As a part of our series about “Marketing Strategies From The Top” I had the pleasure of interviewing Krystal Hauserman. Krystal Hauserman is the Vice President of Marketing at Fullscreen (a WarnerMedia company), a leader in social content, creative services and management for the world’s top digital talent, celebrities, public figures and brands. She is responsible for elevating the Fullscreen brand with a mix of compelling brand storytelling, PR, social media, and the creation of high-touch experiences at culture-driving events like the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Coachella Music Festival, Cannes Lions, VidCon and many more. Krystal began her career as an entertainment attorney at a top L.A. firm, representing a who’s who of high-profile Hollywood clientele.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, or readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I love this question because my path is anything but linear. I had a passion for film and storytelling when I was in college, but being a young woman in Oklahoma, couldn’t sort out in my mind how to break into the entertainment industry. A law degree seemed like it might be the ticket. After a lot of hard work, and against all the odds, I landed my dream job at a renowned entertainment firm in Los Angeles. I was a young trial lawyer working on high-profile cases for A-list actors, directors, producers, musicians and more …. and I was miserable! After a few years I realized I enjoyed spending time with my clients, learning about their business, helping make connections for them; from there the transition to marketing was natural. I wanted to focus on building people up rather than tearing them down.
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Designing curated events for clients that included high-profile speakers were some of the first things I worked on at the beginning of my marketing career. One of them was a closed-door event for about 25 c-suite attendees with a high ranking government official. I pulled the doors closed at the start of the program, which was a sit-down dinner, and quickly realized I forgot to save myself a chair. The waiter set up a small table in the corner, and I sat there awkwardly the whole evening — like the kids table at Thanksgiving. It was a reminder to never overlook saving yourself a seat at the table.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
I’ve always been a “do-er,” focused on the long, long list of tasks to be done in a given day. I’m one of those people who gets great joy from crossing things off the list! However, once I began to shift my mindset from finishing all the to-dos (and realizing the list will never, ever be finished) and started really looking at the big picture and asking questions like, “why are these things on the list?” “is there a better, smarter or more creative way?” colleagues and managers started viewing me as much more than someone who could execute, but a leader with great judgment, ideas and perspective — all traits that are essential for career success.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Fullscreen was one of the very first social media companies that was created to help the earliest YouTube stars grow their audiences and get brand deals. Nine years later we still work with the very best YouTube talent — and social-first talent across every other major social platform — and have used our expertise and technology to serve brand clients. We are constantly evolving and adapting to an industry that is changing at lightning speed, and our capabilities and service offering get more and more sophisticated. What is really cool is that many of the earliest social video pioneers who have been on board with us since the very beginning are still with us. And more and more, traditional talent, celebrities and other public figures who need help with their social presence look to us to help them build their strategy and develop content.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
The expansion of our Public Figures team, which partners with top-tier film, TV, music and sports talent on content strategy, social video optimization, rights management and media sales is exciting. It’s kind of what I always wanted to do when I packed up the moving van and headed to Los Angeles 19 years ago!
What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?
Always be kind, curious and willing to make a connection. Kindness will always serve you, especially in the entertainment and media industry; don’t ever be the jerk people can’t stand, this is a small industry. Be curious, especially at networking and industry events. Everyone has a story. Engage with people and listen. Listen for opportunities where you can offer guidance or an introduction. These gestures are highly underrated and go such a long way to establishing authentic relationships. Be impeccable with your word and follow through. Nobody likes BS, and your tolerance for it in others diminishes rapidly the farther along you get in your career.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I was a law student, I sent cold emails to partners at every single firm in L.A. with an entertainment department (hundreds!). Exactly one person agreed to meet with me for lunch, and eventually helped me land a job at her firm. If not for that one act, I probably wouldn’t be sitting where I am right now. I will always be grateful to her for taking the call from an ambitious young student.
Companies like Google and Facebook have totally disrupted how companies market over the past 15 years. At the same time, consumers have become more jaded and resistant to anything “salesy.” In your industry, where do you see the future of marketing going?
This is something we talk about often, especially with our talent clients who are interested in working with brands and vice versa. Authenticity and alignment are essential. Today’s talent are very business savvy and they understand that quick dollars today might not be the best strategic play for where they want to go in the future. And the same is true for brands interested in working with social talent — “one and done” campaigns are not incredibly effective. Building longer-term partnerships are almost always more successful for brands interested in driving awareness and sales.
Can you please tell us the 5 things you wish someone told you before you started? Can you please share a story or example for each.
Be patient, enjoy the ride and learn as much as you can along the way. Don’t be a jerk … ever. Always take time to eat lunch, go to the bathroom, and send personal thank you notes. Know your value and make sure your manager knows as well — hoping busy people notice all the great things you are doing is not a great strategy!
What books, podcasts, documentaries or other resources do you use to sharpen your marketing skills? I think just being curious in general, wherever your interests take you, is a good thing. I’ve never been a proponent of business-y books, I’ve just never found them all that interesting. With one exception: Mr. Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” It should be required reading for the entire human race.
Who is your hero? Can you explain or share a story about why that person resonates with you?
Two young women who are really making a difference: Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg. Ensuring all women have access to education and demanding the preservation of our planet. If this is what Gen Z has in store for the world, I think there is hope yet.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The climate crisis is something I think about a lot. We must avoid the thinking that we as individuals are too insignificant to make an impact. Small things like reducing personal food waste, selecting products with eco-friendly packaging, driving less, and consuming less meat do matter.
How can our readers follow you online?
@MsTravelicious … unless you hate social content about food
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.