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Marketing Watchdog Journal
  May 2011, Issue 87

Brian Shea
Meet a Bulldog
An Insider's Tip to Successfully Navigating the Pound (and Other Things You Always Wanted to Know About Bulldog)
Interview with Brian Shea, Marketing Automation Consultant, Bulldog Solutions

This month we are pleased to launch the first in a series of interviews with Bulldog Solutions employees. In this "Meet a Bulldog" column, we'll feature different roles within the company in order to highlight the expertise behind the many moving parts that make our company so successful.

 
Are You Our Next Marketing Automation Genius?
We're looking for qualified marketing automation experts to join our team. Read the marketing automation job descriptions, then submit your résumé directly to the hiring manager.
Last year, Bulldog was recognized by the Austin Business Journal as one of the fastest-growing private companies in our region and by the Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. We're always on the lookout for tenacious, resourceful and highly motivated dogs to join our pound. If you think you might be a Bulldog, visit our Careers page and read on to meet Bulldog of the Month, Marketing Automation Consultant Brian Shea.

Question: Tell us a little bit about what you do for Bulldog.

Brian: As a marketing automation consultant, I work with our clients to translate their marketing strategies into the technology of their marketing automation platforms. Some clients are just launching a platform and need help getting things configured upfront. Others are already downstream from the original platform launch and need assistance in executing different functions (marketing campaigns, lead scoring and nurturing, data cleaning, reporting) within the platform.

Question: What can you tell us about the state of marketing automation today? (And how does what you do for Bulldog fit into the big-picture marketing automation evolution?)

Brian: Marketing automation is a relatively new term and yet not necessarily a new concept. Marketing working in conjunction with Sales to identify highly qualified leads and nurture the rest is a concept that has been around since email marketing became prevalent, maybe 10 years ago. The term "marketing automation" has become more of an obtainable science in the last few years, since the leading technology providers have made their platforms more robust and full-service options for both marketing and sales departments to use as tools to drive revenue for their business.

I can see the following differences in marketing automation now compared to 10 years ago:
  • A higher percentage of the marketing process (including the handoff to Sales) and nurturing process is now actually automated, as opposed to a manual workflow between creative, technical, sales, etc.
  • Many of the tasks previously required of Sales, such as manually emailing or calling cold leads, has been eliminated, thus driving greater efficiency in sales departments.
  • The term "marketing automation" has become synonymous with revenue improvements because that revenue increase can now be proven. And more importantly, it has been proven across several industries.
  • The technology available to businesses has never been better. A full-cycle, closed-loop marketing engine that integrates directly into the sales engine platform is easy to obtain. And now with known case studies, the ROI makes it easier than ever to justify getting started.
My role at Bulldog fits directly into this marketing automation evolution as a key part of helping our clients compare their previous marketing strategies and tactics to what is possible within the new technology available—then driving those changes into the marketing automation SAAS platforms, testing, and tinkering with the systems to drive out the highest returns.

The SAAS platforms we work in are so configurable (especially when compared to the older client-server software models), that my focus has been freed up considerably from the old challenges of software implementation. In other words, I can spend more time driving best practices with clients than ever before. (Another example of how the newest technology has never been better.)

Question: If you could share just one best practice or marketing tip with readers, what would it be?

Brian: My first and most important piece of advice is always the same: Keep it simple. Regardless of the project size, whenever there is a change in business processes or technology, the resistance to change, no matter how justified on paper, is going to be there, as that is human nature. Therefore, limiting the scope of the change to well-defined, bite-size pieces is something that works 9 times out of 10.

Question: What traits make a good Bulldog?

Brian: A strong Bulldog is a team player who likes to have fun. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but also a person who can take a project and run with it will do very well at Bulldog Solutions.

The best thing about the team environment here is that there is an amazing level of internal team support. I find that my fellow Bulldogs are always willing to support me with anything that comes up as a challenge—you know, those issues where I just need some input, or a second set of eyes. In turn I also do my part to provide that type of support to others, having fun and supporting each other at the same time. That process feeds on itself, and in the end, allows each person to take a project and run with it to the finish line.

Question: Tell us about your most memorable moment in front of a client.

Brian: Most memorable was at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas. I was working on a software configuration project at the arena, which is where the Stars play hockey and the Mavericks play basketball. One late afternoon, I was walking through the hallway under the seats (or tunnel) with the client's IT Director. Suddenly, I recognized the person walking toward us as none other than Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars, who will most certainly be in the NHL Hall of Fame.

Anyway, I was drinking a Coke and he asked me for a drink. I, of course, complied, and then as I walked away, he said, "Hey." I looked back just as he tossed me his game sweater.

So that last part was a lie. But I did actually walk past Mr. Modano that day. The rest happened in my mind. I'm not sure that he even saw me.

Question: Share with us an insider's tip to successfully navigating the pound.

Brian: Although it is not completely required, a person would be well-advised to study up on the complete history of all music ever produced in the entire world by everybody. Remember that Bulldog Solutions is located in the live music capital of the world, home of Austin City Limits and SXSW festivals: Many of the folks at Bulldog Solutions are either very knowledgeable about the music business, or are highly skilled musicians themselves (or both). Just a little tip you'll thank me for later.

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Brian Shea is a marketing automation consultant for Bulldog Solutions.

Marketing Watchdog Journal is a monthly newsletter from Bulldog Solutions, an online marketing agency that changes the way BtoB companies define demand-generation strategy, engage prospects and convert leads to customers. We welcome your feedback on this newsletter's content and design, and encourage you to share your ideas for topics you would like us to cover in future issues. Please send your comments or questions about Bulldog Solutions to Amy Bills, VP of Marketing.


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