Digital transformation always ties in with improving sales – Talk Marketing 077 – Josh Bolland

Digital transformation always ties in with improving sales - Talk Marketing 077 - Josh Bolland


Martin Henley 0:16
Hello there, my name is Martin Henley this is the effective marketing content extravaganza and if you’re new here, you won’t know that I am on a mission to give you everything you need to be successful in your business, providing of course, the what you need to be successful in your business is to know more about sales and marketing, and be motivated to implement sales and marketing more effectively in your business. Of course, that’s what you need to know, to be more successful in your business. Of course, that’s what you need.

Martin Henley 0:45
What we do here is we review the very best and the very worst of marketing content on the internet. We bring you the marketing news, there will be marketing reviews coming up, and I’m pulling in anyone I can find with knowledge and experience that will be valuable to you if you are looking to be more successful in your business. You can support us in this endeavour, simply by watching the video through, liking, sharing, commenting, maybe even implementing some of the stuff that you hear and being more successful and talking about that in the comments, that would keep us motivated, that will drive us on.

Martin Henley 1:19
Today is talk marketing. So we have a guest for you. Today’s guests spent the first four years of his working life as a professional photographer, starting in 2006. So he’s not actually very old, I don’t think today’s guest. Since then he has taught media and founded a couple of agencies. He is currently co-host of Nine Others a roundtable event in Manchester. He is founder of Digi Cluster, which is Hertfordshire’s leading digital network and chair of the Manchester division of the British Interactive Media Association. He is also CEO and Co-founder of JB Cole, a people first digital consultancy providing digital strategy, product design and support for organisations to become more profitable, efficient and effective. They have provided those services for institutions that you might be aware of, including the NHS, ITV Studios, and I’m not sure if it’s Weinberger or Wienerberger. He was introduced to us by Matt Daley, who convinced him to talk to us over a beer and describes him as his top contact in Manchester. Today’s guest is Josh Bolland.

Martin Henley 2:35
Hello, good afternoon, Josh. You’re very welcome.

Josh Bolland 2:39
That’s a that’s a very, that’s a better introduction than I think I’ve ever given myself. So I really appreciate the research that’s gone into that

Martin Henley 2:49
you are very welcome. I could photograph these three pages and send them to you if you’d like if you need an introduction for yourself. You know what I really think this introduction thing I really dig like really setting people up for a cold chat. And then I really think having the culture

Josh Bolland 3:06
like you you’ve set the bar now and I can only go lower than that, you know,

Martin Henley 3:11
we can go higher.

Josh Bolland 3:14
We will rarely joke and it’s it’s an interesting one, isn’t it to sort of recap your whole career in a very short, succinct introduction, but I like

Martin Henley 3:31
you are very welcome. But to quote my auntie Teresa, doesn’t matter how old I’ve got. She will only ever tell me but you’re still just a baby. Do you know? I mean? Because I don’t know. She must be 2025 years old me. So I’ll always be a baby. So that’s always been encouraging. It’s like there’s always a long way to go. But I guess since that you probably are just a baby still. How old are you? I’m 32 You’re just a baby, bro.

Josh Bolland 3:56
Yeah, I think in the grand scheme of life, I definitely am. And yeah, we started the business when I was 1617. Really? So yeah, so it’s been a I’ve only ever really done this. It’s kind of all I ever know. Really. So.

Martin Henley 4:14
Yes. Well, you’ve run this business since you were 20. So this really is all you’ve ever known so and I think that’s really cool. I didn’t start I didn’t start my business till I was 34 I to work for I’ll be honest with you ourselves. For the first 10 years of my career avoided that entirely. So I think that’s cool. You Josh are a bit of a networker aren’t you with this this nine others thing sounds really cool. The the best what is it the best or the leading digital network in was at Hartfordshire and the Manchester division of the British Centre for active Media Association. This is interesting because you’re clearly a digital guy, but you’re clearly a people person because you You are out there having these conversations with people?

Josh Bolland 5:03
Yeah. It’s interesting. Actually, you sort of you mentioned that because I think that’s really something that I’ve noticed again, a lot more recently, especially off the back of the dreaded sort of C word around COVID. And all the rest of it is we not been face to face with people impacted me more than I’d ever imagined. I actually am a very people orientated person, and always have been really. So while I’m in digital, and we’re always focused on tech and solutions around digital, and digital products, and the rest of it. Being with people and kind of being a part of a community has always been a really key thing for us. So yeah, it’s an interesting observation, actually, I’ve never really thought of it like that. But we do a huge amount and have always done a huge amount in real life.

Martin Henley 5:58
Yes. And maybe it’s my, the way I see it, because it’s the way I kind of see the world, I really quite worried about the digitalization that’s going on. Because I think very often and mistakenly, it’s happening at the expense of people. And I would be much happier if digital were happening for the benefit of people. I could give you my biggest bugbear if you like but you you tell me what you think about that.

Josh Bolland 6:27
I think you’re right. I mean, I think there’s a demographic thing as well, I think, especially going down into sort of younger tiers of Gen Zed, and, and however the labelling is, is now but I do think there’s a shift. And especially, you know, social media being a big driver of that, not that we really work in that space, but seeing it just in the real world. Being a driver of really kind of getting people into this virtual world, that they can’t operate as efficiently or as well outside of is quite worrying where people are almost living their entire lives through digital, which is cool, you know, and it’s great. And it’s it’s brilliant, because it pioneering and innovative and all the rest of it. But actually, I agree with you, I think it’s quite a worrying, it’s quite a scary thought. And I always liken it to the film, Wally, if you’ve ever seen that, I always kind of think that’s quite a good sort of reflection of where we might be headed, which is people just glued to screens, no one’s doing anything for themselves anymore. And, you know, we’ve destroyed the planet. And the rest of it, you know, it’s kind of all signs lead to all right.

Martin Henley 7:40
What’s the movie called Walling,

Josh Bolland 7:42
Wally, Wally?

Martin Henley 7:45
With the little robot, exactly that yeah, I’ve seen about 45 seconds of that about eight times. I’ve just thought this is gonna be really boring. So maybe I should, I should give it another go.

Josh Bolland 7:56
You know, it’s good. It’s a it’s a kid’s film. And you know, I probably only ever watched it because of my kids. But it is. There is a moral to it, where you kind of go actually, yeah, that’s probably quite an accurate reflection of life.

Martin Henley 8:09
I think this every time I use a tap, you know, there’s those taps so you don’t have to turn the tap. You just put your hand underneath it.

Josh Bolland 8:17
I think ultimately, yeah,

Martin Henley 8:20
I think like people are going to be in trouble. If, if like we enter into like some sort of wasteland where people have to fend for themselves, where they’re not even capable of turning on a tap. It’s like, how are they going to dig a 300 foot? Well, if they can’t turn on a tap, you know, that’s kind of how I feel. But here’s a bugbear. Well, sorry.

Josh Bolland 8:41
I don’t know if this might be a slight lag. So I’m not sure so if I interrupt you, I do apologise. I want to talk.

