In this employee spotlight, we quiz instantprint's Marketing Manager Craig to discover how he's grown during his time at instantprint, his proudest achievements and what he gets up to on the daily.
How long have you worked at instantprint and how has your role progressed/what have you learnt?
I’ve worked at instantprint for just over four years now and I can honestly say it’s been the happiest four years of my life. I started in November of 2017 as a Marketing Executive, working with the Marketing Manager across a spectrum of marketing channels including SEO, PR, PPC, email, affiliate marketing, social media and direct mail campaigns. In this role, I really built on my already strong general marketing skills set and was able to apply this to both my role and, in turn, instantprint’s business customer base. During my time as a Marketing Executive, I really got to understand our customers and exactly what they needed from a print provider to be as successful as possible.
Since then, I progressed into the role of SEO, PR and Communications Lead and got involved with driving projects for the brand forward. In this role, I was able to really hone leadership skills and management skills regularly working cross-department to deliver various client-focused initiatives across the line. This would include organising direct mail campaigns, SEO projects and delivering successful public relations campaigns – one of which was even shortlisted for a Prolific North Award. In this role, I really learnt the value of culture. instantprint’s workplace culture is unlike any other I’ve ever experienced and it’s something I’m fiercely protective over. It is such a positive and productive place to work and our culture really creates a hotbed for talented individuals to thrive in.
In my current position as Marketing Manager, I oversee the brand’s SEO, CRM and Brand Strategies. I’d credit instantprint’s culture and the support and belief I’ve received over the years from our Head of Brand – Laura Mucklow – as the reason for my success. I always say that every day is a school day, there’s always something to learn, improve or manage, but one thing that has really assisted me in my role is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, which is discussed in his book “Start with Why”. This model is used to explain how legendary leaders like Steve Jobs were able to inspire their customers and staff alike by having a clear understanding of their companies ‘why’.
What does your average day look like?
It’s cheesy to say “no two days are ever the same”, but I honestly do feel that every day holds a new challenge that will push me out of my comfort zone and being honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way! A typical day would involve helping to organise the team’s workload, working on various projects and generally helping the brand achieve its missions of helping its business customers succeed.
I oversee all of our brand’s marketing activity, including ideating and signing off on our direct mail campaigns, our marketing emails, social media content and public relation campaigns. I really have an end-to-end involvement in the ideation, execution and, ultimately, the results driven from our marketing.
How does your role fit into the customer’s journey?
My role focuses on the part that leads our business clients to our site. I utilise various marketing tactics to increase the number of new customers to the brand as well as looking after our amazing existing customers, working with them to help their businesses be the best it possibly can be.
The various communications you receive from us are strategically sent to you to ensure your business is as successful as possible. Whether that’s content with information around how to use print to take advantage of sales opportunities or discounts to give your business a boost, I and the team have your success at the heart of all of our marketing collateral.
What makes you proud about working at instantprint?
The thing that makes me proudest of working at instantprint is just how much of a difference our company has made to hundreds of thousands of businesses across the UK. Especially the crucial role instantprint played in helping businesses access printed materials during the COIVD-19 pandemic.
As a business owner myself, I am an instantprint client and a fan of the brand. I regually order print marketing for my Hair Salon - Hair Salon Near Me and utalise the power of print marketing for many different camapigns. I have first-hand experience and really understand the nuances and challenges thousands of our customers face. Because of this, I always try and apply my experience to our marketing efforts – whether that’s a blog helping customers maximise January sales right through to helping our customers manage their customers with print to implement government guidance around social distancing.
Tell us your favourite memory of working at instantprint!
My favourite memory from my time working at instantprint has to be hosting virtual lunch events during the lockdown. During the UK’s 1st national lockdown, the teams across the brand were working from home and the management team at instantprint wanted to maintain our sense of comradery as best as we could. We’d also grown the team during the pandemic as businesses’ demand for print was as strong as ever with businesses up and down the country now implementing COVID-19 safety measures.
To help maintain our strong culture, one of the virtual events I made for the team was a desert island dinner date where everyone could meet virtually with a silly ice breaker question like “what 3 things would you bring to a desert island”. This really helped to boost the team’s morale, helped the existing team build connections with the new starters in this less formal setting and really helped the new starters integrate. As the restrictions lifted in 2021, it was great to see people in the flesh and gave people something to talk about when they met their teammates in person for the first time.
What’s your favourite print product and why?
My favourite print product is our business cards with spot UV. I really think that the spot UV finish looks money. It’s a great way for brands to subliminally create a premium feel for their clients and it’s also way more affordable than you would think. I love spot UV so much that I look out for it on any kind of print when I’m out and about as it’s my favourite print finishing. This is a little geeky of me, but if the shoe fits?!
What’s your favourite project that you’ve worked on so far?
I have loved so many of the projects and campaigns I’ve worked across. I think each of them has a special place in my heart from the Pizza Boys’ scented takeaway menus we launched (menus that smelt like pizza) right through to receiving the roller banner job application from Lauren Baldwin, our Senior Graphic Designer, that was a viral sensation attracting press coverage from around the world.
I’d say my favourite project I’ve worked on was creating and delivering our brand workshops. As a marketing team, we recently reviewed our branding and have adopted four new brand values, which are Expert, Devoted, Champions of Business and Sustainable. Following this, I created workshops and rolled them out to the entire brand, sharing how every single person in the business could apply the new values to their role. I received a ton of great feedback, with my teammates sharing that they really understand the power they have within their roles to help instantprint achieve our mission to help our business customers succeed.
Tell us about your downtime hobbies or a random fact about yourself
I initially got into marketing because I wanted to be an international pop sensation. I did a degree in Music and Promotion with a view of creating music that I would self-publish and market myself – I had visions of selling out arenas and becoming Rotherham’s answer to Beyonce. During my degree, I really fell in love with marketing and public relations, and uncovered a natural flare for business I’d never have known existed in an Innovation and Entrepreneurship module that was part of my course.
I also love house plants and have around 22 in my house, my favourite being my Monteria Deliciosa that I’ve named Cynthia. She sits in my living room, has a weekly drink and gets a lot of attention for looking fabulous – so really, we have a lot in common!