In-House PPC Blog Series: Brooke Townsend from Invitations by Dawn
Hi Everyone! I’m Brooke Townsend, and I’m what I like to call myself a “marketing minority.” I have been working as an in-house PPC Manager for Invitations by Dawn for about 3.5 years, and have loved (almost) every minute of it. Invitations by Dawn is an e-commerce wedding invitations and stationery company. Putting e-commerce and the wedding industry together makes for enormous competition. We house 2 different brands, in which I manage both PPC accounts. The wedding industry is highly seasonal, and it seems like every year there seems to be somewhat of a market shift. It is very important for us to keep up on not only wedding trends, but consumer behavior and the shift of e-commerce.
What’s Unique About My Job?
Benefit: The fun part about working for this company is that I get to think like a bride every single day. However, if any of you have planned a wedding before, you know that brides can be a little crazy now and then! Managing PPC for a wedding invitations company is so much more than bidding on “wedding invitations” – it is trying to figure out the thought process of the bride and why she makes the decisions that she does. It is very complex because every bride is different.
Benefit: Working in-house is great because I get to spend a lot of time strategizing with our brand manager. We figure out how PPC fits into the overall picture of our company and what kind of traffic we should be driving. Not only do I manage search and display, but have taken over implementing paid social as well (let’s be real – what bride isn’t on Pinterest?)
Downfall: While strategizing is great, it is time consuming and sometimes gets put on the back burner. I tend to get stuck into the day-to-day tasks of managing PPC. I do utilize 3rd party tools to help with tasks. Optymzr has been a great resource. Also, have I mentioned that there is only one of me?! While agencies can rely on other team members for support, I alone manage both e-comm brands for PPC management and strategy. In the past 3 years, my love for coffee has become infinite.
Benefit: I have more control over the money I’m spending, the targeting, and overall strategy. This is what I get paid to do. Of course I meet with our brand manager to keep in sync with our overall marketing, but I’m not having justify every single change I make in an account.
Downfall: Having that much power can be stressful. Correction – it IS stressful. I am trusted to make good decisions every day, and if I make a bad decision, I have to explain that.
Because I work solo on these two brands, I spend a lot of time keeping up to speed on what is happening in the PPC world. I keep a close tab on #ppcchat on Twitter – this is a great source by my peers on anything new that I may not have heard of. I also watch our competitors closely – as we all should be doing. The wedding industry is competitive by nature – before you know it, your top competitor has stolen your ad copy (I’m flattered, thank you!) and I need to change my ads!
I have been asked before about the biggest difference is from agency life to in-house life. My honest answer? I don’t know – I’ve never lived the agency life! I started in-house straight out of college (how, I’m not exactly sure). I would think the biggest difference would be, is that working in-house like myself, I am trusted to make the decisions and come up with the PPC strategy, based on our overall company goals. This to me is a benefit and a downfall.
Overall, I love in-house life. Most of my job has been self-taught, which keeps me motivated. No matter what industry you’re in, PPC is ever-changing, and keeping up to speed on changes are crucial. In-house life has also helped me be a more well-rounded marketer. I have gained more than just PPC experience, but overall website management experience, e-commerce life, and a strong connection to our brands and our customers.
Brooke Townsend has been working as an in-house PPC Manager for Invitations by Dawn for almost three and a half years. When she’s not working, she can be seen posting never-ending pictures of her corgi, Toby, playing tennis, or watching Scandal (her alter ego is Olivia Pope).
Follow Brooke on Twitter @BrookeOsmundson