Molly Quinn was nominated by Sonika Chandra in November 2021.
How long have you been working in PPC?
Going on 5 years.
How did you get started in PPC?
I sort of just fell into it through a different role, more details below.
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I graduated with a BS in Retail Management from Purdue University in 2015. I was one of the usual “I have no idea what I want to do with my life” college students, and I’ve always been interested in fashion. I envisioned a merchandising or buying career for myself at the time.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
I started my career as an Account Manager with a small agency in San Diego where I managed beauty brands’ social presence. We were really jacks of all trades, owning everything from content creation (ideating content, managing shoots with designers, and planning media), communicating with clients, mentoring interns, planning influencer partnerships and events, etc.
While the bulk of the day-to-day was organic-focused, we also dabbled in paid ads. This is when my eyes were opened to how big and badass the world of Paid Media is! There were so many levers to pull and new skills to flex: A/B tests, budget pacing, analyzing data… my mind was blown. I decided to go all-in and applied to be a PPC Associate with Seer Interactive – that was 4 years ago.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
Granted I had some Paid Social experience coming into Seer, I was greener than green in terms of my Paid Search knowledge, so really my first couple of years as an Associate were spent learning the ropes. This entailed a lot of in the weeds work to get to know the engines and tactical side of things: building, launching, & QAing campaigns, running competitive and keyword analyses, and even analyzing performance and reporting to clients.
Since becoming a Paid Media Account Manager in 2021, I’ve gotten to focus more on the higher level aspect of my accounts which I love!
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
I’m responsible for driving the Paid Search strategy for my clients in the healthcare, higher ed, and financial industries. This entails working closely with our Social, Data Strategy, and Analytics teams to look at the data holistically and make more strategic decisions than we would as just the Paid team. My day-to-day includes a lot of client communication, budget pacing and projecting, and team mentoring.
I also manage the company’s blog efforts for our division specifically, identifying emerging topics/trends to develop a POV on and helping team members to write. Content is a passion of mine so being able to work that into my role and come at it from a PPC angle is fun!
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
As that girl who still didn’t know what she wanted to do after graduation in 2015, I moved back home with my mom and worked as a waitress for 6 months in Indiana. There is definitely some unnecessary shame associated with moving home at any point as an adult, so it felt like a big hiccup at the time. Although looking back it was just what I needed and is a cherished time of mine.
It was my college best friend who is from SD who essentially brought me out to the West Coast, encouraging me to apply for jobs here since I wasn’t having much luck in the Midwest. Considering I’m still here and have no plans to leave, I’d say it was one of the best decisions of my life! It also led me to Seer, which had started their second office here (based in Philly) around the same time.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
It was through PPC that I found a passion for data. Working with cross-divisional data as often as I do has empowered me to feel confident manipulating that data to craft a story, and communicating that to clients. This is my first semester as an Adjunct Professor with Temple University, teaching Digital Analytics & Reporting to 25 juniors and seniors.
Although our main objectives revolve around telling a story with data, the students have learned a whole gamut of other important concepts: the building blocks of digital marketing, like where each channel and KPI lives within the conversion funnel and how and why to market with those, how to use tools like Excel and Google Trends, and even some ins and outs of agency life.
While this specific opportunity sort of fell in my lap, I’m proud of the work I put in over the last 6 years to get me to a point where I’m trusted and sought after to teach students about my field. How wild!
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
Over the last couple of years, I’ve had fantastic experiences with communicating transparently with my leadership team about where I see myself in the future and how they can help me get there. I only wish I would have started those conversations earlier. I’ve gotten to sort of forge my own path within my agency, which not only contributes to my overall happiness levels but also benefits the team because I’m able to bring so many other skills to the table outside of just my role’s responsibilities.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Less PPC-focused and more agency life / general career advice: I’ve learned that you don’t have to be a shark to have a successful and fulfilling career. Caring about people, leading your team with empathy, and being human all get you further, faster. This especially applies to women, in my experience. We rise by lifting others! I feel this so deeply that I actually have this tattooed on my leg.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
Of course! PPC-wise, I love talking about Google Ads, cross-channel integration and strategy as well as anything data/reporting related. I’m no expert, but I do have big feels around mental health, women supporting women, and work/life balance in your digital career.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Just that I’m grateful to be a part of a professional community as helpful and intelligent as this one. If you’ve made it this far, feel free to reach out! Let’s be pals.
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?