When you work for a “big” small business, or a medium sized business, it’s likely that when you come in to the office in the morning, you’re going to end up doing a variety of different things during the day. Everyone is running lean and mean, and cross training and cross functional area coverage are often sacrificed in the name of people keeping their jobs.
Take my job currently, for example. I came on board in 2008 as a database marketer. I was assigned the duties of dissecting 12 years worth of customer data, and developing and delivering appropriate, creative, and well segmented e-mail campaigns to our customer base.
As it happened, all of my companies web design, SEO, SEM, web analytics and research, and other web related tasks were all outsourced to partner companies.
So, with the recession beginning in 2009, and of course the needs of the business (and all businesses) changing and growing as far as web sites, advertising, and customer understanding and knowledge goes, I ended up picking up a few extra hats.
I reverse engineered our ASP.NET based main site so I could add content, SEO it, SEM it, and then analyze the results. It’s been a success, and our PPC campaigns have a very healthy conversion rate (to qualified leads) for the kind of business we are in (complex manufacturing).
I built a PHP based bridge between our website and our back end ERP, so that we can further analyze ad campaigns as they relate to orders as opposed to just leads. (See my post on the ZOHO api here: Changing Your API Integration). Utilizing the Zoho and MailChimp apis, I now port marketing source data into our ERP so we can pick out which of our marketing efforts are not only leading to customers, but rather to our BEST customers.
Currently, I’m adding a second website in PHP/Wordpress. Most of it is stock “out of the box” WordPress, but I am designing a few custom plug ins to handle displaying the catalog the way we want it to look.
In the end, I’m not sure this post has a point, except to chronicle my progression over the last 3 years, and to quietly ask if everyone else in a similar position has seen the same expectations. It’s definitely been a growing experience, and one I am thankful for. If you aren’t pushing yourself, you’ll never really get anywhere.