The Happy Cog team is composed of many different people with unique backgrounds, experiences, and skills. In this brand new “Getting to Know” series, we hope to let our readers get to know the smart and talented people behind the work. From what they do outside of their day jobs to their tastes in music to what inspires them, these posts offer a little glimpse into the lives and personalities of our amazing team members.
To kick things off, we wanted to introduce our newest hire:
Meet Keelan: Director of Digital Marketing Services – California Native, Empath, Fiction Writer
Q: Welcome to Happy Cog, Keelan! We’re stoked to have you on board. Where are you from and where are you currently located? What do you love most about where you reside?
A: Thank you so much! I’m happy to have joined such a great team. I’m a proud Bay Area native. I grew up in San Jose, and lived a good portion of my time in San Francisco. I’ve moved around a lot since those days, and now reside in Brooklyn, New York. I live in a very diverse community, which is probably tops on the list of what I love.
Q: What did you do before you started working here? How did you first find out about Happy Cog?
A: I was the Director of Digital Media at Amsive Digital, an agency based in NY, Nashville & Miami. I’d first heard of Happy Cog from a friend that works with Fireclay Tile [one of Happy Cog’s clients for many years]. So, when I started to look around at the start of this year, a recruiter brought this role to my attention and I was immediately intrigued! It’s rare the stars align in such a way, so I had to go for it!
Everyone on my team is brilliant, and I’m here to remind them of that through good times and bad.
Q: What do you do at Happy Cog and what are you most looking forward to in your role here?
A: I’m the Director of Digital Marketing Services, so I suppose that means I’m here to help the team drive marketing performance for our clients – however performance is defined by that respective client. But more than that, I see my role as someone that’s here to teach, train and/or motivate people to get the best out of themselves. Everyone on my team is brilliant, and I’m here to remind them of that through good times and bad.
Q: As a digital marketer, where do you see the industry headed in five years? In 10 years? How has the digital marketer’s role evolved over the years?
A: These are the big, ubiquitous questions that pop up everywhere digital marketers go – but the thing is, they rarely get old. That’s because there are limitless possibilities! The evolution of digital media doesn’t occur in a matter of years, but rather, a matter of months. In 5 years, I see automation and machine learning at the core of everything we do; but, in a way that we can’t yet entirely fathom. However, unlike many people in our industry, this doesn’t keep me up at night. Our role in the evolution of digital marketing is to steer machine learning to fit our needs so we can take on other roles, and additional necessities. Pinpointing what those specific necessities will be at that time, will put you at the vanguard.
My inspiration – be it within my career, or outside – is a tenacious curiosity.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self and why?
A: The anxiety isn’t worth it, and don’t be afraid to be yourself. I’ve always been an anxious person, and the first part of my career I allowed it to get the better of me. Also, I’d worked at a few suspect places which took advantage of my nature. Once I realized that it was better to be genuine than to be whatever it was my previous agencies insisted I be, I realized a lot of that anxiety faded away.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the digital world? What about it inspires you?
A: My inspiration – be it within my career, or outside – is a tenacious curiosity. It pushes me everyday, and it’s helped me become who I am today: an annoyingly persistent, inquisitive person! The digital world is an ever-changing landscape, which provides me with a steady stream of things to learn, investigate and question.
Q: If you were put in charge of the office playlist, what would it include?
A: The Clash, Joy Division, Talking Heads & so much Motown!
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: Coffee, emails, asking/answering questions, client calls – looking at performance throughout the day, and finally ending it with another hour or two in front of the computer writing fiction; or, playing guitar. A little reading, some music and an episode of X-Files before bed. Rinse and repeat.
Q: What are some interesting facts about yourself that others might not know?
A: I was nearly a professional baseball player, but I quit to move abroad in order to write (cliche, I know!). I lived in London for 6 years – but anything interesting at this point I’ve largely buried in shame, horror I didn’t die or a giddy excitement that’s caused me to lose the words!