A coffee with… Katherine Pugh
A coffee with… Katherine Pugh
LIMA’s new Head of Marketing, Katherine Pugh, joins us to discuss why she joined the LIMA team and what she sees as the future of IT service provision…
Tell us a bit about your background.
I’ve been in the IT channel for 20 years which is a frightening statistic to think about! I started in purchasing for a small distributor but then took a sideways move into marketing and have never looked back. The marketing function has transformed as much as the channel itself in that time – from running sales incentives for box shifting commodities in the early noughties to designing multi-touch social campaigns now.
Tell us about why you chose LIMA.
LIMA has been on my radar for a number of years because of its reputation within the NetApp channel. They seemed to be disruptive as they picked up NetApp as a new vendor and really made waves with their quality of service and technical capability.
I’ve worked with channel partners of all sizes and all have their value in the market. For me personally, though, the size of LIMA and the passion of Lisa were the factors that persuaded me that this was the next step in my career. I love being part of a tight team and seeing the impact of my work on commercial outcomes. In larger organisations, it could be difficult to have my voice heard and smaller companies and there aren’t many smaller organisations with the budget to seriously invest in marketing.
What sets LIMA apart from the competition as an employer?
Investment. LIMA invests so much in its people in terms of training and opportunities. There’s an entrepreneurial feeling about the place which I love. The new Innovation Forum, for example, is focussed specifically on taking ideas from across the business and developing them into commercial realities. Having an employer who actively opens the door to employees to share ideas is not something to be taken for granted.
There was a lot of investment shortly before I started in systems and the re-definition of processes which will enable the company to really scale up and also improve customer service. Some of the systems are related to service delivery but actually the majority of the investment is, again, internal – about enabling the team to do their job to the best of their ability and not be held back by processes that wouldn’t scale or allow adaptation.
What’s important in marketing for 2018?
GDPR is going to have an impact in terms of prospecting for new business. With the focus on opted-in databases, we’ve had to really focus on the buyer journey and develop messaging and content to be relevant and accessible to prospects when they’re looking for it. It’s a refreshing place to be. Challenging, for sure, because it means doing things differently from how we’ve become used to doing marketing in the IT channel, but it’s an exciting industry to be in.
What’s the LIMA vision for the future?
The future is looking like broader horizons. The company is growing – into new technologies, into larger customer organisations and also further afield than our traditional focus around the M62 corridor. I think it’s important to remember when we talk about the future that we’re still committed to delivering a great service to our existing customers.
Cloud is as much on our agenda as it is on everyone else’s, but it’s not everything. As-a-service IT delivery is part of the mix of technology and services available to our customers and what matters to us is what’s best for the particular customer we’re engaging with. We’re not the type of organisation to tell our customers what to do – we will advise, of course, but never dictate.
What are your interests outside of work?
I’m a very amateur triathlete. I ventured into sport very recently and discovered that I just love it. Sport is great for my mental health as much as keeping me physically fit. The people in my Tri club are so inspiring and supportive and believe it or not, participating in races is great fun! I’m easily bored doing the same thing over and over again, so triathlon suits me – when I get bored with running, I turn to swimming, cycling or yoga instead.
I qualified as an England Athletics running coach in January this year which is an achievement that still surprises me because I don’t fit my own preconceived idea of an athletics guru! I volunteer for my tri club, coaching sessions and writing training plans to give something back to the community that’s taught me a lot in a very short space of time.