Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with VeraContent’s Kyler Canastra and Gastón Tourn, CMO at Appear Here, on why marketers can benefit from a diverse education and experience:

Kyler Canastra 0:13
Hi everyone, I’m Kyler from The Content Mix and I’m excited to be here with Gaston Tourn. CMO at Appear Here as one of Wired magazine’s 100 hottest startups in financial times most disruptive companies Appear Here is the leading online marketplace for retail spaces, creating a world where anyone no matter their location can find space for their ideas. The company works with 250,000 industry leading brands, entrepreneurs and designers to find in book retail space and international destinations, such as London, Paris and New York. As a speaker of eight languages. Argentina native Gaston is a global citizen who has studied at places such as Harvard, Oxford, and the Wharton School, combining his passion for creative writing with software engineering and marketing. Highlights from his career include extensive marketing work at Google and working as the CMO of dating app, Badoo. And it’s a pleasure to have Gaston with us on the show today. So without further ado, I will introduce Gaston, thank you so much for joining us on today’s episode of The Content Mix. Thank you guys are really excited to be here. So in my introduction, I mentioned you spoke eight languages and I kind of wanted to know before we even started the interview which languages those are so obviously English, but…

Gaston Tourn 1:25
Yeah, I mean, I I love languages, I have always been fascinated with language. And I think actually, um, you know, my path to marketing was by being obsessed with language, because I think in the end, like, it’s all about, like drawing action through language. But yeah, I mean, I started a native in Spanish. So my native language is in Spanish, I’m originally from Argentina. I also learned Portuguese because I live in Brazil. And, of course, if you if you speak Spanish, like just learning Portuguese, it’s like pretty like one month living in Brazil, and then you’re like fluid, which is actually an advantage. I also learned French at home because my great grandparents used to be French. So, so yeah, I come from a kind of like, French background. And I learned French as well. You know, just academically as well. And then German as well. They live in Germany for a while. Very, very difficult language. But at the same time, I think it’s fascinating how structured is and I love the grammar. And yeah, I think Italian I think if you speak one Roman’s languages, then you need to, like expand to for the spectrum. And I also learned Japanese, I’m obsessed with Japan. I’ve been obsessed with Japan, like since I was literally like 9/10 years old. And yeah, it’s a very difficult language and when it comes to writing, but it is not that difficult. So it’s, it’s a great, I think, way to get to know another culture.

Kyler Canastra 2:54
It’s so true. And I think that something we have in common, I think a lot of times, I don’t know if like people listening actually know this, but I’m like a trained linguist, like I have a master’s degree in linguistics, and I kind of ended up in marketing and kind of a lot of people don’t see that connection. But I’m like, it’s so important, like the language and everything. And then also like understanding different cultures, and especially, you know, working in a market like here, for example, in Europe, and there’s so many different cultures, but then the European continent, so it’s really, really, if you learn another language, you’re really able to connect with the people and actually have like more successful marketing campaigns. So if you’re a language nerd, you definitely can get into marketing. Now, you also mentioned you’re from Argentina, some kind of just want to know a bit more about you and kind of where you’re from and kind of how you ended up in Europe. So you’re currently in London now?

Gaston Tourn 3:41
Yes, I am from Southern Argentina. I’m like beginning of Patagonia, so very remote and like, yeah, very different side of the world, though, sometimes it looks very similar to Scotland, or like some parts of England. So I ended up like, kind of like on the other side of the world, but like in a very similar landscape. So I studied Communications at the University of Buenos Aires. So I moved to on Buenos Aires. For Uni, I was actually planning to become a semiticist. And I was really focused on linguistics, like I’m fascinated with languages so that was my, my obsession, but I was in the last semester at university and Google came to my university and they were like, ‘Hey, we’re looking for people to join the company’. And I was like, well, I’m just gonna give it a go, but probably not gonna like it that much. And then in six months, I’m gonna like just like go and do a PhD in semiotics. That was I was in my mind. But I ended up loving it. I love working at Google. I think, is a fascinating company that you know, we were doing a lot of like really, really amazing, incredible stuff. And then I found out that actually marketing was something that I enjoy quite a lot because it had all the linguistic and like all the, I would say Creative Writing side of things that I enjoy. But also, I think combined with numbers and analytics, so it will say the perfect combination. And from there, like I started basically traveling with Google. So like four months after I joined the company, they were like, We want to transfer you. We want, you know, to move you either to India or Brazil. I was like, well, let’s do Brazil. And then I went to Brazil. And then from there, I was, like, literally moving to different countries. And I and I moved to the UK almost five, six years ago. I worked at YouTube here in in the office in London. And I did a lot of different roles. I’ve been in the UK, with Google. And then after that, I decided to join in startups. I joined the first start, that was actually the Badoo dating app, they also own Bumble, Chappie, Lumen. Then I moved to Frankfurt for another cmo role in another startup. But then I decided to come back to London, I think London is such an amazing place. I really, really, really enjoy living here. And for now I think I’m going to stay stay a bit more like in London, I can go travel, or really too much. Although always I always like traveling. So maybe I’m going to like, keep moving around. But for now I think I’m going to be based in London.

