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?
I’m a Marketing Specialist at Aries. I’ve been with Aries for a little over six months now, and it has been great! 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, and then I decided it was time for a change. 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 was your previous role different from this one? How did your previous role help you in your current position?
It really gave me a good start with basic marketing strategies, putting what I learned in school into practice. A big focus of my last role was email marketing, and I was their trade show coordinator, so I’ve brought those skills with me. I did write a little bit of content at my last job, but it was very, very technical material, so I almost always had to partner with a technical writer when it got heavy. Here at Aries, I’m able to grasp the material better on my own, so I’m able to produce more content for social media and our Aries blog. In my last position tracking marketing metrics was imperative, so I have carried those best practices over to this role. I like to track the performance of our programs and efforts, so I can establish a baseline to see what our normal numbers are, and then make strategic plans and goals 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–meaning I enjoy crafting a targeted message for a product or brand, and deciding the best avenues to channel or distribute that message. Think of all the ways you can push your brand or product–email marketing, social media, print collateral, third-party advertising, having a clean website, tradeshows and conferences, webinars, videos, etc. So I like to read up on that type of marketing. Just this morning I watched three videos on SEO because I feel like it’s something I’m not as good at. 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 where I know I need improvement or lack knowledge/experience. I’m more inclined to open or read about things like Google Analytics, SEO, graphic design–things that I’m not as well-versed in and I can garner some tips for beginners. As far as publishing stuff, 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 and the Aries staff have been a great help explaining the more complex topics and taking the time to answer my questions. I attended the SSP conference for the first time, as well as the Aries Editorial Manager User Group Meeting, earlier this year and it was great! 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.
There are three of us in the Marketing department–our team is small but mighty! Jocelyn Anthony is the Marketing Manager, she has been with Aries for a few years now and is very knowledgeable on the product and industry. She’s such a great, supportive leader to our team! We recently just hired Ryan L’Italien as another Marketing Specialist with a focus on graphic design. Ryan is a great asset to the team, he just makes things happen. I actually think it is beneficial to have two new 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 don’t have as many meetings here compared to others, which is great because I have a lot of ownership over my time, where I can try to learn new things and be more proactive and innovative. Usually at some point during my day I am writing content, for the Aries blog, social media, the monthly newsletter and such–I feel like that’s the biggest focus of my job and I really like it actually! Because I am a recent addition to the company, I am not a total expert on our product features or hot industry topics. But generating content–writing blogs and creating video tutorials–are very helpful for me to gain a better understanding of the products. I have to dig for information on our website or archived documents or presentations and read as much as I can about a certain topic in order to grasp the concept and produce helpful content. It forces me to self-learn or familiarize myself with the product interface, which can be daunting, but it truly helps me grow! Other than that, I also collaborate a lot with our team to brainstorm on graphic ideas, prep for upcoming events, etc.
What are some things you’ve learned since joining Aries?
Graphics for sure! I had not touched any of the Adobe Creative Cloud products before coming to Aries. I felt that was going to be a major challenge for me coming into this role–it’s certainly not my wheelhouse! So, I think really taking on little projects here and there to get me started was excellent. Making videos is actually not as hard or intimidating as I thought it was going to be. 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 think I’ve just become a 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! Gosh, I did not know anything about publishing before I joined Aries. When I thought of the word publishing, I just thought of novels and that’s as far as it went. I wasn’t aware of the importance of peer review, and that whole process. Previously working in the biotech industry, I had so many colleagues and customers who were scientists, who were PhDs and researchers, and they probably have used our system, and I had no clue! When they were submitting their manuscripts and going through the publishing process, they likely used Editorial Manager or a similar system to do so, and I had no clue what that was back then, but 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 manipulate it to make it even better or more successful.
Also copywriting/copyediting. I really do like blogging, crafting up the Aries newsletter, updating flyers or webpages. Most of the things I work on are customer-facing, meaning it is 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. It’s like, “we did that!”, we created that, something we did made a difference. 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!