One of our core values at TechnologyAdvice is to value each other. We want to applaud victories and lift up others beyond just our team. Every month in 2021, we awarded and celebrated a passionate B2B marketer as the Marketer of the Month. Each of these marketers is passionate about B2B marketing, has an inspiring work ethic, leads by example, mentors others, and makes calculated decisions. And to finish off the year, we named Kristy Ayala TechnologyAdvice’s Marketer of the Year during DemandFest.
Kristy Ayala is the Head of Demand Generation at Tanium and brings 20 years of marketing experience to the table. She has a great understanding of the marketing landscape and is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and strategically-minded. We spoke with Kristy to learn more about her journey in marketing and advice she’d give to new marketers looking to start their careers.
TechnologyAdvice: How did you get started in marketing?
Kristy Ayala: My first job was with a non-profit where I was in charge of event marketing. I quickly learned that was not my cup of tea. I volunteered to take responsibility for managing the organization’s website and email communications and I quickly found a love of marketing technology. Eventually, I found myself with an agency where I got thrust into all things SEM and SEO. After that, I was hooked on digital marketing. From there I went in-house, spent hours immersed in SiriusDecisions Waterfall literature and pipeline building thought leadership. Eventually, my role evolved into owning all things Demand Gen. And I love what I do!
What is it about marketing that interested you originally, and what’s kept you interested over the life of your career?
I love that marketing is a blend of art and science. To be a successful marketer you must have a strong understanding of emotions and numbers. As marketers, we are always using both our left and right brain. Plus, marketing is evolving so incredibly fast with the rapid evolution of MarTech. It is a complex and dynamic field that always keeps me on my toes.
What do you think is the biggest thing people overlook about marketing?
We aren’t all creatives. Most of us live in spreadsheets, pivot tables, and dashboards.
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What have you found are the biggest obstacles for marketers?
When it comes to marketing, especially marketing campaigns, everyone has an opinion. It can often feel like an endless search for the perfect tagline or amazing “go big” viral marketing moment. In fact, marketing done well is about a slow, growing drumbeat over time. Companies that are the most successful with marketing have a clear perspective, produce great content, and promote it consistently. Big moments aren’t needed to win deals.
Big moments aren’t needed to win deals.Kristy Ayala
How has your approach to marketing changed throughout your career?
Earlier in my career, I wanted to be a top-notch demand generation marketer. I spent endless hours attending marketing conferences and reading demand gen thought leadership content trying to learn more and more about how to be great at demand gen. Over time I realized that it was also critically important for me to learn other functions in the business. I needed to learn product marketing. I needed to learn public and analyst relations. I needed to learn how to sell. I needed to understand finance and talent management. Being great at marketing isn’t just about knowing marketing. It’s about knowing the business.
If you had to give one piece of advice to new marketers, what would it be?
Know your numbers. Numbers protect you. Spend time each week, month, and quarter diving into your performance metrics. Be able to pull them up within 2 minutes. Have a perspective on what’s going well and what needs improvement. The individual that knows the numbers will always be one of the most valued members of the team.