Our marketing morsels interview series with the titans of digital marketing continues with today’s insights from Kate Morris, Sr. SEO Consultant at Distilled, an online marketing consultancy in London, New York, and Seattle. Kate has spent the past 9 years working in a variety of roles from in-house to agency to independent. Her expertise is in understanding searcher intent and how that translates to keyword research, content idea generation, link development, and paid search execution. 

kate morris distilledName: Kate Morris
Title: Senior SEO Consultant
Company: Distilled

What’s the first metric you check when you start work for the day? Really? Client Ontrackness. It’s a made-up term, but we have an internal tracking system that lets me know which of my clients need more of my time. And then the number of starred emails. The starred email folder is my to-do list. I try to keep it under 10 emails; if it’s over 10 emails, I am behind.

What’s one metric you rarely bother to check? Rankings. I really wish people would stop worrying about that.

If you had 10 million dollars to invest and you could invest in Google or Facebook stock, which would you pick, and why? Google, hands down. I know Facebook is a major part of life right now, but they are lacking in expanding the business. I am just not sure they will be as big in 10 years as they are now. Google I have full faith will be around. They are more like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple.

What do you think will be the most important marketing platform in 10 years? I am not even going to guess that; I don’t think it exists yet. It’ll be something that is privacy-sound yet highly personalized. It’ll make marketing less annoying for the public and hopefully not kill our privacy as well. I’m thinking something like Minority Report but less invasive.

What’s your favorite advertising campaign (e.g. Betty White Super Bowl ad, Got Milk billboard, etc.)?  Right now, it’s the Oreo Daily Twist Campaign. It stopped Oct. 2, I think, but it was awesome. Highly creative, simple, and yet tugged at millions of people’s heart strings. It reminds me of the Absolut campaign of old. My favorites include: June 25 (Pride), July 19 (Dark Knight release), July 20 (Moon landing anniversary), Aug 5 (Mars Rover Landing), Aug 30 (two faced cat), Sept 8 (Star Trek Day), Sept 11, Sept 20 (Pong).

What are the three most important qualities of a good account manager? I assume you mean mainly in PPC, but I’ll take this from any marketing POV. A good account manager listens first, collects the entire story, then presents multiple possible solutions with a recommendation. They are good researchers and great communicators.

But really, I work in a company that doesn’t have account managers; we are all account managers. You talk to the person or people doing the work. There is no middle man. So if you are an account manager only, I challenge you to know the work the team is doing as well as they do. You should be able to do everyone’s job, but choose to be an account manager instead because you are a better communicator and problem solver than everyone else.

If anything keeps me up at night worrying about my company, it’s…Do we have enough snacks for this week, or should I order more? (No really … that’s my worry.)

What’s the one marketing lesson you wish you had learned earlier? You should fail.

If you could invest in one marketing technology company, which would it be and why? I really truly don’t have an answer to that question. If I had to choose based on what I know today, it’d be SEOmoz, but I am sure there are many other candidates out there and I am just ignorant of their projects.

In three words or fewer: the future of SEM is…? Customer Development (and) Tracking.

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