Announcing our new CMO: Will Miller
Zinc is excited to announce the appointment of Will Miller as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). As part of Will’s role, he will be on hand to support our exciting next phase of growth. Will will be heading up the marketing function of the company and brings with him a wealth of expertise and knowledge from an extensive career spanning the likes of TechNation, CV Library and News UK. We sat down with Will to learn more about him and to pick his brains on some key learnings he’s picked up along the way to joining Zinc.
What drew you to Zinc?
I have spent the last 5 years working to help later stage businesses to grow at Tech Nation having started and successfully scaled several of my own companies. I have developed a strong drive for a mission driven focus and believe this is the strongest way to align teams so they can clearly see the outcome of what they are doing.
Whilst we’ve seen some incredible businesses make it to unicorn status and beyond, we still need to see more companies doing this, and I think this involves getting things right from the start. A founding team, correctly assembled is vital to the success of the business, but its also getting harder to get through the initial hurdles and good ideas are not making it far enough, so I wanted to see how I can help in a venture builder format.
I love the concept of taking academics and scientists who have unique and hugely valuable knowledge and pairing them with more commercially minded people to form hyper growth companies – so Zinc seemed to be a great fit with this in mind.
What opportunities are you excited to work on?
Wow, where do I start? Here’s just a few, but there is so much to be excited about:
1) Position and grow the Zinc brand – this will be essential to help people understand the role Zinc plays and the value it can add to your venture. It will also help attract and convene great minds in many worlds to align and create collaboratively. That’s a really exciting prospect.
2) Develop our online and community propositions – to facilitate the growth of the Zinc network and the resources that are available to founding teams
3) Create and build partnerships with a huge range of complementary organisations that will benefit collectively from collaboration, with a focus on delivering sustainable impact for both our partners and Zinc
4) Increase Zinc’s effectiveness at attracting the very best talent from all over the world to start and grow their businesses in the UK, in my view the best place to do so.
What is the biggest challenge as a CMO?
The biggest challenge is being able to access relevant data so you can accurately determine the impact of your activities. Without data marketing simply won’t work, and the more accurately you can identify and understand your audience, the easier it becomes to connect and resonate with them, and communicate an attractive value proposition.
What is one thing you wish people would understand about marketing?
Marketing is dependent on every other function in a business, it’s a team that brings together activity from across nearly every team and communicates that to a series of target audiences. You can be amazing at marketing, but if your customer service or product is terrible for example, you are fighting a losing battle as you won’t be able to live up to your values.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned as a marketer to date?
Data is king – if you don’t have clear data and clear data requirements and a way to collect and query this information then you are going to struggle.
Understand your audience – spend time getting to know them and figure out what their key touch points are in their lifestyle.
Don’t be afraid to ask “why” – challenge the way things are done and keep re-inventing what you are doing. Things don’t stay the same for long these days.
Take a big step back – are your messages and activities really doing what you intended and are they really delivering impact.
Time is precious – don’t waste time, things are normally better done today than tomorrow and a clear vision for your future roadmap is essential in maximising efficiency.
Don’t give up too easily – there is normally always a way to arrive at an outcome, it’s just a case of finding an innovative solution – but if it’s clear it’s not working, find another test to run.
Have fun – things don’t always need to be serious, if you have fun creating campaigns there’s a big chance your audience will enjoy them too.
Thanks to Will for sitting down with us to answer these questions. If you’re interested in staying up to date with the exciting activities coming up, sign up to our newsletter.
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