At Marketing Trends, we are discovering what drives Australia’s top marketers. Workato is a leading integration & automation platform that helps businesses automate workflows across apps. In this episode, we chat to Nellie Jones, Marketing Manager, ANZ of Workato about her career journey and the exciting trends across events & field marketing.
Read it here ↓
Career & professional background
Nellie, how did your career in marketing start?
My career began when I was in high school. During my final years, I did an events course at TAFE and I realized I had a passion for the industry. Yet, as I started organizing my first events, I was becoming more and more interested in learning about what goes behind an event: targeting the right audience, getting people to attend and the benefits it has on the rest of the business. That’s what led me to my first role in field marketing, and it's been an amazing journey so far!
If you hadn’t pursued a career in marketing, in which other industry do you think you might be?
If I had to choose a totally different career, I would be a qualified firefighter. I grew up in the Blue Mountains, where bushfires happen every summer and my dad was a volunteer firefighter. I eventually became a volunteer firefighter myself, and I was really ingrained in that 'community spirit'.
So I always told myself that if my career in marketing didn't work out, I would happily choose that path.
Could you tell us about your role as Marketing Manager, ANZ at Workato?
Workato landed in Australia at the beginning of 2020. The pandemic hit pretty soon after our arrival, which put a halt on many projects at the beginning.
At the moment, my role is focused on top-of-funnel marketing targets. I am the first marketing person hired on the ground, which means I get to wear a lot of hats and I love it. I work on the digital marketing strategy, SEO, SEM strategy and I’m also in charge of field marketing and partner marketing. We've got great partners with whom we sponsor online events and campaigns to help build brand awareness. It’s a dynamic role that keeps me busy in the best way possible.
Marketing & Industry Trends
What type of impact has COVID- 19 had on your industry?
Naturally, there were many concerns regarding our landing in Australia. With physical events gone, we were a bit hesitant about building brand awareness, but it actually worked out quite well.
There are a few factors that helped us succeed. In the first place, our product - an integration-led automation platform - became extremely useful and relevant during this period.
Second, Workato is a very well established brand in the US market. Our American customer base includes companies like Atlassian, Hubspot, and Slack. So even though our brand is still quite new in Australia, our customers are worldwide renowned.
Overall, I'm very impressed with how well Workato managed to navigate these unprecedented times.
What is the most exciting trend or innovation happening in your field in terms of growth?
There's so much going on! It's amazing. One of the things I find exciting is the ‘hybrid events model’ - virtual events, with a physical interaction aspect. An example would be hosting a virtual wine tasting and sending the attendees a wine tasting kit to their homes. This is already taking place, and it works really well in terms of engagement.
As a marketer, what do you believe is the biggest challenge facing your industry in the future?
I’d say our target market of large enterprises in Australia is not as big as it is in Europe or the US. So it might be challenging to continue to grow and expand in a market where SaaS can become saturated in the future.
Tools, recommendations & sources of inspiration
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you structure your week?
I start my day by taking my puppy out for a walk and getting some exercise done. I then prepare for the day ahead: go through my booked meetings, check my to-do list, and organize my notes to make sure I'm 100% aligned with the day's target. I then brief the different teams - whether that's the Sales or Product team - on what’s coming up for the day that might involve them.
Then at the end of every day, I have a debrief on how the day went, consolidate my to-do list and plan for the day ahead. Being really organized is the only way I can get any work done.
What brands do you take inspiration from?
The first brand that comes to mind is a small Australian activewear brand called Tahui Active run by a beautiful woman called Ani. What inspires me about this brand is that all the images they use are natural. It's real people and real photos. And it’s a huge plus that everything is ethically sourced and sustainably made.
For me, the cherry on top is that every single time you order something, you get a personalized note from Ani. She'll always write something nice, and she remembers what you’ve ordered in the past. It’s amazing that even having grown over the last few years, they still manage to keep that level of personalized details.
Brands like this are a great example of how important it is to follow up with customers, keep track of them throughout the funnel, and incorporate processes that ensure a personalized experience for each person.
Another great brand is Vegemite. It's always been the spread of choice for all Australians, but what I love is how it managed to expand into the merchandising industry. The way it targets different ads across multiple platforms shows how well it knows the market. It takes a lot of creativity to achieve what Vegemite has accomplished.
The only other one I could name is Spotify. Again, I admire how they mastered scaling personalisation. It's just an incredible brand.
Software and tools recommendations: what is the one software you can’t work without and why?
Event Manager Blog - When I first started in the events industry at 16, this blog by Julius Solaris gave me a lot of tips and tricks on how to be productive, how to scale events and insight into upcoming trends in the industry.
CMO Australia - It keeps me up to date with everything that’s going on in the marketing scene.