Meet the Team: Brian Grassie, Head of Digital Marketing

September 29, 2021
6 minute read

Tell us a bit about your background and what attracted you to working with Phlo?

When I graduated from marketing in 2004, digital media wasn’t a big component of it, so I had to learn a lot of new techniques to keep up with the changing advertising landscape. Before joining Phlo, I worked in a variety of industries and found my niche in the charity sector which I really loved, spending time with Spinal Injuries Scotland and the National Autistic Society. I worked with different marketing agencies with a variety of budgets for both online and offline activity. I knew quickly that I wanted to learn more about digital marketing and the new opportunities that it brought.

I then spent a few years as a consultant for different agencies and that’s when I was introduced to Phlo.

What attracted me to Phlo was the fact that it’s a service which genuinely helps people with their medication and their overall health and that’s what truly motivates me. With my background of spinal injuries, I knew first-hand that many people find it difficult to physically get to the pharmacy or may need assistance from others. I’m passionate about the fact that technology and services like Phlo can enable people to have a higher level of independence.

In addition to that, I always knew that I wanted to help build a multi-skilled in-house marketing team. I wanted to help foster a team and develop a culture that was creative, self-reliant and where everyone could have fulfilling jobs and work autonomously. I think it’s safe to say that we have created that culture within both the marketing team and the wider Phlo team itself!

What does your role entail at Phlo and what does a typical day look like for you?

I’m responsible for helping generate the strategic and creative side of our digital advertising campaigns. My focus is reaching and engaging patients from across the UK that would benefit from using Phlo’s service who may otherwise have never heard of us.  I’m responsible for ensuring that myself and the team are generating new creative campaign concepts to reach new patients and ensuring that we utilise data to make decisions about where to focus our marketing efforts.

Another part of my role is ensuring the optimisation of our campaigns across all our digital platforms including Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn, to find new ways of reaching new patients. I would say that being hands on with our digital advertising campaigns and creative concepts takes up about 10 or 20% of my time now but I don't think I ever want to lose that.  

The other big part of my job is supplier and stakeholder management. I work with the different departments, speaking to colleagues in different teams to get a full understanding of what's going on elsewhere in the business, as well as working with suppliers and building solid relationships with our partners to test as many different avenues as possible to reach new Phlo patients.

What makes Phlo different and why should people join us?

The openness and collaboration of the teams is unlike anywhere else that I've seen. You could get up in the morning and run a campaign that will allow a family to access their medication from the safety and the comfort of their own home when they may not have another option. That is empowering.

Often our marketing campaigns can be shown millions of times and you can get easily lost in the scale of that. However, what makes it worth it for me is seeing our patients Trustpilot reviews which reiterates how important a service like Phlo is for people. We never get fed up when people say it's a literal life saver!

I also love the agile and evolving culture that we foster at Phlo. There's a lot of bravery in the business to try new things and we have an unwritten policy here that there's no such thing as a bad idea. We have a commitment to innovation, and I think that keeps it interesting because we can carve our own path and I think that's a huge thing for anyone that is ambitious.

What do you like the most about your role?

What I like most is watching the team grow and I like to be a part of that. I’ve seen the team develop rapidly with their technical skills and creative capabilities. I also like that the team are taking on elements that are not necessarily in line with their immediate skillset. For instance, a graphic designer may not usually get exposure to detailed campaign data analysis. I like to try and position them more as a “creative”, which for me, means that they are challenged to craft great ideas that are going to have an impact, they can assess what that impact was and then iterate.

Seeing continuous improvement and seeing a team that are not scared to produce a campaign, launch it, assess and change it, is what I really enjoy from a creative and a cultural perspective.

What motivates you and what are your core values?

For me, Phlo makes people’s lives so much easier and improves the quality of their health. That's what pharmacy is all about. Personally, I know people that Phlo has made a massive difference to their lives when it comes to better managing their healthcare needs.

When we sit down to talk about why we want to reach a certain community, it's because we want to make a difference for that community. When we come up with a creative concept, it’s always about who will this work for first and foremost, and when you put the patient first, your campaigns are always more successful. It’s my job to get it in the hands of the people that need our service most.

I’m also greatly motivated by continuous improvement and development. The idea that nothing is ever perfect or finished, can be quite daunting for some, but there's no such thing as the perfect product or service. I believe the quicker you realize that you need to commit to continuous improvement is the game changer for me.

In terms of core values, openness and honesty I think are important in a rapidly growing business. I think you can have a successful commercial organisation that fosters creativity and a strong culture if you approach it correctly.  

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My wife and I have our first baby on the way so there’s not going to be much spare time soon! But otherwise, I love mountain biking, camping and cooking. I’m never too far away from green space, I enjoy nature and fresh air, it’s good therapy for me which gets me ready for the start of every new week.

If you'd like to join the Phlo team and help us shape the future of Pharmacy, check out our vacancies on our careers page.

Content last reviewed on:
September 29, 2023
Next review date:
September 29, 2024
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