Our Head of Marketing, Jon, has been with the herd for 6 months! Where has the time gone? We've asked him to reflect on what his first half-year has been like.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
As Head of Marketing, my role in the business is to lead a team of talented digital marketers. From paid search channels, to content, PR and technical SEO, the team are what you would call full service.
I see my role as working with the marketing team enabling them to be able to deliver first class service and multi-channel strategies for our partners, working towards building the business into Yorkshire’s best digital agency.
In my spare time I have to say my dog, Techno takes up a fair bit of time, in a good way of course as does my enjoyment of cooking and socialising, which will come as no surprise to those of you who know me well.
I learnt to DJ during the first lockdown and had the real pleasure of playing at one of my best friend’s weddings in the summer. That was a real bucket list moment for me, and I loved every minute.
What have you been up to so far?
Some of the herd I have worked with in the past and it was a real draw for me being able to work with those people again. That said, one of the best parts of my first six months has been getting to know the whole team. Talented and passionate about what they do, it has been a real pleasure.
We are proud to work with some really innovative brands and real entrepreneurs. People how have seen an opportunity and built a business around it, irrespective of size. These partners really impress with their knowledge of their industry and their stories and that drives us to do great things for them every day.
One of the key things that I wanted to achieve in 2021 was in relation to the team we had, making sure our head count was right and ensuring we had enough of the right people in the right places so that we could move forward and develop as a business. I am really proud of the progress that we have made so far in this respect.
I have also been delighted to welcome three new herd members, each of whom have brought their own unique value, skills and talent. They work well and complement the team really well.
The pandemic has of course been both a challenge and transformative for eCommerce. One thing that did impress me was the hybrid working policy at Meta. It has really enabled us to create a sense of team, and we have, subject to guidelines, been able to meet, talk, discuss and really be a “herd”.
Businesses have realised that they need to up their game in respect to their digital presence, appreciating that eCommerce is no longer complimentary to a physical store estate. The change in focus coupled with our agency proposition has put us in a strong position to drive our clients’ businesses forward.
I have also been able to see Shopify in a whole new light, the herd way of developing sites, our Skeleton framework includes some unique ways of managing not only content, products and collections, but also enabling marketing and development to work closely together and focus on performance.
Thinking about personal growth and training, using platforms like SEMrush, Hubspot and the Shopify Academy, as well as seeing how far evolved the Google training programs have become has been a real eye opener. The herd’s commitment to personal development is impressive and also benefits our partners as we are continuously improving, learning and developing.
Social events have been a real victim of the pandemic, but I have to say being able to finish work at midday on a Friday and then be in a pub, drinking responsibly of course, has been most enjoyable. Our Christmas meal was luckily booked in November which meant that we could proceed, and I have to say, without naming names, I have not laughed like that in a very long time.
What have you learned about the world of marketing that you didn't know before?
I have seen some innovative ways of using Shopify themes, with easy ways of applying tracking and taking a lot of the complexity out of not only managing a website, but those all-important landing pages too.
I am also, and this is not so much a learning as an observation, really encouraged by the digital presence in Hull and the East Riding - there are some great agencies in the area, all a little bit different and all doing great things. This is brilliant for people wanting a varied and progressive career in marketing, knowing that you have some of the best in the business in this area and you no longer need to travel to Leeds or Manchester to develop your career.
What are you hoping to achieve in the next six months?
I am really looking forward to the next six months, we will welcome some new people to the herd and continue to grow the business, and of course welcome new partners, starting their journey to become Shopify giants.
Who would be a dream client to work with?
I always wanted to work with John Lewis, but thinking about it I would also love to work with a brand like Virgin Atlantic, or something to do with live music, maybe a festival or music label.
What is your favourite piece of stationery?
I have to say I love a good notebook with a ribbon bookmark and it needs to be nicely bound as well.
Tea or coffee?
Either or for me. Coffee first thing in the morning though.
Favourite marketing tool?
I am a SEMrush fan.
Favourite podcast/webinar series?
I do like BBC Newscast, and I listen to the Times 2-minute briefing on the way to work most mornings. I am more of a YouTube follower though and enjoy watching The B1M and being into travel I do like a good trip report. Noel Phillips is one that I watch quite regularly.