Wanted: A New Job – My Story (so far)


I’ve just migrated back from Australia to the UK and I am looking for my next career move.

I know what I want but I am open to (and excited about) who and where. I have time on my side and want to make sure it’s the right move for the right company.

Let’s face it, even with all the the various fancy recruitment and interview techniques, hiring the right person can be hard work as can finding the right job. To a large extent you never truly know what you are a) going to get and/or b) getting yourself into. To some extent that’s the exciting part. Sieving through the verbal treacle (on both sides of the fence) can be tricky too, and grabbing someones attention and interest, as with all marketing is probably the hardest part.

This post is meant to give you the reader, and who knows maybe my new employer a deeper insight into the person and experience of me, Si Muddell, than a CV or cover letter is likely to achieve.

Before you begin: If you have got this far – thank you – I would really like you to read at least the next two sections, 1.5 minutes max.

Think of the structure of this post like a meal at a fancy restaurant. To start with you will get a small appetiser on arrival which wets your appetite and sets the scene for what’s to come, followed then by a slightly larger but equally quick to eat entree.

At this point if you had to leave the restaurant you would have a decent insight into the restaurant and hopefully come back again or advocate to a friend or colleague, followed then by the main course.

Now the main course will take longer to get through but there’s a lot more flavour, nuances, and discussions to have here, it would be a shame to skip this dish really.

Then feeling full and content, wash that all down with a quick coffee for final reflection.

So, without further ado, this is my story……(so far).

Have 45 seconds? The appetiser:

I have 11 years experience as a digital marketing professional spanning across multiple industry verticals, split 50:50 agency:client side, and both commercially (80%) and within the NFP space (20%).

If excellence is based upon previous successes (and failures) then I am excellent at digital marketing; both the thinking and the doing, and have done it for the last 11 years for some pretty massive global brands. Like anyone who is succeeding in digital, I continue to develop and learn daily, in fact I am obsessed with personal development and impress this onto those around me.

I am a nice guy who gives it his all, works well in a team and confidently leads and nurtures my colleagues to get things done. That said, it’s really not about what I think about me, it’s about what others think about me – Read the many testimonials from many previous CEO’s and colleagues on LinkedIn throughout my career to paint the clearest picture.

I’ve influenced hugely positive change management in businesses, worked in both start-up and bigger business environments, and have sat in digital-marketing-communications, account services, and business development roles. I think this is my greatest strength and opens up opportunities to really think about my next move.

‘Why’ asked several times over is at the core of everything I do and I always strive to put the customer/end user first. The bulk of my strategic decisions are based firmly upon a ‘objective first’ approach backed by insights.

Have another 45 seconds? The entree:

I have spent the last seven years working in Sydney, Australia and have recently migrated back to the UK. WHY you ask – I now have an awesome 10 month year old son who should really be near to his family.

I am passionate about digital. The accountability it gives, the challenges and opportunities it can create, the endless wrestle between creativity, data, and common sense to reap the best outcome, the ability to test, measure, and optimise; and it’s ever constant and forever rapidly evolving nature.

I’ve developed and implemented successful digital acquisition, optimisation, retention, brand, technology, and digital product strategies for brands such as Audi, Setanta Sports APAC, Shelter UK, M&C Saatchi Sydney, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Heineken, Melanoma Institute Australia, Nestle, Optus, and Weber.

My roles have included Head of Digital & Marketing Communications, Head of Digital & Social Media, Senior Digital Strategist, Account Director, Digital Marketing Manager, Head of Business Development, Account Manager & Business Development Executive.

In terms of what I want – I want to work for a company that has a clear vision, thinks strategically, is data driven yet welcomes creativity and innovation, is customer focused, has a collaborative solution oriented culture, is agile, and ultimately has heaps of potential to drive success.

Get in touch: If you want someone who is results focused, who will give it their all, has proven digital experience across a magnitude of brands, who understands things from the client, agency and customer perspective, and who has sat at various positions at the proverbial business table, then please get in touch.  I would love to hear from you.

Likewise, if you know me and have connections in the UK then please share this post to help me on my way.

Have another 5 minutes? The main course:

The Music Phase:

I graduated with a BSc in Creative Music & Sound Technology and entered the music industry working as a sound engineer and stage hand for some of the biggest bands on earth (Oasis, Coldplay, Red Hot Chilli Peppers etc). I then decided that working 90hr weeks with very antisocial hours wasn’t sustainable, despite meeting my idols on a daily basis

Where my digital journey began:

I Applied to the fast track sales and marketing recruitment company called Pareto Law and was one of the fortunate few who were successful (the 20%). I started working for an exciting start-up digital marketing agency called Coolpink as a sales executive and over the course of the next 18 months was provided all sorts of excellent business fast track skills training from aforementioned Pareto Law.

I loved this job / smashed this job – through a formerly unknown but now rapidly growing affinity to all things digital and the tenacity that stems from being a fresh graduate up to the eyeballs with student debt, and now having several carrots dangling furiously in front of my eyes tempting me to close more deals in lure of a bigger salary. I was sold in and I bossed it generating over £2.5 million from new and existing clients. Considering the average website back then was between £20k-£50k, I worked hard and it paid off.

