Lucy Hurst is Managing Director of Sherbet Donkey Media, a digital marketing company that has experienced unprecedented growth over the last two years. As one of The Industry Leaders within the industry, it seemed only fitting that she took time to speak with Rob Barratt and discuss what they're doing to stay ahead of the game.
Can you introduce yourself and share a little about your background?
Certainly! My background is, originally, in photography, where I witnessed the remarkable transition from film to digital cameras. The change of pace back then may not have been as rapid as the dynamic shifts transpiring in today's business world. Nonetheless, this experience instilled in me a profound understanding of the importance of adaptability and avoiding stagnation. It taught me to stay attuned to evolving practices and explore ways to enhance efficiency. These invaluable skills, along with my ability to swiftly adapt, have been instrumental in propelling my success throughout my entire business career.
As a forward-thinking professional, how do you identify ways to stay ahead in your industry?
First and foremost, I have amassed extensive expertise in the realm of digital marketing by being lucky enough to work with some very talented individuals, this has equipped me with a comprehensive knowledge of the essential skill sets and current possibilities offered by both "older" and more cutting-edge technologies. Moreover, I am constantly attuned to the latest advancements, particularly those that hold relevance for our industry. Please rest assured, my intention is not to render anyone redundant, but rather to streamline and simplify their work processes for everyone's benefit. Furthermore, it is imperative to stay abreast of market dynamics, including emerging digital marketing trends such as the shift and prolonged preference for minimalist and sleek website designs. It is equally crucial to align our strategies with the ever-evolving guidelines set forth by prominent players like Google. Last but not least, I embrace a fearless attitude when it comes to experimentation. As an someone who is lucky enough to occupy a position that allows me such scope, I undertake rigorous assessments of potential obstacles before implementing any changes within the organisation. It is worth emphasising though that failing to adapt to the current landscape inevitably results in being left behind.
How often do you reassess your competitive landscape and, as I know you're very busy, I'd love for you to share any tips you have on carving out the time to do this?
This is very much an ongoing process. Things within this industry move so fast as par for the course, however, with new technologies emerging on a daily basis, this is now making everything move a hundred times faster. One thing Sherbet Donkey has done is set up a group of people who all keep their fingers on the pulse and any emerging technology and we will often meet up to discuss what's going on and how we can benefit from recent revolutions.
What have been the most significant challenges you've faced when striving to stay ahead in a rapidly changing world, and how have you overcome them?
Some technologies seem to have the "Marmite effect" on people. People either love them or hate them. I'll always look at it from a business point of view, focusing on business growth and progress, and I will assess what it can do to help us, with an open minded approach. That said, sometimes there is a reluctance to implement new technology. However, once people see what can be done, they use this new technology a few times, then they'll have a tendency to come round. The Sherbet Donkey Media team are all have an innate ability to adapt which is why we all work so well together.
Can you pinpoint a defining moment or experience where your innovative strategies led to success or a competitive advantage in your business or career?
As a business, Sherbet Donkey has implemented countless strategies that have led to successes for our clients. This is great because the team always buzzes off our customers' wins. Personally, I wouldn't want to take the credit for implementing any strategy in particular as it's always a collaborative effort.
In your opinion, what are the key ingredients of an effective strategy for staying ahead in 2023?
Don't just be reactive, be proactive. Go and research what's out there and what could benefit your business and how. It could be something as simple as implementing a CRM or SKU codes. If these are going to make your life easier in the long run then it's worth some short term hassle in getting it all set up.
In your opinion, what role does continuous learning and personal development play in staying ahead, and how do you incorporate these practices into your own professional journey?
These both play a massive part in ensuring your business/ career stays ahead and for your own emotional development. I love to learn new things and am privileged to work with some fantastic individuals who are happy to make the time to teach me new things. I try to make time for this when and wherever possible.
Looking ahead, what emerging trends or technologies do you believe will have the most significant impact on businesses or ambitious professionals, and how are you preparing to leverage them for future success?
It's so hard to say and this juncture, simply because new technology seems to emerge on a daily basis, as such, if I gave you an example of something, it could actually seem incredibly redundant by the time this article is published. I'm sure that many of your readers will be familiar with Moore's law- The law claims that we can expect the speed and capability of our computers to increase every two years because of this, yet we will pay less for them. However, with the ever evolving landscape of the industry at the moment, this has been significantly accelerated.