Dan Buckley is a man on a mission. With the effects of Coronavirus denting the capabilities of businesses all over the world, Dan decided to veer away from the glistening world of football and make it his mission to help small and medium-sized businesses with digital marketing…
Dan founded Ocean View Marketing earlier this year. The time when businesses all across the globe were suffering major setbacks due to the pandemic. After spending time working in marketing roles with three football clubs, Dan finished a three-and-a-half-year stint at AFC Bournemouth and set his sights on a new beginning. His main goal? Helping businesses maintain and improve their marketing infrastructure.
We spoke to Dan about his inspirations, his goals and what the future holds for Ocean View Marketing.
ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM THE BOURNEMOUTH AREA?
No, I’m not – I was born and raised in Oxford. I moved down here three-and-a-half years ago to take the job at AFC Bournemouth.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO TAKE A CAREER IN MARKETING?
I first got interested in marketing off the back of the old Nike adverts in the early noughties when they would get all of the best footballers in the world to be in some sort of outrageous advert. As a teenager that was when I first started having an interest in advertising and marketing.
UNTIL RECENTLY, YOU WERE HEADING THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT AT AFC BOURNEMOUTH. DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO GO INTO SPORTS MARKETING?
Yes, I wanted to go into sports marketing since I was a teenager and was lucky enough to achieve this early on in my career.
I did a Sports Marketing degree at the University of Northampton, worked at MK Dons as an intern and then I went off and worked in tech for a little bit. I got a job at Oxford United which, whilst I’m not an Oxford fan, it is my hometown team. So, I spent a season there and then I got called to come down here as I was headhunted for the Bournemouth job. My dream was always to work in football and work at a football club. I’ve been lucky enough to work at three.
My title at AFC Bournemouth was Marketing Manager. But for all intents and purposes, I was head of marketing and built that department from scratch. When I arrived at the football club, they didn’t have a marketing infrastructure. It was my job to put that in place. Over the three-and-a-half years, I built up a small department that ended up being two of us from nothing.
My first season was Bournemouth’s third year in the Premier League. Then we had three good seasons – last season was difficult, obviously because of the relegation but I still enjoyed all three seasons. I’d just started my fourth season when I decided to go independent.
WHAT INSPIRED THE DECISION TO MOVE OUT ON YOUR OWN AND START OCEAN VIEW MARKETING?
At the beginning of the pandemic, I had been speaking to small business owners that I knew. All of them needed some sort of marketing support to help promote their businesses, especially digitally. A lot of small businesses were finding it hard to keep up with their competition online. I started by just giving out advice back in May.
That progressed from there, and the more I helped people, the more I started to enjoy it. I got a real taste for it. Through conversations with the brand and design agency that I work with, it all of a sudden became a viable option for me.
I signed three clients in August and that’s the point where I started realising that this was a viable business opportunity.
WHAT CHALLENGES (OR OPPORTUNITIES) HAVE ARISEN IN STARTING A NEW BUSINESS DURING A PRECARIOUS 2020?
I think the challenge for any new business is new leads and new clients. A lot of businesses slashed their marketing spend at the beginning of the pandemic, which actually put them on the back foot. In a time where you needed to publicise and promote yourself more, businesses weren’t doing so. It’s having a negative effect on business.
The challenge for me is being able to go into smaller businesses that had slashed their marketing spend and show them the opportunity that lies within spending in an efficient way. That’s really where I’m coming from – helping small to medium-sized businesses realise that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do good marketing.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE, WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE NEXT STEPS?
The business set-up kind of stuff, which has been ongoing for a couple of months. There’s a lot to go into building a business in the background, which takes up a lot of time.
I’ve just developed a product I’m calling Marketing MOTs. Essentially, it’s a free hour of consultancy – non-committal – where I’m going through a checklist of marketing points. It’s a chance to really look under the bonnet and evaluate where you’re currently at and highlight some of the gaps that are worth addressing. At the end of the conversation, any business that has sat down with me and spoken to me will, at least, leave with some insight into their own marketing infrastructure. Even if it doesn’t lead to us working together, it’s a way for me to still give something back to the business community. That’s really why I started Ocean View.
At the very start it was all about how can I help our business community get through this pandemic. That’s something that I want to keep as an integral part of Ocean View moving forward. The next steps are getting these MOT sessions into the business world. To allow them to come to me and look for some free support and guidance.
IF YOU COULD WORK WITH OR REPRESENT ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
First of all, I’ll say I’ll help anyone and everyone that needs it at the moment. If I were to pick a dream client it would be Gymshark, but maybe Gymshark two years ago. So, what I’m really after is I would love to be able to work with the next Gymshark… the next Jimmy’s Iced Coffee… the next BrewDog. Those kinds of challenger brands who are a bit more open and innovative and want to grow. If I were going to pick an ideal client that’s what they would look like.
WHAT IS THE OVERALL DREAM OR END GOAL FOR YOU AS A MARKETING PROFESSIONAL?
The dream is to be able to build a reasonable-sized agency that produces marketing campaigns and strategies that I can be proud of personally. The long-term vision is to expand, and how long that’s going to take is anyone’s guess right now. But I’m hoping it won’t be too long until we have a nice office with the small staff that we can then provide more support to businesses.
I really want to do the whole thing differently to how it’s done traditionally. I want Ocean View Marketing to be a breath of fresh air and to help show businesses a new way to market.
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