How new hires Nate Deisler and Teresa Tatum collaborate across departments
It’s easy to think of a project’s path through the agency as a relay race. The client passes the baton to accounts, who pass it on to digital strategy, who pass it on to creative, and so on. In practice, however, we aren’t nearly so siloed. And that’s a very good thing.
We’re in a creative business, and creativity happens when ideas strike up against one another. The funny thing is you never quite know which strikes will spark something new. That’s why our best ideas don’t come from a single department, let alone a single individual. They come from all of us, talking and collaborating and arguing and talking some more.
Which is exactly why, when Well Done hired digital strategist Teresa Tatum and junior developer Nate Deisler, we gave them adjoining desks. Strategy and development go hand in hand like, well, any other two departments at our agency.
We sat down with Nate and Teresa to learn a little more about who they are, why they’re here, and how they’ll work together to do great things.
You both have taken some twists and turns over your professional careers—neither of you started in the field you’re in now.
T: I majored in journalism, but after college I came home to Indianapolis and wasn’t really loving the job market. Fortunately, because of my writing background, I was able to get an internship where I wrote copy and learned about digital marketing. Pretty soon I became specialized in SEO and PPC, and those became my passion. I know that sounds nerdy.
Nate, your first job wasn’t even web-adjacent, right?
N: I started out as a carpenter at Indiana Wesleyan University. I did that job for seven years, but by the end I’d also gotten into coding on the side. After a work accident, I decided to turn my focus fully to programming. I enrolled at Eleven Fifty Academy, graduated from their coding boot camp, and got a job at Well Done.
What attracted you two to the agency?
N: I really enjoy the culture. When I walked in the first time, the aesthetic of the place was totally different than what I was used to, and it all felt very friendly and warm. Then I interviewed with Josh and Brian, and they became the biggest pull. Josh seems to know everything, which is really intimidating, but will definitely help me grow.
T: I’ve been a follower of Well Done for years. I wanted to work somewhere that was professionally and personally fulfilling. It was serendipitous that I met Abby at a professional group, and I reached out to her because of that. I was drawn in by the agency’s flexibility, autonomy, and collaboration, and the family-team feel of the place.
How do your roles complement one another?
N: The way I see it, digital strategy is a way to help implement a design in which we can track and see how the website is being used, and to create something that benefits both the user and the client. If there’s a strong strategy in place for a website, it informs and shapes the way we develop it.
T: We’re really working together to serve our users and our audiences. Everything we do is with the end user in mind, which means focusing on developing the best user experiences. When I dive into analytics, I’m trying to figure out the behavior of our audiences to understand what they’re doing and why.
N: In the end, a lot of what we do is about understanding and facilitating the user experience. If we can work together to get that piece right, everybody wins.
What are you learning from each other?
N: I leave here every day knowing I learned at least one new thing about the code, our clients, or the agency. I think, for me, I know that I’ve signed up for a job where I’ll always be learning, where there is always something new to figure out. Working with Teresa, I’m excited to learn more about how to incorporate smart strategy into what I do.
T: To build on that, technology is always evolving and changing. That’s just as true in the world of development, so I’m learning, too. As technology, platforms, and algorithms change, we just have to stay on top of it all so we can shift our strategies. Whether you’re a developer or strategist, it’s important to always be eager to learn.
N: Yeah, exactly. It’s not necessarily about deciding, oh, I want to learn about this—it’s about staying open to all kinds of learning.
T: Listen to us, building rapport! We should probably start a podcast.