Moving from Law & Economics to Marketing & Management in University, Nick Brown of Aro Digital says coming up with solutions is his favourite aspect of the job. We sit down with him to chat about what got him into marketing and what it is like being a young marketer.
How or why did you get into marketing – what sparked your interest?
It wasn’t until I found I was not enjoying a Law & Economics major that I found myself majoring in Marketing & Management degree when studying at Otago University. To me, the appeal of Marketing was how broad of a field it covers with what it can achieve, and how there are many different ways to achieve a goal.
I enjoy helping people to solve problems and the process of planning out different solutions with them. Learning how different messaging and audiences can be utilised across different channels to reach an overall goal really piqued my interest in Marketing.
Briefly, give details of your marketing career to this point.
My marketing career started with a brief digital marketing internship at Harcourts. This helped me to learn some basics in the field and see more of the practical side of implementing theory I had learned. From there I attended a Bootcamp at Aro Digital and I managed to get an internship out the back of that.
I have been at Aro Digital since (a little over two years). While here I have progressed to the role of Performance Specialist. My focus is on paid digital channels such as Google ads, Meta ads, LinkedIn Ads, and TikTok Ads. I help to deliver the strategies for our clients, implement and optimise their campaigns, and report upon their performance.
What do you love about marketing? Is there a specific type of marketing you particularly enjoy, or specialise in, and why?
I love coming up with solutions to problems and figuring out the best way to achieve that. I specialise in and really enjoy digital marketing because there is so much more data you receive about how your decision-making has impacted a campaign. I also enjoy the fact you’re constantly able to test new approaches to further optimise campaigns.
I also find it extremely rewarding in teaching other people what I have learned about digital marketing. Helping to upskill our clients with their understanding of digital marketing and assisting many of them in launching their first campaigns on digital channels and showing how successful it can be is a great feeling.
Is there a specific project you’ve worked on that stands out for you?
For me working on World of Wearable Art has been an absolute pleasure. I’m not the target demographic of the event but I’ve become heavily invested in its success after working on what I consider to be some wicked strategies with my internal team and the WOW team.
Together we continue to brainstorm how to maximise what we get from their digital channels and it has been very rewarding seeing my ideas be implemented in their strategy. It gives me a lot of pride saying I get to work on an account that sees outstanding results and is a large New Zealand event that brings an estimated $27 million to the Wellington economy each year.
What do you think has been your most significant achievement throughout your career?
While working on the World of Wearable Art account we’ve managed to achieve an outstanding ROAS for their campaign, but I consider my most significant achievement and am what I am most proud of is having reached a point in my knowledge where I’m able to run education workshops for both my internal team on TikTok ad knowledge and external sessions for businesses on general digital marketing skills.
To me being able to teach others on a topic shows your level of understanding and I feel the most valuable when I’m able to help in upskilling others in digital marketing so that they can achieve great results.
What are some of the biggest challenges you as a young marketer face in your role?
In my role, I definitely struggle with imposter syndrome from time to time. Knowing that other people have been doing what I’m doing for many more years can make it difficult to believe you’re recommending the best possible strategy for a client. There are so many niche areas of knowledge and past context I might not have that others do.
There is also a bit of a battle with feeling like there is a vast amount of knowledge I need to catch up on so that I can perform my role as best as possible. It can also be difficult to separate my mood from campaign results from time to time. If you’re seeing ad performance declining or a campaign not launch as successfully as forecasted that can sit on your shoulders. I do my best to remind myself that learning is a journey and I’m not expected to know everything there is to know about digital marketing at this point in my career, and support from my team definitely helps.
What advice would you give to other young marketers newish to the industry?
Do your best to surround yourself with people that want to see you succeed. Having a network around you that can pick you up and support you during tough times is really important.
Finding a mentor or community leaders in your area of marketing is a great way to be exposed to exciting new ways of marketing and keep your interest and passion alive.
Find the fun in your work and do your best to test and implement your creative ideas. One of the best confidence builders during my time as a marketer has been testing my own ideas and seeing that they can be successful approaches.
Where do you see your career headed in the next 5-10 years?
I want to continue developing my skills at an agency for some time and continue getting exposure to a wide range of businesses and ways of thinking. Ultimately, I want to expand my knowledge beyond digital so I can take the lead on marketing strategy for some large businesses either in-house or at an agency. Having the opportunity to work on some large-scale sporting event like the 2027 Rugby World Cup would be a dream. Time overseas is definitely on the horizon and I hope to be able to run some larger-scale education sessions in the future.