DAC Blog Authors Colleen McCaskell to Speak at SMX London
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Colleen McCaskell to Speak at SMX London

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Digital marketers all across the UK are gearing up for SMX London on 18-19 May 2016.

Sponsored by big names including Bing, Google, and Moz, the event will see some of the best digital marketers in the UK sharing the latest innovations and practices on search marketing.

Speaking alongside acclaimed AdWords expert Brad Geddes will be our very own Colleen McCaskell, Ambergreen’s Paid Media Manager and resident PPC whiz. Colleen will share her secret to success with the relatively new yet potentially lucrative Gmail Ads.

Colleen has agreed to give us a teaser of what she’ll be speaking about – and how you can use her Gmail Ads strategy for your own PPC campaigns.

Colleen McCaskell, Paid Media Manager


Ambergreen: Hi, Colleen. Thanks for giving us a sneak preview of your SMX talk. But first, could you give us a bit of information on your background?

Colleen: Sure! I’m an expat American from Buffalo, NY, who moved to Edinburgh to undertake a Master’s degree in 2008 only to eventually wind up marrying a bearded Scotsman in 2011.

A variety of marketing and communications internships provided me a segueway into digital marketing – and the rest is history!

Outside of work, I’m a fairly active person, and I spend a lot of time weightlifting, cycling, swimming, and hiking. I try to offset all the hard work with liberal amounts of peanut butter, ice cream, and craft beer, of course!


AG: Why did you choose to specialise in PPC?

CM: Having worked across a range of digital marketing activities, I wound up gravitating naturally towards PPC after a couple of years.

Not only was it my entry point into the world of digital, but I find it satisfying in that you have access to any data you could wish for and your performance is easily quantifiable and measurable. You can make statistically significant decisions about how to build and improve upon your activity, and tie it in to your clients’ bottom line.

My paid campaigns are often the primary source of a given client’s traffic and lead generation, and it’s really gratifying to me to have that much impact on somebody’s business.

SMX London 2016

AG: What exactly will you be speaking about at SMX London?

CM: My topic focuses on the wide (well, not-so-wide) world of Gmail Ads!

These are a comparatively newer type of display campaign that advertisers can set up, so I am aiming to provide a one-stop shop of information about these ads as well as a start-to-finish walkthrough about getting these up and running in your account.


AG: What makes this topic so special right now?

CM: Gmail Ads only came out of beta and migrated into the Adwords UI last autumn, and uptake of the new campaign type has been relatively slow, as it necessitates its own dedicated creative assets and targeting strategy.

I aim to demonstrate that Gmail Ads can be just as effective at driving cost-effective, scalable lead generation as much as any bread-and-butter search activity.


AG: Which marketers in particular will benefit from implementing Gmail Ads?

CM: At Ambergreen, we’ve driven excellent results for clients in the B2C lead generation space as well as the ecommerce/retail space. We hope to try out this format for some of our B2B clients, but there are certain limitations of the Gmail platform towards reaching these users, as ads do not appear in paid business accounts.


AG: Can you give us a teaser of what we will be able to take away from your talk?

CM: If you’re just getting started with Gmail Ads or going back to the drawing board after an unsuccessful experiment, I encourage you not to become overly reliant on the templates that Google has provided.

I recommend diving straight into the custom HTML format and building out an ad that resembles an actual email, thereby being more native to its environment.

But you’ll have to watch the talk to find out exactly how!


AG: Is there anything else you’d like people to know leading up to SMX?

CM: Honestly, I’m just really thrilled to have the opportunity to speak at such a major conference, and I’m looking forward to soaking up some knowledge from the other speakers and attendees.

If I can help just one person in setting up a successful Gmail Ads campaign, I’ll consider it a job well done!


AG: And finally, we’ve heard that you have lots of images of capybaras in your presentation.


CM: Well, I’m completely crazy about my guinea pig, and a capybara is basically just a guinea pig if a guinea pig was 70 kilos. How can you not get enthusiastic about that?!

A Gmail Ads Capybara

Want more details about Colleen’s presentation and how her strategy works? Check out her full blog post on how to create Gmail Ads to win low-CPA conversions.

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