Me In Merkle is a series of interviews that showcase the incredible individuals who make Merkle a unique and diverse place to work. This week we chatted to Liv Johnson, manager - paid social, at Merkle.
1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up on The Wirral, which is a tiny peninsula next to Liverpool, then moved to Leeds for Uni, Manchester for my first job and London about 4 years ago now when I got the role at Merkle. I’m currently living in the lovely Earlsfield.
2. What drew you to your current career?
In all honesty I was desperate for my first job (after a ski season and travelling I really needed the money flow…) and I fell into a role selling print space in local newspapers at a company in Manchester. Some of the newspapers had online space and I ended up taking on more of a digital role. The company wasn’t for me and a friend of mine already worked at Merkle and had told me how great it was! When I saw the paid social role, I did a load of research and liked what I found, went for the interview and the rest is history!
3. Why Merkle?
A friend already worked there and had nothing but good things to say about the company, then through my own research I found out all about the culture and the perks – the free monthly lunches and regular socials hooked me in… The fact that I would start with other new joiners and go through training with them before getting stuck into client work really appealed to me too – because at that point I didn’t have much knowledge of paid social.
4. Tell us a bit more about your day-to-day.
I lead two of our largest social accounts, Footlocker & Michael Kors, so I am often liaising with clients or my team on campaign strategy and upcoming or ongoing projects. I also lead Academy, which is our training hub for all new joiners, so I am often planning training sessions or helping junior associates settle in. If I’m not doing any of those things I am usually catching up with the small team I manage, helping in their development.
5. What do you enjoy most about Paid Social? And what do you think future developments will be?
My favourite thing is how fast moving the industry is – there’s always new updates and innovation, things never stay the same for long! I think there will be a massive push towards integrated organic and paid social strategies combining the reach and exposure of paid with the loyalty and interest of organic consumers.
6. What would your advice be to somebody considering a career in Paid Social?
My advice would be to research into the world of paid social and gain an understanding of different social platforms from a perspective that isn’t just organic use – then find an amazing agency like Merkle to launch your career with!
7. What is your greatest accomplishment?
Hearing my songs being played on the radio was a pretty big achievement for me as a musician!
8. Tell us a bit about your experience so far with Merkle.
The last four years have been full of changes. I started out in the social team when there were still only around 10-15 of us and watched it grow to 50 over the years, with new teams in India & Edinburgh as well as London. I was fortunate enough to have fantastic managers throughout my career, all of whom put so much time into training and developing me so I could get to where I wanted to be. I’ve had so many opportunities, working on a huge variety of clients, getting involved in our Internal Excellence team and organising company-wide initiatives, as well as getting to train and develop new joiners which has always been a direction I wanted my career to go in. I’ve been able to work with forward thinking platforms, building my own AR lens, attending innovation events and even attending a particularly fun sports day hosted by Facebook.
9. What inspires you about Merkle’s workplace culture?
I love how inclusive Merkle has always been and how employees are always put first. You don’t just feel like another number at Merkle, the company genuinely cares and makes that clear with the many perks we are constantly offered including plenty of socials, mental wellbeing days, meditation classes, volunteering days, D&I initiatives and many many more. There is so much emphasis on supporting one another, not competing, it would be hard to find anywhere that has the same level of team comradery that Merkle does.
10. What was your dream job growing up?
Author of a series that makes Harry Potter look unsuccessful.
11. Are you involved in any of our DEI Pillars? If so, which one and can you tell us a bit about it?
12. How do you like your eggs?
Poached with a ton of chilli flakes and avo (basic I know)
13. What are you currently watching on Netflix/Prime?
Just finished The Serpent and Bridgerton series 2 – big leap in genres there I know
14. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Terrible television (currently binging Married at First Sight) & following dog influencers on Instagram (I can’t stop, they’ve taken over my feed)
15. What is your dream holiday destination?
Cuba, South America, Skiing in Canada, Fiji – the list goes on and on!
16. Best advice or mantra you live by?
Don’t stress, it doesn’t solve anything – just use that PMA (positive mental attitude)