Interview Kate Duckworth; Board Member Digital Women’s Network

By Angela Mellak

Kate Duckworth – Strategic Digital Marketer – Head of Marketing at Buzinga App Development

What does the digital era mean to you? 

I believe that we are experiencing the onboarding of the ‘Early Majority’ into the digital realm. We are at the point where digital has now become ‘mainstream’ and everyday people are accepting digital as a part of their everyday lives. It’s a really exciting industry to be part of because everyone is looking to understand and embrace not only digital technologies but also find ways to use it as a competitive advantage for both personal and business gain.

How does digital affect you?

As the head of marketing for an app development company, digital is what I live and breathe. The greatest joy I find in digital is the simple ability to connect and nurture friendships in a way that I don’t physically have time for – a simple Snapchat photo to a friend lets them know I’m thinking of them. 

Tell us your view of the changing digital landscape (how does this affecting your industry, your role?

In the mobile and software development space, the question is no longer ‘Can we do it?’ it’s ‘What’s the best solution..?’ What we are able to configure with code and design with creativity is basically limitless if you have the right mindset. The digital landscape does not divide ‘the creatives’ and the ‘the techs.’ The people who excel in the digital landscape possess both a creative and analytical skillset, with the ability to see past what hasn’t worked before. 

What are the trends you see in your sector?

Today, the expectation of customer experience within our smartphones has evolved from playing games like Angry Birds, to transforming basic human interaction with the modern world. We are seeing a huge rise in popularity and opportunity with Artificial Intelligence and ‘The Internet of Things’ with mobiles connecting with medical and health devices, spas, cars and even Hair Brushes (L’Oreal, 2017). We have the ability to design centimeter perfect location based experiences and create completely ‘Augmented’ immersive experiences that are helping combat areas such as mental health, Alzheimer’s and education.

The key issues I see arising in the next few years are the advancement of cyber terrorism and the discussions around morality online. It breaks my heart to see ‘internet trolls’ owning the internet.

What made you join the Digital Women’s Network?

As a young woman who has lived in the era of ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg, my understanding of the limits placed upon women in society does scare me. As my career continues to grow, I want to be at the forefront of change and enablement, surrounding myself with women who I can learn from and be inspired by, who gives me the strength to achieve my goals. It’s amazing to be part of a network where personal development and community are the core pillars. The Digital Women’s Network also gives me an opportunity to help older women navigate through the digital landscape who didn’t establish their careers in the digital era and have not had the opportunity to up-skill in these areas.

What drives you?

Understanding and appreciating my privilege drives me to take advantage of the all of the tools and resources I have available to become the most successful and best version of myself, with the hope to one day reach a point where I have a voice powerful enough to make a high-impact change in the world. 

What do you think of Networking?

My career has only been possible because of networking. I was networking on Linkedin when I came across the CEO of Buzinga – The company I’ve been working at for nearly 3 years now. I gathered the courage to drop him a line and ask if he needed any help in marketing as I loved the brand and what the company stood for. I believe that a network is the most powerful asset you can have to help you progress and grow as a person and in your career. The women at the Digital Women’s Network have shared with me many new strategies and personal stories that have influenced my work and my confidence greatly.  It’s important when networking to find a way to add value to the person you are looking to connect with, rather than just trying to extract value from them. 

How did you start marketing/promoting your product/service?

When I started as marketing coordinator at Buzinga in 2014, I was lucky to inherit an incredible inbound content strategy with a vision to inspire entrepreneurs and businesses all over the world through educational ‘how-to’ content. I inherited a blog of over 50 SEO optimised blogs which was helping us rank quite highly on Google. With this vision, we were able to ‘turbo charge’ this strategy. The Buzinga blog now has over 350 blogs, all SEO optimised, now featuring on the first page of Google for most app development keywords.

We created and tested many different ‘lead capture’ strategies, publishing more than 7 white-papers and e-books, boosting our new monthly subscriber base from 250 per month to over 600 new subscribers per month.  Once we had dominated Google rankings, we moved onto a PR strategy which helped us communicate our thought leadership via authority building publications. This has helped the company continue to grow it’s revenue by 30-50% YOY.

What are your top 5 tips for someone starting in your industry?

  1. Read these 3 books – 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Growth Hacker Marketing and YouTility Marketing. 
  2. Go to networking events
  3. Find a mentor in 3 different areas (Health, Industry/Career and Personal) Balance is key
  4. Find 5 industry blogs to obsess over
  5. Listen to Podcasts and download Audible.

What makes you unique?

I am a commercially driven, relentless executor with a case of severe optimism.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration changes from day to day depending on my mood. Outside of my friends, family and network who never fail to inspire me on a daily basis, I am a devotee of both real people and fictional characters who I look to for both career or spiritual guidance: 

Sheryl Sandberg – Female Ambition and Privilege

Robin Robins – IT Marketing and Sales

Eckhart Tolle – Spiritual Guidance

Tim Ferris – An obsessive form of personal growth

Ryan Holiday – Young and highly ambitious/successful digital marketer / great writer

Mark Zuckerberg – I find Mark’s humble nature for building the world’s most powerful social network mind-blowing

Dan S Kennedy – An incredible copywriter

Peggy Olsen – Appreciation of how lucky I am that I wasn’t Peggy in the 60’s (Even though Peggy is fictional, she represents something much bigger)

Tony Robbins – Personal Power

Seth Godin – Marketing and challenging the status quo

Beyonce – Strength and power

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