Saturday, November 22, 2008

Learning Many Things

The new job is going well. I have been there two weeks now, and am still settling in.

The people seem to be very nice. There are a lot more employees at this company than my last, and there are still a number of people I have not been introduced to. That's ok though, because I'm not good with names right off the bat.

I have a good feeling about this place. At the very least I will be learning a lot of useful skills about marketing on the internet. I am in charge of monitoring the online advertising for the company - services like Google AdWords and Yahoo! Sponsored Listings, and a few others.

I have already made myself useful. One of my first assignments was to contact some smaller online advertising services we use and make sure we have the correct tracking code installed on our website. This is so we can track how well the online advertising is performing - the tracking code lets us track what are called "conversions." This is when somebody clicks on our ads and then makes a purchase. They have been converted from a passive searcher to an active buyer, thus a conversion.

There are a couple other minor research projects I have done or am doing at work. The nice thing is that they are all relevant to making the online advertising more effective, or to help us get more for our advertising dollars. It makes sense to want to spend as little on advertising as possible while still returning good conversion rates. After all, it doesn't make sense to spend $40 to obtain a conversion when the person only buys $10 worth of items. Not exactly cost effective.

It is also a new experience for me to be working for a company that operates an online store. My last company did not have one at all. They were a multi-level marketing company, and they had a commitment to not compete with their licensed distributors. Since they provided online stores to anyone who wanted to pay the $5 a month to host one, the company could not justify competing with them in the online environment.

This attitude of non-competition meant that we did not do any online advertising. It did make sense when you consider the distributors are taught that they are in charge of running their own business, including advertising. If they were not happy with the number of online sales their store was generating, they should do some advertising!

Anyway, my introduction to online ads is just beginning. There's a constant monitoring to make sure we're appearing high in the search rankings, but not so high that we're wasting money. After all, some big name companies like e-bay and Target will routinely buy up the first listing for ALL the keywords that are even remotely related to their business. It doesn't make sense for a small company to try to compete with the dollars a giant company can throw around.

I'm also receiving a very good introduction to press releases. Now, press releases are not new to me in any sense. In fact, I did them previously, but I always considered them a waste of time and hated doing them at all. But the way this company does them is much more efficient and effective. It helps that the product they sell relates to more than one specific industry, so they can contact major publications, blogs, and news outlets across a variety of industries. The more people we contact, the better our chances of getting our press release published.

And the Public Relations! This company actually monitors a service where journalists submit requests for what they need for their articles. Maybe it's to talk with an expert, or maybe it's a request for prize giveaways for a blog. Either way, if they accept your submission they will mention your company and product, and blogs will provide a link back to your website.

There are some other job duties that I have not yet done. I'm going to be responsible for creating several posts each week for the company blog - generally things that are on sale or are related to products we sell. That should be easier than trying to regularly post on this blog, because I won't feel obligated to write giant posts - all I have to do is introduce a product and provide a coupon code.

All in all, I'm very happy with how things are turning out with this company. I know I'm still on probation for the usual three month period, and yes anything can happen, but oh, I am enjoying myself.

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