A short Q&A on working in Web Analytics from a friend in the field.
What is the main purpose of your role?
I work as a Digital Specialist in Conversion Optimisation and Web Analytics. My role is very flexible – currently half my time is dedicated to designing and implementing onsite tracking for a client across 140 sites, 31 countries and 14 brands. This ensures that every website is collecting data and that the relevant people have access to the reports. The second half of my time is divided between live projects. My main responsibility is to project manage and strategise. Any spare time is then dedicated to providing internal and client training sessions, answering technical questions, and working with other people and departments.
What do you do in a typical day?
Quite a lot! For the projects I manage, I may update and send through a weekly action log, or have a status call. I tend to have a few meetings throughout day. A benefit in working at large media agency is that a lot of the time, if I need a specialist’s point of view on a different area of media, I just walk up or down the stairs and ask someone! I will spend around an hour throughout the day answering tracking related question. I’ll often then focus on one project that I am working on, for example, designing a tracking strategy, implementing an A/B test, digging into data to find actionable insight, or building a brochure on heat-mapping. I have just begun to be the primary contact for a new starter so will also ensure that he is understanding and getting on with tasks.
What skills and/or qualifications do you need to do your job?
I came to the job with a music degree, which is quite unusual. For my job you need either a good understanding of maths, or a very good understanding of maths formulas in Excel! I would say organisation is key, and a really logical, and methodical mind. Being proactive and knowing how to understand, absorb, and apply information is a very useful skill. Everyone tends to bring an extra skill or two to the table, whether it be web design, web development, presentation skills, organisation, Excel, Access, etc. Knowing an instrument seems to be a plus – we have a pianist, drummer, guitarist, violinist, and tuba player!
How did you get into digital media/marketing?
Honestly, I was finishing my masters and was looking out for jobs in ‘digital’ or computing as I’ve always been interested in it. Neil picked up my CV and invited me to an interview in the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) department, I got the job and moved to London! From there I then got more into it as I learnt about the type of areas that are available to progress in.
What are the career prospects?
It’s definitely a ‘worlds your oyster’ type office. If you are willing to put in the hours and learn about and around what you do, then you can progress pretty quickly. There is extensive training in all areas of media, and often it is possible to move into a different department or shadow individuals to further your knowledge and career. Some individuals even move one of our sister agencies in a different country. I have recently been accepted on an internal high performance program – ‘Route 500’, which helps you to progress quickly and provides support. With a company as big as mine, there are definitely a lot of prospects out there.
What advice would you give to someone looking to follow your path?
The biggest piece of advice is to only follow this path if you have a genuine interest, not only in directly what you do but also in digital. The work is very fast paced, and there is so much to learn, it is really important to just get stuck in. Also be organised from the start in your approach to work, and network! It is really important to know everyone in the office, from the receptionist to the guy in PPC.