Digital Marketing Work Experience at Optix

Last week we had Brad Croasdell join us for a week of work experience after he asked Al what qualities were needed from a digital marketer at our seminar in February! We asked Brad a few questions about his time with Optix Solutions. 

Who are you?

I hail from Cumbria in a little town called Appleby-in-Westmorland. I began studying Marketing Management in 2013 at De Montfort University, Leicester where I’ve been playing rugby for the university. I’m currently on my placement year and I’ll be returning to graduate in 2017. 

Why digital?

I have a deep passion for all things digital. I am enthralled by the way consumers think and interact with brands digitally. I believe I have found an industry that matches my energy, creativity and enthusiasm.

What is your specific area of interest?

Everything Search. I find search engine optimisation as well as paid search advertising to be the most fascinating part of digital marketing. 

 Any future predictions?

I believe Google will continue to put the user before businesses and as digital marketers we will have to continue ethical work to get great results. Likewise I believe advances in technology will continue the age of digital disruption in more and more industries and as digital marketers we have to always ask “what next?".

What did you learn @ Optix?

Even after a near year in the industry I’m still learning new tools and methods. I really enjoyed the client aspect working at Optix and it was an amazing experience to build relationships with a range of clients and deliver great results. I can’t thank the team at Optix enough for this opportunity. 

What next?

Well, first I’ll be returning to Leicester to finish my degree and graduate then I'll be looking for a challenging role in a digital marketing agency for 2017. 

Everyone at Optix was really impressed with Brad’s work ethic and hope to get in touch with him once he’s completed his degree. Good work Brad!

If you’re looking to gain more experience in an established, digital marketing environment get in touch by emailing hanna@optixsolutions.co.uk or call us on 01392 667766 and we’ll see what we can do.

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April-Rose James Joins the Optix Solutions Digital Marketing Team

If you follow Optix on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook you'll have seen that we've been recruiting for the next member of our Digital Marketing team. We’ve had a busy start to the year so we’ve been on the lookout for someone new to help us with our ongoing Campaigns and projects for clients. We take the job of recruiting a new member of staff very seriously – each new hire brings new skills, experience and, crucially in a creative area like Digital Marketing, a new perspective. 

We're now delighted to announce that April-Rose James will be joining us shortly as our latest Digital Marketing Account Manager.

April-Rose has 7 years’ experience in Digital Marketing both agency and client side. She's worked with Furniture Village, Fuller's Brewery and a host of other brands in SEO, social media and other elements of Digital Marketing.

April-Rose's passions include:

  • Google’s Micro Moments; not only do they make a lot of sense but they support my thinking in ensuring that Marketing meets the right user at the right moment for them.
  • Self Learning. Whether it’s SEO, Social, Google or PPC
  • Voluntary Work. Improving the community I live in is very important to me.
  • Jazzy Shirts. The more Fresh Prince the better.

April-Rose wowed us when we first met with a presentation she had put together explaining her experience, skillset and her approach to Digital Marketing.

''I'm really excited to be joining the team at Optix, I have been following their work since I began working in Digital Marketing many moons ago so I'm honoured to now be part of such a talented family."

 

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Digital Excellence for Optix Digital Marketing Executive

By providing a high quality service, it's our duty to provide high quality people. One way to do this is encourage your staff to undertake courses and qualifications in their areas of expertise. When the digital frontier changes as often as it does, it's imperative to ensure your staff are on the ball.

 Last year, Chris Mastris undertook his Google Adwords Certificate and passed with flying colours! We asked Chris about his experience:

What does it mean to be Google AdWords certified?

Essentially, getting AdWords certified is a way of demonstrating expertise in Google pay per click (PPC) advertising. Or, to quote Google:

“The Google AdWords certification is a professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords.”

More specifically, being good at using AdWords involves choosing the most suitable campaign types (e.g. search or image ads), setting up advertising effectively, and optimising AdWords campaigns once they’re live.

Beyond achieving the basic AdWords certification, I went a step further and passed the Google Specialist Challenge.

What did you have to do to get qualified?

To get the regular certification, you need to pass the AdWords Fundamentals exam (fundamental concepts and best practices) and one of the specialism exams (more advanced concepts for a specific campaign type) with a score of at least 80%.

However, for the Specialist Challenge I had to pass the Fundamentals exam plus all five advertising specialisms: Search, Display, Mobile, Video, and Shopping.

What does it take to pass?

The exams and study resources are free, so all it takes is a fair amount of time and perseverance.

