Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild Podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life, in-the-wild stories about business and marketing.

Hey y’all, I hope you had a great Christmas, and that you have some really exciting New Year’s Eve plans. I’m gonna be honest though, I will probably be sitting on the couch and going to bed at nine o’clock because I have a toddler. But in the meantime, I wanted to give you a quick update on what is gonna be happening with Marketing in the Wild for 2024. I’ve decided to put this podcast on a quick hiatus. I don’t know how long that hiatus is gonna be or what that looks like. So I’m gonna just kind of walk you through that decision-making process because I don’t think that enough business owners give you the true behind-the-scenes on how to make decisions, because I don’t know, and I am just trying to do my best. 

So quick background, we’ve been doing this podcast since August, 2021. We have done 120 episodes, which is amazing. I am so proud of the work that we’ve done. It was born out of a section of our newsletter that our senior content coordinator, Ryann came up with. She did these little sections in our newsletters or in our emails that had a little Marketing in the Wild moment. Everybody loved them! We would get emails from our subscribers saying, “Oh my gosh, that was hilarious.” Or, “Ooh, I hope nobody ever says that again.” Or whatever it was. We kind of approached it with looking at the good, bad, ugly of marketing that is happening in the real world and like, let’s talk about it. 

So that was the premise of this podcast and we’ve done a great job. We’ve done conversations about real-life marketing examples. We’ve had conversations with experts on things that they’re seeing. I’ve gotten really great feedback from our listeners. So first of all, I just wanna thank you for listening and tuning in every week. That means so much to me! You also have probably even seen us go on journeys through this. See our failed launch that we talk about. You’ve gotten to hear what the behind-the-scenes of Stratos looks like, things like that. And so hopefully, you have found something that was helpful. 

I’m gonna pause real quick on my history lesson and my update, and just tell you that if you did find something that was helpful, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at julia@stratoscreativemarketing.com. That is gonna be hugely helpful for me to know what comes next. 

So the moment of truth, about six months ago, I started feeling really restless. The restlessness probably started earlier than that, and I didn’t really know what it was about. And truth be told, it’s about a lot of things. And those, I’m gonna save for my therapist. So don’t worry, we’re not having podcast therapy here. But one of the things that I realized was, you know what, I love interviewing people and I love hearing feedback on our Marketing in the Wild podcast, but doing these weekly episodes is getting exhausting. And we’ve come up with a system on how to batch create so I could take time off. But I felt like I was running out of ideas. And you’re gonna say, Julia, you’re a marketer, how can you run out of ideas? And you are right, there are a million ideas of which we could do podcast episodes. But I wasn’t as excited as I was before. 

And so while I sat back and started to figure out like, okay, what do I wanna do in 2024? How do I wanna pivot? Do we keep on doing Marketing in the Wild because we love our listeners and because we want to serve people with marketing? Or do we switch it up? And so I’ve decided that we’re gonna be switching it up for no other reason than just the fact that I want something new. And the time, money, budget that we devote to this podcast is immense, and I want to put that time, energy, and money towards something new. 

So here’s what we’re doing in 2024. Marketing in the Wild is going to be going on a hiatus. Good news is these podcast episodes are not going anywhere. You’ll be able to listen to them on Apple, you’ll be listening to them on Spotify. Wherever you listen to podcasts, they will still live. Our website will still be up. I’m calling it a hiatus because I don’t know if this is a permanent hiatus or if in six months, we’ll have some more ideas. So I don’t wanna close this door, I don’t wanna close this Marketing in the Wild door. So we’ll also still have our Instagram account, we’ll be populating it with hilarious, weird marketing things for people to learn from. So that is still gonna be happening. That’s not going anywhere. We are just simply taking a break from recording and creating content that is podcast specific. 

