The Influencer Series: Autumn Coleman
Adaptation is key to survival, in life and in business. If you are a cheetah, having a certain, optimal gene mutation for speed may help you survive and succeed in the evolutionary process of organisms. The evolution of the world’s market is similar in the sense that, having the most advanced technology and knowing how adapt it to your business may give you a leg up on the competitors.
However, with the pace at which new technology in the marketing space becomes available, staying up to speed can be a daunting task to tackle. Some marketers have risen to the technological challenge by developing a much sought after set of skills that help them empower marketing teams and rapidly advance their careers in the process. Autumn Colemen, a principal consultant at Oracle Marketing Cloud, has taken this task head-on. She has spent her career giving successful businesses the technological ground they need to stand on.
“The content is king. That phrase is a bit overused I think. It is more about how customers are perceiving your organization and what people are saying about your business. How does that all connect in your digital business’s footprint?”
Coleman left college and got a job at a public relations firm, a dream come true for her until she realized that she had a hidden knack for marketing. She left PR, got a job as a marketing specialist at VeriFone, financial services, and loved it. “I knew quickly that it was a better fit for me than PR,” she says. She then moved on and up through several different organizations like Nexidia, Paymetric, and Servigistics. With each move she was able to learn from a new set of people, something Coleman says marketers miss out on if they stay put for too long.
In addition to a new team, Coleman also got exposed to many different marketing stacks With each shift she was able to put a little more marketing tech wisdom in her repertoire.
She then realized that this focus had become her niche. “I have always been a good writer and communicator, but I had no idea I had this mind set or analytical understanding,” she says. This training made her a well-rounded marketer as she gained an understanding of all facets of marketing.
She was then recruited by Manhattan Associates, a move that she credits as being the most pivotal moment in her career, to implement Oracle Eloqua. A laborious eight months later, the software was working, and she didn’t break anything!
This move was a risk for her career, but it paid off. “It was such good exposure and a great opportunity. It just really opened some doors for me. I would get recruited and move up every few years because of that skills set,” she says.
Being technologically inclined is not just a plus these days if you are a marketing professional, it is a necessity. You are instantly more desirable if you have a good understanding of how marketing tech works. The trouble with that is, it is always changing. Coleman says the only way to keep these skills polished is to never get complacent and keep learning. This attitude will serve marketers well as new and more powerful software falls into their laps.
In reality, there is no time to be complacent if you are a good marketer because things are always changing, and we will continue to live our lives in all things digital. Like the customer conversation, for instance, which is now conducted in large in the technological world. Being a superstar on the marketing front means you are using technology to the best of your ability to spread the message of your brand. Coleman urges marketers to think of your marketing efforts and the marketing industry in general more holistically. “The content is king. That phrase is a bit overused I think. It is more about how customers are perceiving your organization and what people are saying about your business. How does that all connect in your digital business’s footprint?” she says.
This digital conversation is occurring whether we want it to or not, so brands and marketers might as well get involved. Someone needs to be there to help facilitate these conversations. Today, we are calling these unicorns, with unbelievable technological know-how, marketing technologists. Coleman says that this trend toward having an in-house marketing tech genius is only going to become more popular. “Having that subject matter expert in your organization is critical because that person is the one who is going to help you connect all the dots,” she says.
As our businesses evolve to incorporate more technology, our positions within those organizations needs to reflect that. With the advent of the marketing technologist, we have begun to accommodate this shift, and those that have personally adapted to this shift by learning a new skills set, have likely found a very rewarding career ahead of them.