Resume

Mark Farmer

Veteran digital communications strategist, leading teams that lead organizations

  • Proven track record as a digital change agent, innovating at industry-leading organizations.
  • Demonstrated success creating digital strategies that drive reach and engagement.
  • Expertise leading small and mid-sized teams, and larger cross-functional groups.
  • Deep understanding of the integration and deployment of digital technologies at large organizations.

Career Highlights

Experience

Senior Digital Strategist
August 2016 – present
  • Leading a team of digital media specialists in building and maintaining websites, intranets, social media, email communications and apps for Canada’s largest professional regulator.
  • Developed a comprehensive three-year institutional digital strategy.
  • Reached 2.6 million Ontarians during the #Just1Word social media campaign.
  • Technical lead on the re-architecture and redesign of oct.ca.
  • Led the re-architecture and redesign of the institution’s annual report microsite, driving a 300% year-over-year increase in visits.
  • Led the re-architecture and redesign of the College’s mobile apps, resulting in an 84% year-over-year increase in users.
  • Led a project to edit and update all content on oct.ca, more than 45,000 words in English and French.
  • Led a project to make over 3,100 pages of PDFs AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) compliant.
Digital Strategist
November 2012 – August 2016
York University, Toronto ON
  • Led institutional digital communications, content marketing and and digital crisis / issue management at Canada’s third-largest university, including creation of a cross-functional team of more than 100 digital media practitioners.
  • Responsible for managing institutional Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat accounts, and for co-managing Twitter and YouTube. Over two years on Facebook alone, drove 127% growth in audience, 400% growth in engagement and 1,400% growth in reach.
  • Won gold at the CASE District II awards for an interactive social media project at the spring 2015 convocation. Earned almost 6,000 social media mentions and 6.1 million in potential reach, with 97.5% positive sentiment.
  • Part of a team that won a Circle of Excellence Gold Award at the international CASE competition for the “Yes to York” campaign.
  • Won “Top Instagram Account” at the 2015 Canadian University & College Social Media Awards. Tied for top engagement on Instagram in the 2016 Engagement Labs study.
  • Led SEO / SEM strategy development for various units.
Social Media Manager
June 2012 – October 2012
  • Responsible for growing the social media marketing presence for Intuit’s Global Business Division in Canada.
  • Established Intuit Canada’s Small Business Blog, and managed social media for Intuit’s Small Business Week campaign, launching a webinar series that drew over 150 registrations for the inaugural event.
  • Managed institutional Facebook and Twitter accounts for the QuickBooks and GoPayment products.
  • Developed the online customer care apparatus for Intuit’s GoPayment product, leading a customer support team in triaging and resolving customer issues and crisis situations.
Web Redesign Manager
August 2010 – May 2012
  • Led a comprehensive website redesign project and implementation of the organization’s first content management system (Drupal), managing multiple stakeholders and leading weekly strategy sessions with senior leadership.
  • Managed a cross-functional team of developers, designers and producers, two Ottawa-based web development and project management firms, and a New York-based design agency to redevelop the museum’s website, social media and online content.
  • Led institutional social media efforts, including development of a governance structure, cross-functional stakeholder team and steering group.
  • Partnered with Google to initiate the ROM’s participation in Google’s Cultural Institute.
Contractor – Online Communications and Web Development
Sept 2009 – Aug 2010
Various
  • Eco Generation Services, Toronto ON
    • Designed a Google AdWords & SEO campaign, increasing site traffic by a factor of 3,500%.
  • Summerhill, Toronto ON
    • Redeveloped two large websites in less than two months as part of a company-wide rebranding.
  • Brightworks Interactive Marketing, Toronto ON
    • Produced Google Analytics & AdWords intelligence reports, and SEO / SEM recommendations for large pharmaceutical clients such as Bayer Canada, Purdue Pharma and Medicis Pharmaceutical.
  • Neighbourhood Almanac, Toronto ON
    • Designed and developed the prototype for a hyperlocal website system based on the Joomla CMS.
  • Give Green Canada, Victoria BC
    • Designed and managed email communications for BC-based fundraising organization.
Communications Specialist / Consultant
March 2008 – June 2009
  • Developed and managed the association’s two bilingual websites, increasing unique visits by 69% .
  • Expanded the association’s digital media to include blogs, streaming video, podcasts, Twitter and webinars. Increased seminar registration 70% through the introduction of webinars.
  • Redesigned the association’s monthly newsletter for electronic distribution, linking it to a bilingual blog on the association’s website, resulting in a 65% increase in site traffic.
Webmaster / Creative Director
Feb 2003 – March 2008
Earth Day Canada, Toronto ON
  • Managed daily operations and development of eight main websites across six programs, fifteen internal clients and thousands of web pages.
  • Oversaw an average annual increase in unique visitors of 436%.
  • Coordinated a Google AdWords campaign, resulting in a record 68 gigabytes of data served on Earth Day 2007 to over 67,000 unique visitors.
  • Led the organization’s electronic communications and jointly led its strategic communications and brand development.
Consultant – Online Communications and Web Development
May 1997 – Dec 2002
Various
  • The Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce, London UK
    • Created an organizational web development strategy, and developed / maintained various website components.
  • egroup, inc., Toronto ON / London UK
    • Developed a website audit, communications plan and a competitor analysis for egroup property, online-exams.com.
    • Redeveloped the site’s content and interface, and migrated it to a third-party ISP.
  • TransCanada PipeLines, (now TC Energy) Calgary AB
    • Web lead for several intranet projects
      • Developed intranet sites, usability & user surveys and communications plans for several internal clients.
      • Executed an information & training audit for a new project management initiative, and edited all training & promotional materials.
    • SAP database migration project
      • Led a team of associates, contractors, planners and clerks through a series of tight deadlines.
      • Coached and trained team members, coordinated workflows, and prepared status reports for management.

