Dan Cook

We have recently welcomed Dan Cook to Coast Digital; he joined us as a PPC specialist and brings with him a wide range of digital marketing and agency experience. As a part-time radio presenter and a sucker for the art of storytelling, Dan has a lot of feathers in his cap and has been a great addition to our PPC team. In this blog, find out more about Dan and how his experience led him to Coast Digital.  

Welcome, Dan! What attracted you to Coast Digital, and what were your first impressions? 

Having worked in an agency background for several years and met a couple of “Coasties”, I’d heard so many good things about Coast Digital before joining. So, when the opportunity came up I jumped at the chance, as it was the step up in account scale and agency size I really wanted for my career. 

So far, it’s absolutely lived up to the billing! Everyone has been really lovely and made me feel so welcome. The organisational structure here is seriously impressive, you really get a sense of the scale of accounts and of the company itself when you’re working on different projects. You get a real buzz from being involved and with the team itself, you’d be hard-pushed not to find it inspiring! 

What attracted you to a career in digital, more specifically paid search marketing, in the first place? 

I’ve always been fascinated by storytelling and the emotions it can evoke. And in any digital advertising-related medium, you’re really being asked how good a storyteller you are and how you can you empathise with the reader and their needs.  

The challenge of doing this in just 30-90 characters and zeroing in on why someone would want to buy into your story really excites me – it’s the “elevator pitch” of storytelling, and I find that really fun! Plus, optimising your ads to get the best return is a wonderful exercise, you often feel as if you are mad scientist-ing your way to the right answer – I’m probably a bit sad, to be honest! 

Tell us about your previous experience and how you will use this at Coast Digital? 

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve worked in agency settings for some time now – so I’ve got a pretty large variety of previous client work experience (large and small) to pull from. And that’s not just in PPC, I actually started out in paid social with a small focus on SEO as well. 

I’m hoping this overall understanding of the marketing mix and the variety of challenges I’ve worked on will really help me bring something different to the team. That and I’ve also presented radio (and still do), which never hurts when it comes to thinking on your feet for something to say in an ad! 

What are the key differences between paid search and paid social? 

There are plenty of similarities on the surface of course, but for me, the key difference comes from the sort of customer you’re looking to reach. 

Do you want someone who already knows what they’re looking for, or offer a specific service like a skip hire company? Then I’d say you’d want to look into paid search. 

However, if you have a business that’s quite creative and interactive with customers, and can educate and show what you offer in a visual sense; then I’d say you definitely want to be looking into using paid social as it’ll help create buzz around your brand. 

In an ideal world, they support each other brilliantly if used in tandem. You can use paid social to educate an audience and drive demand for a product, and then target the new demand for your product with an effective paid search campaign. 

 If you could give us just one simple PPC tip, what would it be? 

It’s a really simple one, but have you checked the networks you’re spending money on in your accounts lately? I’ve lost count of the number of accounts that were being quite wasteful by spending money on the Google Display Network for very little return. It’s an immediate and simple improvement that seems to get missed quite a lot. 

 What does the future of search marketing look like? 

Search is a really exciting place to be right now, given how quickly it’s developing. As Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) gets better at detecting what a searcher’s real intent is through multiple mediums (not just the traditional search engine, but through map listings, voice search etc); you’re going to see those search marketers who can get their messaging in a way that speaks to a human, and not an AI winning out. 

 What’s exciting in Digital right now?  

The exciting thing about digital is always the possibility that absolutely everything could change within the next 5 years. There’s always an innovation around the corner that could blow all the old models apart – look at Facebook scrabbling to reinvent itself thanks to the rise of TikTok! 

It’ll be exciting to see how digital will adapt to an ever-changing world with more complex needs. For example: 

  • How user experience and web development changes will easily bring the things everyone needs – including those with disabilities – making digital change and search more accessible.  
  • How we meet the challenges of privacy in paid search. 
  • Ensuring people are having the most positive digital experience they can.  

For me, digital is the best place to be right now – especially if you like change and want to be at the forefront of how all our lives are changing over the years to come. 

Want to be a part of that journey? Get in touch with our team of digital specialists to get the ball rolling! 

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