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“I think it’s given me more motivation. I’ve always been motivated, but it’s a different kind of motivation, a kind of excitement. When we got off the last group coaching call, I thought, this is great. I’m feeling good.” Georgia Deery, Marketing Manager at SpiderGroup, talks to us about using and applying Watertight in the business. Interview by Rachael Wheatley, Watertight Business Thinking. 


Rachael Wheatley: Thank you for joining me, Georgia. I know you’ve had marketing jobs before so are already experienced. You joined SpiderGroup about a year ago. coming into a business that was already working with us. With that in mind, how has Watertight changed your approach to marketing and your view of what marketing is?

Georgia Deery: I always knew that marketing ran through the entire customer journey, and sales, marketing, service, etc. So I think for me it’s been nice to have the tools to convince others of that, too. Watertight has changed how I approach marketing. Going through the chapters in the order that they are on your transformation programme, that’s made a lot of sense. It’s given me a good process and a lot more focus, which has been really helpful.

Rachael Wheatley: So what do you think it’s enabled, or equipped you to do? Maybe something that you didn’t have before or it’s honed your skills in some way?

Georgia Deery: I’ve never been good with numbers, for example. It’s something I would avoid. I think that Watertight has definitely equipped me with the tools and templates to be able to get better at that and understand it more.

I’ve done most of the things we cover in the programme before, but not in the level of detail. I feel that’s where the big changes have been. That’s why we are doing so well already from it. The idea of plugging the leaks is something that has been really helpful. Sometimes you struggle with ideas in marketing as you have to come up with so many. So it’s really helpful to have all of the tools and the videos and the checklists to help with those ideas.

Rachael Wheatley: You’ve touched on this, but can you share a bit more about what influence you think Watertight has had on you personally?

Georgia Deery: Personally, I think it’s given me more motivation. I’ve always been motivated, but it’s a different kind of motivation, a kind of excitement. When we got off the last group coaching call, I thought, this is great. I’m feeling good.

Rachael Wheatley: Why do you think that is? What is it about it that has helped that to happen?

Georgia Deery: I’ve learned so much. I went to university and did marketing and it’s really funny how little you end up using those tools that you learned. This has been really good to focus again and have tools that I can actually apply to the business.

Rachael Wheatley: Anything in particular that resonates from the book or the methodology for you?

Georgia Deery: I would say, how targeted the approach is. We’ve got the two sides of the business, digital and tech. So for this programme we’re working on with you, we’re focusing on digital. For me, I’ve done things like ABM campaigns in the past, and I do see how the targeted approach is really helpful, and does work. So it was nice to take that idea and make it much bigger and apply it across a whole business. I’m quite fortunate that I’m in a position in the company and with the people that work with me, that I’ve been allowed to apply it and run with it. I can imagine for some, and I’ve been in organisations before, where the CEO, say’s ‘my word is final’.

Rachael Wheatley: So, you have been able to apply the thinking and frameworks to your actual job. Are there any examples in particular that you can share?

Georgia Deery: I’ll probably bring it back to this a few times today, but the idea of budgeting is something I would have avoided in the past. Reading that chapter, and doing the exercises and watching all the videos, it really brought everything back into focus. It’s been really helpful to look at budgeting in a different way. And also the metrics. It’s been helpful to build that into the baseline plan and gradually add more to the plan as you go along. I was looking at it yesterday, and we’ve added on the metrics and we’ve got the messages for each stage of the journey. So now I’m mapping customer journeys for our most profitable services and thinking about adding metrics for these. As I was doing it, I thought, this is going to be a huge task but then I thought, I’ve got it all here, I can use the same tools. All I have to do is slot the numbers in.

Rachael Wheatley: What challenges or problems do you think Watertight helps to solve?

Georgia Deery: I think the biggest challenge that a lot of businesses find is departments not being aligned. It’s definitely helped with that, a huge amount. It’s been really helpful to feedback to sales about what we’re doing, and they are really on board. It’s helped to bring all the departments together. At the moment, we’re looking at doing ‘they ask, you answer’ type questions and creating a lot of content for that. The lessons I’ve learned from Watertight has meant that the way I’ve been communicating to the team has lead to sales sending me ideas and the delivery team and account managers sending me ideas as well. Sales and marketing usually seem to be against each other and they really need to work together. Using Watertight thinking facilitates that closer working.

Rachael Wheatley: Does that mean that the ideas that people come to you with, you can assess them and then you’re communicating back to them saying, this is how we’re including your ideas in the plan, so they feel engaged. Is that how it’s working?

Georgia Deery: Yes, exactly. I’ve suggested now that what I do on Mondays is to let everyone know what’s going out. And then as we’re talking, I mention that someone suggested we do this, so I’m giving that bit of acknowledgment.

Rachael Wheatley: People have a view of what marketing is, which tends to be that they only see visible bits. So the fact that you said one of the most helpful things is extending it and bringing the wider business and the teams into alignment, is wonderful to hear.

Georgia Deery: One extra point. We’ve got all your posters as well of the Bucket, Funnels and Taps. It’s been really useful for me, when I’m talking about what I’m doing, for example, this is the leak that we’re trying to plug here. This is why we’re doing this work. And that’s been really helpful, because people can actually see it all, see the context and understand why.

Rachael Wheatley: What impact do you think Watertight has had on the wider business?

Georgia Deery: It’s had a brilliant impact. Everyone is really coming on board to the idea that they can be marketers as well. People seem excited about the work we’re doing. And we’re also already seeing results. Like I said, we’ve got the baseline plan, and now we’re all working on it together. We are seeing results.

Rachael Wheatley: In terms of your future career. How do you think it has, or might support that?

Georgia Deery: For me, it’s given me the framework and the process to be able to apply that to any business, and that’s what’s been really exciting for me. I think that’s why I’m so motivated.

Rachael Wheatley: Am I right in thinking, then, it’s the strategic element as much as the operational elements?

Georgia Deery: Yes, exactly.

Rachael Wheatley: We think we’ve got a lot to add to senior marketers, and even more for junior marketers, because you can cut and slice and use the material in all sorts of different ways. But we feel our sweet spot is for aspiring marketing leaders who want to take that next step, and we want to equip them to do that, with confidence.

Georgia Deery: Yes 100% on the right track there.

Rachael Wheatley: Do you have anything else to add in terms of Watertight’s impact, how you use it and what others in the business think?

Georgia Deery: One thing I would say is, you don’t realise how much you have to learn sometimes, and how much you can still learn. For me, it’s been really good to have that marketing coaching even though I’ve got experience in marketing and went to uni and did marketing, It doesn’t really mean much. You have to keep learning and keep thinking about things. Especially when I joined SpiderGroup, I feel like I’ve got you guys as backup. That’s been really comforting for me. I feel like I’ve grown so much. I’ve been here for just over a year now, and I feel like the change in me is huge, it’s been really positive. One other thing that’s been great is we also do the Make Marketing Happen Club. We’ve started to use that with my marketing assistant. And she’s really excited about it, as well. Everyone in the team is really excited about the work we’re doing.

And we’re using it all through the business now. We’re constantly reading and seeing what else we could be doing. We have these rocks in our plan, that we report on every quarter. And of course, Watertight is always a big part of that. When I joined, they didn’t have a marketing strategy written up. They had customer characterisations, but not in the depth that I feel is needed and that we’ve now done. Being new to a company, I think I’ve been able to be a little bit objective. It’s been good to sit back, start from fresh. We use our own digital marketing agency for our internal work. So when they ask ‘do you have a strategy?’ and ‘who are you targeting?’ I can provide them with all the information they can possibly need. And that is because of Watertight.

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