In conversation with David Savage
This week I am joined in my blog by our very own David Savage, our Group technology Evangelist. I am sure you, like me are fascinated by David’s role and all the value he has brought to our Harvey Nash family. I have to say he has the coolest job title I have come across so far.
For those colleagues who don't know you well can you tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been in the Harvey Nash Group?
I’ve been in the group since September 2007, so definitely a legacy staff member now! I joined a year after graduating at the tender age of 22, working as a contract recruiter in the London technology recruitment team. During my career I’ve managed teams and a few different verticals with around 60 contractors of my own, before gradually spending more time creating content. Given I’m now 36, I feel like I’ve grown up here!
I’m from Newcastle, and grew up there until the age of 18, so I’m a Geordie through-and-through, don’t be fooled by my lack of accent! That means I’ve been sentenced to a life of passion for a chronically under-achieving football team. I love running and hiking. Roughly 10 years ago I walked about 75% of the Pennine Way; a goal is to go back and not just complete it, but run it. Aside from that I’m a huge geek with an extensive collection of science fiction books and a tragic love of terrible movies.
David, you have the title of Technology Evangelist. What does this involve? What does a typical day look for you?
The title is a little bit of an odd one, I’ll grant you that! Over the past few years there has been a move from technology businesses to have a spokes person for the business who can comment on industry news and ensure their brand is visible and credible. They literally evangelise the technology their organisation provides. Harvey Nash Group previously hasn’t focused on developing the brand. Our individual market brands have their own voice, but that’s lacking at the global, company level. My role is to create content, speak at events, and be visible. It’s to actively grow our ‘share of voice’ and position the Group as a credible, authentic source of expertise, which in turn creates opportunities for our market brands.
What have you been working on over the last 6 months and what has that done for the Harvey Nash Group businesses?
My day is a mixture of meetings to plan content, recording, editing, publishing, promoting. It’s ensuring we connect to key figures in our industry and include them in the conversation or ensure we’re part of that broader agenda. For example, last week I hosted around 10 sessions at ‘One Tech World’, a global women in technology conference ran by We Are The City. That has presented opportunities to connect with leaders from a range of organisations and the possibility of collaborating with them again and introducing them to the Group.
For the past 6 months it’s been about consolidating and expanding the Group’s route to market. Previously the Group website wasn’t giving anyone external a hook into our wider business. With the help of group marketing we’ve redesigned our ‘News Hub’ into a destination and home for all our insight and content. Tech Talks, which is over 6 years old and has a wealth of credibility and a mature audience, has been migrated to this page along with the launch of a new podcast that’s a mini-series (series 2 to land in the autumn). We’ve also launch ‘In Conversation With’; this is a video series with leaders from across the industry including NASA Williams F1, Lego, Molo Finance and Arrival. We know video will help promote the Group brand by association to these organisations. The first series did exactly that, growing our share of voice (the digital impact we make versus the competition) by 47%.
It’s all about giving people in our industry a reason to come to Harvey Nash, capturing that engagement through events and meetings, and helping grow relationships that lead to opportunity. Tangibly in the first quarter we created new business opportunities with 118118 Money and Vanguard Asset Management, whilst also helping to deepen existing relationships with Addepar and Trailight by being able to offer them a platform with clear value add. It sets us apart.
What are the most enjoyable things about this role for you?
I am lucky to have a role I love and a lot of support. I’ve always enjoyed meeting people and forming relationships with them; it’s what sustained me through my time as a contract consultant. My role as Group Technology Evangelist has only cemented my opportunity to meet, and talk to, genuinely interesting people. One of the most recent interviews on Tech Talks allowed me to chat to the CEO of a company making plastics from plants. In Conversation With has given me the chance to interview a director of NASA from the Goddard Space Centre! I am learning all the time, and that’s a real privilege.
What plans do you have in the workings for the next 6 months? What are you most looking forward to?
The next 6 months is about taking the data we’ve had from events and content, and learning from it. As I mentioned, we were able to grow our share of voice by 47% on one project. That was done a little blind with no analysis to tell us what was working, and what wasn’t. We now have that and can put it to use. It can’t continually be about new channels and innovations, we have to make sure we produce sharable assets that add real value, not dressing for the shop window that doesn’t get someone through the door! However, I do have plans to create a reverse-mentoring programme with schools that helps us give back. I think it’ll be interesting as it’s content that will have a story; we can work with young people and help fire their passion for a STEM career. That idea was born out of the success of your reverse mentoring session we published for International Women’s Week. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery!
How can colleagues get involved in this work and what do you need from us?
How can you get involved? Well at a very basic level there is fresh insight on the New Hubs every week, practically every day!! It gives you an opportunity to engage with your own community. Sharing articles, surveys, podcasts and adding your own voice to it is a great way to engage people and grow your own brand, so use the content! It’s free thought leadership. Equally we always have opportunities to give a platform to clients (like the examples of Trailight and Addepar), so email me if you think you have a contact you’d like to feature on one of our channels.
However if you want to get more involved there are two potential ways! I’m always open to people keen to co-host content like Tech Talks, it’s an opportunity to learn and share the content as a co-creator and can help your brand. So don’t hesitate to say ‘hello’ if you want to know more. Secondly I will be running an event in July and I’m looking for a few people who want to be involved in the creation and running of that event to create buzz and shape the evening. Again, if that strikes you as an opportunity to engage with your market and help your own business development I’d be keen to chat.
Thank you David for sharing this with us. Do reach out to David if you would like to get involved with the work, I know a lot of colleagues around the world have already done so and it makes a big difference to the success of raising the profile of our great businesses around the world.
As we head towards the weekend take time to refresh and relax. Keep safe and well.