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12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

Community Manager
# 1
Community Manager

Today we're bringing you the next installment in our "new and improved " Community Member of the week series, in which we learn more about the background and everyday life of a fellow member of the AdWords Community.


@Phillip B is an Austin, Texas-based Marketing Director with 12+ years of experience with paid search advertising. 






1. What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?

 Curious. Inventive. Unconventional.


2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

An astronaut.  I was five years old when I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, and was fascinated with space.  I later watched Apollo 17 from my front yard after moving to Orlando.  I would try to see everything from boring communications launches on up to the Shuttle, and was at Kennedy Space Center for the first shuttle launch.  While I haven’t made it into space yet, I’ve come close - I was a satellite command and control specialist in the US Air Force and was the satellite ground systems manager for two satellite launches.


3. What do you do for work now?

I’m the Director of Marketing for Google Badged Partner Nehmedia, Inc. in Austin, Texas. I directly manage all phases of paid search, remarketing, and analytics for our clients. I also work on Google Tag Manager programming, AdWords scripting, and offline conversion measurement.


4. How long have you been using AdWords?

I’ve been working with AdWords since 2003.  I’ve been a web developer and architect for many years. I first started by measuring inbound AdWords traffic and developing custom landing pages around AdWords campaigns others developed. I gradually moved from server-side programming and web development to writing and testing product, search, and video campaigns directly.


5. What is the most recent piece of AdWords knowledge you’ve learned?

I’m actually in the process of launching our first Customer Match audience-based campaign.  The biggest challenge I’ve had is explaining how it works to a skeptical client concerned about the security of his email database.  Any business that has spent time curating and growing an email list is extremely protective of their investment and of their customer’s privacy. Effectively communicating in non-technical language how we protect, and how Google uses and protects, this data turns out to be the essential first step.


6. Best marketing advice you’ve ever received?

“Find a niche, no matter how narrow—and own it.”  Ross Garber, co-founder of CMS pioneer Vignette and the guy who brought me to Austin in 1997.


7. What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

The Singapore Night Safari.  Ever wonder why zoos can be so boring?  Because a lot of the animals are nocturnal and sleeping. I was in Singapore on business, and used a free evening to go.  Growing up around Walt Disney and SeaWorld had made me a bit skeptical-- but this is no ordinary zoo.  Whether it was watching the fishing cats, sneaking up on elephants and tigers on the tram, or the shows, I dare you not to feel like a little kid at this amazing zoo.  I hope to take mine someday!


8. What’s unique about where you live now?

Austin sometimes falls under the definition of “unique,” but I actually live just north of Austin.  While Austin is just a short distance, it’s the rest of Texas right next door that really makes living here unique.  We’re close to wineries, lakes, and small towns.  Right now, every roadside and hill is exploding with wildflowers.  There are family-friendly activities in every direction, and with my youngest child now in third grade, I can’t imagine a better place to live. The probability of running into some of the smartest web professionals around  (that you were lucky enough to work with three or four projects ago) at a PTA meeting or Rudy’s BBQ run doesn’t hurt either. Each person tends to make Austin “uniquely” their own.


9. What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts around six, reviewing news feeds, paid search reports, and the latest forums--mostly via Feedly.  Important or interesting info gets routed to Evernote or shared on my social media accounts.  We use Slack for work communications, and I use IFTTT to grab any notices or alerts and throw them to my channel.  I have a Twitter list with all the local news channels, so I can scan weather, important news, and inevitable Austin traffic issues in a few minutes.

6:30-8:00: Getting the kids up, helping my wife get breakfast assembled, lunches and backpacks packed, and children out the door.  Wall Street Journal via Audible for the drive to work.

8:30-5:30: I work with an extremely creative group of people; I often learn something new from at least one team member before I even get to my desk. The most productive change I’ve made is to wait until I get to the office to read and respond to email.

We have unique clients from many different industries. This includes some the nation’s top pet resorts.  So often, my morning client work includes reviewing paid search calls for doggie daycare and social media feeds full of dogs, puppies, kittens, and even an occasional parrot.

Around lunch, I’ll often head over to forums like the Google Advertising Community and review the latest questions and responses.  After lurking for quite awhile, I’ve started answering questions or adding to responses when I can.  It's more than an opportunity to give back--just double-checking an answer I’m almost positive about usually leads to me learning something new myself.

I review the performance of at least  two or three clients every afternoon, usually via Google Analytics reporting, but also review any bid adjustments or campaign modifications the team has made.  Based on Analytics data, performance feedback, or customer requests, I’m usually writing ads, adjusting landing pages, working on extensions, or making corrections.

Evenings: After the kids are down, I will revisit at least one long article or blog post I’ve dumped into Evernote.


10. If you had an extra hour every day, how would you spend it?

Electronics-free with my family.


DSC00643.jpgDad is the joker of the family!

11. What’s been the most fun experience you’ve had or project you’ve worked on in the past year?

Revisiting my programming background exploring and stretching Google Tag Manager.  We’ve been able to implement mockups and even functional redesigns using GTM--it is much more than just a tag management system.  I’ve led the development of a phone tracking system managed and deployed entirely in Google Tag Manager that can hook into Google Analytics and Google AdWords.  


12. What’s coming up this year that you’re most excited for?

The recent advances in mobile video mean our clients are gaining expertise in creating and collecting video content.  I’ve been experimenting with Video Ad Builder and studying small business video campaigns, and am excited about using this client-collected content and creating more ads for video channels.


4 Expert replyverified_user

Re: 12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Thanks for sharing Phillip!

"Electronics-free with my family" Love it!

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: 12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Phillip!

The feedly is in now. Great Tip!!

Sandeep Kumar

Re: 12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
Thanks for the opportunity share and the chance to contribute to the community! When I shared this with my kids, my son asked "for our no electronics hour, can we play Minecraft?" ¬
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Re: 12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Phillip

Electronic free love it

Re: 12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Love it, Phillip.

Thanks sharing Smiley Happy

Re: 12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

its useful for me

thanks for sharing -

Re: 12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Thanks for sharing with us, @Phillip B and @CassieH! Quite entertaining.

Julia Muller,
AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: 12 Questions with Phillip Barnhart

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 9
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
That's an awesome interview. Yeah Singapore Zoo is a badass place to be. I go with my family every Saturdays to the zoo. We explore every exhibit slowly and steadily. We will be going the 9th time this Saturday with our son. It's fun. I am yet to explore Night Safari and River Safari there. Will be trying for sure after your feedback. Between if you ever happen to visit SG again do let me know we can go together.