10 In 10: Jake Sweeney, Head Of Strategy At Force24
Paige Catton, Features Writer
In this new and exclusive feature for The Yorkshire Times, we put a regional business professional in the hot seat and give them 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions. Here, we hear from Jake Sweeney, Head of Strategy at marketing automation specialist Force24, based in Leeds.
What does a typical working day for you involve?
It’s incredibly varied at Force24, from supporting colleagues and team members to being out of the office helping clients devise automation strategies that supports their end goals. Because of the possibilities with TV, PR and Paid Search communications, for example, email can often become an afterthought when big projects are underway. I help to ensure we have a well-thought-out automation strategy that supports the goals and aims of the company or campaign that they are working on.
On the other end of the spectrum I also help with new client pitches and draw on my experience to suggest the right approach and on-boarding of new customers.
What makes your company special?
We’ve talked about this recently and one of the things I love about Force24 is that you could ask any member of any of our teams for help and advice, and they would each have something great to contribute.
It also feels like we are all on the same page, with everyone in the business being a technology enthusiast and very aware of what can be achieved with our tech.
Do you have any business rules that you swear by?
I have four really:
Openness – I really believe that an honest environment breeds the best culture, so I always make sure that we, as a team, are up to date and on-board the same journey.
Teamwork – I’m a firm believer that we cannot do this alone, so a supportive culture with the free rein to challenge ideas is imperative to a campaign’s success.
Flat structure – Taken from Elon Musk, but I would never like to think that to solve a problem we’d have to go through a ‘chain of command’.
Learn from losses – Any loss should be celebrated as an opportunity to learn. We always review any such loss to ensure we can offer a better service in the future.
Do you dress up or down for work?
I try to stay fairly smart for work, but I’d definitely say I fall into the ‘smart-casual’ category.
What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
It’s a great question and a difficult one to answer. I’d tell myself to spend time developing a deep understanding of what I was passionate about and not be afraid of following that passion. Also, I’d encourage a greater level of empathy – taking time to understand others’ point of view has become a crucial part of my role, both with clients and for client strategy.
What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?
Total Warrior was a great day out – plenty of teamwork and competition!
How do you prefer to travel for business?
What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?
Dalby Forest, camping with the kids/family. Mountain biking also focuses the mind.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?
There’s an absolute gem of a restaurant in Headingly called Salvo’s, a family run Italian restaurant – Branzino would be my dish of choice.
What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you are away?
Yorkshire really is phenomenal – more than anything I miss the idyllic scenery in the countryside at the same time as being so close to the vibrant city of Leeds.
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10 In 10: Jake Sweeney, Head Of Strategy At Force24, 4th April 2018, 10:07 AM