How long have you been working in PPC?
I’ve been working in the PPC world since 2015! Hard to believe I’m over halfway through my 6th year, and so much has already changed.
How did you get started in PPC?
I got started in PPC at a small biotech company in Carlsbad, California called Active Motif Inc. The role I was in was actually for all web-marketing (lovingly called e-marketing at that time). I taught myself everything I could about Google Ads and quite frankly, learned everything I needed to know on the job.
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I went to Juniata College in Huntingdon PA – I studied pre-med for the first 2.5 years, at which time I switched my major to Digital Media Creation. I graduated with a BA in Digital Media Creation & Writing, with a minor in natural sciences. I am certified in Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Amazon Ads and Intro to SQL.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
My first job that involved PPC was also my first post-grad job at Active Motif Inc. I had no experience with any paid media until after college.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
My current role is as a BI Manager at Seer Interactive. I have been in it for exactly one year, but previously I held a title as PPC Manager. I joined Seer in 2018, and I haven’t looked back since!
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
Now that I sit on the Data Strategy team at Seer, I work primarily in informing our clients’ overall marketing strategy. I use PPC (and other channel) data to make high level budgeting recommendations, SEO and PPC strategy recommendations and uncover deep analytical insights. You can learn more about Seer’s Data Strategy team here: https://www.seerinteractive.com/services/marketing-business-intelligence/
I also work closely with our PPC (and SEO) teams to implement any findings from my analyses. Since I worked in PPC for the last several years, I now lead a lot of internal trainings for our newer PPC team members, as well as remain active in the PPC community.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
I have had a LOT of hiccups!! No career path is perfect, nor are they always linear. Like I mentioned above, I started my career spending hundreds of hours volunteering in Physical Therapy clinics and hospitals until I realized I was more interested in art, business, communications. I went against the grain a bit, especially coming from a multicultural family, and pursued whatever made me happy regardless of anyone else’s advice or opinion. It landed me in a career that I love and and get excited by every day.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
I am most proud of all of the work I’ve done at Seer, all of the immense growth I’ve seen in myself over the years. I’m proud of the work I’ve done for the greater PPC community as well, and most recently I’m very grateful to Fred Vallaeys for inviting me to speak on a PPC Townhall panel a few months ago.
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
I would have written more thought leadership pieces. I love writing, it’s one of my side hobbies (I’m actually working on a book right now!) but I rarely put my writing to good use in the PPC world. I have written a few blog posts for the Seer blog – but that would be my only “do over!”
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Take all of the free courses that Google, Microsoft, and Amazon offer!! I think it’s pretty amazing that in our field, there are enough free resources to become a highly skilled practitioner without spending a dollar on education. Also, never give up. Sometimes the PPC world can make you feel like you don’t know enough, there are skills out of your reach, or your voice isn’t being heard… keep going and know that failing only makes you a more experienced human being.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
I definitely am. I have been thinking a lot about my ideal speaking topic and it would likely be along the lines of how my experience growing up as a child of immigrants taught me about figuring out the best way to speak to a prospective customer. There are so many similarities in the context switching I had to do throughout my childhood, and how our jobs function today. It’s a half-baked thought, but maybe you will hear more about it on a stage sometime in the future 🙂
Anything else you’d like to share?
Something I learned throughout Covid, and beyond is the importance of hobbies outside of your day to day work. If you are part of the PPC world – get a non PPC hobby!! Mine include reading, (I am 5 books behind on my annual reading challenge, so please send suggestions of your favorite books!), writing, making playlists, and going to my local barre studio to work out. It’s so important to get out of your head and into a creative or physical activity to fuel yourself mentally. Be easy on yourself, our jobs are hard!
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?
Sonika Chandra on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonikachandra/)
Seer Blog: https://www.seerinteractive.com/about/team/sonika-chandra/