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A day in the life - Jonathan Hudson

From Twitter to web platforms, Shop Direct Group’s social and mobile lead is immersed in the digital world.

My brain is normally switched on from about 6.30am and the first thing I do is grab my work phone to see what my diary looks like that day, and to see if I have any emails from my boss, our ecomm director Jonathan Wall. Then I hop on my personal phone to have a quick look at Twitter, see what the breaking news is and if there’s anything I need to think about for the day ahead. Checking social media sites first thing is essential – that’s my newspaper.

The dress code is quite relaxed at work so it’s normally jeans, a pair of Puma suedes, or brown leather shoes and an open-neck shirt for me, depending on the weather. I leave home near Preston at about 7.15am and have a one-hour drive to the office in Liverpool.

The first thing I do when I get in is make the all-important cup of tea, then wait for my PC to wake up, before logging into my social monitoring account. Tools such as Radian6 enable me to see what customers are saying about our brands and those of our competitors, and if there has been any spike in activity across social media platforms.

We’re really keen on being early adopters in digital and we use Google Insights to see how much interest there is in a particular network. With [content-sharing website] Pinterest for example, we saw traffic and searches for it hockey stick in January, so it’s important to be at the forefront of that. In terms of metrics we also look at how much our brands are being talked about.

My days are pretty chocker. I’m leading a big community project online, which is enabling our customers to write reviews and ask each other for help and advice within our own websites. We’re also going to be changing website platforms later this year from ATG Commerce 7 to 10, and I meet with the brand teams to talk about developments in social and mobile, to make sure we’re ready from a business point of view.

Lunch normally passes by quite quickly and in the afternoons I might focus a bit more on the mobile side of things. We’re working on new designs for our mobile websites, which we’ll also be changing in September. We’re launching a new shopping app for [etailer] Very at the same time, and I’m working closely with our innovation team to make sure we have the design and functionality right. I’m always really busy.

I kind of worked towards this role within the group and one of the best things about it is the variety of people I work with across the business.

One minute I’m sitting with the retail board talking about the future of social [networking] and how we can use it to enrich the customer experience and improve our advertising effectiveness, and the next I’m talking to the social service team at one of our contact centres, and then I’m working with the creatives here.

I leave the office at 6pm and in the evenings you’ll normally find me unwinding by playing the guitar, cooking or watching the TV.

  • Salaries for this position range from £40,000 to £50,000 (estimate by Michael Page International)


2011 Social and mobile lead, Shop Direct Group

2009 Online/digital lead, Shop Direct Group

2006 Supplementary sales manager, Shop Direct Group

2004 Sales manager, Shop Direct Group

2002 Group PC marketing manager, Time Group

1995 Team manager, Time Group

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