2020

B2B Vanguards

Deanna Ransom

Televerde

Katie Kelley

Udemy

Profile
2020 Innovator Of The Year
Profile

Winner 3 Name

Winner 3 Company

Deanna Ransom

Deanna Ransom, Head of Marketing and Marketing Services at Televerde, has more than 25 years’ experience in sales and marketing. Previously, she held the role of Senior Director of Global Demand Strategy for Clarivate Analytics, where she pushed the bounds of shifting from campaigns to conversations to enable a better experience for customers and prospects across channels — leading her team and business unit to a 249% increase in global demand generation year-over-year. Deanna loves technology and driving great integrated experiences. She is also passionate about helping people with an emphasis on women. This is demonstrated in her role at Televerde, through her volunteer work with shelters, and other support organizations.

As a purpose-driven organization with a unique business model, Deanna has the opportunity to mentor and lead a team of marketing professionals who happen to be mostly incarcerated women. Deanna’s day-to-day requires her to consistently coach and teach her team about the ins and outs of content marketing, ensuring that these women will have the professional skills they need for successful reentry after incarceration.

Can you share any particular achievements you are most proud of in your current role?  

I joined Televerde as Head of Marketing and Marketing Services in April of this year. You could say that I had a challenge in front of me with a new company, new role, new team and, of course, a world-wide pandemic that obviously impacted our business in big ways.

I’m most proud of how my team pivoted quickly amid Covid-19. We restructured and organized our marketing organization in order to put ourselves in the best possible position for growth and stability. Trust is hard to gain, and I must give my team a lot of credit for putting their trust in me and leaning in quickly during a time of great uncertainty. Because they trusted in me and quickly ramped up new programs and embraced new roles, we were able to deliver a 26% increase in pipeline in my first six months — during a pandemic! This is truly remarkable and something I consider a team win.

Can you share any details about how your team, or individuals on your team, have helped drive innovation? How have you maintained your collaboration and innovation despite the current WFH reality?  

Due to our business model, my team was already in a unique situation. A purpose-built company, Televerde believes in second chance employment and strives to help disempowered people find their voice and reach their human potential. Seven of Televerde’s 10 engagement centers are staffed by incarcerated women, representing 70% of the company’s 600+ global workforce. When I joined the company in April, I had only a handful of marketing team members who were not incarcerated.

As you can imagine, working with an incarcerated workforce has its own challenges, and they are not unlike what you experience when you quickly pivot to a work-from-home reality. Televerde’s global, non-incarcerated team went virtual within 24 hours and we immediately increased communication, daily check-ins and provided a lot of opportunities to ensure self-care was prioritized.

My team moved to an agile methodology with a daily morning stand-up meeting. I also conducted random pulse checks to ensure my team members were in a good mental and emotional place. Leading with empathy matters and it’s what we strive to do every day. We also use all the digital tools available to us so that we can have as human a connection as possible.

In the midst of Covid-19, what are some lessons you’ve learned that will impact or influence the future of your work?  

As I said, empathy is more important than ever. Humanity and human touch are what all of us are craving. We must recognize that although we’re living in a highly digital world, maintaining humanity is pivotal. I’ve seen this as a differentiator in our highly competitive marketing space. Those that are winning right now are not relying solely on digital means, they’re also utilizing real people with real feelings to have real conversations. This is how we truly understand the needs of our customers or prospects.

When you combine that human touch with data — that’s when you have a competitive advantage. But only if you use it correctly. Our new landscape has no forgiveness for non-data driven decisions. If you can harness the power of your data and use it effectively, you will win.

What sources for inspiration help you stay excited and invigorated in your work?   

I’m deeply inspired by Televerde’s business model and the women I work with each day. It’s incredible to see women who have no professional experience, and for many, no working experience at all, become incredible marketers and technology professionals right before my eyes. To know that we are making an impact while delivering for our customers and creating opportunities for people who would otherwise be forgotten is truly a gift.

I’ve also realized that practicing self-care and taking mental health moments for myself has become critical. I often think of the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” It’s so true. Taking time to fill your own cup is crucial to producing your best work. Realizing this and making the time to do it have become part of my routine.

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Katie Kelley

Katie Kelley has a clear passion to build high-impact, data-driven ABM campaigns. With her extensive background and advancement within fast-growing SaaS organizations, she has established herself as not only a leader in the B2B marketing space but also as an influential woman in tech. As Senior Manager of Account-Based Marketing at Udemy, Katie is pioneering new tactile marketing programs to scale a personalized, experience-centric strategy.

Can you share any particular achievements you are most proud of in your current role?  

We recently launched our 2021 Learning Trends Report and I am incredibly proud of the work the team put forth to accomplish this project. It is the first time we’ve created a completely digital experience for the report and we’re already seeing tremendous excitement around the trends shaping the future of learning. The campaign was all-hands-on-deck and I am very proud to be a part of it.

Can you share any details about how your team, or individuals on your team, have helped drive innovation? How have you maintained your collaboration and innovation despite the current WFH reality?  

The Udemy for Business team is a remarkable group of individuals, each exceptionally talented, innovative and an absolute joy to work with. I joined the company after we’d moved to a remote working environment, which has given me a unique perspective on how the team drives collaboration and innovation. But something we have committed to, especially when it comes to campaign ideation is whiteboarding. Throwing any and all ideas on the “board” helps contextualize campaign details and allows a concept to grow legs.

In today’s WFH reality, the whiteboard has become a working Google doc and instead of a conference room, we’re sitting on Zoom. The team always brings their A-game and I am in awe of the creative, data-driven and brand-centric ideas they bring to the table.

In the midst of Covid-19, what are some lessons you’ve learned that will impact or influence the future of your work?  

The world is going through insurmountable change and people are craving authenticity and transparency. The previous tactics that may have worked to grab the attention of your audience have lost their charm. During this time, I have learned to grasp on to our company mission, “preparing employees for whatever comes next.” That is weaved into everything we create and that is the impact I hope to leave people with. In addition, I know more about my co-workers and vice versa than ever before. As odd as it is, I am literally speaking to them from my bedroom. Be patient, empathetic and genuine in all of your interactions. We are all going to have good and bad days during the midst of all of this.

What sources for inspiration help you stay excited and invigorated in your work?  

The community of ABM marketers is expansive and full of knowledge. Learning from my peers has made me a better marketer, has allowed me to explore new campaign strategies, channels, and ideas, and inspires me to up-level my work. I feel extremely fortunate to learn from them and continue to develop these relationships throughout my career.

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2020 Innovator Of The Year

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