It would be hard to argue against the primacy of content on the internet, and as a tool for reaching potential customers, there’s not a business, of any size, that isn’t trying to perfect their offerings in order to drive traffic for leads and potential sales.
Enter Lindsay Tjepkema, the CEO of Casted, an Indianapolis-based Amplified Marketing Platform with audio and video podcast solutions for B2B marketers. She started Casted in April 2019, and has grown the business on the strength of its updated content marketing approach. I recently spoke with Lindsay about her journey from marketer to CEO and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
Mary Juetten: What problem are you solving?
Lindsay Tjepkema: The content marketing playbook most teams use today was written over two decades ago. At Casted, we’re introducing the next generation by empowering B2B sales and marketing teams to establish stronger audience connections and drive revenue by using audio and video as the center of their content marketing strategies. This rich content is then amplified across all other channels, fueling blog articles, social media posts, email newsletters, sales enablement – then measured in a way that truly matters to the business. By amplifying reach, they’re amplifying the impact on their revenue.
Juetten: Who are your customers and how do you find them?
Tjepkema: Our customers are marketers at the world’s leading B2B brands, like Salesforce, Drift, ZoomInfo, and Terminus, who are eager to increase the reach and impact of their content to see actual impact on revenue and close the gap between sales and marketing for good.
We find our customers by making it easy for them to find us! We invested our time and limited startup resources early into being our own best use case. We prioritized brand-building and establishing a strong Amplified Marketing practice where we harness the voices of thought leaders on topics our audience cares about. We turn those voices into audio and video content, then send it out across all other content channels. That has served us well in getting us in front of prospective customers in a meaningful way that drives them to conversations with us.
Juetten: How did past projects and/or experience help with this new project?
Tjepkema: Prior to Casted, I was the VP of Content and Brand at a global SaaS recently acquired by SAP. I spearheaded the enterprise content strategy and it was important to me to really humanize and grow the brand. A big part of that was harnessing the voices and perspectives of industry experts, our customers and partners, and internal thought leaders and using their unique perspectives and experiences to fuel brand messaging and content.
So, we launched Marketer + Machine, the brand’s podcast. My team and I were able to use the audio and video content from that show to drive our other marketing efforts – blog content, keynote speeches, engaging social posts, sales collateral, webinars, and more.
I knew that, if I saw this much success by tapping into our podcast, other marketers would be able to do the same, however, there was however, there was no tech, no platform, no tool to help my team and I make it happen or to measure our efforts and show ROI. So, I set out to create the solution I wish I had for my team. From that, Casted was born.
Juetten: Who is on your team?
Tjepkema: As a founder, there is no better feeling than having an incredible group of smart, talented, passionate people who want to work at your company. We absolutely have that at Casted. Today, we have 20 of the best humans in SaaS that make up the Casted Crew. We’re growing quickly, though, and as we do, each of us will protect this culture we’ve fostered over the last almost two years.
Juetten: Did you raise money?
Tjepkema: We closed our seed round this time last year. We’ve raised $2.3M to date and I’m currently working on Series A.
Juetten: Startups are an adventure — what’s your favorite startup story?
Tjepkema: Alex Blumberg of Gimlet Media, hands down. If he only knew how many times I listened to the first season of Startup, it would be embarrassing. Alex documented and shared his startup story: all the calls and conversations, all the cringy first pitches and sleepless nights filled with anxiety and self-doubt. I listened to his podcast about being a first-time founder starting a podcast company as I ALSO set out to be a first-time founder starting a podcast company.
Our companies are very different, but because he shared his raw success story, I was inspired. And I learned a lot! I would love the opportunity to talk to him about it someday….maybe on a podcast? Wouldn’t that be meta and so very cool
Juetten: How do you measure success and what is your favorite success story?
Tjepkema: As a business, we measure success with all the typical SaaS KPIs: revenue growth, customer retention, customer acquisition costs. But as a leader, I measure success by looking at my team and our customers. Is the team happy? Do they feel supported and like they can be successful? Do they see their path for growth here? And do our customers love Casted? Do they feel like we’re listening to them and eager to help? Are we creating an experience they want to share with others? These are the indicators that we’re on the right path. All those metrics will follow – and I watch them closely! But none of it matters if your people – internal and external – are happy.
Juetten: Any tips to add for early-stage founders or CEOs in growth mode?
Tjepkema: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. As a founder, you are always doing something that has never been done before. Sure, you can rely on books and mentors to get you part of the way there, but the other half has to come from you. You have to determine the steps you need to take for your company to achieve its goals, no one is going to do it for you.
Juetten: What’s the long-term vision for your company?
Tjepkema: Some people start companies to solve problems. Others see an opportunity to take down a competitor. That’s fine, but I’m here to lead a movement. Casted is introducing brands to the next generation of content strategy: Amplified Marketing. We’ve established a new approach to their strategies that makes their teams more efficient, their work more effective, and their brands more engaging. And we’re empowering them to measure it all in ways that are not only important to the marketing team, but also that provide actionable insights for sales and show impact on the brand’s overall revenue.
Juetten: What’s it been like shifting from a marketer to the CEO? What are the hardest parts? What are the most fun parts?
Tjepkema: Making the move from marketer to CEO is really interesting. I’ve lived the lives of our customers so I know deeply the pain they feel, the way they work, what motivates and challenges them, and what gaps they face from the products they use. So it’s really fun to be able to relate so directly to our audience and KNOW that what we’re building here at Casted will change their professional lives and their marketing strategies in such positive and meaningful ways!
Also, as a founder and CEO, it’s on me to cast the vision, to shape our message, to establish our north star. My marketing background definitely helps there. The hard part is that I want to spend all my time there! I want to jump in with our amazing and talented marketing team and get creative and build the campaigns. But they don’t need me to do that! They just need me to cast the vision and get out of their way so they can work their magic. And I have a lot of other areas that I need to focus on, too. But, that said, one of my favorite things about moving into this new CEO role has been all learning involved. It’s been really fun taking on new challenges and growing with the business.
Thanks to Lindsay for sharing her story with me. Podcasts aren’t the future so much as our immediate present, but more than that is the consistent theme about taking care of people as a founder. #onwards.
I am the founder and CEO of Traklight, the only self-guided software platform that creates your custom intellectual property (IP) strategy and assesses business risk. I