Staff Spotlight: Richard George, Managing Partner

If you’re looking to gain more insight into what life in media and marketing is like, you’ve come to the right place. Each month, we will be sitting down with one of the Wavemaker North team and delving into their career to date as well as asking some burning questions!

For our first staff spotlight feature, we’ve spoken to our Managing Partner Richard George. With over 20 years’ experience in Search, he’s delivered SEO strategies for clients including Lloyds Banking Group, Vodafone, Swinton Insurance, and Europcar across international markets. When he’s not busy on new business pitches or jetting back and forth to Paris for business meetings, you can find Richard lending his expertise to students and fellow marketers. He has previously guest lectured at the University of Salford and spoken at numerous events, most prominently as a keynote speaker at SMX Paris on “AI and digital transformation”. And if there weren’t enough hours in the day, he’s also a contributing author to a new book being published on the same topic. You can find out more here.

“I love working in the digital and search space as it is constantly moving and developing, driven by our behaviours and needs in a world where we are always connected.”

Away from Richard’s passion for digital, he is an outdoorsy dad who loves cycling, snowboarding, travel and the outdoors. Most importantly, he enjoys spending time with his young daughter and an amazing wife who is a professor in Engineering at Manchester University and broadcaster.

So, let’s delve in to the life of a managing partner at Wavemaker North.

How did you get in to marketing/media?

It was not by design. I was a trained accountant and moved from London where I was working in the financial reversion’s markets back to Manchester. A former employer from London approached me to be a Director and co-owner of several .com start-ups. I had to figure out how to do this “online marketing stuff” for myself and very quickly. It was exciting in a way that it was the start of the digital marketing revolution, so PPC and SEO were not as well developed as they are today.

What is a typical day like for you?

The day starts bright and early with my daughter up just after 6.00 AM normally. Coffee, breakfast and the school run (if it’s my day) or the early train as I like to be in before 8.00 am to get a head start on the day.

Most days, I have both client and internal meetings which can take up a large portion of the day. Then the rest of my day is shaped either by new business proposals or the support required across the SEO team.

The end of the day involves watching the Northern Rail train app to play the daily lottery of ‘will the train arrive’ so that I can get home and pick up my daughter from school.

I don’t like leaving things unfinished so if needed, I will pick up some work after dinner to make sure there is closure before the next day begins.

What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?

Read and follow closely those in the industry and the agency with experience. The digital and media landscape is constantly changing, so you need to ensure that you are aware of the imminent developments and how they can impact the strategies and performance of clients. Also, ask questions, challenge and form your own opinions. There is so much news and information in our industry so it’s vital to make sure that you ask questions and offer up a viewpoint yourself.

Who would be your dream client?

There are a lot of possible ones but a client in the winter sports or cycling industry would be of interest given my hobbies. Someone like Jones Snowboards, the founder Jeremy Jones not only makes some great boards and clothing but also uses the profits to help fund climate change through a charity he set up called Protect Our Winters.

What is your proudest career moment to date?

There are a couple that stand out, but I think being promoted to the executive board at Wavemaker back in 2016 is a highlight. In close second would be when we won the Europcar account. It was a lengthy international pitch involving several markets, offices and stakeholders. It was great when that hard work paid off and our expertise recognised by such a fantastic brand.

What do you like most about working at Wavemaker?

The culture and the people. It’s often cited that the culture at Wavemaker is different. We are a business that is part of a large corporate in WPP but the business, especially in Manchester, has a culture of people who genuinely care and support each other.

We also asked Richard some rapid-fire questions;

Climb a mountain or jump from a plane?

Love to do both, but the mountains are more my home so climb a mountain on a snowy day…then slide down it on my snowboard.

Describe yourself in 3 words…

Calm, trusting, perfectionist

The last song you listened to?

I have an eclectic music taste spanning, rock, dance, classical and country. But this week its mostly been Jeremy by Pearl jam.

iOS or Android?

Android all the way. Apple products look good, but you get much better tech and performance in Android.

What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Crocodile kebab skewers in Australia. Really nice and tastes like chicken.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our first staff spotlight instalment. If you would like to know more about our SEO services, feel free to get in touch with us on enquiries@wavemakernorth.co.uk or give us a call on 0161 930 9000.