Master mechanic masters digital marketing

“You need to understand how to read the analytics.”

Jim Lamascus who self-identifies as a “blue collar scholar,” credits UCSC Silicon Valley’s Search Engine Marketing course with giving him a much-needed shift in perspective on online media.

“I had my sales understanding of SEO/SEM, but once I got in the class and saw the breadth of all the facets to get a campaign going, and all the ways to measure it and what the latest tools are, it was eye-opening to me,” he says.

From master mechanic to digital marketer

Lamascus, who started his career as an ASE-certified master mechanic, worked full-time to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees. Eventually he transitioned his auto expertise into a career as an advertising sales lead and supervisor for The San Jose Mercury News.

When the online advertising realm began to transform the print world, however, Lamascus recognized that he needed to develop digital marketing skills to keep up with industry demand.

“Within four weeks of the class, I was able to start sharing insight with customers,” he says. “They started looking at me as someone who had some expertise in the area and asking my opinions. This [program] has already paid for itself for me.”

Why master digital skills?

Newspapers had been transitioning to digital sales faster than ever. Sales knowledge of digital was not enough to distinguish oneself in the field.

“For the first time, I was taking classes for career enhancement because my skill set, even with all my training and background and industry knowledge and expertise, was quickly becoming outdated,” he says. “When I talked to customers, I saw that there was far more [to learn], even within the repertoire of what we sell, than just SEO/SEM.

Critical Digital Marketing Skills

Today’s marketer needs to understand different writing styles, Lamascus says, noting that since writing was not his expertise, he was glad to learn from the kind of critiques and feedback he received in a course such as Web Writing That Works.

“I feel like I have picked up something that I could probably do quite well—transition from blog writing to Twitter, putting together a website, writing an email, a white paper or an e-book. When I write proposals, write work emails, and send out sales presentations, it has altered the way I put that together now.”

Lamascus completed a certificate in Digital Marketing Management in summer 2014. He works in sales at Oracle.

“If you’re in marketing, you need to know how your website is performing, so you need to understand how to read the analytics,” Lamascus says.

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