A day in the life of a... Head Of Digital Marketing
Published: 03 Jun 2013 By Chris Lake
Ben Liau is digital marketing manager at Meyer Australia, a manufacturer of cookware (including brands such as Anolon, Circulon, Raco and Esteele). Here he explains what he gets up to, in an average working day.
Please describe your job! What does a Head Of Digital Marketing do?
I’m in charge of developing, planning, and executing the digital strategy for the business.
I manage both the digital marketing and ecommerce operations of the business, which means managing all channels including SEO, SEM, social media marketing, email marketing, display advertising and display retargeting.
I am a bit of a data nerd and love analysing web analytics data and interpreting reports for the rest of the business. I also enjoy setting up conversion optimisation strategies to make sure our conversion rate is always being tested and is progressively growing. My goal is to build a testing culture throughout the whole business.
I am also a resource for education in digital and regularly update the rest of the company about new trends in the digital sphere.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
I head the whole digital department but also work with all parts of the business including, marketing, creative services, sales, logistics, stock control, customer service, and IT. I report to the CMO, who is a member of the board.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
To be effective as a digital marketing manager you need a variety of skills and experience. You need the ability to develop digital strategy at a high level, while also being able to execute on a project level.
You must be analytical with data, and also have had hands on experience with digital marketing channels like: SEO, SEM, email marketing, and social media marketing.
Most importantly you need to be data driven and always be thinking about how you can use the “test, measure and learn” methodology to progressively grow your performance metrics.
Tell us about a typical working day…
I have never had a typical working day, as it always changes, but here are some regular things I do on a daily basis.
In the morning I will wake up early to get my day started, drop my wife off to work, then head over to the office. I start with planning out my day using Trello, over a hot cup of Milo (I don’t drink coffee).
I then get onto my emails, and address any ones that take less than two minutes to solve, the rest I put into my daily actions list. I have a quick morning huddle with the team, and go over our daily KPIs.
Mid-morning I will go over any creative, or EDMs due, and touch base with our agencies on anything outstanding. Towards lunch I continue to move down my lists of next action to-dos.
At lunchtime I will have a simple lunch while using Google Reader to catch up on breaking news in the digital industry. I will share all the interesting news on LinkedIn, and twitter and chat with other professionals in the industry about trends in digital, while attempting to plan my long overdue holiday.
Mid-day, I will look at the analytics reports, and go over our key metrics to see if there is anything out of the ordinary. If there is I look deeper for any important insights that I can find. I also monitor our ongoing conversion optimisation tests, to check on performance and prepare for future tests.
Late in the day I have meetings with stakeholders to plan for growth and expansion of digital.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
On a daily basis I would review website KPIs like: website traffic, conversion rate, order volume, and average order value.
Within each channel I would look at more specific metrics, like social engagement, revenue per email subscriber, per visitor value etc.
As a personal goal, I would like to grow the testing culture in the digital department and expand it, so that testing is adopted by all other areas of the business.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Evernote – Helps me take notes that I send directly to Trello.
Trello – I organise my life with Trello using GTD methodology.
Google Analytics – What I look at everyday to get my fix of performance data and metrics.
MajesticSEO – Great tool for doing SEO link research.
Hootsuite – Great tool for monitoring social trends and also for sharing things on multiple social networks.
Visual Website Optimiser – A must use for advanced a/b split and multivariate testing.
Kissmetrics – A great tool for analysing customer behaviour on your site.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
I love working in the digital industry, and I am very passionate about digital. It’s an industry that continues to evolve, and provides new and interesting challenges.
I also love educating people about digital and discussing digital strategies with like-minded individuals whether at work or at conferences.
I think what sucks is that generally many companies still aren’t 100% committed to digital, and because of that budgets are still usually lower compared to other forms of marketing, but hopefully this will change very soon.
How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?
I started in 2006 and worked in sales selling digital marketing solutions to medium-sized companies. Through selling solutions, I caught the digital bug, and worked as a digital marketing assistant during lunch times and after work hours for free for six months to get experience.
I then moved into an agency specialising in SEO and SEM, and after a few years I made the move client side managing the brands full digital strategy. I’ve been progressing upwards ever since and have never looked back.
My goal is to build a great digital and testing culture in a company that other companies would adopt and follow. I want to be able to drive change and influence digital marketers to evolve and keep progressing and getting better.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?
Yes, go for it, but be great, don’t be mediocre, there are so many ‘digital’ people out there that are just in to it because of the buzz. If you want to be in digital, be in it because you are passionate about it, not because everyone else is doing it.
There is a huge difference between an ‘internet marketer’ and a digital strategist. You need to aim to be great, and not just be like everyone else.
Which brands do you think are doing digital well?
There are many different kinds of companies that are doing digital well.
Big brands like Coke continue to innovate in the digital space with its creative high engagement social media campaigns.
Another big brand making waves is Starbucks and its integrated digital marketing approaches that drive phenomenal experiences for its customers, both online and in-store.
There are also many ecommerce brands doing digital well like ASOS, which uses digital campaigns to build and engage its community of fashionistas and trendsetters.
I really admire innovative brands that think out of the box and do creative things with digital, to help it evolve into a better and more prominent marketing channel.
If you would like a Day In The Life profile then by all means throw your hat into the ring by emailing email@example.com, and be sure to put your job title in the subject line. PS - I have had plenty of requests from agency folk, so I especially want to hear from brands / client-side people!