Martin Henley 8:47
That’s okay. I think there might be a slight lag. Here’s my bugbear McDonald’s. I eat McDonald’s breakfast. I don’t mind telling you at least once a week I will go for McDonald’s breakfast. Some bright spark at McDonald’s Breakfast has decided it’d be a good idea to digitise the the order taker in the order taking in McDonald’s. So now you go in and there’s there’s these big screens and you can order your own meals. It’s a disaster. You know why it’s a disaster is because I like people. And I like the idea that if I am going to poison myself with McDonald’s, at least somebody’s making some money and it’s contributing to their household. You know, I mean, that’s what I like. But clearly McDonald’s take on this is if they replaced these people with the screens, then, you know, higher profits for them. Brilliant. The issue is these these machines.

Martin Henley 9:36
Well, the issue is what used to happen is used to queue and then you talk to someone who’s been trying to take your order, who knows the menu who knows to do the things. I’ve never been trained. So of course I’m not as efficient with it. Now the other thing that was going on is that when I was queuing, I’d be looking at the menu and chatting to the people around me about what we were going to have. So when we got to the front of the queue, we would know now there’s no menu that lit people are literally browsing it every category of every meal on this thing to try and work out what it is. So clearly, it’s not going to be anything like as efficient. So they’ve taken down, they’ve reduced their ability to take orders. And the things need maintaining, so they run out of receipt tape or they run out of, or they just don’t work or whatever. It enrages me. Now, it might just be because I hate going there to eat breakfast anyway. But I love the breakfast. And it ranges me that these machines are there. And then when they don’t work, I make a point of telling the people this machine’s taken your chopped, you know, I mean, it’s like, yeah,

Josh Bolland 10:30
so probably why they weren’t, they were going out there every day with a hammer and just smashing the bottom of it. So you don’t see it, you know, just to maintain work. But I’m kind of I’m kind of, I’m kind of in two minds on it. Because I love the innovation. And I think touchscreens are a great thing for, like, really efficient, like really efficient processes. I think they’re great for it. But you’re absolutely right. The problem with it is, it has to be super intuitive. Because most people even I’m pretty tech savvy, and even those screens at point, I’m like, what category is that thing going to be, and then you just they’re going, it’s going to be an hour. So I’ll have a look through that. I know it’s not in that as it is. And then I just don’t think that’s the way you, I don’t think it’s intuitive enough for it to be a really efficient process. But I do think at some point, if they iron out those kinks, and they do some more usability, testing all the rest of it, it could be a really efficient process. And over time people become more accustomed to it. But I do think you’re right in the sense of the people part. And this is why as a business, even though we’re digitally focused, we always call ourselves people. People First, I forgot, we call ourselves that.

Martin Henley 11:43
Man if you need a guy.

Josh Bolland 11:46
So the reason being is because of that, we want technology to be great, but we want we don’t want to remove people’s jobs. But our thing is never about removing people’s jobs. Our thing is about going that person over there, or those 20 people over there are doing 100 tasks that they shouldn’t be doing. And they’re menial tasks that they’re repetitive, they don’t want to be doing them, they shouldn’t be doing them. They’re that, you know, they’re repeatable, and they’re Automate, you can automate them. And so if you put that in place, those 20 people become much more efficient, and more effective in their jobs and their job satisfaction increases and their ability to do the job and, you know, increases all the rest of it. So, for us, technology is an enabler for for greater things. It shouldn’t be a replacement of people, you know, now, you may argue, I suppose that technology, in some ways reduces the need to hire loads more people, which you’re probably right on. But we never would never implement something with a vision of reduction of people, because it has to be people focused, it has to be about the people that are using it. And it has to be about empowering people rather than, you know, removing them from the work from the sort of the supply chain process, I guess.

Martin Henley 12:55
100%. And the issue is the issue with that is what is that the technology departments, the IT departments, and the accounts departments, you know, the bean counters are driving these things. And it’s always about the, the intent is always about increasing profitability. And it’s not necessarily about and it’s very often at the expense of the customer experience, which is I know something as well. I would be much more bored. I don’t know when I fell out of love with technology, but I definitely did. You know, I was an Apple fanboy, I was waiting for the latest thing, buying the latest thing. I think the worm has turned a little bit. And I think people are much less excited about digital than they were previously like social media were the bastions of how to do great business. And now we’re seeing them for what they really are. I don’t know, it feels to me, like attitudes are changing. How do you feel?

Josh Bolland 13:54
Because we were forced, and I think maybe, and I don’t think it’s necessarily the only reason but I think, you know, if I speak to most, I think people are almost getting to the point where they go, I want to I want to Nokia 3210 Again, I don’t want to be on my phone and glued to it. I have that. I suffer from that where I’ll sit there, and the kids will go down and I’ll go Oh, do you know what I’m going to do. I’m just going to watch a programme or I’m going to read a book or listen to music or do something. And then I get my phone out and I’m like three hours later. I’m like, Ah, I haven’t done any of the things I meant to do. Because I’ve just been aimlessly scrolling, social feed or immersed in this world and they’re great at getting that dopamine hit to go. This is what you want to see this is how you want to see it. So you’re hooked and it’s a real addiction. And I do think that part of it is really damaging for people to the point where people are getting to the place where they’re going, it’s too much for me and I can’t handle it anymore. So I need I need a digital detox and I need to be away from my screen.

Josh Bolland 14:53
And I need to be less on there because actually looking at Instagram all day is making me deeply unhappy or ticked off. hockey has ruined my life. Because all I can ever watch now is three minute clips, and I can’t watch anything more than that I’ve got no focus. And so it’s actually changing the way people think. And their mentality and mental health is very much impacted, I think, in a big way, by the abundance of social platforms and access to digital medium that we’ve got. Now, again, I think it’s fantastic that we’ve got those innovations, and I think they’re fantastic, you know, evolutions in terms of digital technologies, social communication, communities, all the rest of it, which I’m an advocate for, but it’s about the level of it. And the, that complete shift of how people interact with technology that I find is the challenge here. And, and yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know how that goes, really, I think we’re only probably going to get more and more immersed in it. And, and that might be the new way of the world, you know, but I do think for people that were especially pre technology, I was sort of on the cusp, I suppose of, of technology not being there in the way that it is now, but then going through it at an age where I adopted it really quickly.

Josh Bolland 16:18
To understand a bit about the both sides, you know, you look back and go, Yeah, we work here that would knock on a door and go and see a mate or get on our bikes and go to the park and do all those things. And it’s not to say that kids don’t do that. But they also interact in a much different way now. And, you know, there’s much more your, your school and home life were always reasonably separated. Whereas now it’s like, those same kids are probably talking almost all day. So when you’ve got things like bullying or you know, any teasing or anything going on with kids and all the rest of it genuinely that that part of it really concerns me, the absolute access that young people have continually to this sort of feed of information of peers, and it’s all fabricated, it’s to some degree, it’s none of it’s quite real. So it’s like living in this real, this sort of fake world. And no one really has a sense of what’s real or what not anymore. It’s very odd. And then they come in the real world. And it’s like, it just doesn’t it doesn’t match. So yeah, I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know how it goes. But there is there is a risk there there is there is a fear.

