VP of Marketing, Smartling
Winning ways: Kelly’s first name, Nataly, ends in “y” because her mother didn’t want “all of those extra letters” getting in the way. Now, as Smartling’s VP of Marketing, Kelly continues to make ease of communication a priority. For instance, her latest book, Found in Translation, explains how global marketers can better represent brands across various language and geographic borders. She also increased her company’s lead flow by more than 700% in a three-month period through new programs, email, and content marketing campaigns.
Defining moment: “My first job out of college was with AT&T as a telephone interpreter. I was constantly volunteering to do things…and my boss invested in me, sent me to management training, and basically created a new role for me…. I worked with my boss to define the role and define what I would be doing…. That was the opportunity that helped me the most, because just the sheer knowledge that you can have a lot of creativity and input in defining your role [and] in helping a company was something that I would have never dreamed was possible.”
Words to live by: “‘Just get it done,’ and ‘Do less, but do better.’”
Head swivel: “The future of marketing is publishing, and today, a lot of the tools and processes in the online world make it easier for us to publish more content. So, that has actually affected the way I hire, have been building my team, and we invest in our marketing budget.”
Good advice: “Push yourself.”
First job: “A lifeguard. Being a lifeguard actually gives you a lot of good experience because you have to keep a careful eye on the big picture while looking at the details. There’s a lot of activity going on, and it’s also quite a big responsibility…. People’s lives are in their hands. That did teach me to look out for others and to take responsibility seriously.
“A lot of it is about preparedness. That’s another good lesson that it taught me. It’s really about being prepared for when crises do happen and emergencies do happen. It’s all about the preparedness leading up to that point, and I think that it’s definitely true in business. All of that little stuff that you do to prepare for that big, big event or that big, big moment is critical even if it’s not glamorous.”
On your nightstand: “The one book that I always recommend to people is called The Gift of Fear. It’s by Gavin de Becker. It’s all about how our instinct is not really our gut telling us something; it’s our brain processing information and telling us what to do and how to react to something without us realizing all of the processing that is happening…. [It’s] understanding why you might be thinking a certain way and having a scientific rationale for [it].”
Favorite mobile app: “It’s the TED Talks app [TED]. I use that all of the time…. There’s always something new that I love. I also have the Poetry Foundation app. It’s basically a poetry app [I use] if I need a little bit of inspiration or a thoughtful, insightful quote on a topic.”
Click or tap here to read the stories behind the successes of the other Direct Marketing News 2014 40 Under 40 winners.