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Paddy Moogan: Summer School, Learn from the Experts

This summer we are taking you back to school! We are focusing on education in Digital Marketing: what is the best education, what background is important? Questions you will see answered throughout the summer by those you can learn from the best: the experts. Those that already earned their stripes and are now willing to share with you how they got there and what you should do to get that far as well.

Today we hear from Paddy Moogan. Paddy is the VP London for Distilled. Distilled is a creative online marketing agency that believes in sharing knowledge through its blog, industry leading conferences and interactive training resources. With offices in London, New York and Seattle, the team works to build exceptional online businesses.

Learn more about Paddy here.

Summer School


What type of education did you have?Paddy

I did ok at school in terms of GCSEs and A Levels. I went to University and studied Law which I really enjoyed but lost interest in about half way through my second year! This was reflected in my final score which was a 2:2!

Is your education related to what you do now?

Not at all 🙂 Although I still value the experience of going to University. The process of learning, presenting, especially for Law was great and challenged me on a bunch of levels which have probably helped me in my job, even if it’s not very obvious.

How did you get into digital marketing?

I learned how to build websites when I was about 13 or 14 so I’d always had a high interest in the internet and how things worked. Then when I was at University, I was kinda broke and wanted to make some more money. So I started selling fake DVDs on eBay which eventually led me into a few online forums about how to make money online. I then started hearing about these things called AdSense and affiliate marketing, so I picked up my website building skills again and naturally, I had to learn how to get the website to rank so I could make money from them. This led me into a bunch of areas, most of which were spammy! So I learned SEO mainly through spammy and blackhat techniques because I had no idea that there was such a thing as Google webmaster guidelines! I did this for a while and after leaving University and running my own business for a while, I fell into an SEO role at a web development and design firm near my hometown.

Did you need extra schooling? If so, what type of extra schooling did you get?

I don’t think I needed it but you never know 🙂 No I didn’t get it.

How do you think the state of education in marketing is these days? Do marketers learn what they need to learn?

I’m not best qualified to answer but I do think that online marketing as a discipline needs to be developed a lot more. Core marketing principles have been taught for decades but we’ve been pretty slow to adapt these to the online world. I’d love to see this gap bridged a little.

How do you feel about online training courses?

I love them. I am biased as we have one! But I’m pretty much always doing some kind of course either on Coursera or more recently, Market Motive.

What is your tip for those that want to learn more?

Focus. I’ve often fallen into the trap of spreading myself too thin and not really know where I want to focus my learning. I’m much better now and only focus on one area at the time. I’d also recommend blocking out definite times of the week or your day to learn. I block out 8am – 9am every morning in my calendar which is dedicated to whatever online course I’m currently working on.

What resources are best to learn marketing?

I’d have to say:

Know about what is changing in marketing!

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Samantha Noble is the Client Strategy Director at Koozai and also heads up the State of Digital team as the Co-Chief Editor working alongside Bas and the rest of the Editorial Team. Samantha setup the Digital Females group back in 2011 and has since run over 15 events for the group.
  • Nice interview Paddy. I’m always interested to hear both how individuals got in to Digital Marketing, but also how they continue to learn more and develop their skills. As a keen online learner myself, I’m curious to hear about Market Motive – have you (any of your team) taken any of the courses? If so, are there any that you could you recommend?

    • paddymoogan

      Hi Ned,

      We recently signed up to Market Motive in the London office and eight of our team are taking the web analytics course which is led by Avinash. It’s mainly video tutorials which have been created by Avinash and I really like it so far. It started off a little basic but is now getting going and I’m enjoying it. So yes, I’d recommend it 🙂 They have a bunch of other courses too but I can’t really comment on those ones yet.

      • Guest

        Paddy – great story. Couldn’t agree more about creating a study schedule and sticking to it. It’s what our most successful teams do. Happy to hear your team is getting good value from Avinash’s course! We’re fans of Distilled… and happy to have you all aboard.

        Ned – our Learning Plan Specialists would be happy to give you a back stage tour. Don’t hesitate to drop a line or give a call. No obligation! 🙂

        • Heh. Apologies for the giant pic … Disqus seems to have embedded my profile pic. Ah well.