How to get to grips with the digital world in 2015: a chat with our digital director
Monday, 23 March 2015, by Paul Owen
Nick is the Digital Director at Kenyon Fraser and is the go-to-guy for all things digital. I was lucky enough to grab a moment of his time and fire some questions at him. In this chat, I get to learn more about his world, the magical, digital world and all about the Greatest American Hero.
What is included in your job?
Meeting clients, telling them what’s what in the world of digital, explaining how we can help them navigate that world and how we can set up marketing plans for them.
I run the digital team so that also means setting the workload and working with them to understand what we need to do and how we need to do it for our clients.
Then, looking back and appraising the work, checking how well it’s done and learning so that the next project we do is better still.
Good! What do you like most about it?
My favourite bit is working with clients. It’s nice to come up with solutions and it’s nice to see those solutions put into play. We work in a creative industry so the output is generally something that looks very good.
And then obviously the end game; they invest their money in us doing some marketing and they get more business out of it. I think that’s probably my favourite bit of it.
I’m very lucky that my job is varied, one day is never the same as the next. It’s always fast paced and that means it stays exciting.
You mentioned solutions, what kind of solutions are you talking about here?
Well, we build websites - that’s one of our predominant roles so essentially making sure that the website is great, making sure that people are looking at the website and that it is achieving what the customer wants.
This can be to drive sales or affect change, (in the campaign work that we do) and ensuring that it is influencing people; influencing the people that we need it to influence and so on.
Nice and varied then! What is your favourite bit of work so far?
It’s difficult to pick just one but Southport Flower Show is always an exciting project to work on. Whenever you’re working on a project that is geared up to a very short time period such as an event or festival; it’s always exciting.
When the day arrives, when the Flower Show gets started, there’s a real bustle and you see a year’s worth of work coming into fruition. I think because we look after the whole of their digital - we’ve written their gate management software and e-ticketing solution as well - it’s nice to see a full service solution. When you get to the day of the show and it all looks amazing and there’s lots of people going through the gates, it’s very pleasing indeed.
So, why is your work important in 2015?
Well I think it’s self-evident really; the internet is here to stay, it’s here to grow. From a marketing/advertising/engagement perspective, it is fast becoming the most important channel. Digital marketing has recently overtaken traditional marketing channels in terms of spends*. The work we do is going to continue to expand and become more relevant.
Great, and how do you ensure it’s done to the best of your/the team’s ability and to the satisfaction of the client? Basically, why are you so good…
What we always say to clients is that we work in collaboration and we believe that and we live it. We work with our clients and we bring their knowledge, our knowledge and all our ideas together.
We just make sure that we’re always pushing hard for the best solution. I think if you have the right people in your team and you have an ambitious client that meets our ambitions then you’re always going to be aiming for a good solution.
It then boils down to making sure you’ve got robust processes in place to deliver the work. It’s important to remain centred on the goals; what you’re trying to achieve, recognising that our clients’ success is directly correlated to our success. Just understanding that every job, the next job is always the most important - whoever it’s for, whatever it is. And take pride in your work!
Having waffled at you.. I think the best thing is that we do work in collaboration so we understand our clients and they understand us and we all get on.
What’s the biggest trend/most important thing in the web world for 2015?
Content is king, content is king, content is king!
Google strategy is shifting more towards content, social media is all about content so there’s many channels on the internet to actually get that content out there but having relevant content is key.
We see how some campaigns can go viral and reach millions of people on the internet and it’s because it’s a good campaign, it’s got good content so if you can create that content, you’re going to go far. So that’s the most important trend in my viewpoint.
That’s what I like to hear! Any advice for someone looking to work their way towards a job like yours?
Same for any job - set goals, understand what you need to achieve to get there and then work hard. You’ve got to keep pushing if you want to get on in life, you can’t stop at any point and you have to recognise that your career is your responsibility.
People will help you along the way; your bosses, your colleagues and so on but ultimately it’s up to you to make sure that you get to where you want to be. If you aspire to things and work hard and be clear - set those goals - ‘I want to get to there, this is what I need to do’, and then go for it.
Once a website is up, the job isn’t finished, what needs to be done?
A website is never finished. They are living, breathing things. As business changes, the website needs to reflect that, it needs to be focused on the users and the customers that you’re trying to engage. This means that you’ve got to make sure content is always up to date and constantly promoting the website.
I think it’s about having real expectations for the website to deliver. Again, when the internet started to take hold, everybody thought, ‘I’ve got to get a website!’ and that was fair enough then but it’s not fair enough now. They’ve got to have a website that works for them.
Setting up a website is not the end, it’s the beginning. If you have real expectations and talk to people to get advice about what you need to do then there’s plenty to move with.
What are the best SEO tactics (for 2015)?
Not sure I can tell you that! …Content is king, it really is.
Moving away from Kings, who is the best superhero?
I think I remember a programme that was shown on Saturday mornings, The Greatest American Hero. For some reason, that always sticks in my mind and I don’t know why
So is The Greatest American Hero a programme or the hero?!
I think it was a programme about the hero… Let’s check it out, LET'S GO ON THE INTERNET!
Nick then showed me that The Greatest American Hero is indeed a real superhero, albeit in a comedy setting. A unique choice.
Nick can be contacted on all digital matters at email@example.com
*Statistics from Forrester research show the upward spiralling trend of digital marketing spends to have recently overtaken all other, more traditional marketing channels.