Martin Henley 17:24
Yeah. And the thing is, I think that, you know, instances like whilst we’re in the depths, like we’ll end there shortly, and we’ll talk about much more positive things. But instances of depression and anxiety and suicide are all up. And social media very often gets the blame. But I think it feels to me like the entire machine. Like I don’t think there’s an Illuminati. But there is like, there is like the machine functions do you know, I mean, like the whole societal, commerce, corporate, whatever it is machine works. And I think it’s, it’s worked out that people are better consumers if they are stressed or unhappy. And I think that social media is just the very sharp point of that, you know, because we’ve now got 24 hour news cycles. And it’s just apocalyptic news all day, every day, how could we not be stressed? You know, I mean, if you if you engage with it at all, so but I think social media gets the blame. But social media is, you know, insane the way I don’t know if it’s addictive, it’s certainly not a drug. But it’s certainly really compelling. And it’s, it stills the most valuable commodity that we’ve got, which is that time Do you know how many of you imagine how many days and like if you were to calculate, I wonder if anyone’s done it? The amount of time that the world’s population spends on social media every day and then divide it by like, the average lifetimes its lifetimes of being lost every day? Or maybe every minute? Who knows? That’d be an amazing, weird, some great

Josh Bolland 18:57
stuff to look at that. Really interesting.

Martin Henley 18:59
Yes. Let’s stop this now. Because it’s depressing. to depress people.

Josh Bolland 19:07
We need the optimism and enthusiasm.

Martin Henley 19:11
Yes, yes. Yes. Good. Okay. So let’s bring some order to this thing. You know, there’s only five questions. The five questions are firstly, how are you qualified to talk to us about digital transformation? Secondly, what Who do you work with? How do you add value to their lives? Thirdly, a recommendation for people who want to get better at digital transformation. Fourthly, what should people read or consume in the way of media that’s been helpful useful to you? And fifthly? I’m going to expect you to throw a couple of people under the bus and someone is well networked as you are isn’t going to struggle at all with that, I’m sure.

Josh Bolland 19:43
Sure. That sounds good to me.

Martin Henley 19:46
Excellent. Okay, question number one. How are you Josh Boland qualified to talk to us about digital transformation?

Unknown Speaker 19:52
That’s a very, very good question. And one that I do ask myself a lot. So I started my first business when we were when I was about 16 17. And it was photography, I got a very, very cheap camera, I just loved the idea of taking photos. For a group of friends used to be very heavily in music, some of them have gone on to be super successful. At the time, there were a lot of artists come into the area that we lived in, we were on this sort of council estate in northwest London. So I use the medium that I had at the time and created their artworks and their graphics and all the rest of it, and started to see I got quite good at it. So I started to sell it to more people, they’d come into the music with those guys at their studios in their mom’s houses with microphones in the cupboard, literally, that type of thing.

Josh Bolland 20:48
Then they’d come and get the artwork done with me. And it was real, like, sort of like low grade, like production all around, but it was getting better. Like the music quality was actually really good. As I say, some of them have gone on to do mega things. And the photography, I got better camera, some start making a bit money, so I bought more equipment, and then kind of moved on to that. So everything started getting better and better. And at that point, I sort of went well, I can do this as a job, people are paying me for my time people obviously, like what I do. And so I moved into graphics and photography and videography, very, very quickly early on. So at that point, I was probably between 16 and 18 really like honing my skills in it.

Josh Bolland 21:34
Then by the time I got to 18 I went into, I was leaving sixth form. So I luckily got into sixth form, didn’t know how to scrape by was really expelled from high school a couple of times. And anyway, I stayed on the sixth floor. And it was the best thing I think that ever happened to me really, because I had quite a pivotal turning point in life. And at that point in time, I just immersed myself in photography, and I loved it, I had a great time socially made a lot of friends. We went out partying all the time and things was great, my passion really fell into photography. So it kind of like took me away from being anything to do with what my previous self was almost in a way and move completely into this new realm of digital and tech and photography and graphics and user experience. I just found myself really immersed in and loved that part of the journey and process.

Martin Henley 22:37
I got Can I just stop? Can I just stop you there for a second, because I think this is one of the most exciting and useful parts of digital is that if you want to be creative, that’s never been more accessible in the history of civilizations, you know, it’s like, you can sort yourself out with a camera with some editing, like the music is all available online for for, you know, pennies, the the editing softwares are all available, you know, this, for me is one of the huge pluses of digital is that if you want to be creative, you can do that. And even the means of distribution like YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, whatever they are, like, so you can create, and you can distribute in a way that you’ve never been able to in the history of people before. And I think as much as of digitalization is goes on, there will always be a requirement for people to do that creative bit, you know, I mean, I don’t think they’re going to come up with computer programmes in our lifetimes that will be as interesting or engaging or be able to entertain people in that way.

Unknown Speaker 23:54
No, I think you’re absolutely right. And I think at that time, at that point in time, it was actually almost the convergence of it. Also, at that time, it was like we were still on dial up and broadband wasn’t quite there, broadband was just being introduced properly to, you know, to house and things. And I think that was the absolute turning point there. When people could download things quickly. They could download software, you know, which was like, I guess, hundreds of megabytes of data, you can actually download software quite easily and readily available to you. As you’re exactly right. The barrier to entry just started slimming down completely. And people were able to take advantage of this, of the cost of things and the accessibility and all of that. So, so you’re absolutely right, I find it fascinating now how far it’s gone the other way, which is like you can now do anything you want basically because you’ve got abundance of information, which is which is also brilliant. And so I think to sort of circle up on that point.

Josh Bolland 24:48
So in terms of where I was in my career, sorry, career wasn’t really a career at that point, but I was working for myself and had been a photographer for a while I started doing events and weddings and corporate headshots. Send all that sort of stuff. And it was all very, like, I’m gonna make loads of money out of it. And it did. Alright, you know, we did do pretty well actually, as an independent person who was probably like 18 years old, it was a lot more money than any one I knew was earning at a time and all the rest of it. And it was something that I love doing. So the passion for me was like, why would I ever get a real job, this is what I love doing. So I just, I just taught myself and that’s kind of, again, where that barrier to entry part comes in. I loved learning, I picked up the books, I picked up everything on the line that I could find and all the rest of it. And I taught myself. And when I was leaving sick form, they invited me back to train all the staff at the school, which was a really weird thing, because again, I didn’t, I didn’t particularly likely before I went to City Hall, I kind of had a bit of a turning point.

Josh Bolland 25:44
But I remember walking into the staff room on day one. And there were teachers in there that that that really had an infamy still two years on from from leaving high school. And they were like, What are you doing in the staff room, and I’m like, Oh, I work here now. And they’re like, you serious, you work here, you know, it was kind of one of those moments where people were like, Oh, my God, what’s going on. And so from that point, I really sort of started doing a lot of teaching and tutoring. And so by being in it, and then But then started teaching it. And so then that becomes much more of a thing that you start understanding the almost the kind of theory behind it and all the rest of it, it’s not just a thing that you do now anymore, because you love you start actually learning about it, and the depth and breadth of it and all the rest of it. And so at that point, that’s probably where then it sprung me forward in the, in the business, and really pushed me to go, you know what, I’m going to do this properly now. And I’m going to an Open a photo studio at the time.

