Each month we’ll share the profile of a digital professional so that you can find out how they work in the interactive industry and what motivates them. If you would like to be profiled, please contact us.
Name: Courtney Beck
Role: Creative and Strategy
How did you get into digital marketing?
It was all by accident really. I didn’t go to uni and was in the process of working my way up the retail food chain when I was offered a small marketing job working with 5 stores within the Pizza Capers group. In that role I worked on promoting the stores within the local community and I looked after our social presences. Within 2 years I was picked up by Pizza Capers Headquarters and ended up running social and local area marketing nationally for 100+ stores.
It was through Pizza Capers work with Clemenger BBDO Brisbane that I became obsessed with working for an agency and made the jump to BCM Partnership for a fun filled couple of years as an Interactive Specialist.
Coming up to my 30th birthday and looking for love, some ad land friends and I had the grand idea of starting up a blog to advertise myself on the internet as a potential date. That blog became Reasons To Date Courtney Beck (which I still write now) and was how I ended up finding the love of my life Jules, and my new city love, Sydney.
The last couple of years I’ve spent my time at The Works, a full service ad agency in Sydney cutting my teeth socially on everything from Jim Beam to Woolworths Everyday Rewards, finally making the move from straight up social strategist to social creative.
I’ve only just taken a new role, which has taken me out of advertising and into media, working with Mamamia.com.au on their group of websites.
What does your current role involve day-to-day?
In my time at The Works I was lucky to meet another strategist, Daniel Baldock, and we partnered up to be a strategy/creative team about a year ago. We were picked up by Mamamia to increase the creative output of the business, be the link between our Editorial team and brands wanting to work with Mamamia, and to also work strategically on new business initiatives. Basically, a one-stop creative and strategy shop.
What is the best thing about your current job?
The environment. There’s an old saying that the fish rots from the head down, and Mia Freedman and CEO Jason Lavigne have done an outstanding job of building a brilliantly passionate, driven team and culture. When Dan and I were looking for our next business to sink our teeth into, we knew we needed to find a place that would accept and love us for the weirdos that we are, and would allow us to go nuts and do what we do best: A weird blend of creative and strategy.
What is your biggest challenge with digital marketing in 2014?
I think digital marketers and brands have spent far too long relying on leased assets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Which now puts us in the slightly awkward position that we’ve all become reliant on our social fan bases and are now faced with the reality that we need to pay to be seen. I’m definitely not saying we all leave social and go back to having all owned assets, but we do need to be smarter about which assets we’re on and how we invest in them long term. We also need to be more ballsy about ensuring that the brands we recommend being on social are there not because ‘everyone is doing it’, but because being there is solving a business problem. If we’re going to pay for it, social should be effective.
What do you see is the biggest opportunity in the industry at the moment?
Collaborating with emerging technology companies and the social platforms themselves. There is so much exciting stuff being built by small and relatively unknown tech companies that we as marketers could be making use of. We really just need to get out there and start meeting people, checking out current projects and seeing how they could work with our brands. Brands funding evolving tech is certainly an interesting prospect and one that should be far more prominent than it actually is.
The second biggest opportunity, and I’m going to sneak this one in, is to take a more proactive approach to working directly with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, not to mention every other platform out there. Taking a brand’s brief to a platform and working together on a great creative and strategic idea will almost always produce far greater results than trying to produce great ideas on our own. It’s all about the collaboration.
How do you stay up to date with the digital marketing industry?
I read, listen to podcasts, spend a lot of time on twitter, LinkedIn and am always trawling for people to meet and strike up a relationship with. I also make use of my time on public transport and/or walking to listen to audio books. I try not to have any ‘dead time’.
Who or what do you use for inspiration?
I love sites like Mashable, but I also spend a lot of time talking to people smarter than I am. If you are happy to be a sponge and are in the right organisation/mixing with the right people you can learn so much. In the digital world we are as only as good as our last idea, so it’s important to never stop learning, reading and pushing your own boundaries to get the best results. There’s always someone willing to take your place. What is your favourite work related phone app? Twitter. It’s my news, a great place to meet other likeminded people and allows me to stay on top of current trends and up to date news on the industry.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
A dating mogul. I’m working with Dan on building a dating empire. That’s what we do in our spare time, but one day I hope that it’ll be something more than just a side project.