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 Stefani Nikolli, paid search manager, at Merkle.
1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
Originally from Albania, I grew up in London, specifically South London. I love the energy of a big city and chose to study in London too at CASS Business school. And no surprise, I live in London now.
2. What drew you to your current career?
I studied Business Management at university and was immediately interested in marketing as it had the mix of strategy, data and creativity.
3. Why Merkle?
While looking for internships in my second year, I found a Paid Search summer internship at Merkle. I looked up the company and was impressed by their awards, client list and the training provided.
4. Tell us a bit more about your day-to-day.
As a Paid Search Manager the consistent parts of my day include checking account performance, running through tasks and catching up with my teams. The best part of the job is your days vary greatly, some are led by client calls to discuss performance or future strategic pieces, others are led by team development/learning opportunities.
5. What do you enjoy most about Paid Search and what do you think future developments will be?
The best part about paid search is how dynamic it is, the industry is constantly evolving and growing which means there is so much work that can be done with clients which includes testing new campaign types/approaches and features. Moreover, everything is measured so you can report back to clients with incredible detail being able to not only see the sales you drive but how users interact with ads and your site.
The pandemic accelerated digital trends significantly and highlighted to brands how important digital is so within Paid Search I anticipate there will be a lot more collaboration with other channels such as Social and Programmatic as the channels align to meet client goals across the wider funnel vs seeing each channel as its own separate entity with one goal, it will become a lot more connected.
5. What would your advice be to somebody considering a career in Paid Search?
If you are someone who loves the mix of working with data but also creative thinking, this job is perfect for you!
6. What is your greatest accomplishment?
Looking back, I am proud of all the smaller accomplishments that got me here – my degree, my internship and my recent promotion to Manager!
7. Tell us a bit about your journey so far with Merkle.
I started out as a summer intern (the first cohort ever!) in Paid search. I absolutely loved the work and the team so when I was offered the graduate role I returned to Merkle full time. In Paid search the first year is all about learning and getting to grips with the concepts as you work across a range of clients and household names and then progress to new skills over the years. I also had the opportunity to train in Strategy & Planning, this meant learning about other channels such as social, programmatic and partnerships to use this knowledge for media planning. As an S&P specialist it means I had the opportunity to work across brands to plan their annual activity and plan product launches on digital. One of the benefits of working at Merkle is the opportunity to train across departments.
8. What inspires you about Merkle’s workplace culture?
At Merkle you work with genuinely brilliant people, not only are they smart but are always available to help, it’s all about teamwork. It’s the ideal balance between the work itself being interesting, but also enjoying the company of everyone you work with.
9. What was your dream job growing up?
My main dream was to be a hugely successful global popstar, (until I realised I cannot sing)
10. Are you involved in any of our DEI Pillars? If so, which one and can you tell us a bit about it?
The Women In Leadership pillar is one I attended events for early on and its great to see how many events with key speakers they organise but there are many more I want to look into!
11. How do you like your eggs?
Over easy always
12. What are you currently watching on Netflix/Prime?
Pieces of her (would also highly recommend The Gift which remains my favourite Netflix show)
13. What’s your guilty pleasure?
14. What is your dream holiday destination?
Places that mix culture & amazing weather, Barcelona and Bodrum are some of my favourite destinations
15. Best advice or mantra you live by?
Do the work, show up and trust yourself. Also acknowledging failure is a part of the process and learning to be grateful/recognising what you have now.