This Inside Track features Alina Sisianu. Alina is the Insight Manager at Pauley Creative, a great agency staffed with some clever folk and focusing on results-driven digital marketing for the Construction Industry. Which means Alina is always in demand, so it was great to get some of her time.
Your Granny is on an elevator: can you explain your role in a sentence?
Data is meaningless to many people until they have the means to understand it. As an Insight Manager I am in charge of providing those means, taking the facts and building a story to help solve business problems.
We’re chatting over coffee, please expand on what you do:
In today’s business environment, customers are offered greater choice than ever before. By gathering, translating and consolidating data into insight I help companies understand their clients’ motivations, needs and interest so they can attract and retain the savvy modern customer and become the brand of choice.
Since, consumers are most interested in brands they connect with on an emotional level rather than functional, insights play a critical role in brand building strategies.
How did you get here in this role? … And what keeps you doing it?
After I graduated from Cranfield School of Management with a Masters in Strategic Marketing I was determined to find a job where I could apply my technical and research skills.
I started working at Pauley Creative 3 months after graduation and it is here that I have gained deeper knowledge in digital marketing namely, PPC (pay per click advertising), Google Analytics, SEO (search engine optimisation), UX (user experience) and link building strategies.
Curiosity is what keeps me doing it. Namely, being curious about uncovering the hidden stories within the data, it is very much like being an investigator. By asking the right questions, I embark on an exploration of the raw data.
The right questions and discoveries can change the course of business for our clients. Being able to contribute to a company’s success is extremely rewarding.
How do businesses typically engage with you – e.g. directly or mediated through an account handler?
We have an account manager that engages with our clients directly on a daily basis to maintain and reinforce our relationship.
But I meet with clients on a monthly basis where I present my findings.
I’m a tight marketer – why should I pay for you (and not just skip your input)?
In most companies, a large majority of employees don’t have the resources or the ability to understand the data they collect. Truth be told, most employees don’t even know where to start, giving the amount of data organisations are collecting from various sources.
They frequently depend on preconfigured reports and dashboards to determine their bits of knowledge. Unfortunately, this approach is risky, as it does not provide a holistic view. I use data from various sources PPC accounts, Google analytics, and CRM systems as well as data that I collect from primary and secondary research to form a 360 degree view of our client’s customers so we can advise the best solution.
Having a holistic view helps the client make informed decisions to steer the company in the right direction.
Seen any cool new techniques or approaches coming on board? (maybe due to new / collaborative tech etc)
The Internet of things is increasingly becoming part of consumer’s daily lives, from using smart phones to smart washing machines, smart fridges and smart cars.
Having all these devices connected to internet where they can instantly build a network and start collecting and broadcasting data about our customers in real time is changing the way we market our services and products.
We are now getting the opportunity to create tailored marketing messages or what I like to call “smart advertising”.
Grab your crystal ball: how do you see digital / marketing evolving in the next 12 – 24 months?
A big focus over the next years will be on Voice Search, this is now the fastest growing type of search and it will most definitely shake things up. According to Google’s Official Blog, 55% of all teens and 41% of adults in America are using voice search more than once a day.
With Cortana, Siri, Alexa and other digital assistants getting smarter every minute, going forward this number will only increase. We are now getting much more relevant results from voice search than we did a few years back. In fact, the word error has improved from 20% to only 8% in the past 2 years. While it is relatively early days for voice search, as we simply do not have enough data to fully understand the impact it might have on the web marketing world, marketers should start thinking how voice search will impact their business and start preparing.
We need to become early adopters of VSEO (voice search engine optimisation). Embrace the new trend and adapt our SEO techniques to coincide with new voice search terms.
How do you keep current and up to date?
I constantly monitor the top industry blogs just to keep an eye on new changes. For this, I use RSS feed readers (mostly Feedly) to aggregate all the news and blogs I frequently read into one neat and tidy place.
I also follow industry influencers and industry experts on Social Media, they are reliable sources of trends and always up to date with their niche.
Moreover, I am lucky to work in a company where employees are happy to collaborate and share their knowledge. In fact, we are now planning on implementing an internal knowledge sharing monthly event where we can share our specialist knowledge with each other in the form of thirty minute to one hour presentations.
Have you got any advice for non metrics / numbers people who may be planning or interrogating a campaign?
There is “no one size fits all” when it comes to planning a campaign or when measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign as each business, and each campaign is unique.
Nonetheless, always start with your goals and work backwards from there to develop a plan. Far too many companies start a PPC campaign without defining exactly what they are trying to achieve.
As a result, the campaign’s performance becomes difficult to measure.
(Click here to read our blog post on how to define measurable PPC goals for your ecommerce website)
Make like a magpie: what website / app / service has caught your eye recently.
The Google Analytics app, I find very helpful especially when I am on the go and need to check some stats quickly!