The Latest from the Go-to-Market Experts
July 5, 2017
#WomenInMartech Game Changers: Why Autumn Coleman Says Every Marketer Should Take Risks
There are so many dynamic women in our #WomenInMartech community and we are so excited to continue celebrating every one of
them. For the month of June, we highlight Autumn Coleman, Principal Consultant, Expert Services at Oracle Marketing Cloud. Autumn has an incredible story filled with grit, risk, and lots of platform implementations.
In the interview, we discuss Autumn’s journey to where she is now, how to make strategic career moves, and excellent advice for our #WomenInMartech community. Check it all out below:
Autumn is a trusted advisor, helping customers make digital transformation a reality through people, process and technology. In her role with Oracle Marketing Cloud, Autumn supports customers with marketing strategy and best practices, in-product training and technology implementation. She has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing and system integration working with global organizations, such as Manhattan Associates, Arkadin, and Servigistics and has lead tech-savvy demand generation and marketing operations teams. Autumn is a committee member and thought leader for the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association’s marketing automation SIG. In her spare time, Autumn enjoys being outdoors and exploring nature with her golden retriever sidekick. Her favorite quote and words to live by: “What you seek is seeking you.” – Rumi
What does a typical day look like for you?
Well, it’s certainly evolved over the years! I’m a full time work-from-home employee now. But each day looks like me getting up, trying to get a workout in, and getting a process and routine going. It takes some discipline to do so, because I do work from home. Ironically I work more now than I ever have. Every Sunday, I’ll write my weekly priorities, listing out what needs to be accomplished each week. From there, I just attack each day working to cross things off that list. Day to day, I support Oracle Marketing Cloud customers with their digital marketing strategy and improving their customer experience through technology and people and processes. I support multiple clients at one time and really really value each customer. So I spend a lot of time on the phone and in online meetings helping them to leverage digital marketing better. Being a consultant is an incredible opportunity to be an extended member of a marketing team. It allows me to be involved in a lot of very cool things.
[Tweet “”Being a consultant is an incredible opportunity to be an extended member of a marketing team.” #FlipMyFunnel”]
How did you first get interested in the marketing and general technology world and find your way to where you are now?
We all have our career journeys and stories. Mine started out loving English and Communication and PR. I started out with a major in Communications and a minor in Marketing. So I suppose I kind of use my education, but I’m sure that a Marketing degree has changed a lot since I was in school because digital marketing has become such an important part of the buying process and the world. I’m originally from Florida and out of college was recruited to work for a PR agency. I moved to Atlanta and never looked back. I loved what I was doing but I wanted to do more; I wanted to work with customers more, be more strategic with what I was doing. Of course I was very junior however, I moved on to my first job in marketing at a different company working with marketing technology and events. My first marketing automation implementation was in 2008 with Pardot. I took Pardot head on and really had no idea what it was at the time. However, it triggered an analytical side in me and a passion that didn’t know existed before. That one role was the stepping stone for everything else that followed. I began to implement marketing automation for other organizations. Marketo being next, then after Marketo, Eloqua. I was at the forefront of the marketing automation bubble, which now is very Account-Based Marketing focused. I kept getting recruited because I was in the middle of the bubble. I was provided more opportunity to do exciting things in marketing automation. I was very very eager to learn and that really helped me move forward in my career. One day, someone I met at the gym cornered me and said, “Hey. You know about marketing automation, right? We just bought this tool Eloqua and we don’t know what we’re doing, can you come up and talk to us?” I was still in gym clothes and meeting the head of their marketing operation team. That company was Manhattan Associates and they recruited me pretty hard. So I joined them and helped with the global implementation of Eloqua. I played a lot of roles, and there were times that I really doubted myself, there were times that I wondered why I got the role. I had big expectations for my role. For a young and on the rise marketer it was a lot. Every day I gave myself pep talks saying, “You got this. You’ve got what it takes.” It was a crazy implementation, but I got it done. I was nominated for an Eloqua Markie that year and really just started to become a subject matter expert in the industry, doing a lot of webinars and public speaking. After the implementation, I really needed someone to help me with the platform to bring us to the next level, but that did not internally exist yet. So they created this team called Expert Services and I was the first client. I built demand generation teams and marketing operation teams on the client side. So when I was asked to go through the interview process to be a consultant, I was really excited. I could be completely corporate agnostic and share what I learn to be modern marketing best practices that aren’t simply theory. And now, I’m on the Expert Services team for Oracle Marketing Cloud.
