Leading global marketing, firing up food startups, and combining work and life – Unstuck in February!

After a brief hibernation for January, the Unstuck podcast came back with a bang this month! The objective of Unstuck is to remove everyday barriers to success for marketers and creatives. We attempt to do this by sharing practical anecdotes from creative thinkers, marketing scholars, thriving entrepreneurs, and inspiring artists. What did success look like for our guests? How did they overcome obstacles along the way? What did they learn on their journey?

During February, three compelling business leaders joined Clive Sirkin to impart their invaluable experience to listeners. We met a veteran CMO that led marketing for a revolutionary online business in the pre digital age. This was followed by an entrepreneurial strategist who is providing unimagined opportunities for aspiring food businesses. Lastly, we concluded an enlightening month on the podcast with a personal tale of nature getting in the way of a career.

‘Sales overnight, brand over time’

EP39 with Mike Linton, Former CMO at eBay, Best Buy

Why do companies keep tackling the same problems over and over? This question was posed to 5-time CMO, Mike Linton. According to the former eBay exec, it’s often down to problems communicating their value proposition. Having led several global organisations, Mike has seen marketers frequently scramble to overhaul every element of the marketing mix. “Many companies think they need ‘better marketing’ but the true problem usually lies within the value proposition or competitive set” says Mike. He explains to listeners how marketers often blame themselves or their agency partners when results disappoint. Again, Mike reminds us that the answer lies with your customer, “you’ve got to go to the consumer in the marketplace and find out why they’re not buying your product.”

In this episode of Unstuck, we get to hear from a marketer that has seen it all. Mike Linton led an online business before most of us owned a laptop. He introduced reward schemes for one of the biggest retailers in the world. On that note, how does Mike stay ahead of the game? Firstly, he believes that a CMO’s job is like managing a professional sports team. In progressing that metaphor, Mike describes the marketers within the building as your ‘most passionate fans’. Marketing leaders must always bring their team along for the ride. If they don’t believe in what you’re doing, then how can you influence someone who knows you to a lesser extent?

Tune in to EP39 with Mike Linton to hear more pearls of wisdom from a renowned CMO. Furthermore, you’ll find out about his famous marketing martini metaphor. It made quite a stir in the late 2000s (sorry).

‘Entrepreneurship First’

EP40 – Natalie Shmulik, Chief Strategy Officer at The Hatchery

Our second spring guest of 2023 is a culinary aficionada that helped build an academy and production space for budding food businesses. The Hatchery is a non-profit incubator for food entrepreneurs in Chicago that gives startups a chance to cook their creations at scale. East Garfield, West Chicago is an underserved and under invested community that often gets a bad rap. Natalie Shmulik wanted to open doorways for people that don’t usually have realistic opportunities to develop their dreams. For this reason, they settled in West Chicago for The Hatchery’s inaugural setting. “So many people in the west side have great ideas. They have nowhere to grow them though” argues Natalie. “It’s all about providing access. Rooted in the belief that innovation must create generational change.”

In this episode, Natalie describes the day-to-day operations of The Hatchery. In addition to a safe space for cooking, it’s also a dynamic business academy. Among their esteemed mentors is celebrity chef Rick Bayless. Young students can learn both knife skills and soft skills from one of the best in the business. However, kitchen competencies are not the most important aspect of The Hatchery’s function, according to Natalie. “It’s about entrepreneurship first, and ideas second” she says. This means Natalie prioritizes business skills and effective entrepreneurship ahead of the output from the production line. Tune in below to find out why workforce development is so important for The Hatchery and the community of West Chicago.

‘Parenting Paranoia’

EP41 – Katie Moran, Regional Lead EMEA at Kimberly-Clark

Our final guest in February is a dynamic marketer that made a successful shift from integrated marketing to a client focused role. Katie Moran’s career was on a continuous upward trajectory as she navigated through senior agency roles and eventually into a director position at Kimberly-Clark. However, a natural curveball presented Katie with her greatest career challenge to date. While making the transition into a new position with ease, the evolution into motherhood proved more challenging for Katie. The self-diagnosed workaholic now had to juggle a demanding job with a much more important role.

She describes an inflection point to listeners where she realised that she had created a “recipe for failure”. On one hand, she was still trying to be the workaholic high achiever at work. This was competing with a higher aim of being a good mother. Initially, Katie fought hard on both fronts to make both sides work but the situation was untenable. Something had to change!

In a personal recount of her story, Katie explains how opening up with colleagues empowered her. Previously, she feared telling her co workers about challenges relating to parenting. Katie would rush out to collect her kids from school in the hope that no one would notice she was out of the office. Furthermore, she would work overtime to minimize the impact of her children on her work. Once she confided with colleagues about her struggles, she found it many others were in the same predicament. Tune in below to find out how Katie and her team found a new formula for work that doesn’t make you choose between a highly achieving career and a happy family!

What does Creative Operations look like in 2023?

Blog - What does Creative Ops look like - LP - Blue

Project management and resource management tools were the most popular solutions when we last surveyed the creative operations industry. The year was 2021 and the pandemic was still top-of-mind. In the same survey, we learned that half our respondents had implemented new software that year to help manage creative work. Maybe that was related to the 66% of creatives that revealed workloads were on the rise?

After a brief hiatus for 2022, the State of Creative Operations survey is back. This year’s report will pull pack the curtain on the creative workspace and find out what makes teams tick in 2023. On that note, it’s time to see what the post COVID creative operations industry looks like.

What is the industry outlook?

We want to know what the creative landscape looks in 2023. Did your team hire new staff in 2022? Or did your team downsize? Additionally, we will plot the course for the year ahead looking at hiring plans, freelancer usage, and offshoring regularity. Rumours of recession and downsizing have afflicted the creative operations discourse for the last 12 months. However, we are seeing positive signs from the market too. So, is it time for creatives to tighten the belt or loosen the screw?

How are creatives working in 2023?

How much time do creatives still spend on non-creative work? We’ll be answering this question to see whether respondents have found ways to prioritise their creative efforts since our last survey. For example in 2021, 25% of creatives spent more than 2 days per week on non-creative work. That’s more than 40% of the working week dedicated to tasks that do not help creative output.

