Our interview series with digital marketing’s finest continues with SEER Interactive‘s Aaron Levy, who has been involved in digital marketing since his days at Villanova and now focuses on paid search, display and self-serve re-marketing — when he’s not cooking, brewing, golfing, biking, or playing hockey.
What’s the first metric you check when you start work for the day?
Conversions! I know what a typical day should look like for my clients, so the first thing I want to do is a gut check to make sure we are where we should be. If we had a great day, investigate further and figure out how to repeat. If it was a terrible day, figure out how to make sure it never happens again.
What’s one metric you rarely bother to check?
I don’t check Quality Score on a particularly frequent basis (though rarely may be an exaggeration). It’s something that can vary greatly day by day; I know that if I focus on doing things right in the account, quality score will generally rise naturally.
If you had 10 million dollars to invest and you could invest in Google
or Facebook stock, which would you pick, and why?
Google. In my life thus far, I can think of at least 5 “social networks” that have come and gone, yet Google has held strong for nearly 15 years. Though Facebook is certainly more ingrained in our lives than MySpace and Friendster ever were, I’d still rather invest in a proven moneymaker over something that still includes “pokes.”
What do you think will be the most important marketing platform in 10
Mobile, in general. Google’s working hard with Enhanced Campaigns to capture people “in the now” and focus ads based on a user’s context. As our mobile devices get more and more connected and targeting becomes more robust, the need for a solid mobile strategy will boom.
What’s your favorite advertising campaign (e.g. Betty White Super
Bowl ad, Got Milk billboard, etc.)?
It’s hard to beat the recent Old Spice campaign with Isaiah Mustafa. It basically started a style of advertising, led to huge viewership online, and even had a dynamic/responsive social component. They should’ve bid on his brand name, though.
What are the three most important qualities of a good account manager?
Gambler – it may seem like a bit of a stretch to say a gambler is the most important trait to me, but I’m not talking your run-of-the-mill “dump your money in the slots” type of gambler. I’m talking someone who knows the odds, isn’t afraid to take calculated risks, and loves to win.
Attention to detail – In an industry where a misplaced decimal or clicking the wrong check-box can cost thousands, attention to detail is crucial.
Organization – A great account manager will run a lot of tests on various accounts, so it’s crucial to be able to keep track of everything that’s going on and know what learnings to apply and where.
If anything keeps me up at night worrying about my company, it’s…
Making sure people unplug. Since we work online, it’s easy to never stop working and lose sight of a work life balance. Take some time to live life outside of work, talk to folks rather than tweet at them, and go ride a bike.
What’s the one marketing lesson you wish you had learned earlier?
I wish I’d learned that it’s okay if a test flops or things don’t work out, as long as you learn from it and continue to innovate. Early in my career I was a bit timid and afraid to fail, which led to some of my earlier clients sitting stagnant or not trying anything new/cool. A technique or tool doesn’t have to be proven before testing; after all, someone has to beta test.
If you could invest in one marketing technology company, which would it be and why?
Pinterest, even though I’m a svpply man myself. Either someone is going to figure out how to monetize all those wedding boards, or someone (cough cough, Facebook) is going to pay a boatload for the whole shebang.
In three words or fewer: the future of SEM is…?
Paid search is the first real pure pull-marketing tactic that’s come available in some time. As long as advertisers continue to have full control of what they can advertise, us SEMs are going to have jobs for a long, long time. (Editor’s note: we liked the answer, so he got more than three words.)