Josh Bolland 26:46
And then, you know, everything I did from that point was creatively focused. Graphic design was a huge part of that process. At the time, there was lots of things around MySpace at the time as well, which was an online sort of music platform. So huge amounts of like customising of HTML and designing using photography, then getting into video mediums, then I went to do a feature film in Ireland for a couple of months. And you know, so all these things sort of started to spring on from there. So my whole like digital training, I guess, started at that point, probably like 18, onwards, properly. And then, and then over the last sort of 12 years from 2020, to 2010. So we, me and my brother, Ollie joined forces. And he brought a real lot sort of technical, very deep technology, understanding he’s super bright, super intelligent guy. And he bought this like depth of technology focus. And I bought this real strong understanding of visual creative, how things should work and all the rest of it. And the convergence of the two was just a really well joined up coupling, I think.

Josh Bolland 27:58
From that point, everything just went from there, really, so you know, all the technology, and then come in and sell the vision and what things should do and how to solve the problem. And then Hollywood kind of figure out actually how it gets delivered. So we’d go into consult in London with big organisations, I don’t even know how he got the gigs. But we did. And we’d start consulting with pretty large organisations on how to reverse engineer technology, or improve user experience and all the rest of it. So then we were just in it day in, day out. And, and that’s kind of I guess, why over the last 12 years, I’ve become, you know, someone who can talk probably quite confidently about digital transformation, because I’ve now been in it for the last 12 years and seen every different type of business, massive organisations down to small independence, huge logistics operations, warehousing, finance companies, startups, technology, businesses, manufacturers, you know, supply chain everything in between.

Josh Bolland 29:04
I’ve worked with them all. And I’ve seen all the complexities of their businesses, and I understand the challenges and I understand the pain point. And how wide reaching that is. So it’s just been a real kind of in depth learning and evolutionary process from that point, when we started venturing into that world. So, so yeah, that’s why we do what we do today. Really, so sorry, a bit of a roundabout point on it, but it’s quite important to understand I think why we got into what we did, I guess.

Martin Henley 29:32
Yeah, it’s cool. I mean, it is you’re right, it’s these last 12 years. So when all of this has happened, and if you have been dealing with these, these the scale of organisations like ITV Studios and the NHS, I mean, I think that qualifies you. And is it something like 500 digital transformation product projects? You’ve been involved in that I read that?

Josh Bolland 29:58
Yeah, absolutely. It’s probably between Five and 600 at least I’d say, it’s probably a bit of an average waiting over the last 12 years of things that you’ve worked on throughout the year. But yeah, we’ve we’ve worked on, you know, websites being a thing that we’ve done for probably from inception. But you know, consultant consultations and consultancy work and Stripe and digital strategy work with very, very large organisations, billion dollar organisations. And plus, and all the way down to sort of like startups 10 million to 50 million type businesses, you know, and just being in in the, in the depth and breadth of the mall, and working through all their pain points and challenges with them. And what you see with that is that, no matter the scale and size, everyone has similar problems and similar challenges. And you can solve them in similar ways with technology. They’re just the scale of them is just always a bit different, you know, but actually, problems are all quite similar.

Martin Henley 31:00
Cool, what am I thinking now? Um, I was thinking there was definitely something I was thinking, before we moved on. I know what it was. Do you want the good news? Yes. I think you’re qualified to talk to us about digital transformation. Awesome. It’s always good when we get here. So one day, I’m gonna get to this point, and I’m gonna have to tell somebody like you’re not qualified. I’m sorry, this happened yet? Okay, cool. And that’s cool.

Martin Henley 31:25
Because that takes us into question number two, which is kind of Who do you work with, we’ve got a sense of who you work with and how you add value to their lives. How does that work? Maybe you can give us a couple of for instances about the way things work.

Josh Bolland 31:39
Sure. So it really depends on where we start in the process. But what we like to try and do is sit with sort of stakeholders of organisation, so whether if that’s a big organisation, it tend to be maybe a product owner or an operations director or an IT type person who has a challenge operationally or from a consumer perspective that needs to be solved, they might not really understand how to unpick that we’d go in and sit with them to unearth all the challenges and pain points they’ve got. And then we present a solution back to them to indicate this is how we’d solved that problem. So the types of people are usually quite similar the types of businesses that we do that for, as I say, I’ve probably mentioned a couple of the sort of types of businesses but, you know, we have worked with the likes of the NHS, where we go in and kind of solve some, we’ve built applications that solve specific, very, very specific challenges within their organisations. And you create these applications to solve them. So we did one in St. George’s trust in London, that was for hand surgeons really specific, but it was an application that served a very, very specific purpose for hand surgeon. So you learn a lot about hand surgery and the process and you know, how things need to be handled securely, and confidentially, and all the rest of it right. So you, you really build a picture around the business every time you go into one of these places, or we’ve gone into a pretty large manufacturer.

Martin Henley 33:09
Was that pun intentional?

Josh Bolland 33:11
What’s that? Sorry,

Martin Henley 33:12
you’re talking about hand surgery, and then you’re talking about how things have to be handled very sensitively.

Unknown Speaker 33:17
I’ve missed that one. But you know, I’m always, always up for a penalty. So I’ll see if I can, if I can slide a couple more in there as we go. So, you know, we’ve done work with manufacturer at large manufacturers, one logistics into kind of a goods in and out type business, but they’ve run big projects and things in the luxury market. And we’ve built sort of end to end business management solutions that literally manage from the start of the sales process, where the customer, and these are pretty substantial customers, all the way through to the delivery of the goods out of the door of the warehouse, we’ve created the entire sort of digital infrastructure for that and all of the technology that sits in that, that’s years of like set, sitting with a team and understanding their challenges and how they need to improve that workflow or all of those things.

Josh Bolland 34:08
So there’s a huge amount of collaboration that needs to go into these things. And then, you know, we’ve worked with manufacturers where we’ve not done any of the implementation of the technology. We’ve just been in there as consultants and strategists where we’ve, you know, they’ve, they’ve got a growth ambition, they’re going from x million to y million over the next five years. And they’ve got this journey they need to go on and they’re going, everything’s paper based, nothing’s digitalized. It’s like the most inefficient process or everything’s in an Excel document, and it’s just not very well managed. So we’d go in, and unpick all of that with all the different departments and all the different team heads and directors and senior stakeholders and all the rest of it. And we’d unpick all that and then create a findings document, very detailed findings document, usually 100 pages plus long and then we’d outline a full roadmap of chain Engine all the rest of it.

Josh Bolland 35:01
So then we implement that. And in that in one of those scenarios, for example, we might not touch any of the technology, we just be there to support and guide them through it because they don’t have a CTO in house or they don’t have a IT director, for example. So we’ve worked with them to introduce that. And then in other tokens with, do all of that, and then we’ll implement the technology as well. So that’s what our team now delivers. We’ve got a team of 20 plus people in Manchester, who are just specialists, sort of design developers of complex builds and websites and things. So yeah, so a real mix, but fatter, honestly, fascinating stuff, like, genuinely fascinating. Yeah, and at the moment, we’re trying to move more into now we’re trying to move away more into sort of connected, like not even necessarily just connected homes, but more immersive technologies that actually reach into the real world. So, you know, using sensors, and tracking and all the like real world tracking and all the rest of it, that we can create digital environments that allow people to interact with the environment more around them. So whether it be in wayfinding solutions, or things around the home, automating things in the home, but you know, those type of things. That’s the type of innovative tech that we’re trying to move more into, because it’s so interesting. And there’s so much scope for it now.

