Written by: WOM member, Samantha Iodice
With an extensive background in digital marketing, CX strategy and marketing operations experience, it may surprise you to know that marketing wasn’t always Andrea Walker’s dream gig. Currently the marketing operations manager at QGenda, Andrea aspired to be a broadcast journalist as a student, and devoted much time to working toward this dream in college. However, through her experiences in journalism, her passions led her to an interest in social media marketing. The lessons she learned and experiences she gained from her work in journalism, social media and entrepreneurship empowered Andrea to embrace new opportunities amidst a global pandemic and discover a fulfilling new role.
If You Are Proud Of What You Do, You Are Successful
A few short years after earning her degree, Andrea decided to be bold and create her own opportunity. During the height of the great recession, Andrea launched her own boutique social media consulting agency at the age of 23. While many thought she was crazy to begin such an ambitious endeavor during economic uncertainty, Andrea considers her business one of the greatest accomplishments of her professional life. She is proud of all the work she did to educate her clients and the public on the value of digital marketing tools, and now, MarTech.
Opening and managing an agency at such a young age was certainly a challenge for Andrea, however, the experience taught her a great deal about business, marketing and sales simultaneously. Ultimately, it was her journey as an entrepreneur and business owner that gave her the skills to manage a team and grow as part of a larger company.
Challenge Accepted: Propelling Growth In Tech
After many years in social media consulting, Andrea had the opportunity to dive into growth marketing with a focus in tech companies. While working in growth, she decided to hone in on MarTech. While working at SITA, the opportunity to be a true changemaker in demand generation throughout the organization presented itself, and she dove in head first. It was this transition that brought Andrea to her current company, QGenda.
As marketing operations manager for QGenda, Andrea’s days begin by meeting with all her marketing business partners across the organization to discuss campaign goals and strategies, along with companion program build-outs. Her position is highly collaborative, particularly with the sales team, to drive adoption of the lead management process tied to their Marketo instance.
Training in her company’s tech stack capabilities is a large part of her day to day, including best practices in demand generation. A company priority is focused on creating end-to-end reporting that shows the marketing influence on the revenue pipeline. Data management is also a key aspect of her role, ensuring ongoing maintenance to maintain their CRM and MAP record database integrity.
Read, Listen & Never Stop Learning
Andrea believes deeply in constant learning. She is heavily engaged in several podcasts, including: Good Life Project, Women of Impact, Ellevate Network, TED Radio Hour, B2B Growth Marketer (if you are a marketer), Masters of Scale and On Being with Krista Tippet.
Also an avid reader, Andrea has suggestions for books too! She loves everything by Dale Carnegie (we agree that his classics are the foundation of solid business and interpersonal learning), “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, and “The Customer of the Future” by Blake Morgan. Her current reads are “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle and “The Double X Economy: The Epic Potential of Women's Empowerment” by Linda Scott.
Advice for Women in MarTech: Be Bold, Brave & Come To The Table Ready
Andrea has some powerful advice for all women in martech: “Never shrink away from asking for what you want. Be bold, be brave and come to the table ready to negotiate.”
The world of technology in general, including MarTech, changes far too rapidly for anyone to be a true expert. Andrea encourages all women to strive to stay abreast of the changes and evolutions in tech. “Don’t fear what you do not know and don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself when you feel change is imminent.” She noted that because of the constant changes within the marketing and technology fields, women have opportunities for growth in many areas.
MarTech Prediction: AI Will Lead Major Changes For Intent Data Analysis & Buyer Personas
Andrea feels that the future will bring continued evolution in MarTech, but also that AI will gain a larger role with intent data analysis and buying personas. These predictions lead to her ultimate prediction, which is the increased insight and value MarTech and AI will bring to the customer experience as a whole. The ability to share this data across the business, including sales and customer success teams, will help drive more relevant solutions that customers need.