Name: Parker Brown
Position: Client Ally
The overall objective and goal of a client ally is to serve the client, so I try to fill in the gaps of where we need work done. At times I may have to do some design work, copywriting or even some really minor website tweaking. But the main point of my job is communication with the client, and that's working on strategies and the implementation of those strategies to fit their business’s goals. Then, just working with internal and external client teams to deliver the best product possible.
I went to Texas Tech University and I graduated with my degree in marketing and a degree in management. That was for my undergrad, and also got a minor in media and communications. Then once I graduated, I decided to get a master’s degree. So I got my master's degree in media and communication with a sports emphasis. I did that, graduated and then I started working for Primitive Social almost 3 years ago.
How have you grown since your previous jobs?
I did quite a few internships while I was in college. I also worked a few jobs while in school, but I wouldn't say they were marketing or management based. I worked for a bookstore in Lubbock and then I ended up working for a church for quite a few years here. I worked in children's ministry for about three years, worked in college ministry for about a year and then youth ministry for about two years. That was all through college, grad school and even after. During college, I worked an internship for a housing construction company in Dallas. That was fun and definitely different than what I was used to. I worked for my dad in high school as an electrician so I knew the construction industry somewhat, but this was more management of people. Then, for my graduate degree, I actually moved to Denver for about four or five months. I worked for Cabela's in their digital media office as their social media intern for a while. That was a really cool experience because that allowed me to do a lot more than just your typical intern work. I got to work with a bunch of different sectors and parts of the company. I did a lot of analytics, reporting and working with the ads. So that's how I started in the social media realm and when I really started enjoying what I was doing.
How did you hear about Primitive Social?
Dan Pope - who's now the mayor of Lubbock - his dad and my grandpa are really close friends. When I was graduating, Cabela's didn’t have a job opening for me. So my grandpa was like, “You should email Dan Pope and see if he has any idea of a job you can do there.” So I met with Dan and he actually got me in contact with Kade. I met with Kade early one morning and he basically offered me an internship to see where it would go from there. So I started doing the internship and then a month later I started working full-time.
What made you want to transition into a full-time employee?
It was the company culture. I really enjoyed what I did and I really enjoyed the people. I mean, it was crazy because when I first started at Primitive Social, there were like 10 employees or so. I was the only guy in the office aside from Jerred and Kade, and JJ was still working remote. So that was an experience in and of itself. I just enjoyed the people I worked with and I could see the vision of where the company and I wanted to grow. This was the only place in Lubbock that I knew of doing this kind of work and I enjoyed it, so I stuck with it.
Why is it so important to have one point of contact within our company ?
It streamlines it for the client because they have one person they can go to you as opposed to, “Hey I need to send an email about design to this person over here, but my copyright contact is over here and then my website project person is over here.” It gets kind of cluttered and you don't know who you need to be talking to, so having one person as your point of contact can set you up with the right people to work internally with their team to get whatever they need done. It's definitely good both for the client and Primitive Social.
What are some tactics you use to stay on top of your emails, messages and replies?
I would say like 95% of what I do is communication and being effective at communication, because if you're in the dark or your client is in the dark, then something’s wrong. I think having the client ally role for our team is vital because without communication, it's like you’re trying to herd cats or something. There would be stuff going on over here, stuff going on over there and clients who want something going on over here. It’s just chaos, so my main purpose is to overly communicate with the client so that we're all on the same page. There's some days I feel like I send like 200 emails about all kinds of stuff, but it's good communication. It’s definitely better to over communicate then under communicate.
So what is inbound marketing and what makes you passionate about it?
I had no idea what inbound marketing was before I started working at Primitive Social, but it's really cool. It's all problem-solving. With print, newspapers and billboards, there’s no way to know exactly what your ROI is on all those things. Whereas with inbound marketing, you can track them digitally and know exactly what you’re getting in return for these customers that you’re getting contacts for. You’re generating email addresses, turning those email addresses into leads and then getting a sales person involved to turn leads into customers. So it’s a really long conversion funnel, but it's exciting to work through each of those levels. You can be creative in each aspect of the work you’re doing, so that makes it really fun. You have to be strategic to figure out what the next step is, and I think that's what kind of keeps you on your toes. Everything is constantly changing, like Hubspot, Google, Facebook and so on. That keeps it really fun.
You guys have been coming up with some pretty neat content ideas. Does everyone bring something to the table for that?
