A Leader in Her Field: An Exclusive Interview with Tina Gammon of Neurohacker Collective

Women make up a vital segment of consumers, and they hold a large percentage of marketing jobs in our industry. Here at Seapoint Digital, this isn’t news to us – women have been a major force behind the success of our agency since the beginning. March is Women’s History month, the perfect time to highlight the remarkable achievements and unique perspectives of the women we are proud to share an industry with. 

As the Marketing Manager at supplement company Neurohacker, Tina Gammon’s marketing journey began with a simple solution to stay connected during a backpacking adventure in Switzerland. In this exclusive interview, Tina takes us through the pivotal moments that transformed her from a skeptic about her writing abilities to a seasoned marketing professional, managing content for Neurohacker Collective. Read about the challenges she faced, the crucial role played by supportive women in her journey, and the projects that have left an indelible mark on her career.

Could you share a little bit about your journey into marketing? What got you started, and what has happened to you since then?

Tina: It all started back about 15 years ago when my husband and I were getting ready to go backpacking in Switzerland. At that time our family and our friends were like “we need to be connected with you, and “we want to know you’re alive” and all those things. I thought, I don’t want to be sending out texts every day on an international phone plan, so I decided to have a blog. That kept everybody happy. Each day I would share something, and it worked perfectly, but you know social media. Things got shared on social media and the blog found itself in the hands of a friend of mine who also owned a marketing agency, Alisa Meredith. She’s incredible, and when we got back she reached out to me and said “hey, would you like to write for my company?” I can remember thinking at the time, I’m not a writer. That was for fun, and I had a job. I was working at a busy chiropractic office as an office manager, and that felt safe to me. But my dad always raised me to take my shots in life, and I also really like food, so I thought, what if I just write a couple articles a month and it picks up the tab for my husband and I to go out to eat a couple times? Win-win, right? So I started writing for her, just a couple articles a month. At the same time, she was training me in marketing, and I was picking things up as we were going. It felt kind of like a hobby to me, but I think she saw potential that I didn’t see in myself. After a few months she said “I think you have skills that we could use for social media marketing or for email marketing; would you consider if the agency paid to have you certified for HubSpot, and all the things that you need, would you do it?” And again, I can remember thinking, I have a job. This is a big change; do I want to do this? But I really loved marketing; everything that I was eating up about it fascinated me. So I said yes, and I went through that training. And then, at the same time, I decided that there were some other skills that I could use that I didn’t have, so I started to take some courses at Maine Media College in Photoshop and design and things like that. And that went on to me managing a few accounts for her, and at that time Pinterest was just making its face in the social media world. It was back when it was invite only. I think I had to get an invite from her to even have an account. But she was so savvy about this, and she said “let’s write the playbook on Pinterest marketing. No one is doing it, let’s do it together” and I thought, well that’s kind of cool, and we did. We started to write out all this strategy, we started to offer Pinterest marketing to her clients, and it took off, and it was doing well. So that went on for a little bit too. And then the accounts went away; you know how it is in an agency, they come and they go. And now I had invested in this, but it was gone. So she mentioned that she had seen in a Facebook group that somebody was looking for someone to create hundreds of pins for Pinterest. She was like Tina, do it. You know how to do this. I was nervous about it. I reached out to the guy, his name was Mark Howe, and I didn’t realize at the time this was one of the biggest things in my career ever, meeting this guy. He was like, yes, we have a startup. We need you to create hundreds of pins each month, and I was like great. So I came on as a subcontractor. He was connected with another woman who I consider to be a great in the marketing industry, Sandra Drahos, and I learned a bunch from her. And Mark saw potential in me, and was setting me up with skills there, and that quickly turned into doing social media marketing for them, and paid ads, so I was building again there. And then that startup went under, but when it did, Mark went on to launch another startup, and when he did, he brought me with him. Fast forward 7 years later, and I’m managing content and all the things for Neurohacker Collective. 

How do you think that the assistance and support of other women in marketing has gotten you to where you are today?

