London-based Philippa Warren chats with us about the exciting trends she’s seeing in marketing technology, organising last year’s Squiz UK Summit, and her cycling adventures across England.
Squiz: Can you tell us a little about what you do at Squiz?
Philippa: I’m part of the marketing team in the UK, focusing on lead generation and new business. That involves all sorts of tasks, from organising and running events to managing our social media account and sending out email campaigns.
Generally, I support our sales team and the wider UK office, working with everyone here and with our Global marketing team to make sure we’re generating new business, achieving our marketing goals, and promoting the Squiz brand.
What do you enjoy most about your job, and what’s the biggest challenge?
There are lots of brainy people that work at Squiz. Even though my team in London is small, it feels like the whole company is working with us. Everyone’s interested in coming up with new ideas, and we’re all working towards common goals. Whenever we run an event, we get a lot of support, and many people are keen to help out or want to sign up to speak.
That’s also probably the biggest challenge. There are so many exciting ideas that you want to run with and try out; there’s just not enough time in the day. But that’s certainly not a bad challenge to have at all.
How long have you been at Squiz, and what attracted you to the company in the first place?
I’ve been here just under seven months.
I actually saw an advertisement for Squiz while I was poking around on LinkedIn. I wasn’t job hunting, though; I clicked on the ad thinking that maybe my current company could use Squiz’s services.
Once I looked around the Squiz website, I got more of an idea about the company culture and realised that it seemed like a great place to work. So, I scrapped the original search and clicked on the careers page instead!
What’s been your proudest achievement since starting at Squiz?
It’s probably the Squiz UK Summit we ran. I was only new at Squiz, and it was a large-scale project – working with Tash to host two conferences in Scotland and England over two days. We didn’t have a lot of time to make it all come together.
It ended up going pretty smoothly. We had a good turnout, got great feedback, and generated some good business opportunities out of it. It was all a bit of a whirlwind, but I’d say that’s my proudest achievement so far.
How did you first become interested in marketing?
I studied economics at university, and, although that doesn’t sound very related, I did do a module in marketing. By the end of my degree, I realised that I enjoyed the marketing aspects the most as they seemed more creative.
My first job straight out of uni was for a company that distributed designer sunglasses. I sat in a little office in the corner of a call centre, designing a website and helping to run this sunglasses business. It was all very strange!
From there, I worked with learning-management-system technology, and that’s where I realised that I preferred business-to-business (B2B) marketing. Over time, I discovered that, for me, it’s all about what the role involves, the culture and team setup, and the technology I get to work with. Squiz ticked quite a few of those boxes!
What are some of the exciting trends you’re seeing in marketing technology?
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are at the top of the list of exciting trends I’m seeing. It’s not always about what technology is out there but more about how you can use your data along with technologies to learn and predict behaviour – and ultimately improve the customer experience.
For example, Netflix provides recommendations on the movies and shows you might like based on what you’ve watched previously. We also have driverless cars now, and even things you don’t usually notice, like when Google Search asks you ‘Did you mean this?’. There are just so many ways to use AI and machine learning; the future is going to be all about finding new and interesting ways to take advantage of them.
As for actual technology, on-demand apps such as Uber are big at the moment. At Squiz, we’ve been working a bit in that space recently – for example, the Matchmaker app we developed for the University of Salford. Companies are finding cool, new ways to give people what they want – really quickly.
What’s the London office like?
We have a staff forum in which we all meet without any senior management and talk about initiatives we’d like to enforce or things we’d like to change. Those ideas then get put forward to senior management, who then decide which ideas to go with and how to make them happen.
One of the things we do is a themed lunch each month for which everyone spends a couple of quid at the shops and brings in some food. Then we all have lunch together; it’s quite sociable. This month’s theme is cake, as we’re doing a charity cake day. Last month’s theme was British, so everything was very beige!
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I really like cycling. There are quite a few canals around London, and I’ve gone on some day and weekend cycling trips.
Last year, I did a three-day trip up to Cambridge and then right across to the east coast to a beach called Clacton-on-Sea. Riding out of the city wasn’t all that great, but once we got to the canals and the countryside, it was nice. We rode along lots of big winding roads and across beautiful green hills. We also cycled through these old, burnt-out barns in the middle of nowhere. It was a bit creepy but also really cool. I’d definitely recommend it.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d want to be able to teleport, because it would be cool to just be able to get anywhere instantly. I’m always travelling, even just around England – a lot of my friends live outside the city – so most weekends, I’m commuting about. The ability to teleport would make things easier. It would also be great to be able to see more of my colleagues in Australia, Poland and Scotland!
Philippa will be tweeting her week at work at @lifeatsquiz from 27 to 31 March. Follow along to see what she gets up to on a daily basis in London.