What’s more, we’ll also be examining creative stimulants, most common challenges, contemporary workspaces, and more. Find out what how creative work is produced in 2023, what helps it flourish, and what can inhibit it.

What are the most common communication practices?

The State of Creative Operations in 2023 will examine how creative teams are communicating, sharing ideas, submitting briefs, and collaborating with partners. Are creatives still using the same communication channels as before? What’s the most common form of receiving a brief?

Furthermore, we will find out if collaboration is easier or more difficult in 2023. We found that many creative teams struggled in 2021 to communicate effectively while working remotely. Has the creative world fully adapted to remote collaboration?

What technologies are creatives reliant on?

The creative tech stack is continually evolving as the industry embraces automation and systemic processes. On that note, we will find out what technologies are essential for creative teams in 2023. Is work management software now ubiquitous? Do any creatives still depend on old school Excel and Email methods? Lastly, we are very interested to see whether AI has become a part of the creative toolkit in 2023.

How do I take the Creative Operations survey?

The survey is now open for submissions. Respondents will get early access to the report and kept informed about upcoming analysis. It only takes 5 minutes to complete the survey so why not join the #CreativeOps2023 discussion?

The #1 Resource Management Solution on G2

The #1 Resource Management Software


With 20 years’ experience in the creative world, Screendragon stands out as the solution of choice for many leading global agencies and pioneering independent agencies.

Screendragon’s resource management capabilities are wide-ranging and transformational. Clients love our drag ‘n’ drop scheduling, real time resource calendar, AI assisted talent management, project pipeline and capacity planning, and powerful resourcing analytics and reports.

The Most Recommended Software

Screendragon holds the exclusive ‘Most Likely to Recommend’ award for the Professional Services Automation category on G2. (mention competitors)

Ease of use, meeting requirements, and quality of support are key components of the award winning Screendragon solution. As you will see in the grid, Screendragon is a software and service that is valued by clients. Our NPS score of 9.5 is the joint highest in the market!

Artboard 1 copy 6@4x

All in One Place

We simplify operations. Screendragon displaces disparate and siloed systems with one centralised tool to manage your work.

Our passion for design, client first approach, easy implementation, and cutting-edge technology are transforming agency operations  and our clients love us for it! Why not find out why we're the #1 Resource Management solution and #1 for Professional Services?

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Trusted by some of the biggest brands and agencies

Client Logos (Brands + Agencies)
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Book a Demo 👇

The #1 Resource Management Solution for Agencies

The #1 Resource Management Software


With 20 years’ experience in the creative world, Screendragon stands out as the solution of choice for many leading global agencies and pioneering independent agencies.

Screendragon’s resource management capabilities are wide-ranging and transformational. Agencies love our drag ‘n’ drop scheduling, real time resource calendar, AI assisted talent management, project pipeline and capacity planning, and powerful resourcing analytics and reports.

The Most Recommended Software

Screendragon holds the exclusive ‘Most Likely to Recommend’ award for the Professional Services Automation category on G2. (mention competitors)

Ease of use, meeting requirements, and quality of support are key components of the award winning Screendragon solution. As you will see in the grid, Screendragon is a software and service that is valued by clients. Our NPS score of 9.5 is the joint highest in the market!

Artboard 1 copy 6@4x

All in One Place

We simplify operations. Screendragon displaces disparate and siloed systems with one centralised tool to manage your work.

Our passion for design, client first approach, easy implementation, and cutting-edge technology are transforming agency operations  and our clients love us for it! Why not find out why we're the #1 Resource Management solution and #1 for Professional Services?

Artboard 1 copy 6@4x

Trusted by some of the biggest brands and agencies

G2 Lockup

Book a Demo

Unstuck: Top Five Tips for 2023

It’s been a memorable first year for the Unstuck podcast! More than 4,000 people tuned in across 21 countries. Broadcasting to our 4,000 strong community were 38 marvellous guests. They generously shared their experiences and offered invaluable advice. We had entrepreneurs, CMOs, agency leaders, sports stars, food buffs and more. To help compile the top takeaways from our first group of guests, we’ve produced our top tips for 2023. We reviewed every episode, identified the most important messages, and found five core ideas that stood out.

1 – Start with insights

Being marketers, we often focus a lot of effort and headspace on delivering content as fast as we can. The market is demanding and the number of channels to reach them is constantly increasing. However, before we strategise about creative concepts, content types, and channels, we need to study the data. Dr Marcus Collins (our Hip Hop Doctor!) reminded us that every story starts with data and being aware of its significance. The doctor determines that “It begins with insights, what are insights? Insights are converting facts into meaning.”

In order to create expressive content and campaigns we need to be able to translate our insights into meaningful information. Simon Francis, CEO of Flock, felt that the best method of data analysis was to ‘hunt the edges’. This meant looking at the ‘edges’ of datasets, in the areas you don’t usually explore. By discovering and analysing new data you can open a world of opportunity for different journeys. Of course, it’s critically important that you know how to interpret the information once you find it. In the words of Emma Montgomery, CEO at Leo Burnett, “When I was doing deep analysis for media and research I would ask ‘What do the numbers tell me?’ rather than ‘What are the numbers?’” So, when you’re developing your marketing strategy and content plans for 2023, make sure you begin with exploring and understanding the data!

2 – Pivot and Reinvent

Regular listeners will be very aware of the importance of being able to pivot. Our third guest on Unstuck was Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision. Gamers will be familiar with Amanda’s company as they once developed video games on CD-ROMs. When the CD-ROM business died, Jellyvision had to completely reinvent itself as a B2B tech agency. In Amanda’s words “pivoting is life or death.” She reminded listeners how important culture is within the transformation process. Sarah Hofstetter, President at Profitero, described this process as ‘selective destruction.’ Companies often iterate in minor increments, but Amanda and Sarah believe this is too risk averse. Sometimes we need to pick out areas that are not performing and rewrite the rules. So don’t be afraid to rip it all up in 2023 and start again!

