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Leadership Spotlight: Garry Woodcock

Updated: Jun 6

Our latest Leadership Spotlight features Garry Woodcock!

In a decorated career to date, which has spanned over 20 years, Garry has a background of proven expertise in digital transformation, content strategies, orchestrating communications and full-funnel multi-channel campaigns.

Garry's experience in the industry has seen him recently at Amdocs, a global software and tech company and a lengthy tenure with BT; holding various titles such as Online Marketing Manager, Digital Strategy & Communications Lead, and Head of Global Digital Marketing, Ops and Demand Gen.

In our Q&A with Garry, he discusses his career to date, the "many benefits" of working for BT, and why his experiences have been "invaluable" in shaping his skills and knowledge. He also touches on why trust is the most important trait of a successful team, his interesting involvement with the development of a social content creator, and could a career in stand-up be on the cards for Garry?

Why did you join the Digital Leaders Club? 


I joined the Digital Leaders Club because networking has evolved for the better in recent years, offering both new opportunities and challenges. What attracted me most was that networking was not only confined to occasional gatherings; it's now about real-time engagement and collaboration like the WhatsApp group. Making it easy to connect instantly with peers, exchange ideas, and help each other out.


What's your career journey been like to date?


For most of my career, I was at BT. The benefit of being in such a large corporation was that it felt like I worked in many different companies over the years. I started at the bottom as a marketing assistant and gradually progressed my way up, initially focusing on the UK Public Sector, then UK Markets before expanding to a global scope. Along the way, I've had the privilege of working and learning from some exceptional marketers and partnering with some amazing agencies. These experiences have been invaluable in shaping my skills and knowledge, allowing me to continually grow and evolve in my career to where I am now.


What do you love about working in digital? 


It is the blend of UX, design, content, and data. It's the perfect fusion of creativity and strategy, where I also get to channel my inner geek and dive into the tech side of things. I'm fascinated by how these elements come together to achieve goals and make a real impact. With my background spanning various digital disciplines, I love the opportunity to leverage this mix to create meaningful outcomes and drive success.


Have you had any interesting moments in your career so far?


I joined my previous company right at the beginning of the pandemic, a brand new company, and team, none of which were in the UK. So for nearly 2 years, I actually never met anyone in my team or even my manager in person. Of course, 2 weeks into the role, my then-manager and CMO both of whom interviewed me left… making it an extra interesting start to my time there.



In your view, what's the most important trait of a successful team? 


Trust. It’s the foundation for communication, collaboration, and supporting each other. With trust, more ideas are shared, and people are open about their concerns or even mad ideas. People will rally around for each other and often go the extra mile in making things happen through the good and bad.


Tell us about your best success story


Again from my last role, being completely remote, learning a whole new company culture, portfolio, and building new relationships; I was thrown into the deep end with leading the digital element of the company rebrand. This included a completely new global website, deleting 99% of old site content, a new digitally accessible brand framework for web and social, and, developing a new outcome messaging approach for our key portfolio pillars.


The new site significantly increased engagement and conversions, improved overall SEO by 50% and had amazing feedback from customers, sales, and even a few analysts. This was all within the first year of joining the company, and very much paved the way for the wider digital transformation strategy over the following years.


What’s it been like transitioning to a hybrid setup over the past few years? Do you ever see the way we work going back to "normal”? 


I had been working hybrid for many years before the pandemic, though I very much enjoyed meeting up with the local team weekly. Where my roles have been more in a global nature, it often felt redundant to travel to the office to spend most of the day on team calls with the wider team being remote. And at times if other people in the office were on the same call, the space bar for mute was very much needed!


After being fully remote in my past role, I look forward to either in the future, and there are benefits to both - good and bad.


Which trend(s) do you predict will dominate 2024? 


I am sure others have said GenAI, but I have to agree. I have recently been involved in the development of a social content creator for both our sales and exec teams, the possibilities with GenAI are many, but what this really solidified for me personally is the need for "GenAI coaching", it has the intelligence, but at times not the common sense. 


To coin a phrase, "with great power, comes great responsibility" very much comes to mind in the use of GenAI across marketing and other domains. The potential of GenAI to revolutionise how we connect with audiences and streamline processes is immense. However, it's crucial to wield this power ethically and responsibly.



How would your colleagues describe you? 


Perhaps that’s safer to ask; happy to supply contacts! Although I believe professional and trustworthy, and fun, but hard-working, I’m naturally people-centric, so building relationships is key for me. 



What are your hobbies and interests away from work?


Over the past few years, I have picked up an appreciation of vinyl, am definitely not saying I don’t need streaming in my life (AirPods are a necessity) , but there is something about the tactility and warmth of relaxing to a good LP. Sadly this has also become an expensive hobby to have. 


My other new interest area has been to learn how to ride a motorbike, I recently passed my CBT and currently booking my next tests. So literally one extreme to the other, with the gym "for sanity" thrown in for good measure. 


What's your plan for the future? 


Initially I'd like to take a break before diving into the next chapter, but not ruling things out. I'm particularly excited about digital transformation roles, and driving marketing maturity. However, I'm equally passionate about opportunities that focus on content marketing and wider communication orchestration. With my background in broader MarComms and Corporate Communications, I’ve learned that I thrive on crafting and optimising, persona-centric experiences across channels and media that truly resonate and deliver impactful results. 


What would you be doing (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?


I’m really not sure, I have often felt I could do stand-up at times during my career with some of the “opportunities or programs” I have worked on. Or perhaps a novelist, the secret diary of a digital native… though part of me misses the fun and madness of working behind a bar when I was at college.

Maybe this is why I like the more generalist nature of digital marketing - it can be a mix of all of the above if you think about it…. working behind a bar included “delighting" different personas and answering their needs.. 

Connect with Garry on LinkedIn


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