Amber Bogie is an award-winning ABM & ABX Marketing strategist with a list of successful strategy implementations under her belt. She is a thought-leader in the Marketing space and passionate about data driven decisions, tech trends, and bringing your true self to work every day.
Over the years she has spoken about her extensive strategy experience and successes at industry events, podcasts, and publications. Amber currently leads the global growth strategy for Reachdesk.
The hosts of REACH sat down to talk with her about the role of humility in perseverance, the lessons she would tell younger-her, and how she cultivates self-awareness at work and in life.
I’ll try to condense it, let’s see how well I do!
I’ve been in marketing for about a decade. I’ve lost count.
I got my start the way many people do, early on in their careers: I found everything I didn’t like to do! It’s a process of elimination.
I started in event planning, and then found myself in a role where I got to do a lot of strategic thinking and planning. I learned early on the impact of ideation to execution, with some project management skills on top of that. The next role following that was at my first software company, and my first experience with account-based marketing. Let’s just say it was love at first sight!
It’s been about six years since then, and ever since, I’ve been fully immersed in the account-based world and an absolute lover of software companies.
There are so many things! I’m fairly new to the role, it’s only been about four weeks, but I went through the interview process critically evaluating it and every role I was looking at. I had what I refer to as a quadrant of requirements that I was looking for in the industry.
I wanted to work in issues that I care about, within MarTech, Sales tech, or HR tech. I also wanted to be passionate about the product offering. What does the company offer, and can I get behind it?
As a marketer, I think I speak for a lot of us, though certainly not all of us, when I say I cannot market something that I don’t believe in. I just don’t sleep well at night that way, personally.
Leadership was a big factor for me, too. Who was I working with? And then, of course, the role itself! I was looking for a role that would allow me to own full-funnel marketing, from top of funnel all the way through the whole customer experience.
The Reachdesk role really hit the bell. I’m only four weeks in, of course, but I couldn’t be happier.
The people are incredible. I feel like when you’re interviewing, you can tell early on if you’re going to vibe with the people there. If you pay attention to how you feel during the interview process, you can see if people are genuinely excited and really passionate about their product or their roles.
You hear it in their voice, the way they talk to you about themselves, their experience with the company. From start to finish, the interview process was phenomenal. So it was a very easy decision.
Perseverance, to me, means achieving a goal, no matter how challenging the journey to get there. No matter how challenging the day-to-day, the continued work and effort.
For some people, it’s easy to set a goal and achieve it. For others, it’s really challenging.
I’m an imperfect person, I tend to be really strict with myself and my goal setting. But there are still plenty of things on my to-do list that are still sitting around!
I had someone ask me when I was younger, “How do you do that? How do you just set a goal and do it?” I explained to them, at that time, “I tell myself there’s no other option. You just do.”
It’s certainly a personal definition. Some things come “easy,” (let’s put it in air quotes, because is anything ever really easy that’s worth doing?), but at the same time, there are of course other areas in my life where I really struggle.
I think it’s a daily thing for marketers. There’s no time when we aren’t faced with a goal demanding we persevere.
There’s always a number to achieve. There’s always a revenue goal. There’s always the pipeline. There’s always a campaign. There’s always something that we need to push though.
When one quarter is over, you’re off to the next. When the year is over, you’re off to the next! It’s a continuous exercise in perseverance.
We are shifting strategies all the time, implementing new strategies, and I’ve done a lot of that in my career. Usually, I’m hired specifically to implement new strategies for the business.
That in itself requires perseverance, because you are coming in to change things. That word alone can be scary for some: “change”. You’re working to improve the way the business is running, usually in systems or operations metrics.
Revenue is of course the end goal, but there are days when that seems a million miles away, and it is exhausting. There are times when you have to do repetitive tasks, and you just want to give up.
One thing that I go on and on about all the time, when it comes to account-based marketing, is sales enablement and metrics.
