I’ve been in digital marketing my entire career dating back to the late ’90s. When I first started, I was slicing images and hand coding HTML using notepad. Browser compatibility requirements included Netscape Navigator, Flash was using ActionScript 1.0, and the simple fact that you knew how to use the software gave you tons of job opportunities – holy shit how this digital world has changed since then!
My first real gig was with a smaller sized healthcare equipment company. I was in charge of everything Digital, including design, development and marketing. It was my first taste of hard work and success, and I was blessed to work for such an upstanding company.
From there, I worked at LendingTree.com, which at the time was killing it in an overheating mortgage market. For Tree, I built web marketing collateral, including digital marketing ads, landing pages, and user experiences. It was a great experience and I am thankful I had such a great opportunity to work with some very brilliant folks.
At LendingTree I discovered one very important thing about myself; I’m a data junkie. I got frustrated by arguing aesthetics with people and needed a better position. You need the ad to have more “pop”? go suck it – show me the data to back your position.
This data driven approach pushed me to go back to school to get the MBA. I wanted to be able to use the data to make better decisions. I left LendingTree and went to work at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo). I was fortunate enough to be a part of a great team that re-designed their digital experience. The work we did not only saw double digit growth in their SEO performance, but they also won a Forrester Best Practice award – great recognition for our efforts.
While at Wachovia, I continued to work on my MBA at Wake Forest. I also become an SEO evangelist and champion. At the time, Wachovia did not have an SEO practice, and I was determined to show them the value. After 9 months at Wachovia however, my boss left to join GMAC, which was completely remaking their business.
A couple of months after my boss left Wachovia, he called me up and said “we have to have you here, (at GMAC), I’m not sure where or how, but we need folks like you to build a successful ecommerce/marketing team”. An amazing opportunity to manage their SEO and Digital marketing practices, as well as help them launch their Social Media presence, was one I could not pass up.
For a little less than 3 years, Ally was home. I defined their digital marketing best practices, developed a long term content publishing program to improve SEO, and facilitated a multi-channel approach and integration for the social media program.
During my time at Ally, I was also fortunate enough to finish my MBA at Wake Forest and collect several powerful tools to add to my repertoire. With these tools in hand, I was given an amazing opportunity to work with a start up company named newBrandAnalytics.
newBrand was a marketing and social media analytics agency disguised as a software company when I joined. We used software to collect and analyze social media feedback, and then dove deep into the data to uncover actionable insights for clients. I worked directly with some of the largest food and beverage and hotel clients in the world to understand how they used social media feedback.
I was directly responsible for writing algorithms concerning author credibility scoring and impression volume. I also built social media marketing strategy best practice documents to help with the inevitable questions from clients after receiving their analytical reports, “so what?”. In addition, I also built out client on-boarding plans, internal processes, and directed the efforts to build a localized, customizable, mobile product that improved sales opportunities by nearly 20%.
I’ve had a great run and I’m thankful for all of my experiences so far in my career. As I progress into the uncharted unknowns of digital, I look forward to all the new experiences that come my way.