TopRank Marketing evolved from PR to digital marketing agency in the mid 2000’s, right about the time our new VP of Operations got into agency project management.
Twelve years and multiple advancements from a creative agency Director of Production to Senior Director of Operations later, Katie Uphus has now joined the team as Vice President at TopRank Marketing.
Talent is what makes our agency magical for our B2B clients and we’re excited to bring Katie on board. Her experience developing teams, coordinating workflow and marketing operations will help us establish the framework for an environment where each of our team can become the best they can be in their respective roles.
At the same time, we’re focused on optimizing how our teams work together in order to deliver the best possible solutions for our clients and a satisfying work environment for our professional team of smart, creative and results-focused marketers.
My co-founder Susan Misukanis and I are committed to supporting the team at TopRank Marketing with the best talent we can find. We have 5 new team members joining the agency in November and several more Account Managers, Content Marketers, Social Media Specialists and Influence Marketing Specialists to be added through the rest of Q4 and into the new year. Here is a list of our open positions.
As part of Katie’s introduction to the TopRank Marketing community, I’ve asked her to share a little about herself from background to thoughts on the industry to my favorite social network word association game.
What is your background working in the marketing agency world?
For the past 12 years I’ve been at StoneArch, a Minneapolis health and medical marketing agency, where I served in various management and leadership roles. Prior to that, I spent nearly 10 years at Optum. In the early days, when Optum was an employee assistance program, I was a counselor and management consultant, and eventually moved into marketing and product management.
What do you love most about digital marketing?
I like that brands are being pushed to create better and more meaningful experiences for people–beyond the usual “hard sell,” and actually finding ways to be useful to people.
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned when it comes to managing marketing teams?
Good collaboration comes when each individual from each discipline understands and appreciates the value of the other’s contribution. With clear guiding principles and some form of process or structure to guide the work, smart individuals can make big things happen.
It’s still early days in your time with TopRank Marketing, but so far, what excites you the most about the agency?
TopRank Marketing is ahead of the curve in the content marketing space–real thought leaders in the world of influencer marketing. They are their own, best case study for how to do it right….not the typical “cobbler with no shoes” scenario. There’s a real sense of excitement and curiosity on the team–they inspire and energize each other!
What are some of your overall goals for 2018?
My main goal will be to optimize the efforts of all the smart people of TopRank. They are doing amazing work; I can help bring greater alignment between people and systems and processes to support growth. In order to do this, it will be important for each team member to explore and develop their own professional identity and goals; I want to help with this. It’s the most exciting aspect of the work for me.
Now for some fun questions:
Where would you go on a dream vacation?
My adventuresome mom, Rose, traveled the world and would come home with stories that were so enchanting and thrilling to me. In particular, I was taken by the way she described Portugal–the feeling it evoked in her–homey and foreign at once. The treacherous driving and the blue, blue water; the caves where they made wine and whiskey, and the pottery, of course. The warm, welcoming people. The patrons playing the piano in the basement pub of the ancient palace where they stayed. It’s been on the top of my list ever since she came back. I hope it’s exactly as she recalls.
What is your favorite band, book and movie?
Music: Nina Simone is my current obsession. I’m a big Lucinda Williams fan…and I have a deep love-hate for Dylan. Favorite book might still be The Catcher in the Rye. Movie: Muriel’s Wedding always lifts my spirits, if I make it through the end.
What do you love most about Minnesota?
The month of October is magical to me. And family, of course: ten of my eleven siblings live here in Minnesota–several recently returned after many years away. I left for a few years too, after college–to Alaska then the San Francisco Bay Area, both of which l still have a great fondness for, but Minneapolis is home.
What brings you joy?
Young Joni’s clam pizza and Indeed’s Peach Bum IPA at the moment. The many lovely children in my life.
Let’s play word association. I’ll list some social networks and you share the first word(s) that come to mind:
- Facebook – Russian trolls
- Twitter – Donald Trump
- LinkedIn – Impressively less spammy these days
- Instagram – Fun and personal visual storytelling
- Snapchat – Are they profitable yet?
- YouTube – My go-to for cooking tutorials
- Pinterest – Great for big life moments
- Tumblr – Meme generator
- Reddit – Same as above
- Google+ – Never bothered
- WhatsApp – Free calls to my sister in England!
- Flickr – GenX Instagram
Thanks for playing along with my questions Katie and welcome to the TopRank Marketing team!