This week, Rose went on the record with Ari Ratner, the marketing director at Perfect Sense. For the last 18 months, Ari has led Perfect Sense's marketing efforts, working to increase awareness and highlight the values of Brightspot. Prior to coming to Perfect Sense, Ari worked in various roles across consumer marketing, including managing Chobani's U.S. Olympic campaigns as well as leading marketing for Under Armour accessories. Ari spent the first part of his career trying to start a business magazine aimed at young professionals. Rose and Ari spoke about these past experiences, as well as his work at Perfect Sense.
How long have you been working at Perfect Sense? What brought you here?
I've been at Perfect Sense just over a year and a half. I joined after 10 years of working in consumer marketing. I wanted to challenge myself by changing industries and focus on B2B marketing in order to expand my expertise.
Tell me about Perfect Sense's marketing strategy and your role on the team?
Marketing for Perfect Sense is unique because we have to talk about both the company and our product. A lot of our focus is on driving awareness of Brightspot, showcasing the value that Brightspot brings to it's customers, and clarifying how we differentiate from other products in market. This effort involves aligning on our communication pillars, working closely with sales to identify the right accounts to sell to, and buliding ways to communicate how are we different from the rest of the market. In terms of marketing Perfect Sense, it's wrapping the services side of the business around the platform.
How do you think Brightspot stands out among other platform?
I think the key differentiators for Brightspot include our ability to get companies up and running faster; our ability to connect to existing systems; and our innovation, the way Hyoo and the team built the product so it can extend into many different areas besides being a core CMS. In terms of Perfect Sense, our services stand apart. We do not leave until the customer is happy and we stand in their shoes to understand their business and how our technology can help them achieve their objectives.
What inspired you to pursue a career in marketing?
When I graduated from The Ohio State University, I tried to start my own magazine aimed at helping the next generation of business leaders. I spent 3 years trying get it off the ground. When that didn't work out, I got a job at a digital entertainment company in Herndon, where I learned about a graduate school at VCU called the Brandcenter. It spoke to me in a way that school never did. I went there for two years, got my degree in creative brand management, and that was the driver to get me to where I am in my career.
During and right after college, you created your own magazine called PRO$PECTS. Can you tell me more about the magazine and your experience starting it from scratch?
PRO$PECTS was aimed at providing information to young professionals who were unsure of what they wanted to do with their careers. Articles were written in a blue print fashion. Looking at successful enterepreneurs like Mark Cuban and Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, we tried to show how they achieved their success. At the time, most business magazines focused on the new economy and the content was driven around multi-million dollar deals that young professionals couldn't relate to, so I felt there was a hole in the market. It was a really vaulable experience. I got to meet with The Washington Post and Business Week. Although, it didn't work out, it was the best education I ever got.
When you worked at Chobani, you were able to attend the Olmypics in 2012. What was the highlight of those Games?
My highlight of the Olympics actually came before the Games even started, helping bring Chobani's marketing campaign to life. As the team lead at Chobani overseeing the US team relationship, I managed everything from soup to nuts, negotiated the contract, identified the athletes we wanted to sponsor, and worked closely with the agencies to bring our campaign to life. Chobani treated my wife and me to the Games. We traveled to London and got to see many of the Chobani atheltes compete. Considering the world we live in today, the Olympics is the one event that brings everyone together. It was special to see how Chobani helped athletes as they pursed their dreams.
Besides the people, what is your favorite part working at Perfect Sense?
Besides the people, It's the opportunity we have as a company. Considering the customers we work with and the industry we play in, we have a great opportunity to continue to grow the business on an annual basis. The idea that I can be part of growing a company from $30 million to $100+ million in annual revenue is very exciting.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of the office?
I am a proud father of two young boys. I have 3 year old, Kaz, and 5 year old, Sy. Outside of watching football and cheering for my teams, Ohio State and the New York Giants, I just love spending time with my family.
If you could have any super power, which would you like to have?
I would like to go back in time. While I don't have any regrets, and knowing what I know now, I could have made different decisions that could impact people and their future. I also would want to meet family members who passed away before I was born.
What was the last movie you saw? Would you recommend it?
Cars 3. I would recommend it if you like animated movies. It wasn't as good as the first Cars, but my kids had a blast!