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Five Minutes with Pete Hilton, Director Of Marketing at CMDS

Every good drummer knows the importance of rhythm. Pete Hilton, Director of Marketing at CMDS, is no exception. Just as drums provide the foundation on which a song is built, Pete, in a similar sense, must also ensure that clients have the right pieces in place for them to achieve their marketing goals.

Coming from a long and windy road of non-profit social media marketing before transferring over to the agency side, Pete uses his perfect timing to spin many plates at once, generating the most robust and up-to-date marketing strategies for the discerning client in perfect rock and roll rhythm.

Pete, what makes you a digital rock star at CMDS?

My organizational skills – learning to spin 25 plates at one time – are definitely a big piece of it. Also, I feel that I brought a deep analytical eye to this position. Digital just works – there are always new things to learn and new platforms to keep you interested. It changes all the time. It’s about keeping up with those newest changes, and always using those opportunities to take campaigns further.

What is the one technology trend within your industry that cannot be ignored?

Voice search, most definitely – although it’s been a bit frustrating because they haven’t introduced a paid element into it yet, and we’re all just waiting for that shoe to drop. Once it does, us marketers will have to do what we do best — figure it out quickly!

How is our client base benefitting from your efforts?

It’s always going to depend on your business and your target persona. Once we establish a target persona, we build a unique strategy that will achieve the goal.

If you’re a chemical company trying to manage your digital reputation, we’ll work together to establish a content strategy that will appeal to your target markets.

If you’re an alternative investment fund looking to position your niche investment opportunities in a way that will compete against larger companies, we’ll capitalize on your primary differentiators, produce content based on this, establish your target persona, and launch tactics intended to bring you the highest quality leads.

Every campaign is going to be unique— there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

How does your role tie into website development or redevelopment for the client, one who wouldn’t necessarily benefit from the use of social media sites?

What I do isn’t isolated to social media, paid search, or any particular marketing initiative. In every campaign….. Are they taking the desired action? If not, why aren’t they? Are they  bouncing? If so, why?

I’m always assessing a client’s website performance and thinking of ways that we can  increase it. You can drive a ton of traffic to a page, but if there isn’t a clear CTA, you most likely aren’t going to get the desired results. And if the client isn’t getting the desired results, it’s my job to find a solution.

How do you enable customers to deliver on ROI?

Communication with the client is key. I get a holistic idea of how their business really functions, what their issues are, how they may have approached things in the past, and then figure out a strategy that makes sense from there. The game is always changing, so my foolproof strategy that I’ve been relying on for the past six months could stop working at any point. But that’s ok. It keeps things interesting. The challenge is to always be testing new strategies so that we can pivot quickly if need be.

One word that best describes how you work.


What apps/tools/software can you not live without?

Definitely Google Analytics.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A musician … a drummer.

A person you idolized early in your life.

My dad.

First concert you ever went to.

The band Yes – with my dad. He was my progressive-rock early influence. We had 10th row seats and I fell asleep after the first song (which was 10 minutes long). I wish I could see that show again now because I’d definitely appreciate it much more.

Favorite band or musician today?

I’m always listening to new stuff.. White Fence is doing really interesting things, I think.

Best part of your job at CMDS.

Putting my own spin on things and seeing what happens…

Who are you when you are not a digital rock star?

I’m a drummer. I love to play music for people and record songs. I’m also a record collector and an avid concert goer. I like puzzles a lot.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

That it’s ok to fail. I’m very much a perfectionist and hate to fail but in this industry, it’s required. You’re almost never going to get it right the first time. If you did, then that strategy alone is going to fail eventually, every time.