Sam Noble interviewed leading upto SearchElite

In May 2017, SearchElite will be running their first event in London with a handful of leading figures speaking on topics near and dear to their hearts.  Following on from the interview with Gerry White, the next of these speakers to be interviewed is Samantha Noble of Koozai, UK Search Personality of the Year 2016, Chief Editor at State of Digital and the woman who launched Digital Females.

Q) Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

A) I have been working in marketing for the past 13 years with 10 of those in digital marketing with a particular focus in paid media. My passion for marketing started in an offline marketing role at Sunsail (a sailing holiday company) helping with the worldwide brochure production process. I was doing this role for a couple of years before I decided to move to a financial services company which is where I learnt about Google AdWords! It was a great role that I owe a lot to as it taught me the importance of attention to detail when it comes to paid advertising especially with significant budgets and CPCs. After that, I spent four months travelling round Australia before moving back and getting a role at Koozai (which is where I am now).

Since being at Koozai I have had various roles starting off managing paid media campaigns and I am now the Director of Strategy which essentially means I create integrated marketing strategies across paid media, SEO and Content Marketing for our clients and oversee the implementation with the teams involved.

Q) Can you tell us a bit about Koozai?

A) Koozai are a digital marketing agency with offices in Southampton and London. We specialise in Paid Search, Paid Social, SEO and Content Marketing and we work with a range of brands including Cote Brasserie, BGL Group, The V&A and HIPPO.

Q) What was the inspiration for ‘Digital Females’?

A) This came about back in January 2011 when I first started getting involved in attending and speaking at conferences in the UK. At the time there were so many male attendees and speakers and I wanted to see what I could do to try and encourage more females to come along. I created Digital Females as a way to get like-minded females together once a month for an informal meetup in a pub and give females who wanted an opportunity to speak to come along and share some insights with the rest of the group.

Unfortunately, due to other projects and work commitments, I haven’t been able to dedicate the time I would like to it recently but I have been chatting to Laura Crimmons from Branded3 and we have said we want to revive the group again so watch this space!

Q) What industry activities are successfully increasing the amount of females in search?

A) I don’t think this is necessarily an activity but the fact that PR and Content Marketing has become so entwined with search has meant we have seen a big increase in females in the industry. When I first started working at Koozai we were around 90% male vs 10% female and now females in the agency make up more than 50%. To be honest though, this is split across all departments but the Content and PR teams are definitely dominated by females at the moment.

Q) For those who want to follow and engage with awesome females in search who would you suggest to follow?

A) There are so many I wouldn’t want to list people here as I know I would miss off some amazing people but I would love to point you in the direction of the Women in Search website that Lisa Myers created. There are lots of brilliant speakers on this site so it would be a fab place to start.

Q) What’s life been like since winning ‘UK Search Personality of the Year’?

A) Life hasn’t really changed if I am honest other than that I have this incredible accolade sat on my desk which genuinely surprises me every time I look at it as I still can’t believe that I actually came home with the award. It was truly such a shock.

The winner of UK Search Professional 2016

Q) Tell us a bit about your session “Using Paid Media Insights to Uncover Who Your Audience Really Are”

A) Almost all the paid media platforms give us a huge amount of data about our audiences. Whether that is our website audience, our followers or even our own CRM database, I really feel that we can learn a huge amount about who we are trying to market to and am always surprised to learn that some advertisers are not taking advantage of the insights at our fingertips. This talk is designed to help anyone who works in marketing to use the platforms at their disposal to uncover insights into their target audience and apply this understanding across all the different marketing channels they use.

Q) Do you have a preference for Paid Social vs AdWords?

A) Absolutely no preference what so ever. They are both equally  amazing but need to be used for the right reason and have the right strategy behind them to make them work. I strongly believe that paid social, Bing and AdWords should all be used together, not in isolation and not one or the other in order to get the best results.

Q) What is the best way to surface client insights? Excel or platforms like Tableau?

A) Excel every day of the week! A few people have been trying to introduce me to Tableau but I have a bit of an Excel addiction and I don’t want to add another platform in the mix just yet. I am sure curiosity will get me at some point though!

Q) Do you ever push additional demographic data into Google Analytics?

A) I haven’t actually but it is something that I would like to look into.

Q) What is a guide for audience size so you know your data is statistically significant?

A) This really depends on what you are trying to do and what data you are looking at. I don’t think I could put a single number on this as it really will vary.

Q) Are there any other SearchElite sessions/speakers you are hoping to see?

A) All of them. Honestly, all of them. Search Elite have got some brilliant speakers at the event in May and I have seen each of them speak at various events over the years and I personally have learnt a huge amount from each of them. It’s going to be a great event.

Q) Where can people find you online if they want to engage, follow or connect?

A) You can find me on all the typical social channels but for business stuff I mostly use Twitter (@SamJaneNoble). I also write content for State of Digital and Koozai from time to time so you can check out the blogs too.