There and Back again, Part 1


Before you ask, no, this story does not involve a hobbit 😉 But it still talks about a journey – my journey about leaving and coming back again in order to find what I was looking for all along right at home. So…

Let the journey begin

I’ve been fortunate enough to have lived in the US (GA and MA) for 6 years, but I’m even more fortunate to having a home country where I could come back to – Austria. I met my husband during my study abroad, got married, applied for the Green Card, got a job – the whole typical shabang.

Before I left to be with my husband, I had just graduated from my masters degree in Art History. With my previous experience working in Advertising Agencies I had hoped to get a job in the marketing department of a museum. Unfortunately that dream burst like a really nasty blister when I was told, that pretty much the only way to get into a museum is to either know someone who already works there – or *drum roll* work as an unpaid intern for several months and MAYBE get a paid (part time) job. Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen at age 30 with 10 years of work experience under my belt…

Eventually I ended up working for a company in health care. However, I finally achieved my goal of evolving from a designer to a marketing assistant. Most importantly though, my boss introduced me to a company that changed my life: Hubspot.

A new direction in Marketing

Hubspot is a company based out of Cambridge, MA that specializes in inbound marketing, marketing automation and lead generation. I was immediately drawn in and read every Whitepaper and Ebook they created to help marketers understand the buying cycle and how to address their online visitors in order to turn prospects into buyers and drive ROI. Unfortunately, I never ended up using their platform, but their amazing blog provided a very comprehensive knowledge database to further my career.

After 2 years, my employer was acquired by another company and I transitioned into their marketing department. I helped them understand how to optimize their website and drive conversion rate by applying the proper rules to landing pages that I’ve learned such as reducing form fields and removing anything that could distract from filling out the form. As a result, conversion rate of their main lead generation landing page went up by 30%.

Simultaneously, my employer had started the process of restructuring the way Marketing and Sales interact. With the help of a consultant, they created a lead funnel and optimized the touch and hand off points between the two departments. They instituted a new intermediary department in order to improve communication with leads and work more efficiently in guiding the buyer through their journey. They also created personas (and selected actual clients to represent them), along with the respective content according to their target groups.

A new direction for me

As part of the process, they decided to insource the operations of their marketing automation platform at that time – and that’s when my boss approached me if I was interested in working with Eloqua.

I was super excited about the opportunity to finally learn hands on how to design lead nurture campaigns and create the proper content and strategy with my co-workers. At the same time I got my hands dirty by digging deep into our contact database to find low hanging fruits, but also uncover major flaws in the way we handled our contacts between Eloqua and Salesforce.

Eventually we spent months cleaning up our database and Eloqua setup. However, this process was necessary to provide the proper foundation for a nurture campaign that would address our leads at their current funnel stage. This time period also provided the jumping off point for me into the deep sea of marketing automation and eventually Content Strategy.

In part 2 of the series you’ll find out about going back home and how I’ve been utilizing my knowledge in a new job.

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