Kyler Canastra 6:16
Yeah, I was gonna ask you, what do you think London is for good, because you’ve been all over. But at least for now. Right? So London seems like the place to be. And so it must be a big difference from Patagonia to London. No,

Gaston Tourn 6:27
definitely. Yes. I feel like there are so many cultural differences. But I think also, the more you travel, the more you’ll realize how human beings we are like, I wouldn’t say it’s similar. But we have similar fears. And we have similar passions. And I think like, in the end, it doesn’t really matter. There’s definitely for sure, though, cultural differences. I think the first cultural difference I noticed. Particularly, I mean, before I moved here, I live in Brazil for a while. So I would say half of my heart was already Brazilian and I was already feeling Brazilian. And, and Argentina is perhaps very different to Brazil, like we’re not like as optimistic or enthusiastic. Like I feel like we’re like definitely in Latin America. And we are like enthusiasts, they got optimistic, but resilience or like the extra mile, like they’re like, just like so optimistic. And one thing I noticed is like in Brazil, when when you ask someone, how are you doing? The answer is always like, marvelous, fantastic. It’s just like, you know, really big objectives that are like, so positive. But when I moved to London, like in the UK, the answer to how are you doing is like, not too bad. And I was like, wow, that’s completely different. And it was just like a big cultural difference. But I think like, you know, the most important thing when you’re traveling or living in other countries is really, I think it’s almost been like being an anthropologist, which is kind of like the familiar suddenly looks really strange, like, never been French. But then at the same time, you become strange, your own culture, your own native way of like doing things. It’s almost like, why they used to think this way. Like, that’s just like, you know, what’s my house right now I can see with an external perspective. So I think that’s something that I really enjoy. Like, just I think, you know, being a foreigner being means in a way, like, always questioning things and question in your daily everyday life.

Kyler Canastra 8:25
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And I think like, as humans, we all have, like the same set of emotions and like, you know, we’re all the same, but then it really depends on culturally how we react to certain things. So like, you know, the optimism, Brazil is a way of looking at things rather than the pessimism. That, unfortunately, is tied a lot to the UK, as well. But how does this impact your marketing? So like, you’ve I mean, you started in Argentina and South America, and now you’re working in EMEA, how does that do you think that like impacts kind of how you, like will do a campaign or kind of strategize?

Gaston Tourn 8:57
Definitely, I think it brings so many nuances to your marketing. And I think it’s really important to be aware of that. I think, especially like when I work in LATAM. I think it’s very interesting. Like I work in lots I’m for an American company. And usually, what you see is like the lack of understanding of like the nuances of different countries. So first of all, like I think most American companies, they think, well, Latin American equals Spanish. And actually notice like not just Spanish, there’s also a bit of French, there’s a bit of English, there’s also Portuguese, which is like half of the continent. But then beyond that, like even if all these countries as big as Spanish, they are very different. It’s not the same, you know, sending a message to Mexicans versus Argentinians or Colombians. And then even more when you live in the media, I think you’ll become really aware of how important cultural nuances are to do amazing marketing i think is not the same. launching a campaign. For example, about product like dating apps, right? Like we’re talking about dating, which is so culturally, I think embedded like is something that, you know, is also, it’s very different, you know, how he talked about dating in Middle East, which is part of EMEA and like, you know, big ratio, and I think for like most brands compared to you like talking about dating in Spain, or even in the UK, with like, in the UK, quite interesting. They hate the word dating, like they will never date anyone. And like, you don’t see them, for example, like the UK is quite similar to the US. No, it’s like completely different as well. Like, it’s just like, it’s the same language. But, for example, like, it’s quite funny when I was working in dating, and we’d sometimes use the word dating. Some, some Brits would say, like, why do you use the word dating that sounds so American, we don’t talk about dating, it’s just like, almost, I don’t want to be explicit about that. So all those cultural nuances, I think, the more places you live, the more you become aware of them. And I think the best your marketing is going to be because in a way, you’re going to just be just gonna be considering, like, the nuances and the diversity of the people that you’re trying to influence.

Kyler Canastra 11:10
That’s so true. And I think, you know, as an American myself, I can say this, but like, we can be a bit close minded in terms of like marketing, because we’re just, you know, kind of this egocentric on the way. And so I think like what you said, like traveling and actually understanding that, you know, Latin America is is more than Spanish. Like, I think in our mind, sometimes it’s just Mexico, you know, so I think it’s, which is shame, and embarrassing to say. But at the same time, you know, it’s so important that you actually realize, you know, the different nuances that exists in a culture in order to have more success. Now, you didn’t mention dating that when you’re working dating, and I will get to that in a second. But first, I was doing some research on your background, and you said that, you know, I found that you had a creative writing background with the software engineering and marketing mix. Now that’s very diverse, right? I think a lot of people don’t have such a diverse academic and professional background. So like, how is your unique understanding of these areas helped you excel in your career?

