Transforming an Industry, Thoughtfully: Q&A with Tomo CMO Lee Nadler
Jordan Kelley, Content Director, BrandStorytelling.tv
Brand Storytelling advisory board member Lee Nadler isn't afraid to get a little uncomfortable. He is known for his ability to surmount the insurmountable and push through organizations' internal and external obstacles in pursuit of success. These qualities ensure that Nadler is uniquely positioned to tackle the obstacles presented to a marketer when getting a startup off the ground, making him a great catch for fintech startup Tomo, where Nadler has taken the role of CMO.
Brand Storytelling caught up with Lee to learn a bit more bout Tomo and his plans for tackling the task of introducing it to the world:
Lee - congratulations on your new position. For those who are unfamiliar, what is Tomo? What does Tomo aim to solve for?
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions and largest financial transactions a person makes. Companies have been focused for decades on improving the real estate transaction experience. While some progress has been made, buying a home is still often time-consuming, confusing and stressful.
When we launch early next year, Tomo will provide home buyers with efficiency, from a tech-enabled real estate platform, and confidence from a team of elite experts.
As a newcomer to the market, how do you plan to build affinity for Tomo and get others to see the benefits of the Omotenashi approach?
Buying a home is one of the last arduous and painful experiences that technology hasn't streamlined significantly. It's also a process where people feel incredibly vulnerable.
Tomo is inspired by Omotenashi, a Japanese service philosophy in which needs are anticipated and thoughtfully met. We will bring exceptional experiences, precise professionalism and elegant simplicity to the home buying process.
The Omotenashi approach will emotionally appeal to people when they are in need of clarity and guidance from a trusted resource.
You’re a proud practitioner of sherpa-inspired leadership - how will that translate into your role as CMO?
The Sherpa leadership principles I’ve learned and practiced over the years are especially helpful in a situation where there is a big audacious goal requiring industry transformation. Having a shared vision of the “summit” is critical. It’s also important to take time to plan the right path, so the team can move quickly forward. At start ups, uncertainty is inevitable, but can feel daunting. I believe that we can train ourselves to become more comfortable being uncomfortable. We are all being forced to learn to manage and move forward during these uncertain times. You can read about and watch videos of many other insights at my blog TheSherpaPath.com.
At a pre-launch start up, it’s exciting as the CMO to collaborate closely with other members of our Founding Leadership team to build the framework and principles for how we interact with our customers in the product experience as well as the communications. The brand and product are inherently interconnected.
The company raised an incredible $40M in its last seed round of investment - what plans do you have to put capital toward your marketing efforts at Tomo?
We are thrilled with the investment, and how much Ribbit Capital and NFX believe in the solution. For competitive reasons, I can't go into details about our marketing spend and plans, but I suspect that Tomo will appear on homebuyers' radars in the not-too-distant future and become a trusted partner for many years to come.
What’s next for the marketing department at Tomo?
On any adventure, especially with inherent risk and shared reward, it’s critical to have the right team. Startups present a great opportunity for talent to develop, as the company develops. People have opportunities to try so many different things. We're in the process of identifying talented, passionate and positive people. Take a look at the open roles at TomoNetworks.com
About Lee Nadler
Lee Nadler's leadership style is inspired by Sherpas, the guides he met on expeditions to Mt. Everest, which inspired him to set up Sherpa Marketing, a consulting firm he ran for years. Lee's marketing backpack is full having built successful agencies, brands and ad tech businesses throughout his career. As a digital ad pioneer in 1996, Lee became the first Head of Marketing for DoubleClick, which was later acquired by Google. On the agency side Lee was President & CEO of Digital Pulp. And on the brand side at BMW Group from 2012-2018, Nadler managed marketing and orchestrated all new product launches for the iconic car brand MINI. In 2020, Lee joined Tomo, where he now serves as CMO and a member of the Founding Leadership Team. Lee Nadler is proud to move the industry forward as an Advisory Board member of Brand Storytellers and Chairman of the Board of the Ad Club.