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Who to follow: Marisa Pisani

Who to follow: Marisa Pisani


Marisa Pisani is good at marketing.

Currently the Director of Marketing Strategy & Automation at marketing agency Adcom, Marisa’s role is to lead strategy for the agency’s marketing automation clients as well as overseeing a team of email developers, designers, campaign managers and project managers.

After earning her degree in Interpersonal Communications from Kent State University in Ohio, Marisa landed her first agency job as a project manager straight out of college in 2010. Inexplicably drawn to digital projects like websites, landing pages and emails from the very start, Marisa soon focused her project management efforts on digital channels and found that she really had a knack for making the most of them.

After working closely with a very email-centric client, Marisa’s interest in the email channel and its potential blossomed into full-blown love. She completed 5 ESP certifications in 2 years and began delving deep into how dynamic content, personalization, and targeting could combine to create truly custom experiences for users. Marisa loved the part art and science played in making email marketing effective, and that’s why she has spent the past 3 years working with email and SMS exclusively.

This passion for email marketing, combined with a lively (if sporadic) personal social media presence (rife with Neil deGrasse Tyson-themed posts) has made Marisa Pisani one of our very phavorite follows here at Phrasee for quite some time now.

Now that Marisa’s email marketing street cred has been established beyond a doubt, let’s see what else this digital trailblazer has to say…



Marisa Pisani tale of the tape

Favourite food: Sushi

Pets: None right now. We had dogs growing up but I have 2 toddlers (a 3 year old & a 4 year old) at home and that’s more than enough chaos for the time being!

Dream job as a child: An astronaut or a zookeeper

Last big purchase: Well, my last big purchase was a new car last year but if you asked my kids, their favorite big purchase of mine was their race-car beds.

Guilty pleasure: Reading books or watching documentaries about Astrophysics. Anything with Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a total bonus.

Pet peeve: When driving and I slow down to let someone merge in front of me and they don’t raise their hand to thank me. How hard is it to just raise your hand? I don’t know why but it bothers me so much! Haha


An interview with Marisa Pisani

For those who might not know, what is Adcom, and how does it make life easier for marketers/brands?

Adcom is a full-service agency creating meaningful relationships for great brands. We offer consultative services in Brand Planning, Audience Planning, Communications Planning and Marketing Technologies. These services are built around areas of expertise that steer our thinking based on a comprehensive view of a brand’s relationship with its audience.

We make life easier because the strategies we propose can all be executed by a team of SMEs here at the agency so you never end up with a strategy or tactical recommendation that cannot be put into practice if you don’t have the capacity or expertise within your company.

Where does email fit into a modern marketing strategy?

Where doesn’t email fit into a modern marketing strategy? Haha just kidding! I love email to build loyalty with a brand, respond to subscribers who raise their hand (like as in a behavioral trigger email) as well as drive sales. Your customers and prospects aren’t always going to be in the market to buy whatever it is that you’re selling so using email to keep your brand top of mind is an excellent use of the channel.

When I first started in email, every email seemed like it was saying “HEY we’re having a sale!” then 3 days later, “HEY we’re having another sale” or “HEY just reminding you that we still have a sale!”. Now, the email marketers that are doing it right send emails that say, “Hi there friend, who I actually know something about, here’s some inspirational/relevant content that I believe you’ll enjoy and oh also if you’re ready now, we’re having a sale.” Email definitely drives sales but it has the ability to do so much more throughout the customer journey.

What is a “meaningful relationship” from the brand-consumer perspective?

A meaningful relationship is one where the consumer can tell that the brand shares the same values and understands their wants and needs. It’s truly authentic. It’s about a brand creating and selling a product/service because they have bilateral communication with their customers and know that their customers’ lives will be better because of what they have to offer. The customer feels heard by the brand and not just like they’re being sold to all the time.

Where do modern brands need to improve in their approach to customer relationship building?

In order to have a better approach to customer relationship building, modern brands need to improve their authenticity. I love brands that are unapologetic for who they are because they know their customers have similar “personality” traits and understand that you can’t be everything to everyone. Really understanding your audience and being responsive to their wants/needs/questions/concerns is what builds a great customer relationship. Being authentic is actually the same advice I give to my friends and family – just be yourself and the right people will be drawn to you! It may not always be a lot of people but it’s the right people!

How can a brand demonstrate that it shares the same values as its customers?

A brand can demonstrate that it shares the same values as its customers through community involvement, charities that it supports and by the way the brand interacts with its customers on social media, customer service representatives on the phone or in person.

When do marketing personalization and targeting cross the line that divides the relevant from the creepy?

Haha, it is a fine line from relevant to creepy! I think that most consumers today understand that their web activity is being tracked and they appreciate when you send them follow up content that includes a picture of a product they viewed or is an extension of content they read on your website. It gets creepy when the brand makes broad assumptions based on that web activity or when the content the consumer viewed is sensitive. For example, unless someone very explicitly tells you they are pregnant, I’m going to say – don’t talk to them about it! We created a behavioral trigger program on life stages for a client and one of our CTAs was literally “I’m having a baby”. If you can’t be that obvious, look for multiple indicators over a period of time.

What’s your favorite thing about working with email?

My favorite thing about working with email is that it’s always evolving. I love all of the new innovative techniques that come out! Between interactive emails, AI determining content, click-to-text links, and other things like that, we can do so much within email now. Of course, a lot of the cool things don’t work in every platform but they’re still fun to do!

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life today?

Hmm… good question! Haha well, right now I’m most excited about Fall! It’s my favorite season and I cannot wait to watch as nature transforms all of the trees into beautiful, fiery colors. I live right near Cuyahoga Valley National Park and once fall hits, my boys and I drive through there and go on the trails as often as we can. I also love going to the apple orchards, hayrides and bonfires, it’s all so much fun!

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