Editor’s Note: What’s on the minds of media and search planners? That’s what our “Meet a Media Planner” series aims to uncover as we chat with media and search planners at agencies across the country. Today we’re catching up with Brandie Winters, a paid search manager at LeadRival in Hurst, Texas. Brandie has spent the last six years helping clients navigate the world of search advertising. A self-professed data geek, she loves diving into details and figuring out ways to optimize campaign performance. During her year-and-a-half at LeadRival, she has channeled her data devotion into support for several clients in legal services.
Yahoo! Ad Blog: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen during your time working in search?
Brandie Winters: The push for mobile and tablet, and the overall shift in traffic to those channels. It was something we all knew was coming, but I don’t think we realized how quickly it was going to come to fruition. It’s been really neat to see. Also, the development of remarketing and retargeting capabilities has been pretty cool to watch. Those didn’t exist at all six years ago.
YAB: Any other new search technologies that you find particularly exciting?
BW: I’m a huge fan of site links, which are newer to the Yahoo! Bing Advertising platform. And I think the new Facebook Exchange has a lot of potential.
YAB: What are some of the challenges you face as a paid search manager?
BW: My agency primarily works with the consumer legal industry, so there are a lot of specific requirements and stipulations we have to abide by. Some areas of law are incredibly competitive---like personal injury and auto accidents representation---so we also have to be very methodical about how we meet targets and get quality leads for those clients.
In addition, the industry as a whole is kind of new to the Internet world. They’re traditionally more focused on phone book and print media, so bringing them up to speed and getting them comfortable with Internet leads can be a challenge. They’re kind of apprehensive about the black box that is the Internet, so we have to show them how this is a great way to get more business for their firms.
YAB: Do you have any persuasive techniques you use to convince them the Web’s for real?
BW: We just try to show them how it works. We get on the Internet and do searches with them and bring up case studies about the number of people doing searches online. I also try to equate it with something they can relate to like, “If you need a plumber, what are you going to do? You’re going to pull out your smartphone and find a plumber. If people need a DUI attorney, they’re going to do the same thing.”
YAB: Does your family understand what you do for a living?
BW: Some of them. I’m blessed with pretty technically savvy parents. My mom is a teacher, but she has a Master’s degree in technology. She totally gets it, which is awesome. And my dad is an engineer who does a lot of CAD and engineering work, so he’s very computer savvy. He definitely understands it, which is neat. But trying to explain it to Grandma usually ends up with something like, “So you work on the Interweb?” It’s always fun to have that conversation.
YAB: What do you do to give yourself a mental or physical break from work?
BW: I definitely try to get to the gym and enjoy “me” time, but I also have two little boys who play sports and keep me active. My son is four and just started Pee Wee football---and I’m the assistant coach for his team. I'm obviously not teaching them how to tackle or anything crazy. It’s just flag football, but it's fun! I think more moms should get out there and do it.