MarTech Salary and Career: Jennifer Luby on facing challenges
"The challenges are the change management and education ... and keeping documentation transparent, clearly communicated and accessible."
As part of the MarTech Salary and Career Survey, we interviewed people about their experiences in marketing. Today we’re talking to Jennifer Luby, Salesforce marketing cloud architect at the global consulting company JourneyBlazers. (Interview edited for length and clarity.)
Q: How did you get where you are today?
A: I started as an HTML e-mail developer for Richmond American Homes. So this was almost 17 years ago, before there were platforms for deploying emails and automations and all kinds of things and automated e-mail sending. From there I started dabbling in website design and HTML pages and that evolved into contracted work to build websites mostly using WordPress.
Then clients started asking things like, ‘We see that there’s a form that can be filled out and can you somehow reach out to the people that reach out to us for a new HVAC system or a new whatever?’ So I started to do that, literally growing with the marketing technology industry as we know it.
And then somebody said, ‘Well, there’s this lead management thing called Salesforce.’ First CRM ever and the UI for it was pretty, pretty crude, but that was still really cool. Send volume was an issue at that time, too, if you’re using Outlook. Then we’ve got all these different e-mail service providers, everything from MailChimp to Adobe Campaign, Salesforce, Marketing Cloud, and I’ve worked in all of them. So that’s how my journey has gone.
Q: What do you like about your job?
A: What I love is the creativity that comes with implementing a technical configuration and architecture that matches the business’s needs. I’m someone who understands business and has a consultant’s mindset, but who also is technical enough to know what to tell your specialized developers and help them with technical limitations, or say ‘Here’s what you can do and how.’ We have to help them think it through from their bigger outcome desires Into the technical of what it takes to make those outcomes happen. That’s what I love doing.
Q: What types of problems do you run into regularly?
A: The challenges are the change management and education piece and keeping that documentation transparent, clearly communicated and accessible. What I do as an architect, is I’ve got the business hat and education, change management hats and then supporting the project manager as well as the developers to build technical requirements.
All this is doable and much better than what I’ve faced in other jobs.
Q: Such as?
There have been challenges of inappropriately balanced power hierarchies. Then there’s silos and the territorialism of data in marketing. [An executive said to me], ‘You know, you don’t need to understand the enterprise data warehouse, you’re meddling, you’re stepping out.’ I said, ‘I’m trying to help you stand up a financial services cloud and marketing cloud.’
Q: Our survey found that women in marketing technology earn an average 24% less than men. What’s your experience with this?
A: I have witnessed it working in traditional business hierarchy-type environments. I’ve seen the disparity of income in myself versus even someone that I managed and hired that they brought on at twice my salary. The problem lies in not enough awareness and advocacy, and also women not having the tools to assertively and systematically, and on a very professional level, state their case … and it’s worse for women of color.