Emma Montgomery was also an advocate of reinvention. She insisted it’s more risky to stay on the same course than chart a new one. “Getting stuck isn’t always a bad thing. When you get stuck – ask why? We’re not growing – why?.”

It’s critically important for your company to be able to pivot and reinvent. However, it’s just as important that you can develop your own personal story too. In the words of Sarah Hofstetter “don’t be afraid to pivot or completely change course in your working life. You need different chapters.” The enlightened Rishad Tobaccowala had a similar idea “remember your career is long. Try to make sure you don’t get stuck for too long. Constantly reinvent yourself by doing new things.” On this note, why not make 2023 the year you revise your company, marketing, or personal playbook?

3 – Keep compassion at the core

When it comes to talent management, the first component is compassion. Before tuning up resource management, skills profiling, and job matching, you need to make your team feel important and appreciated. Beth Ann Kaminkow, Global Chief Executive Officer of VMLY&R Commerce, summed this idea up for listeners, “My secret ingredient for unlocking talent is ‘loverage.’ I’ve always led with love. That means every transformation comes from a place of love.”

Trish Thomas and Nichole Wilson became our first repeat guests on the podcast. They came back to tell us the story of Every Body Eat and why the name is so significant. Humanity and compassion are at the core of the company’s culture. Trish and Nichole have used their food enterprise as an engine to give opportunity and education to disadvantaged areas. Furthermore, their compassion extends to providing second chances to people that may not get them elsewhere. Trish proudly stated, “At Every Body Eat, your past does not dictate your future with us.” Every Body Eat provide a job, life hacks, and growth opportunities for their devoted team.

Once they became business owners, Trish and Nichole could “see the systems and processes that hold inequities in place, and dismantle them from our side.” Another guest that is breaking down barriers to lift people up is Samantha Kolkey. She is the Executive Director at Options for College Success. Samantha is a neuro diverse leader that is leading an entirely neuro diverse organisation. Compassion drives understanding about neuro diversities and unique talents. “The neurodiverse model focuses on there not being a right way of thinking. We must remember that everyone is wired differently. There’s vulnerability to the term neuro divergence. However, when you say it as a matter of fact, it’s accepted.”

4 – Purpose begins within

We often hear of the importance of purpose-driven marketing. Brands that practice purpose driven marketing are those that openly put core values at the forefront. But how can you create content and campaigns that are captivating if your own work is lacking purpose? The purpose driven philosophy begins within the walls of the office (or virtual space). We need to be able to find purpose at work and feel connected to our endeavors. Rishad Tobaccowala shared a thoughtful message with listeners. “Life is a journey through time in search of meaning. Therefore, you need to find meaning at work.”

This narrative continued when we were introduced to a C-suite exec from Atlanta. Craig Robinson reminded us that we need to make an impact through our work. Fulfillment comes from belonging and we are all compelled to leave our stamp. He passionately remarked, “If I’m not here tomorrow, did I make a difference? Did I leave a mark on a corporation? Does my employer care about me? What was my purpose?”

5 – Don’t accept the odds

The final lesson of Unstuck in 2022 is an important one. Do not accept that you’re not good enough, or the right fit, or not from the ideal background. Several of our inspiring guests defeated the odds to be where they are today. We learned about poverty, societal chains, dangerous environments, and life threatening illness. All of these adversities were overcome by Unstuck guests which reminds us that anything is possible.

We mentioned Craig Robinson in our previous section. Craig climbed to the top of the real estate ladder against the odds. Growing up in a disadvantaged Atlanta neighbourhood it was unlikely he would break out of societal shackles. He went on to graduate from Harvard and became a successful C-level executive. Another inspiring Harvard graduate was introduced in episode 37. Mawi Asgedom’s first education was a refugee camp in Sudan. Who would have thought that this war displaced asylum seeker would give a commencement speech at Harvard? Our Unstuck guests overcame life threatening circumstances too. Gina Jacobson was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer four years ago. She beat the odds and the doctor’s diagnoses to be here today. Gina leads Starcom Worldwide and continues to create special work while defying expectations.

Hey presto, we’ve concluded the Unstuck 2022 recap and shared our most important tips from guests. We hope you’ve learned as much as we have this year. Please come back and join us in 2023 for more inspiring stories and practical advice!

UnstuckWrapped 2022

Courage, Originality, and Diversity – Our Unstuck Highlights for November

November on Unstuck concluded with a neurodiversity expert which was a fitting end to an incredibly diverse range of guests and topics this month. We had e-commerce experts, start-up success, a punk rock legend, a tasty home cooking adventure, and a special leader that has broken down barriers to achieve her position.

On episode 31 and 33, we heard about thriving start-up ventures. Interestingly, they followed very different paths to success. Chris and Oskar were established leaders in the e-commerce space before they decided to go their own way. David Rabie took a different route. He developed his company using knowledge collected in the classroom in addition to experiences in the field. These great episodes were sandwiched in between two wonderful minds on episode 32 and 34. Jon and Samantha have led very different lives but are not afraid to be true to oneself. Here are the main themes and topics we discussed on Unstuck in November!

EP31 – First Mover Advantage

Chris Perry and Oskar Kaszubski (Co-Founders at firstmovr)

Chris and Oskar are the founders of firstmovr, an e-commerce ‘satellite of excellence’. Moving quickly and not getting stuck are the fundamental principles of this duo’s consultancy plug in. Like any fast movers, Chris and Oskar are ‘pioneers, troublemakers, and disruptors’. Through their hands on advisory practice they’re forcing companies to confront reality in the e-commerce space. People understand that digital commerce is here to stay, but according to Chris “Companies struggle to find the purpose and see the change that is on the horizon, ”this can have a negative impact on all forms of marketing “CPGs are often built in a siloed way. It’s then difficult to tell an end-to-end story holistically.”

firstmovr work with more than sixty CPG companies to help them understand e-commerce better and stay on top of trends. Through close collaboration with clients, they are building playbooks that are current but agile. Understanding how offline experiences influence online sales is one of the first lessons. Oskar sums up how this misunderstanding can deliver false insights “price architecture may indicate e-commerce is failing, but what about other interactions?” Chris and Oskar have ‘8 levers for change’ that they use to get buy in from leadership and deliver results. Find out what these levers are and get your firm e-commerce ready by listening to Chris and Oskar below!