Yeah it's a lot of creative content and I'm super blessed and lucky that I have a great team to work with. We have strategy meetings all the time where we discuss different content offers, email campaigns, blogs and social ideas. We have a team of about nine who bounce ideas off of each other and are always pushing our projects forward.
How do you stay motivated to come up with fresh ideas?
I feel like there's always room to get better at what you do. It's a never-ending quest of always trying to get better at your craft, and so that's always pretty encouraging. With HubSpot, Google, Facebook and all these different platforms always changing, you have to be able to adapt and know what's going on. If a client asks you something, and you don’t know it, you need to be able to figure it out. Research it or use the team of people built around you to find those answers.
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
That is a tough one because I've worked with a bunch of different clients. I started on the social team and now I’m working with the inbound team, so we've done quite a few projects. We have a client right now called Texas Peanuts and their project is really cool because it’s a giant campaign to get a bigger footprint for Texas peanuts within Texas. So kind of like the Wonderful Pistachios campaign but for Texas peanuts. We started that from the ground level, and we've already created two pitch ideas to some large corporation grocery stores here in Texas, so that’s exciting. I also really enjoy working with Carpet Tech because they allow us to be really creative. We can bounce ideas off of them and they're receptive to them. We do a lot of different work for Carpet Tech: content offers, emails, blogs, social media and ads from Google AdWords to Hubspot, and all that in between. So they’re really fun to work with.
What’s it like to see the progress of your team’s content offers?
It's exciting. When someone downloads these content offers or gives us their contact information in some way, I'm on all those email notifications. So as soon as someone submits a form, I get an email for it. We've had content offers in the past where we send out the emails to thousands of people and my email starts blowing up. It’s like, “Whoa, this is equally annoying and exciting!”
What you do like about the culture of Primitive Social?
Primitive Social is a really cool company. I didn't know what the real world job market was like growing up. My dad was an electrician and my mom works for a hospital in their accounting department. So my idea of a company culture was always super business professional and the same thing every day (like what you see in movies). That's not at all what Primitive Social is like. Going back to the people we hire, I think they are definitely our biggest asset at Primitive Social because they are so talented in many different areas. We’re able to bounce those ideas off each other because people have different strengths and weaknesses. As a team effort, it's a lot stronger than just a one singular person trying to make all that happen.
What have you enjoyed about watching Primitive Social grow as one of the first employees?
We've grown at such a rapid pace...it's almost crazy to think about where we were even two years ago. We've grown as a company in so many different avenues and services, and that's something that is really cool to look back and see. At the time, stuff's constantly changing and adapting so fast that you honestly don't even realize at times how far we really have grown.
Why are you committed to Primitive Social?
I like what I do and I enjoy life, but it goes back to the culture here. We hire some really great, talented people here who spend time together inside and outside of work. Me and some guys here go play racquetball and tennis pretty often, or even just ping pong or grab dinner or something. I don't think that family aspect is something you see in a lot of workspaces. At larger corporations, maybe you see it as an 8:00 to 5:00 job where you clock in and clock out and that's it. Here, it's not like that whatsoever. So it’s really fun. I don't take any of it for granted because I'm really grateful to be here.
What are you excited for in Primitive Social’s future?
Oh more dogs. I think we need more dogs...one is not enough. Also, just to see where we're headed. We've expanded so many different service lines even in the past year, so I'm excited to see where that goes even in the next year or two down the road. If we continue to grow our space, we may have to move offices again. It's crazy to think about moving to another office that's even bigger to hold all the people we have.
What is your daily routine?
That varies day-to-day, honestly. Every morning I try to wake up around 5:00 AM. I work out at the gym and then I have some quiet time either reading through a devotional, a Bible study or something and then I get ready for work. I’m here from around 8:00 to 5:00 and then after work I try to stay pretty busy, whether that be in community group, helping out in youth group, working out, running errands, or just hanging out with friends. Me and some guys even play tennis and racquetball after work pretty frequently. I'm atrocious at both of those sports, but I enjoy playing and growing those friendships. So I don't know if I really have a daily routine, but that would be mine if I had one, just to stay busy.
You’re known for requesting Disney Princess songs in the office. Is that your favorite type of music?
I mean, I love Disney as much as the next guy, but I don't request those songs anymore. My music preference is a kind of all over the place. It used to be the running joke that they couldn’t play music I know or I would sing along and annoy everyone, so they stopped playing music that I knew... Honestly, if you play any song from the 70s, 80s or 90s, I probably know the words. I really like that music, but I also listen to country and worship music while I work out and drive. It actually varies day-to-day or how I’m feeling or what I'm working on. I used to try to listen to podcasts. There's this one I really like called Stuff You Should Know Seth recommended to me, and it got to be a problem because I'd be typing emails to clients and unknowingly inserting tidbits of the podcast into my emails. So I can't do podcasts anymore, but I do listen to music.
