Allan is Head of Digital New Business and joined us over two years ago. In this week’s blog, he reflects on a career in digital and marketing, and the unique culture and business ambition that attracted him to the opportunity at Hastings Direct.  

A career in digital and marketing
To me, writing about myself is my least favourite thing. I like talking about my team, project success and discussing challenges but I find talking about myself is a little weird. What I do want to talk about is the journey that we are on in Hastings and I suppose, in that context, my journey has some relevance.

I have been working in digital and marketing my entire career. While my first ‘internet project’ was around 1997, I didn’t get my first proper digital job – or ‘new media’ as it was called then – until 2002. I have been lucky enough to have worked in digital marketing and ecommerce in some businesses that really take digital seriously - Barclaycard, Barclays and BGL Group to name a few.

And taking digital seriously is why I joined Hastings. We, in Hastings, have lofty digital aspirations and being part of defining how we get there and making it happen was, and still is, a real attraction for me. 

A unique and rewarding culture
Having worked at Hastings for more than two years, I have not looked back. There are many things about the culture in Hastings that makes us unique and I always talk to prospective candidates about Hastings having aligned goals across the business and getting the right balance of being supportive and challenging. Expectations are high and collaboration is strong to achieve our shared goals.

Our Digital & Marketing team is unrecognisable from two years ago. We are investing in projects, tools and people to transform our business. We are developing core strengths in areas such as customer experience and communications, analytics, conversion rate optimisation and product management. I believe that we are now set-up to realise the ambitions of our business.

Continuing to deliver 
Naturally, the past year has been a really trying time for all of us. We are not unique in the challenges of virtual working, retaining a sense of ‘team’ and on-boarding new colleagues without ever meeting them in person! However, we have managed to deliver some significant projects – possibly the largest digital changes the business has ever seen actually – working with colleagues and suppliers from across the globe. 

One of the real benefits of this strange time is that we have all become more tuned in to our own wellbeing and that of colleagues around us. We do many things to focus on wellbeing but something that I have found to be really helpful is to ensure time is devoted each day in my teams’ diaries to ensuring everyone takes the right amount of time for lunch and breaks, and also time to think and work on our own – away from what is sometimes a constant flow of MS Teams calls. At a broader business level, we are also really well supported by an excellent wellbeing team.

Join us
If you’re looking to join a business that takes digital seriously, is investing to realise its ambitions, has very talented colleagues across the business that will bring out the best in you – look no further. Come join us!

Like the sound of our digital ambition? Our Digital & Marketing team is currently recruiting for:

Digital Analytics Manager
Digital Analytics Implementation Manager
Copy and Content Manager
Senior Customer Engagement Manager
Digital Product Manager - App
Senior Product Designer (UX/UI)