If you're one of the many regular visitors to this site, you'll know all about the cool content we publish, from infographics and webinars to blogs and videos, but it's unlikely that you've ever met the brains behind them...our wonderful marketing team!
So, to give you a better idea of who we are and what life is like here at SquaredUp, we're pleased to share an interview with Joe Edwards, a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist. Joe has some pretty interesting observations on digital marketing and life as a marketer at a tech start-up, as well as some tips for anyone looking to carve their own career in this field.
How long have you worked at SquaredUp?
I'm just coming up to my 1 year anniversary!
What does your role involve?
My role encompasses pretty much every element of digital marketing, from online advertising to blogging and everything in between. I have a particular focus on SEO optimisation, and I’ve constantly got one eye on our Google Analytics account! I try to make sure that all the work I do at SquaredUp is driven by data and evidence-based insights, to ensure that we’re focusing on the elements of marketing that are most valuable to us so we can consistently be upping our game.
What made you want to work at SquaredUp?
To date, a lot of my career has been spent working for large corporations with big brands, but during my previous role I got a taste of what life was like at a much smaller organization. I loved being able to build a marketing strategy from the ground up and take full ownership of all subsequent actions and deliverables and that was then something I was desperate to do with a cool, up-and-coming start-up.
When I first visited SquaredUp, I knew straightaway this was the place I wanted to work. The challenge of marketing a company that doesn’t necessarily have a ‘big brand’ reputation to fall back on was something I couldn’t wait to get to grips with; at a start-up, there’s no time to be complacent, and the thrill of that was really attractive.
What’s so special about SquaredUp is not just that the general working day is always very fulfilling, but it that goes way beyond that. There’s a real community here and always something going on – board games night, ping pong tournaments, poker, drinks, you name it. Because we have company-wide weekly kick-offs on a Monday and then wrap-ups on a Friday during which everyone presents what they've been working on, we’re all very in tune with what everyone else is doing, meaning there’s really good collaboration between teams and a shared understanding of what our goals are and how, collectively, we’re going to get there.
What do you find most challenging as a marketer at a relatively new, small company?
We grew really quickly really early on, because our product solves a specific problem for a specific target audience. The capability of our product has now developed to the point where we’re able to appeal to a much larger audience and solve much bigger problems – but that comes with the fresh challenge of getting in front of that new audience. We now have to succeed in making our voice heard and getting our brand recognised amongst new customer personas, which as a marketer is both really exciting and challenging as it essentially means starting anew with a blank canvas.
What are your highlights from the past year at SquaredUp?
A stand out moment for me was flying out to Orlando to be part of the team working at Microsoft Ignite. It was great as a small company to rub shoulders (and, with our bright orange stand, stand out from) some of the world’s biggest brands. And swinging by Universal Studios wasn’t too shabby either!
What’s been a project that you’ve really enjoyed working on?
I recently led a project of revamping and relaunching our website. The project came about because I’d identified that the old site wasn’t conveying our product capability as clearly as I felt it could. I was mindful that we wanted to start reaching out to a new customer base and that we needed a platform where we could show how SquaredUp meets their needs and solves their problems.
One of the great things about working at a start-up is that the opportunity is there to come up with an idea and run with it. I knew the importance of the website to the business meant building a detailed business case for my ideas and that I’d need to get it right, as our old website was actually performing perfectly well, so it wasn’t an immediately obvious place to focus our efforts. I spent time putting together a strong pitch, which I was delighted to get sign off on and then started to turn my ideas into action. The new website launched just before Christmas and we’re already seeing some noticeable differences, which has been a very proud moment for me.
What’s on the wish list for the next couple of years at SquaredUp?
As a digital enthusiast, my focus for the foreseeable future is on improving our digital footprint in new areas and really making waves online. I’m excited to keep creating awesome content that helps our customers get all that they possibly can from our product, as well as content designed to coach new audiences. Continuing to improve our website is also a must for me, it's our ‘shop-window’ and the centre piece of pretty much all our marketing, so it needs to be performing at it’s best in order for us to get full value from our marketing efforts as a whole.
What do you think are the biggest challenges (and opportunities) facing marketers in 2018?
Content is definitely still king (excuse the cliché!), but there's so much awesome content out there, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. A strong content strategy is absolutely crucial in order to deliver strong marketing across the board – digital channels are only as good as the content you’re putting into them. Getting under the skin of your target audience and creating content which meets their specific needs is key.
I think that sponsored updates on social channels like Facebook and Twitter is something that B2B marketers still haven’t fully got to grips with and made the most of. It’s difficult to get it right when you’re advertising a B2B offering in what is essentially their ‘personal space’, but there's so much value there and the targeting options are pretty sophisticated. This is definitely an area that could be better used by B2B marketers.
What advice would you give someone who wants to embark on a career in digital marketing?
In my opinion, Google really is the keepers of the keys, so if you get to grips with how to win over Google, you’ll be in a pretty good position to get off to a flying start with digital marketing. I think it’s also important to be able to offer a broad scope of skills – creativity is still really important, but marketing is no longer the ‘colouring-in department’. These days, marketers are expected to have analytical prowess as well as the ability to write engaging copy and be involved in creating beautiful designs, so try to work on developing a varied portfolio of skills.
Want to get in on the action and join our awesome marketing team? Great, you're in luck - we're looking for talented marketers right now! Check out the vacancies here.