How a Diverse Background Planted the Seeds For a Fulfilling Marketing Career

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Hear Rebecca Timm, Marketing Manager at PFL, reminisce about how her nature-inspired beginnings brought her around the world and back again to build a dynamic Account-Based Marketing career.


We recently had the pleasure to connect with Rebecca Timm, Marketing Manager at PFL, an all-in-one print, technology and fulfillment facility. Serving clients across the globe, PFL is pioneering the tactile marketing automation category with modern print and business solutions that empower sales and marketing teams to easily plug complementary physical elements into their digital outreach strategy.

At PFL, Rebecca manages demand generation efforts. But like many other marketers, her career path hasn’t been a straight line. Several early jobs seemed completely unrelated to the field of marketing. Yet, at each stage, seedlings of an idea were planted. She found herself gravitating towards promotion-oriented duties, especially anything involving a deep dive into the customer profile.

Marketing remained a common thread throughout her career journey, even though she didn’t realize it. Early marketing experiences later blossomed into a full-fledged, fulfilling marketing career. At the heart of it all has been a constant need to deeply understand the customer at hand, something that’s becoming increasingly important for any marketing professional, as consumers become savvier and more self-sufficient. Below we explore Rebecca’s story, including how she evolved from a ranch-hand to a B2B technology marketer.

Guest Service From The Heart

A nature fan to the core, Rebecca’s love of the wild led her to Montana where she began managing a guest ranch and soon, owning a wilderness outfitting business. She noticed a strong interest in guest service, specifically when she could deeply understand and deliver on what a guest was hoping to experience during a visit in her neck of the woods.

The ranch was a small operation, which, to some, may seem unappealing, but in this intimate, personal environment, Rebecca got her hands dirty in the office, too, dabbling in marketing and business development. She started by developing promotional brochures, email campaigns, and fielding phone calls. This experience deepened her connection with the customer, and with her own career aspirations.

Inspiring Social Engagement

From there, she went on to work cattle at a registered Angus ranch. Little did she know the marketing seed was planted and already starting to germinate. Even these relatively small businesses offered a lot of opportunities to learn new skills. She quickly added more value to the ranch through social media marketing.

Rebecca connected with her passion for inspiring engagement with people that matter to the business. This really excited her, so with a clearer picture of her career objectives, she realized she needed to expand her skills beyond the ranching industry.

A Global Perspective

An advocate of no personal debt, Rebecca wanted to avoid student loans, so she joined the Army National Guard and was thrilled at the chance to “get paid to learn a new language!”

Rebecca spent 18 months immersed in Korean language school, where she experienced that “it’s not just about learning another language, but learning another mindset.” Continuing to develop this understanding of people is critically important for any marketer to add to their toolkit, in order to truly dive into a particular target customer segment.

With a growing appreciation for customer connections and advanced knowledge of the Korean language, Rebecca returned home to Montana and quickly joined PFL, just as its first SaaS offering was being developed.

Old School Prospecting

Rebecca began her role at PFL by developing learning management systems for the entire company. Now, instead of guests at the ranch, her valued customer became other internal stakeholders within the organization. In this role, Rebecca was responsible for understanding these leaders’ pain points and business challenges, then crafting a way to alleviate them.

When a coworker in the PFL marketing department needed help researching which prospects were the ideal targets to pursue, Rebecca jumped at the chance to work with marketing minds. She quickly realized first-hand, the pain of doing this work manually. It took her tons of time to identify and locate, then record, analyze and synthesize each pertinent factor. That was all just to identify the ideal companies. From there, she still needed to figure out where the heck to send anything for optimal campaign results. Needless to say, it’s a “very time consuming” task for anyone.

Better Tools, Better Results

Thankfully now there’s a better way. Once PFL knew account-based marketing was going to be a key strategy, they knew they’d need to invest in a robust and comprehensive data partner.

Although not a down-right necessity, Rebecca shares how EverString has become a critical step in her team’s process of efficiently finding accounts that will fit within certain criteria. With the freed-up time, she can turn her attention towards optimizing account-based strategies with agile project management and departmental processes.

Leveraging The Feedback Loop

Her views on marketing and the growth in her career overall, have been shaped from many different sources. Rebecca subscribes to the Buffer ‘Science of Social Media’ podcast, with weekly 10-minute audio tracks full of advice on how teams can remain agile, test ideas, and have the ability to groove through new trends. She also finds the Agile Marketing Indy podcast, which Rebecca notes is “well worth the time for anyone looking for something to change your mind about the way you do marketing.”

Rebecca also underlined the value of feedback. With new ideas, gathering input from internal and external sources, appreciating that insight in whatever form it comes, and then leveraging it to implement change, is a critical process.

Cutting Through The Noise

Instead of breaking through the clutter of junk mail with email… now it’s about breaking through the clutter of information with something you can actually touch on your desk.

In an ever-more digitally connected world, direct mail is a reconnection back to a sense of community. Something tactile we can hold and feel in our hands helps to convey a social connection that no digital connection can replicate.

Providing a combination of innovative solutions for today’s marketing and sales teams, plus over 20 years of industry experience and a core focus on WOW’ing customers with excellent service, PFL is freeing up staff time by automating what once was an extremely time-consuming, manually performed process.

Rebecca’s #MarketerMusts

We asked Rebecca, after considering all her various roles and experience, what is her best business advice she can offer, or that she’s received. Her answer is fitting for anyone just starting out, or someone at any stage who’s starting to explore a new field.

Keep It Simple

Starting small, following your areas of interest, and saying ‘yes’ to opportunities when they are presented, ensures you’ll be available to experience a variety of career options. Once a seed of intrigue is planted, you can cultivate it in any terrain.

Learn From Others

An observer at heart, Rebecca also finds inspiration from her coworkers. Especially if she’s handling something new, she taps into colleagues like Eva Jackson, Sam Patterson, and Holly Whaley for input, or to help round out a new idea.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes posing open-ended questions like, “How should I approach this?”, or “How can I think about this differently?” will ensure that teams collaborate and share information to work more productively overall.

Remain Personally Agile

Rebecca also shared a bit of practical advice worth sharing: avoid carrying personal debt, if you can, so you remain personally agile when you want to explore the world around you. That…and for the most valuable life lessons, don’t be afraid to fail, and make discomfort your BFF.

More About PFL

PFL is a leading provider of tactile marketing automation solutions that help brands rise above the digital noise and be heard. With over 12,000 active customers, PFL provides sales enablement and marketing automation solutions, as well as printing, mailing and fulfillment services, to directly connect B2B and B2C organizations with cutting-edge solutions that accelerate productivity and drive business forward. The company is co-headquartered in Livingston, Montana and Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information, please visit www.pfl.com

Connect with Rebecca Timm on LinkedIn

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