Tales of an Agency Intern

“We’re going to do a quick activity.” Those seven scary little words were said by my future co-worker in my first digital marketing internship interview. As you can imagine, I was terrified. Could I properly showcase my skills and critical thinking on the spot and impress them? Did I have enough knowledge to at least somewhat demonstrate that I knew something about digital marketing to deserve to work there? Before I knew it, I was drawing an advertisement for a product (which wasn’t pretty at all) and writing theoretical marketing plans.

Read More

StrataBlue Employee Spotlight featuring Paige Widener

Q3_A (2)My title at StrataBlue is Social Media Account Manager. I’ve been with StrataBlue since June of 2014, so that makes 8 months!

 

Q4_AMy day-to-day duties vary almost every day, but a typical day will include creating social media content for my clients, working with clients to come up with creative ideas for their social media campaigns, creating email campaigns, writing blogs, building reports and much, much more!

 

Q3What I love most about working at StrataBlue is the fact that I get to be hands on with my client’s campaigns. Any ideas that I have to help improve a client’s digital presence are always welcomed and encouraged. The sky is definitely the limit. We also work with a breadth of industries, so this has given me the ability to be knowledgeable in everything from restaurants to RVs.

 

Q4 (2)An ideal client for me is one that trusts what I do and is there for support. I love clients who are easy to talk to and are open to my creative ideas. I also enjoy clients who aren’t familiar with social and digital media, because this offers me to chance to share my wealth of knowledge with them.

 

Q5 (2)My ultimate dream is to own a small boutique that would sell jewelry, purses, and clothing. I would preferably like to open the boutique up in a major college town, because I remember how hard it was to find unique clothing options while away at school. And this just would just give me another excuse to relive my college days. 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed helping my friends coordinate outfits and I would love to be my own boss.

My mom has really been my inspiration for creating my own business. Throughout my childhood she maintained a full-time job as a dietitian in a nursing home, while also owning her own catering business on the side. Once my sister and I reached middle school, she ditched her job and went to just full-time catering. She has shown me that any dream is possible if you set your mind to it and always, always work hard. This past winter, she opened a storefront for her business, where she serves up lunch and delicious sweet treats.

 

Q6 (2)As a recent Purdue grad, whenever I get the chance I can’t resist driving up to West Lafayette for a basketball game or football game, and then of course hitting up my favorite spot, Harry’s Chocolate Shop, for a post-game celebration. I’m also an avid Pinterester and love making my pins come to life. But most of all, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family doing whatever, wherever!

To put our team of StrataBlue account managers to work for you, contact StrataBlue today.

StrataBlue Employee Spotlight featuring Tyler Moore (and Bron!)

Meet Tyler Moore, StrataBlue’s newest sales and biz dev manager, and learn what he brings to our company. (And despite his digitized appearance in the header graphic above, he really is a human being. You can meet him in the flesh on LinkedIn.)

 

What is your title at StrataBlue and how long have you been with the company?

I’m the Business Development Manager at StrataBlue, and I’ve been with the company for four months.

 

 

What are your day-to-day duties at StrataBlue?

  • Build market position by locating, developing, defining, negotiating, and closing business relationships.
  • Identify trendsetter ideas by researching industry and related events, publications, and announcements; tracking individual contributors and their accomplishments.
  • Propose potential business deals by contacting potential partners; discovering and exploring opportunities.
  • Screen potential business deals by analyzing market strategies, deal requirements, potential, and financials; evaluating options; resolving internal priorities; recommending equity investments.
  • Develop negotiating strategies and positions by studying integration of new venture with company strategies and operations; examining risks and potentials; estimating partners’ needs and goals.
  • Close new business deals by establishing requirements; developing and negotiating contracts; integrating contract requirements.

 

Why are you excited to work at StrataBlue?

Our company is one of the top digital marketing firms in town, if not THE best, but our story hasn’t been told. StrataBlue has been flying under the radar, and I am looking forward to changing that. We will have a new website rolling out in 2015, and a handful of amazing case studies that offer a deep dive into our clients, their needs and what we did to accomplish their goals.

 

 

How do you convince a prospective client that social media marketing is right for them?Right for them?!?! It’s right for everyone! It’s hard to find a prospect that isn’t using social media marketing, but it is very easy to find someone who isn’t using it to its full capability. With that said, if your company hasn’t implemented social media marketing, you are more than likely behind the eight-ball and need to call us when you get done reading this. Actually, don’t finish reading this: call me right now! I inform our prospective clients on how we can amplify what they are already doing to reach a much larger and more targeted audience, while helping them deliver more powerful content.

