Rebecca Martin, Digital Project Manager at The Children's Society, sits down with us to share her insights on why digital should be fully appreciated, embedded within organisations and a driver of decisions. Read on to learn more.
Why did you choose to pursue a role in digital? For example, has it always been your passion or was it pure happenstance?
Like many people throughout school and university, I was never sure which career path I wanted to take. I’d never had that sense of a ‘true calling’ that some people seem to have.
Once I'd completed my Marketing degree, I tried to better identify my natural talents. I knew I was a good communicator, highly organised and a keen problem solver, and I met with those in the Marketing industry who told me I was good with people. This led me to my first full-time job as a Studio Coordinator in a digital agency.
This role gave me a flavour for what digital was about, and I was keen for more. Digital is an ever-growing industry and so I knew it would be a smart step in the right direction. It took me several years to find a role where I could really tap into my potential as a Digital Project Manager.
While I didn’t originally actively pursue a career in digital, I certainly now consider it my passion!
What personal skills or attributes do you think are most important in the digital sphere? Why these skills/attributes in particular?
In the digital industry, it’s vital to have an open, future-thinking mind, an eagerness to learn, and a desire to problem-solve. You need to be someone who doesn’t want to settle for the status quo; someone who drives to make things better and smarter.
These attributes are at the core of the digital industry, and without them, it wouldn’t be the rapidly advancing industry that it is.
What sort of challenges do you face in your role? Is there a particular challenge that you experienced in the past that stood out?
Like all digital roles, there are daily challenges that need to be mitigated and navigated to ensure a project is successful.
One ongoing challenge is the relatively low level of interest in learning about (or perhaps an appreciation of) digital for some organisations and businesses. Given the times we live in, I do struggle when digital isn’t fully appreciated, embedded, or at the forefront of decision-making.
How is your role perceived in your organisation?
I think the role of a Digital Project Manager is perceived as focused on the management of the technology itself, whereas that’s only one aspect. The role is much more diverse and involves wearing multiple hats on a daily basis.
My role involves planning and leading the creation of digital products; centring all user experience and user interface design around the needs of end-users, and surfacing engaging content throughout the user journey. The ultimate goal is to create useful digital products that will benefit both the end-users and the organisation or business.
At React & Share, we’re obsessed with measuring our efforts to prove our worth to internal stakeholders - what measurements do you think digital teams should be presenting to their board?
The measurements you focus on entirely depend on your project KPIs. Everyone wants to know if the goals have been achieved or not.
Any measures against the original KPIs (regardless of whether they’re good or bad) will provide insight, encourage data-driven decisions, and highlight opportunities to optimise.
What advice would you give to those at the start of their career?
The start of anyone’s career can be really daunting because there’s a lot of pressure to pick a path, choose a role, and stick with it.
I wish someone had said this to me at the start of my career – identify what your natural abilities are and work back from there to find a role that works for you. Give any opportunity that aligns with your talents and skills a try.
Digital can take you anywhere, so you have plenty of opportunities to test and learn what works best for you and your career.
What do you think the secret of success is when working in digital?
If you’re driven to continuously learn and motivated to make things better and smarter, you’re bound to be successful in digital.