Martin Henley 36:23
Yeah. Okay, so a couple of things. I think the first thing is, I’m interested to know, I think you’ve given us the answer already. But I’m interested for you to elaborate on the difference between digital transformation and digital marketing. So people might think a website is a feature of digital marketing, a lot of what you’re talking about is around websites, you started building websites. What What’s that distinction? How do you distinguish those two things?

Unknown Speaker 36:53
It’s a, it’s a, it’s a very good question, and one that we get asked quite a lot, because people don’t really understand the difference, right. And so we kind of always acquaint ourselves is not a marketing agency. We’re not a marketing agency. But we we work with a lot of marketing agencies, if that makes sense. So a website is obviously a marketing tool that will enable marketers to send traffic convert visitors, and then put them into their lead funnels and do everything else in between. So you know, which we do, we build those websites. But because we can do the design and build of the title of the technical part of the website, great user experience, beautifully designed, we’ve got fantastic designers in house. So we can work with those marketing teams to build them.

Josh Bolland 37:40
Because actually, websites are quite complex. In today’s world, people might not believe that websites are really complex things, because there’s so many ways of building them really quickly, and using template builders and all the rest of it. But to build properly scalable, you know, enterprise grade websites, like they are really complicated. They take a lot of man hours and, and time and things right. So we get involved in them, because we know how to deliver them really, really well. So we look at things like performance, security, you know, and all the rest and user experience usability. So we touch on things that maybe marketers don’t really look at, it’s not the most exciting part of the process, or the most relevant to the marketing, sort of funnel. But we’ll focus on all of those in depth, nitty gritty sort of technically focused parts, as well. So that’s why we’ve always got good relationships and marketers, because we’ll blend in really well into that, that process.

Josh Bolland 38:36
But my digital transformation in itself, and building digital products and technologies, obviously differs from marketing, because we’re usually providing a resource for people who are already engaged, for example, not always, but mostly. So you’ve already got staff, therefore we’re creating staff, Port extra intranet, or staff portals that that will allow their teams to be more effective. Or we’re creating a customer portal that will allow customers to self serve and provide a much better customer experience for people to access documentation or their reports on things or download information or see their billing status is and all that type of thing. Or buy new services, right. So those interactions usually happen much later in the marketing funnel, which is where we build technology, you know, around it for existing customers or staff or companies. So it blends in slightly. But we then wouldn’t do PPC or you know, any of the online advertising or any sort of offline marketing or brand or all those things. We are very much design and build off the websites and the website technology.

Martin Henley 39:56
Cool. And yeah, so like marketing is a fun Even though it’s been digitised accounts could be digitised customer service could be digitised, like. So digital transformation is, is what happens across the business. But it’s interesting to me because I think that most of what goes on in a business’s marketing, sales and marketing and it’s the business of having customers profitably. So anything that improves the customer experience or, or product development. These are all definitely marketing sales and marketing type things for me. So I think it’s interesting like that. And then the other question I had, because I definitely had two questions is okay, the difference between digital transformation and digital marketing? And the other question was, it’s gone on my head completely. It has gone out, Mike, this is the first time this has ever happened, man. So So are we really on Question Three already, then? We’re going fast one, we, maybe we

Josh Bolland 41:02
or I just talked way too much.

Martin Henley 41:05
Way too much. We’re ahead of time. And we’re definitely ahead of time. I definitely had another question. Digitalization,

Josh Bolland 41:12
You make a good point. You make a really interesting point, you’re right. I almost take back slightly on what I’ve said there, because you’re absolutely right. The things we’re doing are not necessarily outside of what marketing or sales are, they are enablers to improve the process of delivery, usually they’re operationally improving the delivery of a client of our client to their customer or their clients, for example, right. So that always will tie in, in some way to improving sales through customer experience, as you say, or improving efficiencies, therefore, because we do also do, you know, we do also tie into marketing, where we do marketing operation stuff, right. So your systems might all for example, you might have a whole marketing stack of products that you use, right?

Josh Bolland 42:03
So you’ve got your CRM, you’ve got your email clients that’s doing your newsletters, you’ve got your lead forms, you’ve got your data, you’ve got all of those components within the marketing stack, but then you go in and you can’t report on them very clearly, or none of them really connect in the right way, because I’m using 15 different products and blah, blah, blah. That’s a thing that we see time and time again. What tends to happen is people then use things like Zapier, right and then they do these automated connections between different systems but they’re pretty crap. Normally, you know, like, Zapier doesn’t really work very well, for most things, apart from the direct things out the box.

Josh Bolland 42:42
Yeah. So we’ll then create almost like automated marketing stacks, that allow the marketeers to be really efficient and really effective, and get the single version of the truth reporting at the end of it, and all the rest of it. And we’ve done that for massive, you know, three, three $4 billion client, where we’ve worked with core marketing teams who they’ve got 15 different people working within an organisation who are working within the marketing team, who are delivering great results, but they’ve got no way of seeing that whole customer lifecycle properly, they’ve got no way of reporting on how each other you know, how each other are performing. And they’ve got no real understanding of the workflow from that what you know, from when a person comes into when a person converts properly, or their full lifecycle. So implementing technology like that enables marketing to be really effective.

Josh Bolland 43:36
So what we tend to do, and I saw a really nice term about this the other day, and I thought, actually, that’s how we should probably position ourselves a bit more, because to make it a bit clearer, actually, what digital transformation for us is, it’s digital operations. So it’s improving operational effectiveness through all of those different channels, as you said, finance, sales, marketing, operations, you know, all of those channels within all sort of pillars within an organisation have some sort of technology operation that goes on where we come in is improving, that doesn’t matter which part of it it is, we can improve it, probably. I’d probably put my hat down and we could improve it. So you know, that’s kind of where we then come into the mix on it. So you’re absolutely right. And I sort of positioned it slightly incorrectly. I think so yeah. I think you’re, you’re spot on there.

Martin Henley 44:28
Okay, cool. So the other thing is this thing about websites, and the thing is websites were initially marketing tools. But websites have become hugely functional, like process. Drivers. Do you know what I mean? That’s like websites now are very often the core of people’s businesses. Yeah. And that’s about and that’s about streamlining. That’s about streamlining the process of onboarding customers we talked about now it’s you know, I mean, but actually accepting customers and delivering Making sure they get their invoices or their whatever is, you know, that’s, that’s what’s that about? I’m interested in this idea of digital product ideation, like what is a digital product look like? And the second thing about that, I could ask you afterwards or if you want to answer that, or I can ask you now, I’ll ask you afterwards, what are the digital products look like that you are working with customers to create?

