Name: David Miller
Job title: CMO
Location: London, UK
1. Where were you born and raised?
Born and raised in Surrey, just south of London.
2. What was your first job?
I worked in my local garden centre whilst at school. I’d be there a few days after school and over the weekend.
3. What was the first product you got really excited about?
The Nokia 3610. I was on the waiting list for a month for that phone!
4. Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
I can’t single out an individual who’s been the biggest influence, as there has been so many. A few notable people in my professional life who come straight to mind would be Louise Routledge who instilled the importance of ‘The Team’, and taught me an incredible amount of people management skills at a very early stage in my career at Bookatable.com. Simon Cobby at MOO who has a sharp analytical mind and clear vision on how to grow a fledgling department at a very successful brand into the fastest growth area of the business. Simon remains a mentor for me today. In my personal life, David Armitage, who’s been an inspiration for most of my life, showcasing his pure grit, determination and passion in building Armitage Communications to the hugely successful agency it is today.
5. What has been your greatest achievement?
At a very early stage of my career I was asked to relocate from London, UK to Manhattan, New York on my own to spearhead the growth of the business into the US marketplace. At the age of 24 to move to another continent, build the sales, support and marketing function, whilst secure partnership deals with companies such as AMEX and Zagat, was a period in my career I will always smile back on.
6. What has been your biggest mistake?
Not going into business at an earlier age. Until the age of 24 I was labouring on the London Underground whilst intermittently running chalets in the mountains of the French Alpes. It took a fall off a cliff and a broken ankle to force my hand off the mountains and into business.
7. What is your greatest strength?
I get stuff done. Working as a CMO for a start-up or SME is a hugely different challenge from that of a medium or large-sized enterprise. The role requires someone who can not only provide the overarching strategy and vision to achieve the business objectives, but is also willing to get their hands dirty when the team needs the support.
8. What is your biggest weakness?
The inability to switch off.
9. What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?
Having an intrinsic understanding of the customers’ needs, wants and desires. The customer should be at the centre of the decision making of the business, from the vision of the company through to the direction of the product roadmap. There should be dedicated time each month or quarter to meet with customers.
10. Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
My mantra would be to test lots and learn fast. This is most apparent when working for a business in launch phase.
Squirm: let’s take this discussion offline
11. What makes you stressed?
Having to wait for anything.
12. What do you do to relax?
All and any types of sport. I generally have quite high energy levels and so pounding the pavement, strapping on my boxing gloves or hitting the road on my bike is the best way for me to unwind from a busy day.
13. What is your favourite song?
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication
14. Which book taught you most?
Start with why – Simon Sinek
15. Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
I’m a Chelsea fan in football, but also keep an eye on the Mets in baseball from my time over there and International Rugby when it’s on, but snowboarding is my sport.
16. Which country would you like to work in?
I’ve been lucky to work in a few international marketplaces, but doing so in an emerging market would be very interesting.
17. Which company do you think has the best marketing?
lot of startups try to emulate Innocent in company culture, but I think they do very well in their social media as well, reminding us all that as a business you don’t have to wear a stiff corporate face, you can be fun, engaging and maybe a bit cheeky as well for the community to really engage with you.
18. What do you love most about your job?
At BeMyEye we are literally changing the way that people work. Every single day we are providing the opportunity for people to earn money at their own convenience. The world of work is changing across the globe as people begin to move away from the traditional 9-5. To be at a company that is at the forefront of facilitating this shift is what I love the most about my job.
19. What is your favourite book?
I like fictional books from the likes of Chris Ryan, Andy McNab and Simon Kernick.
20. What keeps you awake at night?
Thinking of new ways to bring BeMyEye to the market. Some of the best ideas come when you’re about to fall asleep.
Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond