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Digital Marketing Interview Series with HubSpot's Head of Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing

Digital Marketing Interview Series with HubSpot's Head of Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing

Niti Shah is the Head of Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing at HubSpot, a marketing automation company. Here are her thoughts on digital marketing:

  1. What do you consider essential skills for a marketing team these days?

    Self-management, project-management, and analytical skills are a must. Regardless of your role within a marketing team, you need to be able to manage your time effectively. You have to meet deadlines, communicate efficiently with other team members, and keep track of moving pieces so your campaigns run smoothly. You need to measure properly and report results from your campaigns to make key decisions going forward.
  2. What do you feel are the most underrated skills in a marketing team these days?

    At the risk of sounding repetitive, analytical skills. Marketing has always been known for being a more creative field, so we always emphasized skills such as writing well and campaign planning. But without analytical skills, a marketer can't measure if their campaign was successful, and by extension, if they were successful. Data is power -- marketers who can prove their projects are having an impact on an organization are more likely to be recognized for promotions and have job security.
  3. What do you see as the biggest challenges for marketing professionals over the next year?

    The shift in how people consume marketing. With search, social media, more sophisticated email clients, and people's ability to filter out what they don't want to see or hear, outbound tactics such as expensive ads and email blasts are losing ground. Marketers who aren't adapting to inbound marketing tactics are not going to be very happy with their results!
  4. How did you get the background and skills necessary?

    I got a degree from Northeastern University in Business Administration with a marketing concentration and an English minor. Northeastern has a fantastic co-op program that allowed me to get my feet wet in the professional world before graduating, and I completed two co-ops (one at a tech start-up called LevelUp, and the other at the global company Philips). I had the opportunity to learn all those things you need to know outside of the classroom -- and between that education and practical application, I built up a resume that got me my current gig at HubSpot. Once I got to HubSpot, I was able to hit the ground running and learned the ins and outs of email marketing.
  5. What advice would you give to young people who want to become an email marketer some day?

    If you're interested in marketing and have a penchant for data and copy, consider email marketing. You get to think about the psychology of the consumer, create segments, and play with some of the most sophisticated tools in the industry such as marketing automation. Email marketing requires organization, strategizing, good writing skills, and reporting skills. If you are weak in any of these areas, brush up on them -- take an Excel course, read books on communication and marketing, practice blogging to build your copywriting skills, try to find opportunities to manage projects. It's an ongoing process -- I myself am currently working on improving my Excel skills!
  6. What excites you the most about your market?&

    Marketing automation is the fastest growing space in marketing right now, so as the marketing automation expert at a company that builds a marketing automation product, that's what I'm completely aflutter about. It's making marketing interactions personal in a scalable way. It's going to change the way we do marketing.

Niti Shah is the Head of Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing at HubSpot and frequently writes for the marketing blog. You can follow her at @nitifromboston.