Sales enablement is a challenge. No matter how long you’ve been at a company, there’s always going to be a new salesperson. There’s always going to be a new product. There’s always going to be something the sales team needs to be supported and enabled to do. That takes perseverance.
The same thing with reporting. We’re always iterating and improving. There’s always new software, a new animal to tame. We’ve invented something new, great, now we must figure it out!
That’s exhausting for marketers, for operations, for anyone dealing with the numbers. That requires perseverance day in, day out, across the board.
Account based marketing is an exercise in perseverance in itself. I think the perfect way to look at it is that account based marketing is an investment.
You have to put the time and money in to yield the results, but if you stick with it, the results will be three times greater, five times greater than whatever you put in. But it’s like investing in the stock market or a house, it takes time to grow the equity, to grow that financial reward.
That does not mean staying the course until you are sailing off the edge of a waterfall. It’s important to pay attention to what you’re doing, but if you’re not seeing immediate success, it’s because you’re expecting it too soon. Or you’re looking at the wrong key indicators. There are initial indications to show that ABM will pay off later.
For instance, engagement is something you can see right off the bat. If you’re seeing engagement, then you’re doing the right thing. Follow those patterns and repeat the results.
But those big whale-sized accounts are not getting closed two weeks after you kick off an ABM strategy. Most sales cycles in B2B software go up to a year, sometimes longer.
If your sales cycle is that long, you’re not going to see data on revenue or closed sales early on. But you’re going to see other indications of success. You’ll see larger deals in your pipeline, for one.
This is the perfect topic for ABM. The perfect word to describe ABM is “perseverance.”
I think that’s a failure of some businesses, they cast aside the strategy because they don’t see results fast enough. It takes time to make a change, conduct change management, and bring in new software. You don’t implement Salesforce overnight. You can’t implement an entire mindset like ABM overnight either.
Different traits have helped me at different stages and phases in life. Perseverance is one I identify with strongly, but even more so in my younger years. Like I said, I would decide to do something, and then I would just do it, whatever it takes.
That determination was born in me when I was a teenager. I felt done with high school, so I decided to graduate the very next year. I made the decision, and I finished high school at sixteen.
I had that same mindset for a really long time, and sticking to it is what’s propelled me. I finished college super early because of that same mindset.
It’s what got me that far, but that “just do, just do” mindset was exhausting. There were sacrifices to be made. I learned that skill, but that skill alone is not what got me to where I am today. It’s set me on a path that’s been followed by different phases and stages.
Following that chapter in my life, I started feeling and learning about imposter syndrome. Who am I? What am I really good at? Am I really cut out for this? Am I good enough? I was dealing with a constant fear of failure.
So there was a chapter of learning how to deal with that, but from that blooms self-awareness. These skills, perseverance and introspection and self-awareness, they all build upon each other.
These are the building blocks. Perseverance is on the bottom layer, getting over ego and realizing your true worth is the second layer, and now I feel like I’m in the third layer. This is very much about self-awareness. Balancing effort and ease.
What we say in yoga is, find effort and ease, and where the two meet. Something will always be challenging you, but it doesn’t have to feel challenging.
Self-awareness is a gift you give to yourself. It’s a gift you give to the people in your life. To the people you work with. It flows throughout the whole span of your life.
It gives you the ability to step back, look outside of things, and empathize with other people.
That’s my long answer. These are my building blocks, and I am so grateful for them.
It’s a matter of intuition. My intuition is not so tuned that I can look at smaller details, like should we do this campaign or this one, and know instantly what I should do (wouldn’t that be amazing)!
But when it comes down to roles, responsibilities, big areas of business or life, such as taking a new job, I check in with myself. I try to feel if there is something inside of me that is adamantly opposed to doing it.
There’s a difference between being stubborn and intuition. That feeling “I don’t want to do this!” because I’m being stubborn comes into my life plenty. So it’s a matter of learning to differentiate between the two.