Tina: It was everything. If you’ve ever had the situation where you’ve worked in a toxic environment with other women, it makes it super special to work with women that are at the top of their industries, and they’re not uncomfortable with sharing because they’re afraid that it would make them “less than”, but were willing to train me and to raise me up alongside them. Even today, the woman that I work for, the senior vice president of marketing, Lauren, is one of the smartest and savviest people I’ve ever met, and yet she’s always like “what can I give you to help you succeed? What skills do you need to do more?” Which is smart, right? Because then she gets more out of me. It works, but it’s just a very supportive relationship. And again, without the schooling that so many people launch from, four years of marketing, into this, without these people taking shots on me, showing confidence and not making it a competitive environment, I owe all of this to all of them.

Were there any particular challenges that you’ve faced or had to overcome since you got involved in marketing?

Tina: Yeah, I would say there’s a couple. I think at first, now that you know my story, there was a little bit of impostor syndrome, right? Because I was working alongside people that had been to school for four years or whatever, and I was trying to find my value in that, or my voice, and learning that just because I didn’t do it in the traditional fashion did not mean that I didn’t have something strong to bring to the table. I think that was a challenge, and then I think what continues to be a challenge for me, and I don’t have to explain this to you, because you work in marketing, but there’s a high level of burnout in marketing. As marketers we touch a lot of things, and things are changing constantly. There’s never going to be a zero inbox, and you finish a project and there’s another one waiting for you. I think to be healthy and to learn how to prioritize and to pivot in marketing is something that I’m continuing to learn with age and with time, but it doesn’t mean that I’m always successful at it.

Could you share a project or a campaign that you’ve worked on that you’ve been particularly proud of?

Tina: I love this question. I think that one of my favorite things, my pride and joy, are our social media channels. When I started at Neurohacker 7 years ago we were just building the channels. I think it’s kind of cool to be with a company from that point on, right? I can remember when we hit 10,000 followers, and we thought we were the best thing ever. Like, we’re a supplement company, that’s not sexy, right? And 10,000 people are interested in us? That’s amazing. And now I sit before you about 7 years later, and we have 530,000 followers, and it continues to be one of our strongest traffic drivers, and that excites me. I still get excited about it, and I love leaning into learning from our community, as our community has changed. Over the time when we first started, it was very male dominated, very alpha male. There were also other people using it, but now we’ve shifted, and watching our demographics change to women as we’ve increased our product line, and seeing how those serve their needs, and what they need, and I take great joy in going through the feeds, and feeling like these are my friends. Like, what are they telling me they need? But I am incredibly proud of our social media channels, and not just the traffic that they drive, but they’ve opened up doors for us to use in marketing, because someone will be more inclined to come on our podcast if they know that we have, you know, x amount of followers that this content will be shared on. Working with influencers, they’re more inclined to say yes when we have that, compared to other supplement companies that might have 20,000. It’s not worth their time. I think so often social media can just be the thing that anybody can do, but when it’s done well, there’s so much power in it. And those numbers just continue to excite me.

Are there any skills or traits that you think are important to succeed in the field of marketing?

Tina: I think that one of the most important things is being really comfortable with analytics. We can’t optimize what we don’t understand is working or not working. I try really hard to take that approach, and thankfully the company and the marketing team that I work with is very data driven, so it works that way. But I think sometimes people operate in a space where they’re intimidated by analytics, or they think “I’m a creative, so I can’t really understand that.” But I think they’re not mutually exclusive, to be creative and to have analytics work for you, and I think there’s even more power in being able to really understand them yourself, versus just someone on the team giving you a printout of what’s going on, and then to use that to inform how you create, how you talk to your audience, and the articles and all the content that you’re creating. I think that’s incredibly important. 

How do you think that companies can create a more supportive and inclusive environment for women? 