Unknown Speaker 45:23
Sure, so for us a digital product. So we look at three kind of things, websites, digital products, and custom software. And digital products in that mix usually are a bit of a sort of self service type is usually an application of some sort, whether that’s a mobile application, or a desktop application, or a tablet application, that would enable people to self serve within the confines of that application. So it might be a customer portal that enables customers with an insurance company to review all of their documentation in one place, see when things are up for a new or add new services in and just kind of be, you know, be self serving their insurance premiums and the rest of it in this portal, right. So that’s kind of what we’d call with coin as a digital product.

Josh Bolland 46:17
It’s something that’s a bit more closed box that enables people to interface with it. Now, behind the scenes we might create. We’ve created another platform, which is a digital product, for example, for a consultancy, and the consultancy themselves use this tool, this product to manage very, very large consultancy projects with humongous organisations, right. So enterprise businesses, they need to prioritise you know, where they’re going as a business their direction, but then breaking that down into jobs to be done. So tasks that need to be achieved. How do you prioritise that as a board of maybe, you know, 200 people, right. So the idea of this platform is taking all of that information, amalgamated, amalgamating it into a consultative approach, asking questions about it with all of the stakeholders and then producing an automated result or prioritisation based on the sort of process you’ve taken people through, right. So it allows people to understand actual priorities rather than what people believe priorities, the priorities are.

Josh Bolland 47:31
So for a massive organisation, it shows the huge impact points, which are critical items that need to be addressed. So that is a product that would exist, potentially, in spreadsheets. For example, in this, there was a consulting style and an algorithm that’s been refined over, say, 15 years by one of the consultant, they’re doing that process already, what we’ve done is we’ve converted it into a product that allows them to do it and use it, but then also, they can spin that then other people can use it as well as their own product. So you know, they can access it more like a kind of software as a service. But without the kind of instantaneous freemium type model, it’s more of a business tool, that one. But yeah, so it’s a product that will enable people to do things within a kind of locked box environment, that’s a bit more advanced than a website.

Josh Bolland 48:21
Now, a website might be, we might call in like a marketplace, like an actual marketplace, we build some quite complex marketplaces for businesses in very specific sectors, to allow their customers to interact with each other. So you’re creating an environment that, you know, for example, one of them is designers and buyers or design can interact together, and they can buy and put agreements in place and, you know, generate, create invoices through the rest of it. So in some ways, that’s kind of a digital product, but it lives on a web environment, it’s just a website, really, but with this complex back end, so we might call that like a complex website, rather than a digital product, because it sort of falls within it, but it’s not quite. So it’s a bit of a it’s a bit of a grey area in terms of what ends up being an actual product. But usually, it’s an application of some sort.

Martin Henley 49:17
Brilliant, okay, cool. That makes a lot of sense. And then, so, okay, I think, okay, you provide them with the product, they distribute it to their channel or their network or whatever, to make it easy for people to do business with them. Okay, so the connected question then is product ideation of your product. Because if what you’re saying is correct, and you’ve got a better way of connecting the different elements of the marketing stack as you put it. I don’t talk about stacks on my shoulder school than that. But they exist, so So that’s cool. That sounds really compelling to me, because you’re right Zapier doesn’t quite do it. The reporting is never quite as good as you want. There’s, and if that product was available, then I’d be interested to know about that, you know, so are you thinking about productizing? Your offerings? Are you productizing, your offerings? Where are you on that kind of mission,

Unknown Speaker 50:15
we, what we’re doing now is we’re more productizing the services that we offer. So because we see, but it’s hard, because every business that we go into is so different. So it’s, in some ways, almost impossible to completely productize the whole, a whole suite of products, if that makes sense. But we are productizing part of our services. So for example, we can going forward, we can create products faster, that get to market quicker, that use components that we’ve already pre built previously. So the idea is that you create a custom product, but you create it or a custom piece of software, or custom product, digital product. But we’re using the products that we’ve already created to then enhance those products and get them to market faster. So we have toyed with the idea of and we are still in the process of reviewing which products that we have created, in general, would be relevant to a wider market, and would be something that you could take to market.

Josh Bolland 51:21
You know, for example marketplaces, we see as being something that is quite sector agnostic, what you’re doing as you’re creating communities, and we’ve already done one ourselves, but you’re creating communities effectively. Again, there you go community really important to us. But by creating community marketplaces, and that’s a that is a product that we have created. And we are creating very bespoke versions of for independent sectors. But in theory, that’s the type of thing that we could productize and take to almost any sector that needs to create their own community of people who self serve and transact between each other. Right. So we created a spin off version of it once called Metro fire, which was our own platform. And enable mentors to connect with Mentees online, and then book in times to speak to each other, have video calls through platform much like we’re doing now. And then you can record all the rest of it. But it all happened in this platform. And then it’s saved into a library. And so over time, you’d build up this sort of mentoring library of information from very, very experienced mentors over time. And you’d pay for their time more like coaches, but you’re paying for their time on like a minute by minute basis. So you buy it, like blocks of 15 minutes, for example.

Josh Bolland 52:48
So if I wanted to speak to the CEO of this big company over here about how to grow a business, because he’s grown a business from zero to 100 million, I can buy half an hour of his time, or her time and speak to them about the challenges that I’ve got within half an hour and see if I can problem solve some of those things. Now, we built that we built the whole marketplace. And that was effectively our own platform, our own product, which I think in some ways now is still very relevant. But the problem is to be a bespoke service provider like we are, and produce a product at the same time, really difficult to split, you know, unless you’ve got investments and grow that product. But otherwise, just you’re basically using the resource that we get paid to create stuff at cost to build our own internal product. It’s hard to then prioritise that overpaying work if that makes sense. Because you’re because we’re a service provider, they you know, more so than a just a product provider. We do a service to get them to the end product.

Martin Henley 53:55
Yes. But the thing is, it sounds to me like you’re building up a library of components like that you can reuse them on the different products, different projects. So it comes together quickly. You know, I’m just wondering if I’m ever gonna get an email that says JB Cole now produce this marketing management system and you can buy it for 5099 a month. Do you know I mean, it’s like,

Josh Bolland 54:17
yeah, it’s on our roadmap. Definitely. It’s just, it’s just specifically what that is, is kind of not identified yet.

Martin Henley 54:26
Okay, are you ready for more good news? Yes, you’re just by this man. There’s plenty of plenty of time for you to do this plenty of time.

Unknown Speaker 54:34
Very true. How old’s Ali now? That’s a good question. Ali’s 36 Is is that no, no, no, no. 37 38 Maybe, oh, he’s six years older than me. So I’m sure he’s that. Yeah.

Martin Henley 54:46
Oh, no, he’s passed him and you need to think about replacing

Josh Bolland 54:51
him to just over three weeks. So you guys 38 soon. Yeah,

Martin Henley 54:56
yeah, yeah, but you’ve got plenty of time, man, I think yeah, I mean, it sounds is amazing. It sounds amazing that, you know that there’s this narrative that permeates that. You know, you’re talking about the generations earlier generation X a useless generation. The millennials, what are you you’re a millennial or you’re a

Josh Bolland 55:15
fall into that camp. I’ve always tried to avoid the

Martin Henley 55:17
Yeah, because it’s junk. Yeah, because it’s absolute junk. I think it’s always gone on. But you know, I see some really impressive young people, yourselves included. Matt included, man, his brother doing amazing work. has gone Nathan Lyttleton. He started his business when he was 12. You know, and he’s in email marketing. I spoke to him here. So the thing is, there are like Mr. Beast, you know about Mr. Beast. He’s an amazing human being. And he’s in his early mid 20s. You know, so I use speaking to people gives me hope for the future. It really does one. Thank you for that.

