This series features the awesome people who keep the heart of Digital Impulse beating strong. Today, we spoke with Lauren Allen, our tirelessly upbeat Director of Client Services. At such a tight-knit agency, it’s difficult to say who among us is the “face of DI,” but there’s a compelling case to be made that it’s Lauren.
As the head of our Account Management department, her day is spent advocating for both our clients and our in-house team. She’s responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with our partners, which allows us to continue doing great work for them.
In this era of mostly virtual meetings, it can be difficult to achieve genuine human connection with clients. But Lauren somehow pulls it off, making our corporate liaisons feel more like friends than points of contact. We’re lucky to have her, and we hope you enjoy getting to know her better in this blog.
Lauren, what led you to a career in marketing?
A lot of people seem to discover marketing by chance. They start out as web developers, writers, designers, or salespeople and then find a marketing job. I feel like I’m actually one of the rare cases where it was totally purposeful. I went to college for marketing and got my degree in marketing.
I always knew that I wanted to work within the business world. However, I also felt like I was a creative and imaginative person. In my professional life, I wanted to be able to use my creativity towards business-oriented things. To use both sides of the brain. And marketing was the perfect place to do that. It’s a natural intersection between art and sales.
Another thing that appealed to me was the fact that the marketing world was very broad. There are so many different directions to go and opportunities to explore. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into something like finance or accounting. I wanted the freedom to create my own path and see where it took me.
How has your experience at Digital Impulse been so far?
It has been exciting for me. I’ve been at DI for seven years now, and the company is only a little over ten years old today. So, I’ve been able to watch the team and the business grow from almost the very beginning.
When I started, everything was so new and exciting. It still is, of course. But now everything is much more organized and mature. Back then, we used to call it the Wild West. It was just a very different agency. And I really got to see it grow and see how our team has expanded and our business offering has improved, allowing us to work with more clients.
Witnessing that evolution has been an awesome experience. And it’s an experience that I couldn’t get anywhere but a place like DI. It wouldn’t be the same in a bigger corporate company.
Ultimately, I like being able to make a difference. And thankfully, I feel fortunate that I did start when I did, because I’m one of the people with the power to make core decisions. I really have a voice, even though I’m not technically an owner. They trust me to operate with autonomy and contribute to important decisions. And I really appreciate that. So, it’s been a good ride.
What project, accomplishment, or event at DI are you most proud of?
I think for me personally, it’s been being able to build the culture that we have today. Since I’m on the account team and I’m constantly working on different projects, it’s hard for me to pinpoint a favorite website or client because I’m proud of all of our work.
I love being able to work with clients, but I’m honestly most proud of the internal work that I’ve done to support a positive work environment at DI. Whether it’s by planning group events or just listening to someone who’s had a tough day. I feel like we’re all close friends here. And that’s not an accident, it’s a very deliberate part of our company culture. Helping to make this happen is something that I hold near to my heart.
Externally, if I had to pinpoint one project, I did really, really like working on the PAN site. I love how that one came out. It was cool to work alongside them since they’re also an agency. Even though they’re more on the PR space, a lot of the challenges that they had to think and talk through were relevant to us.
The CMB project was similarly engaging. I feel like these agencies really utilized us as a strategic partner. I enjoyed being able to use my creativity to think through solutions and opportunities with them.
Where do you find inspiration?
It’s funny since I work in digital marketing, but I am not a big web browser in my free time. I don’t sit around reading articles and absorbing new information in that way. My brain typically needs a break from the screen at the end of the day. I find most of my inspiration through interactions with people. I love talking with coworkers to hear their perspectives on things. My family and friends are also a constant source of inspiration.
Since I’m not on the production side of the agency, and my job is largely relationship building, inspiration works differently for me. I love hearing what the design department is creating and what the dev department is building. I gather all these little bits of information and think about how I can apply my knowledge of our business to help clients.
What do you do for fun?
Nowadays it’s definitely hanging out with my daughter Maya. I spend a lot of time with her, watching her grow, which is a sappy mom comment, but true. I have a close group of friends from home and school who are still living in the area. So, hanging out with friends and family mostly. Between the pandemic and having my daughter, my time has been spent a little differently, but I have always cherished working out and fitness and just being active.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in marketing?
Do what you can to get involved in things. Get off the sidelines and into the game. Whether that’s starting a new career or an internship or a job at Digital Impulse, I think offering yourself up and learning as much as you can is the best move.
Be a proactive part of the process. Getting your hands dirty is probably the best way to learn, especially for people coming out of school.
What they teach you in class doesn’t always apply to the real world. Marketing is always changing, so whatever a textbook said last year might not be applicable next year. You just have to dive in and ask a lot of questions.
Figure out how things work and how you can be successful. Above all, ask yourself how you can become an integral part of whatever team you’re on.
What’s next for Lauren Allen in 2022?
Workwise, I’d say I really want to fine-tune and challenge myself to be a better manager. That’s really important to me. I don’t think that I’m doing a bad job by any means, but I always want to strive to do better and make sure my team feels value in me leading them. So, for work, that is my goal for 2022. And in life, see if we can buy a house in this ridiculous market.