Tina: When I was originally sent the questions for this interview, this is the one that I sat with the longest, to be honest, because I started to think about the company that I work for, and I was like, man, I work with a lot of dudes. Like, there’s a lot of them. Like, on the executive team there’s only one woman. My boss, our marketing team, we just had a hire a couple of weeks ago, but it had always been slanted towards men. But then I thought, maybe the fact that I didn’t notice it is a good thing. Maybe the company had created a space where I always felt that I had a voice, and that my needs were always met, and these people were just sitting in the seats that they were sitting in because they were the best talent at the time that we hired, right? The company that I work for is incredible in that there’s not a whole lot of managing that happens. They believe that if you hire the right person and put them in the right seat you do not need to micromanage them. They’re very focused on work-life balance, so as long as you meet your deadlines, and as long as you meet your meetings every week, no one’s really checking on you about where you work and how you work and what you do. They just trust you to do it, and I would say, not just for women. I appreciate that as a woman some days, you know, you’re not feeling 100%. And I can pick and choose what I’ll work on that day, just knowing that the end goal is to hit deadlines. But they’re like that for gender across the board, and I just think it makes me want to work harder for a company like that, because they’re being so supportive of what’s important in my life. It’s like, how can I pay it forward and give it back to them?

How do you envision the future of marketing, and where do you see yourself in that future?

Tina: I feel like marketing has shifted. I mean, it always has, right? There’s ebbs and flows. But I think about marketing approaches 15 or 20 years ago, and how they were very cold-pitch. It was just so sales driven. I think about our generation of people, and now I think authenticity is king. So I think that that can be a challenge for some marketers, to get in the minds of their ideal customer, and then ask the question if I was them, what would I want? And I think that we’re seeing companies pull away from other companies when they do that successfully. There’s certain things that we’re seeing when we’re testing them. On Instagram for instance, if we share a branded post of a product, it falls flat, but if it’s in someone’s hand and it feels like it’s a lifestyle, I mean that goes for the platform too, right? I think there’s power, and them being like, hey, someone just like me is using this, and it solved a problem. I think it’s going to continue to go in that direction. I’m interested to see where AI plays into that. That’s a very saturated topic, and we could spend a half an hour just on that. But, you know, how we can utilize that, but without losing the human element in marketing, because we don’t want to sacrifice authenticity and being human for efficiency. But we also need to get a lot of things done. I think we’re going to see how we’re going to make that work as we move forward, and I think the successful ones will blend it really well. 

What advice would you give to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in marketing?

Tina: There’s a few things. I would go back to my impostor syndrome in the beginning, and know your value and add tax. It’s a very Pinterest and overused quote, but there’s truth to it, right? Find what you’re good at, and then just don’t play small with it. I think back, if I had played small in some of these opportunities, and talked myself out of these things, I wouldn’t be doing something every day that I love. That would be number one. 

Number two would be don’t check your inbox frequently. Leave your phone in the other room when you’re working on a project. There’s been so many studies that have shown that even just having our phone on our desks, our brain is distracted, because it’s waiting for a message to come in. I have times it’s been a game changer for me, where I literally put it out in the living room and I silence it, and I remind myself that there’s no marketing emergency. I can have an hour and a half to work on this really important project right now, and to do it without the Slack, Facebook, and Instagram notifications. I mean, that’s important for me in my personal life too, but I would say in your career learning that balance, when you can give it 100% distraction free, the quality is so much stronger. The company deserves that, you deserve that. 

And then the last thing I would say is to be comfortable but take risks outside of your comfort zone. Growth really does live outside of our comfort zones, and I think that when we get up on our edges and we’re not just staying where we’re comfortable, and it pushes emotional and other career growth boundaries, we surprise ourselves, and the confidence that comes out of that is strong. And I just think when we’re a healthy version of ourselves, we show up healthier for work too. So, trusting ourselves, whether it be in work or in other situations, to challenge ourselves and to lean into the discomfort, and become a better version on the other side. 

We are so thankful for the time Tina took to sit and chat with us, and the insights she shared can benefit, not just other women, but everyone. Our interview may be over, but the fun doesn’t have to end. Visit the link below to watch the YouTube video of our discussion with Tina, and continue celebrating Women’s History Month with Seapoint!