Aspire to Tech: Growth Marketing Manager at Kobalt Security

Career Spotlight – Liam Labistour

What is your role? What is your title? Where are you located? How long have you been doing it?   

I’m the growth marketing manager at Kobalt Security.  I oversee all our marketing initiatives and help with our marketing planning and road mapping.  These days I also help our sales team with web development and landing pages that they need.  I’ve been with the company for five months now.

What makes your job interesting?

I think marketing is interesting in general.  Every day’s a new day. When we do ads, we’re always looking at how we can revolutionize them by asking questions like; What new copy do we need to make? What are the new assets? How do we position our ads in a different way? How do we target new people?

The fun part about marketing is there’s always something new.  Working with the team is a very collaborative effort. You are constantly interacting with people so there’s a social element, without having to always be the face on the camera.  In marketing, you get to be the mastermind behind the scenes.

What is the most fun about your job?

I’m a very data driven, data-oriented person so being able to directly see outputs of your actions is always great for me. Being able to see how ad-spend is converted to leads and conversions is really interesting to me.

Marketing supports the entire organization.  It helps keep everyone on track to really be this engine that’s going to start propelling leads and start helping scale a business.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging thing about my role is being able to pivot.  There’s never a dull moment or a repetitive task you’re doing over and over again.  As time goes on, being able to adapt and respond to the next new global craze is crucial.  We look at Tik Tok and other social media and figure out how to respond to it.  We have to decide how to position this very traditional industry of security with something new like Tik Tok.  Adapting to that ever-changing world is the biggest challenge with marketing.

How does your role help drive the company’s success?

When I first got hired, the role was really about doing all the road mapping and strategy for marketing, with most of the onus being on lead acquisition.  Marketing is really the channel that drives the whole company forward.  We bring in the leads and hand them off to the sales team to close, which is how our revenue is generated.  On top of that, I also help with building all the landing pages.  We just did a complete web redesign with the intention of maximizing our sales funnel and ultimately achieving a higher conversion rate.

What does a typical day look like for you? What do you actually spend your time doing?

My Mondays and Tuesdays are usually meetings start to finish.  I like to try and set aside my Wednesday to Friday as working time.  A lot of time is spent looking at ads, trying to refresh your ad pages or reach out for new PR opportunities.  Working with the sales teams to figure out what kind of assets they need, whether that be landing pages, brochures, or content from marketing emails.  I spend time interacting with my team a lot because we are a startup and we are having to wear many hats. I make sure they have everything they need, and I support them anyway that I can.

Tell us about your career history?

I graduated five years ago with a double major in political science and philosophy from UBC.  At the time I had been working as an intern with a company called Build Direct.  I was doing a merchandising and category management assistance.  I started working for them full-time after university, but soon realized I had more of a knack for data and analytics, so I began working as a merchandising analyst on the marketing team.

After about a year, I jumped over to Lumen5, which is an AI driven video creator tool.  I started again as a marketing employee, managing their ads, but transitioned into a growth role, reporting analytics, and partnerships – anything that was acquisition or user facing.  From there, I jumped over to where I am right now with Kobalt Security helping to lead the marketing team.

What was your very first job and how did your career path take you to where you are today?

My very first job was working as a floor manager for Teavana, in park Royal and in West Vancouver selling teapots.  I don’t know if that necessarily led me on to the marketing route, but it taught me that I enjoyed the social element of sales and interacting with people.  I was alright at sales, but I didn’t love it.  I didn’t want to be on the salesfloor.

At the same time, I was starting to build up my own YouTube channel which ended up getting about 2 million subscribers at the peak of it.  I learned how to build my own brand outside of YouTube too.  From there, I pivoted more towards brand management, helping people build up their own YouTube brands and brand.  I was helping build up their subscribers, merchandising, booking events and guest appearances. It was my first real marketing experience and this when I fell in love with it.  I knew that’s what I wanted to do despite my philosophy major at the university.

What’s your next role? What motivates you for your future career? Will you stay in tech?

It’s definitely going to be in marketing. I love the startup space too.  It could be a more senior position at Kobalt Security, or something else in the future. I’m sure I’ll be in a startup or another fast-paced environment, wearing a lot of hats and stressing myself to death, but loving it all the same.  For me, its where I find joy, taking a company and helping them grow.

I think the tech sector is most likely where I’ll stay.  I’m a huge tech nerd so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where I still am in a few years.

Any final words of advice?

Don’t stress yourself out.  Especially for people who are coming right out of school. I think there’s a huge emphasis on figuring out what you want to do the second you get out of school.  It took me years of jumping around, playing with YouTube, starting merchandising, before eventually getting into marketing.  As cliche as it is, don’t be afraid to really chase a career that you love doing.  It’s going to be a much better fit if you like doing what you do for work.  You’re going to be a lot better at it, if you really are enjoying the work that you’re putting in.  Whether it be in a career path, or a specific industry, figure out what you love and start chasing it.