How To Get Ahead In Your Digital Marketing Career with Shelley Morrison

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Welcome back to 3-Minute Marketing, the show where we interview the leading players in growth marketing & get them to share the best plays in their playbooks.

Today, I’m thrilled to be speaking with a unicorn named Shelley Morrison, VP of the Global Demand Center at Domo. Shelley’s had an impressive career trajectory, having overseen digital strategies for nearly a dozen B2B technology brands in the last 5 years alone.

I asked Shelley, “What are some things up-and-coming marketers could do career-wise to get ahead — to get that job they want or be considered for a promotion?”

Show Notes:

  • When looking for your next move, seek opportunities for challenge & growth.
  • Ask yourself, “Is it scary?” If yes, that’s a GOOD sign to pursue.
  • Learn and understand your entire organization to discover how marketing can make the biggest impact.
  • Make your boss look good by challenging them with newer/better ideas. Then let them run it up the chain.
  • Advocate for yourself: Tell your manager, “This is where I want to go in my career.” Then work with them to define the milestones to get there and OWN it.
  • Don’t just personalize in your marketing — humanize. Create an experience (content, etc.) that is designed to solve your prospects’ unique problems.


– [Chris] Welcome everybody to another episode of Three Minute Marketing; the world’s shortest and highest value growth marketing podcast. Where we like to really dive deep into the brains of the world’s leading growth marketers. I’m your main man, Chris Mechanic, co-founder here at WebMechanix and veteran performance marketer, myself. I’m super duper excited about today’s guest, who is Shelly Morrison. Shelley, it seems like you’re basically the CMO of DOMO. I know your title is not that.

– [Shelley] I am definitely not that, but thank you.

– [Chris] You can introduce yourself, but I was just, I’m super impressed with Shelley. She’s like the ultimate unicorn. We love unicorns here. You know, we love the idea of like, I do believe that the marketer of the future is this kind of like, cross-sectional kind of unicorn, but I think you’re the definition of that. And you’ve had a story and an awesome career where you were just rising through the ranks at an agency. And then, you were with Accenture. So, I’m really impressed. And I’m really- it’s days like this, that I’m sad that it’s called three-minute marketing, but welcome to the show.

– [Shelley] Thank you so much for having me.

– [Chris] Yeah. So, I do have a topic for you today, and it’s not exactly a growth marketing focus, but you’ve been so successful in your career. And just so, you know, seemingly- what, what’s the word? Seemingly very, you know, you intentionally kind of grow. Like if you look at your LinkedIn, it’s just promotion, promotion, promotion. I want to talk about some of the other things. Like you’re clearly a, a badass when it comes to marketing. Right? And that’s kind of- that’s par for the course, but what are some other things that more up and coming marketers could do career-wise to get ahead, you know, to get that job that they want or be considered for that promotion?

– [Shelley] Oh yeah. That’s a great one. So, thank you. I am so glad that you, you think I’m a badass. I think I’m a badass, too. So, you know, when I really think about like, how did I get where I got, what it really comes down to is, is a couple of things, adaptability. Right? And being able to really pivot and make and- you know, look at data and insights and make invaluable decisions that really, honestly make your boss look good. I think that’s- I mean, it’s true, right? You do the things that make your boss look good and you become indispensable. But all at the same time, you’re really learning and challenging yourself. So, every career decision I’ve made, shift I’ve made, I’ve done with this idea of, is it going to challenge me? Am I going to learn something that I just have never learned before or will change the way I do a thing within digital marketing? And you know, is it scary? Honestly, sometimes the best things I’ve done is, it’s very scary. You know, my past agency, I shifted from building this, you know, digital media and analytics arm to actually running all of customer success sales and marketing. And like, those are completely different roles in a agency world. But what it did is; it challenged me to think about something in a different way. So, that as a marketer, I had that bigger view and that, that kind of 30,000- like this is what goes on at an entire organization And how, what I can do, and this marketing focus affects all of these things, so.

– [Chris] A hundred percent, a hundred percent agree. And I’m curious, like, so do you just have some intuitive sense of what will make your boss look good? Or are there like some rules of thumb, like in order to make your boss look good? Because I do agree that goes a long way, for sure. Right? How do you know?

– [Shelley] That’s a- How do you know? You build relationships, relationships are really important, right? Building a relationship and being reliable and not being scared to challenge and come up with new ideas, I think is really important. That’s one of the ways that I think I have become invaluable to folks like my, you know, my bosses, previous bosses and managers is if I disagreed with something and thought there was a better way or a more interesting way or a more innovative way to do it, I would bring it to the table. And to them, that’s like, especially in digital marketing, like you want that, you want to be challenged and you want to innovate. And so, that’s the kind of stuff that makes your boss look good. Cause you bring an idea and then, they sell it up the ladder and everyone’s like, yeah, this is awesome. You get a lot of folks excited.

