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Interview with Natasha Walker

Welcome our next marvelous Women in PPC expert, Natasha Walker. Natasha is the Head of PPC at ClickBoost, a specialist paid media agency in Glasgow. Her career successes in our industry are inspiring to all of us! 🌷

 

Interview with Natasha Walker

 

Share the story of how you first got into PPC?

My first graduate job was an SEO role at Scotland’s biggest independent digital agency. The PPC and SEO teams were closely aligned in terms of team structure and clients, so I started to pick up some PPC tasks. I had the opportunity to work directly with the PPC Lead at the time, who was incredibly supportive and knowledgeable, and I owe a lot of my PPC career to them. I took over from them when they left the agency a few years ago, and have stayed in PPC ever since.

What was the proudest moment of your PPC career?

I’ve trained and managed many junior executives and graduates over the years and very proud of how far some of them have come. It’s very rewarding to see them become more confident and manage PPC accounts with minimal input from me.

Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy work-life balance?

I do and working from home for the last year hasn’t helped. In my previous role, I felt pressure to be “always-on” and would constantly be on emails during the evenings, weekends, and annual leave. I’ve had my fair share of late nights in the office which are never productive either. I now work at a much smaller, specialist paid media agency now which does mean you have more responsibility, but the owners understand the need to be flexible and to switch off. You need to be firm with people’s expectations so when you log off for the day, that’s it — laptop closed and no checking emails after hours.

Have you ever experienced any problems or challenges as a PPC because you’re a woman?

I’ve never openly experienced sexism or problematic comments and I currently work with four other men who are all excellent. That said, despite it being 2021, I don’t think people are used to women being in senior roles and that’s why they don’t take you as seriously as they should. But that’s why initiatives like Women in PPC are great because they highlight all the amazing women who work in our industry. I’ve stopped trying to come across as super nice and I avoid the things we’re all guilty of to soften our tone in emails — overusing emojis and exclamation marks, apologizing when someone else misunderstands, using words like “just” and “I think” to sound less assertive — the list goes on. Taking a step back from how I usually compose emails has been an eye-opener and I’ve cut down on unnecessary fluff!

Have you ever had any advantages or benefits as a PPC because you’re a woman?

One of the previous interviewees included a great quote — “create a product for women because both men and women will buy it” — which has really helped me get under the skin of some of the industries I work in. My background is predominantly in travel/leisure and healthcare, but I’ve been able to get up to speed with other industries quickly as I’m actually the target audience for a lot of products.
I’ve also worked with a lot of brilliant women who have been a huge support. The network of women in PPC and digital in general is amazing.

Are there any differences in how you’re treated as a female by clients?

I’ve had a few clients and colleagues who would regularly repeat what I’ve said back, but reword it slightly to try and undermine me and claim my idea as their own. It made me really doubt my ability but I’ve worked on my confidence over the years and it no longer bothers me. I’ve realized that if someone tries to undermine you, it’s often because they feel threatened and that says more about them than it does me.

Has a client ever underestimated you because you’re a woman?

I’m sure they have but they would never admit to it. The best thing to do is quietly get on with your work and let the results speak for themselves. Ultimately, if you’re taking on an agency to run your paid media, they are the experts and it doesn’t matter if they’re male or female.

If you could wave a magic wand and change something in the PPC world, what would it be?

Solid support from the Google Partners program and less rotation of account strategists. I don’t want to keep explaining my clients’ roster and their goals every quarter. The Google Partners program was great a few years ago but the level of support just isn’t good enough for agencies managing millions of pounds of spending every year.

What about being a PPC do you enjoy the most?

Building an account from the ground up and seeing the results come in. We can get so caught up in the tiny details of an account or campaign because that’s the nature of PPC, but it’s important to enjoy the simple things too.

About the Author

Eve I

Eve is the PPC analyst of Hellbent Digital, Inc., also a regular author on the DisplayAdsDeepDive blog. In the last few years, she lived as a digital nomad on four different continents with her husband, mostly in South East Asia.

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