Gaston Tourn 12:03
Yes, I think I’m a huge believer in education, I’d be like, believe there’s a lot of talk about like, well, you’re going to just learn by doing definitely, I think, you know, you can learn by doing but I think formal education gives you almost, I think, a toolset to really reflect about things in a different way than just like working every day. So I really think like, you know, whenever someone tells me, oh, I’m going to do a Master’s, I think, like, go for it and study, whatever you think is going to make you more interesting, rich person, perhaps it doesn’t mean started studying marketing, if you’re working in marketing, or finance, if you’re working finance, it, study, something that you’re going to find out, it’s just going to give you like, an extra layer of meaning about like the world we live in, in a way. And that’s how how I decided to study like the subjects that I studied. So when I was at Google, like we did an MBA program in marketing at Wharton, which was amazing, because it gave me a lot of like, a much better understanding of like corporate finance and like areas of the business that perhaps I wasn’t as familiar with. But then I also said, I want to study creative writing, because I think storytelling is such an important skill nowadays, like everybody marketing, you hear like, oh, a good marketer is a good storyteller. But then what I found is that most of the advice that you get in business books about storytelling is absolute bullshit. It’s like people never wrote a story. don’t really even know how a story is created or crafted. So that I’m not going to study a great deal of writing or storytelling with business people, I’m going to study actually creative writing with people who tell stories who live by telling stories. So I did this Master’s in creative writing at Oxford, which was amazing. And it was like with screenwriters from Hollywood, with writers from Australia, and like from all over the world, and it was just like, eye opening, and I really learned a lot I actually wrote a script for, for Netflix that, you know, I have presented to Netflix live and see if it works out at a certain point maybe. Yeah, as I was, it was a really exciting experience. I think, that really brought me another side of myself that I can now apply to marketing. So in every discussion, I always when I when I’m reviewing a creative when I’m reading a blog article, I always bring insights from that master has really helped me think about storytelling in a complete different way. But then, actually, that Master’s I did a project that was bought around called poetry. So what I did was like, I took the source code of the 10 most popular websites nowadays, and I wrote poetry using that source code. So I took the source code of Google and I wrote a poem about Google with their source code. And that, by the way, one of my favorite lines from the source code of Google like line 124 it says unknown Safari is such a good description of what is Google probably is just, it’s like it’s describing like a browser by for like, well, that line really is Google and unknown Safari. So for that, basically that project of writing poetry with go, I became fascinated with programming languages. And then I say, Well, I now need to do a master’s in, in software engineering. I started I’m loving it. I am like, I would say a third into it. And I think also it’s bringing like a new they mentioned to my marketing because like marketing tech, I mean, so technologically driven, I think like a lot of the tools we use very coming very close to like what engineers do. So I think it’s also helping me working much better with like the engineering and product team.

Kyler Canastra 15:49
It’s awesome. I just also wanted to point out to the listeners that you did a creative writing Master’s at Oxford in English is not your first language like that deserves a round of applause by itself. That’s really incredible.

Gaston Tourn 16:01
Oh, yeah. I mean, like, that was definitely challenging. And at the beginning, I was like, trying to sound more English than an English person. And then like, what I realized in masters is like, No, just bring the Latino to your writing, right? Bring the Hispanic in you to your writing, because that’s the only way that you’re going to actually be you. But it took me a while, I think I mean, I was like, so narrows that out doing a master’s in Creative Writing in English. like not being a native speaker in English, but But actually, I’ve been, like, amazing thing about English is that it’s a very kind of like flexible language, and I can, but are not native.

Kyler Canastra 16:41
Yeah, I did my masters in in Spanish and Spanish linguistics, but it was all academic writing. So I think it was a bit more straightforward and have to be as creative, I think that would be such a challenge. Now also another like thread that I’m seeing, right the your career and this conversation is being diverse as possible, knowing we talked about living in different places, understand different cultures, but also academically. And I think that’s something that at least in my experience, like living in the US, and then having lived in Spain, like in the US, we’re really value that I think it’s like totally normal to say I’m going to get a degree in English and then work in like, I don’t know, in marketing or other things, but I felt like in Spain, it was like you studied, I studied linguistics, you’re gonna be a linguist. And that’s it. I do think it’s changing a bit. But I do think it’s really cool that you kind of were innovative No, with your career and kind of just been chasing your passions that will then in turn help you in your job as well. I think it’s really cool. And also you mentioned, right, you worked at Google, he worked at Badoo. And we’re gonna get into the dating app situation soon. But so like, do you find like, the different your different experiences that Google for example, like? Do you find it now like those skills that you learn there are transferable in other sectors and other industries?

