Ryan Hickey, Director of Digital Strategy.
Our caffeine-fueled, data-driven director and champion of digital strategy.
Ryan brings an analytical approach to digital that ties strategy, an often overused and opaque term, to actions and outcomes that are proven with data. Over the years he’s worked with a full spectrum of clients, from small business to enterprise, developing a strong preference for taking strategic actions, analyzing the results, and refining them to be more effective. At Station Four, he champions the strategic direction of the agency’s output, working with both the internal team and directly with clients to ensure that the ideas generated are guided by data and substantiated through methodical tracking and analysis.
Ryan joins the team at Station Four with a diverse range of experience. Having worked in conversion rate optimization, A/B split testing, VC-backed startups, import/export, politics, non-profit, and education, he has seen a vast swath of business needs. He leverages this varied background to address client challenges, combining critical thinking with creativity to build impactful marketing solutions. When he’s not in the office he can often be found in a cafe reading a book while satisfying his constant need for caffeine.
Four Quick Questions
What makes you passionate about digital strategy?
There are several reasons, but I think what I find most exciting is that you can closely attribute outcomes to actions, and thus ascribe ROI to your efforts. Being able to obtain a simultaneously comprehensive and individuating overview of your marketing landscape is incredibly powerful. Further, the variety of audiences, client needs, and channels means that there’s always an avenue to achieve results. Throw in an ever-changing technological environment, and there’s always something exciting to stay on top of.
What guides your beliefs about strategy?
“Strategy” is probably the most overused word in business, and is perhaps one of the least understood. While I believe that strategy can never be “right” or “wrong,” there are definitely better and worse ones. I believe that properly understood, it’s simply a coherent set of justified reasons for pursuing one set of activities over another. This requires a thorough examination of all the available data & evidence, tackling the most recondite questions a business faces, determining realistic goals, and challenging some of the assumptions prior work was founded on.
What's the role of relying on opinions to make strategic decisions?
Mere opinion isn’t enough. We should look at the evidence the analytics provide. I’m a firm believer in being guided by data. A site’s traffic, bounce rate, and funnel performance all tell a story about how effective the digital marketing efforts are. Strategy is a response to that story, the blueprint that seeks to take those numbers from where they are to where the business’ goals would like them to be. It’s a process of continuous refinement, adjusting and modifying your efforts until the desired results are achieved.
Where would you go with a free plane ticket, but only 3 days off?
Three days is barely enough to immerse yourself in a place, but I’d probably do Paris, cliché as it may be. I backpacked all throughout Europe in my early twenties, but I somehow managed to miss the City of Lights.
Four Quick Facts About Ryan
The necessary evil that
Studied diplomacy at Georgetown
Writes album reviews in his spare time
Can use big words when small ones would do