SENIOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIST AND UX PROGRAM MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL ● 25 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE ● MANAGER/DIRECTOR ● FINANCIAL & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES MARKETING ● MARKETING AFFINITY PROGRAMS ● AGENCY & IN-HOUSE EXPERIENCE
I am a digital communications team leader and strategist with content creation, program oversight, and resource management experience, and with a background in content strategy, digital business strategy, UX projects, product marketing, and lead generation.
- I possess exposure to user experience (UX) + agile product management + content development + digital marketing + web development + operations projects in consulting and in-house settings.
- I am very good at aligning creative + tech + content + business + operations + IT stakeholders around organizational digital goals via clarity of communication and ritualizing team processes.
- I have managed vendors and diverse digital teams. My people management style focuses on communicating goals clearly and allowing team members to problem solve and take ownership of their deliverables and responsibilities.
- I have worked on dozens of major web buildouts or redesigns, within digital program operations teams, on dedicated UX teams, online ad campaigns and have also contributed to content strategy and performance measurement for mobile and social media channels.
- I have writing samples representative of some of the kinds of deliverables and campaigns I’ve worked on over the years.
What does that really mean?
A little bit of a lot of things: defining a business’ digital goals, determining implementation resource needs, working to build websites, managing online advertising campaigns, project management, some quasi-technical grunt work, some editorial input, some analytics number crunching and analysis, email marketing, search engine advertising, social media editorial planning, evangelism of all things digital and working with programmers, designers, information architects, marketing people, business stakeholders, writers, editors, and such all in the name of digital transformation.
Recently it has also meant managing digital properties and platforms a bit like software products have been managed, continually optimizing performance via ongoing development cycles with a close eye on the created user (or “customer”) experiences. Agile and lean and design thinking has been all the rage, so I have adopted various aspects of those approaches in working with both tech and marketing resources.
- UX/creative Ideation and Concept Nurturing – The big picture and big goals of creating digital experiences and how to test them with potential or actual users and customers.
- Digital Content Strategy and Copywriting – Audits, content modeling, style guides. Content development for: websites and digital campaigns (SEM, paid advertising, email, and social media).
- Team Management – Have managed operations, creative, and analytics resources directly; technical resources indirectly.
- Business Requirements Generation -Traditional waterfall documentation and Agile user stories (or job stories, which I like better).
- Digital “Road Maps”- Plans, calendars, and ongoing risk assessments.
- Sprint Cycle Planning – Product ownership, backlog creation, and grooming in coordination with development resources or scrum masters.
- Digital Analytics – Establishment of KPIs, analysis of results, and reporting. Have used Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics.
- Usability Testing Planning – Discussion guides, business requirements, and analysis of results.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Campaigns – Adwords development, keyword bidding, copywriting, reporting, and optimization.
- Marketing Affinity Programs – Partner relationship management, digital program integrations, and KPI development.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Projects – Keyword research, content and site structure optimization, analysis of results.
- Vendor Evaluation, Selection and Relations – RFPs, engagement structuring, and day-to-day management.,
- Email Marketing – Campaign development, execution, and reporting.
- Website Governance and Operations – Strategy, planning, and oversight for operations models for daily operations, technical support, content development, and optimization processes.
A narrative summary of my experiences by employer is below.
Mathematica Policy Research (2017 – present)
A professional services research firm
My job title: Director, Digital Services
What I do: Digital strategy lead and digital team manager within communications department responsible for brand awareness, thought leadership, business development support, product marketing, public affairs, and research dissemination consultation on client project work.
AARP SERVICES, INC and INFLUENT 50 (2014 – 2016)
For-profit subsidiary of AARP that oversees the marketing and quality assurance of AARP-endorsed products and services.
My job titles: Digital Product Manager
What I did: I was a manager on a digital strategy team that synthesized and prioritized requirements for building, enhancing and operating digital properties and campaigns supporting AARP’s “Member Advantages” marketing affinity program for its members (you know, the Denny’s discounts and such). Each digital manager worked independently to manage the assets as “digital products”, thus we did a lot of tech vendor management, wrote SOWs, created product roadmaps, maintained calendars and used various Agile and lean start-up approaches to oversee development cycles.
The program included a number of websites, an app, and a broad advertising program that included online advertising and SEM. Additionally, AARP Services started a consultative arm of the business called Influent 50. So I tackled a few general digital engagements in support of external client engagements as well.
