Wednesday, August 30th, was a day like any other. Until it wasn’t.
I learned that morning that my boss (he hates when I call him that) was being let go. It didn’t feel good. I’m the kind of person who develops relationships with my colleagues, and I’ve got a solid corps of people I’ve worked with over the years who I consider to be friends. He’s one of those. I had opportunities to leave the company over the 4+ years I was there—recruiters always find my contact info—but I stayed, in part, because he was my boss, and I got to work with a small team of amazingly talented and brilliant individuals across various marketing competencies.
After I found out about his dismissal, I was tasked with removing him from various systems. It was painful, but I did my part and removed him. As soon as that was complete, I got my own invitation to an HR call. Uh oh.
Later that afternoon, I found myself without a job. So did 90% of the marketing team. Access to Hubspot and WordPress went away in an instant. Health insurance was no longer accessible. There weren’t any thank yous for everything we’ve done. Just “your position has been eliminated” or “you have been deemed redundant.” Like, what does that even mean?
And just like that, the whole team was ripped from each other. Ripped from all the hard work we put in over the years. It hurt a lot at the moment. It still does.
But really, what now?
There’s a time to grieve such a loss. But when it comes to work and our livelihoods, I think we can mourn AND think about what could be next. To that end, we’ve found a support group in each other. We share job openings, offer referrals, and tell dad jokes. It’s kind of amazing. We laugh and cry with each other, and hopefully, soon, we’ll start celebrating each other’s successes.
So, as the initial shock wears off, I’m starting to think about what I want to do next. Truly, I’ve done a lot in my recent positions. Everything from being a marketing team of one to working with a full team of a couple dozen + outsourced agency work. I’ve built websites from the ground up, done keyword research, set up CRM automations, built reports and dashboards, written emails, posted to Facebook, produced podcasts and live streams… I could go on and on and on…
But I had a moment the other day when someone asked me what my ideal job description would look like. What follows is the result of that exercise.
[Senior Manager OR Director] of [Digital Marketing OR Marketing Automation OR Marketing Operations]
I’m looking to be a go-to resource for all things [digital marketing / martech]. I want to apply my experience and knowledge to help [Your Organization Here] improve processes and ultimately build sales pipeline.
My favorite acronyms are CMS, CRM, MAP, SEO, PPC, and CRO. More on that below…
I often like to get my hands dirty, but I also know when to admit a lack of mastery regarding the wide breadth of digital marketing tactics.
Content Management System (CMS)
I’m a fan of WordPress because it’s portable, extensible via a huge library of plugins, and highly customizable. I also understand that many other CMS platforms are just as capable, and I am more than willing to work within whatever confines may exist. Will I be your primary web developer, regardless of the platform? No, that’s not my world anymore. Can I work with a developer or a team of developers, whether it’s internal or external, though? A thousand times, yes. As a former web dev, I am more than comfortable managing web projects – be it initial scoping or ongoing enhancements. I can speak the language and even jump in to get my hands dirty with minor updates.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing Automation Platform (MAP)
What are we working with? Hubspot? Salesforce? Marketo? Some combination of those, or something else entirely? Regardless, they make up the backbone of any go-to-market team—marketing and sales data from contacts to deals to customers—it drives everything we do.
Where do I fit in? I’ve built simple Hubspot setups. I’ve migrated large instances between Marketo / Salesforce / Hubspot to right-size GTM ops for the organization’s needs. I’ve built workflows, connected native integrations, glued together not-so-native integrations with Zapier, helped define pipeline stages, built nurture flows, scheduled and monitored social media, and much more. I’m willing and able to do as much or as little of the above as needed. Depending on an organization’s maturity, a decent-sized team will likely handle various aspects of it all.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
I’ve often thought of SEO as a bit of black magic. Truthfully, it’s not as nefarious as that. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and underground link exchanges. What really matters is valuable content. SEO starts with research. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools for that. But then, it becomes a strategy. What needs to be written, with what keywords, and linked to what internal + external resources? And don’t think I forgot about technical SEO. Google Search Console is your friend when it comes to that. Is the sitemap correct? Are heading tags and meta titles + descriptions used correctly? What about structured data? Now, you wouldn’t want to hire me as your only resource for SEO. However, I can manage an SEO agency or work closely with an internal resource on prioritization and coordination with content producers.
Ads are a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. From brand awareness (display, social), filling the funnel (search campaigns), initial conversions (retargeting), and nurturing / air-cover (more retargeting, just a different segment), you should be using ads strategically to serve your team’s needs across the board.
With few exceptions, this is a heavy lift requiring a lot of coordination. You have to stay on brand. You need to get the messaging right with the product marketing team. You need to take sales needs into account. You must leverage your CRM and analytics platforms to segment and target the right audiences at the right times. I’ve done some of all of the above.
Best case scenario: there’s a resource (internal headcount or an external agency) to help execute in the various platforms (Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Meta), and I’m the guy to help coordinate all the key players to ensure we have everything we need to run a successful program.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
I know this can be specifically defined to focus on website optimization, but the way I look at it, this is an interdisciplinary tactic that blends together all of the above acronyms to optimize conversions throughout the customer acquisition process.
- Are we getting as many ICP (there’s another one, ideal customer profile) impressions as we can for our budget?
- Are we driving enough clicks on ads or social posts?
- Do those website visits or on-platform forms become known contacts at a high enough rate?
- Are we nurturing enough leads into MQLs through all the various follow-up touchpoints?
I love working with analytics, running tests, and making data-driven decisions to optimize everything.
I have a degree in computer science and a master’s in business administration. As a developer, I built websites and designed databases from the ground up to improve and digitize processes of all sorts. As a marketer, I’ve been an independent consultant. I’ve worked with agencies. I’ve worked as a part of an in-house team.
A short list of things I’ve accomplished over the last decade:
- I built an ad destination for McDonald’s
- I worked with a small team to establish regional branding and a social media following in the hundreds of thousands (on a shoestring budget) for Bud Light
- As a leader in a software startup, I nurtured and helped develop new business with PepsiCo
- As the sole marketer in the company, I created end-to-end ABM programs at a kiosk startup and at a boutique services agency
- (Last but not least) I built a world-class martech stack at an up-and-coming analytics company
So, yeah. It’s kind of a lot. I know.
My point, though – let’s discuss your needs and see if I fit. 🤜💥🤛
…and if you’re in the market for executive level marketing leadership, content writers, project managers, email marketers, field marketers, partner marketers, regional marketing experts—I probably have someone to send your way! 😉
I’m excited to find out what’s next… for all of us!