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Career Story: Manager For A Search Engine Marketing Firm

Manager For A Search Engine Marketing Firm

Job Title: Marketing Manager

Type of Company: I work for the original search engine marketing firm. We help Fortune 1000 clients achieve better results from their online marketing campaigns.

Education: BS, Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire

Previous Experience: I started out in the restaurant business as a manager of high-end restaurant in Boston, then moved into pharmaceutical sales, then to inside sales. All of these led me to marketing and a desire to be involved in getting products in front of people who need them. The customer service and people skills I learned from the restaurant business, the benefits-vs.-features skills I learned in sales, and the persistent drive I brought to these companies all led me to where I am today.

Job Tasks: Our company and my team, in particular, are responsible for managing clients' search engine marketing campaigns: paid advertisements and organic search results within Google, Yahoo and MSN (among others). We work with clients' websites to improve their visibility and help ensure that they are brought to the attention of their target consumers when those consumers do a search on the web. A consumer goes to Google and searches for baseball bats, let's say; we skew the results that show up and work to give prominence to those of our (baseball-bat retailing) clients.

My job varies from day to day, but my responsibilities are always the same: to motivate, coach, guide, and work alongside of my employees. I manage five employees who interact with clients on a daily basis and have a changing set of needs. No two employees are the same, which makes my job both challenging and enjoyable. I continuously need to adapt my style to the person I'm working with. Being a manager means getting my people to achieve better results not only for our clients but themselves. It's my responsibility to mentor and coach them to achieve more, and progress toward the next stage in their careers.

This is not very different from the way I interact with clients. My chief responsibility to my clients is to make sure that they get what they need, that we are providing them with a high level of service, and to build strong relationships so that they continue to work with us for years to come.

I'm responsible for employee evaluations and reviews. Formally these happen once every 6 months, but we also meet bi-weekly to discuss performance and clients. I'm also responsible for some aspects of training and development for my employees, for client billing on a monthly basis, for ensuring high levels of performance for each client, for proofing all documents that go out to clients, and for developing strategies.

The strategy piece is the most interesting part of my job. My role is to step back and look at a client from a holistic perspective, and make what we do on a daily basis fit into their marketing plan and drive results for them consistently. My employees then implement this strategy by developing marketing campaigns that will tie in with the coding of popular search engines.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with a team of people who are willing to drive results for their clients, and then seeing how happy they are when that actually occurs. It's not always easy to deliver positive results for clients, but when it does happen it's extremely gratifying. I like to win and this is very much like winning.

The worst part of my job is probably the long hours from time to time. It's all about prioritizing your life and time management and in this job that can be tough at times. We run ads for clients that can be turned on or off at any time so, in essence, we are always on.

Job Tips:
1. Never stop learning. The industry is continually evolving and it's hard to keep up, but one day it will all click and make sense.

2. Take risks and try things out. Don't go too crazy, but without taking a few risks clients will never out-pace their competitors.

3. Take courses that will teach you basic coding skills. You don't need to do the coding, but you need to understand it: HTML, JavaScript, CSS.

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