Tara Miskelly Of M&C Saatchi One-to-One On How to Effectively Leverage The Power of Digital Marketing, PPC, & Email to Dramatically Increase Sales

An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Have Passion: Passion is contagious and as a digital marketer and as a manager you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. If you aren’t, it can be very hard to motivate yourself to want to run the best campaigns or be the best manager you can be. A lack of passion may manifest in to failed campaigns, unhappy clients or unhappy employees.

Marketing a product or service today is easier than ever before in history. Using platforms like Facebook ads or Google ads, a company can market their product directly to people who perfectly fit the ideal client demographic, at a very low cost. Digital Marketing tools, Pay per Click ads, and email marketing can help a company dramatically increase sales. At the same time, many companies that just start exploring with digital marketing tools often see disappointing results.

In this interview series called “How to Effectively Leverage The Power of Digital Marketing, PPC, & Email to Dramatically Increase Sales”, we are talking to marketers, advertisers, brand consultants, & digital marketing gurus who can share practical ideas from their experience about how to effectively leverage the power of digital marketing, PPC, & email.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tara Miskelly.

Tara Miskelly is an Account Manager at M&C Saatchi One-to-One — a CRM agency who have a portfolio of high-profile clients including Moët Hennessy, Brightpearl by Sage, Christie’s and more. Her main responsibilities here include leading and optimizing Moët Hennessy’s CRM activities and practices across their brands to increase brand awareness, loyalty and drive sales.

Tara has over seven years experience delivering successful digital marketing, PPC, and email campaigns across many industries from retail to real estate for clients including Moët Hennessy, CBRE, Spear Street Capital, and Dulux. Her speciality lies in her in-depth knowledge of the digital marketing landscape and her ability to create campaigns that drive conversions and turn online channels such as Social, Search, or Email into a company’s key source of revenue. Tara loves how digital marketing allows her to utilize both her creative and analytical skills.

In her spare time, she enjoys putting her Masters degree in UX Design to good use by working on her portfolio and building mobile apps (she’s currently working on building a mobile app to help better educate people about sustainable fashion). She also loves going to art museums, exploring New York City or FaceTiming with her family in Ireland.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I’ve always been a creative and analytical person so when it came time to choose my major in college I decided to pick Marketing as I felt it was the best of both worlds. At the time, digital marketing wasn’t known at the scale it is today. It wasn’t until my final year in college that I actually had a class that focused on digital marketing but after the first class I was hooked! I thought it was incredible how much data you could glean from platforms like Google Analytics and how this data could be used or presented to inform a marketing strategy. I wanted to gain real-world experience in this field so I got an internship during my final year of college. This internship involved me implementing the full digital marketing life cycle to successfully launch a mobile savings app into the UK market.

Once I graduated, I started running digital marketing for a popular retail store in Dublin, Ireland. By harnessing strategic campaigns across social media (paid and organic), Google Ads and SEO, I was able to turn the store’s online channels, specifically its social media, into its number one channel for sales, far surpassing in-store sales which had been its bread and butter. After this role, I spent several years in digital marketing and creative agencies leading successful social media, PPC and email marketing campaigns for clients including CBRE, Dulux, Hibernia Reit, Spear Street Capital, and Travelport. Leading so many digital projects sparked my curiosity in UX Design so I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in UX Design whilst working full-time.

After my Master’s, I moved to New York where I was really exposed to the importance and best practices of email marketing and CRM. Currently, I am an Account Manager at M&C Saatchi One-to-One and I’m responsible for optimizing Moët Hennessy’s CRM activities and practices.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

This might be a classic intern mistake but in one of my earlier marketing internships, I misspelled a few words in an email and sent the email on the wrong day! At the time, I thought this would mark the end of my career and I’d be fired immediately but thankfully my boss wasn’t too annoyed. It’s funny to look back on that now as I’ve since seen big brands fall victim to similar mistakes.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I’ve been very lucky in that people took a chance on me at the start of my career when I didn’t have much experience.

In particular, Louise Stokes, who owns the retail store I worked with, really nurtured my creative side but also taught me how to present the data I found in a concise, compelling and easy-to-understand manner. Additionally, Ian Blake and Brona Donlon at Squaredot took me under their wings and introduced me to the best practices around the client-facing side of the business and how to be a better Account Manager. They also educated me on the more technical background of SEO — the information and principles I learned from this is still something I use today.

