Hey Brian, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi y'all - Im Brian. I was bored and partially raised in the Philippine islands and ultimately grew up in Orange County.
I love traveling and exploring new places - short term goal is to visit all US national parks - currently at 12 - long term is visit all the continents. I am also a little late into discovering music and before the lockdown I would go to every rave, concert, music festival, and clubs I could get to. Until we can get back to that - I find myself deep in the into the gardening phase of lockdown.
Can you tell us what you do as the a Digital Marketing Manager at Hurrdat Media for those who are unfamiliar?
I am a Digital Marketing Manager - I work with a team that oversees the strategy and execution of for all of Hurrdat Media's digital platforms including social media, paid media, email marketing, and influencer marketing.
How did you decide to pursue marketing?
OK get ready... this is a long one.. I've been at it a while.
Honestly this was far from "Plan A" for me. I actually have my degree in clinical psychology with hopes to become a clinical therapist after spending sometime in the Navy to help pay for Med School. That was Plan A and had been since high school. It wasn't until my last semester of my 5th year in college that I realized this may not be the role for me. As luck would have it, my then girlfriend - now wife, worked at DreamWorks Animation and her team had an opening for an intern which I quickly snatched up.
That was the start of my entertainment career. From there I took a short contract to work at Disney Consumer Products as a graphic designer working on the Hannah Montana account. I then moved on to Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for a short contract as a creative services coordinator before taking a role at Paramount Pictures as an Executive Assistant to an SVP for brand marketing.
The previous roles got me interested in the entertainment industry and this role got me interested in marketing. After a few years I felt trapped in spread sheets, pivot tables, and P&Ls (Profits and Loss) charts. Which lead me to leaving the company for a couple of years to become a photographer to indulge my creative side. That eventually became too much of a creative role and I started to miss the strategy and analytics of marketing. So I decided to try my luck again in the corporate world and ended up back at Paramount in their newly established Digital Marketing and Publicity department. There I was introduced to the world of Social Media Marketing and was able to run some of Paramount's largest campaigns both domestically and internationally. I held this role for about 3 years until I got an offer to be a part of a larger team at Universal Pictures.
During my second run at Universal, I had the opportunity to strategize and execute over 300 digital marketing campaigns over the course of 4 years. There I was able to learn how to step beyond social media and plan for a more wholistic digital marketing campaign which included paid media, influencer marketing, micro-sites, etc with the overall goal of really turning those who we engaged with into our own brand ambassadors.
Finally, that brings us to today. The last several years (and several roles) has shown me that my passion is in media and digital marketing. But, Universal was not able to provide me with the next steps I needed to take in my career which is to be in a position of influence and leadership. So I left. As I write this, I am currently on day 6 with my new company Hurrdat Media. I am now in charge of overseeing all of the digital strategy across Hurrdat's Podcast, Film, and Print Media devisions. I will be leading a small but amazing team of individuals who's main goal is to strengthen our little pseudo startup's positing as a multi channel media company.
What programs & tools do you use everyday for work? What do you like/dislike about these programs?
As I mentioned - I am currently at day 6 as I write this - however, it is my eventual goal to implement data analysis services into our company's tools and arsenal. I am a firm believer in properly analyzing, segmenting, and understanding your true audience and you can't do that without looking deep into the data. I look forward to utilizing Sprinklr, ListenFirst, Sprout and a wide variety of services to better understand who and how we talk to our audience.
Any advice on how to get started for those interested in digital marketing?
Get yourself out there. Don't be afraid to reach out to strangers and ask for informational interviews. Go to as many networking events as you can. Collect those business cards. Reply to cold calls from recruiters. Don't be afraid to try something new or different.
When you are just starting off is the perfect time to explore different opportunities and chase dreams. Don't feel like you are stuck because of where you went to school, what experience you do or don't have, and who you do or don't know. What is the worse that could happen - there is always time to course correct.
What are some must-have resources (books, tools, podcasts, etc.) you would recommend for your industry?
You need to find an outlet to escape to from time to time. For me it's Spotify and my random playlists. It's very easy to get sucked in deep in this industry and you need to take a breather every now and then.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
1. Whole lot of patience
3. A solid poker face (because you will likely need to bullsh*t your way out of something at some point to buy you time to come up with the right answer).
Most satisfying & difficult thing about your job?
Both one and the same for me and that the constantly changing challenges in digital. Just when you think you figured out the platforms, they change the algorithm, add new rules, kill features, or just start up a whole new one just to mess with you.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
take more electives in college and learn new and different things - also, don't date that one girl with the glasses - it wont end well.
Best advice you've received/heard?
Find a way to be able to step away from your work and reconnect with yourself. Work life balance is real.