This series features the awesome people who keep the heart of Digital Impulse beating strong. Today, we spoke with Chapin Bennett, our effervescent COO.
For most people at DI, Chapin is the first person that they meet at the agency. He brings them on board, makes them feel at home, and helps them get settled into their new job. It’s an important rite of passage that makes everybody feel like a valued team member rather than a siloed cog in a machine.
Chapin takes a genuine interest in all his coworkers’ lives and, before long, most employees at DI come to see him as a friend rather than their boss.
As COO, Chapin’s main responsibility is, well, responsibility. He makes sure that everyone knows what’s expected of them and has the resources to get their jobs done. He’s all about results at the end of the day. But he recognizes that if everyone is to perform at their maximum potential, it’s important for the agency to operate as a cohesive, tight-knit unit.
They say that a leader’s emotions color the emotions of everyone around them, in which case our team is lucky to have Chapin around. We hope you enjoy getting to know him a little better in this blog.
Chapin, what led you to a career in marketing?
When I was a kid, my brother downloaded an illegal copy of adobe photoshop and I always loved messing around with it and making really bad designs and silly pictures of my friends.
Since then, I knew I wanted to do something creative. This intuition led me to study digital art in college. When I got out of school I attempted – and ultimately failed – to become a professional graphic designer.
After that, I spent a year traveling around New England selling replacement windows to homeowners. It was easily the worst job I’ve ever had. But, like any tough experience, it taught me a couple of extremely important lessons,
- How to sell things
- I needed to find a better career path.
After my brief stint in the window industry, I landed a job working in customer service for the New England Patriots. That was also an extremely difficult job but taught me how to deal with conflict and communicate with all sorts of different types of personalities. Plus, working for the Patriots was a cool life experience.
Finding DI was basically luck, I met Andrew through my girlfriend (now wife!) and took a big risk by leaving the New England Patriots to join a tiny four-person agency that was just 1 year old. But it paid off! Accepting my role on this team was the best gamble I’ve ever taken, and unknowingly, all those previous experiences armed me with some of the core abilities I used in my first years as an account manager at DI.
How has your experience at Digital Impulse been so far?
Life-changing. I feel like I’ve had a patently unique opportunity to grow my career as our company grew. Having joined DI “at the ground floor,” I was able to share in the success of the agency as it expanded. This also meant that I would have shared in its failures, had things gone differently, but that’s the risk you take joining a young company.
My various positions at DI have allowed me to do a little bit of everything. I’ve been allowed to take on way more responsibility and opportunity than I would have gotten elsewhere. In the end, though, it’s allowed me to control my own destiny and feel true ownership in our company.
What project, accomplishment, or event at DI are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the strong relationships that I’ve developed internally with our team. I was unbelievably fortunate to be given the chance to create my own path here and watching and growing with the people who have been here for 5,6,7 years now, is what makes me feel most proud of what we’ve all done together.
Where do you find inspiration?
The rest of the team. Not to sound like a broken record, but it’s true. My coworkers here are always inspiring me. I love working with anyone who’s excited to learn about digital marketing, and curious about how businesses operate.
That said, I think the most important things I can teach have very little to do with the nuts and bolts of digital marketing. It’s more about people. It’s about finding the right perspective for approaching relationships with clients, and with colleagues.
What do you do for fun?
I wrestle with my two wild children, play video games with longtime friends, and I’m legitimately obsessed with improving my golf game, and talk way too much about it.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in marketing?
Just go for it! It’s a lot more valuable to spend your time trying to make something happen than it is planning it out. Make a little eCommerce shop, set up a Google Analytics account, work for free for a small business, you’ll learn way more if you just dive off the deep end with no regard for your own safety. If it scares you, that’s fine. It means you care, therefore it’s probably the right direction to be going.
What’s next for Chapin Bennett in 2022?
Hopefully breaking 80 in a round of golf this year. Finding new ways to put everyone at DI in a position to grow and take on new responsibilities. Spending as much time as possible with my wife and boys.