“The best way to be forward-thinking in digital marketing is to constantly think of the customer’s needs before your own business needs. Optimize for the customer, learn as much as you can about your customer, and you’ll stay competitive.”
Diane Kulseth is the Digital Marketing Manager at the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. She is one of the most nurturing managers and mentors anyone could ask for. I worked with her for about six months while she worked as the Marketing Manager of the Executive Education department at St. Thomas. She takes her time to teach from her vast experience and knowledge in the digital marketing field and develop the next generation of digital marketers. She is serving as the MnSummit Co-Director for the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association (MnSearch) and prior to this position as the organization’s Director of Communications.
Her first role out of college was working as an Interactive Marketing Associate and as an SEO Associate at Three Deep Marketing. She then worked as a Digital Strategist at Caring Bridge, as a Freelance SEO Consultant through Digital People, and as a Marketing Technologist at Denamico. Before her roles at St. Thomas, Diane freelanced as an SEO Strategist and in WordPress Management.
Diane did her bachelor’s degree at the University of St. Thomas, majoring in Marketing Management and minoring in Music and Catholic Studies. It is amazing to think that she had time for much else, but she interned at four different places during her stint in college. She was an SEO and Web Analytics Intern at Pretty Young Professional, an Interactive Team Intern at Three Deep Marketing, USTCareer Social Media and Resource Intern at the University of St. Thomas and a Multimedia Training Coordinator and Public Relations Analyst at the State of Minnesota.
What does a typical day in your role look like?
It truly varies. Some days, things are running smoothly, and I'm looking ahead to what campaigns need work, optimizing ads on Google, or updating dashboards to track performance. More often, there are programs that could use a marketing boost, so I'm quickly assessing what audiences to best target and where, talking with vendors about upcoming projects, and managing budgets and metrics at a moment's notice. There's hardly ever a dull moment.
What are you passionate about?
Honestly, helping to mentor the next batch of digital marketers. I have been very fortunate in my career to have found fantastic marketers as my mentors, and they have inspired me to continue teaching the craft. It's also a great practice for your expertise: learning how to accurately convey your ideas, strategies, and especially your data.
What do you find most challenging about your job/career?
It's easy to get stuck down a rabbit hole with analysis. Far too often, marketers (myself included) can pour over data and document every little metric shift and a proposed hypothesis as to why the shift occurred. Having a strong focus on business objectives is definitely a great way to avoid this issue.
What do you find most enriching about your job/career?
The relationships. The digital marketing community is surprisingly smaller than you think. Undoubtedly, your next boss probably will have worked with a former colleague or that person you met at a networking event two months ago will be the one to give you a heads-up about a new opportunity. Building strong relationships in digital is incredibly rewarding.
How did you find yourself in your current career?
Honestly, most of it came down to relationships. Every position I've held since college I've gotten in part to strong connections and relationships. Relationships matter!
Words of advice for anyone who wants to pursue this career?
I'll give the same advice one of my mentors gave me. Start a website, learn how to install Google Analytics on it. Track your traffic. Learn some SEO basics and apply it to your website and view its performance. If you can get a solid understanding of that, you'll be off to a great start in digital marketing!
To learn more about Diane's incredible career journey and work, visit her LinkedIn profile.
Thanks for reading!