Harry works for One Gin, an award-winning gin brand which donates a portion of their sales to water projects in Africa. Taking on the role of Digital Marketing Manager with the company three years ago was an ideal way for Harry to combine an enthusiasm for marketing with his determination to make a difference through his work. This is something he has striven to do since his teenage years volunteering for local charities.
“I’m lucky I found a role that suits me as I didn’t have a clue what to do when I was younger, beyond the dream of being in a band,” explains Harry. He studied Human Geography at university because he enjoyed it, and it was while studying when his path into marketing took shape, albeit without him realising.
“I joined in with everything I could at university, getting involved with the societies, the campus radio station and helping to organise social events and trips. I always ended up handling the social media activity, which I started to enjoy, plus I was writing a blog of my own too,” he says. “It all proved to be really valuable on my CV when I started applying for marketing roles later.”
Harry doesn’t think having a marketing degree is necessary if you want a role like his: “it certainly wouldn’t be a ‘make or break’ thing for me if I was looking to hire a Digital Marketing Manager myself.” He’d be looking for someone creative, enthusiastic and great at communicating. “You can learn all the rest on the job,” he reassures. “And you don’t need to be particularly technical for this role, even though it has the word ‘digital’ in the job title. The digital tools are often simple to use, like one of the many content management systems available or social media channels.”
He has worked as a Digital Marketing Manager for different organisations and says the general tasks are similar. “Fundamentally, you’re trying to engage your audience with your product and brand using a variety of digital channels and approaches, often working alongside a Head of Marketing. It’s just the audience and messaging, the product and brand that change when you work for different companies.” Responsibilities include managing social media channels, writing content for a blog or newsletter, and helping to create attention-grabbing campaigns, such as filming videos or working with influencers or partners. “I enjoy the diversity of the role, and the fact that I don’t have to spend 100% of my time in front of a computer,” Harry says. “I can get out and meet people, which I like.”
While the social media campaigns can be some of the most enjoyable – “at One Gin we do things like teaming up with well-known bars to stream live cocktail-making sessions, which is pretty cool” – they can also be relentless because things change so fast online. “A digital campaign is never truly complete, like it would be in traditional marketing if you’re creating a poster advert or a radio advert,” says Harry. “You are always tweaking, updating, making changes that respond to trends and finding ways to be different and land your message in a noisy space.”
Harry keeps a “finger on the pulse” by reading about digital marketing in magazines like The Drum and Campaign, as well as newsletters from media agencies like Kindred. “Keeping up with the digital world is part of the fun but also a big challenge,” he says. “You have to be out there, on social media, observing the trends and interrogating why something grabs your attention – that’s a great way to recognise what makes for exceptional digital marketing.”