– [Chris] I love it. So, we have like 15 seconds. I’m curious. Have you, do you generally apply for these promotions or they just come and knock on your door and promote you?

– [Shelley] I am an advocate for myself. If I want something, I will tell my manager, this is my goal, this is where I want to go and talk about it. How I’m hitting these milestones to get to where I think I need to go. So, I take that ownership on myself. I don’t leave it to my manager to do it for me.

– [Chris] I think that’s huge, too. Cool. Well, that’s it for today’s episode. I would love to continue wrapping with you, Shelley, if you have a few minutes.

– [Shelley] Yeah. Let’s do it.

– [Chris] There will be some show notes or a link in the show notes rather, to the bonus content. Before we go, if folks are curious about DOMO or want to learn more about you, how can they do it?

– [Shelley] Oh, well, I mean, obviously you can go to I mean, at the end of the day, I’ll just give you the quick elevator pitch on DOMO, but basically DOMO delivers modern BI platform that helps organizations better integrate, interpret, and use data to drive informed decision-making and action across entire businesses. So, really it’s bringing that real-time data together that it can be to build insights and actually be actionable to an entire business.

– [Chris] Yeah, and I know there’s a lot of modeling and some predictive stuff in there. So, you want to talk about leveraging AI? Everybody’s like, AI this.

– [Shelley] This is leveraging AI. Yes, absolutely.

– [Chris] Cool. Well thank you so much, Shelley, stay on the line. So DOMO, so you guys are B2B, so I’m big on like, I like, I love tools. I love finding a new tool. I love like finding a new technique that works predictably. I have several kind of like growth formulas, you know, that work well with B2B, SaaS and tech. What are some, what’s the new hotness for you guys? Like what are you doing? You know, what are your top initiatives right now? In terms of-

– [Shelley] Oh gosh.

– [Chris] Or point me in a direction of your interests. Are you interested in search or social or copyright?

– [Shelley] I mean, so we do it all. Cause I run a demand center. So, the demand center is all digital marketing and events, all digital media and events. So think of all the demand, gen activities, search, paid, social, content syndication, but also events. So digital events, webinars, like all of that stuff falls into my kind of purview. So if I think about like, what is the most important, they’re all important. But I think the biggest challenge of all of them is actually events right now, right? Because everything is still virtual, zoom fatigue is a real thing.

– [Chris] Yeah.

– [Shelley] And so, you know, getting that right, making sure that the way we’re building and executing these events really resonates. It’s the humanization and personalization aspect, like how do we really make this relevant to someone to spend 30 minutes or an hour sitting with us to talk to us about our product.

– [Chris] Right.

– [Shelley] No matter how cool I think it is. Cause I get super nerdy on the data stuff and I, you know, it was a big, a big fan of DOMO before I joined. But you know, people are still very busy and they’re tired. And so, you know, events is, is one of those things that I think is a big, big area of innovation for me right now.

– [Chris] Yeah. Interesting. I’ve been, I’ve actually never played with it, but I’ve been seriously considering toying around with this tool, Webinar Jam. Have you seen that?

– [Shelley] Not Webinar Jam. No.

– [Chris] A lot of these B to C direct response marketers like, like a lot of coaches or consultants have this funnel where they essentially drive you to a webinar. But then on that webinar page, there’s a perception that the webinar’s about to start in like five minutes. Where really it’s a prerecorded webinar and you never really, technically have to say that it’s live. I mean, it could be prerecorded just starting in five minutes.

– [Shelley] It’s an on demand.

– [Chris] But the idea is basically that you get higher opt-in rates obviously, but, I can show you a quick example of what I’m talking about, but I know for a lot of our B2B clients, webinars are just like a great, you know, mid funnel source and asset type to be.

– [Shelley] They, they. They are. But I think the challenge that we all face is kind of what I was saying is everyone has so many webinars now, how do you stand out? How do you make it really valuable? I mean, I get, I’m sure you do too, but I get invited to webinars constantly. And there’s some that I’ve sat through that I’m like, yeah, this was absolutely worth this hour. And there’s other where I’m 10 minutes in and you don’t have my attention yet. And I’m a busy lady.

– [Chris] Yeah, yeah.

– [Shelley] So, so it’s really, really important that the content is as good as, you know, even if it’s, even if it’s not live, but the content really has to draw people in.

