Updated: Nov 20, 2020
So the end of 2020 is finally in sight and what a year it's been! Enough has been written about its challenges, so I'm not going to dwell on that. That's not to say though that 2020 hasn't had personal lows - it certainly has. But for me, I'll forever have great memories of this year. Working from home and avoiding the commute (yay) and the flexibility it’s brought has been incredible. For me, 2020 has been about spending time outdoors with my family, watching my children grow, barbecues, and marvelling at the resilience of this (largely) wonderful country.
But 2020 is also the birth year of Caerus Digital Media. For a long time now, it's been a dream of mine to form something new, something of my own, so when the opportunity to create my own digital media agency presented itself, I knew I had to grasp it. Hence the name: Caerus, the Greek god of opportunity, was the perfect moniker.
The road to get here has been long, and I'm going to learn so much about myself, business, the industry, and I hope you, the reader. But like I said, the journey has been long, and it's been fascinating seeing the ever-changing face of digital marketing. We're forever in beta, and that's what I love about this industry.
It all began for me as a fresh-faced graduate back in 2004. The new Marketing Manager at Jongleurs Comedy Club. This was way before the days of widespread Internet usage: before the iPhone changed the face of mobile, Facebook was still in nappies, and Google barely out of them. I took an interest in digital marketing, promoting the Club on web forums, chat rooms and local news websites and it worked! It helped achieve my personal objective, which was, at that time, bums on seats.
After a crazy busy, yet highly enjoyable stint at Jongleurs, the time came for me to move from Cardiff (my home town) to London where I took up my first agency role as a Planner. My work mainly focussed on traditional print media: Facebook ads didn't launch until November 2007, but the Internet was booming, and the quantity of ads I was placing online was sky-rocketing. Back then, the focus was heavily on online job boards (is Monster still a thing?). Digital ads were far more commercially attractive to agencies and we were receiving commissions of up to 35% against a standard 15% from traditional print media, so there was an added incentive agencies to place ad £ online.
At the turn of the last decade, when at least 80% of budgets were in traditional offline media channels, I found myself totally and completely absorbed by paid social media. I began relentlessly teaching myself the ins and outs of Facebook Ads, and everywhere it seemed, the industry was starting to see the advantage of programmatic display campaigns (keep an eye on future blogs for what this means!).
In 2014, I joined WPP's MEC. Moving through the ranks, I immersed myself in paid social, display and programmatic advertising and it’s forever-changing landscape. Who new so many new ad formats could appear at such an exponential rate! MEC (who later became Wavemaker) - was the place where my expertise and passion soared and I owe a lot, to many extraordinary colleagues, clients and media partners who taught me so much.
My final venture, before taking the leap out on my own was heading up the Paid Media team at We Are Social. The role, fantastic, the team experienced and dedicated, but my heart, I realised, lay elsewhere. So here I find myself, living my own dream, my own business venture, where I gratefully and graciously find myself today.
What next? Over the next few weeks, I'd like to teach you the basics of digital advertising - what it is, what forms it takes, how it works and the different platforms. I hope you’ll keep reading..
Ps. I’m always happy to answer any questions, however big or small, so do please get in touch!
I'm looking forward to taking this journey with you.