Unstuck - Social - Quote - EP33 - Chris & Oscar

EP 32 – Awareness of Sounds

Jon Langford (Artist, Designer, Musician at The Mekons, The Three Johns and more)

Our second guest in November was a shining symbol of the Unstuck philosophy. Most people will know Jon Langford through his iconic punk band, The Mekons. Formed in the 1970s, the iconic British rockers are one of the longest running punk rock groups. Not bad for a group of musicians that apparently ‘couldn’t play their instruments’ in the early days.

The Mekons are in their sixth decade of gigging and Jon attributes their endurance to originality. He explains how record labels and the music press gave them a hard time, but they never changed who they were. As Jon says, “The best times were when the band were fully in charge of what they were doing”. The rock icon firmly believes that the band would not have lasted so long if their first record was a success. Setbacks merely inspired them to keep going and they always stayed true to the Mekons brand.

In addition to an outstanding music career, Jon has forged more creative paths. The second half of Jon’s career has touched other forms of art such as painting, graphic design, and fashion. Jon believes that art and music are closely aligned when it comes to original thinking, “People are afraid to declare something as good until a superior validates it.”. He has incorporated guerrilla marketing tactics to help promote his art career. In the marketing world, his approach would likely fall under ‘direct marketing’ tactics. Hear more about Jon’s approach to marketing and get a view into a rocker’s world in this melodic episode!

Unstuck EP34 - Social - Quote - Jon Langford

EP 33 – QR Cooking

David Rabie (Co-Founder & CEO at Tovala)

We were introduced to a mouth-watering growth story on episode 33 of Unstuck. Dave Rabie took a winding road to get to where is today. He taught English in China, managed a frozen yoghurt chain, and worked in a PR firm. While Dave wasn’t always sure where he was heading, he was always aware of his two passions – business and food. At Booth Business School in Chicago he realised he could have a career that combined both.

Technology wasn’t Dave’s strong point but he developed those skills while developing an app during his studies. This was the final piece of the puzzle for Dave’s business idea. Like many people that work outside the home, he was struggling to find time to cook a decent meal in the evening. He realised he could tackle this problem with his experience in the food industry, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his new found tech skills. At this point, we’re introduced to his impressive food delivery and home cooking solution, Tovala!

Tovala delivers fresh ingredients to your home but also cooks the ingredients for you! Using the Tovala smart oven (a prerequisite for the food delivery service) and a QR code you can prepare a home cooked meal with no effort. Due to the sophisticated nature of the product, it was difficult for Tovala to find market fit. However, once the food service realized their positioning the sales numbers exploded. At one point in 2019, the company was growing 10% – 20% every week! Tovala now employs more than 130 people and Dave has needed to become a leader in addition to an entrepreneur. Tune in below to hear how Dave and Tovala combined software, hardware, and knowledge in this appetizing adventure!

Unstuck EP35 - Social - Quote - David Rabie

EP 34 – Divergent Thinking

Samantha Kolkey, LCSW (Executive Director at Options for College Success)

Samantha Kolkey is a leader that doesn’t fit your typical manager profile. She overcame the odds to combine an Executive position and a neurodiverse disposition. It was an agonising path for Samantha to get to where she is today. At school, she found learning and homework very difficult. Everything seemed more challenging and enduring than it should have been. Samantha also experienced difficulty interacting socially and being herself in social circles. Naturally, this resulted in stress and anxiety for the teenage Samantha. This meant that her schooldays were a long arduous slog. Her parents brought her to various consultants and medical experts to see if they could help. Different doctors delivered varying conclusions – anxiety, depression, bipolar. None of these diagnoses resonated with Samantha. As a result, no relief was found.

Things improved once Samantha left school and attended college. She felt like she “came in with a blank slate” and that people were “more accepting”. It wasn’t long before she fell into destructive practices again. Samantha reverted to people pleasing and masking her unique personality traits. It wasn’t until grad school that she received a diagnosis for ADHD and finally “things made sense”. The diagnosis was liberating and enabled Samantha to be herself and learn more about neurodiversity. As she says “the neurodiversity model focuses on there not being a right way of thinking. Everyone is wired differently.”

Samantha is now leading an entirely neurodiverse team at Options for College Success. As a neurodivergent leader, it can take extra effort. She is passionate about creating a safe space for her colleagues though. Samantha is investing in talent and removing stigma around neurodivergence. Find our more about neurodiversity and Samantha’s inspiring journey below!

Unstuck EP36 - Social - Quote - Samantha Kolkey

Overcoming hardship, self doubt, and life threatening illness – Unstuck in October

October was motivation month on the Unstuck podcast. We were introduced to three marketing leaders that overcame unique challenges to secure their positions. Our guests faced many career hurdles but their individual hardships were tougher. These adversities arrived in the form of relationship stresses, poverty, and life-threatening illness. Work management also featured as we heard about workplace solutions and collaboration. Although it wasn’t always straightforward, our inspiring guests managed to build incredible careers in marketing and leadership. Here is a summary of the topics that shaped the Unstuck podcast in October!

The Productivity Triangle

Craig Robinson – Chief Growth Officer at Industrious

It could be argued that our first guest in October accomplished a great feat by earning a degree and securing a professional job. Growing up in a very disadvantaged Atlanta neighbourhood, it was unlikely that Craig Robinson would be able to break out of societal chains. He is now a Chief Growth Officer and Executive Board member that holds an MIT degree and an MBA from Harvard. So how did this Atlanta kid make it to the top of the real estate career ladder? Craig insists he would never have made it without generous support and guidance throughout his life. Teachers, neighbours, and coaches all went the extra yard to give him every chance of succeeding. He never forgot those who helped him and where he came from. As a result, he’s always happy to help others fulfil their goals so that they can have the same opportunity he did.

Nowadays, Craig is the Chief Growth Officer at Industrious. In this role, he is aiming to make the workplace evolve in line with human needs and corporate objectives. He describes workplace management as ‘not about space, it’s about place’. In this episode, the Harvard graduate provides valuable career guidance and work management tips for all listeners. This includes insights and useful commentary on building successful work environments, supportive work technology, and the three elements of human fulfilment!

