Q&A with Chip Oglesby, FastPivot Google Expert

Who is Chip Oglesby? A Southern man of many talents, of course.  Chip (@chipoglesby on Twitter) brought his considerable data-crunching talents to FastPivot when he relocated to Asheville, NC from Columbia, SC.

With certifications including Google Analytics Certified Individual and Google Certified Partner, he’s also our in-house lead for everything related to data, including Google, online advertising, search engine marketing, conversion and analytics. In the middle of another day helping our customers improve their Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), Chip talked to me about his evolution into a man who crunches data for breakfast.

1. How did you get here?

I learned to code websites at a young age by copying/pasting HTML from other sites and modifying it on a page I had created on Angelfire. (Remember Angelfire? It was a very early website builder. Lycos bought it and it is still alive).

I started working as a photojournalist at a newspaper, then migrated to the paper’s online department where I learned about Content Management Systems and had my introduction to Google Analytics. I was hooked.

I started my own business in 2012 to help small businesses use the Web better; whether by selling, driving local walk-in business, or finding suppliers and wholesale opportunities. As Data Analyst and Certified Google Partner at FastPivot, I help ecommerce stores with their online advertising and work with them to make data-driven decisions.

2. What’s your favorite aspect of your job?

My favorite aspect of my job is what I call a client’s “ah-ha!” moment. Whether it’s working with them to reduce CPAs and increase ROAS or using data to show them how to improve inventory management or homepage product merchandising, it’s really rewarding to see the lightbulb go off in their mind.

3. What’s the biggest challenge for you every day? What’s your plan to address it?

The biggest business challenge is overcoming the established perception that online advertising “just doesn’t work.” This is common with small businesses that have limited budgets, resources and online advertising experience. People distrust the numbers unless you can show them the complete picture. Some businesses catch on quickly; others take a lot of hand-holding and patience.

As far as overcoming it, I’ve learned from my boss (FastPivot President Matt Ledford) that diligence and patience are important traits. As Matt would say, “Diligence is doing no more or no less than the job requires.”

4. Want to share any tips or life-lessons?

Don’t be afraid to try. Fail often and fail fast. Although the ecommerce industry evolves at a blistering pace, we have the tools to keep up. There is no excuse for not testing new features or products for clients. Allocating budgets to under-performing campaigns can sometimes give you the wiggle room you need to test new features. This approach challenges the “set it and forget it” behavior that has been so common in search engine marketing.

Don’t be afraid to learn. It might be as simple as learning how to use Google features better. Something fundamental to learn is the experiments feature. A more advanced tool I love for reporting is Google App Scripts. My advice is to stay hungry for knowledge and keep learning.

5. What does your bucket list look like?

Life is so short. We can get so wrapped up in our own little world that it’s important to see what’s out there beyond your laptop screen. I would really like to travel around the world with my wonderful wife for two or three years. The cool part about doing this and the work I do is that I could work remotely! :).

Thanks Chip. (Now back to work). If you’d like to discuss anything related to data and analytics, contact Chip at 888-770-8883. 

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