Please share your core belief or way of thinking about business
My core belief comes from being customer obsessed. We spend a lot of time talking about processes, systems and technology, but actually it’s all about how we enable our customers to do some amazing things, whether they are small, medium or large customers. We’re there to help them deliver for their customers. I believe if you always put the customer as your main focal point you can’t go too far wrong in business.
My role at Virgin Media Business...
I’m Marketing Director for Virgin Media Business, I look after brand development, product & pricing, lead generation (segment marketing across small, medium and large enterprises) and all digital activity, end-to-end across VMB.
The best thing I've experienced so far...
The best thing was back in March 2016 when we did our first ever TV advert. We created a three-minute advert that was aired during Channel 4 news, where there is never normally an ad break. It was an amazing piece of advertising. We broke the norm – B2B companies don’t do TV advertising so to see that come to life and the success that flowed from a brand awareness perspective is the highlight of my time here so far.
What got me here...
After I left Oxford with a degree in modern languages I convinced a strategy consultant company to give me a job! Then in 2004, I joined NTL in their consumer business and I worked on the merger between NTL and Telewest and the acquisition of Virgin Mobile. I came out the other end and worked as Head of Group strategy. Then I spent the next the next few years in the consumer department, first running the broadband product business then in the commercial development team where we launched triple play. In May 2012 I was appointed Marketing Director for Virgin Media Business.
The best advice I was ever given
Be the best version of yourself – it’s very easy to try and either pretend to be somebody else or only focus on what you are not good at. Sometimes I think we need to remember we have strengths and traits that someone has gifted upon us and we should not just play to those strengths, but build on them. I have my oddities and I have my eccentricities but I am me and I think that’s not bad advice to live your life by.
Your favourite business quote
Without wishing to be a brand sycophant I’m going to say “never mind the b*llocks” – I do think sometimes we overcomplicate things in life and we make some hard decisions impossible. I think sometimes we just have to try things, its part of being a Virgin company – willingness to fail fast and learn from our mistakes is something that I think we can learn a lot from.
My personal hero
My personal hero is my grandfather. When I was growing up he was a pretty much permanent part of my life, he lived 10 minutes round the corner and I spent a lot of time with him. He was possibly the brightest person I have ever met, so he had an amazing ability to explain things and it always made sense. He came from a relatively poor background but maintained an incredible humility, gentleness and kindness that hopefully I haven’t lost in my formative years, growing up to be the man I am today.