Gaston Tourn 17:50
Definitely. And I always think as well, like, you can bring a lot of learnings from very successful business and scalable business like Google, which is motor companies. Like the first question I got always when, you know, when I, when I started working in startups, it’s like, oh, you come from Google, like, you will probably not get how to do marketing and start, but I’m definitely it’s a learning curve, because it’s very different working for a brand that is already well known, like everywhere, and is a very successful versus working for a brand that, you know, doesn’t have the same level of traction. But I think it’s, it’s just like not, I think it’s not right to say that, you know, you cannot bring any learnings from like a company that is really successful to a company that is not I can actually, if anything, you can bring a lot of the best practices from what made that company, what it is at the moment. So I think there’s a lot of things that you can transfer, but also vice versa, if you might, people who work for startups and then go into big companies, I think they shouldn’t feel scared, because I’m sure like, a lot of learnings and skills from just like building something from the ground to a company is already a bit more established. So I think there’s a lot to be learned. And I think, in that sense, I, I always think like, you know, even in the worst experiences that you have in your life, always think about what you’re going to learn and take out of it. Because in one or two years, you’re going to completely forget about it as a bad experience. But I think what you’re definitely going to take with you is the learnings that you’re going to apply to your next role and to your next experience.

Kyler Canastra 19:22
It’s so true. And I feel like what we think we lack, right, so like in those two scenarios, I’m at the startup might be overwhelmed going to a big company because they think they lack the skills but they actually have skills that could be beneficial to someone that’s working at a company that’s so established, because it kind of brings that innovative touch to things or like that entrepreneurial mindset which that spark that people need, and vice versa. So I think it’s super important that you said that, because it’s so true. I don’t think we I think we always cut don’t cut ourselves enough slack when it comes to, you know, the skills that we actually have and how we can transfer them to different businesses or sectors and industries. Now, the dating app, how did you get involved in this sector, right? a dating app. How did that come about?

Gaston Tourn 20:02
Well, I’m not a serial dater. So I got into it. So my last role at Google was in Google for startups, Google for startups as adoration of Google that gives a lot of support to founders and startups. And that’s when I start talking to startups. And the startup I talked to was actually more like a scalar, it was already quite big when I joined that it was around 600 people, globally. And it was Badoo, who’s an amazing group of dating app, they also own Bumble, Chubby and Lumen. So Bumble is probably much bigger in English speaking markets, but it is like bigger, I would say, Russia, South America and Southern Europe. And it was a very, it was a fascinating industry, I would say like, I had never seen reports, like data reports, as interesting as data in your data science is the best class in psychology you’re gonna get in your life, it’s just like, you can see how people behave so differently when it comes to dating and relationships, depending on the countries, you know, the lady, and you can really see cultural nuances and how I think how something that you know, feels so intimate and so personal, like gender, and sexuality and relationships, like he feels very much like it’s my decision. But actually, when you look at the data, you can see how much the culture you leaving, like how much you think that like you can see behaviors, certain type of behaviors happening in certain countries, certain types of carriers company in other countries. So it’s not as personalized as we believe. It’s like, it’s really driven by you know, the culture.

Kyler Canastra 21:42
Yeah. And I don’t know if you’re allowed to disclose anything, but did you have any, like big takeaways from like, any, like, things that stuck out to you about different cultures that you found fascinating?

Gaston Tourn 21:52
Yeah, I think perhaps things that are like public and I can share. One is, for example, countries like New Zealand, you can see how women are much more in power in terms of like, I think taking the first step in conversations, but also not being apologetic of like having perhaps multiple male partners, that is something that like, in a lot of cultures is still there is verified, you know, why a woman has, you know, so many conversations with different men or like why even like in advance, they were all societies, I would say like, this is still kind of like sense of like, a woman shouldn’t be here, that way was actually completely fine. If a man does that which side completed, you know, just backwards. That didn’t happen, for example, in countries like New Zealand, which was really, really good to see. But also things some countries another interesting thing is like when it comes to sexuality, for example, you can see some countries tend to have more like either heterosexual or homosexual, with like, some regions in the world, like the Nordics, for example. There’s a much higher proportion of like bisexuals, who don’t define themselves. And then you can see, you know, how these things are actually, you know, quite influenced by the cultures and the know, the countries we leaving, rather than just ourselves in a way?

Kyler Canastra 23:12
How does that impact your marketing, like knowing these nuances? And how does like one do marketing for a dating app? I guess, like, what are the fundamentals?

Gaston Tourn 23:20
I think it’s actually quite similar to any type of marketing in a way. Like, it’s not that fun. It’s just much more fun and interesting, because it’s actually fun. But you always start with a with an insight, right? I think every good campaign, like when I did, like, know, the complete opposite. I used to do campaigns for Google Cloud. And you would say, Well, what does Google Cloud have to do with like dating like, definitely a very different industry like you’re not selling like relationships, but in the end, like a good campaign marketing campaign for Google Cloud would start the same point. It’s a good campaign for the Badoo or Bumble, it’s always with an insight like and like an insight comes from a human truth, right? Like is something that you know is right and uh, you know, is like the right type of message for what’s going on at that point. So I think like with the Badoo, for example, there was a lot of focus on dating in real life because we felt that there was there was an abundance of like options to speak to people and they people virtually, but people were becoming really annoying and really bored with just like online dating what they want us to meet people in real life. Right right. Say inside that’s how you start. And then from there you translated into a marketing campaign that I think communicate that message in a more creative and interesting way. But then for sure, like that insights not universal like it’s not going to be the same if you’re running a campaign in the Middle East Where’s like, even online dating and it’s like already almost like I wouldn’t say banned, but it’s not fully allowed and I see these in like European markets or South America or in North America. So I think it always starts with like an insight that is quite culturally driven. But also for sure you can see as well like the competitive landscape, you can say, what’s the truth about your product? And then from there, I think it’s a lot of flight testing, I feel like amazing. One of the amazing things that you know happen nowadays with marketing site, you can you can test and you can learn from the audience, I think, before perhaps not even the types of Mad Men there were like this remote ends, which actually created amazing campaigns, but there was not a lot of testing, he was more like warehouse, you know, the best painter have been equipped, like, basically loudness is the one you know, who wins. But I think, you know, nowadays, it’s almost like, well, we come up with different concepts, and then you can quickly ABCD test them, like on Instagram and Facebook, and then learn from your audience, what is actually working and working work.

