In our “Meet the Team” blog series, we interview members of the Scratch team to show how, together, we make up the dynamic and unique culture of Scratch.
Today, our principal and founder, Lora Kratchounova, opened up about her background in marketing, the professional journey that lead her from Bulgaria to Boston, and what passions keep her going.
When you’re not working at Scratch, what are you doing?
Family is very important to me, so you’ll often find me at soccer or basketball games rooting for my two boys. Reading is also a passion – anything from my Google alerts, Fortune, Forbes, WSJ, to Medium (ask me sometime about systems thinking, or artificial intelligence). I’m also a bit shy to admit it, but I do fall victim to binge-worthy TV from time to time, particularly Veep, Girls and Big Little Lies. Traveling is a passion, although I don’t get to do as much as I’d like. My friends are spread all over the world so I try to go where they are at least once a year.
How did you choose marketing as a profession?
Although my career path hasn’t been a straight line, I figured out pretty quickly I wanted to be a marketer (despite multiple pleas from my dad to explore a “more serious” vocation early on). I started in communications and journalism at my first alma mater – the American University in Bulgaria and was lucky enough to get my first full-time job while being a senior there – as the marketing director for Shell Oil for Bulgaria. I call it my “bird’s eye view” formative experience – I really didn’t know what I was doing but I had the unique opportunity to learn on the job from the best in the business. I had my hands in all aspects of marketing – which very few people have in their lifetime. To this day, I see Mark Hanafin, then GM for Royal Dutch Shell in Bulgaria, as my first and one of the most important mentors.
To this day, I also thank Ivan Sijdakov, for handing me an Emerson College graduate degree brochure (I am pretty sure at that time Emerson did not have a website:)). This is how I landed in Boston – to earn my master’s degree in marketing. I remember walking down an aisle of a grocery store in Boston ready to pull my hair out – two long aisles of bread alone! How do Americans choose what to buy over with so many options?! That strange experience crystallized my career view. I would commit my career to learning all aspects of marketing so I can be in a position to help those that deserve recognition to get discovered and adopted quickly.
From bread to technology, over the course of the last 20+ years I have worked in virtually all disciplines of marketing – branding and visual design, corporate communications, product marketing, all the way to change management.
Why did you start Scratch Marketing and Media?
The entrepreneurial spirit is foundational to who I am and creating my own agency just felt right at the time – now more than nine years ago. Hanging my own shingle meant that I had the freedom to create an organization that was driven by the same principles that drive me: non-stop curiosity, complete fascination with innovation, hard work, empathy for people and a lust to never stop learning.
I’ve always viewed marketing as a wide-ranging discipline that spans public relations, branding, sales enablement, and when I started Scratch, there really were very few other agencies who truly provided that full set of services. So beyond following my heart, Scratch was also filling a gap in the market that continues to exist today. All too often marketing and communications experts come with their own slant – they know a few aspects really well, and they see every problem through the lens they know. My goal was and remains to help great entrepreneurs and their innovations find the quickest and most impactful route to success.
At Scratch, we get to work with inspirational, smart entrepreneurs and leaders. It’s amazing to work with all these smart, talented people who expand your worldview, and often your heart in a way that leads to long-lasting friendships. And every employee I’m fortunate enough to work next to each day affords me the opportunity to pass on my experience in what I always hope is a meaningful way.
What’s your favorite part about Scratch?
The adventure and lasting impact of what we achieve as a team is what I enjoy the most about Scratch. We’re not big but I like to say we’re mighty. We tend to attract people who are curious, talented, multi-faceted and self-driven. These people are amazing people who will always be part of our company DNA.Back to blog