Initially, I was the digital lead for the health and financial lines of business. Along the way, the 3 business lines were combined under the brand “AARP Member Advantages.” Coinciding with that rebranding, my team lead the buildout of a major new website in 2015 that consolidated 3 legacy websites onto a new Adobe AEM platform. This site is a subdomain of the main aarp.org site, which gets hundreds-of-thousands of visits a day. For this development project, all team members contributed to various “workstreams” in partnership with two different technology and web vendors. I lead the implementation of a Voice of Customer solution and also worked on use cases for personalization, requirements gathering for migrating legacy analytics set-ups to a new Adobe Analytics deployment and content strategy for health and financial products. I also managed a team of data analytics and operations direct reports.
Digital properties worked on included: aarphealthcare.com, aarpfinancial.com, aarpadvantages.com, aarpdiscounts.com, careconnection.aarp.org, aarpdescuentos.com, AARP Member Advantages App, AARP Live Assist App.
- Content Strategy – Lead complete content refresh project of the 500-page legacy health site aarphealtcare.com. Included hands-on auditing and editing and working with in-house SMEs on ideation. (2013)
- Voice of Customer (VoC) Implementation – Lead soup-to-nuts implementation of a VoC solution. Organized working group, evaluated vendors, made vendor selection, secured budget, and implemented a solution in 10 months. leading to comprehensive analysis of the received customer feedback. (2015)
- Pilot Projects – Scoped operations framework and managed deployment of two pilot “test and learn” websites for AARP’s Small Business and Caregiving initiatives. Won company innovation award for contributions to deployment of a small business product promotions website (2014-2015)
- Product Management Processes – Lead implementation of formalized enhancement schedules and processes for all managed properties. Included using user stories, sprint cycle planning, and managing creative and technical resources from 3 separate vendors. (2013-2016)
- AARP Member Advantages Website Buildout – Strategic lead and/or contributor to creating business rules for integration of personalization technology, analytics implementation, and content strategy workstreams for a multi-million dollar 14-month website development project. with 60K visitors a day, the new website improved conversion efficiency (lead referrals per number of visits) by 20% immediately after deployment. (2015-2016)
- Analytics Migration Business Requirements – Coordinated technical integrations of a large-scale marketing analytics tracking program serving multiple clients. Worked to migrate legacy implementation to Adobe analytics. Worked with senior data scientists and web analysts to create an in-house tag SAINT Classification UI that allowed campaign creators to develop and deploy their own campaign tag IDs independent of data analysts.
- Hispanic/Latino Marketing Strategies – Provided strategic direction for Hispanic/Latino digital affinity marketing programs for AARP. Scoped 1 year testing plan to evaluate the efficacy of related digital properties, including audience affinity for culturally relevant content and usage of translation functions. Analyzed results and made a recommendation for a future state. (2016)
- Corporate Website Buildout and Enhancements – Lead 10-month optimization process for corporate website influent50.com. Included creating digital marketing maturation roadmap, creation of a new blog format for news section, and adding a lead generation database for potential CRM integration.
PROSHARES (2007 – 2013)
Top 10 exchange-traded fund (ETF) asset manager and #1 provider of leveraged and inverse funds.
My job title: Manager, Web Marketing
What I did: I managed digital marketing programs for the ProShares exchange-traded fund (ETF) and ProFunds mutual fund product lines of a fast-growing entrepreneurial investment company. Included tactical oversight of: web development and design projects, daily system operations, email marketing, search engine marketing/advertising (AdWords), search engine optimization (SEO), tag management, digital lead demand generation, and digital analytics (KPIs). I worked closely with marketing communications on creative ideation and campaigns with digital channels, including landing pages, email campaigns, Adwords, and online advertising.
A true hybrid tactical/strategic/”other duties as assigned” role, I was often called to work on design, technical operations, analytics, and content as well as respond to questions about anything digital and pitch in on IA, design support, enterprise technology projects and content as needed. I also wrote a lot of business documentation, including:
- Vendor Assessments and Evaluations
- Content Strategy Documentation (Audits, Inventories, Briefs, Reports ( Sample: Online Communications for Issues Management Tactics Report)
- Web Planning Documentation
- Project Requirements
- Process Documentation (e.g., for operations, lead generation and data feed processes)
- Program Frameworks and Diagrams – Web, Email, AdWords
- Executive Communications (briefs, FAQs, presentations)
- Digital Roadmap – Contributed to numerous planning deliverables, including competitor analyses, assessments of the viability and fit of proposed enhancements, recommendations for project prioritization, and prototype designs. Resulted in a 3-year website buildout implementation plan.
