If you have experience in marketing, you understand that the sheer number of social networks where customers could be converted into leads has gotten well, a bit out of hand. While many marketing platforms offer comprehensive content scheduling and automation tools, marketers still report spending hours each week chasing down approvals and adapting content to suit the vast range of social networks. Don’t even get us started on analytics!
This struggle is what inspired co-founders Ryan Born and Ross Gray to launch Cloud Campaign in 2017. Their ultimate goal was to provide marketing agencies and freelancers with an operating system that was capable of managing multiple clients, creating and scheduling content, automating workflows, and monitoring campaign analytics, all in the same platform. Enabling marketing companies to maintain a unified content library and social media accounts at scale, Cloud Campaign has also developed brand workspaces, taggable content libraries, client-access portals and reporting, as well as other white-label services that are not typically integrated in most digital marketing products.
Spoiler alert, Cloud Campaign’s unique and comprehensive approach to marketing has been enormously successful, and shows no signs of slowing down as their revenue has grown by over 200% since 2018. More than 9,000 users are actively using Cloud Campaign, and the platform proudly supports more than 400 agencies and independent marketers across the country.
As most tech entrepreneurs have experienced, with success comes greater demand. In order to accommodate the growing needs of their product and engineering teams, Cloud Campaign and BWBacon Group formed a partnership in late 2022. Our goal was to support the company in its next stages of growth, and we recruited three talented full-stack engineers to join the Cloud Campaign team.
Throughout the process of supporting the team's growth, we uncovered more about their dynamite culture, modern approach to wellness, and forward-thinking policies that lead to the company being named a Built In Colorado Best Places To Work in 2021. This case study explores the key elements of building a thriving team culture and how Cloud Campaign motivates its tight-knit team.
With an office in Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Oregon, Cloud Campaign has planted roots in two tech-focused cities with the hope of growth and tapping into tech talent pools in those respected areas. However, what will make their growth possible and enduring can be found at the heart of their team culture.
BWB interviewed Cloud Campaign’s HR Manager, Anya Keshishian, to learn how her team prioritizes culture in a hybrid working environment. Sharing her own experience of why she decided to join Cloud Campaign, Keshishian says “being able to have honest conversations with my team and feel like I was heard and listened to was so significant; I felt that deeply.”
Adding that she had the realization she only wanted to work for Cloud Campaign (and not other companies) the day before receiving a full-time opportunity, she says, “it was very candescent, and felt like I was meant to recognize that before I got the offer.” Keshishian explained that the only reason she felt safe and comfortable accepting her offer was because she had already spent time with the team and felt confident that she could ask questions or ask for support when she needed to.
Digging deeper, we asked Keshishian to elaborate on how her team approaches culture, and without hesitating she answered that Cloud Campaign’s values are at the navigation helm of the ship, “I see our values all the time in action, and I'm reminded how valuable they are constantly.” Cloud Campaign’s founding values are to maintain a learner's mindset, default to transparency, to provide an amazing experience, balance over burnout, and the most recent addition of ‘one team, one mission.’ Keshishian continues,
[Our values] are a part of every single decision we make within the company. I truly believe that one of the most significant pieces of building a strong culture is that we actually use our values every single day, in every conversation, whether we realize it or not. It's become an integral part of our culture.”
One example of Cloud Campaign’s values in action is their quarterly Townhall meetings. The entire team is invited to come together to listen to any and all feedback the leadership team may have, from where the company is headed to financial transparency and runway. “It’s a vulnerable position for any company to be in,” Keshishian stresses, “but they have created an opportunity for all of us where there’s space for people to ask questions, whether it's high level or deeper.”
For Born and Keshishian, developing a sustainable and exciting team culture often involves planning around hybrid work. While they used to host in-person events twice a month in Boulder and Portland, the commitment was too high for employees. They found that there was actually a higher participation rate when events were scaled back to once a month.
“There is always an iteration, and things do not have to stay the same way if they are not working. We're looking for the way that works best for everybody,” Keshishian explains. Noting that they recently hired several more remote employees, she adds that they are now putting more of a focus on remote culture as well. They have kicked off virtual events every other month, and at the end of May, they are hosting a virtual baby picture gaming event.
“People remember these events and feel like [they're] connecting with each other on a personal level, and that’s important,” Keshishian says. As a cherry on top of monthly and virtual events, Cloud Campaign also hosts an all-team annual retreat. The retreat used to focus more on improving process and discussing the direction the company was headed, but Keshishian says they found greater success in simply planning “things to eat and things to do for fun, and that feels good to people. It’s about having something to look forward to and getting the team to connect.”
When asked what fostering a wellness-focused culture looks like outside of fun team events, Keshishian shares that this is where the value of balance over burnout comes into play. With this, candid conversations about mental health have been a tool for team members to feel supported and heard. Cloud Campaign’s leadership leans into a learner’s mindset on how mental health issues can present differently for different people. Keshishian reiterates that for Cloud Campaign, building trust with your team involves developing a communication style where all parties can be fully open and honest with one another.
She clarifies, “balance means that for the parents on our team, go pick up your kids from school or take them to soccer practice. It means you can take your pet to the vet, go to the doctor, get a haircut, or pick up your prescription. These are are normal life things we all have to do, and it’s not realistic to schedule everything on the weekend all the time.”
Emphasizing that if you are showing up and an active part of the team, there is no reason for anyone to question what someone is doing or why an employee wants to take time away from work. This level of trust that has helped maintain high job satisfaction and retention on the Cloud Campaign team. Keshishian adds,
Building trust with your team is showing your employees that they actually matter enough for you to be honest with them. The ongoing message that balance is okay creates a psychological safety where people can feel comfortable, have normal human feelings and responsibilities, and know that they don't have to choose between their lives and their jobs. The safety that creates is a supremely important aspect of culture at Cloud Campaign.”
To conclude our conversation with Cloud Campaign, we asked what truly distinguishes them from other marketing tools out there on the market. Explaining that their pricing is structured in such a way that young agencies are able to scale their own business, as well as the vast array of features available within the platform, Keshishian says the product they have built has been a game-changer for their customers. Their robust customer service team also has ample business experience, providing helpful insights for clients to scale their companies and client base, giving their product a competitive edge.
What does the future hold for Cloud Campaign? “Boulder and Portland have well-established startup environments and tight-knit communities that will help us achieve the next stage of growth without the high costs of bigger tech cities,” says co-founder and CEO, Ryan Born. “We’ve had enormous success enabling the freelancer and agency market to expand and grow their businesses, and we want to continue to grow in that space,” he adds. As Cloud Campaign has created an outstanding culture that puts people and flexibility first, their approach serves as an inspiration for other organizations to follow.
Cloud Campaign's prioritization of work-life balance demonstrates that investing in people creates a positive, empowering work culture where employees feel valued and supported. By cultivating an environment where individuals can thrive both professionally and personally, it’s no surprise that Cloud Campaign has been a highly sought after place to work. The morale of this story of partnership and growth is that when you prioritize your employees' health and well-being, everyone wins.
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