How to Prepare for an Interview in Digital Marketing

Everyday, thousands of interviews take place across the country. At this particular time of the year, university graduates are flooding the market and job boards with their CVs trying to secure their first jobs. Competition is stiff, and if you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to impress your prospective employer with more than just a fancy piece of paper.

While companies do look at your credentials, and take marks into consideration, a good chunk of the final decision comes down to soft skills and company fit, i.e., do you match the organization’s culture and values? Interviews are part of what determines that equation. Interviews are your chance to shine and show them who you are, and what you’re like to work with on a day-to-day basis. Looking good on paper is only one piece of the puzzle, so before you set off, CV in hand, here are some reminders of how to give yourself the edge over your competition and clinch the postion.

Know thy Employer and Know More Than the Next Guy
This goes without saying, but do your research about the company. Before you jump online and start memorising random bits of information from the company website, dig a little deeper. Every other candidate will be doing the same thing. Knowing how many people work there, what they sell, or what their services are is just a starting point. Were they recently in the news? What are they posting on sites like LinkedIn? Do they have a blog and if so, what does it talk about? Are they global? Who is their target consumer/client? Check their Glass Door page; what are former employees saying about them? Formulate a couple of questions about the company that show your interest. Taking that extra step to go above and beyond the typical candidate could give you the edge necessary to impress the interviewer and get the job.

Know Why You’re There
Are you here to get a job? So are the three other nervous candidates sitting in reception waiting to be called in. Everyone knows that. “Know why you’re there” means having an answer for why you’re interested in not just in the company, but in the industry. What made you decide to pursue a career in digital marketing? What aspect of digital interests you most? Are you looking to work in PPC? Are you a consummate salesman? Are you fascinated by analytics? Be prepared to share why you want to be there and what excites you about this industry. Employers want people who are passionate and want to be there for more than just a paycheque.

Take Copies of Your CV, Portfolio, and References
Yes, the interviewer probably has a copy of your CV, and yes, they probably will have one at the interview. However, they may not have had time to print it out, or they may forget, so always bring a copy. Make the decision process easy for your interviewer; if you come prepared with your CV, work portfolio ready (if applicable), and references in hand, this small effort shows them you’re organised and on the ball. It’s often the little things that help seal the deal.

Dress Smart
Digital is often a casual environment, and you will be job hunting over the summer holidays, but you still need to put your best foot forward for interviews. This certainly doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit, but “business casual”, and a neatly groomed appearance goes a long way. Don’t make assumptions; check out the company website and see what employees are wearing. Take your cues from there and set the bar a little higher for interview day. Leave the flip flops, Batman t-shirt, and ripped jeans at home.

The Golden Don’ts
There are a few universal Golden Rules when it comes to interviews:
Don’t be late. Ever. There is no excuse for being late to an interview in this day and age of travel apps and maps that can tell you 15 different routes to take, and how long it will take you to get there. Plan to arrive ten minutes early and build in time for any  traffic or transport delays. If it says it’s a 30 minute journey, build in 45 minutes for contingencies. Nothing puts off potential employers more than a late candidate, and for many, it lands your CV straight in the bin.
Turn off Your Mobile Phone. Not on vibrate, or silent, just off. Buzzing, flashing notifications are distracting and signal to the employer that their time isn’t as important as your latest tweet. This is a no-brainer but, apparently, still needs to be said.
Don’t Ask About Money Definitely ask about company culture, and questions pertaining to the role, but save the chat about money for when an offer is on the table. Talking about salary off the bat makes you look like that’s all you’re interested in – and while compensation is an important piece in your final decision, it should factor in once you have established that the interest is mutual and you’re likely receive an offer of employment.

Digital Marketing is a fast-paced, and exciting world. Enjoy the journey and good luck!

The Future of Programmatic Advertising with Kristina Kasalova

Programmatic Account Manager, Kristina Kasalova, recently spoke at the Global Academy of Digital Marketing’s (GADM), “Evolution of Programmatic” hosted by AppNexus. Alongside industry experts, Kristina discussed the future of programmatic by exploring the ways in which it’s evolved over the past five years, and useful stratgeies for brands to implement for the changes that lie ahead.

What do you see as the biggest barrier to programmatic advertising at the moment? And what is being done to progress past this?

Programmatic has become mainstream now which means a lot of simplifications and misunderstandings of the term are present among new users. There is still some misunderstanding that programmatic, or even more so, RTB, is an efficient but somewhat dodgy way of getting performance out of your display activity. For others, while this notion is no longer case, see programmatic as a singular answer for everything without understanding the underlying principles. Programmatic is a very wide term nowadays and we need to be clear about it, especially when someone is new to the concept.

Programmatic buys have evolved radically in recent months and we are now able to use them with confidence across all stages of the customer journey – awareness, research, branding, remarketing and re-engagement. All of the above use programmatic as a principle, however the execution is different, and it is the key to understanding the variability within the industry, and to finding the option which best suits your marketing goals and business objectives. A crucial piece is to understand the variety under the term “programmatic” and learn a bit about differences between the options.