- Vendor Evaluation, Selection, and Management – Key participant in the RFP and evaluation process to select a new web development vendor. Spearheaded the development of an information graphic used to articulate principal business problems and desired “future state” scenarios. Managed vendor engagement for 4 years.
- CMS Migrations – Took on a complex site and CMS migration project from day 1 on the job. Conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the firm’s SaaS marketing website platforms. Resulting recommendation drove the selection of a new web development vendor and the consolidation of websites onto one internally managed platform with an open-source CMS.
- Redesign Projects
- ProShares.com (2009 & 2013) – Key contributor to establishing the business case for redesign and defining business rules and content models of site templates developed as a result. Contributor to the business case for employing responsive design in 2013.
- ProFunds.com (2012) – Lead the overall project of the first redesign of profunds.com in over ten years. Conducted business analysis, scoped project, received executive buy-in, and managed implementation resources.
- Email Templates – Developed testing plans that lead to a recommendation to redesign email templates. Defined template usages by content and messaging type.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – Established firm’s first digital KPIs and conversion metrics. Worked with business intelligence analysts to analyze and report on data and refine metrics. Gathered and analyzed data monthly in Excel and created visual reports for inclusion in the marketing department dashboard.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Lead project to implement a restructured product section and homepage layout to improve SEO for proshares.com. Created new directory structure, naming conventions and systematized meta content creation process. Monitored performance of target keywords for brand, messaging and product categories.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Managed the firm’s first comprehensive SEM initiatives which lead to the development of 12 Google AdWords campaigns, 2,000 keyword bids, and a $300K annual budget. Also defined operational framework. Included defining campaign types, budget parameters, recurring creative optimization activities and resource needed to support the channel. Also established firm’s first working group focused on SEM.
- Content Strategy – Lead content modeling and the development of business rules for all disclosure language, product pages and promotional landing pages dynamically integrated on the proshares.com website.
- 100+ Product Launches – Codified technical, content, regulatory, and business requirements for integrating new product content and data into the websites to support product launches. Was a member of cross-functional product Successfully met regulatory and business web publishing requirements for over 100 product launches.
- Social Media Strategies – Researched and delivered a report on digital practices used for advocacy communications campaigns. Included the firm’s first reviews of social media platform opportunities. Developed editorial policies, calendar, and success metrics for social media pilot program.
- Domaining Strategy – Researched and examined firm’s historical marketing “domaining” strategy and made recommendations for future approaches for the usage of vanity URLs, opportunistic domain names and registering trademarked names. Managed the evaluation and domain name registration process for 4 years.
- Technology Projects – Assumed business analyst role in several enterprise-wide technology projects: Single sign-on, Data Warehouse Development, Document Retention process management, and intranet site buildout.
FANNIE MAE (CONTRACT POSITION, 2006 – 2007)
Government-sponsored financial corporation responsible for expanding the secondary mortgage market.
My title: Corporate Digital Communications Consultant
What I did: I worked as the communications specialist on an IT and software dev team. I recommended and implemented digital communications campaigns supporting deployments and technology “events” (i.e. outages and such). The notion of the job was tied to Fannie’s adherence to Six Sigma methods. It was a quick gig, but I got to work on a few notable projects, including the rollouts of a Remedy database, a web-based audio conferencing system pilot, and a new IT help desk portal. I wrote:
- Communications Strategy Briefs and Plans (Sample)
- Corporate communications copy delivered via email and intranet sites.
- End-User Survey Reports
- Project and training documentation
COMPUTECH, INC. (2002 – 2006)
An IT professional services firm focused on full cycle software development and maintenance, primarily for federal clients.
My titles: Web Analyst; promoted from Technical Writer in 2004.
