Six years ago, we hired an eager intern who was finishing his degree in Business and was keen to get his hands stuck into the world of Sales & Marketing. That intern went on to become a Senior Digital Marketing Manager, leading up to 8 clients and his own team of five.
Working at align.me has allowed Nick Steffens ample opportunity to build close relationships with his clients and essentially become an extended arm of their business all while growing his own internal team of great marketers at align.me HQ.
According to Nick, the relationship side of being a marketer is one of the highlights of his career. Working at a company like align.me has allowed him ample opportunity to build close relationships with clients and essentially become part of their extended team.
From day one, Nick was exposed to a world of tactical execution across a variety of campaigns and businesses from a multitude of industries and geographies. However, nothing quite beat the feeling of forging partnerships with clients and becoming an invaluable part of many organisations.
“You become very close with multiple clients, and it’s rewarding to be able to form those relationships and help them grow. It’s like being a part of their business as well; you almost feel like you work for a series of businesses, not just one,” says Nick.
Nick found himself presenting to boards of multi-million-dollar companies quite early on in his career. This ‘deep-end’ style of learning and development forced Nick to mature as a marketer quickly – but not without the support of Hugh (CEO) and Brett (Executive Director).
“I’ve been lucky to find great bosses that believed in me early on and trusted me over and over again.”
Nick accepted a permanent position as a Marketing Associate (MA) at the conclusion of his internship. At align.me, no one day is the same – especially as an MA. With over 40+ clients across the globe varying in nature and size, all marketers start out as generalists. On the tools, this includes being across an astounding breadth of tactic types from Google Ads to social media campaigns, blogs, email marketing and beyond. These tactics assist the Digital Marketing Specialists in planning and executing various campaigns.
The ‘buyers journey’ (coined by our very own Hugh Macfarlane), is core to all that we do. All aligners attend and support Funnel CampsTM, facilitated by either Hugh or Brett, to help our clients build their own go-to-market strategies (Funnel PlansTM) that adopt the buyer’s journey framework.
“align.me is focused on establishing a path forward for developing marketers, ensuring there’s room for growth in every role; I got time to talk to senior leadership one-on-one weekly,” reflects Nick.
Six years ago (and since 2001), we were known as MathMarketing. Aside from the name change, we were also a much smaller group back then. We’ve grown almost 3x in that time, and while Hugh and Brett are busier than ever now – one thing has remained constant: learning. Each facilitates training sessions with the whole team, with Hugh’s strength in marketing, and Brett’s in sales. Their combined experience across sales and marketing spans over 80 years, giving the team front-row seats to witnessing them perform their craft – an invaluable learning experience. The practical application of knowledge means no aligner is shy of being thrown into the deep end – and Nick was no different.
Beyond our internal development programs, align.me makes every effort to approve special professional development requests – Nick received premium LinkedIn mentoring from a seasoned professional, and was able to pass his learnings on to the whole team.
“They’re willing to invest in the individual and give young marketers the platform to get on the tools and learn by doing – they’ll never hold you back.”
Moving up the ranks
Just over one year in, Nick moved up the ranks and became a Digital Marketing Specialist, leading the strategy and execution for up to eight clients. This shift saw his day-to-day work evolve from working intensively on the tools to becoming a strategic advisor and mentor for both his clients and the newer marketers on our team. This means staying up to date with industry trends, market conditions, and forming an in-depth understanding of the companies themselves to articulate the problems they solve for customers and formulate plans that will deliver tangible business outcomes and real value.
“Having seen part of this journey up close as a long-term client, I can honestly say that the growth I’ve seen is both a testament to the brains and work ethic of Nick, and also the great breeding ground at align.me. Over many years, I saw a complete transformation in how LeaseEagle strategised and executed sales and marketing, helping us to achieve constant and significant year-on-year growth. As the leader on the account, Nick became a trusted key advisor, giving so much of his passion and energy into helping LeaseEagle achieve so many amazing goals along the way.” – Lee Trevena, LeaseEagle Founder
Nick’s long marketing career has helped him identify one of the keys to a marketer’s success: software. From understanding CRMs to an intimate knowledge of Google Analytics and dashboards, using data points to provide insights and make data-driven decisions underpins consistent outcomes. Nick has also identified that marketing is becoming more technical with automation and AI. There’s a lot to stay on top of, and a company focused on ongoing training and development makes all the difference.
Community in the workplace
Though hybrid work is a strong feature of align.me, many members of our team have embraced the opportunity to set regular in-office workdays. Nick believes spending time with co-workers and enjoying doing things together is important to workplace culture.
“The enjoyment I have with the team right now is so high I want to be in the office three days a week. Drinks on a Friday and golf (with some of the team) on Sunday. Does it get any better than that?”
Parting wisdom for young marketers
A mentor at heart, Nick has some advice for young marketers starting their career journeys:
“Go generalist early in your career and figure out what you want – internal marketing can pigeonhole you, so watch out for that. Being a generalist gives you breadth of knowledge across all campaigns. Be a Yes Man! People will encourage you to jump into the deep end, which will only benefit you, so put your hand up for things. There’s never going to be one campaign that changes everything for a client; you need a multiple spinning plate approach to generate long-term results for clients.”
Though align.me may be a small company by global standards, we’re committed to developing the world’s best B2B marketers; unrivalled access to multiple clients from early career stages supports this endeavour.
Nick is leaving align.me for travel and adventure. In the coming weeks, he’ll jet off and start his journey in the UK. While it’s always sad to say goodbye to good people, we know we won’t be seeing the last of Nick – keeping our extended align.me community connected and close to our hearts is something we’re committed to.
Bon voyage, Nick! Thank you for being such a big part of our company’s journey.