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Katie Jane Parkes

Katie Jane Parkes

VP of Creative, Nexus Communications

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Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeApril 27
Here are the skills I think you need to be a great demand generation leader: * Deep understanding of the sales process * Ability to connect sales and marketing * Email marketing * Google Analytics * SEO * Systems: Salesforce, Marketo, Hubspot, etc. * Knowledge of ABM programs * Understanding customer personas * Able to manage multiple tasks and projects * Project management * Experimentation mindset And here are the skills/knowledge that will make you an exceptional demand generation leader: * Social media and content marketing * Webinars and live events * Brand strategy and marketing * Excellent analytical and communication skills * Detail-oriented, organized * Knowing how to communicate impact
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Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeApril 27
I chose Demand Generation over Product Marketing because I wanted to be at the front lines of brand building. I have specialized in content creation and strategy, specifically in video and social media, and I've seen first hand how the right content put in front of the right audience at the right time can have a significant impact on sales and customer and product acquisition. I love the thought that a customer (potential or current) could be watching a video that my team produced and it makes them feel seen and resonated with them so deeply that they want to find out how they can work with us. It's not a easy path to take and it doesn't always work. A lot of constant experimentation and failure is necessary to learn and grow, but the mixture of science and creativity that's needed for demand generation is truly my sweet spot.
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Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeOctober 3
I will answer this specific to my creative team, as it's not quite your traditional Demand Gen team. My current video team is about 8 creatives, plus myself. Here's the current makeup: * VP, Creative (me) * Executive Producer * Director of Post-Production * Post-Production Manager * Production Manager * Producer * Editor * Copywriter * Production Assistant I measure the teams impact in the same way I assess my own impact, which is 2 ways: 1. The impact they each have on our internal team: culture, processes, stakeholder management, leadership, and creativity. 2. The impact their work has on the bottom line of the business: how much revenue is their work contributing to, are they influencing repeat business, are they getting good feedback from clients/customers, are they pushing creative boundaries in our discipline, etc. I work with each team member to set individual KPIs/intended outcomes for personal performance each year. These can be fluid and adapt and change depending on the business needs or if they've reached their goals earlier than expected. I have 6 month 360 degree feedback checkins with each employee, consisting of peer feedback and feedback from myself. These help us track how they're working towards their goals and gives them (and me) insight into areas they can improve or grow, which also helps us have constructive conversations around career growth and professional development.
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646 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeApril 27
The common traits that all of the best demand generation candidates have is a growth mindset and the ability to combine both data/science and creativity in their approach at work. Demand generation requires a growth mindset because you constantly need to test and iterate and use your learnings to make the next idea or next piece of your strategy better for your customers. And with this style of thinking, you need inputs from both data/science but also an excellent gut instinct and a creative approach to decision making. The ability to use numbers to ground strategy while thinking outside the box is hands down the number one thing I look for in a candidate.
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578 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeApril 27
In my opinion, this one is simple: you retain good demand generation talent by giving people autonomy to act on behalf of the business, make good decisions quickly, and consistently offer them opportunities to learn, be creative and use their curiosity to run experiments. There is also the added need to treat people like adults, allowing them to make their own schedules and letting them work from wherever they want.
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503 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeApril 27
Yes, definitely! Showing interest in demand generation is a great start. If you are currently in another field and want to move over, I'd encourage you to look for ways you can partner with the demand generation team or lean in to be a resource they might need for a specific project. This way you can gain insight and experience and hone some of your skills before making the full switch.
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480 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeApril 27
My advice for recent graduates looking to go straight into demand generation is to think about your own experience as a person who loves certain brands. Ask yourself what made you get into them, how you heard about them in the first place, and what about their brand makes you love and trust them. Then continue to do this exercise over the course of your career. It will remind you that every customer's journey is unique and nonlinear. And that the journey you plan out and hope they might go on is just one way that someone might find and end up loving your brand. Being able to empathize and put yourself in your customer's shoes constantly will be a superpower in this field.
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474 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeOctober 3
I always do the following in every project: * Meet with internal stakeholders individually to build relationships (if you don't have one) and provide context on your role, your role in the project, and what success looks like to you * Also ask them the same questions to get the same answers for context * Turn the problem/project/business opportunity into a project brief and share that in advance of an internal kickoff meeting for people to review on their own time * This should include a RASCI and acknowledge who will be giving feedback, when, why, and how * Hold/host a kickoff meeting to walk everyone through the project goals, deliverables, and timelines * Create a project chat to keep everyone aligned with updates, roadblocks, etc. * Hold/host regular project standups/meetings for everyone to stay aligned (depending on the size of the project these might need to be frequent or might not be needed) * Stick to your planned feedback loops and stakeholders to avoid feedback ballooning and increasing project scope and timelines * Leverage tools like Asana, Notion, Monday.com, etc. to organize the project, setup workback schedules, and automate processes
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Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeApril 27
I think having the right soft skills is better when you're joining a new team. A lot of the time, the soft skills are very hard to teach others. They are developed over a long period of time and are a culmination of that person's years of experience on the planet: their upbringing, career path, interests, likes and dislikes, all shape how soft skills show up and they are often what make most people very unique and allow them to stand out in a field like demand generation. The hard skills can typically be taught, especially if there is room for learning at the company or opportunities for professional development. I have often noticed myself that I learn hard skills just by being thrust into it and doing something over and over again. And if there are other members on the team who are great at the hard skills, even better, because now you can learn from them and build trust fast by developing these new skills for the team, together.
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432 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeApril 27
I think you need to acknowledge this problem with your boss, especially if you have data to back up why their feedback isn't helpful or is steering the strategy/project in the wrong way. Being able to solicit critique and then facilitate meaningful discussion about the work is key to success on complex marketing teams. Make the discussion about the work and about the impact it will or will not have on your customers, and not about the person. If this continues and the critical feedback keeps coming in and is unhelpful, I would simply just start to ignore it and continue to move on by making the best decisions you can for the project and company. And then maybe try to find a new leader to work for who understands how to give proper and helpful feedback. Surrounding yourself with people who want to help you learn and who challenge you by giving you autonomy and empower you to drive next steps is going to do wonders for your career growth and growth as a person.
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Credentials & Highlights
VP of Creative at Nexus Communications
Formerly Shopify
Top Demand Generation Mentor List
Demand Generation AMA Contributor
Knows About Demand Generation Career Path, Demand Generation Skills, Product Marketing / Demand G...more