Fun Times At The Crunchies With Yahoo!

Feb. 10

Last week, I attended the 8th annual Crunchies with my good friends from Yahoo! Hosted at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, the Crunchies is the Oscars of the technology industry. It’s all about honoring the best innovations in technology from the past year. I had a blast at the event and wanted to share today some of my big takeaways.

Ian Lopuch Crunchies

First and foremost, it’s good to be in digital marketing. It’s good to be a valued Yahoo! partner, the premium sponsor of this event and so many others. Yahoo! really knows how to treat their top partners. I’m talking about a special VIP lounge with amazing food and drinks. I’m talking about the best seats in the house (we sat in a balcony suite right next to the stage, and right next to some of the most important people at the entire event). I’m talking about an exclusive pre-party and after-party. Thanks to Yahoo!, I really had a special time.

Second, it’s all about the networking. In our industry, we all work such long hours. It’s easy to lose sight of the relationships and networking side of things. I’d like to argue today that it’s all about the people and networking. I have built a truly lasting relationship with the incomparable Yahoo! team over the years, and this relationship has added true value to my career. More than that, it’s just plain fun to spend time with great people! Yahoo! has a really special and talented team, and I learn so much every time we hang out. Get out there and invest in your business partnerships, they might just turn into friendships!

Third, it’s important to take time to be inspired. This event honored some seriously incredible accomplishments. I’m a tremendous fan of Customer Acquisition marketing because this career offers so much responsibility. It’s just like being a "Mini CEO". I’m talking about responsibility over: P&L, strategy, huge budgets, large teams (in many cases), technology platforms, cross-functional work, new ideas, growth, results, and so much more. Awards shows like the Crunchies are the perfect time to get inspired. In an inspired state, we all bring our best ideas and work to the table. Combine the overall inspiration of the event with an inspiring premium sponsor (Yahoo!), and I left ready to do my best work ever!

Thanks, Yahoo!, for an amazing VIP experience, and for being the best partner ever!

Hanging Out At the Yahoo! VIP Lounge

PPC Ian and Yahoo at the Crunchies

Images in this post ©

SEO Networking Lunch With AdLift

Jul. 12

I wrote a post a while back about my Lunch With Top SEO Agency AdLift. I’m a huge fan of tradition in networking. It’s important to build friendships with the best-of-the-best, and AdLift is just that. Our tradition: Networking lunches at Chef Chu’s in Los Altos. (Side note: Looking for an SEO agency? I highly recommend contacting AdLift today.)

PPC Ian AdLift Lunch

Networking With Johnny From AdLift At Chef Chu’s

I originally met Prashant Puri (CEO & Co-Founder) and Johnny Shami (VP, Business Development) at Search Insider Summit. I was immediately impressed and have stayed in close contact with these guys ever since. They are true experts in SEO (search engine optimization), based here in Silicon Valley.

Last week, Johnny and I went to Chef Chu’s in Los Altos, a tradition for our PPC Ian : AdLift networking lunches. I’m a big fan of Chef Chu’s, some of the best Chinese food around, with a truly healthy and fresh perspective. I ordered the cashew chicken lunch special, and will be going back again very soon (it’s delicious and healthy).

Do you work long hours? Are you busy? Prashant, Johnny, and I are for sure. Prashant is busy traveling the globe, growing AdLift’s business at warp speed. Johnny and I worked for weeks (actually months) trying to find a date that would work. I think we had to reschedule at least 5 times. However, we made it happen! (It’s all about determination and not giving up, especially when it comes to something as important as networking.) I cannot say enough about the power of important friendships with the best-of-the-best in digital marketing (or your profession of choice). It’s all about the people.

My career advice for the week: Build out your network and make these types of lunches happen! See how you can add value. Help your friends out as much as possible, and make a positive impact. It’s all about building great friendships and seeing how you can add value! I have personally built my career with a friendship and service-oriented perspective. I am amazed every single day at the opportunities that come my way thanks to hard work, giving back, and collaborating with great people.

Image from SEO Lunch ©

Lunch With Top SEO Agency AdLift

Jul. 16

In the world of digital marketing, it’s all about networking. Your network is important for so many reasons. Just a few: finding opportunities, hiring great marketers for your team, collaborating/learning new things, and hiring a world-class agency. In addition to all of this great stuff, your network will allow you to find ways to collaborate and give back to the industry.

I’m a real fan of attending search marketing conferences for the purpose of networking. Recently, I attended Search Insider Summit where I met the amazing AdLift team – Prashant (CEO) and Johnny (Director of Business Development). AdLift is a top SEO Agency. I’m super impressed with them and so are their clients such as Comcast, PayPal, and at&t interactive.

Today, I had a blast having lunch with Prashant and Johnny at Chef Chu’s in Los Altos. We talked all about digital marketing, SEO, and life. I picked up some great insights into the SEO industry from the true experts. I also enjoyed sharing some insights about the paid side of things. AdLift, thanks so much for the great lunch. PPC Ian readers: Get out there and network! And, if you’re looking for an SEO agency, check out AdLift. Their resume is truly impressive, and they are absolute experts at enterprise-level SEO.

