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Introducing...Sarah

05/06/2017

Tell us how you got started in the digital/creative/tech space... 

I have gone through a bit of a whistle stop tour of the industry. I’ve started out in interior design, transferred that knowledge into brand design, product introduction, traditional advertising and finally found my home in the wonderful world of data and online marketing strategy.

Even though all of these areas might seem quite different, they all had one thing in common, understanding how consumers tick, what they ultimately want from the world around them and how businesses can discover and maintain customers in the most creative ways.

 

What’s your current role and what do you enjoy most about it?

I’m a digital growth coach and my job is unique within the team as it combines two roles, sector growth consultancy and digital innovation enablement for SMEs.

I love that, as it allows me guide growth strategy whilst still getting “my hands dirty” with the latest online marketing comms technology.

I really look forward to that moment when all the businesses physically hold their own growth plan in their hands

Why Manchester?

I’ve been very lucky and have seen, lived and worked in numerous countries all over the world, and I can say with full confidence Manchester ‘is where it’s at’ for me.

I’m not going to lie, it took a while for this love affair to blossom at first, but once I’ve really met the incredibly community minded manc-crowd and I got to appreciate the unique post-industrialisation creativity vibe we have here. I was smitten with this rough yet charming place I call home now and I’m a big advocate for this city to anyone who wants to start out in our sector to do so here!

 

What’s one big thing you’ve learned about what it takes to grow a business?

A visual growth plan!  

It’s incredible how much power a simple piece of paper hung up in an office wall has on management and all its staff. In my experience such a visual beacon of company success is invaluable as it plays on most human intrinsic instincts, such as pride, reward driven motivation or even that tiny bit of pressure for being behind.

 

What’s the piece of advice you find yourself giving most often?

 

With advice I find it’s never a one size fits all, so it really depends on who I am speaking to, but most often people underestimate the following areas:

 

  1. The importance of keeping all business assets modular as that can ensure longevity in a changing market place
  2. Profiling customers based on own data and also through externally available data
  3. Implementing a measurable ROI on everything the business spends time on, including “time itself” as that’s an expense too
  4. Processes (official and unofficial ones) – what works - what doesn’t
  5. Misguided perceptions such as the "Me and my  business are a ‘special snowflake’ syndrome”  which often prevents an active solution search within the industry or an outreach to peers during in challenging times.

 

Best book you’ve read in the last year and why?

“The chimp paradox” by prof Steve Peters. It’s been around for years and is a constant on many CEO “must read lists”, so this year, I finally read it.

It’s not revolutionary but it nicely pulls together all findings on how our brain uses its chemical reward system, the psychological implications that has and practical ways of how to hack these, into one easy to read very entertaining book. I’d recommend it, if one wants to get more insight into what and why certain things trigger them – and who knows maybe use that knowledge on future marketing ….

 

One album and / or podcast we all need to have in our lives?

Anything on TEDx (podcasts and videos) when one feels like learning something new and “Shots of Awe” (videos) by Jason Silva when life just needs a bit colour and a kick out of the mundane for 3mins.

 

Most looking forward to about Greater Connected?

I really look forward to that moment when all the businesses physically hold their own growth plan in their hands, knowing that they will pro-actively manage their growth success and that leaving this course they will not only be equipped with a whole set of new skills and strategies but also should times get tough, be able to draw on a new peer to peer support community to weather any storm.

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