Kyler Canastra 25:57
It’s much more interactive now. For sure. Now, and just for, like, people that don’t know, Badoo is like the app that kind of, I don’t know, I have used it a couple times. But it’s like, when you like, watch, if you’re close to somebody, right? It tells you like your close, and you can meet them in real life.

Gaston Tourn 26:11
That’s one of the features. Yeah. I mean, it has different features, but it’s all about meeting people in real life. So one of them is like people nearby, but also you have as well, the vehicles, it was one of the first apps that you know, have vehicles that made it super simple to adjust, check and make sure like, you know, he was safe to meet up. Okay.

Kyler Canastra 26:33
Okay. Now, also, just, I think what you just said, it just shows like how important right localization is in marketing, especially with the dating apps, for example, because like, you need to localize your content, you need to localize the campaigns so that they have an impact. And especially with dating culture, I definitely think those nuances must be difficult, right? If you’re working in marketing in this sector, because you have to know the ins and outs of dating and every market you’re working in.

Gaston Tourn 26:56
Yeah, for sure. I think there’s no direct translation is always transcreation, you always have to create almost from from the start, which I think especially in markets like EMEA, it’s complex, because there’s so many languages and nuances, but I think, if you want to do good marketing, I think you need to consider them.

Kyler Canastra 27:18
That’s for sure. Now, I mentioned the beginning, you work at a company called Appear Here, which is a totally different world, right from the world of dating. So you’ve definitely gone through different sectors, which is super cool. So how, like what is Appear Here? I did mention it a bit, and kind of how did you end up there at this company.

Gaston Tourn 27:36
So I think we know you could say that we are a dating app as well, what we do is like we match spaces with brands. So we are a marketplace for retail space. And again, I’m working on IRL so these definitely a friend is a friend about like real life and and what we do, like we give brands the opportunity to launch their ideas, their concepts in the real world with the same flexibility that they have to launch things online. So when you’re a brand and you want to launch something online, it’s just quite easy. Nowadays, it’s just like either like if you do e commerce, you open a Shopify account, or you start a blog. If you want to, you know bring more customers, you run some adverts on like Facebook or Instagram, it’s quite simple to launch something online. Right when I launch a shop when I launch a store, if you do the traditional way, not sure if anyone has tried that it can take you up to six months because landlords and like in general the real estate industry is quite pre technological, they love bureaucracy, and like everything is applying you have to like sign a contract offline, everything is like really like almost like 30/40 years ago. So what a year here does is really bring the flexibility of the digital world into the offline world without you can launch a shop or a store in three days, even sometimes even last night actually Netflix launch without a store in one day. Like they book it on our first day. On Friday they were already in the store and then they just announced basically it was to promote one new series that they were launching in the UK and they had a hearing boxpark in London so I think it’s bringing that flexibility and that immediacy of the online world to the offline world on make it super simple for brands to launch their ideas

Kyler Canastra 29:32
so it’s like a kind of like an Airbnb right for this if we kind of do everything online you get have a place to stay like kind of that kind of concept. Now a lot of your clients like kind of temporary like they’re looking for temporary like retail space. So like Netflix for example like had that pop up shop for their series is that what most your clients are looking for? Is it more long term?

Gaston Tourn 29:54
It’s actually a mix. What do you see flexibility let you see some brands for example that book for a month but then they extend for 10 years, like we actually have literally one brand that book for they not with us for two weeks in New York, and they extend it for 10 years in my lane. But then you also have brands that what they do is like, it’s a neighborhood strategy, they travel around the city. So these these amazing brand in in London was called A Good Neighbor. And they launched with us, in a neighborhood called Stoke Newington, which is like in the kind of by guests area of London, they were there for a month, then they decided to move to another neighborhood, they decided to move to Dulwich in the south of the city. And then they were there for like two months, and now they are like in Soho for another month. So they keep traveling around the city. What they see is that not only they have customers from different places, but also like actually, the neighborhoods where they were oppressing before they keep coming to the store. And also they keep buying online. So it’s an amazing branding strategy for them as well, because they they build awareness really cost effectively across the brain. So you see a lot of different strategies, I think it’s more like is not short term is not also like just long term. It’s more like flexibility, which I think like allows you to like test and learn, which allows you to sometimes Yeah, try a small short duration, see how it works. But then also extend in case you see it very well.

