26 Feb ‘Your Customer is All You Have’ – Coffee with Lynsay, a SME on Digital Marketing
By: Brionna Simons
Lynsay Russell is a Tennessee native with 10 years of digital marketing experience across retail, agency, and medical technology companies. She’s currently the Senior Manager of Global Marketing Operations at Medtronic in Boulder, Colorado and serves as a mentor at the Leeds School of Business. “SME” is a blog series about Subject Matter Experts in Colorado’s marketing industry.
When I requested a coffee meeting with Lynsay Russell, eight-year AMA veteran and co-director of executive relations, she scheduled me for a Friday night at Denver Central Market in RiNo. How fun! Lynsay and I spent over an hour talking all things digital marketing. Read below to learn the true meaning of marketing’s most relevant strategy plus what trends and tools you can expect in your digital marketing career.
Lynsay’s first boss after college encouraged all employees to invest one hour a week in researching industry trends, which led Lynsay to become a subject matter expert in 2008 on social media before it was social media.
“People were like ‘Well what is this term social media?’ I came to my boss and said I’d really like to look into this, I want this to be my special project. He’s like ‘Yeah, go for it.’ I dove head first. I read a book called Groundswell and I just couldn’t get enough of it.”
After a series of pitches to corporate executives about a digital marketing strategy to improve customer satisfaction, Lynsay earned her spot on Pilot Flying J’s marketing team where she served as an agent of change and built out customer-centric digital marketing practices for six years.
“I’VE NEVER STOPPED TEACHING WHAT DIGITAL IS.”
Lynsay regularly educates herself and others on trends in the digital marketing space. She describes digital as a constant dance between logic and impact and emphasizes the importance of understanding technology and its implications. For ongoing education, Lynsay and her team regularly attend national conferences. (She’s been to South by Southwest four times!)
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A DIGITAL MARKETER?
“The biggest thing is just experience with digital marketing. Certifications are highly regarded, and they’re basically all free!”
Start with certifications from Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and HubSpot. Gain experience with running a blog, building emails and implementing a campaign, and managing a website and doing the SEO behind it.
One of the newer digital strategies that Lynsay implemented at her company, a global leader in medical technology, is Account Based Marketing (ABM). ABM is essentially highly-targeted advertisements for top accounts. ABM tools include Terminus and BrightFunnel. Other integrated tools Lynsay uses in her day-to-day tech stack include Oracle’s Eloqua, Adobe Experience Manager and Analytics, and Salesforce.
WHAT’S THE NEXT DIGITAL DISRUPTION?
“One is technology and one is people. Marketing and advertising has to catch up to the human experience.”
In technology, Lynsay anticipates more interactive videos and virtual reality (VR) will surface in a bigger way for consumers. Regarding people, Lynsay believes that companies will learn to avoid having to deliver apologies about advertisements (think: Pepsi and Dove) if they begin to truly understand their customers. Lynsay passionately defends consumers for being smart and complex people and feels that a true marketer is, at her core, a people person.
“A lot of people say put your customer first. And I want to say: understand that your customer is all you have. Being customer centric isn’t enough. Authenticity is demanded. We don’t give a f*** about your brand unless you truly demonstrate that.”
In her spare time, Lynsay enjoys blogging on her website about “living whole, living free, and living powerfully.” She’s a certified yoga instructor and teaches on Saturdays at prAna Boulder. Her favorite Super Bowl ad was the Jeep Jurassic commercial and her favorite part of AMA is being able to connect with so many different people and “share the suffering.”