A Re-cap: Your Marketing Career in 2020

Image from the AMA discussion on your marketing career in 2020

It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new you. So for the 2nd year in a row, we kicked off the year talking about marketing careers. On January 28th, the community sat down for an Oprah style, Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussion. This time, one of our favorite community members and MarTech expert (and Marketo Revvie winner), Katherine Johnston expertly interviewed to deliver terrific advice for your marketing career in 2020.

Our marketing leaders who participated are the very highly-regarded Higher Logic CMO Kevin Alansky and the esteemed GTT Senior VP of Marketing Scott Ableman. For those of you who may not know them, let’s introduce you to these two.

Meet the Panelists:  Your Marketing Career in 2020

Two outstanding marketing leaders participated in this special discussion. Not everyone can hang with an AMA format, so special points to both of panelists for being able to do so with ease and eloquence.

Scott Ableman, SVP of Marketing for the Americas for GTT

Scott is the SVP of Marketing for Tyson’s based global network service provider GTT.  Since 2017, he has been building a new B2B marketing organization from the ground up. Since joining GTT as the solo marketing employee, he has grown the team to 65. And his team is still growing as he looks to add still more positions. In his career, Scott has built performance marketing teams at both B2C and B2B companies in the DC area, and has served as CMO for three different Internet Retailer 500 companies, most recently leading a digital transformation at The Teaching Company in Chantilly.

Kevin Alansky, Chief Marketing Officer of Higher Logic

Kevin Alanksy took the marketing helm as CMO at a DC MarTech sponsor Higher Logic, a software company that takes a data-driven approach to engagement using online communities and marketing automation to give organizations an expanded suite of engagement capabilities. To his current role, Kevin brings over 20 years of B2B and B2C marketing experience. He has proven expertise in today’s modern approach to marketing, including: demand gen, digital, social and a strong connection with sales and customer success. Prior to joining Higher Logic, Kevin was the CMO of Logi Analytics, SocialRadar, Vice President, Digital Marketing at Blackboard.

So with that, what did we learn about our marketing career in 2020?

Key insights for Your Career

There were a lot of great questions from the audience. Questions ranged from interview advice to what they look for in modern marketers to their own personal stories of reaching the top.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Soft skills still matter – a lot
  • Communication and internal networking are critical to growing your marketing career
  • Marketing operations is well positioned to grow into a tomorrow’s CMOs.
  • Marketing operations professionals have all the data to craft and steer marketing tactics and strategies.
  • To grow beyond just owning and operating the marketing technology stack, marketing ops needs to recognize that it’s not enough to report just numbers and metrics.
  • Marketing ops professionals need to reach beyond the numbers and tell the story of what those metrics mean for the business.
  • Marketing job descriptions ask for marketers who can do everything – who can be team players, yet work individually. Marketers must have superior writing, presentation, communications skills. Yet they need to be able to build out marketing dashboards, lead scoring models, and campaigns workflows. In other words, they’re too often asked to be a Swiss army knife. So how should marketing job candidates approach these requirements that take multiple people? Well, both Scott and Kevin advised that candidate be upfront on where they can hit home runs and where they are willing to learn and grow.
  • Marketing candidates should do their research prior to going on the interview. Use LinkedIn to know who you’ll interview with and about their backgrounds. Try to get an idea of the team that is already in place.
  • Both Kevin and Scott advised that while marketers are great at marketing their products and offerings, they need to get better at marketing themselves.

In sum, it was a great night for all.  It was fabulous for our host Industrious who could show off a brand new co-working office.  And it was great to see attendees network with friends old and new. Oh, and hopefully, it was great for panelists – who are both hiring for open marketing operations positions.

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