We talked to Clwyd Probert, CEO at Whitehat, about inbound SEO marketing, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Clwyd Probert: We are all healthy and well. We have supported each other and those around us. Everyone wishes this situation to end, but we have come through strong.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you joined Whitehat.
Clwyd Probert: My career path and background have been interesting. I studied molecular genetics and then computer science before gaining work as a programmer in the City of London. My work at that company took an interesting turn when we sold it to an American firm and I was given a chance to move to the USA. I became Vice President of Marketing in a NASDAQ quoted technology company working on Wall Street for three years. After that, I ran another start-up raising venture capital from a West Coast VC firm before starting Whitehat. My current role is CEO but I also teach as a guest lecturer at UCL and sometimes act as a mentor to their students.
How does Whitehat innovate?
Clwyd Probert: First we need to keep up-to-date. Our industry moves so fast that half of our time is spent just keeping up with the latest developments. We dedicate a good deal of our team’s time to research and personal development. By investing in our team and in education and learning we inspire the whole company to innovate for our clients. Innovation is part of everyone’s job specification.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Clwyd Probert: In the early stages it was mixed. We have some retail clients who were hit hard by the lockdown. But that has been more than balanced by the growth. Our core focus is on technology companies and biotech firms. These organizations understand that growth comes from a strong online presence and investment in digital marketing is a key requirement for growth. We have seen our revenues grow steadily through the year, and we have exceeded our pre-covid financial targets.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Clwyd Probert: We have been lucky not to let go of any staff. We closed our London office and everyone is now working from home. However much of our extended team were already working remotely, so we had procedures and processes in place to deal with this. We have continued to expand the team and intend to hire more in 2021.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Clwyd Probert: We have shifted a little, but we were always reliant on a core technology stack to maintain our client management. We rely heavily on HubSpot for our marketing, sales CRM, and customer support. We use zoom for sales and client support calls and Trello for project management. You can refer here for details.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Clwyd Probert: Whilst we still had our London office we benefitted from a rates Grant that was very welcome in an uncertain time. It helped keep us stable and gave us the confidence to continue to grow.
Your final thoughts?
Clwyd Probert: We are extremely enthusiastic and excited for 2021. We have strong growth plans and have just announced a strategic partnership with two other international agencies which will solidify our position as one of the leading inbound agencies for 2021.
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