Digital Marketing Interview Series with HubSpot's Nonprofit Marketing Manager

Taylor Corrado is the Nonproft Marketing Manager at HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company. Here are her thoughts on digital marketing: 

 

  1. How did you get the background and skills necessary?

    I had an internship after my first year of college at a small office of architects and interior designers. That was my first experience working in a small office setting. It gave me insights into a start-up environment as well as organizational skills. I then did 6 months of working instead of going to class through Northeastern’s co-op program at a kids snack food start-up. I did a lot of guerrilla marketing there, including blogger outreach, social media and cold calling. That position gave me a lot of insights into how a company runs, gets off the ground and can potentially fail. 
     
    As for my inbound marketing skills, I learned all that at my first job out of college. The company was a customer of HubSpot’s so I learned about the tools and the methodology through experience and training. I had no one to teach me, so I used all of HubSpot’s resources and HubSpot Inbound Marketing Academy to learn the basics. I’m also an avid reader of the New York Times, particularly the business section. You can learn a lot from what other people are doing and writing about. I’m constantly buying books around business and human behavior. The most recently read that I recommend to everyone is the Power of Habit. It’s all about how companies tap into human habits to solve problems for their customers and employees. 
  2. What advice would you give to young people who want to do your job some day?

    I have spoken to several high school classes in the last few months about marketing as well as my job experience, and my advice to them was to start early. If you have the opportunity to do a summer internship, take it. The most valuable experience you can get at a young age, before you graduate from college, is what it’s like to have a 9-5 job and work in an office setting. It also allows you to work in an industry that you have wanted to work in for your whole life and you may realize it’s the right industry for you or you may decide it’s nothing like you though it would be.  Realizing that earlier than most of your peers is a huge advantage and not a bad thing. Change is something that you have to be comfortable with throughout your professional life because it never goes away.
     
    I also suggest that if you can, work at a start-up. Even if it’s for a year, seeing a company at that size and learning the skills to be agile and adapt to change at a moment’s notice will help you in any position you take in the future. I never thought about working at a start up but it was the best experience I’ve ever had. 
  3. What have been the most successful campaigns you’ve seen and why?

    I think Invisible Children does an amazing job with viral campaigns. They work a really long time to prep and then launch these massive campaigns that raise a ton of awareness and money for their cause. Kony 2012 was a great example of that. 
     
    I think charity:water does the same with their birthday campaign. Appealing to literally everyone on the planet that has a birthday and getting them to give it up for clean water is remarkable. They use content really well, with videos and photos to connect you to their cause as well. 
  4. What do you consider essential qualities for a marketing team these days?

    Agile - you have to be able to adapt and change your plan instantly. With the extreme speed of social media and real time marketing and news, you have to be able to adjust your strategy. 
     
    Diverse - If your marketing team is one or two people at a small company, you should be able to do a little bit of everything and do it well - including email marketing, social media, copy writing, analytics, etc. If you have a bigger marketing team of 10-30 people, you should have at least one person dedicated to each part of your marketing. If you have a very big marketing team, 30-50+ people, you’ll have to get more organized with managers and direct reports. But then you can get very specialized in each area of marketing, from design, to online and offline channels as well as product or service marketing. 
     
    Open minded - You have to be open to trying new tactics and ways of marketing. Not all of them will work, but some of them will and your failures will give you new ideas to try and test. Also - don’t be afraid to cut your paid marketing budget and invest in more people. Advertising and other forms of interruptive marketing have a very low return on investment. 
  5. What do you feel are the most underrated skills in a marketing team these days?

    I think learning from failures and being OK with failing is very underrated. If you aren’t willing to try new things, be daring, and fail, it’s very hard to excel in your career. You have to be OK with going out on a limb and testing a new, crazy idea. It may work. It may not. But you’ll never know if you don’t try and maybe fail.
  6. What are two or three digital marketing trends that impact your role as a manager, and why?

    The most obvious one is the move to content- and online-focused marketing. Advertising, billboards, newsletters, direct mailers etc., don’t work anymore. So trying to find a company that is on board with a focused, strategic online plan is difficult. But it’s exciting because there is a lot of opportunity to educate others about the inbound marketing movement.
     
    The second would be that you have to think globally. Yes, you can focus on one country or region, but the world is so connected and marketing is changing across the world, so you have to consider that in both your career path and your current position.
     
     
     
    Taylor Corrado is the Nonprofit Marketing Manager at HubSpot and has worked in the nonprofit space for several years, starting as a marketer (and HubSpot customer) at the online fundraising company, FirstGiving. There, she educated nonprofits on the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising online. She's bringing all her knowledge of marketing to organizations big and small. She cannot think of having a career where she is not helping others in some way. You can find Taylor on Twitter at @TaylorLCorrado.