In the latest edition of our VM interview series, we talk to Vertical Measures Director of Sales and Marketing Patty Adams. Patty, VM’s resident Parrothead, shares a little about her previous jobs, her love of dogs and how quickly she can finish a Taco Bell burrito.
Michael Schwartz: There’s only one way I could start this thing. Arnie and Andi were out of town, and you were in charge last week. What kind of special privileges do you get when you’re sitting in the big boss’ chair?
Patty Adams: I am humbled at the opportunity to fill the shoes of two great people (please make sure Arnie and Andi get a copy of this interview). Other than that, no special privileges….just the privilege of being here. I still had to sit in my own chair at my own desk.
Michael: Now before we get into the hard-hitting questions, it would be remiss of me not to ask about your May Employee of the Month honors here at Vertical Measures. How does this award rank among your career honors?
Patty: Among the highest of course! And this is the only award I’ve ever won that came with a metal bulldog trophy that proclaims, “Top Dawg.” No words can describe that feeling. Not sure where the little sombrero came from that sits on the dog’s head, but really, who can ask for more than that? I’m truly honored.
Michael: In the earlier parts of your career, you’ve worked as the marketing director for a culinary school and a golf college. How did those positions prepare you for the Internet marketing world?
Patty: It helps me understand what the person on the other end of the phone is thinking when I’m trying to explain to them how Vertical Measures can help with their overall internet marketing efforts. No one wants to hear how great Vertical Measures is; what they want to hear is how we’re going to help them with the problems they face with their online marketing efforts. Having been in those marketing positions in the past, I understand they want results, and they want to know that before I propose a solution I’m going to understand their company and their challenges and what their pain points are, and how we can help. I’ve also seen how effective internet marketing is when compared to other more traditional marketing methods, especially when I look at things like cost per lead or cost per acquisition. I can talk to potential clients about how our services can fit into an overall, comprehensive marketing strategy.
Michael: Before coming to Vertical Measures, you were actually a VM client. How did that transition ensue going from client to employee?
Patty: When I worked for the golf academy, Vertical Measures was brought in by the new president to handle our internet marketing and link building needs. They did such a great job that when I left there to go work at the culinary school, I recommended that they consider Vertical Measures as their internet marketing vendor, and they ended up bringing them onboard. After leaving SCI, one thing led to another and here I am today!
Michael: What do you think is the toughest part of your job today?
Patty: The toughest part of the job is that the industry changes all the time, so our services have to continually change and adapt to keep up and be effective, and I have to understand all those service changes to put together a great link building and content marketing plan for our clients. The only way that I can successfully provide our potential clients with the best service solution possible is to understand these changes and stay well-versed myself, not only on how our services are changing but the industry as a whole. A lot of what I learned about link building even six months ago is outdated now.
Michael: In your Facebook info box it says that you are “sometimes” darn funny. Can you tell us a joke so the people can decide for themselves?
Patty: Not one that can be printed here, no.
Michael: How long have you been a Parrothead and where does your Jimmy Buffett love stem from?
Patty: I’ve been a Parrothead ever since seeing him in concert about 15 years ago. Like I tell people, it’s not about the music; it’s about a way of life. I someday inspire to live the life he sings about in his songs.
Michael: Let’s say you’re stranded on a desert island and can only bring one Buffett song with you to listen to on an endless loop on your iPod, which one would it be?
Patty: I’d have to say “Changes in Latitude” though every time I go to Mexico the song “First Look” pops into my head. “A Pirate Looks at 40” is also a good one, but I’ll stick with “Changes in Latitude” if I could only pick one.
Patty: I have four dogs. Two of the dogs are brothers: yellow labs; they’re about 110 lbs each. My other two dogs are rescue dogs: an Australian Shepherd mix (70 lbs) and a Lab/Chow mix (75 lbs). Together they work as a pack and wreck havoc on my home; no pillow is safe, but I love them …. and no longer buy pillows.
Michael: I understand you hold the VM record for fastest lunch time ever, scarfing down some Taco Bell (which is right next to VM) in your car before even getting back to the office. What’s your fastest official time for a lunch?
Patty: If the good people at Taco Bell are on their toes, I can be mowing my way through the last bites of a Grilled Chicken Burrito and be back in my office chair in six minutes. I try to wear dark clothes on those days so no one sees the taco sauce I inevitably drip on myself during the feeding frenzy.
Michael: And finally, you’ve been at VM longer than anyone not named Andi or Arnie. What’s your favorite part about working at Vertical Measures?
Patty: Bagel day whenever it’s somebody’s birthday. I love eating.