Unstuck EP30 - Social - Quote 3 - Craig Robinson

Defining a Win

Denise Karkos – Chief Marketing Officer at SiriusXM

Our second guest in October would not usually be happy with that position . A born winner, Denise Karkos established her career objective in her early 20s. She wanted to become a Chief Marketing Officer and all roads ought to lead to that destination. Before rapidly climbing the career ladder, Denise made her mark on the soccer pitch. She captained The University of Notre Dame’s D1 soccer team and was a fierce leader that led by example. The skipper was ‘always looking for another win’ and this mantra has remained with her throughout her career.

After graduating from Notre Dame, Denise brought her champion skills into the agency world. Unsurprisingly, she climbed the ranks quickly. She progressed from Assistant Media Buyer to Media Buyer and then onto Media Supervisor. Driven by ambition she reveals ‘those promotions felt amazing’. Denise always wanted the top job though and set her sights on a Media Director position. Once she achieved this goal, she had a reflective moment. She wondered where she was going and whether this direction was what she truly wanted. At this point, Denise knew she loved managing people and wanted the best marketing job in that area. It was time to hunt that CMO job again!

Denise is now the CMO of SiriusXM and it’s been a wild ride to get there. Denise often had to change her personal approach to reach this point in her career. Personality conflicts with bosses set her back earlier in her career but she earned valuable experience in these moments too. Striving to win is a big part of her management ethos now. She incorporates her Notre Dame experience by continuously defining wins for her team. “What I do for my team is define what a win looks like – whether it’s an event, a campaign, a meeting – what does success look like?” Listen to Denise describe her impressive journey below and find out what makes a great CMO!

Strength in Vulnerability

Gina Jacobson – Chief Growth Officer at Starcom Worldwide

Our final guest of October set the tone early in this intimate conversation “I spent the last four years engaged in the brutal reality of stripping away the person I once tried to be, revealing at last who I really am”. Gina Jacobson spent her life displaying a strong exterior while trying to continually impress others. She wasn’t ready to show vulnerability when she found out she had stage 4 cancer during a bleak doctor’s appointment. Although this news was shocking, Gina returned to a highly demanding role and continued to lead her team. In her own words she ‘feared losing her work identity more than losing her life’.

She quickly found out that she couldn’t pretend everything was normal. The Starcom Worldwide Chief Growth Officer was not able to manage the workload she carried before her diagnosis. She was compelled to finally show vulnerability to her co-workers. This was an incredibly difficult experience for her, but it forged strong intimate connections with her team. It has been a daunting journey for Gina, but she has kept the show on the road and continues to lead the renowned broadcast company today.

In this episode, Gina bravely shares insight into her cancer journey to date. She explains how she was forced to find new ways to live and work. In addition to revealing deeply personal experiences, Gina provides invaluable advice to listeners on how to support a co-worker that is unwell. She beat the odds and the doctor’s diagnosis to be here today and we’re very grateful she has put aside time for us.

Unstuck - Social - Quote - Gina Jacobson

G2 awards Screendragon – Explainer Blog

G2 - Winter Release 2023 - Screendragon Leader Image

Welcome to our live G2 explainer blog for Screendragon. We have collected several G2 achievements and awards during the last couple of years. Therefore we think it’s time to summarise our recent success and keep tabs on our progress! Screendragon are a work management software vendor – but what does this really mean? The G2 categories and our relevant listings will help explain our solution!

Work management is the core Screendragon solution but this incorporates project management, resource management, agency management, and more. In addition to product performance, G2 also evaluate quality of services. This takes into account implementation, relationship management, usability, ease of business, and ease of admin. Read on to see what solution and service areas that Screendragon has performed highly in, how we achieved our rankings and awards, and what this means in simple terms. We begin our explainer blog with a summary of Screendragon’s performance in G2’s most recent release – Winter 2023!


1 – Latest News (Winter 2023 Release)

2 – Introduction to G2

2a – Who are G2?

2b – What vendors feature on G2?

2c – How do G2 rank vendors?

3 – G2 Awards & Badges

3a – G2 High Performer Categories

3b – G2 Badges of Excellence

3c – G2 Top 50

4 – G2 Comparison Report

5 – How Screendragon outperform the competition

1 – Latest News (December 2022)

#1 for Enterprise – Resource Management Grid®

Screendragon is the new Highest Performer in the Resource Management Grid® for Enterprise! As the top-ranked provider of resource management software, Screendragon has consistently earned high marks for user satisfaction and performance compared with other resource management vendors.

If you’d like to read more about our resource management awards, then skip to section 3 – G2 Awards and Badges. In the meantime, here is a preview of the G2 Resource Management Grid®. Screendragon is now the Highest Performer and furthest to the right!

Most Likely to Recommend – Professional Services Automation

We’re delighted to reveal that Screendragon has collected the exclusive ‘Most Likely to Recommend’ award for the Professional Services Automation category. This recognition considers ease of use, meeting requirements, quality of support, and more. As you will see below, Screendragon is a software and service that is valued by clients. Our NPS score of 9.5 is the joint highest among relevant vendors!

Leader – Professional Services Automation (Momentum Grid®)

Screendragon’s performance in the agency market has earned another swathe of awards in the Professional Services Automation category. In addition to the ‘Most Likely to Recommend’ award described above, Screendragon has received recognition for Best Meets Requirements, Best Usability, Best Support, Easiest Admin, Easiest to Use, and Easiest Doing Business With.

Additionally, Screendragon has been named a Leader in the Professional Services Automation Momentum Grid® for a third time. Further down the blog, you can also read about Screendragon’s #1 ranking in the Enterprise category for Professional Services. We’re proud to say that we love agencies, and agencies love us!

Leader – Marketing Resource Management (Momentum Grid®)

Our resource management capabilities have powered Screendragon to a Leader position in the Marketing Resource Management category! With more than 15 years’ experience in the creative world, Screendragon stands out as the marketer’s solution of choice. Our resourcing and project management capabilities are fully integrated and designed with marketers in mind. Screendragon are now a leader in the G2 MRM category and pushing for the #1 spot!

