Where are you based?
What job do you do?
At an agency I co-founded called Cabana. Ultimately I’m responsible for the search marketing performance of our clients (SEO & PPC).
How did you get into marketing/communications?
started working for the Student Union’s Marketing Department towards the end of my first year at the University of Sheffield. I’d pretty much blown through my student loan and ran out of credit at the bank of Mum & Dad by that point, so I desperately needed a job to get me through.
Mainly, my job was to stand in the Union bars and restaurants (and even the nightclubs – I remember getting to see some great DJs for free, albeit I was “working”), asking fellow students to complete an NPS questionnaire. It was easy money really.
I assume as marketers you’ll have heard of NPS before, but just in case, NPS stands for Net Promoter Score. It’s a good way for brands to put a quantifiable measure on how much customers enjoy their products/services and monitor change over time.
Looking back, I think the work exposed me to a few of the core key ideas behind modern marketing, such as putting the customer experience first and foremost, which I thought was quite interesting. Before this, I was interested in what I was studying at Uni, but I couldn’t see a career in it. It was the experience in doing a few questionnaires that really got my attention and I started researching more and more about marketing careers as a result. Six years later I’ve already had a career that I’m really proud of and I’m excited for what the future holds.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
Personally, I’m proud of all the progress I’ve continued to make each year. In 2016, I started at a reputable digital marketing agency in an SEO role, but other than a book I’d quickly read about SEO and a general interest in the field, I didn’t actually know anything about how SEO worked.
I was fortunate enough to have a set of fantastic colleagues who mentored me daily, a workplace culture of learning, and the autonomy to try things and make/learn from my mistakes. Without tooting my own horn too much, I feel I’ve done well since. I worked hard, rose into a senior position, helped to lead the team and develop the juniors, and led the SEO campaigns for several exceptional clients.
And that experience has given me the confidence to step out and try to do it for myself; I launched a digital marketing agency with a couple of friends in early 2020.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
I’ve worked with a lot of clients over the past 4 years. Every year, the importance of marketing grows as the market becomes ever more saturated with competition. With a smart marketing and communications strategy and a great team of people working on those strategies, the companies I’ve worked with have benefited from an increased market share and a more recognised brand.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Probably the steep learning curve and the effect that has on your mentality. When you start from not knowing much about the field you enter, you’ve got so much to catch up on. You work doubly hard to catch up and learn everything you can, whilst keeping up with new developments (the industry can change quickly). But for a long time, I personally felt as if I was ‘behind’ others or that I wasn’t an expert – even if, had someone tested my knowledge, I’d have come out pretty well!
Eventually, I think the combination of more experience and good results helped me overcome it. As with anything I guess, the more time you put into something, the more confident you become – and you just had to accept that as part of your journey.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
As with most fields, a bit of humility and hard work will go a long way.
Where can we find you online?
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