Katie Gross

Aug 11, 2021

Don’t be afraid to move forward regardless of circumstances – with Katie Gross (Live at SampleCon)



Episode Summary

In the latest episode of the Through Your Looking Glass podcast at SampleCon, Patrick Comer chats with Katie Gross about her experience as Chief Customer Officer at Suzy. Katie recently changed jobs and talks about the importance of being bold and chasing dreams regardless of circumstance.

Katie shares her experience and thoughts on modern-day paneling and its challenges. She talks about the importance of building a healthy company culture and says that CEOs have the most responsibility. She thinks that people in charge should be motivated, experienced, and tightly connected in order to achieve success.

Tune in and hear this brief but inspiring interview and learn how important it is to have courage and a cheerful personality to successfully grow your career and business. Katie is an excellent example of an experienced specialist who knows how to have fun while the world changes.

A man and a woman discussing in armchairs


Name: Katie Gross

What she does: Chief Customer Officer at Suzy

Company: Suzy

Key Quote: “We try to keep everything radically simple and remove the friction.”

Key Insights

  • Accepting a new job during the pandemic. Katie is a person that isn’t afraid to take risks and switch jobs in the middle of the pandemic. She thinks that people should take chances and change their surroundings if that’s something that can improve them and help them build their careers. That’s the reason why she decided to move forward regardless of uncertainty.
  • Having fun while working. CCO of Suzy, Katie Gross, besides owning rich experience and layered knowledge, also thinks that taking care of business needs to incorporate a lot of fun in it. That is the only way to get better, build your brand, and attract clients. Potential customers can see if a company is stuck in a toxic culture, and that’s why having fun and developing healthy relationships within a company can take you places and grow your business.
  • Great and dedicated CEOs are crucial for success. Katie talks about her transfer to Suzy and points out how important it is for a company to have a strong team of trained, experienced and motivated CEOs. She talks about the people she’s working with at the moment and elaborates on their most important traits.

“I understood that sales was not about trying to sell them something. It was really about just having a conversation.”

Episode Highlights

Don’t forget where you’ve started

“The Katie story – lifelong market researcher, psychology degree, came out of university with no skill sets at all, except for SPSS. Inevitably ended up in market research, […] on the client-side. I worked for a food beverage company. I was buying all the data from Mintel, from IRI and Nielsen, attending all the focus groups, and that’s kind of where I cut my teeth on consumer insights. Moved up to London and worked at Mintel again as a researcher, putting together those marketer search reports. […] I loved it from day one, my first client. […] I understood that sales was not about trying to sell them something. It was really about just having a conversation. Tell me what you do. Tell me how you’re currently doing it. What are you challenged with, and if you have a tool that can fit on me? The sale is and was kind of a happy byproduct and just being able to help my company, what they do.”

Good CEOs build brands internally and externally

“What’s been awesome for me is to work for a CEO and a president who came from, not at all from market research. […] They both have their own agencies. […] They were fraternity brothers at Boston University together, and we have big field communications, which also sold to the publicists, and they rejoined and said, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s build this great company.’ So they know how to build brands, and that includes internal and external-facing branding.”

“If ultimately P&G would like the question to be asked a different way from J&J and a different way from Kraft-Heinz, we’re not gonna get any kind of consistency. We need to work together.”

Suzy adapts to modern paneling

“We had a round table yesterday on ‘Collaboration is the new competition.’ So, we are here to learn and to be a part of it. You’ll see the same challenges that you mentioned this morning. How do we ask about gender? We actually did a genetic test recently. We have an LGBTQ panel and a gen pop panel. We tested it, but we don’t know the best way of asking that question either. But if we’re doing it, we need to make sure that everyone is doing it. Because if ultimately P&G would like the question to be asked a different way from J&J and a different way from Kraft-Heinz, we’re not gonna get any kind of consistency. We need to work together. While we own our own panel, we want it to work lockstep with panels in general. I listened to the quality conversations, of course, we will face the same quality issues and supply and demand issues, so let’s solve them together.”

Suzy achieves in removing the friction

“What’s been great for me over the last year is working directly with brands. It’s been fascinating and wonderful. But ultimately, what they care about is, ‘Should I be selling this flavor to the dog owner, or this flavor to the dog owner?’ […] It’s the best way to ask profiling, and how do we scale that profiling question. We sometimes lose sight of the fact that there’s a company trying to make a billion-dollar decision on just talking to the dog owners. […]

That’s why I think platforms like Suzy are doing so well because we try to keep everything radically simple and remove the friction. Even just our business model is subscriptions, annual subscriptions. So many of our clients said the friction just raising a PO every time they wanted to run a project was so bad, the subscription with Suzy for the year is like, ‘Whew, I’ve removed the friction of having to go raise a PO and ask for a price and wait six weeks for the PO to be approved.'”


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