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Interviews

How Marketing Agencies Stay Productive: Pete Walsh of Excite Media

August 3, 2017

This week we feature, Pete Walsh, Digital Marketing Account Manager at Excite Media. Excite Media is an Australian digital marketing agency.

In this interview, you can read more about his work at Excite Media, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.

Your location: Brisbane.

Your favorite gadget: Screaming Frog.

You start your day with: A cup of coffee and a blast of rock music.

Your favorite time-saving trick: Using LastPass or something similar to save all of my passwords.

Your top 3 blogs you read daily: Search Engine Land, Conversion Rate Experts and Unbounce.

A picture of your workstation:

‍The workspace at Excite Media

Describe an average day at Excite Media?

An average day at Excite usually kicks off at about 7:30, I like to get in early while it’s still quiet. Around 9 we kick off the Hour of Power (it’s actually an hour and a half long, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it). We have a collaborative internal playlist on Spotify compiled by everyone in the team that runs all day, it’s a mish-mash of alternative rock, indie, folk pop, and a whole raft of other things. From 9 to 10:30 everyday we run a playlist designed to help us focus and concentrate — the Hour of Power.

By lunchtime, I might have snuck in a quick game of ping pong or two with one of my team mates. Excite provides us with lunch so the kitchen is teeming with people checking out what’s come in the groceries this week. Although we’re also quite frequently found at one of the many bars and burger joints in Caxton Street or up at the Barracks on Petrie Terrace for sushi.

After lunch, I’ll usually head to the library to work in a quiet, dark space and wind down for the rest of the day. On any given day of the week there is usually some team event happening after work whether it’s basketball or personal training at the local PCYC, burgers at Hank’s or Brewski or our first trivia night starting next week.

As a marketer what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?

Our team have just started using Text Expander for text snippets, this is super helpful because we have a communal basket for the marketing team and all of my colleagues contribute to building this library. Text Expander only saves a minute or two here and there but over the course of a day that’s a fair chunk of time.

I use Sublime Text Editor for all of my notes because it makes it simple to switch between plain text notes and code and I can quickly format what I’m looking at based on whatever language I need.

Also, when working on lengthy tasks I’ll use a Pomodoro timer to keep myself on task. I work really well in short bursts of intensity with brief breaks in between. Slipping a game of ping pong in between tasks works nicely to get out of your mind for a little bit.

As a person who is well-versed with online marketing/ inbound, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3–5 tools you use?

Tempo — Tempo is what keeps us on time at Excite, it’s the lifeblood of the company and something that every one of lives and breathes with. Tempo is a project and task management system developed in-house by our Technical Director, Scott Maynard and our support team, with a notable mention going to Nick Paustian, our Lead Developer. Tempo makes it simple for our team to collaborate across projects, work together on tasks and make sure that we deliver high quality work every single time.

SEMRush — SEMRush is my best friend! It’s a great platform to centralise all the information about my SEO clients and I can customise the way I keep it for each of them. SEMRush also makes it easy to see, at a quick glance, any glaring errors with any of my SEO clients.

Screencastify — Screencastify makes it so simple to record quick videos to explain complex concepts to clients or show them how to do something without having to write instructions. It automatically uploads to Google Drive which makes sharing easy, and accessible for our clients.

Balsamiq Mockups — A lot of my clients are running CRO and AdWords campaigns. We typically take them from the process of developing a landing page and campaign through to constant improvement. Balsamiq Mockups makes developing these landing pages so easy! With a huge range of assets to use for forms, call to actions, icons, etc. it’s so quick and easy to pull together a plan for a landing page.

How do you use the learning acquired from working with current clients to power your marketing efforts to get more clients ?

Most of our marketing efforts to attract and convert new clients is derived from understanding what our current clients need and want and then being responsive to those demands. Over time we’ve altered the way we carry out our web projects and the way we package our digital marketing services to make them as accessible to our ideal clients as possible. This has also changed not only in response to our clients’ needs but also as our ideal clients have changed. In the past we have worked primarily with SMEs but as we grow we’re starting to work with larger enterprises and this has forced us to adjust our model and service offering to suit their needs.

What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?

Working closely with our digital marketing team we’ve developed a seriously robust SEO reputation for our site. Specifically, Lee Wallis, one of our digital marketing managers, has ensured that Excite Media’s site has been optimised for all of our high-converting keywords and our best services, including: web and logo design and AdWords management. It’s thanks to these efforts that we enjoy the high levels of traffic that we do.

In recent years we redeveloped our site and focused the messaging on the boutique and personal values of Excite Media to build genuineness and credibility. Our brand is all about matching the individual customer with the right team member delivering the right service to ensure success. To achieve this, we created most of our digital assets in-house working with our design and photography teams.

Effectively, all we do to keep converting customers is get them to the site and then show them the value of working with Excite Media, it’s really our team that does the converting.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?

Digital marketing, specifically, is a constantly changing discipline, it’s nearly impossible to keep on top of absolutely everything that is happening in the world of digital marketing. My advice would be this:

1. Keep learning, never ever stop consuming information, you can’t afford to get left behind.

2. Generalise in everything but also make sure you specialise in something. Generalists are great but the reality is that having a specialty makes you valuable.

3. Network and talk about digital marketing. Most of the information I learn, I learn from my colleagues. The offhanded comment of “Oh yeah, I read about this SEO tactic the other day…” is invaluable and the conversations that happen after that are worth their weight in gold.

How do teams at Excite Media have fun at work/ make work fun? OR Describe one fun activity you did recently that energized your team?

‍2016 Year Review at Excite Media

It’s a very tired saying but “we work hard and play harder” at Excite. Last year’s NERF gun arms race was certainly a highlight in recent memory. It ended in a very intense battle at the end of the year. We have a ping-pong table which is freely available to all team members, we also run PT sessions for those who are interested, we organise social and competitive basketball competitions. We even organised a SuperBowl session in February this year, watching the NFL final while working, drinking Miller Lites and eating pretzels.

Needless to say, it’s the social aspect of working at Excite that makes it one of the most enjoyable places to work.

A big thanks to Pete for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out Excite Media.

Managing marketing projects shouldn’t be chaotic —Try Brightpod for free and start focusing on what matters.

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