Kyler Canastra 31:23
And it really helps them like differentiate themselves. Right? Cuz I think, you know, companies Yeah, they have retail stores, whoo. Like, you know, it’s pretty standard. And this is like a company like that one you’re just talking about moves around, it kind of adds excitement and makes them seem a bit different from their competition. So it’s super cool. Now, I’m imagining you don’t have just one target audience with your marketing? No, because you’re kind of trying to get people who are like these entrepreneurs or business owners interested. But also like, with the retail spaces, how do you find the spaces? And how do you like, where do you target your marketing campaigns?

Gaston Tourn 31:54
Yes, we have. We are a marketplace, right. So we have two sides of the marketplace. And one side is to mention, like entrepreneurs, business owners, but also we work with big brands we work with, you know, like the last thing we did with a big brand was with Gucci, like an amazing store, they’re going to do for like a setup, again, a new ursery where we found like a beautiful space for for a few bands. But that’s one side of the marketplace. The other side is landlords like they are the ones who own the spaces. So going back to your question, how do you do marketing, I think you have to be hyper segmented. I think all the time before Surely, you know, there are campaigns that are more like above the line. And I think they’re like, they really establish who you are what you believe in. And I think you still need to do them and they’re not going to be as targeted. Then when it comes to everything that is below the line. I think you need to be hyper segmented. I think it’s just like a waste of your time and money to do just like one campaign for everyone. So definitely remember when it comes to your CRM when it comes to your content marketing, we have different types of content or like maybe it’s the same article that we always you know, change it a bit depending on who is really it was really important to me, I think hyper segmented and I think make make sure that you know, your personalized and you customize their content to the audience grew because reading or watch it

Kyler Canastra 33:14
Yeah, develop tailor like tailoring your content. So that really connects with the people and that also you can recycle content. I think a lot of people were like feared about that, especially like I work a lot and localization. So it’s kind of like you can use the same content just to change things here and there to really connect so I think that’s really interesting. Now I’m also curious too, because I think with lockdown and things are getting lifted and I kind of want to know like what your daily life is like like a day for you at Appear Here. Like what does that consist of? Are you working from home? Are you going to the office because I feel like now our listeners we’re all kind of like in our own countries dealing with the lifting of all these restrictions so I’m just curious to hear how things are in London and I Appear Here

Gaston Tourn 33:52
yeah, it can be some mix now I think we were definitely working more from the office so I would say at least four days a week we’re doing from the office and then one day working working from home or or sometimes we are doing like five days from from the office. So it’s pretty much back to normal. Which is good because I think London had like a pretty tough time during during the pandemic I think you know we have really extended lockdown during winter plus as well winter in London. So it’s like it’s not just like lockdown is for like someone who is not from the UK like London’s winter was already bad. Like with lockdown. It was like 10 times worse. So, so yeah, I’m glad that you know, it’s summer and we’re going out so I think it’s looking more positive and I think you can see more people in the streets. But no, in my case as well like we operate in an industry that has been severely affected by the pandemic as you can imagine physical retail was was one of like, the biggest I think, you know, big things I would say from from the pandemic of like shops or stores like having to shop now. Now we’re seeing the man coming back laid out, really, really, really strong do a lot of brands are trying to launch because they see that, you know, people are desperate to have real experiences. I think after so much time with screens, I think everyone is trying to go to the stores and buy things in real life. So we’re seeing a good period of growth after a pretty tough year.

Kyler Canastra 35:21
That’s super encouraging to hear as well. Like just to hear that things are coming back. And I think we’re all looking forward to finally having you know, some hope not lay at the end of the tunnel. And I also give you a lot of credit, I always complain about my lockdown experience in Madrid, but at least I had the sun that you did it in London, man, the weather can be a bit rough there, as well. So we’ve looked at your whole career. So far, right? I’m sure there’s been great things in your future as well. But it’s super diverse, I think it’s really been interesting to talk to you more and learn about kind of how the different parts of your life have impacted, you know, your made you successful and who you are today. Now, I guess looking back, I’m curious to know if there’s any like piece of, you know, content or a campaign that you launched, that really worked well for you throughout your career, and it can be like any position that you held, but just you know, something that was like, wow, I that was really good campaign. I’m proud of myself for doing that.

