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Purch’s Greg Mason On His Role As A Growth CEO

Overseeing a business that has quadrupled its revenue is no small task for any CEO, but especially when they oversee a publishing company like Purch CEO Greg Mason. He shares his secrets with Chief Executive.

And so that’s one area that we felt that we could differentiate. And that happened to also bridge to the other side of our model, which was aligned with another trend that we felt was really, really important. And that’s this idea that the ad market is forever changed. And we’re in an environment now where for which marketers, they have to see a definitive return on investment from their spending marketing dollars…They have different metrics now that they’re evaluating the return on investment from those expenditures. And so we have very much leaned into the idea that all marketing is performance marketing. And because our content attracts people with purchasing intent, it creates a nice connection towards the business model side of our model, the marketer side of the model, because we’re able to place our marketing partners’ messaging in environments where they have a much stronger likelihood of seeing a sales outcome of some form.

And so in effect, we’re both addressing what we think are fundamental trends in the marketplace while creating a really nice, tight connection between both sides of our business model. Those things that we do to satisfy users combined with those things that we do to satisfy marketers.

Your company has grown so significantly in your time there. How do you manage that growth from a people perspective?

Greg: The efforts we’ve undergone over the years to establish our culture from sort of just a business perspective, there’s more dimensions to culture development than just our operating approach to the marketplace. I mean, that’s a part of our culture. It helps define our culture, but we also have a whole series of values that we foster and that is a part of everything that we do in a company starting with new employee onboarding. We have obviously a program that we put new employees through, a part of which is designed to help them understand what our values are, how that is an important ingredient to our overall DNA as a company and how we really don’t tolerate any deviation whatsoever from the values that we’ve put in place. And our lead value is growth with integrity and that value is not…and sometimes the first reaction to that value is, “Oh, you mean revenue, growth of integrity?”

It’s actually totally focused on growth of our value proposition for our two customer constituencies and that’s where it all starts. And then we have several other values that complement that.

But we also have some anti-values. So, for example, we have a series of very clear statements that we make that we constantly reinforce. As I said, not only just from the onboarding process, but also through ongoing communication, through our regular town halls, our regular meetings. Those kinds of things. Like, so for example, one of those is we have a no asshole rule, right? And we have fun with it. It’s like we just don’t tolerate assholes.

So, there’s a lot of that sort of cultural fabric that we’ve developed. And you’re always trying to build from that. You’re always trying to both reinforce but also build on your culture. And so we’ve been very thoughtful and we’ve worked hard at that over the last several years.

The other thing though I would say is that the great part of managing growth is that it provides a lot of new opportunities for your existing team. So, I like to say a lot that growth is fuel. And if you’ve ever been in a growth environment and you’ve contrasted it with being in a flat or declining environment, you know what I mean by that term. You simply have a lot more opportunity, regardless of your level in the organization if you’re in a growth environment then if you’re in a flat. And chances are if you’re in a flat environment, it’s probably on the cusp of declining.

I mean, that’s also been my experience, and so you just have fewer opportunities. So, that’s the good part of it. That other side of it though that I think is really interesting, and I really noticed this when we started getting closer to 100 million in revenue, was that I think businesses reach natural talent inflection points where you have to start thinking very differently about the kind of count you need to manage…And so from that point, that’s when you have to be… I think as a CEO, there’s a lot of maturities involved and a lot of honesty with yourself, recognizing that you as a CEO probably need a lot more help running the business and the business itself almost assuredly needs a lot more sort of sophistication in different areas to manage the next level of growth.

Read more: Q&A: Trusted Media Brands CEO Bonnie Kintzer On Leadership In Media Business



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