What really differentiates programmatic today from programmatic 5 years ago?

A couple of years back, programmatic meant audience buys across sub-par quality inventory, using standardized flash creatives and broad data segments. Fortunately, this is no longer the case – first and third party data is much richer now, and allows us to target even niche audiences at particular stages of their customer journey. We can target from discovery, through research, and the consideration phases, all the way up to re-engagement, and keeping brand loyalty.
Inventory quality has improved significantly in only 2-3 years. This was driven both by publishers, who became savvy about opportunities of programmatic (preferred deals or programmatic guaranteed can be as profitable as traditional direct buys), and ad exchanges, who stepped up and started to monitor and filter poor inventory in their marketplaces. It was also picked up on by advertisers and agencies who started to use brand safety and viewability verification tools and hence, created demand for better quality inventory.

Creative options have grown as well, partially driven by wider use of an HTML5 format, although this was initially semi-forced onto advertisers by major players in the industry. HTML5 is more transparent and offers less heavy loading than flash files, which gives advertisers the opportunity to use more engaging and high-impact formats with embedded videos, or additional features (surveys, galleries, microsites, etc.). Publishers are also more open to accept various ad size formats through RTB, which provides more options for their creative ideas. Altogether, this means that is it easier than ever to create engaging ads in various formats.

Where do you think advertisers should really be spending their time and energy when it comes to their campaigns?

Data and creative. Marketers need to know their target audience and that’s when the owned data come in handy. Even advertisers who have little to no experience with display advertising almost certainly have data which can help them understand what their audience likes, and how to reach them more effectively. Insights from Google Analytics, from transactions on the site, PPC activity, or their CRM database, all of these can be used to inform the initial targeting profile or even multiple profiles. The initial statistics from existing data can be used in campaigns, tested and refined further with additional insights on user preferences and behavior. Using the data will help brands become more relevant to audiences and spend their budget more efficiently on the vast scale of inventory available in display. At later stages you can look into using third party data or build a custom data model through a data management platform, but always make sure you know what your goals are in terms of the data you have, want to collect, and need, for more refined targeting.

Think of creative as an online shop window. In many cases, users know nothing about the brand or product being advertised, hence, it is important that the creative is engaging, trustworthy and relevant for them. The relevancy is related to targeting and data to a high degree, but engagement and trustworthiness are the design factors. Creatives should prepare users for what they can expect on the website, and from the product or service. An interesting ad is more likely to spark attention and engage users, creating the desire to explore the product further. This only works if the ad is trusted. If the ad is not deemed trustworthy, why would they bother to come to the site and convert? So although flashy ads can spark attention, think about whether this is actually sending the message you want to the customer. As in a brick-and-mortar business, you might not get second chance to talk to the same user and convince them about your product, so having a trustworthy creative is crucial.

How can advertisers use data more effectively?

The most efficient use of data comes from a clear understanding of the objectives you want to achieve and being aware of the options available to you.

Knowing your goals will guide you through the definition of what data you need and also how to go through the journey of accomplishing it. Being aware of the options on the market will give you edge when thinking about actual implementation and help you find the best solution for your brand. This means that you should know what data you have readily available  and also know how to use it to achieve your goals.

For instance, if you want to know what customer segments buy what type of product in your eShop, you most likely know what items are sold together, and what day of the week and time of day works best, how many times they come to your site before completing a purchase, how they came to your site, and many other details. Your site analytics might even give you an estimate of the demography of your site visitors. All of this helps paint a picture of your audience. Once you put all this information together, it will be easier to identify the missing parts of data which will help you refine your strategy. Some of the missing data might be available to buy from 3rd parties, others, you will need to gather yourself through testing. This is a continuous process as your company goals and audience evolves.

Download the presentation slides here: Recalculating Creative Trajectory

Want to know more about 2016’s trends? Download our mid-year review 

NMPi Appoints Luke Judge as Managing Director

We are extremely pleased to announce Luke Judge has rejoined NMPi as Managing Director. Luke began his career with NMPi back in 2008, then Net Media Planet, where he was an integral part of the company’s early success.

In his original position at NMPi as Sales and Marketing Director, Luke played a key role in helping the business establish itself as a recognised leader in Paid Search and Display. Now as Managing Director, Luke is leading NMPi through an ambitious expansion plan to increase the company’s global footprint and diversify its product range.

“I’m proud to be joining a business that has seen such exciting growth in the past 12 months, and I truly look forward to helping scale and accelerate the business,” Luke states. “As we look forward as a company, I see great potential for both domestic and international expansion, as well as establishing and growing new services.”

Luke took some time away from his career to travel, and volunteer. He led the creation and growth of an independent volunteer group which aided refugees fleeing from war torn countries. We are very proud of Luke’s endeavours, and are thrilled to have him back on the team.

Commenting on the appointment, Operations Director, Joe Comotto, expressed his excitement about having Luke back as Managing Director: “It’s fantastic to have Luke rejoin the NMPi management team. He played such a major role in the formation of our company. Luke will add his expert digital marketing knowledge and experience to NMPi as we move forward as a global organization.”