– [Chris] A hundred percent. So I am, so yeah, you got to lead with the fire. You got to have that fire content. I spoke with somebody and he’s like, our marketing strategy is really simple. We just basically create really, really, really good content. And then we use that content to fuel everything, organic search, paid search, outreach, you know, our BDRs or SDRs, you know, our webinars, like there might be a, a long form webinar and you extrapolate from that like a white paper, you know, and that’s basically this whole strategy and they’re killing it. Like absolutely just killing. Do you guys have-

– [Shelley] Content is crucial. I mean, it really is because I can have the most efficient demand gen tactics out there. But if the content is horrible, we’re leaving money on the table. Like we’re just wasting our money. Like it’s just imperative that you have a really robust content strategy. Now, would that be my only strategy? Nope. But I also think that every B2B company has to take what works some places and what doesn’t work and make and apply it to them.

– [Chris] Yup. Yup. So there are a hundred things that I want to say right now, but I want to give you a chance to talk about humanization. Cause I tried to use this anonymously with personalization and you like, you’re like, nah, this is different. Tell me about what that means to you and why it’s important. The idea of humanization.

– [Shelley] Yeah. I mean, I think personalization has been like a hot topic now for, I don’t know, 5, 6, 10 years at this point. And everyone talks about personalization as- kind of that- I think it’s one step higher than humanization, humanization takes into account that the person is not just part of a buying committee that is B2B. They are a consumer, they are a human being who has other things going on in their life. So, humanization really is focusing on engaging with an audience, truly speaking to them where they are in their journey. And in a way that matters to their experience. So, someone who is, you know, a BI analyst is in a completely different situation than maybe someone who is an IT director. Right? And so you don’t want to just go, I’m personalizing to BI related roles. You actually want to personal-, you want to take it that step down and humanize it into this person in this role, what are kind of the- how do we solve problems for them and how do we provide the right content that really helps them solve those problems and, and speak to them in a way that’s relevant to them specifically, which is a lot more work, right? It’s just a lot more work for marketers, but it’s a better experience for the person you’re trying to reach. And that’s what should matter. It should be actually be about the experience and not your brand.

– [Chris] Yeah. A hundred percent. So, I’m curious in terms of the tactical, like how are you guys segmenting and activating that data to like deliver those, those customized messages like do you use CDP or like, how do you know that it’s a BI analyst and they’re there for to show them this instead of that.

– [Shelley] So, we have tools that we use, right? We have our own, you know, we have partners in our Mar Tech stack that we use to help. The reality is the great thing about DOMO is that we can use partners and then we can pull things into the DOMO platform and cut and slice things however we need to see them. So, we can look at personas and segments and go, okay, this is the type of things that based on you know, testing and learning, these are the things that we’re engaging with more for this audience versus this audience for this job title versus this job title. And it’s really leveraging that connection of the data. You could have a million tools.

– [Chris] Yeah.

– [Shelley] And they’re all valuable, you know, but having a place that you know, that you’re going to go to, and that is where you’re going to dig into everything, that’s what, that’s what helps us make our decisions on whether something is, this is the right thing for that audience versus this audience.

– [Chris] Yep. And you’re right. It absolutely is a ton more work, but probably it pays off. Do you, have you seen like in your own humanization efforts, big gains or any lift from it?

– [Shelley] Yeah. I mean, not going to talk about numbers, but yes, we, we definitely have seen, you know, incredible improvement and incredible growth in our efforts, in our tactics and what refining and optimizing what really works. And even down to areas, you know, you think of like Google search where you can’t really segment, but you can get, you can, you still can get deeper into it by actually looking at when we pull the data into our own systems, actually looking at the segments and how keywords resonate with them and, and adjusting like, you know, from that perspective. So, you know, data can be amazing if you have the right tool to actually see it all come together.

– [Chris] Yeah. So is it, is the, is the essence of humanization as you view it; the customization of the content or is it more so making the content like empathetic?

– [Shelley] It’s, it’s a little bit of both, but it’s cause I mean, you want to customize the content to that user and their experience and you want the content to solve their problem. So, it’s a little bit of both, right? It’s understanding that every human is different and therefore, every person in every role is different and where they’ve been, you know, looking at the data, if they’ve been on the site and they’re looking at, you know, X, Y, and Z, great. Like we should be- the next piece of content that we should offer them as this piece. So, we’re doing it for them. We’re not going “Okay, Well, everyone who’s in this role is exactly like this person.” So there’s a mix of that. Right? It’s the content. And then how we’re helping solve something for them, that empathy.

– [Chris] Thank you very much, Sally. We’ll be in touch.

– [Shelley] Yeah. Have a good one. Bye.

– [Chris] Bye.

Shelley Morrison

Shelley MorrisonVP of the Global Demand Center at Domo

Chris Mechanic

Chris MechanicCEO & Co-Founder

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