When I joined WordStream as President in June of 2017, I jumped in head first to what turned out to be the highest-energy environment I’ve ever worked in by far. I’m thrilled and grateful to be part of a team that’s so passionate, and I’ve been so impressed by our hundreds of smart, dedicated employees who come to the office every day with a mission to help our customers succeed. Our customers run an amazing variety of businesses, employing tens of thousands of people and delivering products and services all over the world.
This week, I’m excited to begin a new chapter with WordStream. I’m stepping into the role of CEO, where I’ll continue to oversee our day-to-day operations as well as building and leading the team that is driving continued rapid growth through 2018 and beyond. My friend and colleague Ralph Folz will move into the role of Executive Chairman, where his focus will increase on external relationships, partnerships, and growth by acquisition. I’ll also be joining the Board of Directors.
Introducing new hires at one of my first company meetings
2017 was a big year for WordStream. We landed on the Inc. 5000 for the fifth year in a row, the Boston Business Journal’s Top Places to Work list for the third year in a row, and were named one of the Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work for 2017. We were named the #1 highest rated search advertising software by G2 Crowd. We now have over 250 employees and power more than 10,000 advertisers and agencies globally.
Our track record of growth has been impressive, but we’re not slowing down now, and today I’d like to share with you some thoughts on our current challenges, opportunities, and my vision for the company this year and in the future.
My First Six Months
I have a customer-first philosophy, so when I joined WordStream in June, my first order of business was to spend lots of time with our customers. From jumping on sales and consulting calls, to hosting events in our office, to visiting our customers’ offices, to talking to customers who are unhappy or leaving WordStream, I’ve done it all.
A workshop from our customer insight roundtable in November
I have heard countless stories of how WordStream has helped to both grow and simplify our customers’ businesses. The proactive suggestions that the software provides, the simplicity of the user experience, and the talent and compassion of our customer success reps are consistent themes across these conversations.
But our job is not done. To build on this success we are actively working on innovating within our existing ability to advertise across multiple online advertising platforms including Google, Facebook, and Bing (for example, releasing Smart Ads to automate display ad creation), as well as developing brand new product lines and service offerings to meet an expanded set of growth opportunities for our customers (such as the newly released Facebook Ads Grader).
Smart Ads makes it easy to build great-looking display ads fast
There’s much more to come as we move through the year, so watch this space for more new features and product developments that you’ve asked for.
Our Most Critical Asset: Our People
One of my favorite parts of my job has been my mobile “office.” I’ve sat in several different desks already, spending time with teams across the company, and I like moving around as a way to get to know our people and the specifics of how each different team functions. You can’t build a great company without great people, and our people and culture are two of our most powerful assets.
We are growing rapidly, and this trajectory presents both challenges and opportunity. We need to scale the way every aspect of our business works to support our growth in the coming years. Two excellent opportunities arise for our employees – the ability to take on new projects and technologies, and the ability to take on new roles and responsibilities. This is one of the core purposes of the organization, to provide professional development for our talent so that they are continually learning and preparing for what’s next.
Accepting our award from the Boston Globe with WordStreamers from across all teams
If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, check out our careers page – we’re always looking for creative, driven people to join our engineering, product, sales, customer success, and marketing teams.
My Vision for the Future
The digital advertising market is incredibly dynamic, with market leaders such as Facebook and Google driving constant innovation as well as hundreds of tech companies striving to disrupt the industry. To stand out in a crowded, fast-paced space, we must constantly challenge ourselves to listen more closely to our customers so we can truly partner with them, leveraging emerging technology to ensure we deliver the simplest and most valuable solutions available to businesses and agencies of all sizes.
We’ll add dozens and dozens of new employees this year, who will bring new diversity of ideas, experiences and richness to WordStream – furthering our vision and accelerating our progress. One way we’re powering that effort is through our new partnership with Hack.Diversity in 2018. We’ll develop new ways of going to market, new products and services, and new geographies. Through it all we will focus on making sure we stay close our customers, use them as inspiration for all we do, and deliver ever increasing value to them.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far – we couldn’t do it without you. Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2018!