The digital marketing team is back in part 2 of our team roundtable blog. Learn more about the team, what got them into digital marketing, their advice, and more! If you missed part 1, you check it out here, where the team talked about their digital marketing predictions for this year.
When did you first know you were interested in getting into digital marketing or marketing analytics?
Melanie Cellini, Digital Marketing Team Lead: As a kid I was always singing the jingles from the commercials on TV - K9 Advantix, Oscar Mayer Weiner, Toys R Us, Kit Kat – you name it, I knew the jingle. My family was probably very annoyed by it, but my dad always said I would grow up to work in advertising someday, and he was right! At first, I went to college for Interior Design, but I knew it wasn’t right for me. I did well in math and enjoyed watching the pitches on Shark Tank and realized my dad may have been right all along, so I changed my major to Marketing. After college I got an internship at a Digital Marketing agency where I found my home in the Digital Marketing and Analytics space, and the rest was history!
Paul Kerper, Data Analyst: It was only about 9 years ago when I started becoming aware of some aspects of web/marketing analytics. The company that I worked for at the time was just starting to get serious about tracking its website and improving upon the website user experience, and they were in the process of investing in Adobe Analytics. I started to get to know some of the people who were involved in this process. The more I learned about the job duties of an analytics position, the more interested I became in doing that for a living, as it looked to be a good match for my interests and skill set. And after further research and internal networking at my company, I got my first analytics role about 7 years ago!
Nathan , Integrated Marketing Strategist: I first knew I wanted to get into digital marketing just before I finished my undergrad. I planned to take a year off to do some business consulting to save money before going to law school. But I fell in love with marketing! Having the ability to help businesses reach their dreams/goals made me feel like a genie. And the flexibility and constant communication/networking was a great outlet for my extroverted behavior.
Patrick Whitener, SEO Strategist: I sort of just fell into . I was applying for a sales role and was offered an entry level marketing position instead. It didn’t take long for the marketing bug to take hold, maybe a week or two in I knew I was ready to get serious about SEO and pursue it as a long-term career path.
Kaitlyn , Digital Marketing Intern: Honestly, I took a shot in the dark by pursuing a social media major my freshman year of college with no real clear-cut reason other than it seemed different. Then, I discovered how much I loved implementing my creative side into posts, graphics, and other content in my Writing for Social Media course!
Riley Charles, and Campaign Strategist:My Sophomore year of college, I began thinking about what I wanted to do after graduation and realized that most of the traditional options with a telecommunications degree, were of little interest to me. I began taking steps to add social media experience to my resume, since there was no social media degree at the time. I ended up adding a (brand new at the time) digital media trends and analytics minor – allowing me to take classes in social media, PR, analytics, and more. Additionally, I joined clubs and got unpaid social experience. I realized through these experiences that I really enjoyed creating and executing social media strategies.
Which of your personality traits is most helpful in or related to your role and the work that you do?
Melanie: I’d say I’m very organized and thorough, which comes in handy in my Team Lead position. I am always happy to create a new excel or word document to keep tasks organized, and I am a big fan of creating templates for reoccurring tasks that I can reuse . I am also happy to be a during larger meetings because I know I will be able to to them and they will be very thorough.
Paul: I think the fact that I like to read a lot helps in this job, because reading—even when it’s for leisure—requires a high amount of sustained concentration. I would not be able to be successful in web analytics if I was not able to bring that trait to this job. I’ve also been known to be stubborn, and that’s also a trait that can be used in a good way, such as not giving up too soon when trying to answer an analytics question or trying to locate the source of a problem.
Nathan: Being an analytical thinker helps as a digital marketer. Most decisions should be based on data here. You will need to know what’s important in order to leverage the numbers and clearly explain progress/effectiveness to your clients or managers. And it helps make more likely predictions when it comes to trends.
Patrick: My curiosity. Digital marketing and SEO specifically are always evolving. Whether it's new tools or strategies being brought into the fold or new algorithm updates shaking things up, you be willing to learn and grow. So, while some may dislike the dynamic nature of SEO, I enjoy always having new things to learn and stay up to date on.
Kaitlyn: Other than the fact that I am a creative person, I think my outgoingness has helped me tremendously with digital marketing. I am always down to do, talk, or make friends and from this I have built many connections and learned about 70% of new information amongst the marketing world this way!
Riley: I’d say that my creativity is the most helpful personality trait I have because it allows me to approach every project, task, or problem with a creative solution. Not only is it completely necessary to be creative in this industry but bringing creativity into every meeting helps create a more conducive environment for great social media strategy!
What advice would you give someone just starting a career in digital marketing or marketing analytics?
Melanie: For upcoming or recent grads, my word of advice is to take any internships that come your way! Even if that means working an unpaid internship and having to live at home a little longer than you’d like – they are vital to get your foot in the door and get real world experience under your belt. For anyone looking to make a career move, think about if there are any local charities or non-profits that you can get involved with to help run their social media accounts, write content for their website, etc. as this is another great way to get experience in the industry before working in it full time.
