How 2B Fearless with Fearless 50 Member, Kristina Schroffel

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee
In this edition of the How 2B Fearless series, we sat down with @Kristina_Schrof , who is a Senior Marketing Technologist at S&P Global. Kristina shares what being a fearless marketer means for her and what it has meant for her career.
What does fearless marketing mean to you?

To me being fearless is acknowledging your fears and pushing yourself to be uncomfortable but adapting. Being in the marketing technology field, I often meet with Salesforce administrators and developers, IT technical professionals, cyber security directors, and data scientists all in addition to marketing professionals. Because of the blurring departments, I often felt imposter syndrome in meetings. Even if I knew everything about Marketo, I would feel out of place when others were referencing IT and cyber security knowledge jargon. This “fish out of water” feeling eventually became what I love most about my role. I’ve worked with developers enough now to be able to speak the same jargon as them because they’ve taught me immensely on complex technical concepts. Because of this, I am often the translator for marketing in highly technical meetings. If it weren’t for the role I’m in now, I wouldn’t have been exposed to the wide range of professions I was able to learn from. Now, I don’t feel imposter syndrome (at least not every day), but I feel more secure and confident in my abilities not just in marketing technology but throughout the business. They know I can quickly be brought up to speed and hold my own. I also want what’s best for the business not just from a marketing technology perspective but holistically, and because of my background I am able to factor in multiple points of views to figure out a solution.


Who is a fearless marketer you look up to and why?

I look up to Ginger Wilson from Digital Pi. Personally I remember going to Denver User Groups and hearing her speak about her projects in Marketo and being in awe about the type of work she does. She was also always willing to answer a random slack question from the community or offer guidance from her experience. I really admire others who take the time to share advice. I know she was busy, but I always saw her offering some experience, which helps others to keep exploring their own solutions and learn along the way. Ginger and the many others who take the time to share knowledge in the community really helps me learn and evolve. And in the Marketo world, there is always something new to learn.


How did your career start out in marketing?

I started in Marketing out of college in 2011 after studying international business at Boston University. I come from a family of all scientists and I have always felt like the black sheep of the family studying a much fluffier major in college and working in marketing. However, marketing technology has made it the best of both worlds for me. I get to be creative but also make decisions on data. My favorite part of my job is being wrong and getting to learn from that, since it helps me continuously improve my Marketo instance into infinity. I love the optimization process and meeting staggered goals. Even though striving for perfection is always a moving target, it also means that I’m never bored.


I remember when I first used marketing automation starting with Pardot, Marketo, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. In my experience, I noticed that companies usually gave it to the youngest person on the team to learn, and it was always prioritized more than other marketing activities such as direct mail, marketing communications, or events. Then digital marketing really took off and I moved into that niche of marketing. It's been the best decision I've ever made because I enjoy it so much and it gets me excited to come to work every day.


What have you learned from other members of the Fearless 50?

I have learned that posting in any random Slack channel community I find is a great way to get some real-world advice. We have all been through such unique Marketo troubleshooting that it’s such a valuable asset having others to bounce ideas off of. Also now that everyone is remote during this pandemic, we are flexible about networking and meeting virtually. I think the willingness to support each other is what’s amazing about the community. Some of the Slack channels I post in are the Denver MUG Slack channel and the Fearless 50 Channel.


What are three pieces of advice you would give to the next generation of fearless marketers?

  • Be willing to try things out of your comfort zone. Even when the monotonous projects are piling up, I like to remember that I am going to have to learn something new to keep growing. So as painful as accepting a project I am not sure how I’m going to solve is, I will always accept them. It always helps me to reframe the project in my mind as a learning opportunity rather than a burden.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn. I remember being mentored by a data scientist which, while being something completely out of my area of expertise, made me a stronger Marketing Technology user because I was able to ask them any question. It was also refreshing to get out of my department’s mindset.
  • Take the time to invest in your professional development. I would often hear leaders mentioning how they continue to carve out time for learning new skills because their busy schedules leave them with no time to invest in themselves. Even scheduling time on your calendar to explore and be imaginative is something I work on every year. Sometimes my breakthrough ideas happen when I allow myself the time to think and navigate through ideas. Don’t feel bad about prioritizing yourself!

About Kristina


Community Profile: @Kristina_Schrof 


Interested in being featured in a future How 2B Fearless article? Send me a Community Message @Jon_Chen and let me know!

Level 7 - Champion Alumni

Good to hear from you Kristina.

Level 9

"I have learned that posting in any random Slack channel community I find is a great way to get some real-world advice."

This is truth!

Level 9 - Champion Alumni

Thanks for the advice, Kristina

Level 3

I can relate to  marketing automation being given "to the youngest person on the team to learn." Automation tools were also thrown onto my lap, but it's been a blessing. I never thought I'd have a career in Marketing. Thanks for sharing I love to learn how others got into the industry.

Level 6 - Champion

So true that MOPs folks end up as the translators/bridges between departments!


How did you come about developing the mentoring relationship with the data scientist?

Level 2

@Beth_Massura pure luck! I worked in a Marketing department that happened to include our very own data scientist who I'd set up mentoring sessions with. I wonder if more and more companies will add this resource to their teams.