Today on Branex Talks, we have with us a gentleman hailing from the land where The Lord of the Rings became a reality. He is the Head of Sales and Marketing at NodMedia, Head of digital innovation & social media at TAG the Agency and Editor in chief Social Media NZ.

This Kiwi began his career at an early age and now he’s an expert in blogging, social media and digital marketing.  He is passionate about brand building, company culture and entrepreneurship by leveraging digital technologies.

Being associated with several digital start-ups, he has gleaned tons of experience navigating the digital landscape. In this interview, he will share nuggets of wisdom exclusively with our readers. We welcome Tom Reidy on Branex Talks.

Branex: Your career is a blend of success and failure. Would you like to share career highlights along with the lessons you learned from your failures?

Tom Reidy: Success is the easy part of life throughout my career I have had the honor of working with some of the biggest brands, from Audi to Colgate Palmolive, helping them to build their brands and reputations online.

But through failure is when we learn and grow. Don’t get me wrong I have learned plenty working with large brands, but I have learned far more in the hard lessons in life. Some of my greatest takeaways would be:

  • Choose your staff wisely, they will make or break a business. Surround yourself with people that believe in your vision.
  • Learn from those who have gone before, wisdom comes from experience, so pay attention to people who have it.
  • Test, learn, test and test some more. All too often, we have great ideas, but they may not actually turn into a business. So, test the ideas out, beyond your friends, make sure you have an audience and people who are willing to pay.
  • Ask for the money, following on from my above point, don’t be shy, if your product or service provides value, make sure you ask a fair price for it.
  • Love and passion are awesome and should always be part of the vision, but don’t work for free, love and passion don’t pay wages.
  • Make sure you and your clients have the funds to pay for services.

Branex: Tell us about TAG The Agency, how did the idea pop up and from where did you start?

Tom Reidy: This brand is a result of the ever-evolving world of digital advertising, I’ve always been in the industry of tech and marketing/advertising, so it was a natural progression that fed my creative skills.

Branex: Digital storytelling is typically a new terminology among marketers. What do you think are the key elements of digital storytelling?

Tom Reidy: New term, same game. It’s just how and where we tell stories that have changed. In my view, the key elements are:

  • To learn and adapt fast
  • Test and try as new platforms are always coming out
  • Don’t predict the future but be ready and aware to evolve
  • To repeat myself so it’s crystal clear – Always be prepared.

Branex: You have multiple startups under your belt, share with us the lessons you have learned so far in establishing them.

Tom Reidy: All ideas are good and easy. It’s the execution and market development that is hard. Do your research and plan for the end game, not just the small steps to get you going. This way you will reduce surprises and cost escalation.

Branex: You emphasize a lot that B2B businesses should leverage content as a marketing strategy. Which type of content is truly engaging for the audience, can you share a few examples?

Tom Reidy: B2B is still about people and connecting to what inspires and resonates with them. I always prefer video as the medium as we are able to quickly connect to audiences. In the case of B2B, we look to see who the decision-maker is and work to influence their decisions, from content that nudges them to direct engagement. It sounds simple but can be a long game, so research to make sure you know your audience and where they consume content.

Branex: What trends do you anticipate in the digital world especially about social media in 2020?

Tom Reidy: Be ready, change is constant, so predictions are just guessing and looking at the wrong thing. Watch your audience, follow the trends and lead them through the platforms they choose. Then constantly test your content before launching into a bigger campaign.

Branex: Would you like to mention a few names who have inspired you in the industry? The ones who have contributed to your professional and personal growth.

Tom Reidy: Chris Bunce from 3Skye – Fintech visionary, friend and mentor. Chris has always been around to provide wise worlds and motivation to push for the next step.

Andrew Butel from EndGame – Tech genius, also a friend and mentor. Andrew has always been a support, from business mentoring to working through some of my biggest challenges with me.

Branex: How much do you believe in work-life balance? How do you balance both and why do you think it’s important to keep these aspects in equilibrium?

Tom Reidy: Work and life are not a separate thing when you hire someone, you are hiring a person and not a machine that can switch on and off. So work and life needs to balance themselves. For example, I have four kids, so I need to be able to provide them the attention they need to become successful humans, so rather than separating my job from my family, they are welcomed in and become part of the workday. Start times and end times can be flexible as ideas don’t happen between 9 am and 5 pm so my approach to work is also flexible.

For more on this, I wrote a book on company culture, here.

Branex: Being an avid marketer, our readers would like to see your workstation picture. Could you please share one.

Tom Reidy: Sure, it’s pretty simple, just the things I need.

Branex: Branex is one of those agencies which are facilitating brands globally with its digital solutions. Do you have any piece of advice for us?

Go hard, experiment and keep communication open and strong with clients, they are part of your success, which makes them part of the team, not a thing that pays the bills.

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