WoolfHodson welcomes …… Ash Chandler, Senior Martech Consultant
Ash, welcome to the team. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into Martech?
I started working on the client side of B2B marketing, as a technology marketer. I have always had a keen interest in how things work, whether that is hardware, technology, software or web applications. 8 years ago, I decided to move to the agency and consultancy side of marketing. I took a role with a marketing technology consultancy and loved it. From there I stepped into the demand generation marketing agency world and put my Martech skills to good use as the lead account director where MarTech was a focus or a technical brain was required. This culminated in building a full business offering, department and multi-discipline team delivering MarTech consultancy and solutions.
I have been aware of WoolfHodson since their inception, having worked with Caroline and Tim previously. I knew they delivered a high calibre of work, to some great clients. When the opportunity came to take a role in the business, it excited me as I knew I would be given the opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone, enhance my knowledge, develop my skills further and learn a lot in the process. It is a great growth opportunity which I am grateful for.
What does your role entail?
I have a hybrid role depending on the client and project. I’m putting my technological expertise to good use architecting system solutions, and ensuring the successful implementation of those solutions as the final outcome. Additionally, I am managing clients, stakeholders, and projects to maintain momentum and complete all objectives efficiently and effectively. All whilst providing the industry leading consultancy and first-class guidance that are fundamental to WoolfHodson’s success.
How have you found onboarding virtually?
I am very used to working virtually and remotely as I have done so for a long time now in previous roles. I am lucky that I already know a lot of the lovely people at WoolfHodson which helps with settling in, and everyone has been very welcoming. Technology has made things so easy, with Zoom, Slack and cloud document management, it’s straightforward to stay in touch and get work done. I also enjoy having a better work life balance between work and personal time; working remotely means I can dedicate better quality time to hobbies, friends and family.
What do you see as the most exciting developments in the Martech industry?
Currently I am very interested in website personalisation and interactive content at the demand generation end of the technology spectrum. I think enhanced personalisation is key to delivering an optimal marketing and customer experience. From a systems and lead management perspective, I believe customer data platforms will become a more predominant focus for more organisations. Currently they are more in use with larger organisations due to their complexity and price tag, but as they become more affordable more organisations will start to rely on them. I am also excited by the advances being made in predictive insights, powered by artificial intelligence. The ability to analyse 1000s of data points to reveal trends, in real time, is going to revolutionise marketing and audience targeting. It will lead to the end of mass marketing as we know it.
What challenges lie ahead?
The beauty of working with technology is there are always challenges, this is what I thrive on, solving complicated problems. And when you combine that with marketing which can be a very fast paced world, the challenges usually come with an increased level of urgency. In the immediate term, I will have a lot to learn to align myself with the specific type of projects which WoolfHodson deliver. I am very much in awe of the team here and know that I can learn a lot from each of them, as everyone is an expert in their own particular area.
What’s your proudest career moment?
This is without a doubt building a Martech business offering and a full team of skilled individuals from scratch at my previous agency. We went from nothing to becoming an award winning MarTech team of the year, and winning two awards for client work, all within 4 years. It was a privilege to achieve something so huge with such a great team.
Piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Don’t worry so much about what other people think.
What do you do when you are not at work?
I spend a lot of time outdoors either running around the Hampshire countryside or walking my dogs. I love the gym. I listen to a lot of metal music. And I read a lot of books too. Most of all, I value having time to be close to my friends.
I don’t really listen to podcasts if I am honest, I can recommend some books instead though. For marketing, I recommend The Context Marketing Revolution by Mathew Sweezey. For pure interest and to understand how the world works, I recommend Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. And the most enjoyable fiction book I have read recently is A Spy By Nature by Charles Cumming.
What was your last read?
I usually have two or three books on the go but my latest is A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner by Chris Atkins.
What motto do you live by?
It isn’t really a motto, more of a speech from the film Coach Carter, taken from a poem by Marianne Williamson.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”