Elise Bentley boasts an impressive resume. Having worked as an Electorate Advisor at the Office of Premier Campbell Newman, Business Analyst and currently the Senior Director of Marketing at Tiny, Elise has dipped her toes across a broad range of industries. We were excited to sit down with her to talk about all things marketing including her impressive career, digital trends in the industry and the lack of female leaders in digital.
These are incredible professional accolades, but tell us, who is Elise Bentley the person?
Behind the work persona is someone who I would say is pretty normal. Away from the office, I’m the person you will find avidly planning their next overseas adventure or taking time out to be with friends, family, and of course, my dogs. I will most likely always be able to tell you about what’s been happening in the latest Netflix movies and shows as well.
It is commonly recognised that there are fewer female leaders in digital and technology. You actually started your career in political communications. How did you end up working in this industry?
When my time in politics was finished, I decided I wanted to go into the commercial side of things and branch out of communications into general marketing. My first role from there was actually with a consultancy specialising in HR. It was a great experience to be able to see the impact we were able to make for clients, but I was after something that was more technical and product orientated. I then happened to land at a company which had a service arm, but was also building a tech start-up within the financial space. It was such a great experience, I thought finance was the space to be, but I ended up really missing the technological aspect, so decided to come back into tech. It has been an interesting mix of different experiences from different industries, but having all these various backgrounds I found has really allowed me to have a strong understanding of many different viewpoints, techniques, and concepts, which you wouldn’t be exposed to if you have always sat within a single industry.
Tiny was well-primed for remote working considering your team is dispersed across countries and timezones – what advice do you have for team leaders that are new to remote working?
The most important thing is to ensure your team can reach out to you whenever they need to. I find it is important to have both a professional relationship with the team, but also the understanding that everyone is human and we have all been going through massive upheavals over the last few months. It has been so important to touch base with everyone daily, not just about what they are working on, but also stimulating more casual conversation and trying to find activities to do with more team members.
What do you think can be done to improve diversity in the digital industry, particularly in more technical positions?
I have been very fortunate within all my digital and tech roles that diversity has always been fairly strong, both at the leadership level and among the wider team. I think a lot of this has been because of the human approaches these businesses have taken. It is about being willing to take risks with people who may not have been the perfect fit on paper, but have the attitude and the willingness to go the extra mile. Being in the marketing side, I have been lucky that there are always loads of really talented women marketers (along with men) and focusing on the right fit and the right attitudes has always worked out well.
What is on the cards for Tiny in the new 20/21 financial year?
We have some pretty big plans for Tiny over the next year which I cannot quite talk publicly about yet, but I’m really excited to see where we go. Watch this space!
What’s your most recommended Business/ Marketing resource?
I loath to recommend a single source, there are so many great people (and companies) out there who are doing such amazing things within the marketing space and are happily sharing their journey, and learnings, online. The digital world has opened so many different avenues to grow and explore your passion in marketing. For those who are just starting out, I always point them over to the Hubspot Blog. Love them or hate them, they provide great content on a lot of the fundamentals of marketing.
What technology development is most exciting to you at the moment?
Real-Time Collaboration. It may sound like something that has been around for ages (Google Docs anyone), but within our niche we are seeing the pent up demand for a scalable, easily deployable system which can be integrated into any product or platform. For those that follow Tiny’s blog they will know we have been working on it, and listening to the development team talk about all the different ways they are trying to solve this problem and take it to the next level. This is something I find truly fascinating. We’ve been really public about why we have been making technical decisions, and the reaction we are getting from the developer community has been amazing. We get so many comments and thoughts from developers who have tried similar things but not been able to make them work.
What is something that not many people know about you?
I am a complete nerd about far too many things. Marketing being one of them. I truly love the way you are able to take so many concepts and ideas, and bring them together to create something truly amazing and creative, and turn it into something that resonates with your customers and helps solve their problems and fulfil their needs.
What is next for you?
Being with Tiny is such a great experience – working with the team to create software which truly makes a difference in the world of Open Source. I cannot wait to continue working to redevelop and redefine the marketing arm at Tiny and deliver a world-class experience.
It is too hard to say what will be next for me as I continue to explore marketing!
A big thanks to Elise for chatting with us. If you want to read more Q&A’s with the top women in business head over to our blog! We will also be sharing further female success stories on our socials so stay updated with our Facebook and Instagram.