Leader – Digital Asset Management (Momentum Grid®)

While not a native Digital Asset Management (DAM) vendor, Screendragon has powerful DAM functionality. Leveraging workflow automation, Screendragon clients can auto publish approved content to creative libraries. Furthermore, the meta data associated with the asset can also be auto populated into the digital library saving lots of time and effort! We may not be a traditional DAM vendor, but our recognition in G2’s Winter Release shows that we can compete with the best when it comes to asset management!

2. Introduction to G2

2a. Who are G2?


G2 is a peer review website that scores software products and vendors based on customer reviews. G2 collects reviews through its online community and vendors scores include data collected from online sources and social networks too. Before submitting a review, G2 users need to validate their role and relationship with the vendor in question. Additionally, G2 does not edit or filter reviews. Buyers trust G2 as customers i.e. users determine a vendor’s ranking.

2b. What vendors feature on G2?

Any vendor can feature on G2 but only the leading players in the industry feature in G2 grids, reports, and awards. Screendragon features in several highly competitive solution categories on G2. These include Work Management, Resource Management, Marketing Resource Management, Digital Asset Management, Online Proofing, and Professional Services Automation. Some of these categories have over 100 vendors competing so it’s important to stand out from the crowd!

Image: G2 vendor comparison table featuring Screendragon, Adobe Workfront, Wrike, Mavenlink, and Clarizen. I think it’s fair to say that Screendragon simplifies everything!

2c. How do G2 rank vendors?

G2 use a comprehensive list of scoring methodologies to evaluate vendors. They measure usability, satisfaction, relationship, implementation, and product performance. As a result. vendors that score highly in these categories can obtain high performer awards (see 2a) and badges of excellence (see 2b). The market ranking includes criterion such as employee headcount and social following.

Above: G2 Professional Services Automation Enterprise Grid® – Screendragon are the highest performer (furthest to the right)!

3. G2 Awards & Badges

3a. G2 High Performer Categories

Screendragon are proud to have earned High Performer awards in all of the following categories. Our website does not exaggerate when we proclaim to be an ‘end-to-end’ work management and creative operations solution!

Work Management (Momentum Grid® Leader)

G2’s work management evaluation focuses on productivity gains, collaboration, resource optimization, and remote work management. Screendragon’s automated workflows, AI assisted resourcing and forecasting, and advanced budget management hit the spot. These capabilities help companies increase productivity, reduce costs and improve speed-to-market! Our core functionality spans in-depth workflow customization with intelligent form structures and tasks. This is also supported by a robust reporting module and easy to use administrative tools.

With 116 vendors featuring on G2’s work management category this is a highly competitive market. However, Screendragon is flying up the ranks and we’re moving towards the leadership position. In light of our recent achievements, our Momentum Grid® leader award highlights the trajectory of our award winning software!


Marketing Resource Management (Momentum Grid® Leader)

Screendragon’s resource management module is fully integrated with our marketing project management software. Consequently, we can provide leaders with a live helicopter view of what their team is working on and what the timelines are. Screendragon’s heatmap capacity view offers managers insight into opportunities for new work and constraints for upcoming projects.

Screendragon has been a leader in the marketing and creative space for more than 15 years. This means our resource management tool is perfectly suited for creative teams. Our performance in the marketing resource management is further proof that we are the go-to work management software for marketing teams!

Resource Management (Grid® Leader)

G2 describes resource management as ‘software that tracks, schedules, and optimizes human and material resources required for project management’. Accordingly, Screendragon’s resource management capabilities are wide-ranging and help teams from a variety of backgrounds. Screendragon’s most popular resourcing features are drag ‘n’ drop scheduling, real time resource calendar, AI assisted talent profile utilization, and pipeline and capacity planning.

Managing people and time is the foundation for work management and Screendragon has always stood out in this area. In addition to our leader position in the Momentum Grid®, Screendragon is the highest performer in the Resource Management Grid®! If you’d like to see why our customers rate us so highly in resource management then why not schedule a 30-minute tour of our software?


Professional Services Automation (#1 for Enterprise)

We’re proud to have received awards for our product offering in work management, marketing resource management, and resource management. However, it is our performance in the professional services automation category that is taking pride of place.

Among our professional services customers are a host of global agency networks such as McCann World Group, Landor & Fitch, Arc Worldwide and Interbrand as well as many fast growing small agencies . Agencies use Screendragon’s agency management solution to create new ways to increase collaboration, productivity and compliance. They can do this while removing silos, duplication of efforts and costs. Screendragon is ranked #1 among Professional Services Automation vendors in the enterprise space!

Digital Asset Management

While Screendragon may not have all the features of a traditional DAM vendor, it does possess many of the key qualities that most customers need. This includes the ability to store, share, tag and organize digital assets. Screendragon’s asset management is used by clients to create brand libraries, apply meta tags, build training knowledge bases, and share content with colleagues and partners.

3b. G2 Badges of Excellence

While G2 ‘High Performer’ awards focus on product performance, G2 badges are awarded for top class service and support. So, you have read why our product is so highly rated. It’s now time to see why our team is also world class!

Best Meets Requirements / Easiest to do Business With

Screendragon offers a vast array of capabilities (see our High Performer awards) which means we tick the boxes for most buyers. While Screendragon is a flexible product with powerful configuration capabilities, we never expect clients to work things out for themselves. Every client is assigned a solution expert whose primary role is to listen to your needs and ensure that Screendragon fits perfectly for your business.


Best Usability

Screendragon is a powerful work management tool with a lengthy list of features. Nonetheless, our brilliant development team keep user experience and customer success at the heart of everything we do. This means that Screendragon is a tool that can be learned and used by anyone (not just project managers!). It is simple in design while being sophisticated in performance.

Our latest award for ‘Best Usability’ is based on Screendragon’s performance in customer satisfaction, meeting requirements, and user adoption. Subsequently, this badge is proof that there’s a big difference between making a simple product versus making a product simple!

