The dynamism of the technology industry means that there is very little time for sitting still. For a marketing team starting to mature, however, walking before we can run is a mantra we’re sticking closely by.
I am the global director of marketing for servers.com, meaning that I oversee marketing for the company worldwide - across our various locations. The role is a busy one, especially as we’re on track to double the size of our marketing team by the end of the year and what a year it’s been! Today is my one year anniversary with the company and in that time we’ve explored and experimented with marketing, testing the water within our industry – we’re now ready to be bigger, bolder and more dynamic with our efforts.
I am mum to a six year old and three year old so, rather than an alarm clock, I usually get woken up by my youngest with either a cuddle, or an unreasonable demand (depending what mood she’s woken up in!). And from there, preparations vary depending on the day of the week. Mondays are my day in the office so I’m up and out as quickly as possible to beat commuter traffic, leaving my husband in charge. Tuesday to Thursday I squeeze a run or a gym class in to blow the cobwebs away, then juggle the school run and after school clubs around working from home. I don’t work Fridays so that I can spend time with my youngest and do the school run without relying on after school clubs.
But, regardless of the day, Monday to Thursday you’ll find me checking my phone in any little pocket of downtime to catch up on messages or actions, with a coffee never very far away.
As you can probably tell, my life is one big exercise in logistics and sticking to a carefully planned rota. A lot of planning goes into everyday life to ensure that everyone is where they have to be and has what they need, whether that’s a PE kit or swimming costumes. We have a command center in the kitchen made up of a weekly planner, monthly calendar and notice board to keep us all on track.
Of course, things don’t always go to plan, which is why the flexibility that servers.com provides to its staff is a huge plus for me. It enables me to balance the roles of mum, wife and global director of marketing.
My days predominantly revolve around interacting with the various apps that help us streamline, manage and collaborate on tasks. I project-manage my team using Monday.com so that is where I keep track of my to-do list and keep up to date with team tasks.
We are growing very quickly so there is a huge amount of recruitment taking place at the moment, all managed through our recruitment platform to ensure we’re constantly in sync with HR. And while we don’t use it much, email brings in some tasks to be dealt with, but Slack is where I do most of my communicating. As I’m predominantly remote working, it’s a lifeline for me back to the rest of the team (some of whom are based in Cyprus) and the external agencies that we work with.
I work foremost with the marketing team but I also work very closely with the sales team. Keeping that line of communication open between the two teams is a key part of why we are so successful as a wider business and it is a vital part of my job.
The beauty of a Monday (and the odd Thursday) when I’m in the office are those in between times - lunch, tea breaks or a quick walk in the fresh air - where I get to chat to people in the office about nothing in particular. It’s the best way to get to know people. And of course, I get to take advantage of Deliveroo lunches, which is handy, but having lunch all together is the real perk.
After a number of years in the public sector, the chance to come and work for servers.com was a leap into the unknown. The industry was entirely out of my comfort zone. But it offered me something that my career couldn’t at the time – prospects and opportunity.
In my initial role as head of special projects, I finally had a job that offered not only career progression but the ability to channel my project management, communications and PR skills into something exciting and new.
I’ll admit, I’m not a techie. I worked for a long time in an industry that was not at the forefront of new technology. I now find myself in a workplace where technology is an enabler and the industry is constantly innovating. To leave behind an established career and start something new, I had to feel confident that my next move had longevity. And technology certainly has that.
Our biggest issue is restraint. There is so much enthusiasm and ambition within the marketing team - we want to do everything but it's important that we don’t run before we can walk. Instead, we need to approach our priorities and how we allocate our resources in a methodical and strategic way.
By being realistic about what we can achieve, we can much more effectively channel that ambition and enthusiasm into projects and results that we can be proud of. It also gives us the time to build the foundations on which we can grow and develop our team.
It has to be our new website launch this summer. It was an epic job and the sheer volume of what was required to get it completed was staggering. But we did it and within our timeline thanks to everyone pulling together to help out. The process was managed entirely through Monday.com, which I had not long rolled out, so it was a proud moment for me.
It’s challenging. It keeps me on my toes, with very little time to sit back and take a breath. That’s the nature of a constantly evolving industry.
But it’s a good challenge. I get to help build a marketing team of talented people and work closely with the specialists in our sales teams. I believe that the synchronicity between marketing and sales that we have at servers.com is special and something that many companies don’t have.
If you go back to the root goal of what drives both teams it’s the same - to keep our current customers happy and to find new customers to make happy! It makes sense, therefore, to work as closely as we can together. When we worked on our first marketing campaign for servers.com, we didn’t really consult with sales. Looking back on that now, I realize how limiting that was.
By bringing the two teams together, we are also effectively creating one very diverse, creative team that collaborates on problem solving.
Everything takes longer than you think.
It’s something that our chief revenue officer Isaac told me after I’d been with the company for a couple of months and he was so right. In fact, it’s advice that can be applied to your whole life. If you never allow any extra time for anything, the likelihood is that you’ll end up getting stressed when something unexpected crops up.
If you always have the mentality that everything takes longer and allow that little bit of extra time, you’re more likely to be successful when faced with the unforeseen.
Wine (this will probably come as no surprise to other parents out there), regular exercise, which helps keep me sane in a pretty hectic life, and keeping my weekends as work-free as possible. That’s time to spend with my husband, kids, friends, and family – after all, that’s what all the hard work is for, right?
Our process queen, Gilly drives positive marketing outcomes thanks to her exceptional organisation.
Mum of two, she still finds time to eat, drink, dance, run, travel and sometimes sleep.