Lastly, all of my colleagues at M&C Saatchi One-to-One who truly embody what it means to be collaborative and a team. Their support has not only helped me grow in my career but in my personal life too.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We’re not your typical agency in that we don’t label ourselves as a branding agency or a marketing agency per se. Instead, we really focus on creating impactful, human connections between brands and their consumers at a one-to-one level and hone in on what the best platform to achieve that connection is.

Our focus on creating impactful, human connections is also deeply embedded in our company culture. The Leadership team genuinely cares about their employees which can sometimes be difficult to find in the agency world. Every employee can also set up an initiative dedicated to a topic that they each care about. I choose to focus on mental health and have started to implement ways to create a positive mental health environment in the workplace which has been well received so far.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  1. Be Emotionally Intelligent: The difference between a leader who is emotionally intelligent versus those who aren’t is night and day. Being emotionally intelligent creates a positive, productive and collaborative work environment and gives space for people to be open with each other.
  2. Stay Humble & Be a Team Player: No matter how senior you are, no task should be ‘beneath you.’ You should always be willing to offer a helping hand to your team when they need one.
  3. Be Organized & Focused: It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the number of tasks you have to do which is why it’s important to be organized and stay focused. Every week I write out my top 5–7 goals/priorities for the week and I have a daily to-do list to keep on top of my deadlines. If possible, it’s better to plan your day the night before so that you’re clear on what needs to be done when you wake up.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes! I’m currently leading a rebranding project for our pro-bono client — the Carlton Locksley Bennett Foundation. This is an incredible charity which educates people about the effects of gun violence and supports the at-risk youth in their local community. Through our rebranding efforts, we’re hoping to give the charity more of a presence online and in the community to help them reach more people not just in their community but across the US. I hope, in turn, this will let young people at risk of homelessness, mental health issues and gun violence know there is somewhere they can turn to for help.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main questions of our interview. As we mentioned in the beginning, sometimes companies that just start exploring with digital marketing tools like PPC campaigns often see disappointing results. In your opinion, what are a few of the biggest mistakes companies make when they first start out with digital marketing? If you can, please share an example for each.

  • Ignoring campaign & conversion set up: In my experience, a lot of companies tend to skip one of the most crucial steps — setting up their campaign and conversions correctly. I’ve seen it many times where companies push a campaign live without connecting platforms like Google Tag Manager or Facebook Conversions to their campaign. In doing so, they risk garnering the most accurate results from their campaigns and may not have a true picture of which online channel brings them the most conversions and has the highest conversion rate.
  • Jack of all trades, master of none: Companies can get super excited about digital marketing when they first start out and may want to try every platform. This can translate into a lack of focus or leave consumers confused. Of course, it’s important to have a presence online across different platforms but it’s also important to focus on channels where your customers are and being a ‘master’ of these channels.
  • Optimizing: Digital marketing, especially PPC, is an ever-changing, competitive industry so it is important to keep on top of campaign performance and optimize campaigns accordingly. With real-estate clients, I’ve actually found the market can change quite quickly so you’re always having to review keywords to make sure they’re as relevant as possible.

If you could break down a very successful digital marketing campaign into a “blueprint”, what would that blueprint look like? Please share some stories or examples of your ideas.

A “blueprint” of a successful digital campaign would look like the following.

  1. Research: Get an understanding of the industry and the client to better inform your strategy and plan (see step two). This includes conducting a competitor analysis to see what platforms their competitors are on, what the industry average spend on search and social ads is, carrying out keyword research and more. This phase also involves reviewing the client’s existing social media, PPC, and email campaigns and assets to determine what performs well for them and what doesn’t.
  2. Strategy & Plan: The next step is to build a strategy and plan. This can include;

Campaign Objective

Time and Duration

KPIs to measure the success of the campaign

Platforms to be included in the campaign (if it’s multi-channel) and a breakdown of these channels e.g. ad budget and the estimated reach with this budget (if relevant), number of assets, the audience to be targeted or the audience the comms should be sent to

Campaign Timelines

3. Set Up: Ensure all conversions you want to track are successfully set up and tracking accurately. This stage also includes setting up or creating assets.

