This month we sat down with Brian McCarthy, our new SVP of Product, to discuss his role at The Search Agency, exciting plans for 2012 and 2013 and tennis. TSA: As a new addition to The Search Agency’s team, could you tell us a little about how you found your way to search marketing? Brian: I was running the e-commerce division of a bricks and clicks clothing company called Bugle Boy (“Are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?”) back in bubble 1.0 and some folks from a (then new) startup GoTo.com called on me. I was intrigued by the business model and very quickly realized the power of search marketing. So when I had an opportunity to join a small competitor of theirs in 2001 I jumped at it. The company was Search123 and we built it up and sold it to ValueClick in 2003. TSA: As the SVP Product, what are your key responsibilities? Brian: I am primarily responsible for strategizing and executing on a long-term product roadmap that will carry the company into 2013 and beyond. Along the way, I am productizing the offering and assisting the teams in optimizing their services so that they produce the highest, most consistent ROI for their clients, while also maintaining mandated gross margins. I am also a huge fan of the Agile development framework, so I am championing the move toward Agile practices. TSA: What projects or plans do you have on the horizon that you find particularly exciting? Brian: It’s all exciting! This is a seven+ year old company so obviously they’ve been doing a lot of great work for many years. But as the product line has diversified some of the key technologies haven’t been updated at the proper pace. The most exciting project is developing some very forward-thinking search management solutions that should be state of the art through 2012 and 2013. In addition, I am very excited about building out our Display and Social Media Marketing disciplines. Our target customers often are looking for guidance on these other marketing avenues so we have been amassing expertise, and developing processes and technologies to deliver these products. The dividend in supplying all of this to a client is that it then allows us to provide cross media insights thus elevating ROI across the combined offering. Exciting! But then, I am a geek. A geek, surrounded by geeks. TSA: On a non-business note, what are you interests outside of the office? Brian: Tennis. I picked up the game a few years ago and I am basically a fanatic at this point. I am still very much a work in progress but I get a thrill every time I blast a forehand at the corner of the baseline. I’m also the father of three so most weekends are spent cavorting around with my kids, playing baseball, soccer, biking, and when I can, a little tennis. Did I mention I love tennis?