Shawn Fergus

Ann Arbor, Michigan, US

VP Marketing with Expertise in B2B Demand Generation, Digital Marketing, Branding, PR and GTM
Shawn's Skills
Public Relations
Business Development
Product Management
User Experience

About Shawn

I’ve spent most of the past decade as a strategic marketing leader in the high-growth technology space. My focus has been building departments, leading teams, setting the marketing vision and strategy, and driving revenue. I'm a well-rounded marketer with expertise including lead generation, digital marketing, content marketing, brand management, messaging, PR, and go-to-market development.

I’m a change agent who drives cross-departmental relationships and alignment for better customer journeys and bottom-line results. I apply lessons learned while working at startup and mid-sized B2B tech companies, a Fortune 200 B2C (consumer product), and nonprofits.

- Leadership
- People Development
- Strategic Planning and Execution
- Revenue Generation, Profitability, and Growth
- Strategic Relationship Development

Additional Experience
International, Executive Management, Business Planning, Digital Marketing, SEO, SEM, Demand Generation, Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Event Marketing, Funnel Optimization, Customer Lifecycle Management, Analytics

Built relationships in a siloed organization with groups including product management, sales, and customer success. Well-rounded marketing campaigns and improved customer journeys contributed to triple digit increases in sales qualified leads (SQL) and revenue.

Hired as a SaaS company's first VP of Marketing, trained and developed a young and inexperienced team, set the vision and strategy, and assigned and tracked goals. Built and executed complex demand generation campaigns that generated 85 percent of the sales pipeline.

Played a lead role in developing the structure for and hiring of another SaaS company's global marketing department. More than 50 percent of YoY triple digit revenue growth was attributed to marketing efforts.

Certifications: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Analytics and Data, Conversion Funnel

Work Experience


Fergus Digital Marketing

January 2017 - Today

I offer project-based and long-term marketing and communications support, primarily focusing upon brand strategy, lead generation, and growth marketing. I'm also available for interim CMO and VP of Marketing roles, both onsite and remote.

VP of Marketing


October 2015 - January 2017

Provider of a customer referral, affiliate, and influencer SaaS product The company started hiring marketers without a plan or structure. Needed a marketing executive with experience building teams for small and medium-sized startups that generated demand for a product in a new category. Led team restructuring, implemented agile marketing, and selected tools for the marketing technology stack. Developed direction and campaigns at the strategic and tactical levels, driving most of the company’s sales pipeline. • Generated 52 percent YoY revenue growth (2016 over 2015) • Marketing generated 85 percent of the sales pipeline • Persona-based content marketing drove higher converting traffic (SEO), sextupled the top of the funnel with lead magnets, exit intent and retargeting, and shortened the sales cycle by 66 percent • Drove all paid advertising efforts including Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC), increasing sales SQL 10x YoY while reducing cost per lead by 10x • Doubled website conversion rate, in part by employing A/B and multivariate testing • Automated lead nurturing, scoring, and routing increased SQL rate by 60 percent while making SDRs more efficient and effective

Director of Marketing

Online Tech

March 2014 - July 2015

Data center operator in Michigan and Indiana, offering cloud, colocation, and disaster recovery solutions Revenue growth had slowed, and the marketing team had an outdated structure and go-to-market strategy. Recruited to assess and rebuild the marketing team, develop a new strategy, and make its first out-of-state data center profitable. Restructured the marketing team adding new roles and talent. After a market and competitive analysis, built a persona-based marketing model to make all efforts more relevant and actionable. Complimented inbound marketing with event marketing, email marketing, account-based marketing (ABM), and SEM. • Built and optimized a marketing plan that supported the company’s first data center outside of Michigan, resulting in financial break-even 15 months ahead of schedule • Inbound marketing, ABM, and outbound marketing lead generation campaigns accounted for 75 percent of the sales pipeline • Worked with an outside agency to create a new website and blog that tripled top of the funnel conversion rate and reduced the sales cycle by 33 percent • Content marketing powered SEO, the website, SEM, and sales enablement, and included blog posts, videos, white papers, infographics, case studies, testimonials, and trade show collateral • Developed company-produced events that generated 25 percent of the funnel and accelerated the sales cycle

Senior Director of Global Corporate Commuications

TOA Technologies / Oracle

January 2012 - January 2014

Enterprise Software as a Service field service management provider acquired by Oracle Recruited to build a global department from scratch by the Marketing VP from previous employer. Goals were to drive demand, increase brand awareness, and get acquired by a major tech company. Determined the global organizational structure and hired more than 50 marketers in areas such as demand generation, content marketing, field marketing, video marketing, media relations, analyst relations, and business development. Strategic work resulted in the business achieving all its goals. • Accelerated revenue growth and created the branding plan that laid the foundation for the Oracle purchase • Marketing generated more than 70 percent of the sales pipeline • Increased SQL from the website 1,095 percent between 2011 and 2013 • Led all advertising, from social and display to search and video which contributed 35 percent to the pipeline • Leveraged the Gartner Magic Quadrant naming the company a "Leader" for the first time as a lead magnet, which in turn became the most successful content piece for all funnel stages • U.S. and European field marketing teams worked with stakeholders to understand marketing, competitors, and buyers, using that intel to adapt and create marketing programs and tools that impacted all parts of the funnel

Director of Corporate Communications

Hyland Software

July 2008 - January 2012

One of the world’s largest independent enterprise content management (ECM) software vendors Redundancy and power struggles within the marketing department were in large part due to siloed disciplines. Hired to build the company’s first communications department, taking a handful of standalone units and turning them into a strong and supportive team that worked well with other groups. Shared the vision and strategy with team members, discussed expectations, set goals, and demonstrated how working as one team would make everyone more efficient and effective. • Marketing generated 60 percent of the sales pipeline • Implemented the company’s first SEO efforts, increasing organic traffic by 62 percent • Increased SQL from the company’s website by 179 percent • Persona-based content marketing helped sales and BDRs reduce sales cycles and book more appointments • Devised the strategy that led to 'Leader' recognition in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the first time • Managed and developed 22 reports, including managers, who supported all global initiatives

Director of Marketing and Communications

Lake Erie Marine Trades Association

January 2000 - June 2006

Midwestern boat show producer and legislative advocate for members through the Boating Associations of Ohio

PR Specialist III

Progressive Insurance

July 2006 - June 2008

One of the country’s largest providers of insurance, including car, motorcycle, boat, RV, and commercial vehicles This Fortune 200 company needed multi-talented communicators experienced in public relations, media relations, and crisis management. Hired in part to add another senior leader and mentor to a young communications team. Worked with stakeholders across the organization to help grow and protect the brand. Successfully handled crises, in part by offering realistic on-camera role plays and constructive feedback. This was Progressive University’s third-highest rated course. • Developed crisis communications strategies to manage complex and sensitive issues that posed reputational risks • Directed a cross-functional team tasked with communicating with customers before, during, and after potentially catastrophic weather-related events • Evaluated reporter requests, and consulted with senior business leaders as needed, to develop messaging based upon corporate objectives • Worked in close collaboration with other groups to manage internal communications efforts


European University

Master of Arts, Business Communication and Public Relations

1995 - 1996

Cleveland State University

Communications and Sociology

1989 - 1994


Inbound Marketing


Content Marketing


Email Marketing


Data and Analytics


Conversion Funnel (Customer Value) Optimization