The Changemakers: Leading a global creative team: Dmitry Shamis, HubSpot

The Changemakers: Leading a global creative team: Dmitry Shamis, HubSpot

Dmitry Shamis is Global Head of Creative at a company that really needs no introduction.

But if you’re either from Mars or have been living under a rock for the past ten years, then  HubSpot is a leading CRM platform that provides software for all kinds of businesses, from start-up to enterprise.

In his role as HubSpot’s Global Head of Creative, Dmitry leads a global in-house creative team of over 120 people.

Although he has over a decade of experience building teams and providing creative solutions in the world of B2B, Dmitry doesn’t have a typical creative leader’s career trajectory, having started out in sports management before pivoting to web development.

Listen as we discuss:

  • Dmitry’s journey from sports management to creative leadership
  • The importance of building relationships to create a strong creative team
  • Finding the balance between substance and flash
  • Setting your brand apart with emotion and storytelling
  • HubSpot’s global pirate ad…

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Transcript of the key takeaways

How do you come together as a team?

Dmitry: One of the most important aspects of building relationships and like thinking about marketing is we are marketers. We’re part of the marketing team. Creative doesn’t sit off somewhere to the side and get a phone call like, “Hey, we need this”. We’re very much a part of the crew there, and we know what marketing’s goals are and as such we’re partners to the broader marketing team, and that enables us to bring our expertise that allows the marketers to bring their expertise. And like, I strongly believe that when you merge the two, the end product is always, you know, 10 times better than what it could be and whether it is something more conceptual or whether it’s something more like business as usual, you always have to bring it whether on an individual level or at a group level to, to try and push forward, because otherwise you’re going to stagnate the work is going to get stale and you’re going to drop the ball at some point.

Is HubSpot a business entrenched in creativity?

Dmitry: I think it depends on your perspective of creative. (…) We’re creative in very different kinds of ways. And in some cases it’s boring actually, right? Like the, the way we thought about SEO, a decade ago. Like, it’s not sexy. It’s not fun necessarily, but it’s, it’s made us the company that we are today. And you know, just understanding your industry, understanding what the challenges that you’re facing are and figuring out creative solutions to those things.

That’s very much the company that we are. And in that case, absolutely. We’re creative in terms of things that are kind of like in your face and fun and flashy, we’re starting to do more of that. And I’m really excited because, you know, I’m one of the leaders of that group. But I believe when it comes to creativity, we’re more substance than flash and we’ll figure out what that balance is going forward.

Do you look to B2C to see how it’s building that emotional connection with their audiences?

Dmitry: Yeah, we look everywhere. I think there are certain challenges that we’ll run into that only companies in our space will run into right.

I’m not sitting there combing through YouTube, watching all of these, all of these different B2B ads. I’m watching my like cooking shows. I’m watching my Marvel movie trailers, whatever it might be. And like, you know, they’ll, there are sponsors, there are different ads that are inter you know, interspersed throughout and all that.

And I’m like, oh, you know, that’s really cool. What if we tried this? Or what if we tried that? And like, my team is doing the same thing and bringing those ideas. Back as well. So like we’re inspired by everything we see as cliche of an answer is that is, I think you have to be.

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