Wondering What does a digital marketer do? How to become a digital marketer? Read the insightful interview with Horatiu
I’m Horațiu, and I’m a Digital Marketer*. Born in 1984, I’ve early become enthusiastic about the magic of electronic devices. In 1990, I had my 1st contact with ATARI and JVC, soon following the discovery of Romanian BASIC devices: HC-91 and CIP-03. The next step was the immersion into the PC world, my first love being an Intel with x486 architecture, running Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS.
My parents were both accountants. My only brother pursued an engineering career (I’m quite proud of him – he’s currently a fiber-optic network architect). These two facts made me feel some pressure, so I’ve graduated the high school as an accountant and got my undergrad in banks and finances.
The quest begins
Soon after graduation, I’ve tried to fit into a large nr of jobs. From housekeeping, paints jobs, babysitter, being a farmer on a hubs farm, to a marine mechanic assistant, a worker for an automotive wire and cable factory, mobile phones seller for Vodafone, Dead Sea products seller in a shopping mall, and also DJing, Internet and CCTV network assistant, Web Designer and few others I can’t even remember right now.I’ve even tried to pursue the road laid by my family, and at some point, I was working as a Credit Analytics for GE Money. However, the financial crash from 2008 felt here too and put me on a different path that I was happy to take.
And we have liftoff
Long story short, in 2012, I’ve started a job for an SEO agency called SeoMonitor. It was the first job where I felt like I was doing something valuable. Everyone was using Google, but only a few knew the gears and ticks that moved the website ranking. And most of the business owners were looking for guys like me to promote their businesses. My world started to get filled with stories of people that gain immense financial success by leveraging online technologies. After a year and a half, two other colleagues and I managed the technical side of SEO for close to 100 accounts. Combined with my disruptive lifestyle (I was living with two DJs in a studio at that time), it got me to panic attacks and burnout. At that point, I knew I had to change my lifestyle and try something new.
Dust off and try again
For the financial part, I knew that if I could send two invoices per month, I was winning more than the average. And from that thought, I’ve made my own company and started freelancing. For the well-being part, I’ve started going to a psychologist to eat cleaner, practice running, and go outdoors.I’ve started to feel better, and life gave me new opportunities. First, I’ve landed a Digital Marketing Specialist job for a cool eCommerce. I got the task to check their Performance Agency, so I was stepping on PPC ground. It was a short gig, but I’ve learned many new things and made some fantastic friends that help me later. The gig helped me got my company in the VIES (VAT Information Exchange System) and Google Partners program. I even got an internship at a top CRO agency (Conversion Rate Optimisation). I felt that the more I’ve learned in this field, the merrier.
Getting a grip on my life
At that moment, I’ve reached a space where I’ve understood how to wire some’s computer to the internet, build a website for that person, target that person with ads, and make UI and UX improvements to get a specific response from that person. All this with insights from my accounting background about how the companies work and what’s valuable for them.
This is the best part.
A friend from that earlier gig got a Country Manager position for a Fashion retailer. She invited me to start a journey with her and handle the SEO part, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads accounts. I created the accounts from scratch with only small interventions from HQ, and four years later, we had sales of 24M Eur and were top 3 fashion players from Romania. With these results and seven years of digital marketing experience in total, I knew that I could always turn to a Marketing Specialist position.
During this job, I’ve worked a lot on myself. I’ve started from the fundamental question: What is a good life? From the list of “spiritual guides,” which helped me, I could quickly mention Allan Watts, the podcast Philosophy This!, Sam Harris, Tim Ferris, and Simon Sinek. Translating their philosophy into marketing, I would say that my fundamental task would be to set up an accurate tracking tool that will give you a proper representation of the real world. Good data will almost always lead to useful conclusions. And for the rest of the marketing skills and tools, be curious, develop your digital native skills, calculate the opportunity cost, and know that there’s a learning curve to all. During this time, I’ve also managed to finish two half-marathons in under 2h, went on a 10-day vipassana meditation retreat. I’ve also walked over 56k steps/ 493 floors in a day while climbing the highest peak in Romania. And last but not least, I’ve fulfilled my dream to work remotely from Asia for a month and a half.
“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
Right now, I’m working as a Head of Digital of Perceptum Concept. Moran Cerf helped me understand that volunteering is one way to happiness, so I’m also trying to give my time back to communities and help WWF Romania with the Google Ads campaigns and Alternative.Blue, the first zero-waste store from Romania. I’m also online a lot on the Online Geniuses Slack community, where I bring my input as much as my time allows it. I want to close by stating my superpower: sleeping. For someone ambitious, quality resting it’s essential. In a fast-paced environment, relaxing your mind and body for a couple of hours could be more beneficial than the achievements you could make by working that same amount of time. It gives you the time and space to see if your ideas hold on or vanish so you can make better decisions.
Also read How I got my Ed-tech marketing job
What does a digital marketer do?
- Develop the ads campaigns that best suits the product/service of the brand
- Execute the campaign
- Optimize the campaign to generate leads
- Review the campaigns results