Wondering if you should switch from agency to in-house? Looking for practical tips to get your demand generation career firing on all cylinders?
Shelley Morrison, Vice President, Global Demand Center at Domo, is your go-to person.
Shelley brings over a decade of experience in strategy, full-funnel digital media planning, paid media, SEO, and driving revenue and growth for blue-chip clients such as Adobe, SAP, Microsoft, Amazon, and a host of others.
Plus, she also made a move from the agency side to in-house.
In The First 100 Days podcast, Shelley shares her thoughts on pivoting from agency consulting to in-house, winning with data, what she considers the qualities of a top demand generation marketer, and why it’s essential to be the advocate of your career.
Prefer to give the pod a listen? Here’s the link to the full interview. Otherwise, let’s get to it.
Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Should you switch from agency to in-house?
For Shelley, this is a YES! YES! YES!
“You’re limited to the program that your client has scoped with you. Even if you work with a great agency where you go above and beyond to provide value, you’re still limited by the scope of the project. You don’t get the full view,” she says.
“You don’t see the inner workings of the customer you serve unless you’re embedded in their business, meaning you sit in-house with them. You have the same email. And that’s a different role than the agency. That’s more deep consulting,” Shelley continues.
And it doesn’t get any better from a digital marketing perspective.
“You don’t know a lot about what other priorities they have, what other goals they have. When a client changes their mind about something, you don’t always understand the why behind it,” she explains.
But when making this pivot, it must be the right fit.
“I always told myself I would leave the agency and go in-house for the right opportunity, the right product. It had to be a company where I would be passionate about the product,” Shelley says.
So, for her, moving to Domo was a no-brainer.
“I was excited that I get to go and architect the global demand center in this company. That was what drove my move. Eight months in, I’m still like…yes. And I’m sure eight years from now, I will still be the same,” Shelley gushes.
Winning with data
We live in a world where you can measure anything in some form.
“I always say start with the problem that you’re trying to solve. Identify the results you’re trying to get. Next, what are the important pieces of data you need to dig into this and solve this problem?” Shelley says.
“What has been working? What hasn’t been working? If this thing has been working over here, then find out why it’s been working and how you could do it better or differently,” she continues.
Doing the above enables you fully understand what you’re trying to achieve because sometimes you have channels and tactics that aren’t necessarily driving demand capture, but they’re still important.
“It’s why multi-touch attribution is really important – because all these efforts up here fill the funnel. No one raises their hand and decides just one day to wake up and they want your product if they have no idea who you are. You always want to tie the pieces together and don’t just keep it as a silo. For instance, if you’re doing organic social, you want to see a lift in other areas, whether it’s positive sentiment or visits to your website. There’s always a metric to test or to point to,” Shelley explains.
Finally, don’t be afraid to test it.
“Know what you’re trying to achieve, and you’re not just testing blindly. It’s okay to test and fail. That’s digital marketing, especially in this world we live in where things change so much – testing and learning and testing and learning,” Shelley says.
“Constantly be poking at things and be really curious and analytical about what you’re trying to do. Did it do what I wanted it to do? Does it change anything? Is it moving the needle differently? If not, rethink it again,” She continues.
What makes a great demand generation marketer?
For Shelley, “being curious and digging into data to solve problems is really necessary. If you don’t find an answer for a problem that you have, and you’ve looked at the data, take a step back and then come at it at a different angle because there is a way to solve a problem.”
“Also, challenge yourself and those around you to think differently,” she continues.
Next, you should be aware of your prospect’s sales cycle.
“If you’re trying to sell to a company that’s a $5bn company, that’s likely to be a long sales cycle. This means there are activities you do up top that you don’t see the impact until later, which is the point of looking at the lift,” Shelley says.
“What is the lift of each activity along the journey? Also, investigate the data and understand how many touches it takes to go from an anonymous prospect to close. What are the different points along the way? That’s all important to understand,” she continues.
Lastly, get comfortable with account-based everything.
“Focus on the key target accounts throughout the entire journey. At a certain point, it becomes more one-to-one, but you must start at the top of the funnel and do all the engagement and education to move them along the funnel,” Shelley explains.
Be your own advocate
For anyone working in B2B, Shelley’s career advice is simple; own your growth.
“If you want a new project, if you want to be promoted, you have to be the one to speak up. Be vocal. Carve the path you want, which, I know, isn’t always easy – but if you want to be a change-maker, it’s never going to be easy,” Shelley explains.
“I’ve always asked for more responsibility, bigger projects, been very clear about my next step. How do I get there? Let’s work together. What do you know? Here’s what I think I need to do. I’m the one who owns that growth. And I think sometimes people think it’s the manager’s job to help them grow. A manager’s job is to support you in your growth. You have to advocate for yourself,” she continues.