Bluetrain is proud to introduce Matthew Brown, our new Digital Marketing Strategist. Learn about Matt’s experience in the digital marketing world, his lovely family, and his hilarious hate for olives.
RB: Where did you grow up?
MB: Sherwood Park.
RB: Have you been here your whole life?
MB: I moved away when I was 18-ish, lived in Calgary for a while and Victoria for two and a half years, then back to Edmonton to go back to school.
RB: What did you go to school for?
MB: I went to MacEwan for Digital Arts & Media
RB: What did you like most about growing up in Sherwood Park?
MB: Small community feel with connection to the big city.
RB: Did you get into the city lots?
MB: Yeah, I experienced Whyte Ave when I was 14 years old. My friends and I used to bus down there every weekend in the summer.
RB: Do you have any siblings?
MB: Yes, one sister.
RB: Is she in Sherwood Park?
MB: No, she is in Morges, Switzerland.
RB: So exotic! Have you been?
MB: No, my daughter has though!
RB: Did she like it there?
MB: Yes! She spent a summer there. They travelled all through Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. My daughter’s favourite was Milan.
RB: Why’s that?
MB: Mostly the shopping.
RB: What words would your family use to describe you?
MB: Probably stoic, quiet, calm, and reserved.
RB: What is your family like?
MB: Evolving as my kids get older. They used to be so quiet but they’re coming out of their shells now. We joke, tease each other, and laugh. We’re a family that spends a lot of time together.
RB: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you became a grown up?
MB: A firefighter.
RB: Did you ever tour a hall?
MB: I did not, but one of the first places I lived after getting married was in the river valley close to the fire fighter’s training hall.
RB: So you were close.
MB: Funny enough, we’d see them out there practicing when we walked around the neighbourhood… Along with all the housewives sitting on their front step watching the guys run around.
RB: How would you describe your family’s heritage?
MB: On my side of the family, my sister and I are adopted and my father is also adopted and his two brothers were adopted too. So, we’ve always struggled with our identity because of that and I don’t know a lot about my family history…. English-Scottish I would guess. My wife is also adopted! Our children are our first blood relatives. Her background is primarily Scottish, Swedish, and Norwegian.
RB: Have you travelled over there?
MB: No, one day we’ll tour that area though! Scotland for sure and England because it’s England.
RB: What made you decide to come work with Bluetrain?
MB: The thing that attracted me to Bluetrain is that it was a different take on an agency—more focused and specific, and in an area that I think has a lot of potential and opportunity.
RB: Do you have your own personal blog?
MB: I do not, but I used to do a lot of writing! I was part of a user group for digital signage which was part of the Digital Signage Expo Advisory Group. I was part of their End User Council. There would be a monthly question that I would write an answer for.
RB: Are there any questions you remember that stood out?
MB: None that stand out specifically but once a year the expo would put on their annual conference and I’d get to meet the other advisory members. It was neat to hear from them that they were reading my articles and getting a lot out of them. These experts coming to me and telling me how much they enjoyed it.
RB: Very cool!
RB: What do you think about the world of digital marketing?
MB: I am a firm believer in the opportunity of digital marketing, but I am also an advocate for being responsible with it! I think it’s really easy for companies and brands to get caught up in the hype and I think it’s important—especially for agencies—not to take advantage of that.
RB: How many years have you been working in the industry?
MB: Almost 17.
RB: When did you decide to get into digital instead of firefighting?
MB: When I went back to school I actually wanted to be a photographer but there were some prerequisites I had to take first. During the prerequisite was when I found out about the digital media program, so I caught the digital marketing bug in the prerequisites.
RB: What do you take away from your past work experience that you’ll apply to your current position at Bluetrain?
MB: Having worked in both agencies and as part of an internal team, I have empathy on both sides. I want to bring an understanding from a client perspective, what their needs are and what their pain points are as well.
RB: What is your favorite food?
MB: That’s a tough one. I like a lot of food! It depends really. I go through moods and swings. Right now, I would say Korean food.
RB: Do you make it at home or go out to get it?
MB: Mostly make it at home. My daughter is celiac so we do a lot of cooking because of that.
RB: Home cooked food is the best!
MB: One thing we’re discovering through this is that Asian food is really celiac-friendly!
RB: Speaking of food, mushrooms or olives?
MB: Mushrooms. Olives are the devil’s fruit. There’s not much food I don’t like, but generally, I avoid olives.
RB: What do you do for fun?
MB: Hang out with the fam and play soccer. Soccer has been a lifelong passion. If I could, I’d play five days a week!
RB: What do you do to relax?
MB: I wish I could remember what that was! I’m one of those people who tends to keep themselves pretty busy. My “relaxation time” is mostly made up of DIY projects. Currently, I’m in the process of a number of projects, one being a smart mirror.
RB: What is that?
MB: A mirror that has a screen built into it.
RB: So your DIY projects are pretty technical then?
MB: Some of them. Lots of projects around the house. Mostly in the backyard for six months out of the year.
RB: Favourite book or movie?
MB: I always have a hard time with that because I have a diverse range of interests. I like movies that people don’t like. That Adam Sandler one, Punch-Drunk-Love, most people hate it because it’s weird and uncomfortable. I was never a Seinfeld fan.
RB: Haha! Me neither!
RB: Do you play volleyball or squash? This is a mandatory question from Bryan.
MB: Squash, definitely! More so than volleyball.
RB: Summer or winter?
RB: So you can be in the backyard?
MB: As I get older I prefer the heat.
RB: These winters can be tough…
MB: When I was younger I did more snowboarding and had more opportunities to get away to the mountains but I haven’t found time to do that lately so winters are all about the cold now.
RB: Tea or coffee?
MB: Coffee more than tea but I drink both.
RB: Cupcakes or cookies?
RB: Yes! We have a cookie office.
RB: Speaking of cupcakes or cookies, when is your birthday?
MB: December 8th.