Let’s talk $$$.

When you have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend (so, lots of $$$), even on work as multi-faceted and demanding as marketing, it’s easy to get comfortable throwing large chunks of change at various ideas and seeing what “works”. But as this week’s guest, the multi-talented Adam Shaw, will tell you, it’s easy to slip into a lazy mindset when the wallet is too heavy. Now the Head of Demand Generation at WeSpire, Adam leads a much smaller team with a lean media budget. And it’s precisely the challenges of this downsized budget that have made him and his modest team more creative and resilient marketers. In this episode, join us for a case study in making the most of the tools in front of you … and, of course, the talented people at your side.


  • “Tinkerer” mindset – always be on the lookout for something that can be improved, tweaked, developed further in any project or campaign. Oftentimes, it’s having this attention to detail that can help you maximize a slim budget.
    • If you’re in a leadership position, look for the tinkerers on your team and leverage their skills by putting them on projects suited to their interests!
  • Wear all the hats – in smaller teams, you may be expected to do the job of what would be four different specialized roles in a big agency. Account manager, content strategist, content creator… having the mindset of all three takes you much further.
  • Leadership mindset – let your team members do what they’re passionate about.
  • Focus on optimizing the “bottom least-efficient 10%” of your job. Doing this will allow you to carve out a workflow that is much more efficient.


    • In a leadership position, being able to build a culture where team members are encouraged to pushback, question, and take the lead on ideas they’re passionate about.
    • Being an “Excel nutcase” – as Adam says, at some point during your career, be the one to enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet. In other words, gaining the experience of doing the data “grunt work” gives you a holistic perspective when you do work in other roles such as management.
    • Leaning on the resource you have in front of you – don’t over rely on outsourcing. In small teams, no one can afford to be anything less than super talented. Leverage both the talents and strengths of those around you.
    • Knowing in detail the buyer journey for your customers – Adam emphasizes that this comes with time and experience. But pursue opportunities that let you learn more about your customers and what drives them. Extensive knowledge of the buyer journey should inform every move you make.
    • Maximizing output by prioritizing evergreen content.
    • Being a good educator – especially with small budgets, it’s essential as a manager/leader to educate your team members on the overall structure of the business model they are working in.



  • An accelerated pipeline that has allowed the team to more efficiently apply dollars to both paid and organic campaigns much earlier in the buying cycle process.

A bit more about Adam:

Adam Shaw is the current Head of Demand Generation at WeSpire. An expert on all sorts of marketing subjects, such as paid media, growth marketing, tech marketing, SaaS marketing, and more, Adam describes himself best as, “[A] demand generation nerd who obsesses over strategy and details.” Outside of work, Adam is a triathlete and newly certified sommelier.

Connect with Adam:

Connect with Mike & Gaby @ Proofpoint Marketing:

Check out Adam’s episode on our YouTube channel!

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