Archive | June, 2013

So, what’s it like to work in digital marketing?

27 Jun

People ask me all the time, “what is it exactly that you do?” and also “what’s it like working in a digital agency?”

My new employer, iProspect is actively hiring in all of our offices and I collaborated on putting together this fun little ditty on how to tell if you’re a digital marketer.  It gives you a little snapshot of what my world is like.  Or at least a humorous one.  Anyway, enjoy!  And if you’re interested in a career in digital marketing – take the “test” below.  We’ve got opportunities in Boston, New York, Chicago, Fort Worth, Detroit and San Francisco.

And if you’re one of my regular followers, but not looking for a job, well, here’s a quick, humorous view of my work life.


When I look up ‘digital marketing’ in the dictionary (online, of course) I get a standard definition, one that may be familiar to people who aren’t currently working in the space:

Digital marketing makes use of electronic devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones, cellphones, digital billboards, and game consoles to engage with consumers and other business partners.


But for those of us who do this for a living, what does it really mean to be a digital marketer – day to day? Here at iProspect, we are passionate, strong, enthusiastic, eager individuals who have the energy to not only keep up with but also shape this ever-evolving industry.


We’re on the search for people to join our team. Check out the below list to find out if the digital marketing world would be a fit for you!


  1. You spend time on blogs like Mashable, Buzzfeed, TechCrunch and Wired and are surprised that people read publications that are still printed on actual paper.
  2. A typical night in front of the TV: your computer is on your lap, smartphone in your hand doing three multiple things at once. Double points if you’re also using an iPad and triple points if you are using two computers.
  3. Your first, most immediate question to anyone that asks you a question about how to do something: “Have you Googled it?”
  4. To save your sanity, you break up your marathon Excel sessions with Cornhole tournaments against a colleague.
  5. Yelp – not a friend, colleague or family member – is your go-to for dinner recommendations.
  6. If something doesn’t change in your life at least once a week, you’re bored.
  7. If you left the house without your wallet for the day, you’d say “eh, whatever, I can borrow money.” If you leave your smartphone at home, you’d go all the way back for it.
  8. “Work hard, play harder” is your motto.
  9. Your face lights up at the thought of getting access to a company’s analytics.
  10. You can’t remember what life was like before Facebook and Twitter.
  11. You name your team’s beer fridge “302” because it is always temporarily redirecting you from where you meant to go.
  12. There are days when a fourth monitor on your desk would really help.
  13. You critique websites out loud as you’re shopping.
  14. You have knee-jerk impulses to ask “What’s the year-over-year change in performance?” when out in a bar.
  15. You can confidently pick out HTML versus JavaScript in the blink of an eye, and can still craft an eloquently worded explanation why a client’s favorite keyword dropped from position three to position four.
  16. You build AdWords campaigns so large that you need to leave your laptop running overnight to upload them.
  17. You are intrigued in the traffic patterns, user behavior, conversion rate and site experience between people searching for rental cars and car rental.
  18. You have deep, passionate, heartfelt opinions about the use of the word shoes vs. footwear.
  19. Efficiency is always on your mind, even when loading the dishwasher or packing a suitcase.
  20. When your mom reminds you to send a thank-you note, you reply with “It’s done. I already posted it on Facebook.”
  21. You would send a thank you email after an interview, even after they warned you about spending all day in Excel.
  22. At night, you dream of pivot tables and macros on a weekly basis.
  23. That new cat video? Yep, you saw it. Oh, the hilarious hamburger eating a panda GIF? So last week. The Ryan Gosling meme? You started it.
  24. You have no aversion to being “wined and dined” by your vendor partners and doubly returning the favor to your clients – champagne and caviar anyone?
  25. When you’re tasked with creating a 50-slide digital strategy, you might skip to your desk to get started (after stopping by the fridge for a beer, of course).
  26. Sometimes you register for a website just so you can judge the conversion process.
  27. You weren’t surprised when Yahoo! bought Tumblr.
  28. Learning something new every day is like chugging Red Bull – it gives you wings.
  29. Customized display ads do not creep you out – In fact, you appreciate it when advertisers do it. You’re so busy, you forgot you wanted to book that trip to Miami or buy that new pillow.
  30. Your significant other has to ask you to stop trying to optimize their Facebook page.

This somewhat silly checklist does make a point and each iProspect team member can find a variety of tidbits that resonate personally. If you read this list and thought to yourself, “Wow, that sounds like me” then take the next step and check out our careers page with opportunities in all our offices – New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Worth and San Francisco.

As you were,


The times, they are a changin’

24 Jun

Well, as usual, I’ve had a Stew’s Brew blog drought, but I think with pretty damn good reason.  You see, I’ve been a bit busy making some big and little changes, and then dealing with a minor mess as well.  Roll all that together, and that equals “no time for the blog.”  Now that most of it has settled down, time to write.

