Working remotely, like we do at JDM, doesn’t mean being disconnected from colleagues. As part of our culture-building initiative, and to introduce the digital marketing world to our awesome team members, we regularly peel back the curtain on the lives of JDMers. This week, we’ll get to know Account Director, Natalie Hanson!
Name: Natalie Hanson
Position: Account Director
Location: Sacramento, CA
When did you begin working at JDM?
November 2020 - so going on 2 years!
How did you know JDM was the right fit for you?
I was in a place in my career where I felt like I had become an expert in paid social, but I wanted more. I was looking to learn and grow as much as possible as fast as possible while applying my expertise to help companies grow, and the amount of opportunity I’ve had at JDM is unmeasurable. I loved the fact that I would be able to work on both paid social and paid search and sharpen my skills in both areas – a lot of agency people are set up to specialize in one or the other, so I think the fact that we’re all experts in so many different channels makes JDM a unique agency.
What’s your favorite part of the workday?
My favorite part of the workday is meeting with my team! I genuinely care about each person on my team and love to spend the first few minutes of our syncs each week catching up and chatting. It’s very important to me to build strong connections with each person on my team and maintain an open communication flow especially since we work remotely.
What’s the most gratifying part of working with your clients?
The most gratifying part about working with clients is building strong relationships with them and helping them reach their goals! I love finding common interests with clients and using those to build a relationship and connect on things other than work. But I’m not going to lie – there’s no better feeling than being faced with new goals and crushing them.
In a remote company, how do you stay connected with your team?
Zoom meetings and Slack! A lot of times, a solid chunk of my day is spent in Zoom meetings with my team, but a lot of discussion happens each day over Slack as well. We meet as a full team about twice a week, and I meet one-on-one with each member of my team at least once a week. I think it’s extremely important to set aside time for each person on my team to check in and discuss anything that’s top of mind – whether it’s strategy ideas for a specific client, challenges they’re facing, or just a safe space to vent, I always keep an open door. If something comes up outside of our normal meeting time, I always try to be available for a quick sync.
What three words would you use to describe the JDM culture?
Supportive, motivating, unique.
What's something you love about JDM?
I love that everything is so adaptable at JDM! I can’t tell you how much has changed and evolved over my year and a half here – things are never boring (in a good way)! The leadership team is constantly looking to improve, which is something I value a lot. The nature of digital marketing and advertising is that things are always changing and there’s always room for improvement, and that’s a value that’s reflected in the company.
Can you recall a time when JDM challenged you, and how we supported you through that time?
Oh man, I almost always feel challenged at JDM (again, in a good way). If you want to learn and grow, there is a wide open field in front of you to run through. But with that challenge, I’ve always felt supported. Whether it’s taking on larger accounts, testing new channels for the first time, or managing new team members, I’ve never felt like I’m on an island to figure things out on my own.
What’s the best thing you’ve done with your unlimited PTO?
Well, as I’m writing this, I’m on my way back from a two-week trip to Spain with my family!! I have extended family in Spain, so we spent the first week visiting with them (and eating way too much amazing food), and the second half was spent with my sisters and parents traveling to new areas we’ve never seen before. It was such an incredibly special trip to me and my family, and I’m so so so thankful that I was able to take that trip with my unlimited PTO.
What's something you love about the marketing industry?
I love that it’s always changing. I’ve always said, I can’t imagine being in a position where I have the same job for 30+ years. I have no clue how people do it! Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and there’s always something new to learn, which keeps things new and exciting.
What do you think has been the most interesting change in the marketing industry or in your channel this year?
All of the continued updates to privacy and tracking limitations definitely keep us on our toes; it’s interesting to see how platforms are adapting to that and the solutions they provide. I’ve definitely noticed the shift towards each platform offering their own version of on-platform shopping, which could be a great way to combat data loss. I’ve yet to make a purchase straight from an in-platform store, but if that takes off it could be very powerful for e-comm brands. Also Facebook re-branding to Meta…I still can’t get myself to call them Meta. It just feels weird.
What digital marketing platform, technology, or skill do you see gaining the most traction in the next 1-2 years, and why?
In terms of platforms, I definitely see TikTok continuing to take the social world by storm. It’s kind of crazy how fast they’ve built what they have compared to other social media platforms. I also have a soft spot for Pinterest and think there’s a ton of potential for that platform – the combination of being both a search and social platform makes them very unique, but I think they have work to do before they can compete with the bigger players as an ad platform.
What are the names and ages of your kids (or furbabies)?
No kids and no official furbabies yet!! I live the fun auntie life in a lot of different ways. :)
Golden with booties = Murphy (sister’s dog) Golden Doodle = Lune (parents’ dog) Cute little mutt = Daisy (neighbor’s dog)
What's something you've implemented or tested, and what was the outcome?
We’re seeing broad match keywords work really well for quite a few accounts on Google! It was definitely something we shied away from a bit when trying to control costs, but it’s been performing well with recent tests. We just have to keep a close eye on search terms!
We’re also seeing Facebook lead generation campaigns work really well. They tend to convert better than driving to the website for leads in some cases, and with Facebook’s new settings to improve lead quality, we don’t have to worry about junk leads. Using in-app lead form ads also provides an additional opportunity for retargeting that doesn’t fall to the data or tracking loss when driving users to a website.