In the feedback from our Marketo Fearless Forum: Edition 03 , we received a lot of comments asking for more information on the inaugural members of our Fearless 50. As a result, we have created a new series for our customer newsletter called How 2B Fearless.
In this first edition, we sat down with Brooke Bartos, who is not only a Fearless 50 member, but she is also a Marketo Champion and a Chicago MUG Leader. Brooke tells us about what being a fearless marketer means and what that has meant for her career.
What does fearless marketing mean to you?
Fearless marketing means knowing the risks and the rewards of trying something new and making an educated decision with full commitment.
Who is a fearless marketer you look up to and why?
When it comes to fearlessness, I have always admired Oprah Winfrey for the brand and the legacy she has created. When you learn about her background, her childhood, and her teenage years, this is someone who had every excuse not to succeed, and yet, she did in the most spectacular of ways. Oprah has become a globally recognized brand in media, literature, and consumer products. She chose to rise above the obstructions life placed in her path.
How did your career start out in marketing?
I went to school for psychology because I was intrigued by the puzzle of what motivates people. My first internship out of college was working in a market research department for a major automotive manufacturer, where I worked on the relaunch of their dealership incentive program. This relaunch was heavily based on feedback gained through interviews, surveys, and focus groups about what motivates them in the sales process. I learned that when it comes to business, there are subtle ways you can influence behavior through how you communicate— words, images, and styling that you use in marketing is all psychology at the core.
How did you get to the point you are at in your career today?
I learned a tremendous amount about how to communicate with people through my market research internship and time in field marketing. These experiences helped me learn what motivates people and how to talk to them.
When I went to work for a company where I had my hands in just about every element of our marketing, both and offline, I was able to bring all that knowledge to helping transform the company from a traditional offline marketing company into one focused primarily on digital marketing. It was not an easy transformation! It took gaining buy-in from areas of the organization that were ingrained in the traditional marketing ideas of print and tradeshows and getting them to try new channels, upgrade strategies, and prove results.
That company was where my Marketo journey began. At first, I was a part-time user, “backup trigger” to our admin at the time. When she left, I asked to move into that role, but the response I got from HR was “no.” They wanted to bring in someone with more Marketo experience to manage and grow the instance. I started job hunting—this was something I was strongly interested in, and if that meant that I had to go out to go up, I would.
During the process, my boss found out I was interviewing. We were able to sit down and have a candid conversation about what I wanted and what I was looking for. She went to bat for me, and I moved into that admin role two weeks later! Within four months of that move, I became Marketo Certified for the first time. That only served to fuel the fire—I went on to get recertified and obtain all eight of the Specialization Certifications Marketo when they were released. I had something to prove to myself, and to my boss, for taking the chance on me. Early this year, I put myself out there and applied to the Marketo Champions program. In February, I was named to the 2018 Champions class.
I eventually ran out of room to grow at that company. From there, I moved to my current role with a full-service digital marketing agency. Every day I get to work with clients on a global enterprise scale to build out and optimize their Marketo instances in support of their overall demand gen and content marketing strategies. I am excited by new opportunities and resources afforded me as a part of an agency and I look at every challenge as a chance to grow.
I would not be where I am without an incredible support network of mentors, cheerleaders, and people who believe in me. I will be forever grateful to have them in my life and as a part of my journey.
What have you learned from other members of the Fearless 50?
This inaugural class of Fearless Marketers comes with such a diverse set of skills and from a broad set of backgrounds, industries, and roles. From them, I’ve learned that fearlessness comes in many forms, some personal and some professional. Commitment to success is at the core of every single one of their stories and is a principal I have really taken to heart.
What are three pieces of advice you would give to the next generation of fearless marketers?
#1. Take calculated risks! If you always play the safe game, you’ll never know what you could truly accomplish. When we try new things in marketing and in life, that hesitant moment of “can I do this?” that comes from self-doubt should not be a question, it should be a commitment. I CAN do this. Lean into that hesitation as a way to grow.
#2. Make smart decisions. When you are ready to commit to an idea, make sure you have gathered as much information as you can to make the most educated decision possible, and commit. Understand the pros and cons and make the best and smartest decision you can.
#3. Learn from failures. Do not berate yourself or others when something goes wrong. You cannot go back and change it. Take it as a lesson. Examine what went wrong and what you can learn from it to do things differently in the future.
Check out the rest of the content featured in Marketo Fearless Forum: Edition 04.
About Brooke Bartos
Community Page: Brooke Bartos
Have any questions for Brooke about her fearless marketing career? We would love to hear them in the comments below.