Meet the lorries: Errol Jayawardene

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On June 21, 2019

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It’s time to meet another talented lorries team-member. In this instalment, the spotlight is on digital marketing with our London-based head of digital, Errol Jayawardene. Here’s what he had to say about the ever-changing world of b2b digital marketing, his love of Made In Chelsea and spending an afternoon dressed as a smurf.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN B2B DIGITAL MARKETING?

Invest the time to keep learning. I know it’s a cliche to say ‘continual learning is important because it’s a fast-paced industry’ but in the case of b2b digital marketing, it’s really true. Changes in social platform features, algorithms, best practice, tools etc. are the norm for digital teams. No b2b digital marketer can know it all or can claim to be an expert in everything. I recently spotted that the latest Martech 5000 –  chiefmartech.com’s infographic showing the key martech tools  – has grown to include 7040 marketing tools. Who can say they know all of them? But investing time to read or catch up with a video or podcast can help you stay as up to date as possible. A couple of my favourites are Neil Patel’s blog, Marketingland and the b2b Growth podcast from podcast agency, SweetFish Media.

WHAT SKILLS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR B2B DIGITAL MARKETING ROLE?

Creativity and an understanding of what makes good content are valuable skills. Similarly, a sense of the audience psychology and emotional intelligence on how content is likely to be received by audiences helps. You can teach people to understand the platforms, channels and technologies but ultimately, it’s still all about quality content.

I’d say don’t jump head-first into any single area of digital marketing unless you know exactly what you want to do. Look to develop a broader range of technical skills around areas like social media, pay per click, sponsorship, SEO etc. – especially at the early stage of your career. I came to digital marketing from a long career in b2b tech PR and now work across lots of areas. Having a broader range of marketing and PR skills have certainly helped me avoid being blinkered when developing a marketing strategy.

WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF WORKING AT THE LORRIES?

I really like the variety of work. The digital team might be setting up a PPC campaign one day, helping advise on social strategy the next or getting technical with Google Analytics on another day. It keeps you switched on!

I also like the culture here. Guy and Rob (the founders) invest a lot of time with HR on hiring the right people. This means lorries offices are very down to earth places and we avoid the typical bullsh!t buzzwords that agencies often try to hide behind. I like the fact that clients can expect a smart team that isn’t scared to be honest and challenge them.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING IN DIGITAL MARKETING?

It’s always changing! It’s difficult to keep up (see above!) but that’s also what makes it so interesting. For years, the way PRs reached audiences stayed the same. Digital b2b PR is a much newer field so the methods, channels, algorithms etc. constantly change. That means that you can experiment and there is always a new challenge to overcome. I also like the fact that you can get instant and meaningful data from digital, so you can adapt and improve your campaigns as you go.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DAY JOB TO A CHILD?

Going online to tell people about products or services they need.

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Made in Chelsea. For anyone not from the UK, it’s a reality show about lots of rich kids and their relationships. I’m now a 40-something-year-old guy but somehow I can’t help watching it! At a very basic level, it allows me to look at nice bars and restaurants that I have neither the money or time to go to!

WHAT’S SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I’m a twin. My brother, Kevin, is a data analyst. I was the ‘creative one’ so headed for a career in PR. I used to laugh that he spends his days looking at spreadsheets, analysing data. Today, digital teams spend a lot of time looking at metrics, social and web data, so guess who’s laughing now?

MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?

Lots of embarrassing stories come to mind, but walking around Newcastle city centre at 4:00pm dressed as a smurf is up there with them. It was my stag do and my ‘mates’ left me to walk on my own in the main shopping area. Some people tried to avoid eye contact, most just laughed but lots of onlookers amused themselves by shouting things like ‘where’s Papa smurf?’.

To find out more about what it’s like to work at the lorries, check out our other meet the lorries posts or see our current vacancies here.

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