Paul: I would strongly recommend to anyone starting out in this field to be constantly learning something new and expand one’s skill set. There are A LOT of free online educational options available (for example, YouTube), but I would also suggest that you seek out paid-for online courses that will, , be a bit more comprehensive. Plus, you can then start posting your online certificates on your LinkedIn profile, and I would think employers would be more impressed with the training you paid for than with the free training, as that shows that this person is serious about his or her career. And don’t just take courses that are directly related to your current digital marketing or marketing analytics role—take courses that could be relevant for your next job in this field.
Nathan: I would tell them to learn how to communicate effectively. Learn how to dissect information and pull valuable insights from a flood of mostly numbers! And more importantly, learn how to simplify client pain-points so you can directly address their biggest business issues (or even identify the root).
Patrick: A little bit of web development knowledge, like the basics of html, , and go a long way. It’s not too difficult to learn the basics through free resources like freecodecamp.org, and it will help a lot when you inevitably interact with the dev team (plus looks nice on the resume).
Kaitlyn: Have a plan! Set a timeline for yourself on how you will complete each project and when. It is so easy to become overwhelmed but creating your own timeline or daily goals encourages a much smoother process.
Riley: I’d tell someone looking to get into digital marketing to gain any experience they can in the field they are looking to work in. You don’t need to have an internship to gain valuable experience you can use to land an interview. Create a social media strategy for a brand, take a free course on social advertising, or even grow your own following. When you start with branding and marketing yourself, you’re demonstrating you have the skills to do that for a company.
What do your parents/family think you do?
Melanie: I’m not sure - my family isn’t really on social media, so if I had to guess, they probably think I design websites, create spam emails and sit in meetings all day.
Paul: Funny you should ask that question. I am essentially the “Chandler Bing” (from the show, “Friends”} of my family—nobody knows what I do for a living! No matter how many times I explain what I do, their memories are all wiped clean at the next family gathering! True story: last year, when I got this job with Liquid, I placed a printout of my job description—complete with the job title--in my mom’s Mother’s Day gift bag when she and the family were over for Mother’s Day. You think that helped? Nope.
Nathan: My parents think I am a lawyer doing marketing! But my friends (not in marketing) think I just have business lunches and chat about commercials.
Patrick: My parents what I do quite well given their more “traditional” backgrounds. I to explain it 15+ times, but I think they get it at this point.
Kaitlyn: My family and friends thought I just sat on social media all day. Or that I was an advertiser for companies. That up real fast.
Riley: Most of my family and friends understand what I do, as it’s so common for everyone to be on social media and understand what digital marketing is. Some of my older relatives have asked me before where I work and what I do and I tell them I, “help businesses promote their product or message online.”
If you could work from one place, where would it be and why?
Melanie: Ideally, I’d work from the beach but that’s not when using a laptop! So, I would work remote from an office overlooking an ocean or a lake, maybe in the Outer Banks, NC or one of the Finger Lakes in New York. There’s just something very peaceful and calming about nature that would make for a beautiful backdrop while I’m working on campaign strategies – and a walk on the beach or a hike around a waterfall over my lunch break would be amazing, too.
Paul: I would probably say my remote workplace of choice would be Las Vegas. Admittedly, roughly one-third of the year can be very hot, but that’s what they have air conditioning for. It’s sunny year-round, and I could see myself maybe with my two-screen setup outside on my covered porch. Vegas is much more than gambling and entertainment acts that are years past their prime—there’s a lot of cool activities you can do both in and outside of Vegas that I can’t really do where I’m living now.
Nathan: I would love to work remotely from Italy (Rome or Tuscany). I always loved the scenery and as an artsy person, I would be museums or some ancient location.
Patrick: Right where I’m already at, South Florida 😊. Great weather, great food, no state income tax.
Kaitlyn: I would choose to work remotely from the Outer Banks. It is a more relaxing beach and has a beautiful town surrounding the area.
Riley: If I could remote work anywhere, I’d probably go with Nathan to Tuscany. The food, wine, and scenery would be a dream to enjoy after work every day! I will say though, any beach town would be a close second.
What's your favorite meme?
Melanie: I like the Bad Luck Brian memes because it’s such a good example of how something so mundane can get blown up into a meme that everyone has seen on social media. All he did was upload his school picture and everyone ran with it! I love the internet for this.
Paul: I have never really been a “meme” kind of person, so I don’t really have a favorite. I blame this lack of meme knowledge on my personality traits.
Nathan:My favorite meme is the pigeon meme.
Patrick:I don’t know about my favorite, but this is the most recent one in my camera role.
Kaitlyn: The condescending Willy Wonka memes always get me.
Riley: I’d have to say the evil Kermit memes.
What does your family think you do? Let us know on LinkedIn!