10 Mins With Verb’s Marketing Director Chris Donnelly

thopon-authorThopon Chowdhury (@ThoponChowdhury)

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What are your most favourite parts of being a Managing Director?
“My job is very diverse. My main focus is upon client services and strategic consultancy and I become involved in all areas of the business from time to time. My role is always changing as the business continues to grow and therefore each month there is a new challenge and I absolutely love this as I’m continually learning and improving my personal skill set.”

Where do you see Verb in 5 years time?
“In five years, I see Verb being a serious contender in the UK luxury digital space, improving upon much of what we do now and working with even more international brands, alongside the smaller but just as exciting businesses. My plan would be open a New York office by the end of 2016 and start to compete in the US digital space in a bigger way than we currently are.”

What inspired you to start the company?
“I was working for Red Bull at the time and really enjoying the role, this is really where my love for marketing and digital was born. After briefly working in a startup and managing their web builds, I felt that I was well positioned to lead design and build projects and just started working with startups and SMEs. After a few of our pieces of work went live, we started to get enquiry after enquiry for ecommerce websites and luxury digital products and as such the company was born.”

Who is your inspiration and do you have any mentors?
“I have many inspirations, from my father and my mentors, all the way through to established business people and business tycoons. I think it’s far better to learn from many different sources across many different industries as you get a much more rounded perspective on things.”

How do you gain customers?
“Other than all the online marketing we do, my personal involvement in new business is focused predominantly on networking, events and speaking. Verb hold events throughout the year and I will always go to our clients events, and other events in general, to network and meet interesting people. Speaking has become a big part of my job. I tend to talk about digital marketing and ecommerce and this has proven a huge factor in driving high quality business in Verb’s direction.”

What are the hardest aspects of being an MD and why?
“I think that with any role there are challenges. The true challenge of my role is realising when my skill level is not strong enough to fulfil a certain role, therefore recruiting and passing this role on to somebody else and focusing more thoroughly on the business development. Knowing when to step aside has been the toughest but I’m learning when it’s right.”

In your opinion, what are the main factors that make a successful digital agency?
“The sole biggest factor is solid customer service. Other than that it’s being innovative in your offering. Any freelancer or agency can build a website, however it’s the research and strategic thinking that’s behind our digital builds and campaigns which truly set us apart from the competition.”

What are your hobbies?
“I watch and play a lot of sport and in my spare time I’ll try and see as much of my friends and family as possible. My other hobby is speaking at events and contributing in business circles as well as mentoring smaller businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Tell us something that Verb do not already know about you?
“I have an enormous mint condition Star Wars figurine collection that I have collected over the years and I’m actually a huge Sci-FI nerd.”