As you well know, I do spend a lot of time observing others and then writing about it.  Pretty much my favorite subject on this blog.  Today’s subject is me.  Thankfully there’s no big health issue to write about, other than all this gyration has me off the diet and exercise wagon and that has me up about 8-10 lbs since last December.  You’ve heard of “muscle memory”?  My body has “fat memory” … it goes right back to its original “pear” shape the first chance it gets.  So, back to the gym, watching what I eat and drink, etc.  All’s good with the ‘ol ticker though and that’s what I think about.

So, what’s got me so busy, you must be asking?  Well, let’s start with a major shift in the career front.  I changed jobs three weeks ago – moving from big, awesome digital agency iCrossing, to just-as-big digital agency iProspect, which is part of the Aegis Media/Dentsu network of ad agencies.  They reached out to me with a recruitment pitch at the end of January, and my first interviews with them were in February.  I guess when you get to a certain level, this takes awhile.

Making the fairly long process into a short story, we had a series of meetings and interviews through March and into April, and then I was given an offer the last week in April and it took us another 3 weeks or so to finalize the deal.  I left iCrossing on May 31, started at Aegis/iProspect on June 3.

The new job is pretty varied, which is why I was excited about it. Quite frankly, at iCrossing, I felt very underutilized.  I had been running large accounts, and that’s all fine, but that’s work I’ve done for years and years, and while good at it, I needed more challenge.  I continually asked for it but never got what I wanted.  I’ve lead agency offices, agency teams and business units before, and that’s where I wanted to go.  Additionally, even though I did find a ton of value in iCrossing’s ownership situation, being owned by Hearst, a big publishing entity, I was also looking to go back to working for an agency that was part of a big network, like I had experienced when working for Ketchum and LiveTechnology, both being a part of the Omnicom Group holding company.

So, the new gig has a variety of responsibilities:  First, I’m responsible for the client services teams in three offices – Chicago, San Francisco and Detroit.  I’ve got seven “ace” account directors reporting to me across those offices, and have responsibility for a large chunk of the iProspect client portfolio including clients such as Estee Lauder, Ameritrade, GM, Sony Playstation and Entertainment, The Limited and more. Secondly, I’m actively responsible for organic growth of my three offices plus assisting the rest of the company in integration across the Aegis/Dentsu network.  This is all within the “wheelhouse” of what I love to do and am good at, and I’m really going to enjoy this challenge.

While this is a soft item, the new office is in such an amazing spot in downtown Chicago – right at the north edge of the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue.  We’re in what used to be called the Equitable Building, now just “401”, with Pioneer Court in front of the building – a huge paved place where there are constantly things going on, right next door to the beautiful, Tribune Tower and across the street from the iconic Wrigley Building.  This really is about the most incredible spot for Chicago architecture that there is.   My office looks east out onto Lake Michigan, and the Chicago River.  To say I feel fortunate is to understate things immensely.

So, that’s that.

Other things that had me really busy were two home improvement projects – one I chose and one that chose me.  The one I chose was replacing the old, dingy, almond-colored (which always looks dirty white to me) formica countertops with black granite countertops – which of course I did myself.  The product I used was a tile-like product – big 24” x 24” granite slabs that you laid like giant tiles.  The process is much like tile only bigger, and then you attach trim pieces around them.  Overall, it took me about six weeks to do the project and the results are stunning. We combined that with a new kitchen sink and faucet setup and it just all looks outstanding.  Very satisfying project!

Every time I do a project though, it takes over the house – stuff winds up all over the place and well, it’s a big pain in the butt.  The countertop project was no exception.  The living room turned into the materials staging area, the garage was the saw and cutting workshop, and there was always something out of place in the kitchen for a six-week period.  We finally got it all cleaned up and put away though around April 15th.  And just three days after it was all done and the cars were back in the garage, tools returned, etc., we had two days of torrential rain and our basement flooded. Not with just a little water but about a half-foot.  Thankfully it was just clean rain water that came up through the sump pump hole (the pump float switch got stuck) and we were able to pump it out within 45 minutes of getting home, but the damage was done.  $11,500 worth to be exact, of which the insurance company covered $10,000.

The good news here is that we’re getting a nicely remodeled basement as a result.  We’ve taken the insurance settlement, added a bit of investment of our own, and are changing from a paneled basement with a tile floor to a drywall-finished basement with carpeting, and instead of a “kid zone” like it has been for ages, it is becoming an adult zone, with a home theater set up.  Should be amazing, actually.  I guess into every life, some rain should fall, huh?  At least it forced us to toss out a bunch of crap that should have been tossed years before.   The drywall and paint was completed two weeks ago, and the carpet was installed this past weekend.  Construction is now all done – just need to order the furniture (All the electronics are in, and in a temporary setup), go through and toss out a few more things, install the electronics permanently and we are done.

So, that’s what’s been up, my friends.  We’re finally heading into warmer weather here in Chicago, so that’s got us thinking summer.  Our first summer concert of the year, Sting, was two weeks ago at Ravinia, next up is Jimmy Buffett, and more to come.  I’ll have much to share with you as the summer rolls along.

As you were,


%d bloggers like this: