We sat down with Saiqa Bi, ClickThrough’s new paid search manager, to chat about her new role. We learnt a lot about her predictions for pay per click, her background in consultancy, and her love of terrifying Chinese cinema.
Who are you? – Saiqa Bi, paid search manager at ClickThrough Marketing.
When did you start at ClickThrough? – Wednesday, May 9.
What will you do at ClickThrough? – My role is evolving every day, but generally I’ll be responsible for the strategic planning and analysis of client accounts. I will work on improving efficiency, building relationships with clients, researching the latest trends and planning strategies for PPC. At the moment, I’m still getting to grips with how things are done at an agency – previously I’ve worked exclusively on the client side of things – but I’m excited about bringing my skills and experience to the table.
What’s your background? What got you interested in digital? – I come from a marketing background anyway, but there are a couple of things that spring to mind that steered me in the direction of online marketing. I was taking a master’s degree in strategic marketing and consultancy, and our class was asked to help Cadbury with its social media measurement. I had experience in offline marketing consultancy – I worked with Barnados, for example – but Cadbury was the first project I worked on that had a digital focus.
The other major influence in my career choice was completing an e-marketing module at university. That and the Cadbury project really focused my mind and made me realise that digital marketing was the right field for me. Originally, I’d wanted to work as a strategic consultant.
What were you doing before you started at ClickThrough? – I worked for Home Retail Group (Homebase), managing its email, PPC and affiliate campaigns. I feel like I really came into my own as a project manager whilst I was there – for example, when Google Shopping changed its feed specification and policies last year, I managed the transition. I built relationships within the affiliate community and within the industry in general, but most importantly within my team.
What are you most proud of in your career to date? – My first job after completing my undergraduate degree was with a community organisation, which was based in an office within a church. We worked with vulnerable adults in deprived areas, giving support, counselling and advice. The VCO (Voluntary Community Organisation) sector is a lively, active and very interesting sector to work in, and I’m glad I was given the chance to experience it.
What’s your impression of ClickThrough so far? – What attracted me to ClickThrough straight away was the fact that it’s an out-of-London agency with a clear vision. Having worked here for a couple of weeks now, I’m impressed. I think that our foundations are robust, we have strong teams in place and we have a very clear focus.
What do you love about PPC? – I love the constant innovation. I love that it’s always evolving. You never get bored when you work in paid search. Also, I like the fact that it does what it sets out to do. Users will see ads based only on what they search for (generally). It’s helpful. It’s user-friendly marketing. And it’s a direct link between companies and customers. It isn’t as intrusive as some other forms of advertising.
What are your predictions for the future of PPC? – We’ve heard a lot about the opportunities opening up in mobile and social, but I think the biggest development – the one that will affect commerce sites directly – is the increasing refinement of the attribution model. I think that we’ll soon learn a lot more about how we can value online media channels.
What’s your favourite book? – Serious answer: Spot the Dog. That book represents the single happiest period of my life – when I was 22. I’m joking, I was four.
What’s your favourite film? – For some reason, my whole family are really into East Asian martial arts and horror movies. Not the Jackie Chan or ‘spooky-house-on-a-hill’ types, but the real blood-spattering, heart-in-your-throat, extreme movies. Wu Xia is probably my favourite. When I don’t feel like scaring myself to death, I’ll choose one of those brilliant 80s kids’ films that they don’t make anymore – The Goonies, or Flight of the Navigator. They were great.
What are your top three songs? – I like too many different types of music to name just three songs. I like grime, RnB, drum and bass and dubstep, as well as stuff from the sixties like Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye. Of course, I love hip-hop too. 2Pac was a favourite of mine when I was younger – and I’ve recently been getting into French and Arabic hip-hop too. I don’t understand the lyrics, but I still find myself rapping along in the car!
What do you like doing in your spare time? – When I get home from work, nothing makes me happier than chilling out in front of the TV, or just hanging out with some friends. I need my winding-down time after a busy week in the office!