A day in the life of... Head of CRM at Gumtree

This week's Day in the Life introduces us to Matt Button, Head of CRM at Gumtree.

Matt gives us some sage advice on finding out what it is you want to do with your career (after you've checked the Econsultancy jobs board of course).

Please describe your job: What do you do?

I am head of CRM so I am responsible for working out how to get customers to visit and use Gumtree more often.

Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?

I am part of the Marketing Team, and so report to Head of Marketing who is on our Leadership Team (equivalent to the board).

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

Strategic thinking, understanding of how different channels work, clear communication skills to communicate priorities, results, issues, questions and briefs across the organisation and its partners/agencies.

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Matt Button, Gumtree

Tell us about a typical working day…

It's usually office based – so starts with a pleasant walk along the Thames path from Twickenham to Richmond.

The working day starts with strong coffee (we have a pretty good coffee machine) and a daily To Do list – I go through all my tasks and prioritise them in order. I also include whatever meetings I have scheduled that day. And I spend each day working through them. Occasionally I get through the list, but that’s rare, as the list is continually growing.

The day will include a mixture of meetings – with peers and colleagues, 1-to-1s with team members, conference calls with agencies, time spent looking at results and insights, project management (pushing/checking progress on projects in play), checking and approving campaign components, responding to emails.

If a task requires v strong focus and concentration, I may go out to think about it away from office distractions. I try and switch off my inbox when working so I am not continually distracted by new messages. But email is very addictive – it craves your attention and steals your attention easily.

Lunchtime will involve a walk – Richmond is a beautiful area and it helps me ensure I walk at least four miles a day.

What do you love about your job? What sucks?

I love being empowered and being part of something ambitious, digital and part of the circular economy. I work with bright people, we don’t have layers of management, we don’t have loads of internecine departmental politics and internal battles. And eBay as a whole stands for a set of values that I share and has a very strong sense of responsibility and integrity.

What sucks? Very little – unpredictable budgets/investment and very occasionally centralisation.

What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?

My short term goals are visits/traffic to the site (generated from marketing channels) and engagement with campaigns (on social channels). My long terms goals are vibrancy (the number of listings and replies), frequency and retention.

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What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?

Smart, engaged and energetic people – attitude is all. Skills can be taught. Tools can be bought. But people power trumps all.

How did you get into CRM, and where might you go from here?

I have worked in CRM since the start of my marketing career  - which is well pre-internet, pre-Microsoft, pre-email. It used to be called direct marketing, dontchaknow! From here, I am going home to muck about with my daughter and make each other laugh.

Which brands do you think are doing CRM well?

Love Spotify. Love Thread. Love the 80:20 Drummer – he is an a class of his own. He is a killer drum teacher and just as good at CRM as he is teaching drums.

Do you have any advice for people who want to work in CRM or data-led marketing more broadly?

My career advice is simple – know yourself and understand what really motivates you and is non-negotiable to you. And be brutally honest – if status and title are important, admit it and focus on that, if it makes you happy. On the other hand, if culture and belonging are more important, go find them instead.

In terms of CRM and data-led marketing – just remember that all marketing starts from the same place – understanding what you want to do with your customers and, equally importantly, what they want to do with you/your brand. If you really know that, then you will know what to do.


If you're looking for a new challenge in digital, see the Econsultancy jobs board or benchmark your own digital knowledge using our Digital Skills Index.

Alternatively, if you already work in the digital industry and would like a Day In The Life profile, you can email us via press@econsultancy.com

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