Econsultancy caught up with him to find out about a typical day at Hootsuite, how the company measures success, his favourite social brands, and which customer experiences he most admires.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I am the General Manager for Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) at Hootsuite. I’m typically responsible for overseeing activities of these regions, making sure that we’re regularly hitting our targets and KPIs. I primarily work with the sales and marketing teams making sure the decisions that are made will deliver results in those specific regions for the company.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
As General Manager, I lead on strategies that impact Hootsuite’s efforts in EMEA and oversee the activities in each region. On a daily basis, my team consists of anyone from customer relationship managers and product teams, all the way through to the sales and marketing teams. I report to the Chief Revenue Officer back in HQ in Vancouver.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
This can sound a bit clichéd but listening, humility, seeking to understand, committed to self-development and keeping up with an industry that’s moving so fast.
Tell us about a typical working day…
Is there ever a typical day? Whilst you have important leadership duties, meetings and demands you have to spend time with the team and your people. Every interaction is a development or learning opportunity to help, guide or just listen.
Simon Sinek is so right when he says, “A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.” This trust is incredibly important to building high-performance cultures. My role as a leader isn’t to come up with great ideas, but create an environment where these great ideas can happen.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
I love that I speak to various different people throughout the day, from customers to business partners and industry peers.
Given the reach and extent of social media in today’s business world, my job allows me to speak to executives from a variety of backgrounds – be it a global leader of a multinational enterprise, police commander or government official, charity leader or solopreneurs. It’s amazing to hear about the opportunities and challenges they face, and how social media can help, such as increasing revenue, reducing costs, engaging with communities, employees and customers.
What I hate? Not having the time to do the above.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
We are very clear on the key financial metrics of the business such as revenue, growth, profitability and customer retention to name a few. However, we’re are laser-focused on building the environment of trust that I mentioned before. My aim is to help employees create a culture they want to be part of and can trust, who are all empowered to build a better way for the business.
Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order. Making sure the work environment is in great health naturally leads to good numbers! Working hard for something we don’t give a hoot (sorry!) about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is a blast.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Listening and talking. But also, my Bose headphones. They have changed how I work, and my life in general!
How did you end up at Hootsuite, and where might you go from here?
The timing was perfect. After working in enterprise software and marketing technology, I was ready to join a business that was heading in a direction I wanted to be part of. And that’s exactly why I joined Hootsuite two years ago.
So far, we have built a great team that’s on an exciting journey and I can see this same team working together to continue to grow Hootsuite’s potential.
Which customer experiences do you admire?
I love Melia Hotels: it’s the comfort, great design, outstanding facilities and personalised service that do it for me – be it business or leisure – at the ME in the Strand, Innside in Manchester or travelling in Spain.
Additionally, my local butcher in Tring is pretty damned good as well – Trevor and Gillie, you know who you are. They use WhatsApp to stay in touch with customers which adds a personal touch and community feel, something so important and often lost in the current climate of the high street.
Which are your favourite social brands?
At the moment I’m loving Spotify and my new Peloton spin bike. Spotify is a brilliant cross-platform app; be it on TV, phone, laptop or a speaker system such as Sonos, you get to explore and enjoy music whenever and wherever you want.
Peloton, it’s so much more than a spin bike with a screen. It’s flexible and convenient – meaning I can no longer get away with excusing myself from exercise – and it actually saves money when you add up the monthly cost of a gym membership. It’s incredibly varied and caters for any mood you may be in when exercising.
For a wealth of facts and commentary about marketing careers and development, subscribers can download Econsultancy’s Career and Salary Report 2019.