Being a small digital agency at the time where digital was a still pretty taboo subject, it was an incredibly exciting time. Coolpink was small and that meant I was the sales guy, the account manager, the project manager, the guy who cold called, the guy who wrote technical specifications, and the guy who pitched. It also meant that I quickly became top of a then small pile, which gave me opportunities and responsibilities larger than the average lad of my age would normally get. It was step learning curve but I loved every minute of it.

To begin with, the bread and butter of what we did as an agency was ‘bespoke’ (another one of those massively overused words) web development, optimisation, and content management systems. Over time it evolved into a full service digital marketing agency focused on developing, implementing and optimising solid digital marketing strategies.

This role taught me some valuable fundamental principles that have remained at the core of what I do even today, namely: user experience, being solution and objective-results focused, developing solutions that benefit both the business AND the end user, and being able to dissect often complicated ‘digital / marketing talk’ into understandable digestible snacks.

After about 1.5 years since starting at Coolpink, my role became a hybrid between heading up new business development and being an account director across key clients.

Key brands I worked with during this time where Weber, Halfords, Screen Yorkshire, YMCA, Opera North, and Yorkshire Forward.

Hello world of Pay TV sports broadcasting

After working at Coolpink for three years and four months and wanting a world that had slightly more sun than was found in Leeds, I decided to do something big and bold – I moved over to Sydney in Australia.

After a week there I managed to get my first client side role as Digital Marketing Manager at the global PayTV sports broadcaster Setanta Sports Australia. Setanta Sports in Australia were found on a series of PayTV platforms throughout Australia and the main focus of my role was to drive new customer acquisition through digital marketing channels, and retain monthly paying customers / minimise customer churn.

I loved this job. There I was, a huge sports fan who happens to be massively passionate about digital, working for a sports broadcaster heading up their digital strategy…brilliant!

I quickly implemented ecommerce analytics, analytic and performance dashboards, optimisation tactics, and developed and implemented multiple acquisition and retention initiatives across all digital marketing channels.

M&C Saatchi

The only way I could continue working for Setanta post the six month deadline that exists when on working holiday visa was via company sponsorship. Sadly, due to the GFC hitting, the UK arm of Setanta went into administration about five months after I started working for them. Sponsorship was simply not an option at that time. So, six months in I moved back to agency land and took a contract as an integrated Account Director at the infamous M&C Saatchi leading the Optus (Big Australian Teleco) online sales channel.

M&C Saatchi was everything I had hoped it would be. Big. Bold. Strategic. Creative. Divergent. Fun. Full of intelligent and creative people.

My role here was ultimately championing digital marketing for Optus’ ever growing ecommerce channel and throughout their other various business channels. I launched Optus on Facebook, optimised / re-developed their My Account portal, and led a team to deliver many digital BAU campaigns.

At the point where my second six month period was coming to an end on my working holiday visa, M&C Saatchi offered me sponsorship. At the same time Setanta’s Australasian operation had gone from strength to strength and was unaffected by their big brothers demise in the UK and were about to launch a seperate pan Asian sports channel from their Sydney HQ. They offered me the role of Head of Digital & Marketing Communications for both the Australian and Asian business along with the much needed visa sponsorship. This was too good an opportunity to miss, so back I headed to Setanta Sports.

Pay TV part two

This role was bigger than before and with Setanta having just secured exclusive rights to Euro 2012 (2nd biggest football competition in the world) and having a new channel to launch across Asia, there was lots to do.

Asia: Unlike the Australian business, the core objective of the digital activity was two-fold, both of which were intrinsically related.

  1. To lure potential Pay TV platforms to want to get the Setanta channel on their platform
  2. To drive consumer awareness of Setanta Sports Asia and drive noise to their platform to encourage they put Setanta on their platform

I led the digital strategy for the branding and market launch into Asia and we went from zero to 17 pay TV platforms within 10 countries, in 18 months.


Euro 2012 was an exciting time for me and for Setanta. Unlike previous marketing campaigns, the bulk of the activity was via digital and with my head ultimately on the line if it failed, it absolutely dominated. A national marketing campaign called ‘Are You Up For It?’ was created to amplify the proposition that no matter what nationality a person was, football fans in Australia united in their love for the game and they could wear the badge of ‘I am up for it’. It takes a lot for a football fan to watch games in Australia purely because of the dreadful hour they are usually on in Australia (i.e 3am).

All elements of the user journey were analysed and analysed again in meticulous detail to ensure that a) the website infrastructure could actually handle the predicted demand, and b) there was no stone left unturned in terms of conversion optimisation and retargeting. A huge focus was put on mobile first UX and subscription form optimisation.

