Question: What’s been the most exciting aspect of running a marketing department for an online marketing agency?
The opportunity to work with like-minded colleagues. Everywhere else I’ve worked, Marketing has been an important function, but not core to the operation. In my role at The Search Agency, I have the opportunity to interact with some of the some of the brightest minds in online marketing and see how they drive results for companies in a wide range of industries. Online marketing is so dynamic and it’s fascinating to see the best practices continue to evolve. I could never gain that perspective working at a typical B2B company.
Question: Congratulations on the one year anniversary of our blog, The Search Agents. You recently authored a blog post discussing the 10 most important lessons you learned over the last year in running the blog. What’s the most important of these lessons for marketers to consider when starting their own corporate blogs?
Make sure your content is topical and non-promotional, make sure you have the resolve and resources to keep it going, and make sure you engage as many people in the organization as possible to contribute. The breadth of perspectives really makes our blog unique. That comes from having a lot of really smart, insightful people willing to make the time to contribute. If you give everyone a forum to share their experience (and make it easy for them to participate), you can create some valuable content to drive your inbound marketing efforts. If you only have a few people writing all the posts, eventually they will get burned out and the content will grow stale.
Question: Besides the blog, what new marketing initiatives are you excited about?
We just launched a contest to give The Search Agent an identity. We’ve had this anonymous mascot for about a year now. So we finally decided to take him out of the shadows and give him a persona. I invited everyone in the company to submit their stories and I was absolutely blown away by the response. I had to narrow it down to five entries, and they are up on the blog for voting. Please take a look and cast your vote  in the comments. Once we have decided who the search agent really is, we’ll feature him in some short videos and continue to build his biography.
Question: As our resident “social media hater,” how do you interpret Facebook’s recent privacy issues?
I think I prefer the term “social media abstainer.” I definitely don’t hate social media; I love it for business networking and as a marketing vehicle, and recognize that it has connected the world in immensely powerful ways. I just don’t want to live my life with such transparency, and don’t have the time to actively manage a private and public persona. And the fact that you need to manage both is where Facebook has really missed the mark. My guess is the majority of Facebook users barely understand the Facebook privacy settings and implicitly trust that their personal wouldn’t be shared, unless they overtly chose to make it public. It seems Facebook takes the exact opposite view – that the default setting should be “public,” and the user should have to decide what becomes private. Hopefully the new privacy features they rolled out this week will make it easier.
Question: What are your interests outside of online marketing?
I spend most of my non-work time with my family. I have two young boys that I’m brainwashing into rooting for the Dodgers, Lakers, and UCLA. My wife and I try our best to minimize their video game and computer time and spend more time together outside – at the beach, skiing in Mammoth, and playing soccer. I like to go running in the morning which gives me a chance to clear my head, come up with new ideas, and catch up on my favorite podcasts.
- The Week We Searched For- May 11, 2012  - May 11, 2012
- Interview with Cassandra Caswell-Stirling  - May 10, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 30-May 2, 2012  - May 4, 2012
- eRetailers Winning Customers at the Zero Moment of Truth  - May 3, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 20, 2012  - April 20, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 13, 2012  - April 13, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 6, 2012  - April 6, 2012
- An Interview with Erik Freeman  - April 5, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 2, 2012  - April 2, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- March 23, 2012  - March 23, 2012