Nov 30 2017
8 minute read

Spotlight: Ivan Hruska - On Navigating Different Worlds

TL;DR In this part of our spotlight series, we talk to Ivan Hruska, ROI Hunter’s Head of Marketing, on what it means for him to be a marketer and how he manages to merge seemingly disparate themes seamlessly. We cover his path to marketing and the successes and challenges he has faced.


Creativity vs. Analysis.

The road to marketing is paved with curious intentions. Ivan has always been a curious person and an avid reader. Taking in information even from everywhere - his international-based education, family, friends, books, travels and more. Before he started on the road to marketing, he wanted to study business and studied in Austria to get his bachelor. However, the search for knowledge and the realisation that he is a man of two worlds (the creative and analytical) led him to marketing.

He was inspired by someone close to his Slovak roots that would help to define how he sees marketing. Michal Truban is an entrepreneur that is responsible for one of the most successful startups in Slovak History, WebSupport. In Truban’s book, Support, he describes a time when he was traveling with his family and his children noticed a purple cow. They were so excited that they made him stop his car to get out and take pictures of the cow. Then they got in and drove off. Then they noticed another purple cow and the children were also excited about that cow but did not stop to take pictures with it. As he drove on, they saw more and more of these purple cows. By the end of the trip, they didn’t even rear their heads when other purple cows were spotted in the field. What Ivan learned from this was that marketer’s have to innovate always. The first time you do something cool, might be exciting for your audience but you can’t stay complacent if you want to get the desired results each time.

Another person that influences Ivan as a marketer and professional is Jack Welch. This realization was sparked from a book he read when he was younger, Winning by Jack Welch, “GE’s legendary CEO” (his words not mine). It was in this book that he was motivated to: “Never try to come in as #3. Always aim for #1 or #2. There’s no point in being average across the board. Find your niche and go for it.”

So, although he had business acumen, he also had a creative side and seeks to develop strategies that are not only nice to look at but are pragmatic with hard line implications for business. Ivan listened to Jack. He found his niche and went for it.

Corporate vs. Startup

Another worldview that drives Ivan is his need to “build something substantial”. This, unlike the previous view is based on lessons from his professional journey. Previously, Ivan worked at a large international telecommunications company and found that it was tiring to maneuver office politics and complacency in vision in a bit to move the company forward.

After the experience, a chance to lead a brand new marketing team at ROI Hunter seemed like the perfect opportunity. The fact that Karel Tlustak, Chief Hunter at ROI Hunter, had also built something substantial made the decision to work at the company that much more easier. Even though ROI Hunter is no longer strictly a start up, the experiences from the corporate world can be a great teacher.

On this he says, “I was looking for a company where I can build something..see that thanks to my work and the work of the people around me, something substantial is growing and ROI Hunter gave me that opportunity.” And building substantial things is what Ivan has been doing since he started.

The Crucial vs. The Minor

One of the first tasks that Ivan had to undertake was building the marketing team from none to a team of 5 spanning 2 countries and 3 cities. The next part was finding and giving ROI Hunter an identity and then conveying it in a way that is cohesive across all channels. This of course meant several steps had to be taken but the culmination of all of those little steps was the new website.

If you want to have a look at what the website looked like before and what it looks like now (psst. you’re on it) check out the Wayback machine here.

On the website, Ivan says, “ I am very proud of what, at the marketing team, we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.” For anyone who has attempted a challenge, you’ll find that they are not without their own obstacles and the same is true of Ivan’s bid to make the a new cohesive identity. “One hassle that we faced filtering out things that needed to be done before the launch versus things that could be improved upon in the future”. Before this conscious decision to filter the crucial from the minor, it had taken a period of about 4 months and a year before to edit just one page. Ivan managed to move the project to completion in 6 weeks.

SMB vs. Large Enterprise

So, what does the future of marketing at ROI Hunter looks like? Ivan has decided to build on his business background and is focusing on small and medium businesses. Going back to his ability to merge two seemingly separate worlds, Ivan wants to start focusing on SMBs as well as large enterprises. This will mean making sure that the messages are aligned but that communication to these separate markets are clear and not muddled.

For Ivan, ROI Hunter truly is a company that lives up to its motto of “Making Marketer’s Life Easier”. The platform is not a tool that can make everything easier. He understands that it is not the only tool in the marketer’s toolbelt but that it can be used to enhance marketing. However, just like any other tool, it needs to be understood and used well. The expertise that ROI Hunter’s team has is something that he believes even SMBs can find useful and appreciate.

Growing The Marketing Team at ROI Hunter

The ROI hunter marketing team is something that Ivan Hruska started to develop since he joined ROI Hunter this year. As of now there are 5 people on the team and the team will continue to expand as needed. He wants to, “continue to grow in marketing and a fully functional team will help us to reach our goals.” For Ivan, he is not interested in someone who simply clocks in to get a paycheck and clocks out.

“I see myself as a conductor in an orchestra. I provide the tools necessary for my team to work together and create beautiful melodies. This means that I am flexible and understanding of their needs but require them to be responsible and bring results to the table.”

Last Words for the Fledgling Marketer

For Ivan, marketing can be an exciting journey, with challenges but for the person who wants to be a marketer, they need to understand that it is not a 9-5 job.  

“Even when you are not on the job, you think about it and need to handle things on the fly… from creating an ad in Arabic for the Saudi market to the developing of an article for Diwali for the Indian market.” His hard work and dedication has yielded dividends but there is still a lot, to be done and achieved. Check this space for what happens next.

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