 


What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I would say I am pretty fortunate to have a tight knit group of friends that get together, every chance we get, for different sporting events, concerts, and beer festivals. If you have seen the TV show Friends, that would come close to summing up our group. I am also a coach for Elliott Quarterback Academy, which is a football skills camp that takes place on most weekends throughout the winter, and if it’s warm, I will be on the golf course.

 

 

Enough about you. Tell us about Bron!

Bron is the man! Bron is my English bulldog who is just over 4 months old, and he was actually named after LeBron James. I grew up attending Butler Basketball Camp as a kid and grew to love the breed, and also have grown into a LeBron fan, so it seemed like a perfect fit. Bron now has his own Instagram account at @bronthebully, which I have a lot of fun with. I guess if you want to know more about Bron, then you should go follow him!

Well, you heard it straight from Tyler above:

If your company hasn’t implemented social media marketing, you are more than likely behind the eight-ball and need to call us when you get done reading this. Actually, don’t finish reading this: call [him] right now! 317-207-0195

 

And then go follow Bron on Instagram. 😉

StrataBlue Employee Spotlight featuring Julie Perry

Meet Julie Perry, StrataBlue’s Director of Digital Media Marketing:

Q3_AMy official title is Director of Digital Media Marketing, and I’ve been at StrataBlue since March 2014. Initially, I was hired as Director of Social Media, but that title is misleading, because I don’t think it accurately describes the breadth of services we offer clients within the digital space. Here at StrataBlue, our focus is providing full-scale digital marketing services within paid, owned, and earned channels. Social media is certainly an aspect of that, but for the most part, we take a more holistic approach to our clients’ digital-marketing needs and campaigns.

To explain that a bit further, our team at StrataBlue knows that integrating multiple channels is the best way to deliver results, so we work to incorporate everything from content creation, social advertising, paid search, SEO, mobile, creative, video—and yes, social media marketing plays a big hand in each of those buckets. In the end though, we distinguish our brand of social as being “social media with substance,” or in other words, executing with purpose and intention. We don’t do anything devoid of understanding its impact. Rather, our social campaigns are strategic, deliberate, measurable, and in most all cases, they converge into other trackable digital touch points within owned, earned, and paid channels—blog, search, email, site, video, mobile, and distributed content.

 

 

Q2_AThat is a tough question, because every day can be so different. And because we are growing so quickly while also trying to stay on top of constant industry changes, there are never enough hours in the day. In short, as Director of Digital Media Marketing, I rely on my 13 years of online marketing experience to focus on digital thought-leadership activities and provide expertise in digital strategy to further bolster our digital services offering. (If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working in online and digital marketing, it’s that you must always be innovating.)

I also support major client assignments and serve as a data analyst in order to guide overall client strategy. Meanwhile, I like to stay as active as I can on the execution side of client campaigns—otherwise, it’s too easy to become rusty and unable to follow new trends. So even though I’m managing and directing our team of digital specialists, I’m still all about jumping in to, say, tweet for a client, run a Facebook ad, or write an email drip campaign when needed. In fact, taking time to optimize a YouTube video for a client can often be the highlight of my day. #geek

 

 

Q3I got my start in digital marketing as a copywriter for online-marketing content—email campaigns, website content, digital ad copy and blogging for SEO. Since those aren’t necessarily skills they teach in college (and they certainly didn’t when I was at Indiana University in the mid 90s), I got much of my training by taking courses from über successful copywriters in the Internet Marketing space, such as Michel Fortin (a mentor and personal friend) and John Carlton. During that time (circa 2003-4), SEO / ranking #1 in Google was the holy grail of marketing, so as soon as social media sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter came onto the scene and proved to have an increasing impact on search results, it was a natural transition for me to focus on social content creation.

Handling social networking for two tech start-ups in 2007 led to my first foray into digital video content. YouTube marketing—from both a video SEO and an audience development perspective—really was my main area of practice from 2007 to 2010. So I would say that online video marketing is where a majority of my expertise still lies. But in 2010, I wanted to diversify my digital marketing tactics, so I took a job at BLASTmedia, a media relations agency that was looking to grow its social media services. I was able to combine my years of working in online marketing via direct response copywriting, online video, and blogging to launch the agency’s social media team from scratch. While we started off just executing social media to support PR campaigns and media outreach, over the course of three years and building my team to 11 members total, our campaigns took on more of a marketing approach. This was the heyday of inbound marketing, and we had tons of success — after all, PR was already BLAST’s specialty, so combining it with more owned and paid media allowed us to take clients to the next level. Working at BLAST was a wonderful experience (they continue to kill it for their customers), and it allowed me to diversity my areas of expertise by getting to implement more full-scale digital marketing campaigns on a national and international level.