What I did: I lead business analysis and managed daily operations in a UX team that was part of a large software development and program management group contracted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As a technical writer, I authored project briefs, procedure documents, operations manuals, software specifications, and system help for the maintenance of the FCC’s wireless bureau sites and its web-based auctions systems and applications. Our team was one of the first true UX teams operating within the FCC, and introduced user-centered design processes to our federal client. During my tenure, my team rebuilt a 10,000-page static website into a dynamic XML-based site architected entirely by our staff developer (Much of the site is still intact: http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/default.htm?job=auctions_home) My writing focused on:
- Technical Documentation (Sample)
- Requirements, System Framework Diagrams, Programmer Standards Guides, Procedure Guides, System “help”
- Content Strategy Documentation
- Briefs, Project Charters
- User Experience Guides
- Wireframe Annotation
- User Experience (UX) Testing Documentation
- XML-based Dynamic Website Development – Completed content analysis and made content strategy recommendations to support the migration and redevelopment of the Wireless Bureau’s 10,000-page static website to an XML-based website architecture supporting dynamic content displays and RSS feeds.
- Usability Testing and Assessments – Assisted information architects in facilitating usability testing sessions and editing research reports, establishing the first user-centered design processes for the FCC’s Wireless Bureau.
- Wireless Radio Services Web Content Development – Led content development process for the redesign of informational web pages for the FCC’s 45 wireless radio services (e.g. Amateur, CB and GMRS). Required collaboration with numerous engineering and policy subject matter experts.
- Web Prototyping and R&D – Participated in or lead creative conception on numerous prototypes and produced websites, including a dynamic online events calendar, a web chat interface, a Speakers’ Bureau website, the 800mhz.gov website, live-streamed video presentations and a Flash interactive training and learning module
iXL (1998 – 2001)
One of the largest of the dot-com era web development and interactive agencies. Now part of Razorfish.
My title: Copywriter
What I did: Developed creative concepts and wrote copy for digital advertising campaigns and e-commerce, recruitment, branding, and corporate websites as a member of agency’s Manufacturing and Financial Services Practice Group. iXL, was one of the early dot com agencies, growing fast and gobbling up small shops in rapid succession, including NetResponse and Image Communications in the D.C. area. Until the dot com boom struck midnight, I worked on over 40 engagements and integrated campaigns (print, video, CD-ROM, and brand identity).
- DuPont.com Redesign
Researched and wrote website copy for the redesign of the company’s corporate and product marketing website. Included scripting Flash “movies” highlighting DuPont innovations and a timeline module celebrating the company’s 200th anniversary.
- First USA Credit Card and Wingspan Bank Customer Acquisition Banner Campaigns and Landing pages
Developed creative concepts and wrote copy for one of the largest early direct response Web banner advertising campaigns. Optimized creative weekly based on response and trending metrics.
- Starband Brand Identity
Developed creative concepts and company names for a branding campaign to name new satellite broadband service developed by Gilat Satellite Networks. Resulted in the creation of the “Starband” brand.
Other Notable Clients: AOL, Amerix, Bank One, Capital One (VisaBuxx), ConsumerClub.com, HealthQuick.com, eAnnuity.com, Eastman Chemical, GE Recruitment, Monsanto, MyFavoriteShoe.com, Solae, Teligent, and WholeHealthMD.com.( See full client list)
Responsibilities also included:
- Engagement documentation: Authored creative briefs, branding, and editorial style guides.
- Business development: Wrote copy for company print advertising, proposals, and pitch presentations.
Picture Network International (1993 – 1998)
Former Kodak subsidiary. Online stock photography seller and early digital asset management software developer.
My titles: Marketing Communications Manager. Promoted 3 times in 5 years from Writer > Editor > Staff Member, Software Product Management Group > Marketing Communications Manager.
The company: PNI built and marketed the first online stock photo libraries in 1993 (Seymour) and one of the very first Web e-commerce sites in1995 (Publishers Depot, later PictureQuest and later eMotion). It evolved into an early leading provider of digital media asset management services to media companies and corporate marketing departments. As a product management staff member and marketing communications manager, I produced communications collateral and led marcom campaigns and projects.
What I did: My first job out of school, I first worked in “content development” with a large group of recent grads like myself. We wrote captions for 100s of thousands of photos and “disambiguated” them for entry into the company’s online Natural Language Processing stock photography system; one of the first of its kind. I was promoted to manager/editor where I edited the work of 15+ writers.
As the company grew and migrated its system to the web in 1994 and began licensing its software as one of the first digital asset management systems, I assumed roles in the software product group–working directly with the C++ software dev team doing IA and BA work for custom deployments (what would be called SaaS today), and later marketing communications in the marketing department, where I managed the company website, company advertising and did some early version of email marketing. I also wrote copy for sales collateral and worked with an agency on print advertising campaigns.