Wil will be keynoting at Engage 2020 which will be taking place March 12th and 13th at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.
1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
I am the founder of Seer Interactive and I’m our innovation lead at Seer. I try to keep us ahead of the curve, innovating in areas where clients see value.
2) I used to work for an agency that IMO diverged from its mission and purpose when it got to about the size that Seer is currently. How do you prevent that from happening at Seer?
Not having investors and being financially independent enables me to build Seer as I see fit. I’m also open to Seer being different as we grow, missions can change over time, ethos should not. I’m a different founder now because I’ve learned things over my 17 years running Seer, I have to be open to the fact that what I thought was one way to do things in 2010, I might have learned some new perspectives and in 2020 I might take us in a different direction as a result of what I’ve learned.
3) Being a militant telecommuter, I did notice where you used to be strongly against the practice before relenting. How are remote working arrangements doing for Seer?
I wasn’t against it, so much as I could get the talent I needed w/o going there and I preferred deeply knowing the people I worked with. I would say remote is a learning experience, every month we learn, we constantly solicit feedback…as a company with 2 offices, we find that people earlier in their careers get a lot more FOMO than people who are more seasoned. We’ve also given a budget for all remote people to come to our offices (they can choose Philly or San Diego) 2-3x a year.
4) Your current title is “VP of Innovation”. Can you share some examples of recent Seer Innovation that have generated solid ROI for clients?
I would say everything I’m working on is shared on our YouTube channel, the way we’re combining SEO & PPC data using tools like power bi and Tableau, when I went out there looking I had to learn from finance videos because search marketers just aren’t using it much and if they are no one was sharing that information on YouTube. My biggest wins are probably that we estimate we’ve saved clients 11 million over 3 years in wasted PPC spend, by using the SEO clues to validate the terms in PPC. By having all of our data in Bigquery now, we compare every client to every other client…recently a client wanted us to help them launch on Reddit, I was able to show them that when compared to almost 100 others accounts they were at the bottom of targeting keywords where Reddit was in the top 10, but for Yelp they were in the top 5.
5) Looking at your LinkedIn Profile, I can see that we’ve both are 20 -year digital marketing veterans. What are some of the lessons that you learned during the digital “Wild West” that have helped pave your way to your current success?
Every tactic has a shelf life. That has always kept me focused on the next thing vs being happy that the current thing is working so well. The stuff I was doing in 1999-2007 has little to no value in 2020. It wasn’t until I started looking more at customers and how to solve their problems over solely what Google wanted that I started to learn things that stand the test of time, how people buy hasn’t changed since the advent of marketing. The channels they use always change.