We continue our interview series with PPC Associates’ most experienced account folks. Today’s ace is Sr. Account Manager Todd Mintz, a proud Portlandian and esteemed grower of accounts who has built a huge social media presence on the side. (Jack White, anyone?)
How did you get into digital marketing? In the year 2000, I began working at a job where I quickly figured out that if I didn’t learn how to make sites appear at the top of Google, I won’t be able to justify my employment. So, I dug real deeply into the Webmaster World Forums and read all I could about SEO (back when somebody actually could read everything published on the topic). I experimented and achieved success with what would now be considered very crude black-hat spam. I not only kept my job and achieved results for my employer, I got hooked on the search marketing process.
As time wore on, I realized that SEO ceased to be enjoyable when I lost the ability to directly manipulate the SERPS the way I wanted and that Paid Search offered much of the instant gratification that I used to get from SEO. So, though I’ve worked with AdWords since its inception, I transitioned over 100% to paid search when I joined PPC Associates.
What’s the one quality you have that makes you uniquely good at your job? Perception. John Locke’s theory of “Tabula Rasa” essentially says that people are the sum of their influences. Anyone who follows me on social media knows I’m deeply into music and film and for whatever reason, my mind is drawn to non-linear narratives.
I believe that all the art that I’ve consumed during my life has had an osmosis-like effect on my brain, meaning I’m able to channel my ability to successfully perceive the non-obvious into my paid search career. I frequently see opportunities in my accounts that, while based on numerical data, become present to me not based on how the numbers necessarily relate to each other, but how they are related to an external concept that may or may not be numerically based.
What’s the toughest lesson you’ve learned in your job, and how did you learn it? I’ve done a lot of solo work in my career, and even in the other jobs I’ve worked for, I was pretty much the “online marketing guy” who did his own thing in my own way with reasonably little accountability. At PPC Associates, I work in a true team environment, and part of being a good teammate is suppressing individualism for the greater good of the group.
Ultimately, individuals advance further as individuals when they work collectively, and when I allow others to contribute to my success via coaching and advice, both the team and I profit.
Finish this sentence: “Don’t bother trying to break into the marketing industry if…” You’re too sensitive. Most everyone I’ve worked with at PPC Associates, either client or co-worker, is very passionate about what he/she does. Passion begets emotion and emotion can have a sharp edge that can cut deeply. Feeling bruised and battered is part of the blood sport known as marketing, but you must be able to bounce back quickly after getting sliced.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
“Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream…”
I look forward to the blocks of time where I am able to have time to study and work through my accounts with no specific agenda. These “free association” periods frequently lead to my best ROI ideas and strategies.
What’s the hardest part of your job? I’m a very strong ISTJ, meaning I’m much more of a thinker than a talker. Client communication is a very important part of my job, and as an ISTJ, I have to overcome my inherent quietness to lead meetings effectively through use of my voice. I really admire people who are naturally verbal because talking effectively in group settings is something I find to be very challenging.
When someone asks who you work for, do you say “I work for (Client A)” or “I work for PPC Associates,” and why? There are many ways to interpret this question, and I’m going to take the literal one…I work for PPC Associates. However, I am part of the client’s team, and I work on behalf of my clients as if I were their employee. I view my client contacts as fellow colleagues, and I celebrate their successes in the same manner as if they were my co-workers. So, in a sense, the way I answered this question doesn’t reflect on how I view my obligations and duties towards my clients.