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Perspective

5 Minutes with Lawrence Boal,
Digital Marketing Strategist at NHO
25.10.23

Here, we speak with Lawrence Boal, Digital Marketing Strategist at NHO, about the evolving nature of digital marketing and his commitment to ongoing learning. Based in New York, Lawrence brings a global outlook to his role, applying a holistic, full-funnel digital marketing approach to support the business goals of his clients.

Q: Can you share a typical day in your role as Digital Marketing Strategist at NHO?

A: A typical day begins with browsing various digital marketing and advertising websites to research the latest industry innovations, strategies, upcoming platform changes and updates. Having worked in the digital marketing space for over a decade, I quickly learned that what you know today may not be best practice or even relevant tomorrow. So, keeping informed allows me to optimise our digital marketing strategies and set our clients up for success.

Most of my day is then spent reviewing data via our various digital marketing platforms and analytics dashboards. I am certainly a “numbers” person and I enjoy looking at the different data points across timeframes to gather valuable insights for our clients. While understanding the immediate impact of our work is key to driving performance, we don’t get lost in the data — overarching brand strategy always remains paramount.

It certainly is not all work and no play though! The culture at NHO offers plenty of opportunities to visit events and exhibitions, which I enjoy attending when I get the chance in both New York City and closer to home in the Hamptons.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), NYC.
Photography by Jenna Bascom.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), NYC.
Photography by Jenna Bascom.

Q: At NHO we pride ourselves on marrying best practice digital marketing strategy with our understanding of design and careful brand management more broadly. You’ve worked with NHO since 2019, what have you learned about design in that time?

A: I have learnt an abundance from the NHO senior leadership team, my NHO colleagues and our clients over the past four years – learnings not only limited to design but also process, strategic thinking, branding and much more. Perhaps the most valuable insight has been to balance brand positioning with analytics and “best practice” digital marketing techniques, ensuring that campaign metrics are considered alongside a consistent expression of a client’s brand voice.

“Perhaps the most valuable insight has been to balance brand positioning with analytics and “best practice” digital marketing techniques, ensuring that campaign metrics are considered alongside a consistent expression of a client’s brand voice.” – Lawrence Boal

Q: Given your global experience in the digital marketing over the last decade, how have you observed the role of digital marketing evolve, particularly in recent years?

A: Digital marketing has changed significantly since I began in the industry in 2011. Back then, it was often the last addition to a marketing media plan and the strategy would frequently involve simple banner advertisements on websites that covered a client’s desired target audience. Arguably, the biggest changes have occurred since the beginning of 2020, when the COVID pandemic opened digital marketing to a much wider audience.

Now, digital marketing is often the first, or sometimes only, inclusion in a client’s marketing plan. There are different verticals, including SEM (search engine marketing) and paid social, each with a variety of combinations of platforms, placements and best practice principles in regards to ad assets, copy creation, call to action buttons, video time length and much more. In short, digital marketing has become incredibly diverse. At NHO, we navigate this complex terrain to find tailored digital marketing strategies that speak to the unique offerings and goals of each client.

“In short, digital marketing has become incredibly diverse. At NHO, we navigate this complex terrain to find tailored digital marketing strategies that speak to the unique offerings and goals of each client.” – Lawrence Boal

Q: Can you share any advice or words of wisdom for readers who might be curious in thinking more strategically about digital marketing?

A: Always take a step back and look at the broader picture. Often in both life and digital marketing we get caught up focusing too closely on the short term. Recent successes or failures are important to acknowledge, however, what impact are these having on our broader goals? Is a recent success masking overall shortfalls? Or is a recent failure overshadowing a continued successful climb towards a goal? The same is true when looking ahead. What is the impact of short-term wins on long-term objectives?

A lighthouse in Montauk, part of the Town of East Hampton.
Photography courtesy of Heading Out.

Q: As we approach the end of 2023, what personal and professional goals do you have for the year ahead?

A: From a professional perspective, I wish to continue getting ahead of the AI curve by gathering knowledge of various platforms and completing courses on how to best leverage AI text generation platforms such as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. On a personal note, my wife and I are expecting our second child in January 2024, and I would like to tackle my current “dad bod” figure by continuing to compete in 5k races and build up to a marathon in 2024. A strict diet might be hard to follow as we enter the holiday months of Thanksgiving and Christmas in the USA though!

“Often in both life and digital marketing we get caught up focusing too closely on the short term. Recent successes or failures are important to acknowledge, however, what impact are these having on our broader goals?” – Lawrence Boal