What about your favorite TV or Netflix shows?
I am not ashamed of this number, but I've watched New Girl about eight times all the way through. That is probably my favorite show right now. I also really like Friends and Parks and Rec. I'm not really big into reality TV...I can't get into that. But I do love watching sports, like any college football, NFL or baseball. I'm not really big into basketball because I was terrible at it as a child, but I’ll watch Tech play.
What are your other hobbies and interests?
I despise being bored. I get really uneasy if I’m just sitting at home with nothing to do. So being outdoors and doing things to staying active are some of my hobbies. I grew up with my dad and we'd always go hunting, fishing and hiking. I loved doing that kind of stuff growing up. I would always be outside because I wasn't allowed to watch a lot of TV, so I was on my bike, playing with some kids down the street or playing in the front yard. I think that carried over to my adult world because I still enjoy being outdoors, or at least just doing something. West Texas has a lot of fun stuff to do if you look for it. But during the fall on Saturdays and Sundays, I'm most likely watching a football game - either college football on Saturday or NFL on Sunday.
How do you balance work and personal life?
That's something I think I'm constantly working at. You go to work for eight hours a day and you end up spending more time with people at work then you would if you had a spouse. I think it's really encouraging to see that you can do both. You can enjoy your work life and you can enjoy your personal life, and they don't have to necessarily intermingle. But when they do intermingle it's still great. It doesn't feel like you're taking your work home with you.
What all do you do for the youth group you volunteer with?
I volunteer with a youth group here in Lubbock and on Wednesday nights we do Bible study, on Sunday mornings we have Sunday school and then Sunday nights we just kind of hang out. I'm really grateful for the church family God has blessed me with. They're great people. I have some mentors at the church I meet with maybe once every couple of weeks for lunch or dinner. They invite me over to their house and it's great because my family is 300 miles away and I can't see them every weekend.
What is something not everyone knows about you?
I was featured in a BuzzFeed article last year. I tweeted about sarcastic people one time and they used it. It was on one of their snapchat stories and I got like three messages from my friends saying, “Hey, this is you!” I got tagged in like eight different articles on Facebook and Twitter, and so I thought that was pretty cool. So, of course, I had to show my mom and she had no idea what BuzzFeed was.
Who do you admire?
I really admire my dad. I think he’s the hardest-working guy that I've ever met. I also really admire my mom because she's always been one to set aside her own ambitions for other people’s goals and ambitions. That's just really cool to see. I admire people that will choose joy in their life and not let negative things bring them down, because that's a conscious decision that you make to overcome those things. I admire people that stand up for what they believe in, and I admire people that stand up for their faith. So I think there's qualities in everyone that you can look up to and admire.
How do you stay motivated?
I think that drive to always become better at what you do keeps me motivated. You're never going to reach the pinnacle or the peak of inbound marketing or just life in general. You're never going to know it all because it’s constantly changing, life is constantly changing. So don't strive towards perfection because you're never going to reach it, but you can always strive to be better at what you do because when you get better you can better serve your clients, and the people God has put in your life. That's something I really enjoy is serving the people around me because I think that brings joy to people.
What is your secret to success?
Something I think that is really important to both your work and personal success is choosing joy. Life is hard, and it comes with it’s own peaks and valleys, both good and bad. I think choosing joy in every aspect of your life is key and vital to a healthy life. It’s definitely not always easy, but instead of focusing on the negatives and being consumed by worries and anxiety, I try to make a conscious decision every day to look at the brighter side of things. There’s always something to be thankful for. Another thing that I tell myself almost every morning is, “Today is a great day to try.” That applies to almost anything in my workday and personal life.
There are always going to be situations in life that are daunting or intimidating to try and tackle and consequently you’ll want to shy away from, but I think actively focusing on “trying” helps you treat each day a like an adventure, which makes failure look like the mole hill it is instead of the mountain it appears to be. Lastly, I think you also have to have a really strong work ethic and persevere, which I think I got from my dad. He's constantly working hard. You can't rely on other people to always be pushing you. You have to self start those things and take on that initiative.
Any other words of wisdom you would like to pass along?
One of my favorite quotes is from Ferris Bueller. “Life moves pretty fast - if you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” I think that's pretty true, and even though it was from Ferris Bueller, I think it carries a lot of value.