Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?

Adam Johnstone: My role as digital marketing manager at Good Energy is pretty broad. I’ve been in the role for over seven years, during which time I’ve set up and maintained all digital channels. I’ve also overseen the development of three websites, an app and two online customer self-serve portals. 

As well as helping to shape our digital strategy, I love getting my hands dirty by diving in to our data to glean insight in to what is and what isn’t working. This analysis allows me to improve conversion rates and ultimately user experience.

E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?

AJ: I sit within the digital team, reporting in to the marketing director.

E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role and in energy/utilities?

AJ: As well as maintaining an understanding of digital channels and how they’re continually evolving, it’s really important to never lose sight of the bigger picture – what is the company mission and what goals am I trying to achieve? 

For me, measuring performance and keeping on top of what competitors are doing are critical benchmarks for success. It’s also essential to put the customer first, which is why I approach all UX updates to our website, app and online service by first mapping out our customer requirements. 

E: Tell us about a typical working day…

AJ: The first thing I’ll do each day is to check in on our digital performance from the past 24 hours. This includes a quick dive in to Google Analytics and my custom reports in Data Studio. We’ll then have a team stand-up to briefly cover all of the actions for the day. 

At the moment, a typical day for me is prioritising the functional upgrades to our website, app and online portal, as well as working on CRO projects to help deliver a first-class customer experience. Good Energy is committed to a business-wide digital transformation, so there’s plenty of work to be done in order to achieve that.

E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?

AJ: I love the fact that Good Energy is an ethical business and has strong values to which I’m aligned with. Good Energy was set up as a renewable energy solution to help tackle climate change. I feel a real sense of achievement every time I convert a user online; it really does go a long way towards helping our mission. 

In terms of what sucks, it has to be those times when I’m slogging through data to find that small nugget of insight that could prove valuable. Obviously it’s all worth it when I do find it!

E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?

AJ: I have a number of goals across different areas of digital. From a website point of view, I need users to be showing interest, maybe signing up to the newsletter or getting an energy quote. Ultimately, the primary goal is to switch as many users as possible to Good Energy. 

In terms of the app and online portal, the goals here are more around customer retention and ensuring customers can self-serve with ease. I monitor various metrics and KPIs all the way through the funnel, whether that’s social or PPC reach, email open and click-through rates and user interactions online such as device, location, demographic, pages viewed etc. All metrics feed in to goals and conversion rates. 

Keeping a close eye on conversions and CPA is essential for any digital progression and CRO next steps.

E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?

AJ: I’ll start with the classics, so Google Analytics for data and Moz for SEO. Other great tools include Optimizely and HotJar for A/B testing and CRO, Fresh Relevance for web drop off / retargeting, Affilinet for affiliate marketing and Socialbakers for complete social channel management. 

But for me, the most exciting new tool to the market has to be Google Data Studio. I went to see Google last year and this was something they mentioned was in the pipeline for release in 2017. Sure enough it’s now readily available and is proving to be a fantastic way to collate digital data in to one place, whilst making it look pretty at the same time.

E: How did you get started in marketing, and where might you go from here?

AJ: I’m completely self-taught, having fallen in to the world of marketing following my app development background. I’ve also been lucky enough to polish my digital skills with guidance from some of the best London agencies around. 

With my skill set I plan to steer Good Energy through this period of digital transformation, as well as continue to learn new skills through networking and events. 

E: Which brands do you think are doing digital well?

AJ: I’m a big fan of what Sky and Nationwide are doing at the moment. I often refer to both of them as great examples for best in class digital estate and customer experience.

E: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in marketing?

AJ: Don’t get complacent and never stop learning, particularly when it comes to digital. Everything moves so fast, so it’s important to stay on top of trends and not get left behind.

I find there are so many great resources and events out there which can help with staying in the loop. Just get involved!