You recently changed roles from Community Manager to Brand Strategist, congratulations! What aspects of community management are you going to bring into your new role as a brand strategist? How does your experience as a community manager bring value to the strategy team?
Community Managers are the connective tissue of so many teams, while also being the nexus of consumer feedback. A lot of that I am already using in my Brand Strategist role: I am collecting consumer feedback on the brand and providing strategic recommendations based on that information. I’m also speaking with all our teams internally to become the nexus of everything Brand at Just Global.
Is there a particular moment in your career that you feel most proud of?
When I was working for a VR builder-platform, I would do tutorials on Twitch teaching our players how to build on the platform. I remember I showed them how to make an automatic door, and when I came back on Monday there was a whole bunch of new worlds that had brand new doors! Someone even built a whole maze-experience using just that technique. That was rewarding, to see my marketing efforts create something that people had fun with.
Eliot’s VR Tutorial
You have a background in the Esports world, both as a journalist and community manager. How has covering Esports and managing gamer communities helped you grow as a brand specialist? What are the key takeaways brand marketers can learn from the gaming community/industry?
Gaming and Esports are at the cutting edge of influencer campaigns and brand partnerships. The key theme that I think any brand marketer can take home is “Interactivity”. These communities expect interactivity – it’s how games work, it’s how Twitch works, it’s how social media work. Some major sports teams understand this as well. People are much more invested in a brand if they can participate in the brand experience.
So, you’re originally from Wales but have lived all over the world. From the Netherlands to Canada, and even China. How did you end up in the SF Bay Area?
After finishing University I went to go teach English in China, in the city of Tianjin, near Beijing. If you want to know what Tianjin is like: it has the world’s third largest ferris wheel on a bridge. I feel like that sums it up. There I met an American woman, we started dating and did long distance for a while after my time in China was up. I emigrated to the United States and we’ve been happily married for five years now.
Aside from your successful career in the marketing world, you also have a side-gig as a board game designer. Can you tell us a little bit about the game you’re working on currently?
I have a few prototypes scattered around. My most developed board game is a cooperative game about conservation and urban development, based on real-world issues in California’s Central Valley. I’m also writing a second edition of my roleplaying system which I plan to release under creative commons.
Over the last year or so of working from home, you’ve been working on setting up a sweet workstation. Can you share a photo of your current setup? What’s your must-have office gear?
At the start of lockdown I had an inadequate workstation that has caused health issues for me, so I definitely recommend investing in your Work-From-Home setup. Admittedly, it did also nicely fit into my interest in building computers though.
I have an affordable motorized standing desk, and an ergonomic office chair. I think the monitor arm was perhaps the best purchase for getting comfortable though, and the larger monitor has helped with that. For a while I did have a mic-arm setup like a Twitch streamer might have, but I swapped that out for a wireless headset. Being able to make coffee during meetings is a huge boon. The most recent addition is the Ikea shelves to create a computer tower stack and I tidied up my cables while I was at it. Mouse mat is a limited edition run for the charity gaming event Games Done Quick. Razer keyboard and mouse for performance and fun glowing LEDs.
Top three favorite Gifs
What’s your go-to playlist while you work?
It’s a lot of Retrowave and Kylie Minogue’s Disco Deluxe on repeat. But here’s my angsty-pop-punk nostalgia playlist.
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