Establishing a good work culture binds people to an organisation and can change the atmosphere in any office. 1-grid’s marketing manager Dane Miller says, “Over time, I have found that employees willingly take on more roles and tasks when they are provided with flexibility in the workplace”. Not having the freedom to set your own pace can prove to be challenging as it can hinder creativity. So instead of employees proactively approaching situations, they are thinking about how to avoid them. According to Business Insider, employees spend one-third of their lives at work; therefore, when employees eagerly begin their day at work, they end up having the same dedication as the owner of the business. In a recent interview, marketing manager Dane Miller, shares his experiences working at 1-grid, challenges, and achievements he faced this year, gives insight into his interests outside of work and gives professional advice to new employees who have joined the 1-grid family.
Before starting at 1-grid, what did you do?
At my previous job, I occupied the role of product manager at a local ISP. My responsibilities ranged from managing the entire product portfolio, maintaining relationships with partners and being alert to potential opportunities.
What is your current role at 1-grid?
Currently, I head up the marketing and product side of things at 1-grid. My responsibilities include developing and executing our digital marketing strategy with a view of increasing our organic reach and improving new customer growth. Another important part is making sure that my team is happy and that we can create an environment that encourages a proactive and entrepreneurial mindset.
What advice would you give to new employees?
Get your hands dirty as quickly as possible and understand the customer journey. In the case of 1-grid, register your own domain, create a hosting package and test our products to the extent of its purpose. By doing this, you can relate to what people expect, want and may potentially need.
What would your biggest accomplishment be this year?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it an accomplishment but I take pride in watching the growth of our marketing team. Looking back a year, it was just myself and Craig Fester.
Looking ahead we will be growing to a point where we have ten marketing experts working on the continuous improvement of our brand.
What do you wish other people knew about 1-grid?
We hold the customer at the heart of everything we do! While the perception is that you only deal with a customer service agent, we generally have an open-door policy when it comes to getting things right for the customer, i.e. if something is not in someone’s immediate realm to resolve, we make a concerted effort to do whatever is necessary to get the job done.
What do you love most about your job?
The flexibility provided to be innovative without fear of failure. The bulk of our learnings stem from our failures – I enjoy the saying, ‘You win, or you learn’ and I am learning every day.
What sort of challenges do you face daily as 1-grid’s marketing manager?
From a product perspective I tend to field lots of questions from different departments, so I need to manage my time carefully with respect to meeting their expectations together with achieving my own daily objectives.
Marketing’s challenges are different in that you need to continually assess and adapt approaches and strategies to consistently improve. That being said, the challenges mentioned are welcomed and ultimately aids in my overall job satisfaction.
What advice would you give to anyone starting an online business?
Take the time to research and understand your target audience.
Everything you do in relation to branding, marketing and how you sell your products must speak to the needs of your customers.
If you had the option to choose between a personalised email address or an SSL certificate to secure your site, which one would you choose and why?
From the perspective of seeing start-ups daily and noting the struggles they go through, it’s important that you have both. You need a professional email address as it builds rapport and a sense of trust with your prospective customers. It’s not a good look going onto someone’s website or visiting their business and finding the email contact being “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
At the same time, an SSL certificate is essential these days given the increasing threat of hackers and the importance of keeping information secure.
You’ve put in the hard work getting your business setup, make sure you cover your bases by getting the basics right!
What do you think will change about 1-grid over the next five years?
I can see us growing significantly in the SaaS (software as a service) space.
While we offer everything you need to secure your digital presence, we intend to continually provide solutions geared towards better enabling the SME space.
We will always aim to remain ahead of the curve in terms of technology solutions that are relevant to customers’ wants and needs, so in five years, if you need an online toaster, we will provide an online toaster to you.
Get-to-know Marketing Manger Dane Miller, with these fun facts:
Best concert you have been to: Linkin Park
Favourite place you visited: Old Trafford
What animal would you be for a day: Chameleon
Latest book you are reading: Born a crime, Trevor Noah
Favourite movie: RocknRolla
Craziest thing you have done: In high school, I would get money for our chartered bus service, but instead of buying my bus tickets, I kept the money and hitchhiked to school.
What are you currently watching on Netflix: Peaky Blinders
If you could switch places with anyone: David Goggins
Best food you have eaten: Crayfish curry
Pet peeves: People driving slow in the fast line
What colour crayon would you be: Black
Least favourite superhero: Blankman
If you could go for dinner with anyone in the world: Alexandra Daddario
Favourite family tradition: Newlands New Year’s Day Test Match