On this 232nd episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview the founder of Planable, Xenia Muntean. Planable allows marketing teams to collaborate, and even more importantly, visualize the content that they are creating before posting it online.

Our conversation starts with Muntean’s experience growing up in the Republic of Moldova, a post-Soviet country in Eastern Europe. This environment taught Muntean the discipline, resiliency, and work ethic that led her to land on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, though the journey wasn’t always smooth. Muntean says, “it’s only a path now looking back, connecting all the dots and looking backward.”

She then talks about how the problems with collaboration in her first marketing business led her to create Planable out of necessity. The best part about Planable is “the clarity that the tool gives you around your content.” Now, marketing teams all over the world use Planable to help “them simplify their content workflows.” Muntean then discusses how Planable is “more about the people than it is about the content itself” and removes miscommunication during collaboration. Finally, we discuss the current state of the world and the challenges that have been presented by the global pandemic. Muntean simply states, in the beginning,” uncertainty was the biggest challenge.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Xenia was born and raised in the Republic of Moldova, a post-Soviet country in Eastern Europe. 1:27
  • Xenia learned a lot about independence, resilience, and survival from spending her life in such a unique country. 2:08
  • The path from Moldova to Forbes 30-Under-30 list was a long one filled with its unique challenges. 3:00
  • During her second year in university, Xenia started her first social media marketing business. 3:58
  • Collaborating with clients and her team while trying to build incredible content was a very big struggle at first. 4:46
  • Planable was built out of a necessity to collaborate on content with both clients and employees. 5:49
  • In a country that was not her own, pitching to the venture industry in London was made easier by a welcoming community. 6:52
  • Tech Stars was made up of a majority of female CEOs, which made the transition that much more comfortable for Xenia. 7:49
  • Xenia built her business on what she could control and didn’t pay attention to any bias towards her as a woman. 8:46
  • Planable is designed for teams to collaborate on content and is used by companies all over the world. 9:10
  • As a workflow system, Planable allows social media teams to visualize and coordinate content before it is ever posted. 10:30
  • Planable takes the guessing out of posting content on social media. 11:30
  • B2B marketing for Planable relies a lot on inbound marketing and just recently started using influencers. 11:44
  • The first season of the People of Marketing Podcast is wrapping up and has proved very difficult but useful as a marketing tool. 13:27
  • Xenia has used her podcast to listen to the journeys and challenges that marketing leaders have faced on their way to the top. 14:20
  • Planable focuses on the people in the marketing teams rather than the content itself. 15:20
  • Though the ongoing pandemic didn’t change the product, it did change how Planable had to communicate the product to clients and potential clients. 16:28
  • Offering a free trial and discounts was Planable’s way of helping clients that might be going through financial struggles. 17:20
  • Cuts may have hit the marketing space the hardest, and COVID slowed the expected growth for collaboration tools. 18:50
  • Embracing remote work requires an understanding of the issues and challenges that are facing your team. 20:16
  • Planable replaces all the tools that present opportunities for gaps in communication and clarity. 21:28
  • Xenia’s Facebook business, crafting jewelry with her mother, taught her quite a bit about discipline and work ethic. 22:28
  • Do whatever you can to stay out of your own way; you are capable of amazing things. 23:50
  • The multitude of companies in the alternative-meat industry inspires Xenia with how they market themselves. 26:03
  • Silos are the largest threat to marketing teams in the current world environment. 26:57

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.