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Matthew Stott - BA (Hons) Business Studies, 2011
Matthew graduated from Leeds Beckett in 2011, after completing a four year BA (Hons) Business Studies sandwich course.
After taking on a number of digital marketing roles, both agency and client side, he has now opened his own freelancing business which has six clients and counting; offering bespoke Digital Marketing services to startups and small businesses.
Matt places a significant amount of his career selection down to his placement year at university, “During my third year I took a year out in industry working for a full service digital agency called Netconstruct who the University had worked with for several years. Within that year I learned the ropes of how a web development company functioned and had daily exposure to working on digital marketing campaigns for a number of businesses. Initially I found the role difficult, as I had no previous experience and was working across 30 different websites, but over time everything began to sink in. Simply because of the lean team structure I was working on projects a typical 20 something wouldn’t have been working on without any technical background. Which in terms of a broad grounding in digital marketing made me learn more advanced skills and develop quicker”
Matt’s first job out of University was with the UK’s second largest media agency and personally handled digital marketing accounts for the likes of Matalan, Barratt Homes & Virgin. He says “coming out of university in the depths of a recession this role was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss and it was clear to me that having a year’s previous experience within an agency was what got me in front of the interview queue. Some intelligent questions and being able to spot some website flaws on the agency’s client list did the rest.” Matt continued to progress agency side for a couple of years working on a range of digital marketing channels such as PPC, SEO and Email marketing but the next phase in his development was to try his hand in a client side role.
After leaving the agency World Matt had a string of client side positions over the next four years and worked at brand such as Capita, British Home Stores & Topshop. For any up and coming digital marketers Matt would really recommend trying your hand at both sides of the fence, both agency and client side. “I found a mixture of both environments to be really useful and very different. Working within an Ad Agency you typically get access to really good training and you are part of a culture whereby growing staff development is often their number one priority. Promotions are often given internally and you also you tend to specialise in one or potentially two channels, resulting in being an ‘expert’ in something quicker. On the other side, working in-house lets you get closer to the brand and their customers in a much more intricate way. Typically you will also get involved in a much broader selection of digital projects and be able to run with more pieces of work on your own with greater decision making responsibilities. I think they are both exciting career choices but the very nature of digital marketing is inter-connected, so if you focus on broadening you skills and experience success will come.”
Matt’s latest venture was to launch his own Digital Marketing Consultancy, Brickwork Agency, which is a registered freelance company. Matt currently works with six different clients who are all startups within their first 2 years of trading or local professional services firms. The idea was born from speaking to various business owners in London who found that going with a marketing agency was proving too expensive and inflexible. The premise behind Power Per Hour is that its projects should always be less expensive than any local agencies and that time is spent only on critical pieces of work which will have a tangible impact on ROI. Over time, Matt’s intention is to evolve Brickwork Agency into a fully-fledged agency which only works with small business and only charges for pieces of work which have been proven to deliver more traffic to the client’s website.
There are still lots of lessons from University which Matt uses on a regular basis, in particular his modules covering B2B Marketing, Contemporary Brand Marketing & Digital Marketing were useful when settling into new roles. However, the most useful component from university came as a product of the group work on his course, Matt realised that he achieved better grades in group modules when the team members had a range of different skills, backgrounds and perspectives. “Applying this into working life whenever I’ve had a really important project to work on, getting 5 marketers around the table to discuss it only often touches upon 50% of what needs to be covered. It’s always been more productive to get technical stakeholders, designers and content teams into the conversation early on. If everyone working on a project has similar viewpoints, then the output is never as encompassing.”
“Applying this into working life whenever I’ve had a really important project to work on, getting 5 marketers around the table to discuss it only often touches upon 50% of what needs to be covered. It’s always been more productive to get technical stakeholders, designers and content teams into the conversation early on. If everyone working on a project has similar viewpoints, then the output is never as encompassing.”