Education

Awards

Computer Skills

  • Adobe suite
    Acrobat Pro, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro
  • Advertising
    Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Content management
    Sitecore
  • Email communications
    LISTSERV Maestro, Litmus
  • Microsoft
    Excel, PowerPoint, Project Professional, Visio, Word
  • Social media and web analytics
    Brandwatch, Cision, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Meltwater, Siteimprove, Sprout Social
  • UX
    Morae, Optimal Workshop
  • Web design and development
    CSS, HTML, JavaScript, MS SharePoint, MS Team Foundation Server, MS Visual Studio, XHTML

Additional Skills

  • Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)
  • Fluent in English and French

Teaching & Lecturing

  • University of Guelph-Humber, Toronto: 2021
    • Guest lecturer on social media listening and measurement tools for fourth-year Bachelor of Public Relations Students
  • University of Toronto, Faculty of Information, Toronto ON: 2018
    • Guest lecturer on accessibility practices for a course in the Faculty of Information, “KMD 2002H: Technologies for Knowledge Media,” at the University of Toronto.
  • York University, Toronto ON: 2016
    • Online & in-class lectures to graduate students on using social media for academia / research.
  • Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto ON: 2015
    • Hands-on workshops for social media monitoring & measurement for Schulich’s MBA and BBA programs.
  • George Brown College, Centre for Continuous Learning, Toronto ON: 2014 – 2015
    • Taught a hands-on Facebook marketing course to post-graduate students.
    • Taught both online and offline versions of the course, and developed course curriculum and lesson plans.
  • Ryerson University, ADaPT program & School of Continuing Education, Toronto ON: 2013 – 2015
    • Lecturing and hands-on workshops in social media monitoring & metrics, and social media dashboards.
  • Seneca CollegeCentennial College, Toronto ON: 2013
    • Guest lecturer in social media monitoring & metrics, and writing for social media.

Speaking & Volunteer Highlights

Sample lecture / speaking engagement recordings

Slideshare presentations