Meet Alison Garrison, Senior Director of Studio!
How did you get started in your industry?
I started in Brand Strategy at an ad firm in Dallas. The culture there was definitely not for me so I explored business development for a few years. It wasn’t bad but it didn’t make my heart sing. Later I discovered SEO, which was a great fit because of the writing and strategy aspects. Writing was my first love as far back as childhood and I discovered strategy later in life while completing my MBA. Most digital marketing and design jobs involve strategy. If you are doing it right.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
It is a beautiful thing when creativity, analytics, and strategy converge – and you see results.
Also the people here tend to be delightfully kooky. I like smart, funny, creative, interesting people. At Studio I’m surrounded by them.
What’s the funniest interaction you’ve ever had with a client or a coworker?
I had a client call me Pam for months. (Quick reminder – my name is Alison.) It didn’t really bother me and honestly I let it go on too long to really correct the situation. My window of awkward opportunity had passed. I embraced the Pam identity.
What’s one thing about marketing & design you wish everyone knew?
I think people underestimate the expertise and skill that is involved. It frustrates me when someone reads a blog article and suddenly think they are an expert. This stuff is complicated! I am constantly asking my team for their insights because they have a wealth of knowledge and know-how I simply do not – and I’ve been doing the digital side of marketing for over a decade. I see myself as a conductor (musical and train). They are all amazing craftspeople doing amazing things. I do what I can to get the trains on time and facilitate the pretty music.
I suspect this observation goes for all things in life. Be humble, recognize what you don’t know, and give the experts their due.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, being outside, and being with my kids. They are 18 months and 5 years so it’s really cool re-experiencing the world with them. Speaking of kooky people… kids are kooky.
What’s your proudest moment while working here?
It’s a series of moments. I love seeing my team members grow and flourish. I hope that when I am old, quasi-retired, and reflecting on my life, I see an army of professionals that I somehow helped along the way. They can all come to my funeral and throw a Google Analytics report into my grave. (That last part is a joke. I can hear Terrence shouting, “it would be a FinancialForce report, Alison!”)
What’s something interesting no one knows about you?
I’m afraid of ghosts. Yes I know they aren’t real but don’t tell me that past 9 o’clock. Ghosts are real from approximately 9 pm to 3 am.
And I used to sing in choir. We wore cumberbuns. It was very uncool.
What song title best describes your personality?
Where is My Mind some days and Killer Queen – haha. I can dream.
What advice would you give to people just starting in the online marketing & design industry?
Be hungry and humble. Consume information. Find a good mentor or two. Learning from someone who knows what they are doing is invaluable. Be what I call a Fox Hole guy / gal – a dependable person worthy of trust. Beyond being a good human which has its benefits in itself, it will earn you opportunities to learn and work on bigger projects. Trust is so important in a team environment.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Austin?
Peached Tortilla. Kimchi balls and Dan Dan Noodles! And it’s close to my house.
Do you have any pets?
Not presently. I am an animal lover. My dog passed away three years ago and it was surprisingly devastating. When the kids get older I plan to add a dog or two to the mix. My husband wants to name one Mr. Pimberton so he can tell me what Mr. Pimberton did today and say things “don’t forget to feed Mr. Pimberton.” So some poor dog out there has this unfortunate name waiting for him or her.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Never needing to sleep. I know sleep is lovely and I treasure it – but just think of what you could get done if you didn’t need to sleep! I could be the great “No Sleep-o.” Not sure what crimes I could solve but I’d be crazy productive.