How to build a limitless career

October 25, 2021
Mariam Zohouri

She went from the trading floor at BMO tower, to Canadian book publishing, to the gourmet world of pastry. 

Today, Account Based Marketing strategist, Marci Geisler chases the elusive “why?” behind human behaviour, snagging multiple awards for her marketing campaigns along the way.

Eager to gain technical skills to grow her career, Marci joined Growclass — but it would be our human-centred approach that made her its champion. 

We caught up with Marci to talk about marketing to people vs. companies, how she grew her salary by 20% (!!!!), and why Growclass feels like a virtual meet-up with your best friends.

Gain confidence, negotiate your worth, have tough conversations at work, quiet your inner critic, set real boundaries, rehab your people pleasing, and build your personal brand—with a community of experts fiercely committed to seeing you build the career you deserve. 

Enrolment for Growclass is now open.

My career has progressed through a series of fits and starts. I changed careers three times. I started in finance and worked on the trading floor at BMO, moved into book publishing, then to pastry and restaurant work. 

Eventually, I found my way into marketing through a startup in Toronto. But my career really took off when I landed at an agency that specializes in business-to-business account-based marketing for tech companies.

I spent three years there learning absolutely everything I could. I had a really cool job that was half account management, half project management. I loved it. I got to get into the weeds with everyone from copywriters to designers and strategists, to sink my teeth into everything. 

If a client asked “what is pixel tracking?” I wouldn’t just send them to the person in charge of performance marketing. Instead, I would go to that person and ask them to explain it to me like I was two years old, so I could then go and explain it to the client.

I worked with strategists that, on the walls of their little office, wrote “What's the person value here?” I loved that. We were starting campaigns that spoke to people about their values as people, not cogs in a company wheel. 

I've actually changed jobs a couple of times through the pandemic. When I joined Growclass, I had just started working with a company where I felt like I didn't know enough, technically, to speak with confidence about things like Facebook advertising, SEO and conversion copywriting. 

I was at an agency, right? We had copywriters, people focused on web conversion, and an entire media team that did ad buying and targeting. As much as I could ask questions and manage projects, I never really got to see what it was like to buy or set up Facebook ads, or work with Google Analytics. 

I was drawn to Growclass because it seemed like, foundationally, the principles of the class were what I wanted to learn. I wanted to talk to people like they’re people, to do marketing that doesn't suck and isn't full of tech acronyms that mean nothing. 

But I also really wanted the technical, hands-on approach because it would give me a better leg to stand on. I was at a smaller company with fewer marketing resources, where everybody had to do a little bit of everything. 

The course material in Growclass is bar none. It’s everything you need. There’s no part of it that isn’t valuable, that isn’t useful. 

But, it’s funny, my favourite parts of Growclass aren’t why I took the course in the first place. What I go back to, over and over and over again, are the modules on customer psychology, lifecycle and empathy. It’s critical to my work. 

I approach these subjects differently now, and I still go back to Growclass modules when I want a refresh. 

I’ve watched the copywriting workshop at least five times, too. Every single time I leave with something new. These were things where I was like “Yeah yeah, I know this, I’ve been doing this for forever.” But I didn’t know them the way they were presented in Growclass. 

From being in Growclass, the thing that just kept turning over and over again in my mind was feeling like there’s an opportunity to take growth marketing and its customer focus, combine it with account-based marketing and really understand customer life cycles. 

That way, if you have an opportunity to upsell, to introduce a new product, you already have so much more information about your current customers than you would about new, unfamiliar ones. A lot of account-based marketing hinges on data, and there’s no better place to get data then from your current customer base. 

When I finished Growclass, I tried to have these conversations with the company I was at. I ended up looking for other roles, to find a place where I could take this excitement for growth marketing and its overlap with my work. 

That’s how I, fortunately, found the position I’m in now. I’m halfway focused on customer lifecycle marketing, and halfway focused on account-based marketing, to expand our customer base. It’s the perfect marriage. 

I don’t have anything to do with SEO, or Facebook ads. I have a team that I fully trust to manage those pieces. But I’m glad that I know them, and I can speak confidently about them, especially when it relates to campaigns in my work. 

I have a lot of latitude here to create the kind of program I want. I get to bring the best parts of my previous jobs to create the edges of our strategic map. We are going to lead with empathy, we are going to explore the person-level problem our work is solving. It’s exciting. 

In my interview for this job, I was able to say, with confidence, that I can do growth marketing. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve taken this class, Growclass, and I’ve been working in account-based marketing for so long. I don’t know all the answers, but I absolutely know how to get started. 

There’s always a bit of a power dichotomy when you’re speaking with your potential, future boss. But I felt a greater ability to parse out intention, and offer nuance. I know my worth. That totally changed my earning potential. I’m on a completely different career trajectory now.

When I received my job offer, my salary was a 20% raise from what I was making before. 

It was offered so casually to me. There was no question about it, they were like “Yes, absolutely, this is what this job is worth.” It confirmed to me that everything that I thought to be true actually is true. I was just looking in the wrong places before. 

There's nothing worse than being in a job, or working for a company, where you feel entirely undervalued and overlooked. You want to have a seat at the table, you want to have these conversations. Action requires so much introspection, and that can be hard for people. 

We talk about marketing for people, because companies are composed of people. But people are inherently resistant to change. As account-based marketing gained momentum, if you’d never approached it in this way that centred people, it can feel like a really tall hill to climb. 

At Growclass, you’re with people that believe strongly that we can do this work, and we can make this change — where marketing doesn't have to be shady and generic, but it can be empathetic and meaningful. 

It makes you look harder, and peer through the cracks. To find companies that believe in the same thing really changes the trajectory of your career. The ceiling, the confines of my previous roles… I don't feel like they exist anymore. There's so many places to go, and so many opportunities to grow and take up space because of the skills and experience that I got from Growclass and its community.

The community is unparalleled. There's nothing like it. Every Growclass meeting, or workshop feels like you’re walking into a room with your best friends. 

And yet, everyone is incredibly diverse, with wildly different life experiences. They’re experts in their own way, in things that you’re definitely not an expert in. It’s like having this incredible resource of people to draw on when you have a question, or you’re stuck on something. There’s always someone who can help you find the answer. 

I’ve joined other communities online, but nine times out of ten they’re just digital spaces with knowledge articles, and occasionally someone pops in to answer a question. But with Growlass, it feels like you could do a trust fall with these people. Which is so cheesy, right? And for a group of people I’ve never met in person! Which I always forget, because it feels like I’ve known them forever. And I haven’t even been in the community for a year yet. 

I want someone to do a psychological case study on all the different personalities in Growclass, so we can figure it out. How did they create this? It’s so magical that you want to know. It attracts all the right people — folks who want to roll up their sleeves and get right into it. 


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