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Anatomy of a Growth Marketer: Rachel Arnold, L.L.Bean

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.

Iconic brand L.L.Bean is renowned for developing and marketing products that enable an adventurous, nature-loving lifestyle.

Rachel-Arnold

And it’s at this intersection of product and brand that L.L.Bean’s in-house marketing teams do their best work. They are responsible for revenue-driving performance advertising on Google and Facebook. In addition, the team handles brand advertising for L.L.Bean’s “Be an Outsider” campaign and other programs on channels such as TV, display and digital video.

Recently we asked Rachel Arnold, L.L.Bean’s paid social marketing analyst, to share details about the outdoor apparel giant’s marketing org and offer advice on building in-house teams.

Describe a typical day in the life of a paid social marketing analyst at L.L.Bean.

I always start my day in Nanigans. I review the previous day’s performance and making optimizations. After that, how the day looks depends greatly on the campaigns we are running and preparing for. If I’m launching a new campaign or promotion, I’ll need to spend time trafficking the ads and preparing budgets. 

During a promotion, I will be in the Nanigans platform hourly. There I manage bids and monitor performance. Outside of my day-to-day program management, I spend a lot of my time preparing strategies and gathering insights for future campaigns.

How is your marketing team structured? What are the roles and responsibilities?

I sit on L.L.Bean’s advertising and performance media team. Our team is responsible for brand advertising on channels such as TV and display, and performance media on channels such as Google, Facebook, and affiliates. I’m responsible for both brand and performance paid social media on Facebook platforms.

"My advice is to include your marketing team in all aspects of the business that touch marketing programs ... Interactions with other parts of the business help us run stronger advertising programs."

What’s the biggest digital advertising challenge you face in the competitive outdoor apparel ecommerce space, and how have you overcome it?

L.L.Bean makes high-quality apparel and gear. It’s my job to connect these products with the right customers, whether they are new to L.L.Bean or have been shopping with us for decades. 

One challenge facing us and all other retailers on Facebook is sticking out on a crowded platform. We tackle this challenge by putting forth unique, clear and authentic content that draws customers to our site where they can browse and learn more about L.L.Bean as a company. Then, in our performance social program we lean into the Nanigans’ platform combined with Facebook to target consumers with the right products at the right time.

In what ways has the Nanigans’ platform helped L.L.Bean become a more sophisticated advertiser?

First and foremost, it’s the amazing talent on the Nanigans team. The product specialists we have worked with are truly experts in their field. They work as extensions of our team, offering insights, assisting with new ideas and testing ads to improve performance.

One of my favorite features of Nanigans is the flexibility of the dashboard and ability to quickly toggle views and create custom metrics for analysis. In a matter of seconds I can alternate between looking at creative performance, to audience performance, and then to the ads or campaigns. Nanigans’ reporting flexibility allows us to keep our campaign structures simple.

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

Include your marketing team in all aspects of the business that touch marketing programs. Our team has a deep understanding of our company priorities. We’re involved with budgeting and strategic directions as well as internal partnerships with creative and analytics. These interactions with other parts of the business help us run stronger advertising programs.

How do you see the ecommerce advertising landscape changing in the next five years, and what should marketers do to prepare?

I see that customers are expecting more from the brands they patronize. Product attributes alone will not necessarily convert a sale the way it once could. Brands need to stand for more than just the goods they provide. They need to put forth values and views that customers connect with. 

I’m grateful to be working for a brand that has such a strong and well-grounded mission that it has stood behind for over 100 years.

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