Gaston Tourn 36:14
Yes, I mean, talking about actually lockdown, lockdown was really tough for a lot of shopkeepers. So our community, the community that Appear Here services, mostly entrepreneurs and people who, like, in a way live, sustain their families, by having a shop. It’s kind of like their income. And it’s like the way that they also contribute to to their communities. So it’s a really, really interesting, I think, mission in a way, because you’re helping people who otherwise wouldn’t have economic opportunity, you get another job or like get another. Yeah, just like economic opportunity. So also, what is interesting is I when you look at, like the shopkeepers that launch with ours, like 70% of them are female. So there are more women than men launching stores with us. And then we don’t track ethnic diversity. But just anecdotally, we can see there is a really high representation from the black communities and like other ethnic minorities, so the people who I think like we’re helping them to like really get an economic opportunity that otherwise has been probably like neglected by society and breaks easily during during lockdown was really tough to see is that the government was helping big retailers. But they were not helping the small independent retailers. And we put together this campaign that is called Save The Street. And actually you can go to And that was really to bring the demands from our community of independent retailers to government to really try to level level the playing field, particularly for like small independent retailers. And we got a lot of policy changes. Thanks to that campaign, we got like the garment supporting independent retailers. In the UK, we got hundreds and hundreds of shop beakers like around the country, putting like stickers on their shop window saying, Save the Street. And we got messages from people saying like, Look, I was about to give up. But I saw your campaign. And it really lifted me up and made me really, you know, made me see how important I am for like, not just like for my business, but also like how much I contribute economically to my community. And we deserve the same type of recognition from government as big retailers. So that was a very meaningful campaign. I think it was really nice. Also, we work with an amazing designer called Henry Holland here in the UK, he designed the logo. We also there’s a great poem that is called Save The Street with a poet here in the UK, it’s called Charlie Coats, we put the poem actually on a window from a shop. So we we design that that poem, outside in London here in SOHO. So yeah, it was a very meaningful campaign. But also I think it allowed me to, to be creative, and see how that creativity could bring a message of hope to people that you know, thought otherwise really impacted by the pandemic.

Kyler Canastra 39:15
It’s fantastic. I think it’s really must be rewarding now to do something that yeah, it’s your profession, but also you can help people and I think give people a voice right, through a marketing campaign. I think it breaks down, you know, the stereotype of like, Mad Men being marketing and advertising and how people just want money are in there for the greed. But I think, you know, there’s such a human side to marketing. And I think that story, that anecdote, you just share, it really does, like, chime into that and it kind of shows the human side of it. Now, also, with the podcast, I always tell people like we feature people with like, you know, extensive backgrounds, but also people who are just starting off I think one of the most recent episodes is one of my friends in Madrid, who had started her own digital marketing agency. So I always say like the listeners and people we have on the show, very unexplored inclusive, I guess, you know, people who are can be like super top and the company or then also someone starting out. So I always think it’s important to ask someone like yourself, who has a lot of experience, what advice would you give to somebody who was wanting to get involved in marketing, what was one thing that you wish you knew, before you dove into it?

Gaston Tourn 40:17
My advice would be, don’t study marketing, like, study anything that you’re passionate about, and then bring that passion to marketing. I always felt like when I started out, you know, maybe not studying marketing would like, not be kind of like the right path for me. But actually, what I found was like, you know, you can bring different expertise to GRC I’ve been like, just studying what you love, and then bring that to marketing. I think in the end, like, marketing is about influencing audiences about influencing customer. So try to see how, you know, your passion, can be a part of it, because I’m sure, like any professional and can, can relate to that mission of like trying to influence an audience or trying to lead someone. So yeah, that will be my advice. Don’t worry if you don’t want to study marketing, study anything that you’re really passionate about and then think how you can bring that passion to your job. And especially if your grandparents tell you like, ‘oh, if you study art, you’re gonna die of hunger’. Just don’t listen to them. Like I had that. Like when I studied semiotics and communications and creative writing, my grandparents were like, ‘Oh god, you’re smart, we’re just going to die of hunger with that.’ Actually well, I actually had a lot of food at school and all the companies I work for, so you’re not going to die of hunger. Just be passionate about what you are and who you are and you’re going to find an amazing job anyways.

Kyler Canastra 41:39
That’s awesome. And if there’s one part of the interview that everyone should listen to, it’s good, it’s really, really important. Now, also, along the same lines of recommendations and advice, right, the part of the interview that I want to learn a bit more about some of your daily habits, or you know, some of the books or any other recommendations you have, so do you have any daily habits that you would attribute to your success.

Gaston Tourn 42:00
Um, I am quite structured and organized, which is quite like interesting, because you would have, I am more of a creative person. But I think that actually being structured and organized really helps to be creative. The one thing I do, which is quite creepy, I send myself an email every morning with the things I want to do that day. So I see that my inbox sometimes has more emails to myself than actually from other people, because I use my inbox as my kind of like Task Manager. And what I found is that, if you just let other people email you, you’re always doing what other people want you to do, but then you never prioritize actually, your own tasks. So by sending emails to myself, I’ve been I found that it’s a very effective way to prioritize my own tasks and not just what other people request from me.

Kyler Canastra 42:49
right. And that’s not creepy at all, because people who like sending like messages in themselves or you know, have to write, like, have a whatsapp group with just themselves, just to like, remind them, but I also never really thought about it. From that psychological point of view of kind of, you know, if you’re working in a business, you have other people telling you what to do all the time, which can be like exhausting. But if you’re telling yourself right to do these things, you’re more motivated, right? Because it’s gonna improve, you know, at the end of the day, I think, even though it’s like, Yeah, but weird to think of it that way. Psychologically, it does make a lot of sense. I really like that. Now, do you have any, like a source of inspiration or role model that you know, someone that’s really kind of drives, you know, to be the best that you can be?

