Derek Liddy, is a Head of Digital Strategy at www.continuum.ie where he has worked since 2012
Company: www.continuum.ie is a full service digital communications agency offering a holistic range of creative and strategic services ranging from integrated strategy and planning, digital marketing, website design , build and bespoke web application development and support. Based near Dublin’s north-side Docklands area, Continuum was founded in 2002 and currently has 20 staff covering design, development, strategy and online marketing plus project management. Clients include Tesco Mobile, AXA, IFG and National Pen to name a few.
Job description: I’m fortunate to work with a range of great clients, most of which come from diverse industries. I advise Clients on the best approaches to generating business and building their brand in the digital space. A big part of my role is interpreting analytics and customer research insights correctly and using it as one of the pillars for strategy development. I work closely with clients and Continuum’s interdisciplinary teams to incorporate the agreed strategic approaches into build projects and online marketing activities to maximise results.
Likes: I like the left and right brain mix of activities – from analytics and research analysis to say the likes of campaign creative – it constantly challenges me to think hard and differently. Knowledge transfer is also big on my list of likes – in as much as practicable I always seek to bring Clients with us from a digital knowledge perspective (they tell us a few things too sometimes!). Both my Brother and Mother are teachers and I think it’s in my blood too – outside of my 9 to 5 I also organise and lecture on Fitzwilliam’s evening Digital Marketing Diploma course which is close to my heart – it’s great seeing the next waves of digital experts joining or progressing through the digital industry.
Career ladder: I’ve worked in digital for the last 14 years but prior to that my background was in traditional marketing and research. Previous roles included Head of Online for Anglo and digital communications roles with companies that include Independent News and Media, Windmill Lane and Animo Communications with Clients such as Jameson, Irish Ferries, Bank of Scotland Ireland and Baileys. My current strategy role benefits from the holistic experience I’ve got in digital – a mix of client and agency side and a range of roles – from marketing, to sales, account and project management.
Qualifications: economics degree graduate from UCD, post graduate qualifications in Marketing and Digital Marketing from the Smurfit Graduate Business School, the UK Institute of Digital Marketing and the Fitzwilliam Institute and also certification as a Prince 2 Project Manager.
Working hours: A typical day is 9 to 6 but that can change from week to week depending on travel and or work deadlines
Breaktime: Ideally I like to get out for lunch to stay in touch with people I’ve not caught up with in a while.
Social media credentials: I definitely spend more time analysing and planning my Clients social media activities rather working on my own accounts – I case of the ‘cobblers children have no shoes’ for sure.
News sources: eConsultancy is hard to beat for consistently insightful daily updates but I also I pay attention to different people for different specific areas e.g. Avinash Kaushik for analytics, or eMarketer for research related updates. However, for the super busy weeks when it’s a struggle to keep updated on a daily basis, at a minimum I try and dip into Smart Insight’s weekly email digest which I’d recommend
Onsite or offsite: 50/50 on a typical week with research tending to be offsite and Client workshops onsite. Sometimes I escape to a café for a short while when I’m trying to think something diverse through in my head (hat tip to Kennedy’s Café in Fairview)
Digital strategy/vision: Strategy is key (but of course I would say that!) but just as important is regularly validating and updating your plan based on actual performance and relevant changes in the business and technology environment.
I love Mondays because: the pace and diversity of work always keeps me engaged. Also, the positivity of the team effort and seeing a project go successfully from strategy through to being implemented energises me for the next project.