NMPi’s Sandra Alvarez recently sat down with Senior Account Manager Craig Brown, to congratulate him on being shortlisted for the 2016 European Search Awards’ Young Search Professional category. The award is given to Europe’s most talented, and fastest rising stars in digital marketing. We’re thrilled Craig is a finalist and wish him luck in May at the award ceremony is Paris.
What does it feel like to be recognized for such a prestigious award?
Surreal! 2.5 years ago I didn’t even know what PPC stood for, let alone think about working at it. It’s an absolute honour to have been shortlisted and I can’t thank everyone at NMPi for the support and help I’ve had since I’ve started in getting to this point!
What do you think sets you apart from other young search professionals in the field?
Being a relatively modest person, nothing! However, I know that isn’t the answer you want! I’d say it’s probably innovation that sets me aside from others in the field, looking at all the different ways I can use new features on my accounts, and badgering Google to ensure we are getting the most out of each one. Also, having some managerial experience previously from running weddings, I think that’s made the transition from team member to manager a little bit easier. That, and nothing is more stressful than being responsible for delivering the most important day of someone’s life, put some of the issues on accounts in perspective!
This was your first position after graduating university – how has working in search at NMPi helped you develop and grow in your career?
NMPi ensures that it hires a range of skill sets and personalities, and I’ve ensured that I work with a variety of these, to hone each of those into the hybrid account manager I hope I’ve become. There’s also been a really nice blend of guidance and freedom/carrot and stick. There’s been enough guidance to ensure things are done properly but also there’s enough room to grow, as well as rewarding good performance.
You have some impressive results under your belt, e.g., team members under your direction have also won awards, excelled in the industry, and been promoted in record time. You’re the youngest Senior Account Manager in NMPi history to have been promoted in such a short period, and several current NMPi clients have come off referrals for work done under your guidance. What advice can you give young professionals about to break into the industry, and how they can fast track their careers in digital marketing?
Listen. There will be so many people around you with so much to offer and so many different experiences so learn from them. You should never make the same mistake twice, but try to learn from other people’s mistakes as well as your own. Soak everything up around you, and apply it to what you know and the accounts you have and learn from that. Also read blogs, pester Google, your tracking provider, your tech team, and everyone who will listen to you. Don’t settle for being an expert in one area, strive to be an expert in all areas.
What has been your favourite campaign to work on and why?
Bathstore is my favourite client to work on due to the increased number of data points we have to optimise to. We import offline revenue, so we can see the effect keywords are having on store revenue, which is really cool, and adds an additional layer of data to work with.
What has been the biggest challenge for you in your career thus far?
The biggest challenge is my perception. Having worked with some clients since I started at NMPi, and my job title constantly evolving, as well as my skill set, it’s ensuring that I am taken more seriously as I become more senior. While this is a huge challenge, I feel this has been handled well, and the best way to do it is to continually progress and learn and offer more to the businesses you’re working with above and beyond what is required, so they continue to see you as a useful, and developing benefit for them.