Don Macaulay lives in Vancouver where he is the Director of Web Marketing at Absolute Software. Prior to working at Absolute Don was the Web CMS Program Manager at SAP. You can learn more about Don on his website www.macaulaymedia.com
Don, you’re the Director of Web Marketing at Absolute Software. What does a ‘Director of Web Marketing’ do and what does a typical day look like for you?
My job as the Director of Web Marketing involves managing a small team, maintenance of our systems, day-to-day requests and developing a web strategy for Absolute.com.
What would you say is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job at Absolute Software is managing all the requests that we receive from our different departments and locations around the world. For many groups, the web is a big part of their go-to-market strategy, and juggling requests based on priorities can be a real challenge.
I think one of the most important personal skills or attributes is a real interest the web, technology and learning.
Your degrees are in Graphic and Industrial Design…not the typical background you would expect to see a Web Marketer have…how did you get into marketing?
After completing my degree at Emily Carr in Industrial Design (ID), I realized that I enjoyed media and graphic communications more than ID. So, after graduation I decided to focus on these job opportunities. My first job was working for Seagate Software, for a team called launch services. I was responsible for developing web and multimedia tools and training materials. I remember learning Flash 3.0 and being one of the first to use it in the company. This job was in the product management department and after about a year, it was phased out and I was moved into the corporate communications team within marketing. With the exception of a short time working for sales operations, I’ve worked in marketing ever since.
One of the biggest challenges in my career was knowing when it was the right time to move on to a new opportunity.
For others out there that would like a career in web marketing, what are the core skills you recommend they have?
Other than all the typical technical skills, I think one of the most important personal skills or attributes is a real interest the web, technology and learning. There is a real geek factor that I think is important. You need to have a desire to continuously learn about new and innovative technologies, and the constantly changing standards that make-up the web. For some people, this is not for them – they need to turn off at the end of the workday. But, for someone who wants to excel in a web career, you really need to be ‘on’ all the time – learning, reading, participating and having fun.
After several years of moving up the corporate ladder, even to the point you were a manager, you went back to get more education with Project Management Certificate. What was the motivation for that?
I wanted to push myself in a direction where I didn’t have formal training. After considering doing an Executive MBA, I decided a shorter 3 month program in project management would give me the immediate skills I needed in my job.
Can you share a personal or business challenge that was hard to deal with and how you overcame it and what you learned from it?
One of the biggest challenges in my career was knowing when it was the right time to move on to a new opportunity. When the opportunity to join Absolute Software was available, I knew it was the right time for me. What I learned from this experience is to be patient and follow your heart. You’ll know when the right opportunity presents itself.
How do you approach productivity? What tools (apps, gadgets, etc) do you use to help you stay productive?
I use iGoogle and Gmail, and also an iPhone and an Android tablet. Google announced they’re shutting down their iGoogle personal web portal service, so I’m going to need to find a replacement. And, if Apple ever releases a 7” iPad, I’ll be sure to get one – I prefer the size to the larger 10” standard.
What is your favorite blog and industry news source?
Some of the blog feeds I follow are: CMSWire, Engaget, Crave, TUAW, Gizmodo, Gamasutra, Kotaku, RedFlagDeals, BargainMoose and BloggingStocks.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Not a quote, but lyrics from a Rolling Stones Song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. A former athletics coach used to say this all the time to help us accept what we could do or did have, and not stress about things that were out of our control. The saying has stuck with me all these years.
What is one thing that your coworkers, clients or friends may not know about you?
Well, I shared this one a few months ago with my Absolute Marketing colleagues, but one career path I explored a long time ago was becoming a goldsmith. I took craft and jewellery courses each year during my BFA and even worked retail sales at Birks for a short time.