My Career(s) at RV features people who have experienced SEISMIC career shifts, turned their “side-interests” into full-time jobs, or made gigantic leaps to follow their passions. All right here at Red Ventures.
VP of Content: Laine Plummer
Q: OK Laine, take us back in time. What series of fortunate events led you to Red Ventures?
A: Hello! Well, before coming to RV I was writing traditional print advertisements. (Think: billboards, magazines, newspapers.) I knew in order to have a sustainable career in content, I needed to go digital. And even though I had virtually no digital background, I had enough writing experience to start as a Senior Copywriter here. I made it known that I was eager to learn, and RV delivered. It was the perfect place to get my foot in the door.
Q: So, you dove headfirst into the world of digital content. What was that like?
A: Yes – but my lessons in “digital” weren’t limited to content. Through conversations with my manager (and soon-to-be-mentor), I became interested in data. I put myself out there in case an opportunity came along… and soon enough, one did! In addition to writing digital content, I was tasked with facilitating the approval process for all creative with my team’s brand partner.
Q: That sounds great! But what does it mean?!
A: Basically, I started working with our partners to ensure our content and design work was on-brand. It taught me a ton about partner communications, gave me some really valuable experience that came in handy later (foreshadowing!), and it required me to get more involved with creative projects coming down the pipe. It’s also when I got really interested in our paid search and SEO testing strategies.
Q: Ah, from webpage writer to project manager. Hold up – where does your interest in data come in?
A: Perfect segue. All these new responsibilities got me thinking about the why behind our creative, so I started sitting in on marketing meetings. Many of my Creative peers actively avoided those due to the high volume of spreadsheets and acronyms, but I’d attend every one, take pages of notes, and then ambush unsuspecting analysts with rapid-fire questions afterwards. Over time I had fewer questions to ask, and I was able to share what I learned with other Creatives. And then something big happened…
Q: …we are on PiNs AnD nEedLEs over here.
A: One stormy November night, I got the courage to ask a newer analyst on our team to show me how to use RV’s in-house technology that controls CE tests. To my surprise, she said, “YES PLEASE.” The timing was perfect because the team was prepping for Black Friday, and we didn’t have nearly enough hands on deck. So, I learned how to launch a test in a day. Before long, I was pulling my own test data and using it to improve my copy.
Q: Time-out: How does having a spreadsheet full of numbers help you write better words?
A: Understanding how customers respond to my creative makes me a better creative. The more tests I launched, the more insights I gathered, and the more I was able to improve experiences. Next thing I knew, I was offered a full-time analyst role. I said yes.
Q: OK, so now we’ve gone from Senior Copywriter to Project Manager, and now to Analyst. How long were you in that role?
A: I worked on the numbers side for almost two years. A good portion of that time was during DirecTV’s merger with AT&T, which required lots of brand development and creative testing on our end. After proving myself there, I moved into a Customer Experience Lead role on the Energy team here at RV.
Q: What?! That’s now FOUR careers at RV, and we’re not even finished yet. You might be setting a new record.
A: Ha! Well, buckle up. We’re about to make it five. I enjoyed being an analyst, but I realized I was spending all my time staring at spreadsheets. I really missed writing, so I moved back to the creative team. This time, though, I got the best of both worlds. I could write content, but with a deep understanding of how data impacts the projects we work on.
Q: Sounds like a happy ending!
A: But then, a plot twist: When I had my first son, I decided to leave RV for a bit. I thought I’d check out what the “work from home” life was all about. Turns out – (disclaimer: OPINION) – it wasn’t all that awesome. I was still in a creative role, but I had a very limited ability to track my content’s performance. We were essentially just creating things and hoping they would work. Call me spoiled, but I really missed that element of RV.
Q: So, you came back! Were you able to pick up where you left off?
A: Kind of. I did actually have to re-interview and go through that whole process again. But one of our big Telco partners was going through a massive rebrand at the time, and the team needed someone to act as a bridge between the partner and our RV creative team. Guess who’d just done that on DirecTV?! It was the perfect fit.
Q: And thus, you began your second tour at RV. (Working title: Content Queen: 2 Fast 2 Furious.)
A: Love it. This time around, I had an even deeper appreciation for our culture of collaboration and data insights – since I’d experienced life without. After assisting with the rebrand I just mentioned, I moved into a director role to help other businesses tackle the same challenges.
Q: Wow! How exactly does one make that kind of step up, from “Senior Copywriter” to “Director of Content?” (….asking for a friend.)
A: That’s a great question. I would say that moving from an execution role to a leadership position is about being able to identify larger trends/patterns and finding opportunities to solve problems on a bigger scale. For example, if you find out something that’s working on one team at RV, spread that knowledge! If you can share what you’ve learned to help other teams get better (while playing to everyone’s unique strengths) – you’re on the right track.
Q: And what if you want to do something crazy? For example: Move from copywriting, to data crunching, to content again…
A: Be bold, and make your career goals known. If you’ve got skills outside of your role that you wish you could be using on a daily basis, there’s no way for others to know that unless you tell them. Find mentors, and be honest with them so they can help connect you with great opportunities. Don’t be afraid to be your own advocate.
Q: Hear, hear! One last zinger: Why stay with RV through all these changes, vs. exploring other companies?
A: I get this question a lot. As a writer at Red Ventures, you’re empowered to write every type of content there is: scripts for sales agents, ads for paid social, SEO content, emails for internal communications. You can work across different of teams and build relationships that lead down new paths. Red Ventures is a place where there’s never a shortage of new opportunities, whether you want to grow within one career track or choose your own adventure like I have.
Q: Truly profound. Thanks so much for speaking with us!
A: Thanks for having me, Terry.
Looking for more crazy career changes? Read all about Nishtha Sharma, who went from outreach coordinator to front end developer – but not before working full-time for TWO nonprofit organizations supported by Red Ventures.
About the Author:Laine Plummer | VP, Creative & Content
Laine Plummer is VP of Creative & Content at Red Ventures and a personal assistant to two toddler boys at home.