Our latest Leadership Spotlight features Dave Cain!
Dave’s extensive career background in digital goes back to when he built his first website in 2002. He has since spent the past 20 years working with agency, client side, and as a freelancer. Some of the well-known names Dave has worked with throughout his career include Boots UK and Arriva Group. He is currently the Head of Digital Marketing at Euro Car Parts Ltd.
In this Q&A, Dave discusses his career journey to date, transitioning from agency to in-house, why he sees himself as a “facilitator” in his current role, what he loves about working in the digital industry, why he’s ‘watching the evolution of social media closely’ and his passion for music.
Read the Q&A in full below.
Why did you join the Digital Leaders Club?
I'm a big believer in constantly learning and with the opportunity to network with others in the digital industry, it simply was a no-brainer!
What's your career journey been like to date?
I have worked in the digital space for 20+ years, having built my first website back in 2002. Initially, I wanted to be a web designer, and then a web developer, however, I found my passion for digital marketing having built several websites and then asking myself “now what?!“ (and yes I was around when Yahoo was the biggest search engine before Google!)
I have worked within digital agencies and ran a successful freelance web design and digital marketing business. Around 2014 I decided to move in-house where I’ve worked for Boots (selling perfume and hair dryers), Arriva (selling bus tickets) and now Euro Car Parts (selling brake discs and oil) – quite a mix!
Tell us about your current position
I would describe my role as a “facilitator” – my team helps the business market its products and services digitally across Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, email, affiliate partners and many other channels – I help my team by setting the strategy, direction, processes, and delivery excellence so we can attract and retain customers. The bit I really love about my role is helping to nurture and develop my team.
What do you love about working in digital?
The constant change! To work in digital, I believe you have to be incredibly adaptable, have good intuition and a mindset that always wants to learn.
Have you had any interesting moments in your career so far?
Working with the retail space as "Black Friday" was becoming more of a major event within the UK. The YoY growth of the event was incredible and truly "trading" varying digital channels throughout the day like a stock market and driving performance was an incredible experience.
Have you had any challenges in your career to date; and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge was the transition from agency to in-house - I genuinely really struggled in my first year at Boots. I truly didn't anticipate how much of a difference it would be and how much slower the pace would be; it was like going from a speedboat to an oil tanker. I don't recall how I truly overcame the challenge, however, I had a solid network, I perceived and I genuinely love challenges. In the end, it all came together and I learned a lot about myself.
Tell us about your best success story
In all honesty, I judge my success on the success of others. I've been incredibly fortunate to work with, develop, nurture, and lead some incredibly talented digital people, many have gone on to progress their careers. Succeeding for me is seeing others grow.
What’s it been like transitioning to a hybrid setup over the past three years?
It hasn't really been a big change for me in all honesty - I've had quite a few roles that have been flexible and the beauty with digital is being able to work anywhere.
What's the coolest/most interesting trend you're excited about?
Probably less of a trend but I'm watching the evolution of social media really closely - across Gen X, Gen Z, Millennials, etc, I'm seeing a shift in habits, behaviours, and thoughts towards how we use it, consume and share.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Dedicated, supportive, passionate, people-centered and knowledgeable.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I'm a huge F1 fan (a suffering Ferrari F1 fan!), love live music and gigs, and enjoy going to Twickenham to watch England rugby. I don't see 'digital' as a job, it's a passion and I thoroughly enjoy reading up on the latest trends, insights and news.
What's your plan for the future?
I don't have a dedicated plan as such, but I want to keep developing, learning and growing - naturally, I want to progress my career further into a director role or possibly leading European teams.
What would you be doing (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
Session guitarist - having the chance to work with a wide range of musicians to create new music would be incredible.
Connect with Dave on LinkedIn