Monday Routine: Ben Royce, SVP Director of Search

Ben Royce

Monday Routine is a blog series highlighting people and roles throughout the Publicis North America office. Ben Royce is the SVP, Director of Search for Publicis North America.

I started my advertising/marketing career while studying at the University of Wisconsin, when I landed a part time job running JustPetStrollers.com in Milwaukee. Yup, pet strollers. We sold millions.

Then I took a job running the digital marketing operations for a group of ecommerce sites in London, UK where I learned firsthand the complexities of multilingual and multicurrency businesses. With my visa about to run out, I moved to New York to work for Alacra, which built anti-money laundering products for banks and I ran an ecommerce site for financial research. That was my big exposure to large scale sites and the effects of search engine changes.

I was introduced by SapientNitro to help run and build out their organic search offering. Using some of the tactical approaches I learned in ecommerce, I applied them to larger operations beyond ecommerce. Around the time Sapient was acquired by Publicis I joined Publicis Worldwide as the SVP, Director of Search in North America.

MORNING:

First thing is Amazon Echo/Alexa reads the daily news from NPR while I mix Emergen-C with sparkling water. Basically it is vitamin-laden homemade Orangina. Then I scan Reddit for anything interesting in technology news. Some of my favorite subreddits include: /r/dataisbeautiful and /r/futurology.

I try to keep my commute as varied as possible and living in Brooklyn means I have many train options. If it is a nice day I’ll walk over the Manhattan bridge, but either way it involves answering emails in short form or replying with a smiley and “TLDR, just Slack it,” watching YouTube channels like Smarter Everyday, or listening to the Freakonomics and A16Z Podcasts. An unhealthy obsession with an app called Exit Strategy allows me to obsess over which train car will be most efficient given my exit point in the station. This is a constant battle for optimization that has no real tangible benefit other than 5-6 steps per day. My fitbit doesn’t even notice the difference.

I usually arrive around 9:30am and head into the scheduled meetings with a strong coffee from Bibble & Sip on 51st street, or our in house cafe.

AFTERNOON:

Being a department head is a shift from my analyst and manager days. During meetings I have to balance the direction of the work we do for clients, ensure some time for team members to tinker and research new approaches, and maintain profitability.

I am perpetually 6 minutes late to every meeting. I have no excuse for this, nor a solution. I just accept it as I do the weather.

I meet with team members often and prefer walking meetings outside so I’ll head west down to the Hudson River and back. I avoid Times Square as much as possible, I find some of the costumed street performers a bit creepy.

When I have nothing scheduled, I spend time in our Data Immersion Lab on the 27th floor where I can run tests on our client data and experiment with visualization technologies.

At the end of the day I’ll play Xbox in our game room with our analysts and strategists. Forza and Rocket League are the top picks. The HTC Vive is also a popular virtual reality experience.

EVENING:

One-on-one meetings in the Search & Data Science team are in three flavors: breakfast, walk ‘n talk, or drinks. So sometimes I’ll unwind with a team member over a Blue Point Toasted Lager and then head home.

Most nights there are some events between Columbia University, General Assembly or Meetup.com that I attend. Otherwise it’s a healthy dose of Grand Theft Auto and reading parody accounts on Twitter: @BoredElonMusk and @adweak.

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