Performance Marketing Strategist
Karl advises our partner companies on their Marketing and Digital media strategies; he also provides due diligence support on potential investments.
Karl was most recently at Facebook in Marketing Science researching Digital Marketing strategies and Brand Building. Previously, he's held roles at Pinterest and Google--working on Analytics teams covering Retail, CPG, Travel and Financial Services clients. Prior to digital marketing, Karl worked in management consulting (PwC's Strategy&, DiamondCluster and Deloitte) focusing on IT, Growth and Customer Experience strategy projects. He also had a brief stint with the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and Pittsburgh Public School district redesigning K-12 education. Karl graduated with a BS in Decision Sciences and a MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
What have you learned from working with entrepreneurs?
Slowing down and focusing on your strengths. There's an infectious energy when you're around people who love what they do. And at the start of any creative project it's easy to get sucked in and go all types of different directions--but being conscious about taking time to step back and focus on the core needs of the team, product and customer can have a lot of value.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur who is trying to take their business to the next level?
Think about the next phase of your company's growth. Marketers and entrepreneurs are often relentlessly focused on executing their in-quarter plan. But think about what you'll be doing a year from now, two years--start to plan to that business. It'll identify the people, process and technology gaps you have the luxury of correcting early which will build the foundation for smarter future growth.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Probably a mix of "It's not what you get done, it's how" and "when people show you who they are: believe them" you spend a lot of time working; it's important to be in an environment that plays to your strengths and values. You're only one person and can only change the system you're in so much: make sure you pick a culture, team and environment that feels authentic to how you want to live and work.
What was the first job you had?
My first job in high school was at a out-bound call-center; I lasted six hours. Fortunately, next door there was a Baskin Robbins. I scooped 31 flavors and made birthday cakes for three years. I still have the sweet tooth, love of a peanut butter ribbon and am a certified cake decorator.
What attracted you to TSG?
TSG operates at a unique intersection of several of my professional interests: CPG/Retail, Brand Building, Entrepreneurship and Customer Experience. They have a differentiated focus on growth investments in emergent brands that emphasize a premium customer experience. A mentor actually highlighted the firm. He asked me what would be my ideal job and I said building a fun consumer brand like Vitamin Water. He pointed me in TSG's direction--Vitamin Water is one of their portfolio companies.
What attracted you to the business of brand building?
Brands inspire and delight consumers. Most people believe their top personal brands stand for something that they deeply value. Developing and nurturing brands is fun, there's real world tangible impact and it's a very fast moving vertical. Brand building requires a unique blend of creative arts and analytical sciences--two of my personal passion areas.