Where are you based?
What job do you do?
Run Fast Web Media, a digital marketing agency
How did you get into marketing/communications?
I studied marketing at university. I had always been interested in business and enjoyed the marketing element of my Business Studies A Level so decided to hone in from there. I did my degree in the early days of the Internet and so we had a module on “e-marketing” and I ended up doing my dissertation on the privacy issues around Internet personalisation (15 years before anybody had heard of Cambridge Analytica!)
When I came out of university I just knew I wanted a job in Internet Marketing. I stumbled into a role in one of the fastest growth businesses in the country and I have never looked back.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
A have won a number of awards both personally and for client work which I am very proud of. I was named in Media Weeks 30 under 30 and The Drum Digerati in the same year a few years ago which is something I am very proud of.
But if I am honest, the thing that makes me most proud is when I see somebody I gave a job go on to great things. I have been fortunate enough to give a lot of people their first start in digital marketing and play a small role in helping them on their way. When I see them go on to do great things it makes me very proud.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
I have always worked in agencies, so communications has been everything I have been involved in, mostly for our clients. But as I have moved upwards I have also go involved in the marketing of the agencies themselves which is a different challenge.
Much like the plumber with the leaky tap, agencies are often the worst at doing as they advise their clients but in recent years I have done my best to bring more structure to our agency marketing. It is very difficult to convince a client that a certain apporach is the best way if you aren’t doing it yourself!
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Every career has its challenges. I have had to leave a senior position within an agency which wasn’t doing so well, without a role to go to and no security. I then got made redundant 18 months later from what was the supposedly “safe option” that I ended up taking.
Getting knocked down, dusting yourself off and picking yourself back up again is part of life. But that doesn’t make it easy. I have also been in a position where I had fallen out of favour with an employer and was being moved into a role I wasn’t happy with. Looking back now this pushed me into a period of mild depression. I didn’t recognise it at the time but looking back I can see it.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
There are two traits I would recommend anybody entering the industry tries to build or show:
Curiosity and seeking out the new and the different is what keeps you progressing. It creates opportunity and it is what adds significant value to your employers.
Resilience is critical. You will get knock backs, you will get told no, you will get told you can’t do something. You can mope about it, or you can learn from it and pick yourself up for the next challenge.
While you’re here, why not read another inspiring story?