Meet the team – Vicky Bradford
Cognition24’s Head of Marketing, Vicky Bradford, explains how quickly digital marketing is evolving and why she’s determined to keep up
What’s your role at Cognition24?
As the head of marketing, I oversee all our marketing efforts. This covers a wide range of activities, from managing our social media presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to organising events, curating blogs, and collaborating on business development with the managing director. Together, these marketing initiatives provide essential data for our sales funnel. I’m fortunate to lead a talented marketing team, each bringing experience and creativity to the table. Their contributions are invaluable – I couldn’t do it without them!
What’s your career history?
Technology has always been a part of my journey. It began with my initial role as a technical author and trainer for a Cambridge-based police software provider. I then transitioned to being a website manager at Cosworth, delving into the exhilarating world of motor racing and F1, even experiencing pitside access during team training days. Subsequently, I ventured into financial services, serving various investment banks, and later found myself at Kensington Mortgages. Here, I took on the role of a project manager in Sales, heavily involved in implementing their CRM system. As the landscape gradually embraced digital transformation, my career naturally shifted from traditional marketing to a more tech-centred focus. Once I started a family, I chose to take a short career break to focus on them and after a few years decided to set up my own digital marketing and website business focussing on start-up and SME organisations. It was through this business that I was introduced to Andy Nellis, former Managing Director at Cognition24 who persuaded me to jump ship and join the team.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from my family, friends, colleagues, as well as business leaders spanning our industry and the broader realm of business and marketing such as Simon Sinek, Steven Barlett and Leyla Acaroglu. I’m also an avid Podcast listener from many hours spent walking the dog, I love How I Built This, Goop, and Ranjan Chatterjee’s Happy Mind, Happy Life.
My husband is very dedicated to his career and has a strong business acumen; this has had a profound impact on me. His advice holds value, and I take a lot of inspiration from him, particularly in the way he manages his team and the relationships he builds with them.
Furthermore, the individuals I collaborate with are a great source of inspiration. Take Holly, for instance, our digital marketing executive. Her youth, passion and innovative ideas really inspire me. In fact, her influence prompted me to recently enrol in a digital marketing course to brush up on my skills and knowledge. Having spent seven years at Cognition24, I recognised the need to adapt my working style so our campaigns and marketing initiatives remain at the forefront. Despite being (a little!) older than many newcomers to the industry, my goal is to stay relevant and keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
The pandemic posed a significant challenge for us. We had numerous physical events planned, including exciting joint ventures with Certinia. Unfortunately, all these plans had to be scrapped, and a shift to online platforms became necessary.
Given our small organisation’s agility, we swiftly adapted by altering our approach. However, this demanded quick thinking and effort. This situation proved to be one of our most formidable challenges, much like it was for many others.
In response to the pandemic, we’ve embraced a successful hybrid model. Operating from Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, we’ve established a routine of spending two or three days in the office and working remotely for the remainder. This arrangement has significantly contributed to a great work-life balance.
What are the highs and lows of your role?
The highs are when Tim rings me and says a hot lead has come in off the back of one of our marketing campaigns. It gives me a buzz to know that what we’re doing is making a direct impact. I also get a lot of satisfaction from mentoring the younger members of the team.
The lows are that as a smallish business with a lot going on, it can get a bit overwhelming. But that’s a good problem to have. I never have a slow week.
What’s the best thing about working for Cognition?
The variety in our work – each day is unique. We tackle a wide range of projects across diverse industries, tailoring our approach to each. This lets us truly understand and engage with these companies.
The people at Cognition also stand out. We’re a close-knit, collaborative team with a great culture. The support we provide one another makes me feel valued and appreciated.