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Anatomy of a Growth Marketer: Chelsea Fusco, Core Digital Media

Written by: Shane O'Neill, Director of Content

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

Core Digital Media can be safely called a one-stop shop for online marketing and consumer acquisition.

Chelsea Fusco, Core Digital

The Playa Vista, Calif.-based company (and Nanigans client) offers lead-generation advertising for the financial and education markets. Its services run the gamut across display, paid search, mobile, and social marketing. It also offers services for marketing consultation, advertising creative, A/B testing, analytics and reporting. Core’s optimization algorithm allows for testing of over 1,000 creative per month and supports over 2 million decisions per day.

CDM also owns and operates the websites LowerMyBills.com, which connects consumers with a variety of loan services, and ClassesUSA.com, an online higher-ed portal.  

The marketing team at CDM is completely in-house. It is responsible for marketing construction and consultation for ad creative, A/B testing, analytics and reporting.

Recently we asked Chelsea Fusco, the company’s senior online marketing manager, to share more details about CDM’s marketing org and offer advice on building an in-house team.


What is your role at Core Digital, and what attracted you to it?

My title is senior online marketing manager. I feel like working at CDM is unique in that the company exists in a competitive, fast-paced, ever-changing industry and still maintains its collaborative, nurturing spirit. People are encouraged to think creatively and take risks. The result is a group of people invested in and energized by the work they do.

What initially attracted me to Core was its commitment to decision-making rooted in data analysis. It’s very rewarding work to come up with your own idea, execute on it, and watch it produce measurable, actionable results.

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

Our team’s goal is to create engaging ads that show results for our partners. As a marketing manager, my three main levers to drive performance are targeting, bidding, and creative. A typical day starts with optimizing existing campaigns and letting our team of analysts know how campaigns are pacing against goals. We then identify any strong performing creative that could be rolled out to larger audiences.

Having the ability to adapt, test new strategies, and step outside of the typical creative best practices is so invaluable in an industry that’s constantly changing.

After taking inventory of the day’s performance, a media buyer will usually dive into historical data for some insights we can take action on.

Describe how your marketing team is structured. How many members? What are the roles and responsibilities?

The marketing team consists of approximately 30 people. It includes media buyers, campaign managers, and designers. Both buyers and campaign managers are responsible for creating, optimizing, and analyzing paid marketing campaigns for consumer brands on display, native and social platforms.

Marketing’s main responsibilities are to test creative, fine-tune our targeting audience, and manage bids. We also do quantitative analysis of performance data and present it to the team. We look to our designers to create emotionally compelling image and video content that will prompt users to engage with our ads.

In what ways has Nanigans software helped Core Digital become a more sophisticated advertiser?

Nanigans offers customizable views so we can easily aggregate and interpret performance data. The ability to clone and rebuild existing ads, combined with the ability to make bulk bid adjustments, really complements our fast-paced testing environment.

Nanigans also has a creative taxonomy that allows us to optimize campaigns at the most detailed levels. This has had a compounding impact on our bottom-line performance.

How do you see the digital advertising landscape changing in next five years, and what should marketers do to capitalize on this shift?

I see two major trends happening. Advertisers are applying personalization as quickly as the rapid advances of machine learning allow. And, advertisers are utilizing and capitalizing on the availability of complex customer records.

Over the next five years, I predict that digital advertising will become an even more tailored experience, employing data in innovative ways. Advertising platforms will continue creating new ad formats, such as virtual reality ads, to keep consumers engaged.

What advice would you give to companies trying to develop in-house advertising talent like yours?

Marketers should always consider out-of-the-box ideas and avoid scoffing at them. The big swings are what result in the biggest payouts. Having the ability to adapt, test new strategies, and step outside of the typical creative best practices is so invaluable in an industry that’s constantly changing.

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