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Perspective

5 Minutes with James Pendleton,
Digital Marketing Strategist at NHO
29.11.22

Here, James Pendleton reflects on the inherent potential of digital marketing in contemporary design and architecture, and the varied influences he brings to his role as Digital Marketing Strategist at NHO. With ten years’ experience across design, education, tourism and online retail sectors in Australia and the UK, James harnesses a data-driven approach to marketing, working collaboratively to align brand tone and design with digital context.

Q: Describe a day in your role as Digital Strategist at NHO.

A: As a digital marketing strategist, I apply technical expertise in digital analytics to observe, benchmark and strategise digital marketing solutions for our clients. After every adjustment I make on a campaign, I set a prompt for a few days later to check its impact meets our expectations – so a typical day often starts with a long list of reminders. I find this is a structured, proactive and productive way to start my day – usually completed with a coffee in hand.

After these checks, I spend my day liaising with clients and the team to understand key motivations and the desired effect of non-digital activity, such as an event, print article or product launch. Coming from a more technical background, I relish working with the broader NHO team who are all extremely passionate about design, and only too happy to share their knowledge. At NHO, our approach to digital marketing is particularly nuanced, as we combine best practice digital marketing strategy with our strong knowledge of the design industry and careful brand management.

On a good day, there is an event or exhibition to attend, which is always a great opportunity to connect with the people and work we promote. NHO’s position in the market means that it’s key for a digital strategist like myself to understand and appreciate the world class design community we operate within. I find these tangible experiences are crucial in making the campaigns I work on speak to their audience. Of course, a chat and a beverage with the team is also a big plus!

“At NHO, our approach to digital marketing is particularly nuanced, as we combine best practice digital marketing strategy with our strong knowledge of the design industry and careful brand management.” – James Pendleton

Melbourne Design Fair – Present, presented by NGV in collaboration with Melbourne Art Foundation.
Photography by Sean Fennessy.

Chairity at Melbourne Design Week, presented by Cult Design.
Photography by Cathy Marshall.

Chairity at Melbourne Design Week, presented by Cult Design.
Photography by Cathy Marshall.

Q: What is the impact and importance of digital marketing in design?

A: Digital marketing is in its infancy in the architecture and design industry, despite being a huge component in many other industries. In the design world, most business historically has been achieved in person, particularly at events and exhibitions. For this reason, I believe many businesses approach investment in digital very cautiously, creating a lack of competition.

This means there is an opportunity to stand out if your digital marketing is well considered and strategically executed. This is all the more relevant when considering the growth of digital media and the increased reliance on digital platforms for the discovery, research and purchasing of products and services.

“Digital marketing is in its infancy in the architecture and design industry. This means there is an opportunity to stand out if your digital marketing is well considered and strategically executed.” – James Pendleton

Q: What inspires you?

A: On a professional level, I admire anyone who is willing to takes risks and try something new. Of course, risks need to be calculated and formed from a clear set of objectives and directions. I find the best marketing campaigns are creative in nature and by thinking outside of the box, brands can attract the exposure they deserve.

On a personal note, I find excellence in sports like snowboarding, surfing and other extreme sports truly inspiring. More often than not, these athletes are passion led and not money driven. Their path to success is purely driven by the love of that sport and their pursuit of perfection in that skill. If I can adopt 10% of their dedication and consistency, I hope to be a successful man.

I also find travel inspiring. After living and working in 3 different countries, one gets to understand both the similarities and differences in people around the world. It can be hugely fascinating to understand the motivations and drivers of people in different cultures, yet also comforting to find universal touch-points in countries across the globe.

“I find the best marketing campaigns are creative in nature and by thinking outside of the box, brands can attract the exposure they deserve.” – James Pendleton

Q: What are you looking forward to most this year?

A: My partner and I are currently building our first house near Torquay, south-west of Melbourne. This has been a long process with many conversations and long nights of planning and decision-making so I can’t wait to see it come to life. At the time of writing, we’ve just had the ground floor waterproofed. I’ve never been so excited to see bricks!

Torquay, Victoria.
Photography courtesy of Beyond Wild Places.