Humans of Tech- Kara Parkinson
Meet Kara Parkinson
Meet Kara! As one of Canada’s top tech marketing leaders at Alcumus, she shares how she found her way to tech x marketing, what gets her energized and some actionable advice for people starting out in the field!
What inspired you to pursue a career in Tech Marketing?
To some extent I feel like I ‘fell’ into tech marketing. I got my start in consumer packaged goods in roles like sales strategy, insights and retail marketing. I had been at Nestle for 7 years when an opportunity was presented to join Apple working on channel management and internal communications. It was a perfect evolution from what I’d been doing in CPG, and a chance meeting provided me with a connection to a senior leader at Intuit. When it was time for me to move on from Apple, I moved into software marketing.
Although there doesn’t seem to be a huge connection between these two organizations, it doesn’t ultimately matter what product we’re representing as we are talking to PEOPLE who have problems they need to solve. The key to success is helping them understand how our products can help meet their needs.
What led you to join Alcumus?
After a career with multi-billion dollar publicly traded companies, I had the opportunity to make a change to a smaller, PE-backed software company called AudienceView. For those who have only worked in large organizations that kind of move is eye-opening. There are no army of digital marketing experts, no copywriter and no email marketer. Alongside a few very bright and talented people, we had our grit and expertise to guide us.
I loved my time there, so when Artemis reached out to me about the opportunity at Alcumus I wasn’t sure I could be swayed to leave. But Artemis believed so deeply in the culture and mission of Alcumus, I couldn’t help but have the conversation.
At Alcumus, the core of our mission is to help create a safer and more sustainable world through our software and solutions. I loved the idea of being on the leading edge of ESG (Environmental Social Governance) solutions. As well, during one of the interviews, a stat was shared with me that lit a spark; organizations that implement the Alcumus health & safety solution saw 60% fewer incidents (accidents/injuries) post-implementation. I loved the culture and the people I’d met from Alcumus, and the idea that I could help get more people home safely from work AND play a role in making a healthier planet sealed the deal for me.
Working in a growing tech company is demanding. What energizes you?
I love working with passionate, curious marketers. It’s exciting when I introduce a new concept to the team or provide them with a challenge. To see the outcomes that I could have never envisioned myself is very fulfilling. Learning goes both ways and I am always very keen to learn from my team as well.
Company culture and team engagement is also extremely important to me. It is a KPI that I take very seriously. I am constantly working with my team to build development plans and following through by actively working towards achieving them. It is so thrilling to watch eNPS scores almost as closely as I watch my pipeline and closed-won revenue numbers!
What advice can you share for people starting out in the field?
1) Individual skills can be taught; curiosity can’t be. Let your curiosity show, and let it guide you to solutions and understanding of your customers and prospects.
2) Know your stuff: know what you’re trying to achieve and why, and keep the end goal of the business top of mind when creating and executing your plans.
3) People don’t care about what you’re selling, they care about their own problems and finding ways to solve them. If you can operate in a customer-centric way so that each ad, campaign, piece of collateral or messaging strategy answers the ‘what’s in it for me’ question, you’ll do well.
4) Culture matters. Don’t take a role where you can’t find a way to care about what you’re offering or that doesn’t fit your personality or work style. You’ll burn out.
5) Bring solutions to your leaders, not just problems. If you can demonstrate that you can problem-solve and make decisions, and that you can ‘own’ your area of the business, you’ll rise to the top when promotions and leadership roles are available.