Marketer to Watch: Karina Raun of STS

Karina Raun,
Marketing Manager,

This week our featured member is Karina Raun, Marketing Manager at STS. She shares with her peers what marketing trend she's most excited about, where she turns for creative inspiration and what skill she believes is most important for being a successful marketing leader.

1. If you could give yourself another title to describe what marketers really do, what would it be?

"Think-tank Deep Diver." Many times different departments are asking us [marketers] to join in on strategy meetings because they want a fresh perspective. Some people just swim around the tank, but us marketers dive in deep.

2. Can you name an “inflection point” moment or a particularly influential mentor during your career that helped prepare you for your current position?

My current boss has been the most influential mentor I've had in my career. Jeremy has personally invested in me - right from the first day I invested myself in this company. His management style is very empowering and has provided numerous growth opportunities in STS leadership; I’ve learned so much from his holistic view in marketing and business development in just the last 8 months!

3. What trends are you excited about right now and why?

One trend that I am seeing take off in various areas of marketing is the use of artificial intelligence. A.I. can intervene with your content so that it continues to keep your brand top-of-mind for your audience. We’ve learned how companies are beginning to leverage it in order to help them nurture their email campaigns and to continue the conversation with prospects, and I know we are just at the starting point of realizing what it can do.    

4. What is the most elusive, but highly valued trait or skill that creates tomorrow's next CMO?

Tomorrow’s next CMO should master the most fundamental tool: communication. Everyone receives communication differently. It takes great skill to comprehend various communication styles and knowing how and when to use those styles with different people. This is something that I am continuously striving to perfect and hope to achieve myself.

5. Where do you go (or what brands to you look to) to find creative inspiration?

In my professional life, I have colleagues that are artists, graphic designers, and creative writers that I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with and create dynamic content. They push me to think more than “outside of the box" - they push me to think that there is no box at all.

In my personal life, my go-to for creative inspiration is Pinterest. People put together amazing boards that are really beautiful and stylistic. What’s more is that it is a great platform for anyone to demonstrate their natural artistic side.

6. Do you have a personal mantra, words of wisdom or favorite inspirational quote?

“Some look at things that are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”

7. Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?

I see myself in a position where marketing strategic planning is my main role. I really enjoy thinking analytically and strategically. With marketing strategy, you can combine analytics and creative thinking into a plan of initiatives and goals that can help move a company in an advantageous direction.  

Quick-fire round

Burrito or burger: Burrito! You can put whatever you want in a burrito, have it any time of the day....the possibilities are endless.

Central Park or Golden Gate Park: Golden Gate Park - It is a front row seat to the marvels of modern engineering.

Beach or mountains: How about both? Big Sur.

Podcast or Newspaper: Newspaper - I still believe in page-turning!

Snapchat or Instagram: Instagram - Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Virtual reality or real reality: Nothing beats the real deal - I love authentic moments that are personal.

Pokémon Go or no? That’s a no-go.