Ann Van Heest, Digital Marketing Manager

Symposia Labs
December 4, 2017

Symposia Labs recently added another member to our team! We’re welcoming Riley Waugh as our new User Intent Analyst and Google Adwords Guru. We sat down with Riley and asked her a few questions about herself and her role at Symposia. Get to know Riley:

Tell us a little about your background. 
I grew up in and around Grand Rapids and graduated from GVSU with a degree in Marketing. I was lucky to have several internships in college that helped me narrow down my focus and find out what I like to do.

What is your role Symposia Labs, and what makes you excited about it? 
I’m the User Intent Analyst at Symposia, which is a mishmash of digital marketing and UI/UX (User Interface and User Experience). I mostly create ad campaigns with a focus on matching user intent with user flow and optimizing for conversions. Sometimes digital marketers will have quantitative goals without considering the qualitative aspect, or vice versa. It’s not enough to know that a page didn’t convert the potential lead; you need to know why it didn’t convert. You need to know your users. It’s important to look beyond traffic goals and consider what the visitor’s intent is and how you can optimize your page around that. I love seeing a campaign’s success in hard numbers and user satisfaction.

What challenges have you had to overcome in your field? 
I think the biggest challenge for me has also been knowing when to stop. Any career in the digital space will touch upon other adjacent fields, and it can be hard to keep yourself from going down rabbit holes. I’m not a developer, but learning some development has been helpful in creating landing pages. I’m not a copywriter, but I think a great deal about the wording on a page. The challenge has been staying on track and knowing where to draw the line between other fields when the limit does not exist.

What are you looking forward to in 2018 in the world of digital marketing? 
I love seeing marketers get creative and use different formats. I think video and gif ads have been on the rise and will continue to be perfected through 2018.

What’s your best advice for people looking to enter your line of work/digital marketing? 
Two things: read and experiment. Try to balance learning and doing.

What’s an interesting fact about yourself? 
I love to travel and recently went to Europe for the first time.