In our latest staff Q&A we sat down with Dan Mason who works on our business development team. Dan deals exclusively with small businesses around Australia and New Zealand, helping them understand how our content marketing services can win them more leads.
Dan took some time out from his hectic schedule to tell us why more SMEs should be investing in content marketing, where to get the best donburi in Auckland and how he almost ended up working with sharks.
1) What do you like most about working at Castleford?
I’ve enjoyed learning new skills. I pick up something new here every day. I’ve had amazing mentors and colleagues from around the company who have really taken the time to help me out in developing my skills and knowledge in business development and content marketing.
Most of all I like making something out of nothing. The journey from first contact to eventually being responsible for creating a mutually beneficial relationship between two organisations is a real buzz and very rewarding.
2) What were you doing before you joined us?
After finishing my studies in marketing and information management at Auckland Uni, I managed a fashion retail store for a year or so. During this time I worked in the evenings and weekends with a friend on a pretty cool startup.
The idea was to allow businesses to engage, communicate with, learn more about and sell to their markets in a way that’s never been done before. Unfortunately my business partner’s love life took him to Europe, which put a handbrake on the project, but it’s something I intend to pick up again one day when time and finances allow.
3) What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?
When I was a kid I wanted to be a marine biologist (I was pretty into sharks), an airline pilot or consult with small-to-medium businesses on their content marketing requirements 😉
4) If you could go back to your first day at Castleford what advice would you give Younger Dan?
There’s a great donburi spot around the corner from the office. You’ll end up going there pretty much every day.
5) What’s the secret to being a good salesman?
A lot of the time, knowing the right questions to ask. Open and honest dialogue is important to understand the pain points of the person you’re speaking with and how your solution can address their problems.
I’ve found the current wisdom of “always be helping” (as opposed to the conventional sales mantra of “always be closing”) to produce the best results for all parties. We have a great product here at Castleford. In terms of what’s available for SMEs, our package is unique and I believe the best on the market. My job is to facilitate the process of people coming to this conclusion themselves via helpful information, answers to their questions and real-world examples.
6) You work exclusively in the small business market. Why do small businesses need content marketing?
The same reason 99% of businesses out there need content marketing: to compete in their market effectively. A vast proportion of the marketing conversation is happening online, to neglect this fact would be to neglect potential revenue.
Even if your business is small, people in your area are still actively seeking solutions and asking questions about products or services you offer. Content marketing increases your visibility to these people, answers their questions, builds positive perceptions of your brand, and closes the loop on all of this, ultimately resulting in more business coming through the front door.
7) What’s your content marketing prediction for 2016?
In the 18 months or so that I’ve been in this role, I’ve noticed the awareness, knowledge and value that decision makers place on content marketing steadily increase. I feel like this is a trend that is likely to continue as companies in Australasia further appreciate the long term results and bottom-line income boost associated with a robust content strategy.
Increasingly high quality content and user experience will continue to guide any strong digital presence and I see a greater proportion of marketing budgets being steered toward high value or “big” content, pieces with real wow factor, in order to stand out from the competition.
8) What’s your New Year’s resolution?
I’m not sure I could stick to a New Year’s resolution! I prefer to approach things on a day-by-day basis and make small adjustments along the way. My goals this year are focused around fitness, finances and being as present as I can in any given moment.