Catalyst Employee Spotlight: Lena Carlson

You can have the best data and most sophisticated tools, but it doesn’t mean anything without great people. Fortunately, at Catalyst, we have no shortage of great people. From Search Associates to Search Directors, and from Project Managers to Managing Partners, each member of the Catalyst team is committed to maximizing client business results and making Catalyst a world-class agency. Read our Employee Spotlight series to meet some of the team members responsible for making Catalyst an all-star agency partner and a great place to work.

Lena Carlson, CatalystMeet Lena

Name: Lena Carlson

Title: Senior Paid Search Manager

How long have you worked at Catalyst?

I have worked at Catalyst for almost 6 years now.

How long have you worked in search and what type of clients have you worked on?

I’ve been working in the digital space for about seven years and I started out in SEO. I then shifted my focus over to paid search. I’ve worked with many clients across a multitude of industries, including CPG, pharma, travel, insurance and fashion. At this point, most of my experience has been in paid search, but I also have experience in SEO and social.

How did you get your start in search?

I got a dual degree in Marketing and Information Systems at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. My interest in digital marketing led me to an internship for a digital agency while I was in college. I’ve been working at digital agencies ever since.

What do you like most about working at Catalyst?

I really love the people, both coworkers and clients, that I’ve met during my time at Catalyst. The knowledge and support that is shared among my coworkers at Catalyst makes me strive to be a better digital marketer every day. It has also been a privilege getting to meet so many people from different professional backgrounds through our diverse set of clients and learning from them and growing with them.

What has been your greatest achievement or success in search?

Forming successful and long-lasting partnerships with clients is so rewarding for me. It takes a lot of hard work and continual delivery of proven results, but to see a client succeed with your help and collaboration, and to grow a long-term partnership with that client, is amazing.

In your opinion, what is the most important search trend or change for 2021?

This year we’ve seen a shift in focus towards an automation-first approach to search. With automated bid strategies, automated rules and responsive and dynamic ads becoming the norm, we find ourselves using automated features that use machine-learning to optimize. While automation and AI is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s increasingly important to perfect the areas we can control and work with the automation rather than letting it run away.

In 2021, understanding the consumer behavior and identifying target audiences will be key in driving a successful strategy. Having control over who sees your ads, where they see it and when will ensure that you’re driving qualified clicks across the overall search landscape.

If you had to give one recommendation to an advertiser who wants to use search or social marketing to achieve business results, what would it be?

Remember that search is a behavior, and not a channel anymore, and the consumer journey is no longer a classic linear path. The consumer journey includes multiple touchpoints across smart devices and platforms, and consumers are using multiple search methods, like text, images, and voice.

Share a fun fact about yourself

I once had a two-day-long birthday. I was flying from Fiji to the US on my birthday and crossed the international date line. The people on the plane even sung me happy birthday!

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