 

 

Q4Spending time with family and friends is very important to me, but I’m also a self-proclaimed workaholic, so balancing can be tough. I’ve actually gotten a lot better in recent years at achieving that balance; I take more time off, realizing that returning to work rejuvenated makes me more productive, not to mention more fulfilled.

I also spend a lot of my free time working on something else I’m passionate about, which is blogging and running social media for my book, “The Insiders’ Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess.” (Being a megayacht stewardess was something I did after college, many moons ago.) I originally wrote my yachting book in 2006, but I published a 2nd edition in 2013 when Bravo TV’s reality series, Below Deck, came out. It’s opened up a whole new audience for my book, and I’ve been having a ball interacting with my readers online.

The Insiders Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess

Julie’s book about how to get a job on superyachts.

I suppose, technically, my book marketing activities could still be considered work, but I get a lot of fulfillment out of helping guide young people into a fascinating career traveling the world in the superyacht industry. It was a life-altering experience for me when I worked as a yacht stewardess, so promoting my book is also a way for me to stay in touch with that industry and my many friends who still work within it. I still try to get down to Fort Lauderdale at least 3-4 times a year and travel to as many boat shows as I can fit in with my vacation time.

 

Q6_AThe fact that it’s fast-paced and constantly changing. Routine and consistency have always bored me and I crave challenges, so working in digital media is perfect for me. Add in the agency aspect, and it is literally a playground of opportunity to test new platforms and emerging digital tools across a number of different clients and industry verticals all the time. There is always something to learn.

I’m very fond of the quote that’s been attributed to Wayne Gretzky, where, when asked about the key to his success, he said that he doesn’t skate where the puck has been, but rather, he skates where the puck is going. I thrive on being able to stay on that cutting edge of innovative digital marketing tactics and pioneering the use of emerging strategies, especially with regard to targeting and measurement. It’s all about staying on top of how the customer journey is changing, and then trying to figure out how to incorporate those changes as we’re carving a sales and ROI pathway for our clients. To that end, the StrataBlue team prides itself on smart strategy and efficient execution, but we realize we have to be willing to recognize when something isn’t working. Measurement leads to adjusting tactics to meet goals; it’s that constant fine tuning and adapting in order to achieve success for our clients that invigorates me on a daily basis.

 

 

Q6Virginia Woolf. As for where we’d go, I would like to think we’d just stroll around the Bloomsbury district of London and have philosophical and literary discussions over afternoon tea… But, knowing me, I’d probably try to convince her to take a weekend jaunt down to Paris to join F. Scott Fitzgerald and friends for a more Gatsby-esque time… Or, maybe we’d even crash a party at Gertrude Stein’s flat. (What can I say, I was an English Major and am kind of obsessed with modernist literature and writers.)

 

 

StrataBlue Employee Spotlight featuring Henry Bestritsky

 

Q3_AI’m the CEO and I’ve been with the company since its inception in October, 2013.

 

 

 

Q2_AStrategy, Vision, Sales, Financials and that’s just in the morning. Seriously though, being a CEO of a startup is exhilarating and challenging. We’re about a year old now and processes, measurement and creativity are all key to our survival. The business we’re in constantly changes because social media platforms constantly roll out new products and features. I need to consistently understand how new technology can benefit our customers. The good old days of putting up a billboard and charging the customer $30K are gone. We’re all about numbers and we pride ourselves in truly delivering ROI. I don’t care about how many likes the customer has, I care about those likes actually driving measurable revenue. So what are my duties? I think a more interesting question revolves around my goals. My main goal is to create a world-class cohesive team that consistently helps customers get bigger, better, stronger and more importantly, profitable through our work in the digital marketing space. Oh, and also have fun doing it because life’s too short for mediocrity.