Instead, we’re taking this money, energy, and time and devoting it to a new podcast called Humans First, Worker Second. When you listen to this episode, you might Google that and find nothing, or you might find this beautiful website. TBD! We’re working on it! But we are gonna be creating a podcast that talks about workplace culture. When I think about my time, when I think about my legacy, when I think about what I wanna do with my life, I realize that my goal in life is to create great workplaces for people who want good culture, good coworkers, and good work. I really, really believe that work is a good thing, not just to pay the bills, but also just to give us productivity, to give us self-worth, self-esteem. Caveat, your self-worth should not be only placed on your work, but I think that it really helps inform that. 

And we have done some really cool things at Stratos, but this podcast is not gonna be about Stratos. This podcast is gonna talk about some of our stories, like how we survived when we lost like five clients at once, and how we were able to keep all of our staff on during the pandemic, things like that where we valued culture over profit. We’re gonna be talking about that because we’re also gonna be talking with experts who do this more than we do. We already have some people lined up like HR consultants, we have people who are diversity coaches. We have people who work on this sort of thing in corporations, and then we also have people who work on this as solopreneurs or smaller agency owners. 

I think the fact of the matter is that more and more, I hear small business owners saying, well, that’s great that you can do a maternity leave, but we can’t afford that. No shade, no shame. But I think that small businesses can do more than they think that they can. And that’s what this podcast is gonna be about; how do we put humans first and workers second in workplace culture, so that we have people who wanna stay at our work in our businesses for a long time, who love their work most of the time – we all have times that we hate it. And how can we as business owners, how can we as managers, how can we as HR people really create cultures that help human beings thrive? 

So already you guys, I don’t know if you noticed, but I just spent way more time talking about that and I am very excited about it. The phrase Humans First, Workers Second actually comes from Stratos’ culture guide, which we use to inform how we do the work of people within Stratos. I worked with a consultant to create it, but then last year, we finally were like, you know what, we have all these great values, but they’re not quite worded correctly. And so we coined the term humans first, workers second, and now I talk about it all the time. 

Recently, we had somebody in our company leave. The question that I kept on asking myself during that process while I was really frustrated was like, how can I treat this person as a human first and worker second? How can I treat them with dignity and respect? As we’ve hired people, we’ve said, how does our hiring process treat people as humans first, workers second? And guys, we mess up a lot. So don’t think that this is a Stratos success story by any means. But I’m hoping that we can share some insights of what we’ve learned, but then also we can interview some people who are actual experts and can learn alongside each other. So I’m really excited. That’s what we’re gonna be putting our money, our time, and our energy towards in the first half of the new year. We’re gonna test it out with a season, see if we love it, see if we get excited about it, see if we have fun with it. Maybe after that we’ll bring Marketing in the Wild back. Who knows? So TBD. 

But in the meantime, if you wanna stay in the loop on all things, make sure you sign up for our Stratos newsletter. You can sign up for our email list on our website if you haven’t already, or make sure that you follow Marketing in the Wild podcast on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/marketinginthewildpodcast/), Stratos Creative on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/stratoscreative/), or Humans First, Worker Second on Instagram. So take your pick, take your pick! But those are the places that we’ll be announcing any new things, any changes. You can still stay subscribed to the Marketing in the Wild podcast, but make sure you check out Humans First, Workers Second once it goes live. So guys, I know I would love to see more behind the scenes on how entrepreneurs make decisions. Maybe in six months I’ll be like, oh gosh, that was the worst decision ever! But for now, I am excited, I am invigorated. And I think in 2024, that is what I am following, is what makes me excited, what makes me invigorated, what fits into the vision that I have for Stratos? And right now, Humans First, Workers Second is our next step. 

So to all of our Marketing in the Wild people, I am so grateful for you. I’m grateful for the time that I have gotten to spend in your earbuds. I don’t take that lightly. Hopefully, I can still spend time talking with you, or let’s be honest, at you, via Humans First, Workers Second. But stay subscribed. You never know when we’ll be back. So anyway, I hope you close out 2023 with delight, and joy, and fun, and a lot of rest if you’re like me and going to bed at nine o’clock on New Year’s Eve. Much love, we’ll talk to you guys soon! 

Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have. If you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and wanna give us a rating or a review, I promise, we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.

Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys.