okay, but when you’re big, I found out that, whereas, you know, I’m, I’m very close to the culture of branch and I were working on a culture for a long time, but I found out something new.

There was something new in that, like once I was doing these interviews, a lot of people mentioned that was unexpected, that I didn’t know. And I never talked about in interviews with what makes branch different. And he was really like, I think we talked a lot about our current people. , and this idea that like, people are really smart. A lot of people [00:19:00] brought up the fact that they chose branch because of how supportive people are. And there was something new. There was something I didn’t, we never really intended that, that wasn’t part of like something that we decided was going to be this wasn’t like the build grow in something new and we’re like, we need to make it this more, you know, 70% of the people that we interviewed. And we said, why brand said that, you know, being supported by coworkers is very different than other places I’ve been at. So I think that the point here is you shouldn’t know. You need to ask everyone what makes it different? Why are they there? Why are they coming back? Why they have not left and then take all that data and come up with the messaging versus like, just do it by yourself in a room, right?

Gene Hammett: Great point a lot of leaders will tell you that they want to include other people into it. And this is just another example of, you know, creating your employer, branding. Including up to 40 people in surveys. And you found this nugget that it’s probably made a big difference in the way you guys are talking about what you do differently, being supportive Mada really appreciate you sharing this wisdom with us and, and being on the show and, and being a part of it.

Mada Seghete: Thanks Gene glad to be here.

Gene Hammett: Here’s, here’s a chance for me to [00:20:00] reflect back on. We just discovered inside these interviews, I love to talk to leaders that have their fingers on the pulse of people. And that’s what really, what we’re looking at here is, is really understanding the people that work for you are such a critical force inside your company, not just for growth, but just how you work together, how you serve. And that’s what this is the thing. It’s just really getting a better understanding. And using that to attract more people like those people. And that is what I think you can take away from today’s episode. My hope is that you’re being the intentional leader that Mada talked about, and a lot of people will, will make excuses and say, you know, just can’t do that.

They’re they’re too small or they’re too. Things are going too fast. Well, I would argue against that. I would say you need to look down and look at your own leadership. And are you being reactive or are you being intentional? And if you are being intentional, how are you translating that across the company? Now, this is all about leadership.

If you want to get a clear understanding of where you are going next in your leadership, that’s what I do. As an executive coach, let’s have a conversation about that’s. Where you’re going, what’s missing the foundational [00:21:00] element. This is, you know, maybe you might say that this employee branding is only for companies that are bigger.

I would disagree. I think it’s for all-size companies and you want to make sure that you have this stuff laid out intentionally and be that kind of leader. So if you want to have that conversation, just go to Genehammett.com and schedule your call. When you think of leadership and you think of growth, think of growth, think tank as always into courage.

Listen, next time.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.




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