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Our interview series of marketing’s finest continues with Fang Digital Marketing CEO Jeff Ferguson, speaking-circuit regular and one of PPC Hero’s “Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts.” In his 17 years of marketing, Jeff has led the online efforts for companies such as Hilton Hotels, Kimberly-Clark, Napster, and

jeff ferguson fang digital marketingName: Jeff Ferguson

Title: CEO

Company: Fang Digital Marketing

What’s the first metric you check when you start work for the day? Depends on the client, but it usually starts with “cost per…” (e.g. CPA, CPV, etc.).

What’s one metric you rarely bother to check? Just about any social media metric, especially “likes.”

If you had 10 million dollars to invest and you could invest in Google

or Facebook stock, which would you pick, and why? Facebook, because you can get it for cheap right now and it’s bound to grow eventually once everyone figures out its true value.

What do you think will be the most important marketing platform in 10

years? Mobile, of some sort, but it may not look like the version we’re looking at today.

What’s your favorite advertising campaign (e.g. Betty White Super

Bowl ad, Got Milk billboard, etc.)? Right now, it’s a series of AT&T mobile commercials where a guy is talking to various groups of kids about things like speed, doing multiple things at once, etc. – pure comedy gold and really effective (although they should reveal the brand a little earlier).

“All time,” I’d say it’s the M&M commercials.

What are the three most important qualities of a good account manager?

1. Focus

2. Patience

3. Sense of adventure

The rest I can teach them.

If anything keeps me up at night worrying about my company, it’s… My clients’ success and happiness. I know that’s a bit sappy, but if you don’t have that, you don’t have clients, and if you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business.

What’s the one marketing lesson you wish you had learned earlier? That marketing goals always need to tie back to the business goals. I really didn’t get that until I went back for my MBA, but once that was driven home, it was a real facepalm kind of moment.

If you could invest in one marketing technology company, which would it be and why? Apple. I was slow to the table on their products because I just couldn’t stand how snobbish the early adopters were (even though I was technically one of them from school and my early design courses), but you have to really give them credit for creating products that work well with each other, have great ease of use, etc.

In three words or fewer: the future of SEM is…? Semantic, Voice, and Everywhere.