The campaign drastically exceeded subscription targets by 160%, whilst lowering the desired CPA by 74%. Subscription numbers were in their tens of thousands with 80% coming through the website. It was a huge success and I learnt a lot.

iPlayers for Australia & Asia:

Post Euro 2012 and with a substantial growth in customer base, retention was now the focus. At the time, Setanta could only show one game at a time on the channel, despite having the TV rights to multiple leagues that had content on concurrently.  This was a potential consumer churn issue. I was the project lead of Setanta Sports Plus; a multi-device sports player available via iOS, Android, Smart TV and desktop, which allowed users to watch two games at once and choose the live game they wanted to watch. My role included: product development, brand identity, customer migration, and Asia-Pacific market launch strategy.

Around the world:

After the huge success and my personal growth at Setanta over the past three years in the role, I took a year out and traveled around the world. I backpacked, surfed, hiked, flew, drove, sailed, dove, and climbed across 19 countries in three continents. From studying Spanish, realising a passion for photography, creating a detailed travel blog (www.onebigworldtrip.com), to immersing myself into new and amazing cultures; I simply had the best experiences I could have hoped for.

Contract Senior Strategist:

Returning back to Sydney after the year off and whilst I looked for my next full-time opportunity, I contracted at the amazing creative digital agency Holler as a senior digital strategist for five months. Day 1 – week 1 was working on a new pitch for the website re-development Blackmores, one of the largest health-pharmas in Australia, which we ended up winning.

I then created several digital brand strategies for Nestle (and sub brand Maggi), an acquisition strategy for George Weston Foods, an engagement and data capture strategy for Heineken, a CRM audit for Audi, and a digital analytics deep dive audit and on-going strategy for Betta, the popular Australian chain of home-living high street shops.

My first stint in the not-for-profit world:

Having a year off travelling makes you somewhat more philosophical giving clarity about what is and what isn’t important in life. I decided that I wanted to spend a period of time utilising my skills within a not-for-profit and be less focused on the amount in my wage package. I took a newly formed role as Head of Digital at the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), who have the rather ambitious yet commendably aspirational goal of ‘zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030’.

When I first started working at NBCF, digital largely meant IT, which in my world it is not. I remember one of the first all-staff presentations I did where I had two slides ‘what digital is’ and ‘what digital is not’  with one of the points being ‘I do not fix computers’! Whilst digital had been happening prior to my time at NBCF, it was not centralised in a ‘digital’ team, there was a huge lack of processes, there were no previous learnings or benchmarks, and the overall opportunity that digital can creates was heavily under utilised. All of which equalled an awesome challenge and opportunity for change.

I set up and led a new digital team from scratch acting both as a service provider to each business department offering strategy, production, development, measurement, and expertise; and also as the client. This role was without doubt the most personally fulfilling and challenging roles I have had to date, probably due to the huge opportunity for change that was on offer and was embraced.

Some of the successes in this role were:

  • Ultimately, leveraging digital channels, strategies, tactics, and technologies to assist key business departments raise over $37.5M in the last 18 months across multiple acquisition and CRM focused campaigns.
  • 347% increase in NBCF Facebook community growth in the last 18 months, from 45k to 201k.
  • Led a major internal shift in attitudes, knowledge, processes and success around digital, resulting in significantly more investment into it.
  • Successful redevelopment of a new website onto WordPress in three months, developing multiple microsites and a fundraising hub all resulting in cost savings, increased site conversion and user metrics, simplified user management, and workflow agility.
  • Launch of pink.org.au, one of the leading cash-back reward ecommerce websites in Australia with access to over 700 Australian retailers.
  • Implemented a number of successful digital campaigns with NBCF Corporate Partners – such as; Qantas, Big W, Ford, David Jones and Brother.
  • Set up of email marketing automation and multiple campaign and BAU customer nurture journeys on a new email platform.

During my time at NBCF, I had a baby boy called Kai and that ultimately led my partner and I moving back to the UK to be closer to family.

And this brings us to now…

I have been back in the UK for about 2.5 months and contracting as the Head of Digital Fundraising for the fantastic charity Shelter. Whilst it’s an exciting opportunity and worthy cause, I want to go back to working in the commercial space.

I am on the market and excited about my next step.

Time for a brew? Here’s a bit more about me personally..

  • I am an Englishman who until recently lived in Bondi, Australia who (previously) surfs a lot. I love surfing.
  • I try and follow the philosophy of making the most of each day. Guitar, Surfing, Music, Sport and Travelling are my passions; and Marketing, Psychology, Learning Spanish, and Motivational Life Coaching are my interests.
  • I am addicted to personal development – this blog is one of my ways of doing that and am obsessed with Ted Talks
  • I have travelled around the world for a year, learnt Spanish (well it sounds ok after a few Sangria’s), and learnt even more about the amazing diversity on this earth.
  • My favourite quotes are: “Knowledge is proud that it knows so much, wisdom is humble that is knows so little.” and “The choices you make not the chances you take determine your destiny.”

Get in touch: If you want someone who is results focused, who will give it their all, has proven digital experience across a magnitude of brands, who understands things from the client, agency and customer perspective, and who has sat at various positions at the proverbial business table, then please get in touch.  I would love to hear from you.

Likewise, if you know me and have connections in the UK then please share this post to help me on my way.

Si Muddell – Digital Strategist

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