In the Hot Seat: Young Search Professional Nominee, Chris Taylor
Chris, tell us a little bit about yourself:
I joined Latitude 14 months ago as an Account Executive and was recently promoted to Account Manager following my work with Latitude’s eGaming clients and supporting product divisions.
I’m fortunate enough to predominantly manage gaming clients, working alongside Latitude’s fantastic eGaming team and the gaming vertical of Latitude’s parent company Callcredit Information Group. My passion towards gaming stems from setting up my first Jackpot-based multiplayer game at age 14 and growing it into a network of games through both acquisitions and licensing to other operators. In terms of my life before I joined Latitude, my past experience has seen me living for a short period in Boston, USA, running a charity I co-founded in Africa, whilst closer to home I previously worked as the Marketing Manager for an insurance company based in Nottingham. This was until Latitude came calling with an exciting role for any digital marketer with a passion for eGaming.
Hold on, did you just say fourteen?
That’s correct! Looking back, it seems quite ironic as you had to be eighteen to play the game, so technically I wasn’t allowed to play the game myself.
I was offered a lot of opportunities following the site’s progression that I wouldn’t normally have had, so I wanted to continue with this route instead of packing my bags for University.
Can you describe a typical working day for you?
My job is essentially to ensure that Latitude’s key gaming client(s) see all the digital channels working closely together and the strategy as a whole is working towards the clients’ business objectives. As an Account Manager, I assume a unique position of working on the campaign across each channel, and whilst at Latitude production teams do work together to share insight, they are predominantly focused on their own area of expertise. This allows me to take a much wider view on current performance, and the strategy across the wider mix.
I work closely with the product teams (such as PPC) who are responsible for driving cost effective and profitable conversions, whilst I then analyse, review and produce plans to maximise performance. This also allows me the opportunity to focus on campaign innovations. Recently, the team and I implemented industry first “real-time scripts” successfully into PPC adverts and used iAD (Apple’s solution for display advertising on iPhone and iPad) to push the campaigns to levels our competitors are unable to achieve, all whilst maintaining consistent campaign growth for our clients.
What do you think your greatest achievement at Latitude has been to date?
Ahead of the World Cup in 2014, I completed a thorough analysis of both previous tournaments and England’s pre World Cup friendlies to ensure our preparation was robust. This research provided some interesting trends in how our audience responded to a client’s wider product mix within our digital campaigns.
We tracked user interest dependent on score, time of the game and the time of the night the TV coverage started, and managed to collate clear data on use behaviour and how it changed according to a variety of variables such as weather. That was a real breakthrough for me and helped us achieve the ‘best ever’ results for the client.
What does it feel like to be nominated for a European Search Award?
Amazing! It’s a really great achievement for me! The other nominees all have really impressive CVs and some of them I already knew about from working in the industry. I think the quality of the other candidates makes it even more of an achievement for me to be amongst these nominations.
Are you excited for the awards ceremony?
I need to get a suit! But yes, I am really looking forward to the ceremony in Berlin. I remember when Latitude won ‘Best Use of Search – Gaming’ last year for the work we did with gaming brand Kerching! I set myself the aim of getting nominated as an Account Manager, and whilst we don’t enter awards for my client, it is fantastic to be acknowledged amongst my peers within one of the most exciting industries in the world.
What shifts in the search industry have you observed over the past year?
As always with the search industry, there are several shifts in trends. You can’t not mention the continued shift to mobile of course. Making mobile strategies a success really comes down to constantly tracking customer behaviour; not just looking at seasonal trends, but analysing the data at a deeper level. The team at Latitude is looking at data beyond the traditional search research, investigating data around the score in the match, weather, social interests etc. We really see our greatest performance from highlighting opportunities that our competitors might not have caught on to. For example, we have reduced mobile CPCs year on year by 24%, whereas the industry benchmarks have actually reported an increase of 13%.
Overall, I think the industry as a whole is trying to be more reactive and working to improve the relevance of their ads and I think it’s great to see operators offering enhanced odds in their ad copy. Those that don’t effectively manage their ad copy really stick out like a sore thumb, for example through pushing an advert for a game that was over a week ago. It’s great that operators and agencies are pushing each other to really progress the vertical, and that’s one of the things I enjoy most about the job I do. The team at Latitude is are currently working on taking our ad strategies even further within eGaming, to reach the innovation seen in the retail industry for example.
Thanks Chris, best of luck!