Ridgeway Director Simon Cole Speaks About The Evolution Of Digital And The Industry

Ridgeway Director Simon Cole talks about his experience on digital marketing and agency’s journey.

Simon Cole here on the line, speaks about the structures and concepts at the agency and how they overcome the challenges throughout his journey. You can also find his opinions on digital marketing innovations and how to make use of them.

Wondering about Cole’s point of view and future of digital marketing, read our Q&A session below.

Q: Ridgeway offers a wide range of services to its customers, from website development to design processes and digital marketing strategies. How does it feel for you as a company to be with your customers on their every step?

It’s a real privilege to play a lead role in shaping client’s digital journeys and help them navigate through sometimes unfamiliar territory. Working across the entire project lifespan allows us to form close partnerships where we aren’t afraid to challenge assumptions to deliver the best solution. There’s a real synchronicity in having everything under one roof where everyone is pulling in the same direction rather than separate agencies fighting their own corner. Building a successful site is like tackling a complicated jigsaw and we know how to put all the pieces together.

Q: Recently, you’ve won the award of Wirehive 100’s Consumer Site of The Year with the Krispy Kreme website. Congratulations! How does it make you feel to be nominated in such category?

Winning Consumer Site of the Year with Krispy Kreme was a real achievement and is testament to the strength of our team. Krispy Kreme might look from the outset like a simple site, but there’s a lot of technical expertise and complexity residing under the bonnet. It’s this balance of delivering a frictionless intuitive frontend journey and sophisticated backend that’s been recognised by the industry and we couldn’t be happier. It’s also great to have such a significant impact on a client’s bottom line with a 90% increase in conversions.

Q: In Ridgeway, you collaborate with developers, account managers, project managers, strategists, UX architects, designers, and support executives. In this multidisciplinary team structure, do you have any special routines for motivation and how do you keep your working environment updated?

We kick-off the week by the whole company coming together so that project managers can update the team on progress. It’s a great way of keeping everybody up-to-date and sharing knowledge. Over the years we have found the best way to keep people motivated is to foster a culture of excellence where individuals are encouraged to grow and given ownership of their work. We have technical and performance working groups that regularly meet to see how we can better best-practice and we make sure that there’s cross-pollination between groups so that our developers get to mix with our creatives.

Q: Krispy Kreme, YO!, Twinings, Baking Mad… It looks like Ridgeway loves to work for the food & beverage industry. What do you think about the industry’s digital transformation?

The food and drink sector is a really interesting space that’s undergoing unrecognisable digital transformation. It’s a fast-paced and crowded marketplace where success depends on getting traction early and building advocacy. Customers expect quick results and faultless service, otherwise they’ll look elsewhere, and it’s a set of requirements that plays to Ridgeway’s skillset. We’re very grateful to work with such strong brands and donuts always go down well in the office!

Q: The digital industry is expanding every day, and more people are interested in work in the business. Do you have any advice for the younger generation who wants to work in the market?

Digital is a playground for curious types that’s evolving so quickly it’s impossible to predict what it will look like in a few years’ time and that’s what makes it so exciting. However, one thing that is guaranteed is continued demand for skilled professionals, so job security won’t be a worry. Every year we take on work experience students and they are always amazed at the diversity of opportunities from coding and client work to design and marketing. What’s more digital natives comprise much of the market and are well-placed to hit the ground running and make a big impact.

Q: We’re so close to the third decade of the 2000s. Do you have any predictions for next years’ digital marketing trends?

The digital landscape is as ever changing fast and it’s impossible to ignore the ongoing shift towards omnichannel marketing. Efficiently delivering great tailored content will accelerate further within this space, especially with the adoption of enhanced centralised and SaaS based services. e.g. Headless Content Management Systems, such as Kentico Kontent. The supportive context from an agnostic technology for the presentation tier coupled with micro-services will provide publishers even greater flexibility and across a diversity of digital devices. Going headless will accelerate the content first approach which works incredibly well for SEO and online advertising.

Q: If you’d like to suggest some useful digital marketing tools and platforms that help you and your team accomplish your everyday goals at Ridgeway, what will they be?

Life in a busy agency means switching between projects and we use several platforms to make sure everyone knows exactly where they are at every step of the journey. Besides project management tools such as Jira our teams have their own favourites. Our digital marketers know Google’s full suite of tools inside-out (Ads, Analytics, Tag Manager, Search Console and Data Studio) and use a variety of supportive services such as Hotjar, Screaming Frog to spider sites and SEMrush for competitive analysis.

Q: How does being a DAN member contribute to Ridgeway’s success?

The publicity value of working with DAN is unquestionable, both in generating brand noise and driving targeted traffic, DAN membership a business no brainer.

About Ridgeway

Ridgeway is an award-winning digital agency, building beautiful websites and providing impactful digital marketing services that drive commercial success.