Marketer Interviews

I have actually reduced social media consumption to almost zero.

Darren Foong

Growth Marketing at ReferralCandy

Learn more about Darren's work at

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Where are you working now, what is your role and how did you get here?

Darren Foong:

I'm very lucky to be working right now at a soft-spoken startup called ReferralCandy. Startups are very much about gambling on talent and stretching skillsets and rapid learning, and my previous 'blogging' role at a startup evolved into a product marketing role that allowed me to talk fast into a growth marketing role.

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What is your favorite marketing area? (Social, SEO, Sales etc.)?

Darren Foong:

I started out in PR and writing, and so content always has a special place in my heart. To sell is human, and I love influence, persuasion, pre-suasion and all that. In the last couple of years, I have come to enjoy product marketing. Being able to work with engineers and designers and product managers to work on addressing customer needs and solving problems is exciting.

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Why do you love marketing?

Darren Foong:

There's an assumption here that I love marketing - can we verify this? Also, I would rather be making pay like an investment banker. But nowhere else do you spend up to eight hours a day doing your best to persuade, assuage, convince, and exclude as many people as possible en masse using the power of words, and weave in opportunities for shameless self promotion, provocative language and self-deprecating humour.

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What are your favorite books?

Darren Foong:

My classics are The Score Takes Care of Itself and High Output Management. Understanding how incredible leaders think, manage, and motivate their team to make success not a surprise but a regular, repeatable, even automatic systematic item is great.

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What marketing related blogs, magazines etc. do you read to keep your skills up to date?

Darren Foong:

I read a lot of the Ahrefs blog, the Hubspot blog, and those of the bloggers who guestpost on ReferralCandy.com

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What brands do you like or follow on social media and why?

Darren Foong:

I have actually reduced social media consumption to almost zero. Beyond friends & family on Instagram maybe, I don't really have the inclination to keep up with brands.

No, I tell a lie. I follow @TheEconomist for pithy comics, compelling captivating pictures and stories told in captions. I also listen to Babbage and Money Talks off Economist Radio (podcasts) and -- ooh, they've got a new one.

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How do you find good content?

Darren Foong:

Aptly for someone who works at ReferralCandy, I tend to come across good content when it's shared in conversations or forums. Asking someone for their favourite book or recommendation is a great way to find new books to read (and a person you could start asking is Ryan Holiday or Siquan Ong).

For movies, I triangulate between RottenTomatoes, R/Movies and Wikipedia. If the plot seems terrible when I spoil myself via Wiki, then it might not be worth watching. Yes; I spoil the endings of movies and books. If your movie relies only on a twist or a surprise to succeed then it might not be worth watching twice.

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How do you get to know your target audience?

Darren Foong:

The team at ReferralCandy regularly push to talk to customers, and we encourage every member to participate in "Customer Success for a Night". In my work producing case studies and so on I talk to customers, and take every excuse to poke them every few months.

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What tools do you use for social marketing?

Darren Foong:

Freelancers.

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What tools do you use for analytics?

Darren Foong:

Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Google Search Console, Quicksight, Redshift, Segment

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What CRM tools do you use?

Darren Foong:

N/A

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What's your #1 advice for people starting to get into marketing?

Darren Foong:

Don't start. Really, the hours are terrible, the work is exhausting, you can make more money in software engineering and I don't need the competition of young, enthusiastic, hungry people learning everything and experimenting their way to success. Go work in a bank.

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