An Interview with Gary Leung, Senior Director – Strategic Account Success
The people at Marin are as unique as the work we do. Our Life at Marin series highlights the expertise, passions, and backgrounds of our fellow Marinites.
What do you currently do at Marin Software? Were there other roles you previously held here?
Hi! I’m a dedicated resource for our strategic-level clients. I help them achieve technical and operational success with Marin. I work closely with clients, account managers, and product teams to ensure needs are clearly understood and met.
Previously at Marin, I was a Customer Success Director and primary client relationship holder. Prior to that, I was an Engagement Manager working more on the technical and strategic side. My current role is in many ways a marriage of these two roles, bringing value through strategic, technical, and communicative experience.
What motivated you to venture into the customer success profession?
I got my start on the agency side, managing accounts and account teams. Coming to Marin allowed me to explore the technical side of the business. A knowledge base of strategy, implementation, and now the technology itself allowed me to holistically service client needs, which is something I really enjoy.
How would you describe the Marin Software approach in connecting with our customers? What is it about your team that you’re most proud of? What one thing did you do in this role that you’re most proud of?
Marin is a client-focused company first and foremost. We have an open dialogue with our clients, and our features and methods are never black-box. A large part of how we gain trust is by letting our clients know the exact logic behind what they’re using.
I’m proud that our team is encouraged to be honest. Our founder’s motto was always “keep it real,” which is how we continue to operate. We’ll let you know the good, the bad, and the necessary ugly before it becomes beautiful.
What do you enjoy most about your role? What would you like to learn more about?
What I enjoy most is not being tied down to one function. It can be technical one moment and strategic the next. You seldom get bored when your role is so open. Our company is forever expanding and innovating, so I can always learn more about what we can do and what we’re working towards. In fact, I keep an ongoing list of “What did I learn today” and I can tell you it’s updated daily!
What was your former professional life?
I mentioned a background in the agency world, which is how I got my start in SEM and SEO.
Before that, I worked for a biofuel technology company that would harness pollutants to rapidly grow algae. My first gig was at a progressive culture magazine covering art, music, and fashion.
What are your interests/hobbies?
My hobbies change pretty frequently. Lately I’ve been getting rid of my towering pile of old novels and trading up for design and art books. I host a monthly 90s Simpsons trivia night, and I occasionally DJ current rap and R&B music. The Simpsons event is a lot more popular and generally no one attends the latter, but I enjoy them both.
What are you reading now?
I’m halfway through a collection of essays by Dave Hickey called Air Guitar. The author is considered the “bad boy” of art criticism, which sounds ridiculous, I know. I think he earned the title being a contrarian defender of despised work and by dropping the occasional F-bomb. His essays reference a lot of significant artists, critics, writers, musicians, etc., which has me constantly putting the book down to look up the name and learn more.
I’m also chipping away at the Chad Butler of UGK biography. It’s over 700 pages long, which is unheard of for a rapper’s biography.
Who is the one person/group of people/organization you admire most? Why?
Gosh, big question. My mother is a war refugee who flew over on the floor of a U.S. military cargo plane then found fulfillment in America. My father also came up through poverty to find success here. So off the bat those are my two. Though from a more superficial level, I admire the early cultural adopters. Those who see the incredible in what’s currently unpopular and champion it until the rest follow suit—names like Jim Walrod and the PS1 museum in Queens come to mind. I could go on and on, but I should stop!