If it came down to the wire, I wouldn't be able to tell you whether Online Marketing Strategist Curtis Jacob loves Google+ or donuts more. But that's fine—we'll just let our resident Google+, Analytics, and AdWords guru speak for himself.
Sarah: Hey Curtis. Why don't you start by telling us a little about yourself?
Curtis: Welp, I'm originally from Zanesville, Ohio. I graduated from college in 1998 with a degree in communications with a concentration in broadcasting, which I used to pursue my passion in politics.
Sarah: So what made you turn from politics to a career in online marketing?
Curtis: Post-college, I wanted to teach myself how to build websites. In doing so, I noticed a connection among websites, politics, and marketing. Though you know, I tend to see marketing differently than other people do.
Sarah: What do you mean by that?
Curtis: A lot of people see marketing as a branch of sales. I think that everything we do should sell, and marketing should be customer service. Marketing should not be built around hard sales, but rather relationships, and even creating a good product. Marketing is the entire package—your products, your relationship with your customers, and so on.
So as to how all this relates to politics and websites, a good politician is going to take the right approach to marketing—sharing ideas without hardcore selling. So it was easy for me to go from politics to online marketing—it's virtually the same thing.
Sarah: What's your favorite aspect of online marketing?
Curtis: It changes all the time. But I've always loved data. Technologies have changed, and data changes with it. But right now I'm really interested in authorship—who owns what, where the influence is. Good, intelligent workers want to be treated fairly, and have their work credited. And good companies will credit work when credit is due.
Sarah: So tell me about a website you've made.
Curtis: I created a hobby website for the Hardy Boys—hardyboyscasefiles.com. It's where I learned HTML, CSS, PHP, MSQL… It also got me into social media and SEO. Love Hardy Boys.
Sarah: Very cool stuff. Any other hobbies?
Curtis: My collection of G.I. Joes—I collect 3.75" GI Joe action figures from the 1980s. Growing up in the '80s, you had to love G.I. Joe. And my personality is such that when I started collecting, I pretty much had to keep on going forever. It kind of ties in with my views on marketing—once you start that relationship, you've got to keep it going.
Sarah: I hear you grew up near Amish country?
Curtis: Oh yeah. We used to take day trips into the Amish country all the time. And even today, I definitely have a preference for simple, plain foods. We used to have basic meals of a vegetable from the garden, potatoes, and deer meat. Oh, and I really miss the cheese.
Sarah: I've also noticed you don't drink Diet Dew like so many of your coworkers.
Curtis: I've never actually had Mountain Dew. Nothing against caffeine—I just don't drink a lot of pop. All water.
Sarah: And donuts. I've seen you attack a box of donuts. You are like some kind of donut-saurus.
Curtis: Donuts should be a staple of everyone's diet.
Sarah: Mac or PC?
Curtis: PC—I'm a gamer. I like to build my own computers at home. Usually when I build a computer it'll last me 5-7 years.
Sarah: Awesome. And just one final question for you—why Click Rain?
Curtis: Simple answer: this is where I believe God was leading me to work.