What do you do, when did you start, and what have you done between then and now?
THE QUICK VERSION:
Talari Networks, Marketing Communications Lead (2012-14)
Redesigned company webpage, created ongoing content
Drove collateral development (customer relations, copy editing, etc.)
Managed virtual design and web dev team
Expanded partner program (marketing support, content creation, co-hosted events)
Executed email and ad campaigns (Design, create, and target)
Manage marketing trade shows and events ( logistics, messaging, design)
THE FULL VERSION:
Hear me out!
I’m a writer.
But this isn’t the answer i’ve always given. Up until about a month ago, at a friend’s going away party, i’ve just been saying, “I’m in marketing”.
And I AM in marketing! I graduated from UC San Diego in 2012 and my friend who was working for a networking company referred me over.
I remember taking a look at their website and having no clue what they did. But, I tried my best to learn about Wide Area Networks, went into the interview, and a month later, I started work and I HATED IT!
I was an inside sales rep for three weeks and I was miserable for every second of it.
I had to do something
(because hating your job is not sustainable)
I decided to approach Donna, our Marketing Director, to see if she needed any help. We decided to try it out with a provisional three months and go from there.
Donna: Well, when you were still an ISR and before you moved over but i needed some help with some marketing projects, I asked you to help me with a couple things. One was pulling together a list of top companies in various verticals and helping me find contact information for each of them so that we would be able to target them.
And, I just remember being impressed that I had to tell you what I wanted once - and you were able to come back within 24 hours with all of the answers. And... that kind of showed me that you were able to think on your own, use resources, go find something without a lot of guidance, and while that sounds like a small thing, that was very impressive
Syl: How, in your opinion, did I contribute the most?
D: I would say, being able to do a variety of tasks and do them well. Obviously ask questions, take on responsibility and complete them.
S: yeah, like you said, having a variety of tasks, I guess I never got bored, and there was always something to do
D: It was nice to feel like I could give some tasks out to you and know that they would be taken care of and I wouldn’t have to worry about them or check in everyday, or anything like that.
S: I think thats what I enjoyed the most too
Donna moved me over officially
and I contemplated my first project
I remembered how confused I was when I first tried learning about Talari. If it were so difficult for a willing person to learn, I could only imagine how quickly others would lose interest.
So, I redesigned the entire site. It was my first major project and I had never worked with a virtual team from around the world. I quickly learned how to manage the time zones as just another deadline and soon late night Skype calls no longer felt foreign.
Together, we modernized the look and feel (hooray- no more generic swirly images vaguely related to "technology"), added relevant content for better inbound lead generation, and I worked with Donna to create a more concise and updated messaging.
It was amazing- we had great feedback from both the team and our customers. White paper and case study downloads increased, bounce rates dropped, and overall, it was easier to understand what we did. That gave me the confidence and encouragement to work even harder.
As Talari's Marketing Communications Lead, I...
PUSHED FOR MORE CONTENT
created vertical specific messaging, copy edited case studies and white papers, created videos,
MANAGED MARKETING EVENTS
created messaging, designed booths, planned lunch and learns, generated attendance, created emails and mailers, and coordinated logistics.
HELPED START THE PARTNER PROGRAM
developed a partner portal, designed mobile app, create ongoing content, establish relationships, encouraged education
CREATED EMAIL CAMPAIGNS
produced emails,using Dreamweaver, generated email specific landing pages, tracked success via Marketo
MANAGED THE WEB PRESENCE
dynamically design and updated content on company website and social media, started a company blog, and retargeting ads
and everything in between
managed budget, grew customer relationships, designed promotional items, on-boarded new employees, created syndicated content, attended trainings, researched new marketing software
I learned how a small team is different
The marketing department is tiny, the resources are limited, and the greatest strength is being flexible and willing to learn. So along the way, I learned how to use Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Hubspot, Marketo, SalesForce, Adwords and more.
What am I doing now ?
Well, going back to the friend's going away party...
He introduced me to his colleagues as a writer- something I'd never heard him say. But, I played along and we all joked about my next reading
Somehow a week (and a handful of calendar invites and forwards) later, I read a poem.
We got a couple new fans, and had another reading after that. And I guess I somehow stumbled upon my love for spoken word, and so now I can say, with a somewhat edited introduction, I’m a writer- Poetry AND Marketing.