Culture | 3 MIN READ
We caught up with Fiona Smithson, who joins as our new Head of Paid Media. We asked Fiona about her career, her vision for the role, and what colleagues and clients can look forward to working alongside her.
Firstly, welcome Fiona; describe your career path to date and how you got into paid search.
After finishing up at university, where I graduated with a degree in business and marketing, I didn't know where I wanted my career to take me, and I was quite open to any opportunities. I applied for two jobs at a travel company, one in PPC and one in graphic design. After being offered both roles, I was more drawn to PPC, and twelve years later, here I am!
It's been fantastic to see all the hard work that the RSPCA and Fresh Egg teams have put into developing a CRO framework and the process paying dividends. There’s been such enthusiasm for the programme internally, and it shows in the results - everyone should be very proud of their achievements.
Fiona Smithson, Head of Paid Media
What made you choose Fresh Egg as the next step in your career path?
I had been at my previous company for over ten years, and after coming back after maternity leave, I wanted to change things up and take on a new challenge with my career. I love the values at Fresh Egg, the sharing of knowledge, and the general friendly vibe. So, when the opportunity came to build out a team and service offering at Fresh Egg, I knew I had to go for it, and so far, it's been amazing!
What sectors have you worked in?
My background is mainly travel, as that's where I started my career, and I was fortunate to work with some great travel companies with big ideas (and budgets). Over my 12-year career, I've also been lucky to work with some fantastic retail brands, estate agents, charities and B2B companies.
What are the main challenges in paid media today?
There are quite a few challenges or new ways of working within the paid space, but the main challenge is anticipating which direction paid media is going in next. For my role, it is crucial to always read and digest new information about up-and-coming trends, BETAs and new platforms. I aim to be one step ahead, not only for our clients, so I can make sure we are giving them the best support but also as an agency to deliver the best paid media offering.
You can only use one tool for your job; what is it, and why?
Does excel count? It's a vital tool for paid search as it has many uses, from client reporting and data manipulation to uploading new accounts into the ad platforms. I couldn't do my job without it!
What can our clients look forward to with you taking the reins on your first project?
I am used to working very closely with my clients, and I enjoy getting to know them and their challenges to see where my time can best support them. I am knowledgeable and to the point, but also very friendly and approachable. I hope they see my passion for paid search and the importance of client success reflected in my work.
How much has automation changed paid media in the last few years?
Google has undoubtedly been creating the framework for automation for a long time. It's fundamentally one of the most significant changes in paid search over the last few years. It's only going to continue, and as paid media specialists' embracing automation helps free up time we would have spent on repetitive tasks and gives us that much-needed time to provide our clients with enhanced insights and strategic support.
What are you looking forward to most about working at Fresh Egg?
Being part of establishing a new service offering is exciting and something I am looking forward to getting stuck into building. Also, meeting a whole variety of people with different skills I can learn from and share ideas to enhance performance. I'm also looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with everyone.
Which would you choose if you could only use one website (or app)?
Google photos, I have two young children, and I love looking back at all the fun we've had together as a family and the little memories from when they were small. I would miss not being able to look back at how much they've grown.
What do your friends and family think you do for a job?
Something with Google and words!
What's your go-to hobby out of work?
I've recently got back into yoga; I find it a great way to unwind my brain after a busy week and let go of anything negative before heading into the weekend.
Finally, what is your favourite way to eat an egg? (if there is one)
Perfectly poached on warm buttery toast.