Josh Bolland 55:54
No, I’m glad. Really glad to hear it. And I’m glad that I’ve got good news, you know, this, this this afternoon as well, because it’s, you don’t always have good news of the week. And it’s nice to end on a high, you know, at least that’s

Martin Henley 56:05
yeah. It really is. Welcome new to lots of good news. So I need to give you some vaccines. Yeah, you want me too. That’s the way it works. Okay, cool.

Martin Henley 56:15
So question number three. And this needs to be short, this needs to be like a minute or two minutes, so we can put it on TikTok. What’s your recommendation for people who want to want to do digital transformation or want to get better at digital transformation?

Josh Bolland 56:31
Great, great question. So I think for me, there’s lots of courses now that are available online. So things like Udemy are a fantastic resource to get access to really strong quality training, classroom classes and things like that. I think wherever you can, getting internships, apprenticeships, anything with technology, businesses, digital companies, etc, getting a foot in the door to at least be in the mix with them, I think is a really important part of the process. Now. I’m really just kind of honing your skills, there’s so many resources online, YouTube being a great one, obviously, tiktoks actually great for creators, as well of really interesting things. Instagrams, a brilliant source of, if you wade through the, the misinformation, it’s a brilliant source of, of places to get resources from. So I think just continually sort of learning and, and looking at things online, and just honing your passions and your skills, getting any experience you can have with a foot in the door with any types of organisations, and continually doing the sort of courses and things aligned. So you’ve got certifications, it just shows to employers and businesses going forward. How interested and committed, you genuinely are to sort of getting into that space.

Martin Henley 57:54
Super cool. And what about businesses who are looking at digital transformation or wanting to do digital transformation?

Josh Bolland 58:02
Yeah, I think it’s a, I guess that’s a challenging one in terms of where they start from what their starting position is. I think digital transformation potentially is an area that, you know, it already exists, and people are probably doing it in some way digital transformation crosses into quite a few strands. I know a lot of marketing agencies that might call ourself digital transformation agencies, because they focus on the technology and things like that. But I think anywhere that you can be involved in the technical process, it’s, you know, I think there’s things like Lean Six Sigma is a really interesting methodology to to look at. It’s it sort of breaks down the process of how to identify soul report on the challenges that businesses face. So I think any way that senior team or owners of businesses can access consultancy style courses, or training or certifications, is a really valuable foot in the door for digital digital transformation. Because it’s not always about the implementation. It’s actually about the unpicking and unpacking the problems, to be able to identify a potential solution to it. So there’s a quite a process you have to go through to almost be able to understand that most people can if they’re, you know, pretty senior in these types of businesses, but getting teams to go through those things really valuable, because problem solving isn’t always in everyone’s nature. And to be able to teach people how to problem solve better, is always going to put you in good stead for digital transformation projects.

Martin Henley 59:47
Excellent. Okay, then I’ve been looking at digital transformation for for the last couple of weeks. And I’ve read, I don’t know a dozen articles stating that somewhere between 80% and 97% of digitalize digital transformation projects fail. Yeah. Why do you imagine that? Is it do 97% of your projects fail? There’s a right and a wrong answer.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:11
No. Which is, which is, I guess why we’re still in business. But you know, but things do fail? Absolutely, they definitely do. And I think there’s a, there’s a number of reasons why one being, you know, lack of understanding of process. So, to embark on a digital transformation project, anyways, a massive thing is where you, like, you peel it back. And actually, digital transformation starts from the ground up, it’s significant, really. So you have to peel it really far back. And then you have to be able to solve problems across departmental, so you have to be able to identify things across a number of different departments that all impact, you know, on the business and their transformation process. So you are touching into finance, ops, sales, marketing, and everything else in between, right, so you’re looking at all the core pillars, you’re identifying pain points, you’re doing all those things, you need somebody internally as well to really champion it.

Josh Bolland 1:01:10
Because if you don’t have people that are on board, internally, you’re just met with resistance, and no one ever really wants to make change over time. So because people will, that’s not true, sorry, I’ll take that back. People are resistant to change, if they feel that the path of least resistance is doing the same thing they’ve always done. So unless you’ve got someone internally, within an organisation championing the transformation process, or the change process that you go through, as a business, it’s really difficult to get everyone bought into it. So therefore, people will slip back into old habits, people will slip back into ways of doing things that they shouldn’t, processes might not be completely, you know, trained in or documented correctly. So there’s that aspect of it, people not being on board with the change. And transformation is probably one of the key failings that we we’ve ever seen. And also just not understanding the you know, the technologies that are involved in it, or the processes that are involved in it, you know, there’s people process products that you need to look at, and you’ve got to get, you’ve got to get a good covering of all of you know, but there are so many areas that that could, that could fail, but I think not having by an internal is probably the critical one really

Martin Henley 1:02:30
typical, I think that as well. Okay, excellent. Question number four, what should people read? Is there something that you’ve read? Sorry, I was just freaking myself out then. Because my chiefs chair was like that. And I’m like, I thought there was a ghost behind me. It’s not, it’s my chair. So is there something that you’ve read, which has transformed your outlook on digital transformation? Or is there content that you recommend people should consume? You’ve already mentioned you to me YouTube’s a great resource, like what specifically are the good resources?

Josh Bolland 1:03:08
Sure. Yeah. So there’s a in our space in the in sort of agency land, I think one of the most interesting books is by there on our board, actually, the gods of cactus. But they’ve got a book called agency nomics, it’s, if you’re in digital and your digital business, have you heard of it, it’s one of the most. It’s like proper operational stuff for agencies and digital businesses. And I think it’s fascinating. And I think it’s well worth a read, especially anybody in agency land or technology. It’s one of the most, almost like, directive books that I’ve read. About, you know, not about every detail of your organisation and almost a blueprint to go at this point, you should be doing this and that and you go, well, actually, that is really accurate and incredibly hard hitting. That’s a fantastic book. And they’re a great resource, actually, cactus are, are really good bunch. And a great resource. I think, yeah, for me, where I get most of my sort of access to things is probably the part I was talking about earlier, which is why I find myself going into these TED talks are like some of the most interesting things I ever watch. I think, just watching TED, I could probably watch it for hours on it. If I had the time, which would be lovely. But Ted is a fantastic resource to find a lot of really interesting things around consultancy, technology, change, innovation, that type of thing. I think that’s a really good resource. Keep me in the forefront of some of this sort of change. YouTube, obviously, it’s like there’s an abundance of stuff, right? So you find good people on there. And you can just get into a rabbit hole of

Josh Bolland 1:04:55
things around that. And there are a few books off the top of my head. It’s kind of one of thinking,

Josh Bolland 1:05:00
I think I’ve drawn a bit of a blank on which books are great. But what I’ll do is I’ll send a couple of maybe you can link to them after this, because there are a few that I’ve got sat on my shelf, and I’m trying to think of the names of them off the top of my head, and I just can’t, but they’ve been really, really, really good books. But they’ve got kind of, yeah, quite random names that don’t spring to mind at the moment. So I’ll send some resources after.

