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Continuing with our “A day in the job of” interviews, EcommNews spoke with Paul Middleton, sales and marketing director at cloud-works.co.uk.
Paul is a highly recommended professional, as his colleagues have attested to:
“Paul is a first class professional who is a pleasure to do business with.” – Julian Allen
“Thoroughly professional guy, builds great rapport with customers at all levels.” – Greg Denning
“Paul has an extremely wide knowledge of the travel industry and has an exceptional talent and passion for ensuring his customers get the best product and service to meet their needs.” – Russel Parr
Check out what Paul had to say…
Can you provide a brief overview of your company?
Cloudworks Solutions was formed in 2010 and is based in Wiltshire, UK. The senior management team has been working in travel technology for a total of 30 years! (that’s not just me, despite the grey hairs). We specialize in delivering innovative travel solutions, including online web and mobile solutions.
I see our strength as been a very innovative, creative team with lots of experience in travel and having the ability to deliver very cost effective solutions without having an army of people to slow the process down! All the senior management team has had lots of experience in being part of large projects that deliver very little value, this was in our previous lives, not Cloudworks!
What’s your job role and how does this reflect on the company?
Sales and Marketing Director. Main responsibilities are:
1. Development and implementation of the sales strategy to maintain and drive business growth.
2. Development and implementation of the marketing strategy with a focus on creating and
3. Developing the brand, proposition and communications.
Always with a strong black cup of coffee, Starbucks if I can get access to one!
I have learnt from experience that planning is the key, as they say, fail to plan and you will plan to fail. Taking this on board, I always look at the 6 most important things I need to do that day and have this on a list next to my desk. If anything crops up during the day that does not fit into my top 6, then it goes to the back of the queue.
Harsh I know, but the end result is I keep focused… Of course, there is always a time when things don’t go to plan! I am also a realist.
What are the main events that occur during your working day?
Main events would be lots drinking tea and coffee! If I am working from home, walking the dog is a must at lunch time.
A typical day, if there is one in travel, for me, would be, sales activities, including account management and also attending or presenting at various events.
What do you think about meetings? Interruptions or necessary communication?
Meetings should have an objective, clear agenda and above all add value to your overall strategy. I have worked at companies were you could spend 50% of your time in one! I took some advice of an old friend who said, when attending the meeting, always ask, why have I been invited, what are the meeting objectives, how much time is allocated and always be prepared to walk away from a meeting if you feel there is no value for you to be there!
I do however, believe communication is the key to success in any organization, you just need to find and agree the best methods that are effective.
Do you prefer to work in shared office or in your own space?
I do like the social element of a shared space and the fact you can brainstorm ideas, but there are times in my job, were I need to focus and be on my own.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
It’s got to be client account management, this is my background and I love to be able to work closely with a client to help them to achieve their goals, I know it sounds obvious, but without this, we as a company would not achieve our goals.
I am also passionate about working at Cloudworks and been part of a great team, who are like minded, we achieve so much as a team.
Is there a particular tool/online platform/method that you would consider the most valuable to your job?
Social media has really taken off in the past 3- 5 years and I am a big believer of using these tools. I am a great supporter of LinkedIn for business networking and sharing ideas and also like to use Twitter.
There are a few online press that I use, such as Travolution, Travelmole and a few others…
How important do you think communication is within business? Both internal company communication and the sharing of industry news with peers?
This is so important in order for a business to succeed. I have worked in companies were this has been their failure. Success of a business is not the bricks and mortar but the people and they must communicate and share information.
What I find really strange is that you have millions of people on Facebook and twitter that communicate daily, if not hourly, but the same people find it difficult to communicate face to face in a business environment… We as a company share every bit of news and always communicate any ideas or concerns, this will be one of the major successes of our company and our strength.
Any thoughts or advice you’d like to share about your job or the industry?
Let’s stick to the Industry, don’t want anyone stealing my ideas! I think the industry is going through real change at the moment, with the economy, consolidation of travel companies and the introduction of social media and mobile technologies.
The real winners of the race will be the ones who recognise and embrace change, but most of all starting listening to the consumer! It still beats me to see travel technology companies delivering solutions that do not meet the consumers needs. Listen, Listen and Listen some more.
Finally, I say this all the time, technology is easy, it’s the application of technology that is the key to delivering a truly great solution!
Lastly, how do you feel about your job in general?