Best Support

Screendragon is a unique player in the work and creative management segment as most of our staff are customer service focused. We have a dedicated team of project managers, business consultants, and configuration specialists. Our project managers work with clients on a regular basis to maximize the value of Screendragon and optimize its performance. If you ever encounter a roadblock within the system (and we’d like to think you won’t!) you will not have to wait in line or go through red tape to get hands on support. We are always there when you need us.

Best Relationship

At Screendragon, we put immense value on customer support (see our award above!). When clients choose to work with Screendragon it is the beginning of a prosperous relationship for both parties. This contrasts to the seductive sell and swerve philosophy of many companies. Our greatest asset is our people and this resonates strongly in client feedback. We go to the nth degree to make sure our solution works brilliantly for your company. As a result, our clients tend to put great trust and value in our service.


Easiest Setup

Adoption rates are greatly affected by onboarding time and user experience. As outlined in our awards for ‘Best Support’ and ‘Easiest to do Business With’ we guarantee a smooth transition for new clients. Our implementation competencies are not exclusive to our highly acclaimed solutions experts though. Screendragon’s product is built to be fit for purpose which means adoption time is quick and implementation is pain-free. Our user-friendly UI and agile software are very intuitive, so it never takes long to start seeing the benefits of the system!

Easiest Admin

Screendragon has been built from the ground up to be configurable and cater for different ways of working that exist. Practically every aspect of the platform can be managed using web-based admin tools. This flexibility and intuitiveness will excite project managers and admins as much as CMOs and creatives!

Users Love Us & Most Likely To Recommend

Based on everything we said above, it might become clear why more and more companies are choosing Screendragon to manage their work and creative operations. Our passion for design, client first approach, easy implementation, and cutting-edge technology are transforming operations at Fortune 500 companies and Global Agencies and our clients love us for it!


4. G2 Vendor Comparison Report

We have effused Screendragon’s capabilities in our awards and badges summary above – but how do we stack up against the competition? Our G2 comparison report compares the top players in the industry across key product and service indicators. You can download it for free below!

5. See why Screendragon outperform the competition

We hope you’ve seen enough to justify learning more about Screendragon. If you want to see why our product scores so highly on G2 and other review websites then why not see the real thing in action? You can schedule a short product introduction with one of our solution experts below. Feel free to tell us what you’d like to see or what you need to know and we’ll show you why Screendragon is a perfect fit!


Beer Academies, Crafty Contingencies, and AI Powered Recruiting – Unstuck in July

Summer is in full swing which means we’re often reaching  for a cold beverage these days. Fittingly, two of our Unstuck guests during July are finding different ways to quench our thirst! We spoke to two food and beverage disruptors that are providing different and innovative services in Chicago while experiencing huge growth. One of these is a gifted musician and the other is a former MLS player with Chicago Fire. These kinds of talented individuals are on the radar of our third guest on the podcast who is building a talent management software by utilizing AI. Here is a quick summary of another great month of discussion on the Unstuck podcast!

Liberating Liquor

EP21 – Dan Abel – Co-Founder & CEO at Pilot Project Brewing

Dan Abel is a natural born creative. Having parked his professional music career, he’s now tuning up innovative and unconventional brands in the fermented malt beverage industry (aka beer!). Passionate about originality and imagination, Dan’s beer academy Pilot Project Brewing is an incubator for some of the quirkiest and coolest new drinks brands in Chicago. Breaking down barriers and supporting creativity is the essence of Pilot Project Brewing and Dan’s vision. In his own words “When you lower barriers of entry, you start organically sourcing ideas across an innovative and diverse spectrum.”. More than 450 brands have applied to participate, and Dan is proud of the diversity represented within the organization. More than a third of the enterprises in the incubator are female led and around half are minority owned brands.

Staying loyal to his musical past, Dan describes the workings of Pilot Project Brewing as ‘a bit like American Idol’. Applicants make a pitch and if it lands then they can take advantage of excellent brewing facilities, a scalable infrastructure, and clear routes to market. The first brand they helped launch was Luna Bay in 2018 and they’ve successfully brought thirteen more brands to market since! Dan’s ambition for Pilot Project Brewing going forward is that they create sustainability for these businesses rather than just being a top of funnel lead generator. Hear about Dan’s plans and how Pilot Project Brewing is rapidly outgrowing itself by listening to the full episode below!

Unseen Talent

EP22 – Joel Wright – Co-Founder & CEO at Sinecure.ai

Joel Wright is an exceptional MarTech entrepreneur that is now using AI to transform the ability to find talent. Before launching his talent management software Sinecure, Joel found huge success with #Hashoff – a social influencer software. He co-founded #Hashoff in 2014 believing there was a better way to advertise rather than bombard people with largely irrelevant messages. #Hashoff connected an eco-system of freelancers with hungry brands that were looking to create new and fresh content. Joel and his team were ahead of the game creating technologies for influencer marketing in 2014 and he thinks they may have even been ‘ a bit early’. #Hashoff found it difficult to raise venture capital as they were seen as an AdTech platform in a saturated market. But Joel insisted they were not just an AdTech vendor, they were the trailblazing CaaS providers – content as a service. #Hashoff took off and Joel led the company from inception to a successful exit!

In addition to being a pioneering CaaS technology, #Hashoff was also a hugely effective recruitment tool. Joel used his knowledge of recruiting and talent management to build his AI powered Sinecure platform. The software uses machine learning to build perfect profiles for candidates and create a perfect match between people and companies. Sinecure builds intelligence around successful workers across the globe to identify traits and skills that makeup a great employee. Usually, companies and recruiters rely on self-reporting data (e.g., LinkedIn) to evaluate applicants and prospects but Sinecure provides a greater understanding of the candidates that companies should be pursuing. Listen below to find out how this provides a smarter, faster, and more predictable recruitment outcome for clients!

