Photo: Back in October 2015, I visited ReadyTalk – a Marketo partner and customer – for a four-day workshop, and presented to their sales team.
Before I came to Marketo, I reached out to my network to learn about joining Marketo as a full-time consultant on their professional services team. Grant Grigorian, an independent Marketo consultant who I’d been working with (he’s great, hire him!) introduced me to a couple people at Marketo who generously offered to talk with me and give me the inside scoop.
I’ve now been on the team about nine months, and recently someone on Twitter reached out to me to ask about joining Marketo as a consultant.
We didn’t get a chance to connect, so to help others in their journey going forward, I listed out my pros and cons of being a Marketo consultant.
I’ll start with the cons, because I want to leave you with all the positives.
It’s a specialized role. Day in and day out, I’m talking to clients to assess their needs and guide them through implementation best practices. Compared to managing your own marketing ops program, or being an independent consultant running your own business, it’s not as varied or cross-functional a role.
I’m on the phone a lot. My clients tend to be smaller to mid-sized companies, so about 3/4 of my client-facing interaction is done over the phone. (If you work with enterprise clients with larger budgets, there’d be more face-to-face as well as offline work). This can be challenging for a natural introvert, at times. It takes a lot more out of me than it would an extrovert.
I have a lot of clients. Working with smaller to mid-sized companies, I have between 30-40 clients on my roster at any given time. It’s hard to provide excellent customer service consistently. You have be extremely good at project management and setting expectations to keep clients happy.
Now that the cons are out of the way, I’m happy to move on to the pros! I hope you’ll see how my list of pros outweigh the cons.
Everyday I exercise my logic and problem solving skills. This is definitely one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job for me. On a micro-level, using Marketo or any marketing automation tool requires good logic and problem solving skills. The enjoyment I derived from simply using Marketo was actually what led me to apply for this job in the first place! Now, on a macro-level, I listen and address clients’ very diverse needs, and have the opportunity to exercise logic and problem solving skills on a daily basis.
Enabling and empowering clients feels good. At the end of my day, after I’ve consulted with anywhere between three to six different clients, I generally feel really good. Oh sure I get tired too, but there’s lot of warm fuzzies when I can answer a client’s question, come up with a creative solution to a hard problem, or just simply when clients take the time to thank me at the end of a call.
I gain exposure to different business models, office cultures, roles. This one is probably on every consultant’s list. I’ve worked with people all over the country, in all types of roles; seen all types of teams and offices; and learned about many different businesses and business models, from finance to consumer to SaaS. My most fun days are when I visit clients for two- to four-day on-site workshops. Beyond the value of face-to-face time, I get to experience diverse team dynamics and office cultures.
I’m an independent operator. I’ve always enjoyed working mostly autonomously, so this role is a good fit. I don’t work on a large project team, I don’t manage any direct reports, I also don’t report to a manager on a frequent basis. Yet when I do seek support or feedback, or want to work collaboratively, I’ve got a whole team to draw from.
I work at the intersection of marketing, technology, and data. Today marketers have to be well-versed in using a growing number of marketing technologies and knowing how to extract insights from data. This is a vendor space that is ripe for fast growth and evolution, and being at the forefront of it – from the standpoint of working at a leading vendor to helping clients through this journey – is fun and exciting!