We’re back for the June Inside the Industry with a fresh young face, Tiffany daSilva, Senior Digital Marketing Manager and Aspiring Growth Hacker at Achievers. I had the pleasure of meeting with Tiffany a few weeks ago. It was evident right away that Tiffany loves what she does and is passionate about contributing to a positive future for the tech industry. Her accomplishments reflect this; she has received several awards this past year and was chosen to participate in the Techwomen Canada Program. We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her a bit better.
We’re always looking for inspiring leaders in the advertising, marketing & technology space. Is there someone you would like to see featured or a specific question you would like addressed? Please feel free to Tweet us any questions or suggestions for future interviews!
Q: There is an interesting story behind how you found yourself specializing in Digital Marketing and SEO/SEM. Tell us about it, won’t you?
A: [Laughs] Yes, it’s been interesting! I’ve actually been doing SEO since I was nine years old. When I was growing up, the internet didn’t have the kid-focused content that it has today – so my favorite game was creating websites and discovering ways to make it show up on Yahoo. Around 11 years old, I even created an affiliate site, selling shaving products.
When I went to university, I took communications and didn’t think anything of the work I did when I was a kid because for me, it didn’t seem like “work”. It wasn’t until I interviewed for my second job did I learn that SEO was actually a “game” adults specialized in and that’s when my career really took off.
Q: Tell us about what exactly a Senior Digital Marketing Manager does at Achievers. We would love to hear about all the aspects of your position.
A: I wear a lot of hats in this role, which is part of the fun! On the inbound marketing side, I handle the SEO of our website and work with our awesome Community Manager, Katie Paterson, on our social media. With outbound marketing, I manage our SEM campaigns and direct marketing programs. Throw in some analytics and demand generation focus and you’ve got a typical day as a senior online marketing manager.
Q: The world of digital marketing is constantly changing and it can be very challenging to keep up with new trends and information. What are some of your strategies for keeping fresh and current?
A: Staying fresh and current definitely takes effort. I come in early in the morning while the office is still quiet and take time to crawl through inbound.org and other favorite marketing and news sites to identify major happenings in the industry. When I spot something I haven’t heard of before, I jot it down and dive deeper into additional articles or books. I also try to read at least one book in my space a month. After I read a book, I draft an article or PowerPoint presentation about key learnings. This way, I know I understood the content and can apply it.
Q: What digital marketing roles (new or existing) do you anticipate an increased demand for to reflect the way the industry is going?
A: Although social media has been around for a while, its corporate applications are still in the beginning stages – I don’t think we have even uncovered where it can go. SEO will turn into a more content / informational architecture type of role due to the increased importance Google is placing on great content and authorship.
Also, look forward to the inception of “growth hacking” positions. People that are searching for bigger and better things in marketing – the product managers, SEOs, SEMs, etc. – will start defining positions that increase a company’s core metrics through analytical thinking, conversion rate optimization and product engineering.
Q: People tend to fall “head-over-heels” for Achievers, a workplace known for it’s incredible company culture, supportive team spirit and great people. Tell us about your love affair?
A: It IS a love affair. Working at Achievers is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had. The people I work with are so talented and passionate about what they do. I come into work everyday and 1000% believe in the product that I’m marketing and respect the people that are surrounding me, making it happen. I can’t imagine where I would be without the support that I get from my own managers and the challenges that I face in this start-up environment.
Q: 2012 was a big year for you. You won a number of awards including the 2012 Webaward For Outstanding Achievement in Web Development and had the opportunity to participate in the Techwomen Canada Program in Silicon Valley. Tell us about your experience with the program.
A: The Techwomen Canada program was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. Meeting like-minded women and discussing the issues our gender tends to face in this industry was incredibly enlightening.
My mentor, Kristy Cook, VP Strategic Partnerships at Aggregate Knowledge, changed the way I looked at my professional career. The fact that we were able to do all this in Silicon Valley, the birthplace of innovative, technology companies, was the icing on the cake.
Q: As an accomplished woman in a very male-centric industry, what advice do you have for other women looking to break in?
1) Ask LOTS of questions. One of my biggest regrets is that I spent years swallowing questions I thought were irrelevant! Don’t be afraid to ask someone why they did something, how they came to a solution and what impacted their decision. That courage allows you to absorb “real world” advice you wouldn’t otherwise come across.
2) Make mistakes. My biggest mistakes have been my biggest learning opportunities and growth spurts in my career. I probably fail at least once a day, but my wins make up for it in the end. Once you get into the mindset that as long as you’re learning, you’re not failing – you can’t be stopped.
3) Help other people in your industry. I love meeting people in the tech world – especially women. We all have a set of unique challenges that we face day in and day out and having someone to collaborate with outside of your company is so essential to career growth. No matter how new or senior someone is to the industry, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and make a connection. When I started in my consulting career, I worked with Amanda Levy from Positive Workplace. Her work was so inspiring and I learned so much from her. At Achievers, our CFO David Brennan has also been a huge inspiration and mentor. Making the first step is always tough, but what you gain from being a mentor or mentee makes it so rewarding.
Q: Mentoring and encouraging women in the tech space is a big passion of yours. Why do you feel it is so important?
A: I think as women we tend to beat ourselves up a little bit about what we don’t know, rather than what we do. Many women don’t realize that men in the techspace are very collaborative and they rarely do things in a silo. I’ve been fortunate to work with great men at Achievers who have broken down those walls and allowed me to collaborate with them. For other women who might not have had the same experience, I think it’s extremely important that they create that safe space for themselves. This requires some reaching out, swallowing down the insecurity of what you don’t know, and creating those connections that I spoke about before. Women bring a different perspective into the workplace, and I think once we start encouraging each other and collaborating we will feel more comfortable holding our own in this male centric space. I’ve just trying to take part in making that happen with every woman I meet in the technology space.
Interview & Imagery by Rachel Scott
Were you inspired by one of Tiffany’s answers? Did you appreciate a piece of advice? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!
Inside the Industry is a monthly blog series brought you by Boost Agents Inc. aimed to provide current and prospective leaders with an inside perspective on the industry and the amazing individuals that make it up. We speak to passionate leaders in the advertising, marketing, communications and technology spaces about their career path, trends in the industry, what they look for in potential hires and what inspires them.