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The First Weeks of Training at Overdrive


As two of the newest members of the Search department in Overdrive Interactive, Nick and I were excited to come into the office and hit the ground running. We had both been warned of the extensive training that we were about to receive, but at the end of our second week it seemed like we had only touched the tip of the iceberg called Paid Search.

We were both assigned a work buddy to show us the ropes and educate us on best practices. Originally we were supposed to go through this process separately, but in order to be time efficient (which as we found out was always one of our main goals), we ended up being taught by the same person – Matt.

While undergoing 7 hour-long teaching sessions every day, we quickly caught on to the fact that we had to learn to speak the Overdrive lingo and particularly how to communicate Matt style.
Matt has been with Overdrive for 4 years. As one of the senior search marketing specialists, he took the most thorough approach to teaching us everything he knew about paid search. Here are some of our favorite lessons learned through Matt-isms.

One of the first times he let one of us “drive” (plug our computer to the projector and follow his instructions while showing our work), we quickly understood that “Excel gets weird”. The loud yelling of “ESCAPE” indicated when we made mistakes and we quickly learned that the answer to what’s next is always to “Save”. We picked up some additional excel functions along the way, but found that they all had their quirks. For instance, “De-duping” seemed like a fairly simple way to avoid repetition in cells, but would sometimes find more duplicates after being clicked twice. Also never, ever double click on a pivot table as “things get really weird”.

When we got to actually creating AdWords campaigns (not marketing campaigns, but the Adwords campaign with adgroups, ads, and keywords in it), we came up with a whole “smorgasbord” of keywords and found that a lot of ads out there were “written funkaly”. We explored concatenations of words and when in doubt we could always “test it”, but very “nebulous” statements had to go.

As we were trying to grasp optimization best practices, we had to be aware of the “different levels of granularity” and find the “biggest levers to pull”. Matt’s “soctratic method” of teaching made us constantly develop our critical thinking as “yes and no” was an appropriate answer to a lot of our questions.

Our training period will unofficially finish when we feel comfortable enough to train someone else, but the learning will never stop. We hope that along the way, we develop the skills and gain the experience we need to ultimately be ready to manage our own clients. As we delve into the world of SEM all we know for certain is that there are no certain things.


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