Samantha Anderl is the co-founder of Interimly, a boutique growth agency focused on GTM strategy, demand generation, and marketing operations. Prior to going out on her own, she served as the Head of Marketing for the self-service business at Campaign Monitor. When not immersed in GTM strategy and digital marketing, you can find her enjoying a glass of bubbly and all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Keep up with her on Twitter: @DGsalamander.
How did you break into leadership?
I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing bosses who believed in my leadership skills early on in my career.
I was promoted to manager at age 23 and was responsible for managing team members who were much older than me. Although it was a challenge, I learned so much from figuring out my communication and leadership style with that group.
When I moved over to Campaign Monitor as one of the first members of their marketing team, I again had an amazing boss and leader who believed not only in my expertise and skill set, but also my ability to help manage and guide the strategy for the marketing team. During the 3+ years I spent there, I grew from managing the strategy and projects for various parts of the marketing org to managing the strategy, team, and projects for an entire business unit.
What unique obstacles or challenges have you faced as a woman in a tech leadership role?
There are two main challenges that I’ve faced as a leader: The first is my age. I’m younger than most leaders in our space and even within the companies I’ve worked at. The second is, of course, being a woman leader in a male-dominated industry.
I will say though that, despite these challenges, I’ve had many champions in my corner who constantly told me that I was in this position for a reason and who have helped me to be more confident and assertive. Surrounding yourself with people who build you up and believe in your talent is vitally important.
How do you secure buy-in for your ideas?
One of the issues that I struggled with early-on was obtaining buy-in for my ideas. I came into a company with expertise that most other members of the marketing team did not have and tried to push forward projects that many didn’t understand the value of.
What it really came down to was education: educating other members of the marketing team and our leadership on why we should do the things I was suggesting, providing them with examples of how other companies excelled by working on similar projects, and sometimes even bringing in third parties to help educate my audience.
The key to being successful and pushing these projects forward was not to get frustrated or disappointed in the lack of understanding, but rather help the marketing team build cohesiveness through education.
If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?
I’ve enjoyed my path so far and have honestly pulled valuable lessons from both the negatives and positives that I’ve experienced in my career. I don’t think I would go back and change anything. Everything I’ve experienced has led to a more well-rounded perspective.
What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?
The highlight of my career thus far has been the connections I’ve built with the people I’ve worked with. I now have a network of amazing individuals who I trust and who trust me. Even when individuals move to different companies and take different roles, we will always be a support network for one another. I speak with many of my former colleagues on a daily and weekly basis to get advice, lend a hand on their projects, etc.
What’s your advice for up-and-coming marketers?
You were chosen for your job for a reason. Be assertive, take on more responsibility, take the lead on the next project or idea. It’s your opportunity just as much as it is anyone else’s.
Thanks to Jes Kirkwood who conducted this interview in April 2018.