What does a digital marketing director do? In News@Wilkes’ latest “Meet” feature, we learn the answer to that question and more as we get to know Mandy Pennington, who joined the University this year as the first person to hold a position 100 percent dedicated to marketing Wilkes on digital channels, such as social media and via search engines such as Google Search.
What positions did you hold before joining Wilkes?
Prior to joining Wilkes, I was the Director of Internet Marketing at Net Driven where I led a team of social media managers, search marketers and analysts, copywriters, and directory specialists. Our goal: help your business get found online. Net Driven primarily serves independently-owned automotive businesses throughout North America, so I had the opportunity to work with small, family-owned shops all the way up to multi-state retail chains and global tire manufacturers.
Before Net Driven, I was the SEO Supervisor for Agency Services at Web.com, which meant I led and worked within a team of account managers and fulfillment specialists who crafted creative social media and search engine optimization campaigns for a variety of businesses in all sorts of industries. Most of our clients at that time focused on e-commerce, which meant I got exposure to selling everything from welding supplies to wedding favors. It was something different every day! While at Web.com, I also had the chance to work with the PGA TOUR on social media campaigns for selected events. It was so exciting!
I’m active in the local community, too. I co-founded the region’s first blogging and social media conference, NEPA BlogCon, with three other amazing women. From 2012 to 2017, we raised thousands for local charities, including our own girls STEM education camp, and were able to help hundreds of attendees learn from and network with each other. Today, I’m a member of NEPA Tech, which does monthly meetups throughout the region, and I volunteer as a member of the marketing committee for the Scranton Fringe Festival.
Education has been with me all along the way. Since 2011, I’ve instructed classes in the communication arts department at Marywood University. In my roles with Web.com, Net Driven, Marywood, and the community, I’ve had the chance to speak at a variety of professional conferences and events. I love being able to share what I’ve learned.
What attracted you to your job at Wilkes?
I LOVE school. I’ve always loved school. But beyond my love of learning, I appreciate what colleges and universities can do for a community. I’ve seen firsthand the life-changing opportunities they offer and how the environments they foster shape our future.
I always want to feel like I’m helping people or contributing to something bigger than myself. Being in education does just that – we do it all for the students.
Can you describe what you do as director of digital marketing?
It’s something different every day, which I love! As the director of digital marketing, I’m responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of our paid digital strategies. My goal is to help prospective undergraduate and graduate students learn about Wilkes and take the next step in their journey with us.
I work with a wide variety of digital channels: Google Search and Display Networks, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn. On any given day, you might find me reviewing our analytics to see how a campaign is performing, adjusting bids and budgets, or making updates to existing creative to see what resonates most with our audiences. Lots of planning and organization.
What would people be surprised to learn about your job?
Just how often it changes! Digital marketing is always in flux, challenging me to stay current and progressive in my approach.
To stay up to date, I read. A lot. Industry news, blog posts, conversations on social, whitepapers, etc. It all helps.
I also have to give a shout out to Twitter in that it’s usually one of the first places I hear about industry happenings. Twitter chats have been invaluable. Not only do I get to connect with other digital marketers, but we discuss the things that affect us most in our day-to-day and roundtable those frustrations to come up with actionable solutions.
If I was not working as a digital marketer, I would be….
Is there a position that combines together writing, teaching, lounging in a bookstore, trying new recipes, and making theatre? If so, that’s the perfect job for me.
Right now I’m reading…..
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I enjoyed the movie and thought I’d give the book a try. It’s delightful and cozy – a lovely read best accompanied by a cup of tea on a chilly fall day.
People would be surprised to learn that I…..
Perform with local theatre groups! I’m a proud member of the New Vintage Ensemble, which is most well-known for taking classic works and reinventing them into highly stylized productions. I’ve also done shows with Gaslight Theatre Company, Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, Yard Cat Theatre Co., and Diva Productions.