American Underwater Products
November 2010 – August 2013
For nearly the past three years I served as the Marketing Coordinator for American Underwater Products. To anybody familiar with scuba diving gear that would mean Oceanic, Aeris, Hollis, LavaCore and Ocean Pro. I found the job on craigslist and I was the multi-hat wearing person that they needed to assist the Marketing Manager at the time. I was fresh out of school, just moved home to my parents house, and was looking for opportunities to work in the sports/entertainment industry. I had a computer science degree in Informatics, a lot of experience in photography and video, and the curiosity for marketing & advertising. When I came across this position at AUP it was close, flexible on the schedule, and was what some describe as a “travel” or “leisure” sport. I figured why not and took the job.
During my time at AUP I have been exposed to so many aspects of business. My role was loosely defined which allowed me opportunities to get involved in project management, product development, marketing strategy, photography, video, customer service, business analysis, web development, analytics, negotiation and more. With this opportunity I was able to learn about what I liked, didn’t like, was good at, and needed more practice with. Getting a taste of all these different facets of business truly grew my desire to learn.
My most impactful proposal was to make a switch from print advertising to online and social media. Initially we were spending a lot of our budget placing ads in dive magazines, and the reach was determined by the number of subscribers. But once the ads ran we didn’t have metrics on if consumers read our ads, followed the call to action, or even browsed the magazine. I saw a great opportunity with the rapid growth of social media, online advertising, analytics, and online tribes. At the start of 2013 we focused our marketing/advertising to the online realm. It was a great experience getting to try new tactics out and watch the online presence of our companies grow.
So why did I leave? There are a couple reasons. Working for 5 consumer facing brands means social media, online customer service, web project management, photography, video, project management, and more…multiply that work times five and tell one person to do it. But trust me, my issue wasn’t the workload. The project list & task list was consistently overloaded by 1000%, but you learn to prioritize and accept that things aren’t going to get done on time. You learn to set realistic expectations given the situation. I consider this a valuable skill. So the issue for me was that because my efforts were spread so thin it barely felt like progress was being made in any area. And often times the work that needed to take priority was stuff that was just going to maintain the current level of mediocrity instead of progress the company. In other words, we spent most of our time putting out fires instead of working on ways to prevent them. Another big reason I left was for my own personal growth and career development. I gained a lot of experience in social media marketing. I started mostly all social media properties for the companies and worked to make them grow from the beginning. I know that growing a fanbase from the beginning is much different than maintaining a fanbase of 400k+ and figuring out how to grow it from there. I don’t have the experience in the latter, but I think that by doing it I will have a better understanding of how to get there and what the long-term potential is for social media. It also comes down to focus. I felt like I needed experience working in a role and company that was more focused so that I could become great at one or two things, rather than just dip my toes into a plethora of tasks. It also didn’t hurt that I had an opportunity to work for a company who’s service I had used many times before and loved.
Where did I go? My new position is the Social Media Marketing Associate at BorrowLenses.com. It is an awesome company that rents camera equipment, both still and video, all over the country. I have rented from them countless times for gigs that required specific gear that I couldn’t afford, and even for personal trips where I wanted to try out some new gear that I’ve read about. I won’t talk much about BorrowLenses in this post but you can follow us on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, and on our blog.
I will try to keep my blog updated in the next few weeks but I apologize in advance if it becomes a little scarce. I have a lot to learn and adjust to with my new position and i’ll be spending most of my time making sure that I can accel quickly.
I appreciate and value the past three years that I’ve had to work with and get to know everybody at AUP. I left the company a much more educated, experienced, and confident individual than I was when I first arrived. I look at myself today and can honestly say that I am better in so many ways because of the values, criticism, and goals that my co-workers have pushed upon me.
My last day of work at AUP was August 20th, 2013. As I approached my final days I came to realize that I have worked many jobs and many of the people I worked with are a blur. I can remember names of some of my past co-workers but for others I can’t even remember faces. On my last day I visited everybody that I could find that I worked with and took their photo. I’m missing a few important people who were out of town so I’ll probably stop back in.
Leading off with images of the Creative Department. The photos of following are in no particular order.