Studiotech Squad – Natalie Critchard

Tell us about your life/career prior to the world of Studiotech

Initially I studied Design Crafts at college which encompassed all aspects of design, ranging from interiors to photography. The intention was to prepare myself for studying design at university, I always wanted to be either a set designer or a commercial interior designer, however at the age of 18 we welcomed our youngest son to the world, priorities changed a little bit, and university then took a back seat.

I worked at a bank where I was primarily responsible for sales and customer relations. After several years, it dawned on me how much I disliked working there and in a large call centre environment where I felt like just another number, so I applied for a job at Studiotech.

Truthfully, I was just looking for any job. I cannot remember what the job was specifically advertised as, but the role itself was very similar to what I was already doing at the bank. Essentially it was business development combined with sales and lead generation. I applied for the job… and not long after I joined the team and I have been here ever since. I am now responsible for the marketing side of the business in addition to the generation of new business leads; I have always loved being creative which is fundamental to the ethos of Studiotech.

Tell us a bit about your role

My role at Studiotech has evolved over the years. The role was initially centred around finding projects and people that I knew Studiotech would be perfectly suited to and that I felt would be great for the business to be involved with, it was about connecting with the right people and bringing our creative teams together.

I usually found the project before looking for the relevant individuals. If I believed we could really add value, I would find the company and the most appropriate person to speak to and introduce Studiotech and its offering.  I never saw myself as a ‘salesperson’ because we just don’t work like that here at Studiotech.

As the years went on, my role developed into the management of Studiotech’s social media channels and alongside that, all aspects of the company’s marketing. I am still involved with lead generation, however because the business has grown exponentially over the years, the social media and marketing remit has also grown significantly, particularly during the pandemic. I used to spend a lot of my time researching projects in order to boost our portfolio, however because of our growth, we now have so many different projects in the pipeline. As the marketing has taken off so much, I don’t necessarily have to go out looking for leads because so much is coming to us directly which really demonstrates the company’s success overall.  People have started recognising our brand and that makes me so proud.

I feel like I’ve grown with the company and developed my skillset over time; we were still doing big projects when I first started, but I do feel as though we have all been on this journey together and we all understand each other and the business.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Besides starting with a large coffee, it completely varies every day. There is so much that my role encompasses and often with marketing it might be that I need to be reactive or have to prioritise certain tasks as a matter of urgency. On the whole, I do try and split my time 50/50 between lead generation and marketing, although it doesn’t always work out like that. It can really range from liaising with customers, clients and agents, to creating content for social media or writing an article and updating the website

Tell us three fun facts about yourself

  • I once accidentally posted a picture of my half-naked child to the work social media account. It took me longer than it should have to realise, I only noticed when I went on the Instagram grid and spotted him, wondering why he was on there!
  • I can fully rap, from start to finish, ‘Forgot about Dre’ by Dr Dre and Eminem. I must add that this is off by heart and with no background music.  All three of my boys have had to endure it when I have been driving them to football training and they hate it and will beg for me to stop.  I think that might be more of an embarrassing fact than a fun fact!
  • I’ve saved the best until last…I can juggle!  And no, not just three boys, a partner, a dog, and work… but actually juggle…cue mic drop!

One crazy thing working from home has made you do?

On Fridays I give myself the precious treat of working from my sofa rather than the dining room table, not really crazy but it’s my working from home ‘thing’!

Tell us something unexpected about your job

At Studiotech we are often collaborating with other companies, so from a marketing perspective I get to work with a range of businesses and will consider the marketing requirements for each specific project. The whole process is extremely collaborative and there are lots of moving parts for each project.

Official job title

  • Marketing Manager

What would you say is your favourite Studiotech project to date, and why?

My favourite Studiotech project would probably be ‘The Light Leeds’. I was involved in the whole process, which stemmed from making the initial introduction to Hoare Lea Lighting right through to the marketing side of things including case studies, website promotion, social media etc. It was a great project to be involved with and to see all the way through from conception to completion. The unique nature of this project enabled me to see first-hand how incredible the engineering was behind the scenes; it was really amazing to see.

Tell us about the exciting Studiotech campaigns coming soon

We were recently involved with the Manchester Flower Show, we created an interactive light art sculpture in collaboration with our partners Sutton Creative.  The sculpture showcased artwork by our creative charity partners Venture Arts.  For Studiotech, the sculpture represented collaboration, hope, diversity and awareness. We are hoping to relocate the sculpture at events and collaborate with Venture Arts on many more projects throughout the year so watch this space.

Now more than ever we understand the need to stay connected, and with that we also recognise the importance of drinking lots of tea (and coffee). At Studiotech we are currently hosting the most fab-brew-lous thing in the form of a virtual monthly wind down and lighting community get together.

We would love to invite you to join us for a good natter at our weekly IBTea CLUB. Anyone that is interested should contact me for more information (and to receive your IBTea CLUB VIP invite!) natalie.critchard@ibtgroup.co.uk

We have also recently released our new blog, ‘Studiotech Savvy’ which has launched on our website. This features three new elements including Studiotech Squad, traditionalists call it ‘meet the team’; Studiotech Scoop, more commonly referred to as the ‘news’ section, and finally, Studiotech Swot, where you will be able to gain insight and unearth knowledge from the experts. We will also take requests if there are certain questions you would like us to cover.    

And finally…What is the best thing about working at Studiotech?

I feel that any of our team would say the people. There are so many jobs out there, at any point you could leave and change the company you work for, but you will never find the same group of people to work with. The Studiotech team make it so fun and worthwhile, I genuinely really enjoy my job.