Three things I've learned working in big tech marketing - Amy Kelly

After graduating from Glasgow University in 2010 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Now 12 years later, I look back at my marketing career with the likes of ITV, YouTube, Facebook and most recently UserTesting, and I sometimes feel overwhelmed with how much I’ve learned.

With all of that experience under my belt, I’ve had my fair share of hurdles that I’ve had to navigate along the way and now, as an established ‘woman in tech’, I’ve learned many valuable lessons which have helped me not only be a better marketer and teammate, but also supported my growth as a female leader in the tech industry. Here are a few of those lessons:

1. Build your tribe: networking is powerful

From my career at UserTesting, I’ve become immersed in the world of customer experience. I’ve met incredible leaders in the UX, Product, Design, Marketing and overall CX space.

Amy Kelly, Director of EMEA Marketing at UserTesting (Scotland)

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Luckily, one positive thing to come out of the pandemic was willingness for virtual coffees. It became so easy to jump on a zoom and meet someone new and I soon realised the value and made it a part of my weekly planning.

I’ve met many new contacts, some of which have become friends. One CX powerhouse I met and became friends with is Adrian Swinscoe, CX author and influencer (who has recently moved from Brighton to our very own Edinburgh). With Adrian’s help, I was able to fully get my head around the CX space, which was critical to the success of my role at UserTesting. Furthermore, I got the chance to build relationships with amazing senior female leaders in CX who have helped me overcome things such as impostor syndrome, managing difficult relationships with male colleagues and building confidence in my ability. Having this female group to go to really empowered me in my career and gave me the confidence I needed to keep striving.

I also recently joined the Board at Creative Edinburgh, a non-profit organisation that supports collaboration, innovation and learning across the creative sector in Edinburgh. Being part of this organisation has, again, emphasised to me the importance of building your tribe of people, as this organisation is doing incredible things through connecting and supporting creative professionals in building successful careers, partnerships and businesses.

Never underestimate the power of your network and where it can take you.

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2. Great marketing comes from genuine customer understanding

From my time at UserTesting, my approach to marketing has completely changed and I’ve now become truly customer-first.

The UserTesting Human Insight Platform is a gateway to customers, which helps businesses scale the voice of the customer in a seamless and genuine way. This not only ensures products are being built to solve a real customer problem, but it also builds an internal culture of test, learn and empathy.

So, if we’re really honest with ourselves, us marketers can be a tad egotistical. I’ve been guilty in the past of coming up with an idea and running with it, without even checking if my customers wanted or needed it. In today's world where customer experience is a differentiator to success, gaining critical insights directly from customers is a game-changer, setting apart the mediocre marketing from the next-level marketing.

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Ask your customers - they already have the answers.

3. Back yourself: you’re better than you think

My last lesson for today is, as cheesy as it may sound, believe in yourself.

I remember a few years ago being scared to apply for marketing roles at big brands such as ITV, Google and Facebook, and I was also terrified when I was going through the recruitment process for the Marketing Director role at UserTesting, thinking ‘someone’s going to find me out and realise I’m not good enough for this job’.

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Arming myself with a ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ mindset pushed me to go for all of those jobs and also to apply for the Board role at Creative Edinburgh. At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is that you don’t get the job. It would be even worse if you didn’t try in the first place.

Marketing in tech, and sometimes being a female in tech, can be nerve-wracking and a constant navigation of a never ending maze, but the best approach is to silence that rude voice in your head that says ‘you’re not good enough’ and jump right in.

After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

Amy Kelly, B2B Tech Marketing Consultant

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