Marketo Champion Chelsea Kiko Made Friends While Accelerating Her Career

Customer Marketing


Are you a marketing professional interested in developing your leadership presence, becoming a sought-after speaker, building a quality network, getting promoted, and multiplying your salary? We have great news – it is possible to obtain this overwhelming number of achievements in just a year through the Marketo Champion Program.

This is a career accelerator that takes you outside your comfort zone and provides you with the resources to excel. Our Marketo Champion Program is a close-knit community of ambitious marketers that are given opportunities to speak at the top industry events, build their personal brand, host podcasts and webinars, join a committee, participate in forums, and much more. 

Every year we select 40 talented marketers to join this career development program and become Champions. The deadline to apply for the Marketo Champion Program 2020 is in less than a month, on December 6th, 2019. The only prerequisite for the program applicants is to have earned a Marketo Certified Expert credential prior to submitting the application.

Let’s hear from our veteran Champions! Meet Chelsea Kiko, a senior marketing ops manager for Hileman Group, who has excelled in her career, made close friends, and built her personal brand.

Q. How did the Marketo Champion Program help accelerate your career development?

A. It provided me with excellent resources and visibility in the field – I was able to establish myself as a credible expert in the field. I was working as an events and digital coordinator for an enterprise when I applied for the Marketo Champion Program. Joining the program opened up career opportunities and allowed me to grow – I’m currently leading a team of Marketo experts at an agency and have three direct reports. My salary has also increased 2.5x times ever since I became a Champion.

Becoming a Champion made me feel more confident aiming for higher roles because of all the experience and credentials that I’ve gained. It also increased my demand on the market – recruiters are always seeking out Marketo Champions. I receive over ten messages monthly from recruiters nowadays.

I have gained more trust from my clients, been recruited for my past two roles without applying, and I am seen as a thought leader in the space before I’m even 30 years old. 

Q. What was the program’s impact on your personal brand?

A. Ever since becoming a Marketo Champion, my personal brand has grown tremendously: I was promoted on the Marketo social channels and got a chance to speak on the Adobe Summit – my face was plastered on big posters everywhere! Many people in the industry now recognize me. I have spoken at multiple Marketo User Group (MUG) events and partner webinars, and I even flew to New York to shoot video series.

Q. Did you benefit from the Champion community?

A. The people are definitely the most precious part of the program. I’d trade all the career development, salary growth, and speaking opportunities for the incredible friendships that I gained. A lot of Champions become close friends that support each other. One of the Champions, who is passionate and experienced about photography, organized a photo shoot for my family last month. How amazing is this?

We are all connected on social media, members in the same cities get drinks together, we have a group Slack channel where we share professional development opportunities, and we all meet in person in Las Vegas during the Adobe Summit.

My current role actually came from another Champion who was moving on to pursue the next opportunity. Their manager wanted to particularly hire another Champion and I was a good fit.

Q. What would you say to someone considering to become a Champion?

A. People are nervous to apply because they think it’s not attainable, but don’t let that stop you – I thought I was never going to be here, and here I am enjoying this wild ride. Even if you don’t get accepted into the program the first time, try again next year. 

This program will definitely open up new job opportunities or you can leverage it to get promoted at your current workplace. You’ll have valuable credentials, event speaker experience, a track record of thought leadership – all of these can be used to negotiate a raise. When you are a Champion, you are not only promoting your personal brand but also obtaining high visibility for your company, which makes you even more valuable to your current employer.

Q. How would you describe the Champion community in one word?

A. Together. We are in it together in every way possible. We are all in this crazy job that nobody understands, but we’re in it together. Thank you, Marketo and my fellow Champions for this incredible opportunity. It’s always something I value and love.

If you are inspired by Chelsea’s story and want to speed up your career growth, apply to the Marketo Champion Program. You will be glad you did.