From ensuring the entire company has consistent brand messaging and materials to leading customer acquisition initiatives, the Marketing department at Extra Space Storage has their hands full. And though the team may be small, with fewer than 20 people making up the team, their work has a big impact.
To spotlight the Marketing department at Extra Space Storage, we spoke with Senior Director of Digital Marketing Brooke Stencil and Senior Manager of Brand & Creative Services Kate Satuala about Marketing’s work, recent accomplishments, and the ways in which they make us a better company every day.
Q: What are the Marketing department’s goals?
A: Marketing is responsible for driving customers into the shopping funnel—which covers everything from before customers even have a need for storage all the way to the shopping and renting phase—both digitally and physically. We are responsible for the digital conversion experience, so we optimize the website through testing to make the storage shopping experience as easy and helpful as possible. We also look for opportunities for same-store revenue growth and assist in delivering key platforms. This includes:
- Increasing same store shopping traffic
- Increasing same store conversion rate
- Increasing branded search terms
- Executing marketing communication plans for new product development
- Supporting Store Support Center & Field with brand initiatives
Q: Are there unique teams within the Marketing department?
A: We have several teams within our department that focus on specific areas of marketing:
- Brand: Brand is the John Stockton to the Karl Malone of marketing. They assist with design, coming up with creative ideas to capture the customer’s attention, and pulling the customer into and through the sales funnel.
- Social Media: Social Media creates relationships with current and potential customers with engaging content.
- Paid Acquisition & Lead Gen: When the customer is shopping for storage, it’s Paid Acquisition and Lead Gen’s job to reach the right person at the right time with the right message. This happens through digital and traditional advertising platforms and storage aggregators.
- SEO: SEO is a complex web of relevant content creation, accuracy with local directories, review and reputation management, and technical optimization of the website.
- Web Optimization: Web Optimization enables customers to easily access information and move through the website to reserve the right type of storage for their needs. They do this through running design and technical tests on the website.
- Email: Email helps to build current customer relationships and provide needed information regarding a variety of topics ranging from payments to store updates.
Q: Does the Marketing department’s work cross over with another department’s work?
A: Marketing works with every department, but we’re heavy partners with IT, Product Development, Third-Party Management, and our internal Employee Experience team.
Q: What word best describes the work done by the Marketing department?
A: Marketing strives to live the company values with a heavy emphasis on Teamwork and Excellence.
Q: What are some challenges the Marketing department faces?
A: Like any organization, we face hurdles around capacity to complete every project we’d like to do. Similarly, we work to balance bandwidth across multiple teams, keeping in mind impact and effort. With everything we do, there’s an effect on our field operations team—teamwork is critical to ensuring success and smooth integration of marketing efforts.
Q: How does the Marketing department promote morale and collaboration?
A: We try to have team-building activities throughout the year, and this past year established weekly cross-collaboration time and dedicated time for the team to work on learning and development. We host quarterly meetings with our broader CA team and have recognition awards for those that have gone above and beyond over the last quarter.
Q: What are some of the Marketing department’s recent accomplishments?
A: Due to COVID-19, our team has been working from home since March 2020. During that time—in partnership with Product Development and other teams—we were able to support, create, and launch all marketing assets for a new online lease product in half the time that was predicted for accomplishment. This took team collaboration, individual contribution, and extended hours to accomplish. We are incredibly proud of our team for their work in getting this done so that we can help our customers get the services they need while under strict safety precautions.
Q: Where has the Marketing department made the most impact?
A: Customer recognition and acquisition.
Q: What are some of the ways the Marketing department has displayed Extra Space Storage’s core values?
A: Similar to our theme, the Marketing team really exhibits the values in all that we do. Marketing is a collaborative environment. Without teamwork, innovation, and excellence, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish the goals that we set out for.
Q: What future project(s) is the Marketing department looking forward to?
A: Continuing to find new and innovative ways to optimize and create positive customer shopping experiences, including website optimization, targeted and relevant ad campaigns, and testing new features on paid and organic aspects of search engine results pages (SERPs).
We asked some of the Marketing team members to tell us a little more about their work, team dynamics, and what they’d tell someone considering a marketing position at Extra Space Storage.
Adam Day – Multimedia Designer
The Marketing team is filled with creative and adventurous people. Joining this team puts you on a path to try new things and develop new skills, inside and outside of your comfort zone. Opportunities for growth arise frequently, and everyone is motivated to take them and encourage others to as well.
Innovation and creativity is the lifeblood of the Marketing department. We promote leadership no matter the position. We are encouraged to work closely together, and we’re given opportunities to lead groups on a regular basis.
Allie Leininger – Paid Acquisition Manager
Being part of the Extra Space Storage Marketing team is a great opportunity to expand your skills and experience. The team has a strong focus on collaboration, and you can take on new projects with confidence knowing you have a whole team to support you. As long as you are willing to speak up with new ideas or challenges, your teammates and leadership are always ready to listen.
The Extra Space Storage marketing team has been very creative in the ways we stay connected while working remotely! From fitness challenges to virtual escape rooms, the Marketing department is continually finding new ways to bring our team together during the pandemic.
Maddi Aki – Senior Manager of Web Optimization
We hold a collaborative meeting every other month where we focus on an individual’s project and come up with ways to make it better. For example, one month, we did a Paid Advertising project where we split out into groups, wrote ads, added imagery, and came up with a campaign. This added so many outside perspectives that it brought out creativity and new ideas. It’s been a beneficial addition to the group that we plan on continuing in the long term.
About a year ago, we started a project that simplified our online sales process. This involved various departments including Operations, Legal, Brand, and Revenue Management. It was exciting to hear different perspectives and work with a UX Designer to come up with an experience that could really change the way we did business online. It made me realize that in order to create an effective project, you have to look at it from the entire business’ perspective. A lot of the time, we get caught up in our expertise and see it one-sided and what would benefit your team the most. I saw some noticeable growth in myself professionally during that time because I broadened my perspective at Extra Space Storage and saw the business in a new, comprehensive light.
Max Cortes – Email Specialist
Join us. You will be pleasantly surprised. The Marketing department strives on teamwork. If I ever have a question or problem, no one hesitates to help.
Of my favorite projects I worked on was the email incentive campaigns. I was able to collaborate with multiple departments. It allowed me to be creative and analytical, which is what I enjoy most. Also, seeing the campaign make a positive impact on performance made it that much better.
Interested in a career with Extra Space Storage? Learn more about our employment opportunities.
This article is part of an ongoing series of department spotlights at Extra Space Storage. Check back for more!