5 minutes with Susan Hallam, the managing director of Hallam Internet
Susan Hallam is a leading influencer in the Internet world. She has always believed in the power of data and knowledge, and that successful digital engagement and transformation drives business success.
She is a practising digital marketing consultant, a public speaker, and the Founder and a Director of Hallam Internet, one of the UK’s leading digital agencies.
Susan was awarded an MBE for services to entrepreneurship and innovation in the Queen’s Honour’s list 2018. Born in the USA, Susan has resided in the UK since 1985.
Susan was invited to lead a lecture on the topic of social media marketing during our leadership development program session. Lucia Dickinson, our marketing manager, managed to grab her for 5 minutes and talk everything Digital.
Lucia: “You are in Carlisle Brass today talking to the thought leaders of a very old-fashioned industry. What is your message to the ironmongery sector, which is only just now starting to learn about the digital transformation?”
Susan: “I specialise in working in the traditional industries and I think what we always find and found it especially with my day here at Carlisle Brass today, is that there are always exciting innovations that are happening. It’s been great to see how much everyone around the room loves the business, how passionate they are about the business and I think what we have is a structured approach to uncover the kind of stories, the kind of content, that can be told over social media. On the one hand I would agree with you that perhaps this sector is slower to adopt these new technologies, but I would disagree and say I think that these technologies are being adopted now. This is no longer emerging technology. It is tried and tested. For example, today we are focusing on Linkedin and they’re huge opportunities we need to take advantages of now. “
“What works particularly well in your organisation, is the marketing team can take a lead on the more innovative technologies, the less proven the technology we want to test and learn about. But overall, its pleasing to see how they are being adopted even in what might be perceived as an old fashion industry.”
Lucia: “What are the 3 musts every company must have, if they want to survive in todays’ digital world?”
Susan: “To survive in today’s digital world, the 3 things that I think every business needs to do, is first to understand your customers. You must be truly customer centric. Everything you do, has to focus on the customer and have a robust understanding. Everything else will follow. The second thing is, you must have a clear understanding on what makes you different to your competitors. We are operating in a world where customers can move their business quickly.
Loyalty is disintegrating. What we need to do, is to ensure customers understand why they should do business with us. And lastly, we must learn, learn something new every day.”
Lucia: “What trend do you and your team watch closely right now and is it possible to predict the behaviour of the digital market in its fast-changing environment?”
Susan: “Interestingly, we just organised a Nottingham digital summit. We had 600 people discussing the latest technologies and 3 key themes appeared. The first was mobile. We must be looking at the mobile user experience and how google is looking at mobile first and we have to think that mobile being the ubiquitous device that all of use the internet. The second is marketing automation. That is the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence automated process, that allows marketing efforts to soar. The third thing, which is changing radically, is analytics and big data and the ability to interpret and gather new data and allow it to guide our marketing decisions.”
Lucia: “What drives you?”
Susan: “I love digital marketing. I started Hallam Internet in 1999 and as time passed I decided to grow the business and its grown now to 55 people. I love what we do and the people we work with, but fundamentally, I really love the whole art of marketing. I like the discipline of digital marketing. There is always something new to learn and interesting people to meet what keeps me going is that I love what I do.”
Susan has specialist expertise in search engine optimisation, social media marketing, email marketing, online advertising, and developing Internet marketing strategies. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing. She is a Freeman of the City of London and a Trustee of Nottingham Castle. She is also chartered member of CIM and CILIP.