How long have you been working in PPC?
I’ve been working in PPC almost as long as PPC has been around – I started almost 20 years ago, when Overture was the platform to be on, before Yahoo bought them out.
How did you get started in PPC?
I managed PPC for the call accounting company that I worked for. Eventually we hired an agency to manage the accounts, so I’ve been on both ends as the account manager and as a client.
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I was an English major, who didn’t want to teach, and luckily fell into Marketing in my first “real” job out of college.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
I was the in-house manager for PPC for the call accounting company I worked for, then I was on the client side after we hired an agency. I fell in love with PPC at the time, because of the ability to track results. So much better than yellow page ads or trade shows or mailers. I tried to find a job doing PPC but that long ago, there weren’t PPC agencies like they are now.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
I’ve been at JumpFly for more than 16 years. I started as an Account Manager working part time. Then I moved to Account Director, Senior Account Director and then about a year ago I became the Director of Search Strategy.
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
I manage a team of Account Managers and Account Specialists, managing a book of about 60 clients. I build relationships with our clients, set strategy and optimize accounts. I also manage the Feed Management division, which I started five years ago, to help support clients’ need for better optimized feeds. And I’m the liaison for our Microsoft team.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
I’m tremendously lucky that I fell into Marketing with my first job out of college. I was the buyer for a catalog company who sold speciality videos (military, Anglophile, comedy, etc.) as well as a copywriter. From there I moved to a packaging company, and then call accounting, all in marketing. I spent a year at home, and had a second child. And I got lucky again that JumpFly found my resume on Monster, just about the time that I realized that as much as I loved my two boys, I wasn’t cut out to stay at home and be a full-time mom. I started work at JumpFly when my youngest son was 3 months old. I was able to work part-time and still be home with my boys part-time, then moved to full-time as they got older.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
I was the fifth employee at JumpFly, and the first non-friend or family member. I’ve helped JumpFly grow from five employees to more than 50. I’ve spoken three times at Microsoft’s engineering All Hands meetings, advocating for agencies and clients to make the Microsoft Advertising interface easier to use. I was nominated as a Bing Trailblazer of the year in 2018.
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
I really don’t think there is anything I’d do over. I’m happy with where I am.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Read everything you can about paid search, from all points of view and test it yourself. Treat your clients’ budgets like it’s your own money. A certification from Google or Microsoft doesn’t mean anything, because sometimes their right answers are wrong in real life or not in an account’s best interest.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
Love speaking and shopping campaigns and feed management are my first love.
Anything else you’d like to share?
The paid search industry has changed tremendously in the 20 years I’ve been in it, but the most important part, and the one that hasn’t changed is the relationships. That’s what gets you through the platform changes (don’t get me started on match types and “smart” campaigns) and economic downturns and pandemics. Build relationships with your clients and your co-workers, and look out for their best interests.
There are bad actors out there – agencies who hold client accounts hostage or say they own their client’s data or sabotage accounts if a client quits – who give our industry a bad name. But for the most part, this industry is incredibly supportive and helpful, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?