Simon Swan has been the Head of Digital Marketing at the Met Office for over three years. He leads the digital marketing team whilst encouraging digital transformation across the organisation. We sat down with Simon - ahead of his presentation at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit this October 19-20 - to talk all things digital marketing, from UX to multi-channel marketing strategies.
How did you get started in your career?
I worked for Carphone Warehouse in their Baker St store in 1999-2002. I was then invited to join their e-commerce team where I account managed their interactive TV channels on Sky Active, NTL, and Telewest before moving on to work for start-ups in the sports retail sectors.
Can you explain in more detail the notion of a Digital Knowledge Centre?
It’s about turning your digital brand into the go-to destination for information, content, and advice, built through trusted, authoritative information that existing customers and prospects would be delighted by.
We are being pushed content by anyone and everyone, culminating in consumption overdrive with brands struggling to cut through the noise and make tangible connections with their audience whilst retaining a share of voice of authority and trust.
To transform your brand proposition into a digital knowledge centre, take a step back from the digital tactics being deployed and start with your purpose and reason for your brand existing.
Do you think personalisation and a focus on UX can protect brands against disruption?
Knowing who your audience is and how they interact with you as a brand is definitely a good start. Understanding that you as a brand is serving a purpose and role in order to meet the demands and expectations of your audience, and if you can delight your audience through tailored content, and UX that meets their requirements – this all helps
In terms of content, do you think video should be the go-to for all brands?
It depends on your audience needs and demands? If by understanding through quantitative and qualitative insights that your audience expects you as a brand to be delivering video content then of course.
But more than this, how are you going to differentiate your proposition through video over your competition?
What is, in your view, the most important facet of a multi-channel digital marketing strategy?
Starting with analytics and insights of your audience. Completing a competitor research analysis and building a solid framework as to why your brand can take advantage of a multi-channel approach. E.g. Have you created a USP within the specific channel? Are you measuring the channel based on the tailored metrics? Are the insights generated providing actionable changes and decisions in improving the overall multi-channel strategy?
What can attendees expect from your presentation at the summit?
I hope to provide how brands can build a solid framework to support their digital strategy. Taking a step back from the digital tactics and to consider why your brand exists and the purpose.
There is an obsession among digital marketers to dive straight into new channels – jumping head first into a tactical plan. Take a step back and ask: why do you exist and what do you offer? If the brand's purpose is not clearly understood and integrated within the journey through digital transformation, brands may be finding themselves lost.
You can hear more from Simon, along with other industry leaders, at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in London this October. Click here for the full agenda.