Perfecting Your Channel Mix & Curating Culture with CMO at Molo Finance, Dennis Volkmann – Episode 13

Breadth of experience is a formidable tool in any CMO’s arsenal. Between startups, scaleups, international roles and varying industries, it’s safe to say that Molo Finance’s Dennis Volkmann fits the bill perfectly.

Dennis has held management positions and CMO roles for an impressive period of his career spanning renowned brands like Depop, Airbnb and Mettle, and it’s this range of roles that have delivered with them lessons on ideal leadership traits, choosing the most effective channels, and how to grow a team that share your business’ values.


This episode covers

  • What startups and scaleups stand to learn from each other
  • Turning failures into learning points
  • How Dennis’ attraction to storytelling in advertising has shaped his career
  • The ideal balance between skills and experience in a leadership role
  • Brand marketing vs performance marketing – which is more important for startups
  • Airbnb’s value-based hiring – how it’s done and why it helps the team

Links & references


Alex Marriner:


Acquire Digital Talent:


Dennis Volkmann:


Molo Finance:


Episode highlights


“At Molo, we automate things, we leverage technology. So we have smart integrations with Experian, and Rightmove. We just automate the whole process so it’s faster, it’s easier, it’s better, and it just really helps people buy a house like it’s 2021.” – 4:25 – Dennis Volkmann


“I really, really believe in culture. I think that’s one of the points that – from the moment a startup is born, the founders vision, that initial team, and the values and ways they’re chosen – it’s not that it cannot evolve, but that’s a point of consistency.” – 8:05 – Dennis Volkmann


“I think that if you haven’t failed enough, you aren’t experienced enough, you aren’t as good as you can be, or maybe you’re just playing it too safe.” – 13:10 – Dennis Volkmann


“Experience helps because it just gives you more opportunities to practice, to learn, to retry. Obviously it’s not only about failures; it also gives you more opportunities to get things right to explore and to test new things.” – 16:05 – Dennis Volkmann


“Aas new generations come in with new habits and different needs and behaviours, I think just being open minded about that is important for a marketer, because it can be very comfortable as a person to stay in your comfort zone or sit down on your preferences and your beliefs.” – 20:35 – Dennis Volkmann


“Good marketing isn’t about reaching out to people and interrupting them. It’s about reaching out to the right people and creating quality moments. So you’re offering something relevant to them, and then just take it from there.” – 23:45 – Dennis Volkmann


“It’s really about understanding needs and behaviours, then accommodating for that. The channel really is secondary, right? It’s a bridge between you and a person.” – 28:20 – Dennis Volkmann


“Values are more about how people work, rather than saying ‘Hey Alex, are you innovative? Are you trustworthy? Are you passionate?’ – that’s not it. Sometimes you don’t need to say it, you just need to explore things and see if people have or if they don’t.” – 39:00 – Dennis Volkmann