Gaston Tourn 43:28
You got a lot of people, you know, really inspire me? I think, right? Recently, someone I found quite inspired is a AOC. I just been like, it’s amazing to see new voices being in politics, I think we need them. I think we need more people involved in politics who are doing it because they believe in values and they believe in like, making this world a better place. And I find her being Latin American in the US, not coming from the typical background that most politicians come from in the US, I think, you know, she’s really bringing a very interesting voice to politics. And suddenly I feel hopeful about, you know, what we can, what we can do and what we can build.

Kyler Canastra 44:17
And she’s given a voice to a lot of people that didn’t have one like someone or we’re talking about with the marketing campaign, you did, like save the streets like giving a voice. Like, I think she’s done that a lot. And I mean, this could be a whole nother podcast episode American politics, but yeah, definitely, I think even if you don’t agree with what she does, I think it’s really inspiring to see like a woman, a Latina woman, in the US kind of taking the punches, because the people were very critical of her and she was always, you know, the butt of every joke and stuff like that. But she’s definitely an extract inspirational as a person. And also, I guess, do you have any other besides your emailing to yourself? Do you have any apps tools, platforms or books that you would recommend to anyone that wants to, you know, be more productive or find success in their daily lives.

Gaston Tourn 45:01
I would definitely recommend a book On Writing by Hemingway. I think if you learn storytelling and you want to learn how to become a better writer, which I think is like, the most important skill to be a good marketeer, is knowing how to write well and how to communicate in a, in an appealing way. I think On Writing by Hemingway, it’s an amazing source of inspiration for a lot of different quotes and you know, different kinds of pieces of advice that Hemingway gave about writing. So I think that that would be my go to book for storytelling, with any business book about storytelling, like if anything, throw them away. But really, like I think I would recommend you to read writers, fiction writers giving advice on how to tell a good story. And I think Hemingway, he’s definitely a master of a story is heading. So I found the best.

Kyler Canastra 45:57
Yeah, that’s awesome. Usually a lot of people recommend, you know, business books, like you said, so as I was like, when you were talking before, and they said, Ernest Hemingway, I was like, oh, Hemingway, that’s really exciting. And it’s true that I think, one big takeaway, and it’s gonna get to my next question, which is if you have any final takeaways for our listeners, but I think one big takeaway is kind of opening your mind to other perspectives. I think that’s like something that’s really been a part of your life, whether it be from traveling from the work you’ve done. It’s really like the thread. I think that ties it all together, it just being open minded and absorbing. And I think, the example of Hemingway, it’s like another example of that, essentially, that you’re taking your inspiration, not just from what we’re told to be, so you’re able to, like, look and see things and understand things in order to improve your work, but also your personal life. That’s awesome. Now, like I said, we’re at the end of the interview, unfortunately, it was a great conversation. And I think our listeners are really going to enjoy this episode. But do you have any, like parting advice, a piece of parting advice for audience? I mean, that would, you know, summarize this interview? A couple words.

Unknown Speaker 46:58
Yeah, I think, you know, if I have to say what drives me?

Gaston Tourn 47:04
And I, by no means I think, you know, I’m capable of giving this advice to anyone, but I’m just saying like, one thing that drives me maybe if someone feels like they’re lacking some drive, perhaps a gateway to, to start getting that drive and the energy again, I think it’s learning, I think it’s almost thinking like, there’s so much more out there that you don’t know. And, you know, you can learn new things, but also by learning new things, you’re going to become a different human being.

Unknown Speaker 47:31
I love

Gaston Tourn 47:32
that, you know, that the first two lines of that point, say those another world, and it’s in this one. And I was saying, like, you know, whenever I feel down when I feel like I have no energy, I feel like there’s another world, and it’s in this one is for me to go find it. So that’s perhaps just like one mistake, she say, you know, if you feel like, you know, you’re not learning in art, if you like, career wise, you feel stuck. There’s another world, and it’s in this space for you to go and build it. And to explore. That’s awesome. Yeah, curiosity, right. It’s

Kyler Canastra 48:04
always be curious constantly. Now. But yeah, before we go, I just wanted to ask, because I’m sure you’re active on LinkedIn. But is there any other way if someone wanted to get in touch with you or to follow the work that you’re doing? Is LinkedIn the only platform you use? Are you on different platforms?

Gaston Tourn 48:18
Yes, I’m definitely a very active user on LinkedIn. So go find me and follow me or like, ask me because yeah, I tend to post quite a lot of content on LinkedIn. That’s my, that’s my go to platform. Awesome.

Kyler Canastra 48:31
Well, thank you so so much, guys, son for joining us today and sharing all these wonderful insights. And thanks for everyone listening in. As always, for more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out and keep tuning into the podcast and more interviewed with content experts like us done. So see you all next time. Thanks, gustan. Thank you so much, good are really nice to meet you.

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