What inspires the leaders and experts in our search engine marketing industry and community? In our new “Interviews with Experts” blog series, Formic has chosen to feature fellow experts in an interview-style post discussing what inspires them, how they got into the search engine marketing industry and more.
A big thank you to Todd Mintz for sharing his insights and expertise with us in the interview below. Todd, who has been with 3Q Digital since March 2011, has worked in search engine marketing since 2000 and has used Google AdWords since it began. He also is very visible in the SEM and social media space and is a curator/contributor at MarketingLand. He was one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group), is a current board member, and writes regularly on their blog.
And now for the interview, enjoy!
When did you know that the SEM industry was your chosen career path?
Back in 2000, I worked at a job and I soon figured out that if I didn’t learn how search engines worked for the benefit of my employer, I’d likely wouldn’t be employed by them much longer. I soon realized that search engine optimization was by far the most interesting part of the job with the highest upside…and I was hooked.
Why and what keeps you passionate about the industry today?
That paid search is evolving so quickly and that one needs to continually learn and put those learnings into practice in order to remain the very best.
What is your greatest success and/or failure (what accomplishment are you most proud of)?
That I’ve given my family a pretty darned comfortable life just by playing on the Internet for the last dozen years :.)
What are the top three tools you can’t live without?
- AdWords Editor: I really don’t know how we ever manipulated accounts without this tool.
- Third Party Bid Management Systems (Marin, SearchForce, Acquisio): There are so much extra power in these systems and for the accounts that I get to use these with, it makes my work so much easier and the accounts perform so much better.
- Rhapsody: Online Music All Day FTW!
What is the best piece of advice you have for folks looking to get into the search industry (or best piece of advice that you ever got)?
A couple things:
- You’ll never learn this stuff in the classroom….only in the real world. Old-timers like myself do have a huge advantage in that we were able to become successful just by figuring stuff out on our own. The ability to learn without rules and guidance available is absolutely priceless.
- Digital Wizardry doesn’t mean sh** without it being linked to a positive business outcome. You need to have a decent understanding of the customer’s business and have the ability to map your strategies to their business goals.
What new digital trends can we expect to see in the next few years?
They’ll be even more of a confluence of the various online disciplines than there is currently. Mobile and social will continue to grow in importance and more people will realize how important it is to cultivate and craft their digital footprint.
What industry blog or book has influenced or inspired you the most?
About 5-6 years ago, Aaron Wall published a huge spreadsheet where he calculated the projected AdSense Payouts of thousands of different “money” terms. Even though that spreadsheet would be wildly inaccurate today, it got me to really think about revenue niches and how I could exploit them for personal and professional gain.
Around the same time, Aaron also interviewed domainer Frank Schilling where he compared domains to California Real Estate in the 60’s. About this time, I began to realize that the assets I was purchasing and developing online really were every bit as real and marketable as my offline assets (which made me regret much of the churn and burn spam stuff I did with my earliest domain purchases).
What is one of the biggest mistakes that many digital marketers are currently making?
The parallels between digital marketing and playing music are very compelling (which is why there are a decent number of musicians in our industry). Too many digital marketers think they can “jam” without a solid mastery of the fundamentals. I’ve audited a bunch of other people’s PPC work and I see so much sloppiness and lack of rigor / discipline. One has to have a solid process in place before getting creative.
What do you love most about your city?
It has the highest quality of life of anywhere I’ve ever lived. No wait…it sucks in Portland…everyone hates it here…it rains too much…so if you’re think about moving here from New York / San Francisco / Los Angeles, don’t…your city is much better than ours. (…hehehehehe…)
A huge thank you to Todd for taking the time to answer our questions and share his wisdom with us!
You can find Todd online at: @toddmintz, http://3qdigital.com/author/todd/, http://www.brainserial.com, http://www.linkedin.com/in/pdxsearchengineoptimization and https://www.facebook.com/toddmintz.