After 8+ years in the world of online advertising, working at both Microsoft and AOL (Oath), I would like to introduce myself as the newest member of the Delightful Communications team.
As a Digital Marketing Specialist, I employ several skills I have gained over the years: Establishing relationships, operationalizing workflow, and providing laser-focus to customer needs. I believe in treating the customer with respect, going above and beyond and ALWAYS looking to surprise and delight.
I graduated from the best communication school in the nation, the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in the 2000’s. I still remember one of my advertising professors explaining to us that word-of-mouth was the least effective technique to advertise and market your product. Instead, it was TV, Print and then Radio. Banner ads were not really a ‘thing’ being taught back then and word-of-mouth was dead-last of 6 or 7 items on the list. It wasn’t visual. It wasn’t from a trusted source (we believed brands over our buddies at that time). It took too long to take hold.
Years later I joined Microsoft and became an Ad Operations Manager for our digital advertising product (those aforementioned banner ads).
I pushed ads out into the ‘wild’. Sometimes they were targeted and more often they weren’t.
I learned a ton about ad-serving, targeting, and metrics, like clicks, view-based conversions, click-based conversions, etc.
I learned that even though some consumers didn’t trust online advertising (and maybe advertising in general) if you were able to put the right message in front of the right people at the right time then you could move the ball down the field and make a buyer out of a clicker.
Tackling that ad-credibility problem:
I loved the challenge. We were up against the consumer’s lack of trust in advertising as-a-whole. Advertising was having a credibility problem that it still has today. People were concerned that these companies were only out for themselves and not the consumer. They always wanted to know what the ‘catch’ was if they clicked on an ad or filled out a form.
I got to work with a collective of super intelligent and super engaged people at Microsoft (and later at AOL). I made the most of my time there by working to educate my clients and comrades on how to earn trust and how to make sure we were thinking about the customer seeing the ad and no one else. I developed training, documentation, and led lunch-and-learns in an effort to help my colleagues steer their client’s down the right path of providing the best ad message, to the right person at the right time and to do so in a way that doesn’t erode trust. I also started to understand the difference between that ‘push’ of online ads vs. the ‘pull’ of content marketing.
It was my first giant step that indicated my path might be leading away from advertising and into this different, and interesting, the realm of marketing – which I now find myself in at Delightful.
The intersection of Advertising Way and Marketing Street:
With a new decade rounding the corner soon, here I am, years/miles away from the Murrow College, and being inundated with word-of-mouth marketing on just about every social media platform on just about every device I own. TV advertisers are trying to circumvent DVR. Print is going the way of the dodo. Radio is hanging on for dear life with Podcasts nipping at their heels.
It’s interesting. Who knew 15 – 20 years ago we’d be trusting an influencer on Twitter to give us a recommendation on the best webcam for the money or going to our friends on Facebook to see what they thought about the latest Hollywood blockbuster? And then ACTUALLY taking action because of what they said vs. what a company’s ads tell us? Not me and not my instructors – the power is now in our collective hands for good or ill.
At Delightful our principles reflect and embrace that ‘good’ aspect of our power. We believe in shining a light on ambiguity. We believe in being open and honest with our customers. We believe in surprising and delighting our clients by doing the research, making those meaningful connections and wiping away that uncertainty to allow you to reach your customers, clients and friends with the clearest, most unvarnished path available – through Delightful.
I am overjoyed to be joining the Delightful team and look forward to all the positive experiences to come.
“Good night, and good luck” – Edward R. Murrow
Digital Marketing Specialist, Delightful Communications