As digital marketing continues to dominate over traditional marketing methods, we decided to sit down with Paul Casey, the Head of Digital here at seventy7. With over 10 years of experience in the field and over 5 years at seventy7, there’s no better person to delve into the world of digital with. We spoke to him about his beginnings, his role at the company and what advice he has for any digital enthusiasts who want to get their foot in the digital door.
I’ve always been interested in technology, but it clicked for me when I was at university. I was studying Business with Marketing, and I had a tutor who had been to the Apple conference and told me about the iPhone, the ideas behind the app store and iTunes and so I got interested in it from that. From then on, I knew that I wanted to get into digital, so I did a four-week unpaid internship at a PR company which was the closest thing I could get to it. From there I got my first proper job at Betfred and I got my introduction to the world of digital from working there. Then I made the move from working from a client side to the agency side by joining a small web development agency in Salford. After that, I worked for two or three more agencies and now I’m here.
Officially I am the head of digital, therefore I am responsible for the day to day operations and delivery of digital services within the group. So that covers some key areas, the first of which is commercial. I own all of the commercials within the digital department, anything that happens numbers wise I am involved in. Secondly, I help direct the account managers, the senior people and other people in the team to achieve what we need to achieve. I support the team to deliver with those bigger clients. The third one is people; I’m ultimately responsible for the team, the structure, delegating to the senior team and making sure that they have everything they need. The fourth thing is group initiatives. Operating on a group level as well, so although I’m ultimately responsible for the department, I also need to make sure that the department is working with the overarching group to make sure that we’re driving everything forward to where we need to be.
The best parts of working at seventy7 are the people and the culture. I like the culture because it aligns with who I am as a person at my core. I always think that you can’t change who you are for other people, whether that’s for relationships or your job, you’ve got to be true to yourself. I’m quite a casual person, quite relaxed and not too corporate. I used to have to wear a suit and tie every day and that’s not me. It comes down to things like how you act in the office, the dress codes, the people that you work with and the opportunities. They align with who I am at my core and what I align with. Another reason is the locations. I like that we have offices in London and Mumbai and that we can go there. I’m one of the lucky people who can say that I’ve been to the Mumbai office, so these visits have allowed me to see the overarching group. Being a more senior part of the team and having built a team, I can report to the board for full visibility of what the board is doing. So, if I disagree with something, I can let the CEO know.
I must’ve seen around 150-200 CV’s and I scan CVs, I don’t actually read the detail. I look for two or three key things and that tells me all I need to know about someone. I think with your CV you have to make the effort with the audience that you’re putting it across to. If you’re going to work in an agency, don’t talk about all of the clients that you’ve worked with, talk about your personality and how you’ll fit in. Secondly, I’m always looking for alignment of the previous businesses that you’ve worked for and the education that you’ve been through. I always like to see that arc of where someone’s come from and where they’re going. As well as the hierarchy of information, it’s how it looks. Some of the best looking CVs that I’ve seen have been designed with nice colour schemes and typography. It’s a bit like a website or a catalogue page. I think that if you can get a CV over in one page and make it look good and get everything across that you need, you’ve ticked all the boxes.
I think it starts fundamentally with confidence. You have to go into it backing yourself and knowing that you know your stuff and you give a good representation of yourself. I also think you need interview experience. You might want to practice it with someone. Try to be as prepared as possible for the types of questions that they’ll ask you. I like to hear the story behind your CV. You need to prepare what you’re going to say about the company or business and have one or two things that you can say about them. Take an actual interest in the company that you’re working with. I think you’ve got to find a way to stand out without being cocky. You’ve got to be memorable.
I think that the industry is changing and it’s looking for two things: one at a skill set level and one at a human level. Skill set wise, people are expected to do more than they’ve ever had to do before. People are expected to be like chameleons and the market needs people to be able to do lots of different things. I think that’s what digital is, teaching people that yes you will have specialisms and yes you might be able to do one thing and do it amazingly, but to be able to succeed online, you need to be able to do a bit of everything. The market needs people who don’t just fit in a box. The second thing that I’m looking for is loyalty. I think that if you stay at a company for longer than two years, your progression is multiplied by ten. If you find the right agency that aligns with your culture and gives you that path, you’ll do well. But if you stay there for four or five years, you’ll do exponentially better.
Our interview series has only just begun. Make sure you’re following our social accounts so you don’t miss out on the exciting discussions we have in store with different members of the seventy7 team!