The Power of Collaboration and Community – Lessons from The Halston Network
Datactics are a Belfast-based, enterprise-grade platform empowering business users to rapidly measure, match, report and fix data assets, delivering true continuous data quality. We spoke to Marketing & Partnerships Manager, Matthew Flenley about their recent success and what strategies he sees as key to remaining resilient and relevant to existing and new customers throughout 2021.
I think the biggest thing we’ve noticed is a renewed focus on communication. This goes for how we’ve communicated internally as a team, and how we’ve been keeping in touch with our customers, partners, and those lovely people who are almost customers but not quite yet!
Keeping in touch is quite a good phrase for this, actually, as we’ve had a stronger cross-company set of conversations over Zoom, branded as “Keep in Touch”, ensuring the whole team are aligned on business priorities from the newest team member to the CEO. These have been genuinely collaborative and supportive, making the internal marketing journey equally as important as the external one. We’ve worked hard on internal branding of newsletters, too, to help people feel more connected and involved.
Of course, for a tech company usually spending its time across the northern hemisphere, actually being in countries has been made impossible since March of last year. We’d usually have people on the ground in New York one week, and Amsterdam the next, and so we’ve been talking to our event partners about how we can redistribute physical event spend into digital and virtual opportunities instead. Again, communication has been key here, looking to come up with mutually beneficial ways of keeping pre-Covid sponsorship monies assigned to events but ensuring that they return what we need in terms of market visibility, thought leadership, and lead generation.
Check out this virtual keynote delivered by Kieran Seaward, our Head of Sales, when previously we’d have settled for just an exhibition stand.
In the same spirit we reached out to local event companies to offer our help in coordinating segments of agendas and bringing along people we knew could help build their audiences through keynote appearances, for example, contributing to AI Con 2020. We recognise that it’s a really challenging time to be working, but ultimately it’s about getting there together and sustaining economic growth through collaboration, and all of that can be kicked off with an email or a phone call to ask “how can we help both of us to get what we want?”
At a community level, we have had a long-standing relationship with Rosetta Primary School, a half-hour’s walk up the road from us here in Belfast. We’d usually go in and help with one-to-one reading, or developing numeracy and relational language through play with Lego, but clearly that had to change for the Autumn term 2020.
Instead, we used our volunteer time in the Marketing team, working with the school to develop an online Nativity which premiered just before the Christmas holidays; one of our team, who is part-way through his final year of a Marketing degree, also put together a virtual tour of the school to help them with their admissions for 2021.
These have been fulfilling projects that have helped with morale just as much as they’ve supported practical needs in the community.
Lastly, we’ve said “yes please!” to an increasing number of opportunities to do video, podcast, keynotes – you name it. Our brand has grown significantly as our team has made themselves available for these opportunities, often at short notice, for example Dr. Fiona Browne, Head of AI’s contribution to an episode of FinTech Finance focussed on AML and tech.
I say lastly – but alongside all of this, we’ve been working increasingly closely with our Sales team to better integrate all our campaign activity. We’ve taken on some external training on this front and not just assumed we can do it all ourselves! Sometimes you need someone else to hold your feet to the fire to really make critical business-growing decisions and grow.
And grow they did! Datactics were named as the 17th fastest-growing tech company on the island of Ireland in 2020 and show no signs of stopping. Like Datactics, collaboration and celebration of your contacts and networks is a key facet of the Halston Marketing strategy. If you’d like to share your company’s successes or give us some tips and projections for 2021, get in touch!