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Sacramento Director Urges Budding Marketers To Know Future Trends

Janelle Johnson is the senior director for Demand Generation at Act-On Software, Inc, one of the nation's leading marketing automation providers for small and mid-size companies. Janelle completed her bachelor's degree at Santa Clara University, and shortly after got involved in marketing thanks to an internship opportunity. Since her involvement with Demand Gen, Janelle has seen the face of marketing evolve into a more data-driven culture, something budding marketers should pay attention to.

(Photo Courtesy of Janelle Johnson)

What does your job entail?

"I'm responsible for creating our Demand Gen process – generating leads, nurturing prospects through their buying process and working with the sales team to convert those leads into customers. Much of my day-to-day is based around analyzing our database and the results of the programs we are running. We run a variety of different campaigns, from email to webinar and live events. We're constantly looking at ways to optimize the performance of our efforts – looking to drive better results from campaigns at a lower cost to the organization."

What parts of your job do you enjoy?

"I enjoy working with a variety of different people every day, interfacing with customers and prospects as well as people from across the organization. Also, the ability to continually learn is very important to me. The field of marketing is rapidly changing; it's more different today than when I started out in my career. It has become much more of a data-driven science – across all areas of marketing. I enjoy being able to blend the nerdy data-driven side of my personality with the creative side.

What was your education history like?

"I graduated from Santa Clara University with a bachelor's in political science and minors in English and women's studies. Throughout college, my plan was to attend law school and become a lawyer. I realized in my senior year that I really didn't want to do that any more. I was fortunate to get an internship in marketing after graduation, and I realized I had found my place!"

Do you think your education has helped in your current position?

"Absolutely! Learning to think critically and look for other possible answers or ways to achieve goals has been crucial to my success. In today's workforce, especially in the field of marketing, it's not possible to just keep doing things the way they have always been done. Instead, it's about constantly evaluating and finding better ways of doing things, or even determining what other questions we should be asking."

Any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

"Pay attention in math and business classes! Also, understand the true goals of marketing. For example, there's a lot of buzz about social media marketing. In order to excel in a marketing career, you'll need to understand how that ties into a company's overall objectives and goals. You'll need to be able to speak the language of revenue and how the individual tactics (such as social media) can be used to help achieve those goals."

Paulo Acoba is a California native raised in the Bay Area and living in the Central Valley. He enjoys distance running, cycling and grassroots motorsports. He holds a degree in management from the University of California Merced. Paulo has been writing for since 2012 and covering the Fresno area.

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