Martin joined BBI earlier this year, bringing with him a wealth of expertise in search and performance. But it's not just algorithms that get this guy going - we meet the man behind the spreadsheets...

1. Who are you and what is your role at BBI?

Martin Crutchley -  Head of Performance, I manage all BBI's digital acquisition channels including PPC, organic, content, paid-social and general search related goodness. Throw in a little forecasting for good measure and a sprinkle of old-fashioned data analysis and you'll get something resembling myself.

2. How did you get in to the digital industry?

By accident in all honesty. I drifted after university and just kind of fell into it. My dream was to work in advertising and due to the way our market has evolved has more or less been realised!

My first experience of digital marketing came through "mis"selling PPC. I lasted 2 weeks and walked out after discovering that really anyone could achieve "1st place" on Google by investing a few quid. Lesson learned.

My next role was with Latitude in Warrington. I joined at an interesting time in search and was lucky enough to experience the “good old days” of the industry where deep pockets were all it really took to perform. 

We didn’t have channel siloes back then and PR wasn’t really a focus for most agencies. We really had master multiple disciplines to succeed and the pace was always full-throttle. I have fond memories. 

PPC was ofcourse still in it’s infancy and with the industry still being relatively new undeveloped we had the opportunity to attain a broad skillset across multiple channels. I was extremely lucky to have excellent mentors in inviduals like SEO legend James Lowery and SASCon founder Richard Gregory to guide me.

Looking back I never expected digital to be a career but 9 years on and I’m still here!

3. What is it about search that has kept you interested all these years?

I’m less interested in search as a specific channel these days and much more into the broader marketing mix.

I feel we as an industry are moving away from the traditional “search” agency and into an era where brands expect a one-stop-shop in regards to content, PR, acquisition and creative. There's really no place for agencies who only offer pre-packed solutions to the complex challenges businesses are facing today.

This industry can be many things,; its chaotic, stressful, unpredictable and always challenging but above all it's fun and even in the most trying of times it always finds a way to make you smile.

4. What’s been your biggest learning since working at BBI?

It’s been fantastic to learn more about just how far behind traditional search is when it comes to developing and utilising the full marketing mix. I've really learned a lot about creative campaign planning and execution with plenty of insight into how much work goes into proper integrated PR campaigns.

5. Three favorite sites/blogs and why?

Just one I’m afraid. – because it’s the frontpage of the internet.

6. Interesting/unusual fact about yourself...

I’m really into mycology, paleontology, history and science; I’m pretty wild.

7. Any advice for aspiring search experts?

The word “experts” is a bit of a stretch but thanks! my advice would be to invest time learning to code; it’s going to be invaluable moving forward, especially in regards to AI (we all should fear the robot uprising!)

Also for new entrants into the market,  look to cultivate a commercial approach to everything you do. Don’t work in siloes and always say yes to learning new skills! even though they may not fall into your day-to-day responsibilities you can't call yourself a true marketer until you learn to appreciate every channel. 

8. Please draw an elephant


By Chris Jevons

Senior Paid Social Executive