Welcome to another edition of Bloc Virtual Coffee Break with….This week I’m delighted to introduce you to someone I’ve known for many years and doing great Digital things at Luxury Travel brand, Scott Dunn. Vicky Gale is Head of Performance Marketing and here was my recent catch up with her. Enjoy!
Q. As Head of Performance Marketing at Scott Dunn, can you describe what your role entails?
My job is different every day and that's what makes it so interesting. Looking after all performance marketing channels means developing an integrated strategy across the full digital piece and forecasting where we put our marketing spend in order to get the best return. We do this through constant testing and analysis, trial and error. There are so many options when it comes to advertising online, it's important to rise above the noise and identify which channels and strategies will work best for your brand.
Q. Why and how did you get into Digital Marketing? What do you love most about it?
Quite by chance actually. I was given a graduate role in the new digital team of a marketing agency. I had a Psychology degree unlike most of the other graduates so it was a whole new world to me. I started out in the PPC team working on the basics of ad copy and keyword expansion before working up to account management and optimisation and then later pulling in social and display. It's a fantastic industry because its constantly evolving, I know I will never be bored because there is always something new being announced and it's not showing any sign of slowing down.
Q. You've developed from specialising in a few channels to having responsibility over Performance Marketing. What steps did you take to become broader?
First and foremost, I had an interest in the industry. Digital advertising is so fast paced, you need to be passionate enough to dedicate your own time to following developments. Second, I made sure that I was competent and confident in my specialism before expanding my skillset out into other areas. Don't try and learn too many things at once. Once you have the experience and expertise in a particular channel, you can start experimenting in other areas. If you are in a specialist role, this might mean using your own time to research and learn but In the long run this will pay off as no one digital channel works in isolation. You need that full visibility and understanding.
Q. What is your favourite Digital Marketing channel and why?
Search is my background, my bread and butter. I know how to build an account from top to bottom, nurture it and watch it grow so It will always be my favourite in that respect. I learned social and display later on in my career and they are crucial to any successful online strategy but for different reasons. I love search because it's often where people start and end their consumer journey, its trackable, its adaptable and for us, delivers our most efficient CPAs.
Q. What skills do you need to have in order to be awesome in your role?
You need to have worked your way up the ladder in at least one of the digital channels and have that basic knowledge and understanding. How could you expect to manage a team, build a strategy, propose ideas if you don't have those fundamental skills? You need to be analytical, a data geek, have a real passion for your brand and be willing to dedicate a lot of time to developing your team.
Q. What advice would you give Managers who are looking to step up into a Head of role?
Well the clue here is in the question. You have to actually make that step into a more senior role and prove that you are reliable and more competent. There are contradicting strategies, ideas and opinions all over the internet so you need to form your own opinions and challenge more, test more, be prepared to fail & be prepared to be succeed. You need to take responsibility for your data, be completely accountable for your numbers, be knowledgeable about the industry, know your own brand inside out and last but definitely not least be innovative & come up with new ideas.
Q. What are the biggest challenges facing Digital Marketing professionals right now?
As ever - simply keeping up. The big players in digital who control the market are in a constant state of competition and evolution. We are living in a multichannel and multi-device world and our consumers expect a smooth, flawless online experience. Making sure we provide that but also bring all channels together is so important but tracking return on our marketing investment. I think attribution will always pose problems for digital marketers but the technology is so much more advanced today that we find ourselves in a much more advantageous position.
Q. Which companies do you admire most within Digital?
It isn't just the big players with the big budgets who succeed in digital, although this does help. But you need to be different, creative and innovative. Air BnB are very innovative and aren't afraid to have fun with digital.
Q. Best bit of advice for those looking to get into Digital Marketing?
At the very least, you need to be interested in digital. It might sound obvious but the industry is too fast paced for anyone who is 9 - 5. Digital by definition is built around the internet and there is a wealth of information, news, case studies at your fingertips. If you want to succeed, get online, teach yourself, ask questions, learn. Most of us in the industry only progress through pushing ourselves, no one is going to do it for you.
A big thank you goes to Vicky for this very insightful chat.
If you’d like to get involved in a future edition, then please feel free to get in touch with me by email, Alex.Tykocki@hellobloc.com