This series features the awesome people who keep the heart of Digital Impulse beating strong. Today, we spoke with Conor Snell, our inventive and resourceful Digital Content Manager.
As foreman of the content factory, Conor oversees the production of all our creative assets. Since, by its very nature, the word “content” can be applied to almost anything, Conor is a very busy guy. Art is whatever moves you, as they say.
This means that ads, articles, videos, social posts, landing pages, emails, and even podcasts all fall under his professional demesne. And he keeps a remarkably cool head considering the scopeless scope of his work. As a creative person, he seems to genuinely revel in the challenge of making things. If there’s such a thing as the “content gene,” Mr. Snell has it.
It’s been a pleasure having Conor on board, and we hope you enjoy getting to know him better in this blog.
Conor, what led you to a career in marketing?
There are two things I really love about marketing: telling good stories and working with smart, passionate people.
I majored in English Literature and Journalism at UMass Amherst, and I always had a vision of myself heading overseas as a would-be Hemmingway foreign reporter. But honestly, while journo school (and my time on the executive board of the school paper, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian) gave me a crash course in writing and interviewing skills, they also showed a whole bunch of reasons why I didn’t really want to go full-time as a reporter.
I got a job as a copywriter, first at an automotive marketing firm in New Hampshire. Surprisingly, it played well to my tendency toward condensing lots of technical info into short, punchy, readable copy—a skill that, a year later, I parlayed into a Content Strategist job at a small digital marketing agency in Manchester, NH.
This, too, was a great role. I found I really thrived in a fast-paced, client-facing role where results matter and they matter fast. Since then, I’ve kinda been hooked on that rush, so many agency heads know and love.
When a business owner or stakeholder is passionate about what they do, I feel that passion too. All the better if I can help them put that passion into words and get it all out to the public.
It’s a feeling that’s hard to replicate with solo creative writing, and working with the real people—both clients and my own teams internally—has helped me build some of my most rewarding personal and professional connections.
How has your experience at Digital Impulse been so far?
DI has been exciting, challenging, and fulfilling all at once.
Exciting because of the caliber of clients we work with. From global manufacturers to high-tech robotics companies to national nonprofits, the clients we work with allow me and the team to do cool, meaningful things that sometimes push us a little outside our comfort zone and let us innovate and be creative in exciting ways.
Challenging for the same reasons. Learning how a company works, how these customers behave, and how we can best fill their needs can be a real puzzle sometimes, and it’s moving through these challenges that make me better at what I do.
And fulfilling because the team we each have as support is more than just a group of coworkers. There’s a real vibe of friendship at DI, and it’s great motivation to keep doing the best I can so everyone else here can do the same.
What project, accomplishment, or event at DI are you most proud of?
There’s been a ton of excellent client work I’ve been involved with—from complex website builds with a lot of content considerations (even through multiple languages) to multi-channel marketing campaigns where copy specifics really count.
But honestly, my proudest accomplishment in my time at DI has to be our own Heartbeat.
We launched Heartbeat to give DI something it never really had before: a space to get the voices of our own experts out into the world. We built Heartbeat as a branded space for blogs, insights, and team member features.
The result has been not only the thing itself—which is excellent—but also the culture it’s helped build of sharing ideas, participating in our brand voice, and building our public-facing messaging as a company. It’s great! You’re even reading it right now.
Where do you find inspiration?
I’m actually a huge fan of history and spend a lot of time reading nonfiction and listening to history podcasts or audiobooks. Even though it’s a bit of a cliché to say, “history repeats itself,” I think there are a lot of patterns and rhymes you can take away from the broader human story.
I think by looking back at how people in the past identified, worked out, and overcame problems, there’s a bigger lesson in the way we can approach the problems we face today—even right down to marketing itself.
It’s helpful to see how, over time, even the most generally-accepted status quo can sometimes turn out to be dead wrong. It takes people seeing around a big problem to actually get through to the right solution, and that’s something I try to keep in mind whenever I hit a roadblock.
Also, I’d be remiss to not mention Oblique Strategies—it’s one of my favorite ways to completely throw my thinking for a loop.
What do you do for fun?
Hike! Bike! Cook (especially pizza)! Drink beer! Read! All the classic “New England” stuff.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in marketing?
While learning and listening is always good, your ideas are probably better than you think. When you get a chance to sit at the table and pitch concepts to a client, it’s up to you to get your voice out there and be heard.
Great ideas only come from those bold enough to put them forward, so don’t hesitate to make space for yourself. Clients and teammates will respect you for taking a shot even if they’re not all home runs.
What’s next for Conor Snell in 2022?
Professionally: keep writing, keep pushing the team to do more and better things, and find even more ways to help our clients tell their stories and engage with clients.
Personally: try to buy our first house, and hopefully get a dog!