4. Execute: Roll out of the campaign.

5. Managing, Analyzing & Optimizing: Continue to monitor the performance of the campaign to determine when you might need to step in and tweak it to enhance performance or to check that all is running smoothly.

6. Results & Learnings: Post the campaign, put together a review of the results and learnings to determine what worked and where you should continue to lean into or what didn’t perform well and how you can learn from this.

Let’s talk about Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) for a bit. In your opinion which PPC platform produces the best results to increase sales?

In my opinion, Google Ads. There are so many different ad formats for different types of campaigns. It also works with you to give campaign optimization suggestions and allows you to quickly remove keywords that aren’t performing well.

Can you please share 3 things that you need to know to run a highly successful PPC campaign?

  1. Keyword research: Conducting keyword research to ensure you’re bidding on the best, most relevant keywords or phrases that your target audience is searching for is crucial. You can use free tools like Google Ads keyword planner or paid tools like Moz to conduct keyword research.
  2. Understanding the platform: Getting to know a new platform can be daunting, especially if you’re not super digital savvy, but it’s so important to know what a platform has to offer to make sure you’re fully utilizing it.
  3. Determining Your Strategy & Goals: Knowing why you’re running a PPC campaign and your goals for the said campaign will not only determine the type of ad you run but will also inform the messaging of your ads. Messaging is important as Google has a word count cap so you need to make sure you’re getting your message across and enticing consumers to click your ad, eventually turning them into customers.

Let’s now talk about email marketing for a bit. In your opinion, what are the 3 things that you need to know to run a highly successful email marketing campaign that increases sales?

  1. Segmentation of your database is so important with sales as it allows you to better understand customers in the database and send relevant, targeted communications to them.
  2. Testing & analyzing subject lines, CTA copy, creative, etc. is crucial as it will help you understand what messaging your database is engaging with during what time of the day or year and can inform your strategy moving forward.
  3. Air traffic control and the cadence at which you send email communications are crucial. The last thing you want is for your sender score to go down or your email address to be reported as spam or blacklisted!

What are the other digital marketing tools that you are passionate about? If you can, can you share with our readers what they are and how to best leverage them?

I’m a big fan of Moz and Semrush for keyword research, competitor analysis, page scores and more! Both tools are incredibly intuitive and insightful.

Google Tag Manager is a tool I’ve been using a lot over the last few years. It integrates so seamlessly with your website, other Google products, social media and more to make tracking (and your life as a digital marketing manager) a lot easier.

Here is the main question of our series. Can you please tell us the 5 things you need to create a highly successful career as a digital marketer? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  1. Stay Curious: As I mentioned earlier, digital marketing is an ever-changing industry and you need to stay curious to be on top of new tools, platforms or trends.
  2. Be Open: This ties into my first point, I believe you need to be open when it comes to being a digital marketer. Just because you’ve found a way that works doesn’t mean it always will. Even after years in the industry, you might be surprised as to how content you once thought wouldn’t work on a platform now does. I know this has definitely happened to me.
  3. Embrace Your Creativity: A big part of being a digital marketer is being able to be analytical. However, I believe embracing your creativity can often be overlooked. Digital marketing is a saturated industry, you need to add an extra flair to your campaigns to break through the noise.
  4. Have Passion: Passion is contagious and as a digital marketer and as a manager you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. If you aren’t, it can be very hard to motivate yourself to want to run the best campaigns or be the best manager you can be. A lack of passion may manifest in to failed campaigns, unhappy clients or unhappy employees.
  5. The Ability to be Concise: When a campaign performs well or content is highly engaged with, it can be hard to not want to list off all the amazing analytics that showcase this. However, it’s important to be able to shift through this data to create compelling and concise findings that others can understand or that indicate success at a high level to key stakeholders.

What books, podcasts, videos or other resources do you use to sharpen your marketing skills?

I really enjoy reading Neil Patel’s blog posts on his website neilpatel.com as well as content on sites such as Digiday and AdWeek.

A book I come back to time and time again when I need a little push is “Little Black Book” by Otegha Uwagba.

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. Here is our final ‘meaty’ question. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Even more open and honest conversations around mental health and access to affordable mental health care.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can connect with me on LinkedIn!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

Tara Miskelly Of M&C Saatchi One-to-One On How to Effectively Leverage The Power of Digital… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Recommended Posts