Unstuck - Social - Quote - Joel

A Crafty Contingency

EP23 – Chris Ritter – Co-Founder & COO at Crafty / Former MLS Player

Chris Ritter fulfilled a childhood dream when he signed for the Chicago Fire in the MLS. He didn’t have a clear pathway to follow in reaching the major league, so he had to work doubly hard to be noticed and stand out from the crowd. He chose to study at Northwestern which has a great soccer tradition and this decision put him on the radar of Chicago scouts. His performances quickly attracted attention as he picked up several individual and team accolades. This led to the Chicago Fire taking a chance on Chris in 2014 and the rest is history! Well, not really. There were some good times ahead but Chris career in the MLS was not exactly how he imagined it to be. The coaches didn’t seem to have the same faith in Chris’ ability as he did, and he found it difficult to make his mark at Chicago Fire. After just two seasons, Chris made the brave decision to put his professional soccer career on hold to pursue a new path in business.

Never afraid to take on a challenge, Chris was presented with an opportunity to co-found his own company with friends from Northwestern. They noticed that companies were investing more in employee experience, so they offered to provide popular snacks and drinks for companies in the Chicago area. They created a company called Crafty and began filling the fridges and canteens across offices in the city. In a short period of time, Chris had gone from manning a midfield to driving a delivery truck “I was seen by my family and friends as a professional soccer player and next thing you know I’m driving a truck on Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago!” Everything seemed to be rosy for Chris and Crafty until a horrible new ‘c’ word entered our vocabulary in 2020 and offices became empty overnight. The future of work and Crafty’s prospects became very unclear. Like any good sports professional, Chris and Crafty responded to the challenge and they reinvented themselves as a food technology platform. They’re now scalable, growing rapidly, and recently earned $10mn in Series A funding! Check out their story below to hear about one of the great pandemic pivots.

Unstuck - Social - Quote - Chris

Unstuck in June: The Dark Side of Professional Sport, Hereditary Hustling, and Shelling It Out

Unstuck Highlights - June

The Unstuck podcast rolled in to its fifth month with three compelling characters telling tales of triumph and despair. They may be celebrated businesspeople now but none of our guests enjoyed a straight line to success. These entrepreneurs hurdled many challenges – some business related and others profoundly personal. From the Stanley Cup to oyster farming in the Hamptons, we covered our widest range of topics to date. Our host Clive Sirkin delved deep into the personal lives of our guests. Here’s a quick summary of another riveting month on the pod!

‘Healing Together’ with Daniel Carcillo

Former NHL Player / CEO & Founder at Wesana Health

It’s not every day we get to chat to a major league player on the pod never mind a two-time Stanley Cup champion. Nicknamed ‘Car Bomb’ due to his combat role in the NHL, Daniel Carcillo had to fight brutal adversaries both on the rink and off it. He was just 15 when he moved away from home to pursue his goal of being a professional hockey player. Having left a small farming town in Ontario the life of an apprentice player hit hard as he spent half his teenage years on buses travelling to play against older, street-smart players. Daniel struggled in what he called a ‘cult-like’ environment and he suffered severe physical and emotional abuse. This experience set the tone for a difficult adulthood. Daniel’s dream life in the NHL was often more akin to a nightmare.

Battling depression and a concussion related brain injury, Daniel turned to alcohol and substances to dim the pain. His mental health deteriorated when he retired from hockey. Thankfully, Daniel searched for treatment which led him to the path he is on today. A friend recommended natural medicine in the form of psilocybin which had an immediate and forceful impact on Daniel’s mental state. For the first time in years, Daniel felt ‘normal’ and the depression began to cease. He is now on a mission to tell people about natural medicine through his company Wesana Health. Hear more about this incredible story of hockey, hopelessness and healing below.


‘Nag ‘n’ Hustle’ with Chad Bronstein

CEO & Founder at Fyllo

Chad Bronstein was a ‘nag’ as a kid and that’s why his father knew he’d do well in life. Ultra-entrepreneurial in his youth, Chad was always open to opportunities for extra pocket money. He earned his first pay checks washing cars and repairing Nintendos. He owes his strong work ethic to his parents who he said were ‘hustlers’ but with ‘values’.  

While Chad was always destined to be an entrepreneur, he carved out an incredible impressive career in the corporate world as a champion salesman. In his first professional job he regularly trounced targets and became the #1 salesperson in the company. During his time at this firm a mentor advised him to pursue a sales role in AdTech where his skills would flourish even further. A job in CitySearch followed and Chad quickly became the #1 sales guy again peaking at 700% of target. This opened the opportunity to join Bankrate where Chad excelled again but had to work even harder to become the #1 performer. Gaining invaluable expertise and connections, Chad’s experience in the sales world also thought him to be resilient and how to respond to rejection. These are qualities which still benefit him today.

Chad eventually followed his entrepreneurial north star and created his own company – Fyllo. In his own words he is ‘meant to be doing what I’m doing now’. His values for leadership revolve around treating everyone with respect and getting buy in from every employee. Listen below to hear more about Chad’s experience and how he’s faring as CEO!

Unstuck - Social - Quote - Chad Bronstein

‘The Hatchery’ with Jeff Ragovin

Host with 1 Billion + in Exits / Chief Commercial Officer at Fyllo

Whether you meet him in the boardroom or on a boat, Jeff Ragovin is ready for the next big catch. Fanatical about fishing and the ocean, Jeff’s latest project is an environmentally friendly hatchery that produces 20 million clams and oysters per year.

This isn’t the first time that Jeff’s passion for food and his work have acquiesced. In 2017, Jeff set up Digital Fork – an invite only and exclusive dining experience. It brings together senior level marketers and execs from the world’s top brands to eat, network, and share ideas in confidence. The scheme proved incredibly popular and there have been 55 dinners since its inception with more than 800 guests.

A decade prior to Digital Fork, Jeff laid the foundations for an incredible exit story when he co-founded Buddy Media. The concept was simple – Jeff and his team wanted to help brands create unique and engaging Facebook experiences. Through messaging and content tools, brands were able to take advantage of this new craze. Facebook took off and so did Buddy Media which earned $100m in funding over five years. This culminated in an acquisition by Salesforce for $800mn in 2012. Jeff opted to stay with Salesforce to continue the Buddy Media story before eventually departing the company in 2016. If you want to hear more about this incredible story of AdTech success, then tune in to the full episode below!

Unstuck - Social - Quote - Jeff