Profile of a Growth Marketer: Derek Martin, CreativeLive


Profile of a growth marketer is an ongoing blog series featuring top talent in the field of digital marketing. 

Empowering people everywhere to unlock their full potential, CreativeLive is forging a new path in online education. With free, live, immersive workshops in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, crafting, and software plus direct access to expert instructors, CreativeLive is a valued resource for millions of online students.

What’s it like to work for a fast-growing, innovative online learning company?  We asked Derek Martin, SEM Manager at CreativeLive to share his experience.

What is your role and what attracted you to it?

I’m the SEM manager at CreativeLive, working on our growth marketing initiatives.  I manage our affiliate marketing program and search engine marketing (Google, Bing, Yahoo).

I was attracted to the role for a number of reasons:

  1. I am 100 percent committed to the mission of CreativeLive and the way we have built the brand into an online learning powerhouse.
  2. I am an employee as well as a student, I have a nascent interest in photography and know firsthand how life-changing it is to interact with CreativeLive’s expert instructors.
  3. The digital marketing industry is constantly changing which allows us to get real-time, immediate feedback on new campaigns and ideas. It’s really exciting to be a part of it all.

What is a typical day in the life?

My day always start with reviewing our results and working with our team on our affiliate marketing and SEM programs. We are also focused on trying to scale them.  I am always looking for ways to gain efficiencies and leverage programming, automation and web development to improve results.  A big part of the job involves solving problems and making sure all of our online marketing channels are performing. 

What do you view as the main digital marketing growth opportunities?

We believe there is room for massive growth in the affiliate channel and as a result we’ve set high revenue goals this year. Our instructors act as affiliates to promote CreateLive classes, providing another way for us to grow our program revenue along with our other affiliate recruitment efforts.  We are also testing partnerships with nontraditional affiliates and remarketing campaigns as we look to drive growth.

We also see an opportunity with paid search and have created ads for every instructor in our catalog to drive traffic and conversions. We are always testing new channels and are investing more in Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and other digital channels.

What are the advantages of working with Acceleration Partners?

Acceleration Partners affiliate industry expertise is vast.  From affiliate recruitment and digital marketing campaigns to program operations and reporting, our AP team has a strong work ethic and executes flawlessly.

What do you find most rewarding about working at CreativeLive?

CreativeLive is a fun place to work and I love how my colleagues are committed to its mission of spreading ideas and providing educational resources to all.  Many of our customers start out not knowing anything about a specific topic and with our workshops they can quickly acquire the skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. I find it very rewarding to be a part of a team that is making a difference.

We also enjoy our time together outside of the office. Some of the best times we’ve had together are when we go out for karaoke.  I like to sing a wide range of songs – Prince, Michael Jackson, Journey –it depends on the mood. I refuse to sing show tunes though!

What are some of the biggest challenges in digital marketing today?

We are constantly updating our approach to make the most of the fast-moving world of digital marketing.  We are keeping our eye on automation so we can understand how our ads are served and quickly measure the quality of our ads.  This allows us to determine if our campaigns are relevant and we rely on automation and processes to quickly pivot our strategy.  We are always looking for new opportunities and continuously aim for reach and growth but not at the expense of profitability.

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