Interview with Jason Davey, Bullseye
What’s your day job?
As Managing Director, my role is essentially split between providing clients with strategic advice and leading our team to deliver great results. That involves a lot of communication and staying one step ahead at all times.
What type of projects does your company work on – how long do they run?
Bullseye works on all manner of digital projects; from campaigns to building apps to million-dollar enterprise website solutions. We have a heritage in being able to tackle technically complex projects that purely creative agencies can’t handle, whilst also being able to handle creative work that needs interactive thinking at its heart. We help clients realise their digital possibilities.
How did you get started in digital?
I was an interactive designer back in the early 90’s – designing CD-ROM’s, video and other interactive media. This was “digital” before the web, and provided me with a foundation for understanding how content can be brought to life via interaction. I got into web design in ’95 and have weathered the booms and crashes since. Man, that makes me feel old.
What’s your current favourite book, website, blog or source of inspiration for your business?
There’s this great blog by Scott Brinker called Chief Marketing Technologist – http://www.chiefmartec.com/ It explores the intersection between technology, marketing and management and most of the time I find the articles spot on for today’s digital business challenges.
What’s the ratio of project managers to developers/producers?
About 1:7 I think.
How many staff do you have in total
110 digital devotees.
Have you introduced in new roles/jobs title in your business – is the nature of your business changing?
We now have a Director of Content. This role exists to lead a team who develop content on behalf of clients - articles, videos, blogs, games, apps; all manner of content. With the rise of content-lead strategies has come a greater need for marketing departments to create and publish engaging content – we fill that gap.
How do you keep hours and costs on or under budget? How do you maintain profitability on each and every project? Is it a result of project management processes, or good budgeting, or initial scoping?
All three are needed to stay on budget – but of the three, initial scoping is the most critical. No amount of good project management or budgeting can overcome a misalignment of scope to effort. Learning how to quickly and effectively scope a project is a skill that requires multiple disciplines and a high level of experience. Sophisticated clients have learnt the value of this process and will engage with the agency effectively to facilitate a clear understanding of scope. It’s in everybody’s interests to get this right.
Any suggestions on dealing with difficult clients?
Tackle any issue head on. There’s this great quote by Winston Churchill “One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!
How do you ensure that your team is performing well, and focused on the same goals?
Constant communication and remaining positive. This is a great challenge, and not one I could say I have mastered completely, but continuously reinforcing what we’re here to do, and why, is of utmost importance.
What’s your or the company’s biggest challenge currently?
Maintaining technical skills and knowledge when things are changing so quickly. Just as you master some skill and become efficient at it, it becomes irrelevant or needs to change. There are also so many new technology solution vendors, it’s hard to know which horse to back sometimes. We look at their long-term strategy – if they don’t have one it’s a worry.
What particular skill set do you look for in your new hires?
Good listening skills.