• How long have you worked at R2i? Who are some of your clients?
I’ve worked at R2i for seven years. I started out as an intern on the social team back in October 2012, where we did a lot of organic social and community management. Since then, I have grown into a paid media role, focusing on search and social. I have worked on a number of clients over the years, but some of my current accounts include Feeding America, TEKsystems and Pentair.
• What is a recent project that you’ve really enjoyed working on?
I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the Feeding America account. R2i handles Feeding America’s paid search marketing efforts and works to connect potential donors with the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. The media is heavy in revenue attribution—all the way down to the keyword level; so it’s always fun to take reporting beyond standard media KPIs such as CPC, CTR and conversion rates. Beyond that, it’s an absolute pleasure to work with a nonprofit who strive to make such a positive difference in our world by feeding the hungry.
• What do you enjoy most about working at R2i?
It sounds cliché, but my favorite thing about R2i are the people! We have a true team atmosphere here and some really intelligent, driven people. There’s always someone available to bounce ideas off of or learn from—whether you sit next to them or live 3,000 miles away.
• What inspires you about paid media?
What inspires me about paid media is the ever-evolving landscape. It seems like almost every day, there is some type of new offering. Whether it’s a new ad type, a new way to target, or a new bid strategy, it’s all pretty fascinating. I love the planning side of the role—putting together a plan, budgets by channels, and targeting strategies. However, I have also always been someone who loves working in the platforms and actually building the campaigns. I feel like that is the best way to stay fresh and relevant, and to see how the new features actually work.
• Tell us about your professional philosophy.
My professional philosophy is built on accountability, (as identified in the R2i survey results), trust, and client/customer satisfaction. Each of these has played a significant role in where I am today, and all three go hand-in-hand. First and foremost, being accountable to your clients (and team) builds a trusting relationship, which in turn, leads to high client satisfaction. I have always been someone who holds myself to a high standard in all three of these areas.
• If you could have a dream client, who would it be and why?
My dream client would be a professional sports team (ideally, one that I am extremely passionate for…cough…like the Phoenix Suns or Arizona Cardinals). Since I am very much a part of these teams’ target market, I feel like I could personally bring a lot to the table in terms of a digital media strategy. Plus, there are so many different areas of these businesses—such as fan engagement, ticket/gear sales, and partnerships—that it could open up a lot of different opportunities and channels to test.
• What are you passionate about outside of the office?
My number #1 passion in my life is my family. Outside of the office, you’ll most likely find me at a park or out-and-about with my wife and children (3.5-year-old boy and 9-month-old girl). Aside from family, I’m extremely passionate about sports—playing basketball and being a diehard fan of the aforementioned Suns and Cardinals.
• What piece of advice would you give to your childhood self?
Don’t be afraid to fail—this is still something I keep in mind in my everyday life. Especially in paid media, it’s important to take some risks, test a new channel or tactic, and learn from the success or failure of it. You won’t know if something works (or doesn’t) until you try it.
• Who is your hero and why?
My Dad. From a personal and professional standpoint, I could not imagine a better example or role model. From he and my Mom moving from Ireland to the US after they were married, to his success and drive in business, and most importantly to his strength, perseverance and willpower in everything that life has thrown his way—he’s a true inspiration!
• In a Hollywood movie about your life, what actor would you want to cast as yourself?
This is actually never something I have thought about, but for some reason, the first name that came to mind was Kevin James. He’s hilarious, loves his sports teams…and just to give a general shout-out to Doug Heffernan from The King of Queens!
• Tell us about a major digital marketing trend that businesses should be paying attention to. Why is it important?
I think I echo a few of my colleagues here, but it has to be personalization. It seems like it wasn’t long ago that you’d hear someone talk about how “crazy” it was when someone had been looking at a pair of shoes on a website only to see an ad on Instagram later on for that exact pair of shoes. Now, consumers seem expect that level of customization/personalization from brands online. For digital marketers, this represents a fun challenge to ensure we put out a very tailored message to the right audience.