Interview with Gareth Beer, Ecommerce Manager for Speedo

Speedo Interview

Digital & Wise recently interviewed Gareth Beer and hear are his thoughts on the future of digital, measuring ROI and his love of sport …

1. Tell us a little bit more about your role at Speedo?

I have been at Speedo for 4 years and working in the online space for 10 years.  Most people know Speedo – we are the world’s leading swimwear brand famous for the fastest swimsuits around and also the stereotypical “speedos”.

2. What does your typical day look like?

As a brand that is part of a larger group, we are reliant on external parties for the majority of what we do.  The bulk of my time is spent with our IT partners and to a lesser extent our marketing agencies to ensure they are all functioning and working well together.

3. What quote has inspired you throughout the years? 

It’s one from Einstein and is quite apt in the online world.  It’s important that we measure what we do and then make decisions based on the results, rather than wondering why nothing changes.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

4. What digital strategies have you used to get your brand out to the market?

For a brand I feel it’s important to leverage the brand through social and user content.  Our social team have done a terrific job of increasing the brands reach through social and via eCommerce we are leveraging what our consumers write about our products in user reviews to make changes.  All reviews are passed on to the product team and used during future product planning and enhancements.


5. How do you measure your ROI?

Measuring ROI is very important to us.  We have to justify our market spend so after each campaign a report is produced to measure the success of the campaign.  Tangible measures are important but just as important are the less–tangible measures around awareness, engagement and advocacy of the brand.

6. What’s the strangest project you’ve been involved in?

In a previous role I was asked to select the models (male and female) for the seasonal sportswear photo shoots!

7. What do you see as your biggest challenge within the world of digital?

The pace of change. In digital things move so fast.  By the time you’ve just mastered one thing a new thing has come along and we have to adapt to what consumers are doing and what devices they are doing it with.

8. What do you see as your most exciting opportunity within the world of digital?

Ensuring our sites are optimised for multiple devices.  Desktop > Tablet > Mobile.  Consumers expect a seamless online experience so making sure our sites are fully optimised across the various devices is an exciting challenge.  The percentage contribution of traffic and sales from tablets and mobiles is growing rapidly, which provides an exciting challenge to deliver and optimise the brand experience across those devices.

9. What have been your favourite tools of 2013 and how have they helped you?

We have started to utilise Litmus and BrowserStack to help us understand how the emails and content we build look across multiple devices, browsers and programmes.

10. Share your industry top tips…

11. How do you stay up to date with the industry and latest technology?

Conferences are always useful to network and understand what the wider world is doing. But for me social media, blogs and sites such as Mashable are vital.

12. What did you hope to be when you were younger?

My main love is sport and football, so I wanted to be a sports journalist!

13. What do you enjoy most about your current role?

The challenge and the fact no two days are ever the same.

14. Why do you love digital?

It’s at the forefront of all our lives. Whether you’re a toddler getting to grips with an iPad or someone who is 75 and using the web for the first time. It’s fascinating to see how they interact with digital.

15. And finally, what do you see as ‘the future of digital’?

Crazy amounts of data manipulated in matrix style world which helps manage all our lives!

That concludes our Digital & Wise interview. For more from Gareth, follow him on Twitter: @gazbeer

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