9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About our CMO

Marketing pro Paul Kontonis was quizzed by MediaSpoon about his role as Chief Marketing Officer for influence marketer WHOSAY, as well as the learnings he’s gained from his prior experience in the ever-evolving media and marketing industries. Here’s him in his own words:

1. He thinks WHOSAY is well known in the industry, which is both good and bad. Here's why:

“[WHOSAY] pivoted from a celebrity media company to a full-service influence marketer in the last few years and many people only recognize our legacy business so our marketing and communications have to make it through to people who already think they know what we do but chances are they do not.”

2. One of the most important lessons he’s learned from his experience in marketing is:

“My first job out of college was as a pharmaceutical representative [...] basically a sales job. Most people think that salespeople are good talkers that are quick on their feet and convincing. The reality is the best salespeople are the best listeners. If you actually listen to what your prospective customer is telling you instead of thinking what you will say next, you will understand their needs.”

3. This is the most challenging part of his job:

To engage customers beyond basic acknowledgment. “Our story has evolved and I strove to a portion of our story at every brand touchpoint. Whether is content that we create about ourselves, industry events we attend or through ourselves or in presentations, our brand messaging and positioning has to be consistent.”

4. His secret life hack is: 

Never stop asking questions. “I have accomplished a lot in my career and I still think I am a student of marketing. I learn from my peers and those that are just learning. I learn from hands-on in the weeds doing and from high level, blue sky thinking [...] Just because I am a B2B marketer doesn’t mean I can’t learn from a CPG marketer.

5. His secret passion?

Soccer! “I am a youth soccer coach at one of the biggest US Soccer Development Academies in the US, Blau Weiss Gottschee [...] Developing soccer players has been a great learning experience for me and has helped me in the management style. I see my marketing team as a soccer team.”

6. What advice he'd give to young marketing professionals:

“Be a resource for the people around you. That way you start to identify your own network of cohorts that you can grow with and make inroads into the industry. My business friends and I all started off at the bottom and now many of them are at the highest levels of the industry. We still share information with each other and are always there to lend a hand.”

7. What he thinks is the unique part about WHOSAY:

“WHOSAY was built by the leaders of entertainment, technology and advertising – CAA, Amazon, Comcast Ventures, Tencent and Greylock. The pedigree of our partners means that we operate with a high degree of certainty and commitment.”

8. His favorite quote is:

Nobody mourns a robot. “It is a quote about the use of drones in warfare I read in The Economist many many years ago. I like it because it can be applied to so many things, especially people. Finding your own style and voice in everything you do is extremely important. Being robotic is not the way to go for me.”

9. If he created a tagline for the Internet:

“All things for all people at all times.”