Introducing Brittani Dinsmore, a visionary marketing leader with an impressive track record in the world of B2B and B2C within the SaaS business model. With over a decade of experience, Brittani has carved a niche in subscription marketing at scale, bringing innovation and strategic edge to the table.
As the Head of Marketing at Stoke, Brittani is no stranger to the intricacies of marketing automation, omnichannel strategies, and brand elevation. Her career journey has taken her through renowned companies like T-Mobile, Moz, and Ziff Davis, contributing significantly to their marketing endeavors.
Brittani’s expertise extends beyond marketing itself. With five years of people management under her belt, she embodies a collaborative leadership style, fostering cross-functional collaboration and empowering her teams to achieve the extraordinary. She thrives on aligning marketing strategies with the broader product vision and business objectives, all while maintaining a strong focus on customer-centricity.
In this interview, Brittani will delve into her wealth of knowledge, sharing insights, strategies, and stories that have shaped her remarkable career. Read the interview below for a deep dive into the world of SaaS marketing with a seasoned expert at the helm!
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in your field?
Like many people in the marketing field, I didn’t know that I wanted to be a marketer until I started doing it.
Growing up I wanted to be an actress, an artist, a geologist, or an astronomer. In college, I became interested in global affairs, macro economics, and political issues. After brief stints as a legislative intern and then a campaign manager for a local senate race, I realized quickly that politics was too emotionally charged and “political” for me. (Traumatized by the ridiculousness on both sides, I became an Independent voter after that.)
It was during the 2008 recession that I took a job in the call center at my friend’s pest control company. My friend needed help with some marketing tasks: setting up social media profiles, writing and designing the monthly newsletter, submitting press releases about our bed bug program, event planning, designing collateral for the sales reps, creating content for the website, etc. I loved getting to use my creative and analytical skills in tandem to figure out the best levers to drive sales and double-down on what drove the highest ROI. It was invigorating and didn’t feel like “work” to me.
That job provided me with experience that opened the door to my first corporate marketing role at T-Mobile. There, I learned from great marketing leaders who gave me opportunities to shine. I gained discipline in field and local marketing, go-to-market and integrated marketing, product management, and product marketing. When I was given the chance to own a program of my own, I beamed. I absolutely loved working across the highly matrixed organization to coordinate and collaborate with teams from engineering, sales, customer support, digital marketing, finance, legal, creative and present to the C-Suite. I learned that I get energy from listening to other people’s point of views and ideas, as well as sharing my own. I simply love learning new things and creating great experiences for customers that also drive business results.
Always seeking a new challenge and growth opportunity, I decided to try startup life. I liked the idea of working even closer with product and engineering teams and digital marketers – and the potential to lead my own team in shorter span of time than it might take in a corporate environment. So, I took a leap into my next chapter which was and is SaaS marketing.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
Marketing is inherently challenging by nature. It’s always unpredictable because human beings are unpredictable, yet everyone expects it to be predictable. It’s also a major cost center in a business and if return on the spend in marketing does not outweigh the cost, changes have to be made.
Deciding to let someone go and avoiding getting let go yourself, is a major part of life in the marketing world and it’s not for everyone. It’s important to add value in other ways and make it obvious to decision makers when you do in order to survive re-orgs and layoffs.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my career was after the software startup I had joined was acquired by a much larger conglomerate of other SaaS startups. Our C-suite cashed out and I was left holding the reins, leading the company through a major transition period. While I was honored to be retained and receive a promotion, I have to admit, at times I felt like a fish out of water in the new environment. That’s when I would lean on my two favorite mottos, “go big, or go home,” and “just keep swimming” – thanks, Dory, from Finding Nemo. (I also hired a professional coach to meet with me on a monthly basis and help keep me sane.)
Through challenges and triumphs, after a year and half post-acquisition, I saw to it that the marketing team was in a good place, stabilized with competent leadership in place, and I took an opportunity to exit and look for my next chapter.
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout your career, and how have they influenced your approach to leadership?
I’ve learned that while I do not have all the answers, I do have great intuition and need to lean on that more often. Again, like many, I have struggled with imposter syndrome and “overthinking it”, only to find out that the person with more experience than me, would make the same decision that I would have. Maybe that part just comes with experience — learning to trust your gut (and what you see in the data of course) and go with it!
One thing that people don’t know about you?
While I work on my career and aim for a spot on the C-suite at a great company… I still want to be an actress, an artist, a geologist, and an astronomer. But, I also want to travel the world, be a great auntie to my nieces and nephews, and just chill on the weekend with friends. Do I have ADHD? Yes I do.
What advice would you give to young professionals or entrepreneurs who are just starting out in your field?
Either, make AI your marketing super power, or get out of the field entirely and start a plumbing business. AI won’t replace marketers, but marketers who know how to leverage AI will replace marketers who don’t. Go big, or go home.
Thank you, Brittani, for sharing your remarkable journey with us! Your path from wanting to be an actress, artist, geologist, and astronomer to becoming a dynamic marketing leader is truly inspiring.
Your ability to embrace unpredictability in marketing and navigate the challenges it presents, including the tough decisions, demonstrates your resilience and adaptability. Your dedication to continuous learning, your “go big or go home” attitude, and your trust in intuition are invaluable lessons for aspiring professionals.
We appreciate your candidness about imposter syndrome and applaud your determination to pursue diverse interests. Your advice to embrace AI as a marketing superpower resonates deeply. Thank you for your wisdom and insights!
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