It probably took me around 5 hours to study for each exam, and the exams themselves are between one and two hours long. However, it helped that I already had a fair amount of experience using AdWords. I found the best way of learning was to just read through the study guide material while also checking things out for myself in AdWords.

What was easy, what was hard?

The studying itself was probably the easiest part- Google provides a well-written study guide for each exam, including links to more information, which makes it easy to read through and digest the content. 

In terms of the material itself, it helped that I was already reasonably familiar with Search and Display advertising. However, I found the Mobile, Video, and Shopping exams a bit trickier.

Why did you decide to do the qualification?

For me, it was mostly about learning the material rather than getting a certificate- although being formally recognised for your abilities is great too. Essentially, I wanted to develop my AdWords skills so I can contribute to even better performance for the accounts we manage at Optix.

What have you gained since becoming Google Certified?

As well as polishing up my existing skills, I’ve learned a lot about the campaign types I was less familiar with before. I’m confident that this will really help, particularly when we’re exploring which types of paid advertising could be the most beneficial for a client.

How have clients benefited from you completing the qualification?

As well as being more effective when it comes to day to day AdWords optimisation, since passing the Specialist Challenge I’ve already contributed to a Shopping campaign, which I wouldn’t have known much about before. Soon we might also be looking at setting up a Video campaign too.

What next for Chris Mastris?

For now, I’m mainly going to focus on contributing to my personal digital marketing blog and Unwritten Digital, as well as generally keeping up with any important industry news. However, I might look at taking on the Google Analytics certification in the future.
 

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Exciting Times Ahead for the Team at Optix

2016 saw an year of consolidation internally and a number of exciting external investments made by the business. With these out of the way, we’re looking to ramp things up in 2017 and go for growth.

The question is, are you the sort of person who can help us achieve this?

Next year we will be on the hunt for super talented people across all divisions of our business. Whether you’re a web designer, a developer, a digital marketer or just damn good at admin, we want to hear from you….but…and here’s the rub – we’re hiring for attitude first so bring your A-game. We’re not interested in complainers or people who clock watch, we want go-getters, we want people who want to be part of something, to help grow and bolster the already fantastic team here at Optix.

If you want a glimpse of what that looks like, check out this video:

While I can’t promise we will have a role immediately, we still want to hear from you. 

So here’s what to do: 

1). Send your CV to info@optixsolutions.co.uk
2). Send us a note explaining what you can bring to our business
3). Excite us

A (very) short history of Optix: 

We started in a bedroom in Exeter University 17 years ago. From there we’ve grown to nearly 20 people. Specialising in Digital Excellence, we have teams in web design, development and digital marketing. We choose our clients just as much as they choose us. Our aim is always to work with them on their objectives, utilising the skills we have in house. We work with the likes of Ashfords, Exeter University, NHS, Crealy and Exmoor National Park to name but a few.  Senior members of our team are well known as thought leaders in the industry, producing content for well-known and industry respected websites as well as speaking at events all over the country and across Europe. We’re passionate about digital, you should be too.

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Digital_Strategy_Adventure

MEET DIGITAL STRATEGIST: SAMUEL SKINNER

As regular readers might know we have had some amazing hires already this year and we haven’t slowed down yet. With an ever-increasing workload we put the call out again for a new team member. No experience was necessary, we just needed someone with genuine enthusiasm, an aptitude for learning and, most importantly, someone who is the right fit for the Optix family.

Well, the call was answered and we are pleased to announce that Samuel Skinner has now joined us as our new Digital Executive.

Hiring with a willingness to train the successful applicant is a great way of broadening the talent pool we can pull our next team member from while also giving us the chance to find someone with useful supporting skills for the team.

As a self-declared creative Samuel has over five years’ experience offering freelance graphic design and illustration services at www.samueltskinner.co.uk while also working for a software company in Somerset and boarding trainee guide dogs at his home in Devon. With an educational background in film and photography too Samuel has a broad skillset that we will enjoy putting to the test while also helping him to learn and develop in his new role (We think those dog-training skills might be especially useful for the office dogs).

We thought we would give the final word to the man himself, over to you Samuel:

“After spending the last year contemplating, deciding on and searching for my career move in marketing I’m absolutely thrilled to have got my chance to break into the sector and very thankful to Optix for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to throwing myself into new role. Please don’t get your hopes up about the dogs though, I’m fairly sure all the guide dogs that graduated did so despite my help rather than because of it!”

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