KLIK is excited to introduce the newest recurring feature of our blog: The “Meet Our Leader” series. For each entry, we’ll be sitting down with a member of our leadership team to discuss their professional journey and gain insights into their role at KLIK and the marketing industry. To start us off, we spoke with Senior Director of Performance Marketing Kwasi Asare-Darko, who gave us an inside look into his role, “growing the agency, growing the team and growing the client!”
This transcript has been lightly edited for context and clarity.
What led you to enter the marketing industry?
I started out as a software developer after graduating with a Computer Science degree and economics minor. My first job involved database server maintenance for a company in Colorado. My first experience with digital marketing was in 2012. I was supposed to be heading up a web design team, but we had issues with our landing page and campaigns not gelling. Eventually, I took over the management of the Google Ads and SEO for the account and that’s where I really got into the digital marketing space. At the agency I worked at in Atlanta, I worked with clients like L’Oréal, UPS and Habit Burger and ended up building a team of paid search analysts. Then, I moved from Atlanta to New Jersey and got a job with PCG, a digital agency mainly focusing on the automotive industry, working with clients like Subaru and Ford.
Directly before starting at KLIK, I worked at [white label digital marketing agency] Conduit, working with the digital arm of Gray television, the third biggest TV network in the world. In my three years at Conduit, I did media, paid search, SEO and at one point ran a social team, before transitioning over to KLIK.
What does your day-to-day look like here at KLIK?
Day to day, my primary responsibility is managing performance to goals. I act as a client advocate, ensuring the team is aligned with the client’s needs. I oversee budget analysis and push the envelope, to see where the client can grow, in addition to the growth of the team professionally as well. To sum it up I view my role as growing the agency, growing the team and growing the client and making sure they are happening at the same rate.
What trends are you observing in the Digital Marketing space that will become important in the next 5-10 years?
On the organic side, we’ve seen pretty huge updates in Google’s user behavior preferences. At one point Google decided that content is going to be the biggest focus for rankings. Once you have good content you’ll be able to rank. If you have a fast website, then you’ll be able to rank as well, organically. They’ve compiled that into one hub where they’re looking at three elements of core web vitals, a report on your site breaking down how and why you rank where you do. In the future, everyone’s going to have a fast website and good content, due to AI content providers and the speed of development. The big difference in rankings is going to be referrals; what do people within the industry think about your product, website and services, that can propel visibility. In the future we’re going to see a lot more partnerships on the organic side, a lot of networks of backlinks. Site speed and user behavior is going to be basic, the lowest bar to get into ranking.
On the paid media side, we’ve seen a lot of advancement with the Google Ads platform. One thing that I have noticed is there’s a lot more automation added into Google, to the point where they’ve included a new trends report, to see how your specific keywords are trending, then they can suggest CPCs for that trend and help with budget management. You’re going to need less support to do the “grunt work” of figuring out keywords to bid on and match type. With automation, we’ll see more individual “reading” of the business, as there will be an ultimate need to have a more strategic mindset, rather than just know-how of the platform.
What’s a common mistake you see people make in performance marketing/media management?
Ignoring the landing page experience. With lead generation, in general, you’re trying to push conversions, converting users is your ultimate aim. So you begin with the end in mind, say you want to reach X people and work back based on those goals. With direct marketing, there’s a lot of emphasis on the landing page experience. Performance marketing goes beyond that to use other sources to guide decision making, which is great because then you can have more data to be able to inform how you manage your campaigns, but a lot of times the landing page experience is forgotten. Understanding how people convert and flow through a website can get lost if you’re only looking at data.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to those looking to enter the industry?
I really like the idea of beginning with the end in mind.
What sets KLIK apart from other professional experiences you’ve had?
My previous agency is a white label agency, which meant I had interactions with more than 200 other agencies. One thing that was a common thread among big and small groups that predicted success is the ability to be close to the business such that you can almost “read” the business if it’s in the scope of work. You could almost make business decisions for them, based on the data we’re seeing.
What sets KLIK apart is the performance marketing piece, which hasn’t really caught on, in the space as a whole. There aren’t a lot of other agencies doing performance marketing because they’re needs to be a lot of investment in it, especially at analyst level, who can really read the data. That’s what sets KLIK apart; being able to read businesses from a performance side and use data to drive big decisions and investments in the right places.
Where can we find you outside of work?
These days I spend a majority of my time with my daughter and family, but I used to off-road quite a bit, in ATVs and Jeeps. My brother is a full stack web developer and over the weekends is when we catch up, think of ideas and start projects. We’re in the middle of three right now.
BONUS: Lightning Round
First Job? TA in College
Bucket list destination? I really want to go to Namibia
Favorite day of the week? Tuesday
Right now, we should be watching: Inside No. 9
Book(s) you’d take to a deserted island? Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Instagram, because I use it.
Three words to describe yourself are: Practical, Measured and Intuitive