You can meet all the members of the fourgreenleaves team over on our Who We Are page but we thought it would also be good to introduce the gang in a bit more detail here on the blog. After all, we believe people like to work with people rather than a faceless company. So, let’s kick the series off with an intro to the chap who kicked it all off, me(!), Jono Seaton:
Note: Its third-person switch time everyone, yes I know it’s a sign of madness but oh well here goes…
Jono has his roots in the East Midlands having arrived in to this world in the salubrious surroundings of Kettering General Hospital and then spending his formative years in the pretty little Northamptonshire market town (ahem) of Wellingborough. The wonderful stretch of the A509 linking Wellingborough and Kettering remained a prominent feature in Jono’s life as he jumped on a bus each day to attend Bishop Stopford School in Kettering, proving that a man simply cannot pass through Isham too many times.
Having grown up and reached adulthood up in a town the modern day philosopher Jeremy Clarkson once described as “famous for being nowhere near where you’re going”, Jono decided it was time to spread his wings and headed off to Southampton University. There he studied for a degree in Politics and International Relations and proceeded to bury his head in books, eat a balanced diet and spend his student loan wisely for three solid years (Ed – honest Mum).
Having graduated with a 2:1 (honours apparently, although he’s still not sure what that actually means) Jono briefly contemplated putting his newfound political knowledge to good use by embarking on a career that would likely change the course of human history. However having realised that: 1) he was a hopeless liar; 2) getting in to the world of politics from scratch seemed to require acceptance that you will not be paid and; 3) he was broke, he realised politics maybe wasn’t for him and instead opted for getting a ‘real job’ before stumbling into a sales and marketing role at a small London-based business finance company. Little did he know then that in marketing a small business he’d also found a new passion in life.
After a time in finance the dream opportunity to fine tune his marketing skills at Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club presented itself as he was selected for a season-long internship in the marketing and communications department at the club he’d supported since childhood – don’t judge him too harshly for this Tigers fans!
Following what proved to be a hugely enjoyable experience within professional sport at Saints, Jono moved into marketing roles at technology companies working with law firms at first before focusing on business management solutions designed for small and medium businesses. It’s this final experience that led him to discover that alongside the nuts and bolts of marketing strategy he also had a passion for seeing small businesses grow.
As Jono explains, this combination of passions, developed through his career, are exactly the motivation that led him to start fourgreenleaves:
“Experience has taught me that good marketing can do great things while bad marketing can literally break a business. I’ve also worked with so many small businesses who deserve this good marketing but who see much of it as confusing, out of reach or the preserve of bigger business. It was my frustration at this – and my desire to see these underserved small businesses achieve the growth their qualities warrant – that inspired me to start up fourgreenleaves because the truth is that technology, creativity and a little bit of ‘know how’ now mean any barriers that did exist between small businesses and the best marketing possible are simply no longer there.
“Working in marketing roles across a variety of sectors with some very different businesses allowed me to build a deep understanding and knowledge of marketing strategy and best practice in promoting a business. This was built on the job, not acquired from a text book, and working in the real world also teaches you how to get things done quickly, effectively and with minimal fuss. It also teaches you that marketing is very much a results game, whether some ‘creatives’ like it or not, and it is because of this hitting targets sits at the top of my priorities in all of my work”.
And what exactly is this work? Well, during Jono’s time as a marketer he’s worked across pretty much the entire marketing mix and he sees this experience as instrumental in his understanding of how different areas of marketing interact and compliment each other to deliver a comprehensive and effective strategy:
“Marketing, like so may other areas of life, has been changed almost beyond recognition during the last 15 years thanks to one thing, digital technologies. I like to think I saw this change coming pretty early on in my marketing career and, while still appreciating the importance of the human touch (what’s better than a face-to-face meeting or a word-of-mouth referral after all?), I began to get more and more involved with new digital marketing technologies as well as the concepts of inbound and content marketing.
“The development of functional, accessible and attractive websites and then filling them with the best possible content is what I really love doing. I take pride in producing great copy, eye-catching imagery and video content that people want to watch. From there I’ve built up a knowledge of how to get that content found online through search engine optimisation, social media and cost-effective advertising across all available platforms. It’s this end-to-end process that I know works and I’m passionate about delivering to ambitious small businesses.”
It’s clear then that both marketing and small business growth are sources of great enthusiasm for Jono but we kicked this blog off by mentioning how we know that small businesses just like you want to work with real people. So, away from the world of work, what makes him tick?
“I’m relatively easily pleased outside of work I think and most of my interests definitely point to this being the case. I love spending time at home with my far from obedient dachshunds Bertie and Buster and regularly partake in hurting myself on a bike ride around the Leicestershire & Rutland lanes. I also like a pint or two of good real ale after jumping off the bike so am always open to informal meetings in the pub – I find a decent beer can help get the creative juices flowing (old fashioned I know).
“I also spend time following the perennially under-achieving Northampton Saints as mentioned before and they’re not even the only plucky yet notoriously fragile brand I’ve attached myself to as I’m a little obsessed with ageing Alfa Romeos as well. In fact, as a fully paid up alfista, I often think of our marketing service as a similarly finely tuned beast, albeit with one big difference – it works all the time!”