Employee Spotlight: Lauren Gentile
WordStream has some impressive employees in our ranks: from industry influencers to marathon runners, from analysts to authors. The Employee Spotlight series aims to highlight the talented individuals who work here. Each month, we’ll be featuring an interview here on the blog and on our social accounts.
For this month’s Employee Spotlight, we talked with Lauren Gentile. Lauren’s originally from Florida, but she made it to Boston by way of Georgia and to marketing by way of a dentist office—but more on that transition soon. As a part of the customer success team here at WordStream, Lauren manages a portfolio of clients to help them to optimize their paid search efforts.
How did you hear about WordStream? Why did you want to work here?
I’ve been at WordStream for about a year and a half now. Before that, I was in the dental industry. I was in dental sales for about 4 years while I lived in Atlanta, Georgia. My fiance got an awesome job opportunity at Bose here in Boston, and then I worked as an office manager for a dentist. Part of my responsibility in that role was to manage the marketing, and I liked that part. I was like, “Wow, marketing is super fun. I could totally make a career out of this.”
What's your favorite thing about working at WordStream?
My favorite thing is when I get the opportunity to meet clients. I often go back to Atlanta to see my family, and I have a lot of clients there.I love just taking them out to lunch and hearing their stories. I love learning how they got started in marketing. People have started in these crazy careers and then somehow just by happenstance ended up in marketing—kind of like me. It's really cool to hear where clients I work with came from and how they've grown their businesses and their dreams along the way.
One of Lauren’s clients at WordStream’s last customer roundtable.
[Editor’s note: Lauren’s clients have had some pretty nice things to say about her, too—just check out our customer spotlight with A Sunset Chateau.]
What's the most challenging project that you've worked on here?
On my team, we onboard our clients and then we don't get to talk to them until the next quarter for check-in calls. I had one client who was in insurance—PPC for insurance is just absolutely through the roof. Cost per click is always high, which raises the CPA overall—it’s very, very expensive. This client came to me with this huge problem. They were getting too many low-quality calls that were not converting. We restructured his entire account. It was the biggest project I've ever had to do in my life.
It was a big project because he targets all of Florida. Miami was taking 80% of the budget, because it's a big metropolitan area that’s very highly populated. We needed to figure out a way that we could segment all these campaigns to make sure that other areas of Florida were getting attention, too.
It took a lot of thought a lot of reorganization and restructuring, but we finally got it and have been going strong. He's still my client. We're best friends. We've gone to dinner. We're kind of a big deal.
What's your favorite project that you've worked on?
Working on feature adoption for Bing. It's really important in digital marketing to have a multi-platform strategy, and working with people to realize that and expand their strategy has been really meaningful. A lot of people can be tunnel-focused on Google, which is great to a point. It's a fantastic platform—it has the majority of search and impression shares. But acknowledging Bing as a viable option to capture an audience that you aren't currently getting is valuable. So currently I've been working with the customer success team to focus on talking more about Bing feature adoption to make sure that we're allowing them growth in all aspects of their digital marketing.
Bing’s average CTR is about 50% higher than what we see on Google Ads.
What was your favorite class in school that you feel like you’ve used at work?
Psychology. This one time, my professor brought in this man who used to do the shelf placements for Walmart, and he talked about the psychology behind where you would place items. Certain colors need to be at the top, the middle, or the bottom. The children's food—the very sugary cereals—will always be on the bottom, because the children will pick it up and throw it in the cart. And it seemed very simple after he said it—but I didn’t think about that before. It’s just very interesting how predictable the human mind is.
I don't know that we can depend on a behavior to happen that directly in paid search. But we can still use psychological principles, especially if we’re considering more behavioral targeting.
What's the best thing that you've learned on the job?
I came in with a very limited knowledge of marketing—basically just what I taught myself while I was managing the dental office. So, honestly, I owe everything the WordStream. That's why I'm here. WordStream has really taught me everything as far as digital marketing.
What does your workspace look like? Minimalist? Homey? Neat?
I have a Keurig on there, because coffee. I also have salt and pepper shakers. They’re whales, and my future sister-in-law gave them to me. She's the most precious thing in the entire world. And then I have pictures of my family. And then there's a baby picture of Greg, who leads training for new CS reps, because it's adorable. When you look at the picture, it just makes you happy. He was such a cute baby.
Greg is the adorable little kid in overalls.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work each morning?
Right away, I check my emails to make sure there aren’t any clients that need immediate assistance. Then, I make coffee at my desk. Because coffee is necessary.
If WordStream announced a last-minute day off for tomorrow, what would you do with your suddenly free day?
What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
Us. It was scary, but it was so good—the cinematography and the soundtrack were chilling. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.
If you didn't work in digital marketing, what would you do?
I would probably pursue acting or singing. I used to do theater back in high school and middle school. My glory days. I debuted as the mayor in The Wizard of Oz. I also appear in one episode of The Vampire Diaries … as an extra. It was the summer in Georgia, but the scene was supposed to be in the winter. I sat on the bleachers in a winter coat. It was SO HOT.