For this month’s Aries staff interview, we sat down with Aimee DesRoches, Marketing Specialist. Aimee is relatively new to Aries, having joined the staff in January 2019. Aimee has quickly gotten up to speed on all things Aries and scholarly publishing, and has already made huge contributions to the Aries blog, newsletter, and video program. Read our interview with Aimee to learn more about her transition into her new role and the small but mighty Aries Marketing department.
Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?
In January 2019 I joined the Aries team as a Marketing Specialist. Prior to this, I was in a similar marketing position at a biotech company just down the street from the Aries office in Lawrence, MA. I worked there for four years, first as an intern for a year and a half before being hired full-time after I graduated with my Bachelor’s in business. I got my start there, but I wanted to switch up industries and I heard about a job here just down the street – it seemed like a really good fit so I made the leap!
How did your previous role help you in your current position?
My previous role gave me a good start with basic marketing strategies and campaign management. A big focus of my last role was email marketing, and I was their conference and webinar coordinator, so I’ve brought those skills with me. Also, tracking marketing metrics was imperative, so I have carried over those best practices into to this role. I like to track the performance of our programs and efforts, allowing me to establish a baseline and make strategic goals and plans about how we can make them more successful in the next year.
How do you stay up-to-date with marketing trends? How about scholarly publishing trends?
Marketing can be such a vague term. It has so many different branches to it, kind of like a giant umbrella. I am specifically interested in marketing communications–I enjoy crafting a targeted message for a product or brand, and exploring the best avenues and channels to distribute that message. I subscribe to a couple of marketing newsletters like Neil Patel’s, Marketing Insider–I get about five of them a day. I probably only read a couple a week, but I gravitate to blogs or articles on subjects or areas where I know I need improvement or lack knowledge/experience.
As far as publishing goes, I read the Scholarly Kitchen as best I can! Sometimes it is a little over my head because I’m still new to the industry, but it gets easier overtime and my Aries colleagues have been a great help explaining the more complex topics and taking the time to answer my questions. I attended the 2019 SSP conference for the first time, as well as the Aries 2019 US Editorial Manager User Group Meeting, earlier this year and it was a great way to immerse myself in the industry! The chance to interact directly with our audience and industry experts helps me have a better understanding of what our users are talking about and what they need from us.
Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.
Our team is small but mighty! In addition to myself, we recently hired a new graphic designer to the team. I think it is beneficial to have two newer additions to the Aries Marketing team this year–new people bring new ideas. I like to challenge the status quo a little bit, to improve processes, and our team has established a great sense of trust and collaboration to keep the fresh ideas coming and the juices flowing! As far as other departments, we work closely with the Sales team as well as the Client Services and Product Management team. We collaborate with PM on upcoming software releases or product launches, crafting the right messaging and brand/product identity, and then we use that to produce customer-facing content or collateral for the Sales and Client Services teams.
Describe your typical work day.
I try to best manage my time so I can try to learn new things and be more proactive. Usually at some point during my day I am writing content–I feel like that’s the biggest focus of my job that I really enjoy! As a newcomer, generating content has been very helpful in gaining a better understanding of our products and industry. Other than producing copy for various marketing materials, I work closely with my team to brainstorm on graphic ideas, prep for upcoming events, pull reports, etc.
What are some things you’ve learned since joining Aries?
I had not touched any of the Adobe Creative Cloud products before coming to Aries and I felt that was going to be a major challenge for me coming into this role. But taking on little projects here and there to get me started was excellent. We have an extensive video library full of tutorials for our users, and it is great to contribute to that program.
Copywriting is the other thing– I’ve become a much stronger writer in this role. Of course, different companies have different voices, and it was somewhat of a learning curve to adopt the “Aries” voice. Also, I’ve learned a little bit about website development platforms, and am eager to expand my skills in those tools overtime as well.
Plus, a little bit about publishing! Prior to working for Aries, I wasn’t aware of the importance of peer review and the entire editorial process. Previously working in the biotech industry, I had many colleagues and customers who were researchers producing scholarly content, and they probably have used Aries’ solutions (specifically Editorial Manager) at some point throughout their career, and I had no clue! It’s funny how relevant that is to me now!
What do you most enjoy about your job?
Working with my team! Having a supportive team is wonderful, and I really enjoy bouncing ideas off of them. It’s so satisfying to have like-minded people around you, but who also see things from different perspectives; who can take an idea you have and twist it and refine it to make it even better or more successful.
Also copywriting/copyediting. I really like blogging, crafting up the Aries newsletter, updating flyers or webpages. Most of the things I work on are customer-facing, directly pushed to the masses. I love the idea that pieces I create or distribute serve both Aries and our users in some capacity, even if it is just letting them know about the latest software features!
Also, at Aries, I feel like I am really making an impact in a positive way, even if it is just small steps and updates, that our efforts matter. In this role, I feel like my individual input is making a difference and contributing to the company and our brand – it’s very gratifying. Above all, Aries is just a great place to be! It is evident how much the company truly cares about advancing the publishing industry and supporting our users through things like MECA, the LiXuid Manuscript initiative, and annual user group meetings.
What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?
Stranger Things! Season three just came out so I just finished binge-watching that. I’m also very into true crime, so I love watching things like Forensic Files, Dateline or other crime documentaries. I listen to the My Favorite Murder podcast after a lot of peer pressure to try it from my colleagues in the Marketing department and now I’m hooked! I also love mystery novels–Nancy Drew was my childhood hero! I’m also really into psychological thriller books, such as The Woman in Cabin 10 or The Lying Game–things like that. Any kind of “whodunnit” really. I’ve also watched The Office a million times on Netflix. Oh, and I am a total Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise fan! Bachelor nation is my ultimate guilty pleasure!
Tell us about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?
I love to read. As I said I’m a big fan of true crime, and also things in the fantasy realm, like Harry Potter or The Mortal Instruments. Who also doesn’t love a super cheesy romance novel now and then? I’m also a history buff so I read a lot of history books or watch documentaries. Another fun fact about me is I am really into learning languages, I actually minored in Spanish in college and lived in Spain to study abroad, but it is hard to keep up with it if you aren’t constantly practicing.
I’m a really awful cook – something I have been trying to improve on lately. I love shopping, my number one hobby. I also really enjoy music–as a kid I used to take singing lessons. I can play the guitar a little and I’ve been attempting the teach myself the piano the past couple years (major work in progress!). I’m also really into traveling and exploring somewhere new whenever I get the chance–I am the ultimate tourist!