Jill: Thank you again, Greg, for participating in our employee’s story of the month. So yeah, I already sent you the prepared questions for the interview. So maybe we can just start with a little introduction of yourself, like who you are, where you’re coming from and how did you end up at Homelike.
Greg: Sure. My name is Greg Beazley. I’m originally from Australia. I moved to London about four and a half years ago and spent just under a year there decided I didn’t like it. It wasn’t quite for me. But, then I stumbled across Cologne and really liked the city. I fell in love with it. Now I’m at Homelike and I’ve been with the company for almost three years.
Jill: Yeah. It’s really cool. And so your role is called email marketing, automation manager, and retention specialist. What is this actually? How does a typical day look like? And maybe also, what do you especially like about working in such a job?
Greg: Yeah. I’ve spent most of my career in essentially what it’s called marketing automation. And it started with email marketing and lifecycle management. I’ve always had quite a passion in the field. And, even though my title is quite a mouthful there’s actually quite a lot that goes into it.
At Homelike I look after all of the customer communications with respect to email marketing. So a lot of my role revolves around looking at the customer journey and what types of communications would support that journey in helping customers make the right purchase decision or providing them with relevant information to help them in their experience with Homelike.
So, that could be a matter of just sending them notifications to finish their apartment request, or it could also mean asking them if they would like to extend their booking or showcasing a selection of apartment suggestions, similar to their initial request.
So, yeah… there’s a lot of scope in what I do. Even though it sounds like it’s just sending one email here and there. There’s a lot of data behind it, technology, and a lot of segmentation and code that sits behind all of the mechanics of these campaigns. And, I guess, I kind of do all of that.
I look at the strategy of how we want to talk to customers and what the communication looks like. Also, the copywriting of the email while making sure the email is translated across different languages. And then I build in when they should receive the email, what happens if they engage with it, and so on and so forth.
I suppose you could say there are many moving parts in what I do, but it’s quite enjoyable. I get a lot of enjoyment from seeing an automated journey in place and that I can see it’s generating results for the business, and when I can see it’s actually helping customers make a decision.
Jill: Yeah, I can imagine. So it sounds like a real multitasking role with a lot of responsibility. And what are the current or upcoming marketing projects at Homelike you’re the most excited about, and why?
Greg: Yeah. I think what I’m most excited about is having gotten a lot more experience over the years with the email tool that we use.
I’m getting more comfortable with how we can actually display more dynamic and personalized experiences. So showcasing more personalized apartment suggestions for customers and just basically filling all of the gaps within the customer journey that we previously haven’t been talking to customers at those stages.
I really like seeing that come together and, and I guess I can’t really specifically tell you what campaigns I’m working on, but certainly, every new campaign that comes up, there’s always a really nice insight that comes behind it. So, you know, whether it’s on the tenant side of helping customers rent an apartment to even the landlords helping them make sure that their apartments are up to date or that they’re being notified when requests come through.
Jill: Yeah. Yeah. Cool. And what would you say is your biggest achievement here at Homelike so far? Or also maybe on the other side, your biggest challenge?
Greg: My biggest challenge was really trying to master the marketing platform that we use. It’s because it’s such a powerful product, but it’s also very technical and there’s not a real best practice way of using it.
I spent many hours in forums and trying to get help from outside sources just to understand the best way of doing it. And, and of course, every business is different, so it has to be quite unique to Homelike as well. So that’s been very challenging, but also very rewarding once something is launched or is in place and I can actually see it working.
I guess part of my accomplishments would be to actually look back on the things that I had done two years ago and now actually see how I should’ve done it differently to improve it.
So there’s never a dull day working at Homelike. There’s always something to do.
Jill: Yeah. It sounds really great. And in regards to the general company, how would you describe the company culture here at Homelike?
Greg: I think it’s definitely changed and evolved since COVID has hit. And I feel like the company is still trying to figure out how the culture is evolving and how it adapts.
But certainly, before COVID was around that the culture was very vibrant. It was quite energetic. Homelike is a very fast-paced environment, so very young environment as well. So you get a lot of. Graduates and interns and things like that. A lot of like young energy that wants really eager to learn and eager to make some change.
We have like beers on a Friday, we’d have all staff meetings. We have demo days to make sure that everyone’s across every other team and what projects they’re working on. So, all of those things have been really powerful in shaping the company culture. Having Christmas parties back in the day, that was really fun as well.
But now since COVID, I think we’re still trying to figure it out, but what we have done quite well, and kudos to the HR team is trying to keep all of it together. I think that’s been a real challenge for not just Homelike, but I think for any company going through this experience.
And I think you guys have done a really good job of making sure that we have, you know, weekly all staff meetings and we have like monthly check-ins with the CEO, so that everyone’s across how the company is developing with the ever-changing nature of COVID and the restrictions that are coming into place.
And particularly within the travel industry, we never really know how things are going to pan out. And initially, it was a very pessimistic outlook on the travel industry because it’s been hit so much. But I think Homelike has really stuck together really well. And, aside from seeing it like you know, from a bookings perspective, we’ve done really well.
Like everyone’s pulled together, but again, it goes back to HR, making sure that everyone’s satisfied, everyone has the equipment that they need at home and, and all of that. So, it’s been a really interesting experience to see how the company is working together to make sure that we don’t lose speed in our growth.
Jill: Yeah. That’s all true. I think it’s also something we’ve seen during the last year or so that we stuck together as a team. And I think that’s also one of the most known unique points from Homelike is that we are such a small, but really great team.
So that one supports each other and that you can always ask your peers for help and support. And I think that’s, that’s actually really great. And also something that’s the most important thing during such challenging times. And also what you said in regards to two summer parties, we are also hoping that we can do something like that again in summer or at least in autumn for, for all Homelikees that we can do like a barbecue together again or something like that. So, let’s see.
So I’ve seen that also on your Instagram profiles, maybe do we want to tell us also something about your marketing side project that you’re doing?
Greg: So yeah, I’ve been learning a lot about how to run my own business and trying to also learn about things like Instagram marketing, Facebook marketing, things like that. So yeah, it’s just, it’s a slow process. I suppose. It’s a bit difficult to manage a full-time job and doing this on the side, but it’s a lot of fun.
It’s I guess it’s my hobby for now and, and see how that goes.
Jill: Yeah, I think it’s also really great that you’re so passionate about it and also doing something also about that besides your normal job at Homelike.
And maybe one last question… when we are all allowed to travel again, which will be hopefully soon – where would you go and why?
Greg: Actually, I am right in the middle of planning a trip to Croatia. I keep hearing really great things about the place. It looks very, I suppose Italianesque in terms of its architecture and I absolutely love Italy, so I think Croatia will definitely be next on the list.