What is your position here at Stream?
I am the Director of Digital Marketing and Web Merchandising. I make sure that our websites convert at the highest level possible by confirming that they have up-to-date specials, promotional information, messaging, and many other optimizations.
So you’re involved with basically all aspects of what’s going on in the digital department?
I work mainly with our auto-focused sites trying to create an efficient and optimized flow for users through those experiences then I add support to non-auto websites—for example, sites such as the Matchbox Restaurant and some technical SEO initiatives for clients such as AWeber, Dantona, Battery Depot, and My Tire Shop.
That’s great when it comes to the end user, but how do you see that benefiting the client? So you have a client and you’re doing all this work, but how does it translate into added value for the client?
The first thing is a level of education that maybe they don’t have—trying to communicate and show them the importance of making sure that the website is both palatable and accessible not just for the average user and the target market, but for robots like Google and other dynamic features.
The next layer of that is trying to make sure that the traffic they’re getting is converting and adding business logic to the layouts and overall user flow.
How long have you been with Stream, and what is your favorite part about working here?
St Patrick's Day 2014, so almost 2 years. My favorite part about working here would be the people. I love everyone that works here. The culture for me is definitely priceless.
I have worked in lots of agencies and other companies where people were a lot more high strung, uptight, and less adaptive to change and a little more bull headed than we have here at Stream. I mean, we talk about some of the average troublesome clients, and it’s really nothing compared to having a troublesome team.
So for me it’s a priceless factor, it’s my main motivator to be here (in the Malvern office) and work with people even though I’m personally closer to our satellite office (in Philadelphia).
You mentioned what you didn’t like about previous employment. What is it that you like about Stream specifically that makes this experience stand out compared to other work experiences because even an average place can seem good when compared to a bad one?
Beyond culture, because that is a big thing, projects and the types of things I’m working on. I have a lot more free reign than I had before at other agencies. Some agencies try to pigeonhole you into a process or a discipline, whereas at Stream I think there’s more openness and integration between teams. Whether it’s working with the SEO team or the development team, exposure to a lot more skill sets is what sets Stream apart.
Now that we’ve gotten the work stuff out of the way, we’ll start in on the interesting personal stuff.
What types of hobbies do you have that you enjoy outside work?
Well, we have talked about the Flyers a lot. I’m a big hockey guy, I played as a kid. I want to eventually play again as an adult. Great sport but expensive and time consuming, which are barriers for me.
In addition to that, I’m really, really into craft beer and dining experiences. I have helped people open their own dining establishments, helping with training, creating cocktail menus, running pricing margins on draft beer and bottle beer, as well as other operation and creative consulting.
For Halloween, you dressed as Donkey Kong. So if you had to go into battle as one video game character, who would it be?
Who was the guy from Mortal Kombat that always won? Subzero, he was always easy to win with.
So you would pick a Mortal Kombat character?
Well, they were like the original brutal video game fighters, so yeah. But if I had to pick one, it would be Duke Nukem.
Which Disney character do you think would make the worst roommate?
That’s a different spin I never thought of. Mickey in Fantasia was pretty annoying, so I would pick him.
What did you want to be growing up? I wanted to be an engineer. I was always playing with Legos and building stuff.
I started practicing my signature at age 10 because I was going to be a famous hockey player until I hit high school and had to switch to being really serious, so I never had the chance to do it.
Back to work stuff. Who do you look up to? Who do you read articles by or see a video and think this person is on point and try to incorporate that into your work?
If I could take it and divide it into old and new, because I’m super old hat when it comes to advertising, I love, love, love David Ogilvie. He was the quintessential ad man, and his theories still hold true to this day.
Also, Rand Fishkin from MOZ. I just think his dedication to his White Board Fridays and how he made MOZ more of a marketing and automation company away from straight SEO is great. The branding that he did, even within the SEO industry, was/is very forward thinking.
What is your favorite thing you’ve gotten for free?
Favorite? Hmmm. Great question.
What about that crazy mouse pad you have?
That was kind of free and payment for the first tapping of Skull Splitter beer from Scotland for being the talent at the event. I met the owner of the brewery at the draft release event, which was held at a local bar. They wanted me to go on tour with them across the US, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your work here? Maybe a personal insight about Stream that you want to share with the world.
Thanks for asking this question because it jogged my memory about what I like most about being here. It was from the first minute I walked in the door at the old office and talked to Dave Regn and Bill Parlaman specifically. They really hammered home that they want to be better with every day: self-improvement, constantly moving the needle personally and professionally for the company, and just wanting to be better tomorrow than today. It’s something that resounds with me both professionally and personally because I always want to get better.