Inside Smarty - John Hickey

Dan Lambourne
Dan Lambourne
January 9, 2024
John and his wife in Mario hats

At Smarty, John Hickey is one of the go-to guys for communicating the intricacies found within the world of address data. With an impressive background that spans from marketing director to SEO and digital marketing manager, John has a real knack for breaking down the particularities of our products into something everyone can grasp. 

As busy as John gets here at Smarty, he still finds time for self-improvement, applying principles that help at work and in his personal life. Around the office, he's known for his hard work, out-of-this-world bagels, and a quick sense of humor that makes even the most mundane tasks a bit more fun. 

John’s a key part of our team, always ready to lend a hand or share a laugh, making our workplace productive and genuinely enjoyable. Let's dive in and get to know John a little better.

John and wife on a beach

What are some of your favorite work-related projects or accomplishments, and why were they meaningful to you?

"I built a marketing department from scratch for a startup that reached a $40 million annual run rate before it was sold 13 years later. One of the more meaningful marketing projects was creating and managing an in-house media-buying agency with an attribution system that tracked the effectiveness of advertising spend on TV, radio, and print ads. The tracking optimized $5 million in media spend and outperformed competitors on a cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale basis.

I published more than 40 articles in industry publications, which helped earn brand awareness and thought leadership for my company.

I led the smallest team in a competition of 30 teams that ranged in size from 3 to 12 people from 30 subsidiaries of a common parent company to win 2nd place in an SEO hackathon contest. As a self-taught SEO, it was meaningful because it validated my efforts to learn and apply SEO."

What or who inspires you, and why?

Any person who consistently tries to improve themself inspires me because that's just a beautiful thing to witness.

John with a fish he caught

What are some of the most valuable lessons you've learned at Smarty, and how have they impacted your approach to work?

"All employees are required to attend Arbinger Institute training, which helps improve relationships and collaboration with others at work or home.

Arbinger principles have had a positive impact on my life. They’ve helped me consider my thinking and behavior from a different point of view. Understanding the principles has helped me identify self-betrayal thinking and behaviors that hurt me and others. 

Arbinger learning has also helped me be more outward toward others, more frequently recognize others as people instead of objects, and understand that my work isn't necessarily more important than that of others. Regarding that last point, I've started doing dishes at home without being asked, and I'm amazed at the positive impact of that little thing on my relationship with my wife. (I better understand that her love language is acts of service.)

Applying Arbinger principles is a life-long learning and improvement ride, but I'm glad I'm on the tracks."

What has been your most joyous discovery?

"Building a family."


What life advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

"Don't invest in real estate in 2007. Buy lots of Amazon stock. Don't take yourself so seriously. 

Enjoy every day. Chillax more. Spend more time with the kids. Take more risks while young."

There you have it, a sneak peek into the fascinating world of address data at Smarty, brought to you by John Hickey, one of our masterminds in Product Marketing. From clearly communicating how Smarty helps others to share that message with the world, John's journey with us has been an impressive adventure.

Visit our careers page to explore exciting opportunities that could be your perfect match.

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