Martin Henley 1:05:27
Okay, that’d be super cool. That’d be really cool as exactly what we’re going to do is we’re going to link to these resources. So if you if you can, you can and if you can’t, you can’t. That’s cool. Don’t worry, man. Excellent. We’re nearly at the end. I just want to check in at this point and and see how you have found this experience. How are you feeling about having appeared now on The Talk marketing show?

Josh Bolland 1:05:52
Thanks. Great. I’m really pleased to be here. I think it’s been. It’s been a very enjoyable discussion. I am. It’s always interesting kind of talking through journeys and what you do and actually how you solve problems and things because, yeah, I don’t think we probably ever do it enough, in some sense. And so it’s quite nice to talk about it feels it feels like therapy feels like therapy.

Martin Henley 1:06:17
That’s good. Maybe I’ll send you an invoice. That’d be cool. I think. I think the thing is, because this is what I do is I teach and I train and and the thing I always say to people is like this is your opportunity to think about your business, this is your opportunity to think about what goes on. And this is like a condensed concentrated version of that. Because, you know, you don’t get to talk out loud about what’s going on very often, I don’t think. No, you

Josh Bolland 1:06:47
don’t. And it’s interesting, because you ended up internalising a lot of it and it makes sense in your head, but actually to vocalise it. It’s interesting. So I’m talking about things and I’m going, I probably wouldn’t actually say it in that way normally, but because I’m going into the depth of stuff, it’s like, actually, how would I re articulate that in marketing, like in marketing speak, because I’m talking off the cuff, right? And I’m like, actually, I try. And I’ve always thought, I’m quite good at bridging the gap between explaining technology and understanding the complexities of technology. Now, if you get my brother to talk to the technology, he’ll talk about all the functions, and all the bits and bobs, and most of the time clients, unless they’re really technical client will go. I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. But it sounds really interesting, right? Sounds great. I believe you, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. I like to think that I’m always that sort of halfway house between the client going, we understand it enough that we don’t get all the technical details and the technical team going, here’s how we’ll deliver it. And I’ve always found I’m quite good bridge for that. But actually talking through things even with you today, I’m going probably haven’t articulated that in the best way. And there’s ways that I should talk about that better, that I think would allow me to articulate it a bit easier. So but it’s just my, I think it’s just my talk and style. I just like to I like to talk most

Martin Henley 1:08:06
I like to talk as well. And I like people. And the thing is I think about this is I was I was talking to a guy who’s a cybersecurity guy. And we came up with a brilliant marketing campaign for him. Because he said something not quite this. He said, Well, his mission is to make email. trustworthy, again, is what he was saying. So he’s developed a solution so I suggested they get hats with make email trustworthy again. And then it would be like meta as opposed to Magga. And I thought that would be brilliant marketing. He was he was he didn’t think it was that great, to be honest with you. Interesting, it’s cool to talk about things I

Josh Bolland 1:08:46
think it is. It’s great, isn’t it? I do think it’s, I think it’s quite therapeutic to actually talk a lot about things. I love talking. I honestly just going back to the point of community like the reason we do all those things is because I don’t just want to be someone behind it. I don’t want to see behind a screen now. You know, we’re location is not permitting us to have face to face. But you know, I am not a I’m not somebody who wants to be sat behind a screen doing the things that I do I really get kicked out of speaking to people and conversing. And I actually really enjoy the side that you’re on of light speed asking people quiet. I find it fascinating asking people questions and understanding more about them and just really picking into things about their, you know, their day to day and I just find it I find it really good. I find it really liberating. It was something that I realised very much so through COVID was just being around, just sorry, just not being around people, obviously around family but not being around other people. It affects me in more ways than I think than I ever thought it would maybe. And now I’m in the real world again and meeting up with people and For the last year or so, and I guess couple of years now, but like properly coming back to is properly coming back now I can feel it now people are coming to dinners again and lunches and events and you know, all of that you just get so much from it. There’s such a, you know, there’s such a strong kind of connection when you meet people face to face. It’s great. So I’m a real advocate for breaking down from off screen, and I’m really going to meet people in the real world. I think it’s great to build connections like that.

Martin Henley 1:10:30
Excellent. Okay, so you ready for the third piece of good news today?

Josh Bolland 1:10:37

Martin Henley 1:10:37
the third piece of good news is that if you have enjoyed this so much, you’re really not going to struggle to throw a couple of people under the bus for to have conversations like this with me. So who do you have in mind?

Josh Bolland 1:10:52
It’s a great question. It’s a very good question. Trying to think who would be who will be really up for it. Sales Marketing is a great guy, Tom Carter. Or Claire, its partners business partner. That’d be really good to talk to, they run an agency called serotonin. They’re very cool. You know, and they’re, they’re great conversationalist as well. And cash on the spot on the spot is actually really hard to think about people. Think, you know, like, we’ve just done a party list as well. I’ve got like, 100 people coming to our party next week. And I’m like, names, names of people. Yeah, I think that’d be I think one of those two would be fantastic, actually. Really good. I know a great guy called Max Hopkinson as well, actually, he’s one of he’s one of those people that I really, I mean, I really admire him in general, as a person and as a marketeer. He’s fantastic. He does some really awesome things. And he’s got a he’s got a foot and a stake in the marketing meetup, which is a pretty substantial community now as well himself. And he’s just a really interesting guy got so much about him, but also just a brilliant marketer. I think he’d be a great person as well, Max Hopkinson.

Martin Henley 1:12:21
Okay, super cool. So the way it works best is if you can drop us like a introduction on LinkedIn or email, wherever. And I will pick it up from there. Okay, just some more good news. Go for it. We got to the end when it’s over.

Josh Bolland 1:12:40
Awesome. That’s awesome. All right. So Seamus over, I was very much enjoying it. But yeah, it’s been really cool. It’s been really cool. And the good news is, I’ve loved every minute of it. I’m really, really appreciative of being on the podcast. So thank you very much for having me. And for, for Yeah, brilliant conversation.

Martin Henley 1:13:00
Fantastic. Thank you, man. So what we’ll do is we’ll say goodbye now for the benefit of anyone who gets this far into the video. And then we’ll stop recording and say goodbye, like normal human beings. Man, this has been such a cool conversation. Thank you so much. I think what you’ve managed to do, which is what I was hoping you do, I was kind of make that distinction really clearly between digital marketing what we’re doing, and digital transformation, but at the same time, convey how they’re connected. You know, I mean, like, I think digital marketers don’t need to pretend that they’re digital transformation companies, but they need to understand that it’s available and what it is, so I’m hoping this will be really interesting and useful for people, man, thank you so much for your generosity, and for your time.

Josh Bolland 1:13:46
No problem. Thanks for having me on the on the show. It’s been Yeah, it’s been really good.

Martin Henley 1:13:51
You’re very welcome.

Martin Henley

Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, enthusiasm and his own brand of audience participation. Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.



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