 

Q3_A (1)There are many great moments, but I guess my favorite moment is an unusual one when I was driving with my partner Slava through downtown Indianapolis. We were talking about marketing, Facebook, food, financials and many other things partners talk about. All of a sudden he turned to me and said, “You know what the best thing is about this job? It’s about helping business grow—especially in my community. It’s a feeling that goes beyond helping the customer. It’s the feeling that you’re also helping the community grow by helping the companies that support its growth.” I know that sounds a bit cheesy, but that’s the main reason why I decided to join Slava and create StrataBlue. You can be profitable and do good. I firmly believe that.

 

Q4_A (1)I have four kids in the house, so free time is at a premium. The youngest one is 11 and the oldest one is 15, so I have the privilege of being their driver. Ugh! Seriously, they are great kids, but they do take up a lot of time—as they should. I also like to play Borderlands on the Xbox. Ever since the invention of Pong—and yes I’m aging myself—I’ve been fascinated with video games and computers. I remember the first time I joined a BBS (Bulletin Board System) in the 80’s before the Internet, I clearly saw the power of connecting people together across the world and communicating with them. To me that was the beginning of social media. That of course spread to video games and for some reason I get immersed in Borderlands. Frankly it’s addictive, a little too much. I love it!

 

Q5_AMy son asked me once,”Dad, what is a touchdown?” I said, “I don’t know son, I’m a Jets fan.” I love the Jets and the Mets. Ugh! Seriously though, I love sports and I just wish I had more time to immerse myself and truly get into things like fantasy leagues.Damn you Borderlands! One great thing about having two boys is that they are both sports fanatics and I attend many football, baseball and basketball games. It truly is a great feeling watching them jump up and down as our teams score. The energy rush is amazing and actually a little emotional.

 

Q6_AI earlier alluded to my discovery of emerging social media in the 80’s and helping customers, but when I think about the industry, the thing that stands out the most is its ever changing nature. It’s never boring and I constantly learn new things. To me social media is still the wild, wild west of technology. It’s as disruptive as the automobile was to the horse drawn carriage. I love the fact that you can still invent things and make them better. I love the fact that because of what StrataBlue does, we can reach out to so many different and cool people and that constantly changes as new clients come on board. We at StrataBlue continuously learn about different industries and what makes people tick. Frankly, it’s fascinating.

 

Q7_AGame of Thrones. Many people like it because of the violence, fantasy, human nature, and more. To me it’s interesting how a show can become a social phenomenon and elicit such emotion and fervor. It clearly shows the good and the bad in people. The violence is very graphic and unfortunately we live in times where this violence can be seen in the real world. We should never forget that human nature is a two-sided coin and we must always strive to be on the good side. Sometimes that is hard and the show pulls no punches there, but I’m hoping that once the books are finished and we watch the final episode, we can learn something good from the show and apply those lessons in our lives and the world.

 

 

StrataBlue Employee Spotlight featuring Suzanne McGill

 

Q1_CReally, ever since I can remember. I always knew I wanted to do something where I used my artistic strengths and skills. My mom said during my childhood, I took a writing utensil to just about everything in the house, even the insides of lamp shades. I took a lot of art and digital design classes in high school which led to studying design in college.

 

thumbnail

I graduated from Ohio University in 2011 with a bachelors degree in Visual Communication. My major was Informational Graphics and Publication Design.

 

 

thumbnail

 

I am the Senior Graphic Designer here at StrataBlue and I have been here since January of this year.

 

 

thumbnailMy day to day duties involve creating print graphics, social media/digital graphics, and designing websites for our clients. I also get to create brand identities for our new clients that come to us for logos and a visual identity, which is challenging and fun!

 

thumbnailOne of my favorite websites I was able to design was for Plow & Anchor, a local restaurant here in Indy. They have beautiful menu items that were photographed very well, so that made it fun for me to come up with something special for their site. Another great website to work on that I had a lot of fun designing was for The North End BBQ. I loved working with their brand to create a simple yet appealing website.  Lastly, I am currently working on the brand identity and website for a new restaurant opening next month called Georgia Reese’s. It was great to have full reigns on the brand and logo while seeing that move across all spectrums of their social media, signage, website, etc. I can’t wait to visit when they open to see it all come to life!

thumbnail

thumbnail

Banana peppers, definitely. I have to find someway to get them on a pizza, I could eat full jars of them.

 

 

thumbnailIt’s too hard to just pick one favorite spot in Indy, there are so many! If I could choose a few, they would include walks along the canal, shops and bars on Mass Ave., breweries in Fountain Square and perusing the Old Northside streets while marveling all the older homes!