Heather is passionate about helping companies deliver marketing that is hyper-relevant to the customer and drives profit for the business. As an experienced strategist with 20 years developing integrated marketing strategies across a range of industries, she advocates a data-driven approach to marketing.

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Get to Know… Heather!

What is your role at Vovia?
Well, my title is Director of Online Marketing but we don’t get too hung up on titles here. Basically, I get to work with amazing clients and our fantastic team to develop online marketing strategies that will meet our client’s business objectives. I also lead our social media team and work with clients, helping them navigate the constantly changing social media landscape.

Vovia - Heather Ilsley

What’s the best part of your job?
I get to work with a group of highly talented people. That would be enough for most people, but we also choose to hang out socially. Everyone is also very invested in constantly learning and improving. Ultimately our clients benefit because we’re able to offer them an unparalleled level of expertise.

What do you wish more people knew about online marketing?

  1. It isn’t cheap – It might seem pretty slick how everything just happens, but there’s a lot of work behind the scenes that goes into a properly executed campaign. If you get a quote that seems like a really good deal, you’re probably not dealing with a reputable company. You really do get what you paid for.
  2. Own your metrics (and know them!) – Online marketing allows incredible insight into what’s working and what’s not. Metrics are an asset that your organization should always have access to. If Google Analytics is installed on your site (and it should be!) you should have administrative access. Next, make sure you’re measuring the right things and understand how ALL your marketing vehicles perform. Often, online outperforms traditional media, yet has the smallest percentage of the budget.
  3. Keep it simple – The biggest mistake I see online is making things harder than they need to be. Your website should be so easy to use that it is effortless for visitors to find what they need. Want them to fill out a form? Don’t ask for their blood type. Have an ecommerce store? Be upfront about shipping costs. Selling an enterprise level solution? Don’t bog them down with paragraphs of information when they just want a spec sheet.

Where do you think social media is going?

There’s going to be additional pressure on networks to monetize, so consumers will be presented with higher levels of advertising, creating more noise and confusion. Companies will struggle to keep up so we’ll see more automation of social “interactions” which goes against the whole point of being social in the first place. Bigger players will continue to acquire smaller ones with the intention of being ever-present across all devices and the social eco-system. Unfortunately, consumers tend to tune out “inauthentic social media” so it will become increasingly difficult to generate positive ROI in social.

The bottom line is that there are no shortcuts – interesting, shareable content will always be valued, but it will be harder for companies to cut through the noise.

We’ve heard you like to run?

“Like” would be an understatement. I LOVE running! It’s such a great stress reliever and I find it’s meditative too. I’ve done 12 half marathons and one marathon. My goal is to run all the marathons in the World Marathon majors – New York, Chicago (done), Boston, London, and Berlin. There’s also a marathon through the wine region in France that provides wine and cheese at the aid stations. That one’s on my list too! Running is truly a metaphor for life; you get out of it what you put in.

We’ve heard you’ve done a bit of traveling, what is your favorite place and why?

I would say I’ve done *some* traveling, there just seems so much out there! I’ve been to over 30 countries, mostly by myself. Unfortunately, my list keeps growing. My current faves are probably Thailand (great combination of food, culture, and beaches), London UK, (one of the great cities of the word), and the British Virgin Islands (hard to complain when you’re on a sailboat surrounded by beauty). Next up is Turkey, Colombia, Bosnia, and Cambodia (not all on one trip, of course!)

We heard that you’re a Reverend….how did that happen?

Well, like I said earlier, we don’t get too hung up on titles around here, but thanks to the miracles of the internet, I am an ordained minister. Mostly it’s a great conversation starter, but if you’re so inclined you can call me Reverend Awesome!