It’s not an age or experience thing. I’ve learned this through my experiences, yes, but at any age you could allow yourself self-awareness and look back, look at yourself today, and look forward.
Why focus on intuition? I have an analytical mind, and that’s often led me to analysis paralysis. I’ve done that way of thinking. I tried it. The anxiety, going over every scenario, overthinking, I’ve gone through these crappy and exhausting ways of thinking.
Finally, I was like, “This isn’t working.”
So, in other areas of my life, I’ve tried on different styles of thinking, until finally… “Oh, wait! This one feels okay.”
Following my intuition feels good. It has served me well and each “win” or right choice, if you will, allowed that trust to grow deeper.
Yes, yes. There is an equal and opposite reaction, or two sides for me. Stubbornness is one and the other is what I call a “strong arm” in terms of achieving a goal when I’ve set my mind to it. Early on in my career, I felt both. I refused to do/learn anything when I had an immediate reaction of not wanting to do it.
Part of this was that I didn’t take feedback well. I would get really angry and take things personally. I would feel so frustrated!
I was even frustrated when I got actual solid feedback, but where I was in my career, I hadn’t figured out how to take it effectively or realize it was my ego rejecting it vs. my need to persevere and put in the work.
But I had to do these things, or take this feedback, in my job (and to keep my job I am sure), and in time, I succeeded.
It’s funny, public speaking and presentations were the worst of the worst for me. I remember getting feedback on presentations, and getting so frustrated that I just hated PowerPoint.
I never wanted to do a PowerPoint again, because I thought that curating a PowerPoint was a waste of time. I didn’t want to consider someone else’s attention span. Just pay attention! At least that’s how I thought.
That was my mentality, but years and years of doing it and having these different roles and responsibilities taught me and brought me out of that mentality.
Perseverance is what helped me here. Because I couldn’t change overnight, I had to chip away at the bits and pieces over time.
It’s like an archeologist. You brush away little chunks of dirt or pick off pieces of trash and then you discover something you didn’t know was there. Before, it was just a pile of dirt, but now it’s something valuable.
Yeah, learning through every experience is so important. I wouldn’t change a single thing about all of the frustrations or the failures or the choices, because I have learned from them.
Often, we are our own worst enemy. We are our biggest critic. We’re so hard on ourselves.
It’s hard to make a decision that way. If we’re about to make a change, we’re so afraid of failing, or so wrapped up in thinking about what’s going to happen if we fail… The best things come from failure! You take away so much from it.
So when it comes to perseverance and deciding whether to continue with a goal, I’d say my intuition has gathered from my previous failures and experiences. I can remember a time when I did that thing, or made that choice, and how it turned out.
When I went to interview at Reachdesk, I knew the signs to look for. I knew the feelings to look for.
I’d say there’s never a wrong direction to take. Even if you’re questioning, should you persevere in this career, in this role, whether you do or you don’t, it’s still going to be a lesson.
There’d probably be a long list, but let me summarize.
I might just say that every choice you make is going to be the right one for your journey, regardless of what you think. I would tell myself to trust the outcome.
I wouldn’t want to change any of younger-me’s experiences. I’d just like to whisper in her ear during them. Tell her everything will be okay.
I’d tell her to trust the process, because I do firmly believe that. Trust me, I’ve made some mistakes! I wouldn’t change it though. So, trust is the big thing for me.
There’s tons of really great books out there, all filled with lots of different aspects of this, whether it’s strategy, planning, or just general How to Be the Greatest at Everything.
Two of my favorites are The Four Agreements and the Daily Stoic. They aren’t business books, but books on the art of being human, something we all need a little help with from time to time.
For me, though, the biggest game changer has been community. Finding other marketers. Finding other people that have the same problems, who remind me that I am not the only one struggling and that I am not alone in my experiences.
My advice for this is twofold. First, find people. Find your community, find your people. They are there. There are so many of us, and fortunately we are in a time and space where community is a massive conversation.
