In this team member profile we sat down with John Newton, Chief Operating Officer at ClickThrough  to chat about digital marketing,  his new role as COO and what he admires about the 2012 Olympic Bid.

Who are you? – John Newton, Chief Operating Officer at ClickThrough.

When did you start at ClickThrough? – I joined as Head of Digital Marketing back in October 2009. In April 2011 I became Chief Operating Officer.

What will you be doing at ClickThrough? – In my new role I will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of all departments within ClickThrough along with our senior management team. These departments include our Client Services Team, who deliver outstanding digital marketing services to our clients, our Marketing and Sales teams and our IT, HR and Finance functions.

What were you doing before you arrived at ClickThrough? Where did you work? – Before joining ClickThrough I held a number of roles in organisations such as Yahoo!, ITV, Flextech Television and most recently an online performance marketing network. Many of these were within sales management and operations, which gave me the opportunity to get an insight into the many different aspects of marketing service delivery – from marketing and sales, through to pricing, delivery and finance.

What accounts/clients have you worked on before? – I’ve been very fortunate. Working at ITV gave me early exposure to the marketing needs and aspirations of a cross-section of some of the world’s biggest brands. In many ways, the challenges of global marketers are same as one or two man band companies – gaining and holding the attention of consumers in an increasingly cluttered marketing ecosystem. The increased emphasis on “pull” marketing in recent years, especially search marketing, has forced marketers to place more emphasis on consumers needs in their communications which can only be a good thing for brands looking to create long-standing customer relationships.

What are you most proud of in your career to date? – As Head of Digital Marketing at ClickThrough I was responsible for our rebrand last year. That encompassed all marketing communications – from our logo and branding through to our website, marketing materials, presentations and so on. The positive reaction from customers and other influencers has shown that we were right to place our highly knowledgeable staff –  our ‘search conversion experts’ – at the heart of our offering.

What do you love about your job? – The variety. Very few roles offer the chance to work with so many experts in their respective fields. Digital marketing continues to throw out exciting developments every few months and I love working with our search conversion experts to help ClickThrough rise to every new challenge.

What do you think is the number one thing for online marketers to watch out for in the next year? – Search algorithms continue to evolve and the news that the major search engines now take into account social activity in calculating search results, and the advent of Google +1, are further proof that that the list of ranking factors has grown exponentially in recent years. Search engines now have a very comprehensive (if not 100% complete) profile for each website they find and the challenge for marketers will be to ensure that they keep an eye on their activity across channels (inputs) and the resulting metrics (outputs).

Who do you most admire and why? – One of the greatest achievements over the last few years was the successful UK Olympic bid. Two of my business heroes (Barbara Cassani, founder of Go Airlines and former Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe) spearheaded the campaign. There is a brilliant synopsis of the British bid at the end of Jon Steel’s book ‘Perfect Pitch’.

What is your favourite book? – Aside from our rather fabulous Search Marketing books, for my money I would say that Alan Mitchell continues to turn marketing on its head (‘Right Side Up’ was years ahead of its time) and I also love anything written by Jeremy Bullmore, who still wields one of the sharpest minds in the marketing communications industry.

Away from business books, I am currently reading Lustrum by Robert Harris, the follow-up to the brilliant ‘Imperium’. Although set in ancient Rome, this tale of the cut-and-thrust of law and politics makes it a perfect novel for today.

What is your favourite film? – Has to be Back to the Future, although I was blown away by Tron Legacy in 3D.

Name your top three songs? – Tough… 1. ‘All This Love That I’m Givin’ by Gwen McCrae – funky! 2. ‘Blow Your Mind’ by Jamiroquai – great memories. 3. ‘I’ve Found Lovin’ by the Fatback Band. But ask me tomorrow and I will give you a completely different answer!

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About the author:

John Newton has 14 years of strategic marketing experience across Online Display, Search Marketing and TV and Outdoor Advertising, in companies which include Yahoo!, ITV and TNS Global. John has written on blog monetisation for Web Designer magazine and was the editor of ClickThrough’s two books. John is a CIM Chartered Marketer.