A couple of years after graduating, and after successfully completing Squared Online, James Wragg has changed the shape of his career and the organisation he works for. Below, he shares his story and 5 key digital marketing skills which helped boost his career…
In his own words:
Straight out of university, I began the role of Digital Marketing Manager with Student Cribs – an innovative property management group specialising in sourcing, letting and refurbishing accommodation for UK-based students.
When I started, it was pretty small. It wasn’t until the end of 2017 that we hired someone else to join the Marketing Team, which means it was just me for a while! I had to learn fast and work out new ways of doing things – enter Squared Online. Since completing the course, I’ve been promoted twice from Digital Marketing Manager to Head of Sales and Marketing, followed by my current role as ‘Head of Digital’, a role wherein I oversee our digital marketing campaigns and the product development of in house software.
In that time, we’ve developed our marketing strategy and seen a 20% year-on-year growth in organic traffic to our site, reached 23 UK cities – not bad for a small company with only 1 office in London! Through digital marketing and strategy we’ve also managed to scale rapidly, which means we’ve accomplished a lot with limited resources compared to competitors, and due to this we’ve been recognised as a 2018 ‘Market Challenger’ in the E word’s ‘Online Property Marketing: Student League Table‘.
If I had to share the top 5 digital marketing skills I’ve learnt from Squared Online which helped the growth of Student Cribs, I’d have to say:
1. Get to know the bigger picture
Even though I completed a Marketing degree at university, the teaching doesn’t apply to the landscape now. With so many changes, it’s really important to get a broad strategic overview of the field and to be able to understand how to join the dots between media channels. I now know that multi-channel marketing is key and have been able to go away and practically apply what I’ve learnt. I still use the Value Proposition Canvas today!
2. Be clever, save money
Inspired by the last 2 modules of Squared Online on ‘change’ and ‘innovation’, I’ve changed the way I approach problems. To become more effective at managing our data, and to run our company at scale, I partnered with a Developer in Poland using remote working principles learnt from Squared Online, and we built our own CRM tool and booking platform.
3. Automated and personalised multi-channel marketing is key
With the new CRM tool and booking platform, prospective tenants can now go the whole way through the sales funnel without needing to speak to our office staff.. Squared Online highlighted the importance of this throughout.
4. Embrace a new mindset
This part has definitely helped with my career progression. I’m now embracing the mindset to build new things. I have the confidence to think outside the box and to get things built, approaching obstacles with the question: “how could I solve this myself?”.
5. Share your skill set
I put a crash course together for my colleagues to share what I’ve learnt. I’ve taken elements from Squared Online which focus on the overall marketing strategy including some of the tools and resources I’ve picked up to understand our customers and how they interact with different media channels. One of my colleagues has picked up the course as a result!
Now that digital marketing skills are in high demand, it’s crucial to make sure you’re aware of the bigger picture. As I mentioned before, a university degree will only get you so far. So, what are you waiting for?
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