LinkedIn is a great source of community, no matter what kind of field you’re in.
I think the second part of this is a willingness to share. That can be hard, because it takes vulnerability to open up and find those connections. Especially during the hard times.
One time in my career, many years ago, I was laid off. I thought it was the worst thing in the world. I didn’t know what to do. I certainly thought it was my fault, even though really it had nothing to do with me.
Then just the other day, I was reading a post on LinkedIn from Nick Bennett. It was about what’s going on in the economy right now, people leaving and being laid off. The post was him talking about the reality of what is going on for others and then sharing his own experience with being laid off.
He shared it all, the good, the bad, the ugly and how it was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He openly said “Let’s talk about this, let's share our experiences.”
If only I had had somebody like that back then, when I’d been laid off. Just last week I talked to a marketer in my community who is more seasoned than me. He told me about something that he’s going through, and I’m thinking, “I’m so glad that I know other people have struggles, because I’m not the only one.”
And because someone else opened up to me about their experience, months before that, I was able to say, “You should really talk to this person because I know they went through something similar.” You build and grow connections that way.
The people that you think are the most successful, the greatest of the great that you admire, they have failures. They have made mistakes. It’s shocking when you find out about it, because you put them on a pedestal, but it is the best feeling ever, simply because we’re all humanized and that actually makes us even greater.
That’s been the most powerful thing in my entire career. Learnings, experiences, all of that adds up, of course, but the big game changer for me was community, and for us to continue to build this, I encourage everyone to be vulnerable.
Let’s talk about life! It’s not just about spreadsheets.
Absolutely. I have a whiteboard that sits to the right of my desk. On it I have post-it notes from maybe seven different people (both personal and professional relationships). I’ve collected them over a ten year span of my life.
These things they’ve said to me, some of them are simple, some of them are deep, but those things stick.
When I feel like giving up, or like I’m not great or whatever it is that day, I look to these to be reminded of who I am. Because we are not the greatest at seeing outside of ourselves!
For years and years, I’ve struggled with what I’ve called the duality of life. I felt like, “Here’s work, and here’s my other life.”
I'm a total yoga person, slightly hippyish, and I really felt like I was living these two lives for years.
Then my former company Degreed offered us this training program. By the divine universe, I had a mentor who happened to be on my level (hippy level that is). During one conversation, I said something about balancing between what felt like both worlds. He told me that it is not black and white and you can’t actually separate your personal self from your work self. He hit something there for me, it opened the gates.
I realized this doesn’t just have to be business, you know? Straightening our ties.
It was phenomenal because he understood how to speak to me in a way that was relatable. We met twice a week for six weeks, and at the end of it, I didn’t walk away with these tangible action plans, nothing like, “Organize this way,” or “Be a leader that way.”
For me, it was way more impactful. I learned that there is no line between life. All throughout your work is your personal life, and your personal life is your work life. You don’t need to have these strict lines.
So from that moment in time, I felt almost liberated, and definitely encouraged to bring the parts of myself that felt more personal to work.
I’m a Type-A, very anxious person. This is why I do yoga (hey yogis!). But this realization was game-changing. As I showed up more as myself at work, people in my life started to describe me as a calming presence, as this very thoughtful, very empathetic person. There were positive effects across my direct reports, my team, all of my collaborations.
That’s what I stand for. You can be successful, you can have a career, and you don’t have to sacrifice your personal beliefs, your lifestyle, any of those things. You can bring that with you.
You are who you are at work and not at work. I don’t believe in needing to put on a separate persona.
It is my personal mission as a woman in tech to inspire others to know they can do that.
So thank you for giving me the chance to talk about this! This has been my favorite interview topic. It’s brought together so many of my favorite things!
What do you think about the value of Perseverance as a marketer, business leader or in life? Let us know by sending us your comments via Reach@uviaus.com.
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