AdLift SEO

Image of AdLift Lunch ©

Cool Search Marketing Holiday Gifts

Dec. 23

I’m a huge fan of corporate holiday cards and gifts. Giving gifts is such a wonderful way to say “thank you” to your valued colleagues, vendors, and partners. Gifts don’t have to be super expensive, it’s the thought that matters. Being an online advertising professional, I’m truly blessed and lucky to work with amazing partners such as Google, Yahoo!, and Marin Software. This year, my partners went all out and sent over some truly impressive (and amazingly appreciated) gifts. Today, I wanted to highlight a few of the gifts I received this year. Thanks everyone for the awesome gifts!

Marin Software Holiday Gift

First up is the tower of chocolates and goodies from Marin Software. This tower is truly impressive, check out the picture to the right. Each box contains a different treat. I’m talking about chocolates, truffles, gourmet cookies, and so much more. Marin’s gift is the first one I received this year and it went fast. Everyone at the office truly enjoyed it! Thanks, Marin!

Second up is the most amazing gift basket ever from my SEM agency. This is the first picture below. I put an Expo marker next to the gift basket for size comparison. This basket has more food than one could possibly eat! It’s a heavy gift basket and has just about everything from caviar to chocolates to smoked salmon. I know we will be enjoying this gift basket for months to come, our SEM team is stocked with snacks and goodies.

Next, I wanted to highlight the third gift on the list, the amazing Harry and David gift box received from our friends at Yahoo! This is perhaps the classiest gift basket I have ever seen. It contains pears, apples, chocolates, and more. The presentation is simply amazing. I really like this gift box because it’s the perfect balance of healthy foods and desserts too.

Good things often come in small packages! I wanted to sincerely thank Google for the fifth gift on my list today, an amazing Ghirardelli coffee mug filled with all flavors of Ghirardelli chocolate squares. This gift is truly fun because Google sent it to all members of our team. It’s always fun when you get a personal gift, thanks Google.

I wanted to round up today’s post with my fifth gift, an amazing gift basket (literally in a basket) from one of our favorite second tier search engines. This basket, like Yahoo!’s, is from Harry and David. The pears, apples, nuts, and goodies are delicious.

The 2012 holiday season is definitely the season of good food. Our gifts this year were all centered around the gift basket and food theme. Thank you so much, everyone, for the gifts. I’m so honored and lucky to work with such amazing partners in such an amazing industry. I wanted to also take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for reading PPC Ian and to leave you with a parting thought… While all of these gifts truly made my month, I also had the great opportunity to purchase a few gifts this holiday season for those less fortunate (via my company’s holiday gift drive). This is truly the season of giving and I encourage you to find ways to give back. That is the most rewarding gift of all!

Images of My SEM Holiday Gifts From Amazing Partners

Search Marketing Agency Gift Basket

Yahoo! Gift Basket

Google Holiday Gift

Search Marketing Holiday Gift Basket

Images in this post ©

Great Online Marketing Networking Tips

Nov. 18

I’m a huge fan of search marketing careers. In this business, networking is super important. Just a few months back, I wrote about PPC Networking Tips. Today’s post is a continuation of the networking theme and offers some fresh and new online marketing networking tips. I hope these tips help take your networking to the next level.

PPC Ian Yahoo Lunch

Lunch at Cascal, Mountain View With Yahoo!

  • Invest time in high-leverage relationships. Relationships in any business have different levels of leverage. Some partners are super busy and don’t have as much time to network. This is totally ok, as we all get busy. Other partners, however, are all about networking. You really want to invest where you will get the most leverage (and this may change over time depending on people’s schedules and ability to network). I have always viewed Yahoo!, for example, as an amazingly high leverage partnership. When it comes to partnerships, they are the best of the best. They always make so much effort to help their partners in any way possible. As such, this is a relationship that is always top of mind for this online marketing professional.
  • Attend happy hours and company events. Online marketing is truly a cross-functional career. As SEM professionals, we work with so many different departments (literally all departments). As such, I try to make all possible happy hours. This is a fun way to truly get to know others in your company. It’s a great way to learn how you can work together as a team to achieve amazing results.
  • Travel to different office locations. Do you work at a large company that has multiple offices? Try to visit them all! This tip really ties into the last one. As a cross-functional discipline, it’s all about building solid relationships throughout your company. Visit different locations in-person and you will build amazing relationships.
  • Host events for search engines and partners. We are truly blessed in online marketing. We get to go to so many fun events planned by our friends at search engines. In just the past few weeks, I enjoyed amazing events with Google, Yahoo!, and other partners. Recently, I have been thinking about ways to give back. Why not give back and host the events for a change? Your partners will truly thank you!
  • Plan team events such as hikes and community service. We all work so hard, and it can truly help break things up by taking off some fun time for team events. Networking with partners and other departments is truly important. Networking with your own team is paramount.
  • Plan team offsites. This tip is really a continuation of the last one, it’s all about networking with your own team. However, you can also make team offsites about networking with key partners. Consider inviting key partners to your offsite for the ultimate networking opportunity!
  • Leverage social media to build key relationships. I mentioned LinkedIn in my last post about networking, and today I wanted to highlight Quora. I wrote a post a while back about how I’m Answering Online Marketing Questions On Quora. I have found Quora to be a super social network for building true relationships within your industry.
  • Send holiday cards and gifts. I wrote a post last holiday season about how Online Marketing Holiday Gifts Rule. Gifts truly do rule and they are critical for networking. Even if you don’t have a huge budget, it’s the thought that counts. With the holiday season on its way, make sure you get cards and gifts for your most important partners.

Image of Lunch With Yahoo ©