“Attain Design is a creative digital marketing agency”… Yawn.
I suppose it says a little about what we do, but it doesn’t really say anything about who we are.
Yes, we ‘generate outreach’, ‘promote buy-in’, ‘ensure retention’… But just saying these or any other similarly tired clichés sells us short. We’re a small team and it’s the personalities and passions of our people that make our agency so special.
Over the coming months, we’ll be releasing a series of interviews with our staff. First up is, well, me; the Head of Marketing.
Meet ‘The A Team’…
Paul Beard, Head of Marketing
Yep. I’m the Head of Marketing. I’m the Head of Marketing in a Marketing Agency, which probably tells you a little something about my focus.
In a nutshell, I manage the marketing department here. As well as general account management, I provide digital consultancy to our clients and then roll out strategic campaigns with my team, blending search engine optimisation, content marketing, social media… all the usual suspects you’d expect from a digital agency.
It’s hard to say exactly what I do day-to-day though. At any given moment I could be coding, writing sales copy or web content, tweeting, creating email campaigns, providing consultancy, writing proposals, managing client campaigns, picking up the phone and building relationships; Anything that promotes a two-way dialogue with an audience, either for us or for a client.
I tend to start my day with a quick nosey through the press; The Drum, Marketing Magazine, Mashable, TechCrunch, .Net etc. Social media also gives me a lot of insight too. It helps me to clear my head and focus for the rest of the day. I find that the little insights I discover get my brain in gear while keeping me up-to-date with general industry trends and moves.
What’s Your Story?
Over a decade ago, just before I went off to Manchester University, I promoted gigs and club nights. I started building up merchandise for bands and venues and eventually grew distribution networks into shops and online stores. I wasn’t taking over the world exactly, but I did ok for a spotty teenager with no formal marketing training!
At 18 I went off to university with not much understanding of the marketing world. I picked a subject based on my best A-Level results, partied and generally enjoyed myself for a few years, then came out the other side a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. In truth though, it was the jobs I took while studying that lead me to where I am today. In particular, my time with a company called All About Audiences was inspiring and awoke in me a (thus far) lifetime passion for marketing.
Without going into loads of detail, they were the marketing agency for organisations in the Arts to grow their audience in the North West of England. It was attractive because I was familiar with Arts promotion, albeit on a much smaller scale. I got to work on projects for the BBC, the Hallé, Disney and many other big names. Most importantly, I saw how the individual cogs and projects interacted at the core to generate the kind of growth that looks more like a force of nature to the unknowing outsider. I was hooked on agency-side marketing and the integration of strategy, technology and brand.
From there – once I’d graduated – I went on to work full-time at some of the most highly respected agencies in the UK; with clients including Nestle, Mars, Kellogg’s, Innocent Smoothies, Carling, Grolsch, Coors Light, Smirnoff, Bell’s, Bailey’s, Anadin, Chapstick, Centrum, De Vere Hotels, Manchester United, The Church of England, CAT Apparel, Dr Marten’s… the list goes on.
Alas, after an 8 year whirlwind through Manchester’s creative agencies, I moved back to Stoke-on-Trent to be closer to family. That’s whee my journey at Attain Design began.
What’s it like Working at Attain Design?
Exciting. Fun. Sometimes tiring. Always worth it.
It’s a fast-paced environment and the pressure to perform is always there. But then how often do you get to come to work, generate measurable growth for clients, then generate measurable growth for your department, then read up on your favourite topic and still have time before lunch to try out some cool new tech?
Favourite Part of the Job?
Consultancy. I’m always keeping an eye out for things that can be ‘tied together’. Integrated marketing is exponentially more effective than modular marketing and it’s satisfying helping someone get the most out of their budget.
Is There Life Outside of Attain Design?
Spare time is not a luxury I enjoy in copious amounts because I like to keep myself busy and my head immersed in the industry.
I volunteer my time with entrepreneurs and start-ups have been involved with a local hackspace group as well as some Open Access campaigners. I also play the drums in a band, so I’m always off here and there playing gigs.
On those rare occasions when I do have some down time, you’ll probably find me reading geeky biographies of mathematicians and scientists, obsessing over Formula One or watching a naff 80’s movie for the hundredth time.
Click below to find out more about the team:
Anthony Hall, Creative Director
… more to come.