In early June, I was incredibly excited to hear that we were able to get a huge guest booked for my video series, Suds & Search. If you’ve never seen the series, I interview a leading digital marketer about their area of expertise. On June 24th, I was excited as I sat down to prep for the interview – I was about to talk to Mark Irvine!
Mark is widely recognized as one of the top Paid Media experts in the world (if not the top). In 2019, PPCHero named Mark the #1 PPC influencer in the world and Microsoft named him the North American Influencer of the Year. He’s an in-demand speaker who presents all over the world and he’s a prolific writer.
I love everything about producing the show – it’s my favorite part of my job. I like the research and preparation, and then getting a chance to hang out and ask these experts questions. I’m a big fan of craft beer, so that part is obviously fun for me too.
Ironically, I film a video series, but it’s the people who can write well that really pique my interest. As I prepped for Mark’s episode, I was reminded how talented he was at writing long-form articles. He and his team at WordStream produced a massive amount of high-quality, data driven content.
Sometimes, it’s a bit of a mad dash for me to find quality material about a guest when I’m doing the research. This time, there was so much material that I could have talked to Mark all day.
About an hour before our interview, I got a message from Greg Gifford, our V.P. of Search. He had heard through his network that Mark’s time at WordStream was ending – but it wasn’t public knowledge yet. Right before we started, the nature of the interview drastically changed.
Before the episode started recording, Mark and I talked a little bit about how to address his departure from WordStream, then we dove into the interview. Towards the end of the episode, I wanted to help him out and give him a platform to get the word out that he was available. I mentioned that he was looking for new opportunities and asked him about what he was looking to do next. He answered:
“I really do enjoy working with small businesses and building out programs that can scale. I started at WordStream back in 2013. We were 39 people…Today, we’ve grown that team, we’ve grown our clients, and I’m really proud of what I leave behind. I want to do something very similar either with a platform or an agency that’s willing to build out a program and really wants to be a leader in the space.”
The entire episode was amazing. Mark referenced incredible data that described the ways that COVID-19 had changed consumer behavior and how marketers could adapt their strategies to take advantage of the new normal. He was funny and smart, and conversation flowed freely.
That night, I couldn’t sleep. One nagging question kept running through my brain: “Why don’t we hire Mark Irvine?” I shared the interview with my team and Greg gave me a call. He had just watched the episode. He said, “I see what you mean about Mark. We should go for it.”
I set up a time with Mark to talk about the position
The next steps were a handful of conversations that all went incredibly well. We talked about everything I wanted to accomplish in paid search. We had an awesome opportunity to expand our happy Local SEO clients onto Paid Search, but I felt like we needed a leader to run that team. I wrote the job description for Director of Paid Media with Mark’s strengths in mind.
Throughout the entire experience, we remained aligned on building out programs that could scale. That’s another way of saying, we’d take something small and build something large and enduring. In the case of SearchLab, we’re looking to build a best-in-class paid search department.
After several conversations, I was ecstatic to hear that Mark was interested in joining SearchLab but couldn’t make the move until August 18th – which happens to be my birthday.
The entire experience has been so serendipitous.
The timing of everything worked out perfectly. On August 18th, 2020, on my birthday, I received his acceptance letter. I am so happy to announce that Mark Irvine is joining SearchLab as Director of Paid Media.
I know this may sound strange, but 2020 continues to be a great year for SearchLab. We are adding top industry talent in key areas. Because of these additions, we have seen substantial growth. With the addition of a proven leader like Mark, we expect to continue this momentum through the end of the year and beyond.