Take five...with Steve Miller

Steve Miller is House Party’s VP of Operations, which means it’s up to him to make sure that we continue to function like a well-oiled machine. Let’s see what he has to say about how he keeps House Party moving forward, what attracted him to social marketing and which albums he’d take along to a desert island.

 

1) A House Party or Chatterbox™ campaign is more complex than people may realize. We have to build a dedicated Party Site, write dozens of branded emails and announcements, choose the right advocates, build their Party Packs and ship them on time, measure the results accurately and completely…to name just a few things. As the VP of Operations, how do you keep everything running smoothly?

By having a talented team around me making all of that happen! I can’t say enough good things about all of the House Party employees who are doing the hard work to “keep everything running smoothly” in their respective areas. We’ve got a shared vision and solid processes that evolve with our product; it takes everyone and their hard work to keep that going.

2) To be effective, Operations needs to keep a lot of groups happy: clients, consumers, internal teams, etc. How do you strike the right balance when implementing or improving processes?

I believe that balance can be a natural byproduct of a process working, although not all groups will be 100% happy with all processes. The right approach to a new process requires identifying and consulting with the proper stakeholders, an extensive planning phase, and continued management before, during and after process implementation. Each process can be a dynamic entity, and finding balance is a bit akin to philosophy. I’ll keep breaking down each element as necessary until I’m at the roots. Then I’ll pull back, examine the big picture and read the tea leaves.

3) What are a few of the most important product or procedural changes you’ve seen at House Party during your time here?

The positive change has been incredible. Every process and product change has helped to achieve some significant milestone in our business evolution. The latest website redesign was exciting for our consumers and our business partners alike. The new mobile application opens more doors of opportunity (while requiring some additional internal process adjustments). Our latest targeting abilities are more precise and sophisticated than ever. The list goes on.

4) Before joining House Party, you worked in the music and entertainment industry in L.A. What attracted you to the world of social marketing?

To some extent, music was responsible for driving me into social marketing. I moved into the business side of that industry just as big labels and commercial radio stations were really losing their ability to dictate consumer taste. At the same time, musicians no longer needed big contracts to purchase studio time, and “professional” music recording was moving inside the homes of everyday, middle-class creators. Essentially, the evolution of digital music ushered in a new age of music production for creators, businesses and consumers, with social marketing providing relevant solutions in the new music landscape. Both A-list artists signed to big contracts and independent artists struggling to get recognition are propelled more and more by word of mouth and social media.

5) You used to keep a full drum set here in the office. What’s your desert-island album?

  • Self: Ornament and Crime — While never officially released, it should have been. But you’d be musically advantaged on a desert island with any Self album. This band is primarily the product of a musically gifted and hard-working artist named Matt Mahaffey. He approaches his career in a very inspiring way, which you can get an impression of here. (A new Self album, Super Fake Nice, comes out soon.)
  • The Velvet Teen: Out of the Fierce Parade — This is just an incredible album and my personal favorite. All of their albums have their own feel and are just as impressive, though. (The Velvet Teen has a new album coming out soon as well.)

Please reach out to me on Twitter at @steveMband to give me some of your album recommendations!