Next Level Fearless: How Fearlessness Has Defined What Success Means to Me

In the third of our series on next level fearlessness from Marketo’s Fearless 50, Brooke Bartos shares her perspective on how her definition of success has shifted.

Next Level Fearless: How Fearlessness Has Defined What Success Means to Me
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My journey to fearlessness began in 2018 when I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and applied for the Marketo Champions program. At the time, Marketo’s Champions program was the apex in my mind: my Mount Everest. What I didn’t know when I was accepted to the program was that it would present me with new mountains to climb. Connecting with other fellow first-year champions and talking about our journeys to becoming a Champion was where my Fearless 50 journey started. A fellow Champion, Darrell Alfonso, nominated me for the Fearless 50 after hearing the path I had taken.

Being nominated or chosen for the Fearless 50 was not something that I had considered. Knowing so many incredible and accomplished marketers who have become leaders and driven powerful transformations at their organizations, I envisioned someone other than myself in the Fearless 50. However, receiving an email with “Congratulations” forced me to reset the way I thought about myself and my work especially around how I think about success.

Key performance indicators

Opens. Clicks. Followers. Years ago as a junior marketing practitioner, these vanity metrics had been some of the KPI’s I had been measured for performance. I was responsible for growing these numbers and reporting on them on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis. But as marketing has evolved to be more data-centric and revenue-focused, these metrics no longer matter the way they used to. 

Changing my own way of thinking about marketing metrics started before becoming a Fearless 50 member, but gaining exposure to webinars, mentorships, and conversations with people like Glenn Thomas, Sarah Kennedy, and Randy Frisch has given me a mix of new perspectives. Broadening my understanding of what metrics their organizations were focused on, what new things they were trying, and where they were really seeing success, has changed how I view new efforts and initiatives that our teams evaluate and how they are implemented and tracked.

Through the experiences of others, I’ve learned what others have tried, what they’ve learned (sometimes the hard way), what worked and what failed. These marketers are fearless!Every day they experiment, push boundaries, challenge limits, and come out with stories and insights on the other end, which has challenged me to do the same. Through the shared experiences and conversations we’ve had, I’ve also come to evaluate my tech stack differently, rethinking how tools communicate with each other, and how we communicate with our customers. I measure success in marketing and my success as a marketer differently now.

Data-driven success

These were lessons that I’ve been able to take back and apply right away. Yes, I do glance at opens and click-to-opens as a habit and a check to make sure things are working (did my email actually go out today, and did someone, anyone, open it?), but they aren’t metrics that are being reported on outside of our team. Instead, we are focusing on things like attribution layered against product of interest and company size, and about how we are deepening relationships we are building with our customers.

By knowing what is working, where our high-performing leads are coming from, and the type of revenue being generated, and our customer churn metrics, we are making smarter marketing decisions than we ever could have been looking at the number of clicks in an email. Beyond marketing metrics, I measure my own success differently now as well.

Rising above

As my role has continued to grow and evolve, I’ve found tremendous gratification in not only challenging myself but sharing my knowledge and experience with others. Through leading the Chicago Marketo Users Group as well as growing and coaching my own team here at Walker Sands, seeing others learn, watching them find their passions, and witnessing their pride and confidence grow has emboldened me to be an even more active leader and mentor. I’ve found what I love, which in itself has allowed me to pursue fearlessly the things that bring me joy. I’ve taken the challenge to be fearless, to push myself. Have you?

Do you know a fearless marketer or are you a fearless marketer yourself? Nominate someone or apply to next Fearless50 class here.

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