For our next entry in our “Meet Our Leaders” series, we sat down with KLIK’s Chief Marketing Officer Nicole Hoyt. Read on to learn more about Nicole’s pivot from public service to business and get a peek into her day-to-day overseeing three departments at KLIK!
This transcript has been lightly edited for context and clarity.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your professional Journey– What led you to Digital Marketing and KLIK?
When I first started my career, I thought I wanted to be a diplomat. So I went to work for my congressman from my home state. At the time, I was hoping that would catapult my career into diplomacy, but it turned out I didn’t like working for the government. I was much more business inclined than public service inclined. While I learned a lot during my time in both the house and the senate, I ultimately was craving a more fast-paced career and one with more of a real-time impact.
So, I pivoted my career and a friend of mine referred me to 2U, which is a company in the education tech space. There, I worked in the Brand department at 2U in marketing strategy and account management for 6 of the 7 years. I then decided I wanted to get closer to lead generation and moved my final year into a cross-functional role that was more focused on cross-selling products. I had a great experience at 2U, and that is where I met James. We stayed in touch, and when I heard that KLIK was hiring, we connected. So I thought, why not take the opportunity to move in a direction that is a bit more impactful on a different scale? I had never experienced working for an agency, so I was curious to hear about what that looked like. That’s what brought me to KLIK!
What does your day-to-day look like here at KLIK?
No two days are the same at KLIK, which is great! It is a lot of problem solving, creative thinking, and making sure we are growing in a scalable way.
My personal mission statement for KLIK is “to help my team achieve their fullest potential as they become leaders for their functions.” Right now, I have three distinct departments that roll up to me.
One is the Accounts team led by Andrew Barrett. That team is responsible for projects and making sure we have excellent client service, that we are being held accountable for all of the goals on the performance side, and that we meet and exceed expectations for our clients.
The second is Creative services led by Nicola Goodwin. We are expanding the creative services that we provide to our media clients, so I am super excited to see where that goes.
The third department is led by Jen Krist and is a bit twofold. One skill set is technical SEO and managing organic growth for our clients. The second side of it is working on building out affiliate brands, which should be a lot of fun for KLIK in the future. As we think about digital marketing, a lot of people are searching for answers online. What KLIK wants to do is to make sure we educate certain audiences with great content, are delivering a great brand experience, and answering the questions while making money as a business. This is a very new business line for us with lots of early success, but more is to come there.
To sum it up, no day is the same, but it’s been a total blast.
What trends are you observing in the Digital Marketing space that will become important in the next 5-10 years?
Data privacy is already here. The U.S. is playing catchup to where Europe is on data practices and data privacy when it comes to respecting individual user preferences. So, any organization that does not respect data privacy laws is already behind.
Another major change that hit us earlier this year is the iOS 14 update. This really changes the way platforms like Facebook handle data and track and share data for its users. Therefore it has significant implications on your advertising ability to target on Facebook.
A third change, or area that we need to be aware of as advertisers, is that Google, Facebook, LinkedIn— all the major platforms—are building ‘Walled Gardens’, which is first-party data that they can then sell and use in an advertisement. If you want to be a big player in the game, you have to have your own data. You can’t rely on third-party data anymore.
Lastly, attribution modeling is another theme that will continue to get more advanced as we move into the next decade. Most advertisers look at only last-touch attribution models, which may not fully show the impact of other efforts. Programmatic display is a good example of something that may not be a direct lead generator but provides incremental lift to advertising. The industry overall is going to need to leverage better attribution in order to be able to fully show the impact of marketing efforts. That includes not just direct lead generation channels but also includes Digital and not Digital.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to those looking to enter the industry?
Stay curious. Start by asking questions and see where that takes you. It is such an evolving industry and it is such a quickly evolving space, that I find I still need to follow that piece of advice even after being in the industry for a decade. Don’t think you know everything. You could spend years becoming an expert and still have so much to learn.
What sets KLIK apart from other professional experiences you’ve had?
It’s KLIK’s mission. The team is motivated to do good work at KLIK and really let the data do the talking. I have had a total blast watching and learning from folks only six months out of college who blow me away with their data analysis skills and their recommendations for clients.
This also makes KLIK stand out as a differentiator for us in the agency world. We really go the extra mile to make sure we have a great team in place who knows how to digest and analyze the data in order to make an impact.
Where do you like to do outside of work?/What are you passionate about?
My husband and I are die-hard Mainers. We moved here two years ago and have not looked back since. We love the access to all sorts of outdoor activities, like white water canoeing, hiking, sailing, and cross country skiing.
My personal hobby is yoga. I am actually a registered yoga teacher. Part of my practice is mediation, which is a big part of who I am and something that has really kept me grounded and stay sane. One thing I have picked up recently is the piano. It allows me to use a different part of my brain and has been a great pandemic hobby!
BONUS: Lightning Round
- First Job? Register girl in a sandwich shop at 15
- Best vacation? I went to Colombia three years ago with my husband
- Favorite day of the week? Friday
- What are you watching and reading right now? I just watched the first episode of Squid Game. In my book club, we are reading A Slow Fire Burning.
- FB, IG or Twitter? IG
- Three words to describe yourself are: curious, realistic, outcomes-driven
- What is your go-to lunch or favorite snack for WFH? Hummus