[Tweet “”Every day I gave myself pep talks saying, “You got this. You’ve got what it takes.”” #FlipMyFunnel”]
What gets you excited about where you are right now at Oracle and in this whole MarTech world?
One of my clients always teases me saying, “Autumn is at a 12 always.” I’m a very passionate person and that enthusiasm normally comes out when I explain things, or share something new. What gets me excited is the fact that everything is new and I get to learn new things every day. It’s hard to keep up with the pace of everything, so it’s a little bit of a scary time but also such an exciting time. Every day I learn from my customers, my colleagues, and the industry. If you’re seeking to learn new things and be in a fast paced world, this is the industry to be in. What excites me about my role is that I know, can see, and feel that I am making a difference. My clients are truly wanting to learn and partner, so whenever I see them be successful, I know that I am doing my job. I wasn’t sure if making the switch between being a client trying to drive change internally to being a consultant was going to be good fit. But it really was and is a fantastic fit. I can relate to my customers incredibly well because I have been there, in their shoes.
[Tweet “”Every day I learn from my customers, my colleagues, and the [#ABM] industry.” – @AutumnColeman #FlipMyFunnel “]
[Tweet “”What excites me about my role is that I know, can see, and feel that I am making a difference.” – #FlipMyFunnel”]
If you were to do your career all over again, would you do anything differently?
No, I wouldn’t actually. I’ve taken risks. My career has had some movement, and that may look bad to some organizations and recruiters. I’ve made moves every two to two and a half years and it’s because I wanted to continue to learn what I don’t already know. I push myself to understand as many areas of marketing as I possibly can. Some of those career decisions were not always the best, it’s always a risk to make a move. But it’s how you handle that change, how you adapt, and what you take away from that experience that really matters. Some of those risks didn’t pan out. For example, I was once at a company where I was well treated and getting a chance to do exciting things. However, I chose to leave to work for a startup and build out their marketing team. In the first week, I realized there were some red flags. The company wasn’t a great culture fit and the role wasn’t what was explained to me. But I don’t regret that decision, I had to learn from it, and I did. Taking risks is how you grow. For those not taking risks, complacency can creep up on you. Not to say that I wouldn’t love staying in an organization for years and years, as long as I was challenged and in a position to be empowered to evolve. However, that’s not always the case. My advice for young marketers is to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and look for opportunity.
[Tweet “”My advice for young marketers is to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and look for opportunity.” #FlipMyFunnel”]
[Tweet “”It’s how you handle that change, how you adapt, and what you take away from that experience that really matters.” – #FlipMyFunnel”]
[Tweet “”Taking risks is how you grow. For those not taking risks, complacency can creep up on you.” #FlipMyFunnel”]
What advice would you give to our #WomenInMartech Community?
To be very general, people will remember who you are if you’re trustworthy. I would say to network, build your personal brand, maintain relationships, and don’t burn bridges. My three more specific pieces of advice would be as follows.
- Voice it, voice it, voice it. Have a voice and don’t be afraid to go after what you want. Often we assume that our managers know what we’re going after and what we’re passionate about. Assumption is not enough. Voice what you want and be passionate about it! I have a friend who’s a brilliant data scientist at a top agency in Atlanta. She implemented an excellent program and believed that from her performance, she should get a promotion. In her review, her management celebrated her, but instead of a promotion, they gave her constructive feedback. She should have asked, what she needed to do in order to get where she wanted to go. Don’t be afraid to state what you want and go after it.
- Keep it professional. Make sure you’re showing yourself in a classy and professional way. This is especially for women in business. Now, that may make me sound a little old fashioned, but first impressions matter a whole lot. Carry yourself with class.
- Go after certification and continuing education programs. Always stay at the top of your game. Often times, for some reason or another, men are paid more. We’re working to overcome that as a gender. But we need to make sure that if there’s something we want, we have the arsenal to get it. That arsenal is what employees and managers look for a lot of the time.
[Tweet “”To be very general, people will remember who you are if you’re trustworthy.” #FlipMyFunnel”]
Thanks for tuning in for June’s #WomenInMartech interview. We can’t wait to come together again to educate one another, learn from each other, and celebrate every one of our marketing ladies!
We believe this list has a world of potential and we want you, the community, to help us grow it. Click here to submit a woman in marketing who should be listed.