A day in the life of... Head of Technical Marketing
In this miniseries, we're giving you a glimpse into the day to day of what makes our team so wonderful, starting with Lewis, our Head of Technical Marketing.
Head of Technical Marketing
Describe the main responsibilities of your role:
In my role as Head of Technical Marketing, I’m responsible for overseeing the PPC, SEO, Email, Programmatic and Analytics teams at Extreme and all of their output. A large part of my role is also working with other department heads and the directors on operational decisions to make sure that Extreme can continue to grow at the rate we are and provide the best experience possible to our team and clients.
What’s your morning routine before work?
As the proud owner of a new puppy, my mornings consist of getting up at 6am to the sound of yapping and a very excited 14-week-old Golden Retriever. Once I’ve taken her a walk or worn her out for a good half an hour or so, it’s then onto getting ready for work, fueled, of course, by a nice strong coffee.
I’m lucky that I don’t live too far from work, it’s only a 25-minute drive. My wife also works at Extreme, so we use the drive-in as a chance to catch up and talk about what we’ve both got pencilled in for our day. After battling the Harrogate traffic, we’re usually one of the first people at work between 7.30 and 8.00, ready to tackle the day.
“...it helps keep my days structured and gives me and my team a sense of priority. My whole team uses it, and it helps keeps things transparent so we all know what we’re all up to at all times.”
What’s the first thing you do when you start your working day?
Like anything, it’s important to prioritise - so the first thing I do is make sure there’s a pot or two of fresh coffee on. I’m not really a breakfast kind of guy, so after getting my desk sorted and a full cup of coffee, it’s straight into the inbox to see what’s happened overnight.
Once I’ve filtered through all the spammy nonsense, I’ll review my Asana board to see what deadlines are looming, and add any tasks to it as needed. I’m a bit of a nerd, so I love Asana - it helps keep my days structured, and gives me and my team a sense of priority. My whole team uses it, and it helps keeps things transparent so we all know what we’re all up to at all times.
How do you prioritise what you have on for the day?
Using Asana! If I’ve had anything that requires actioning come in overnight, I’ll add it as a task to my column in Asana, set a deadline, time estimate and client and it’ll automatically show me where it needs to fit in in my list of priorities. Given the nature of the job, things often creep in last minute and take priority, but that can’t be helped.
I’ll also look at my calendar and see what meetings I’ve got booked in. There’s usually two or three a day, and they can be anything from campaign strategy catch-ups to internal operations or HR-related meetings. I’ll then schedule in the remaining time, with my tasks from Asana.
Today I am working on…
An email marketing strategy for a new client! I can’t say who yet, but we’re super excited to be working with them on a multi-channel, digital strategy. I’m leading the email marketing aspect of it, so I’ll be looking at what opportunities there are for us to implement, analysing existing activity and then tying it all together with the other team members to make sure our strategy is consistent across all touchpoints! I’ll also be reviewing our Paid Search and SEO plans with our SEO and PPC leads, given that they fall under my remit.
I’ve also got some internal reports to do for our directors - which will be used to review internal performance and output to make sure everyone’s happy!
“I’m incredibly lucky to have a very talented set of colleagues that make up my team... which means that I can crack on with my own job knowing with every confidence that they’re able to meet the brief and implement the best strategy based on the objectives.”
Best part of your job:
My Technical Marketing team! I’m incredibly lucky to have a very talented set of colleagues that make up my team. They all have specialisms in one area or another, which means that I can crack on with my own job knowing with every confidence that they’re able to meet the brief and implement the best strategy based on the objectives.
Having that level of trust means I don’t have to micro-manage them, and instead, can get involved in supporting them when they need it whilst ensuring they have everything they need in order to get the job done properly.
I also love being able to work across multiple departments. As the head of a team, it’s really important to make sure there are clear lines of communication between my team, and all the other teams. As a result, no two days are really the same - one day I could be working on a technical project with the development team, the next, I could be working on a strategy proposal with our client services team.
Biggest challenge in your role:
Managing motivation. The reality of agency life is that things don’t always turn out the way we’d hope, be it new business pitches, client limitations, external factors that affect campaign success or even just managing busy workloads. All of these can easily lead to feeling stressed, so it’s my job to make sure my team remain positive and have all the resources, time and skills they need to do their job properly in a happy environment.
I love to travel, so my dream brief would be to work with a cutting edge travel solutions provider, where they really want to push the boundaries of what is ‘normal and expected’. The chance to create some incredible assets, tied into a really slick online experience that offers the customer a really personalised digital journey - something that I think is really missing from some of the bigger players in this market.
I’m really into trying new technologies and tools, and I think there’s so much opportunity to apply that to a brief like this - think AR, behavioural marketing, personalised travel suggestions based on your personal interests. We’re lucky that we have a team of 35+ specialists across Development, Design, Marketing and Strategy, so if something doesn’t exist or quite work as we need it, we’re usually able to create it from scratch or extend something that’s nearly there.
One thing you do at the end of the day:
I tend to end the day in a similar way to how I start it, minus the coffee. I’ll do one last sweep of my inbox and make sure that nothing’s outstanding, and then tick off any tasks that I’ve completed within Asana so that tomorrow, I’m working off an up to date set of tasks.
Once that’s done, come 4.30, I’m usually heading home. There’s a big emphasis on not taking work home at Extreme as we all have lives outside of work, so it’s nice to come home and switch off.
Advice for anyone wanting to get started in your specialism:
Be proactive and use your initiative. Digital is a massive, ever-changing industry, now more than ever, and the competition to get a role in the industry is fiercer than ever, especially in the bigger cities. Having said that, there’s also more demand, so it’s always important to try and make yourself stand out.
For me, the main trait I look for when I’m hiring is for someone who’s proactive and has the confidence to use their own initiative when trying to accomplish something. Being a self-starter I think is massively important, and as a result, you’ll pick new things up quicker, and be able to apply yourself to them more effectively, which will pay dividends in the long run
Sound like the kind of place you want to work? Sure it does!
As our Head of Technical Marketing, Lewis oversees our paid search, email marketing, SEO and data analysis teams at Extreme. With extensive experience across a range of technical channels, Lewis works closely with other teams to ensure that all marketing strategies are generating the best results in line with our client's business objectives.