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Anatomy of a Growth Marketer: Meghan Kelly, JackThreads

Anatomy of a Growth Marketer is an ongoing blog series showcasing top talent in the field of digital advertising.

Great in-house advertisers are the lifeblood of digital business growth. They are methodical and analytical, using results from real-time reporting to iterate on best-performing creative and copy as well as to identify under-performing campaigns. A seasoned performance marketing specialist is expected to wear many hats, and may be responsible for a significant percentage of spend (resulting in significant company growth).

What’s it like to transition from an agency to in-house advertising — and what are the benefits? We consulted JackThreads’ Customer Acquisition Manager, Meghan Kelly, for insight.

Meghan Kelly

Meghan Kelly

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What is a typical day in the life for your role?

I manage customer acquisition; mainly paid social across desktop and mobile. The beginning of the week is always the most hectic. Getting all the weekend data in by Monday morning is important to better plan for the week ahead. After analyzing weekend performance, optimizations are made by cutting inefficient ads. This clears up dollars and allows us to launch new campaigns.

Immediately after that the marketing team meets to dissect performance from all angles. We discuss each country, channel, and platform, review results of any testing, and map out next steps/action items for the coming week.

I then review the ecommerce pipeline, and input the channels and platforms best fit for each initiative. Some adjustments have to be made as there are certain products/sales that work better on mobile vs. desktop and work better for acquisition as a whole. The creative team meets with our buying team who shares new brands and key initiatives for the week. Creative is developed then we work on our targeting strategy for each new campaign. It’s a balancing act.

How has ad automation software helped your daily life?

I would say [Nanigans Help Center] is definitely the most helpful. If we submit a ticket our reps can easily see what’s going on through the screenshot. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this really cuts down on the time it takes to explain an issue. We’re always able to get a problem solved quickly, which really helps us stay on top of performance.

We also use it if we need suggestions with optimization; the screenshot feature makes it easier for our reps to weigh in with their recommendations for our next move.

Before JackThreads, you were at a mobile-focused agency. What major differences have you noticed vs. advertising in-house?

Coming from the agency side, you have KPIs and your main focus is to meet those. Our KPIs were mainly installs but we always pushed further and tried to highlight the quality driven by pointing out the lifetime value of the user.

Proving our LTV becomes a lot easier as we have more first party data readily available.

Tracking through an MMP we were able to show this through app opens, engagements, time spent in app, purchases, and so on. A big difference with advertising in-house is that proving our LTV becomes a lot easier as we have more first party data readily available. Our data and our amazing analytics team allow us to make more efficient buying decisions. Essentially, working on the agency side you are only peeking behind the curtain, while with in-house advertising you are working daily behind the curtain and become immersed in all aspects of the business.

How can companies attract and develop in-house advertising talent like yours?

To keep learning and to stay creative; I think that’s really important.

What attracted me to this position is that it’s at a larger company than where I came from, but at the same time it still has that startup feel. Freedom is extremely important — I’m not just siloed into one thing; I’m able to meet with many different teams and spread my ideas. To keep learning and to stay creative; I think that’s really important.

Just being part of a brand that means something to you — a lot of people are eager to work with us, and that’s a good feeling. Being approached for beta tests, and being the first to market; that’s exciting.

Is there a career path for your role? Where do you envision yourself in the future?

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure. On the agency side there was certainly a clear cut path to climb the success ladder; Media Planner/Buyer, Media Supervisor, Media Director… you get the picture.  When I shifted my focus to specialize in Social Media I was given the opportunity to carve my own path and I think I have continued to do so here at JackThreads as well.

For more insights from experienced digital professionals, read our Q&As with Kevin Hsu, Janelle Stettler, and Sarah Weiss Breitenother.

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