Sit down with Peppy’s Demand Generation Lead, Will Lawton

March 24, 2023

Introduce Yourself to us. Tell us about you, your life, your career before Peppy and what you’re really passionate about outside of work. 

My name is Will. I am the Demand Generation Lead at Peppy. I lead our growth marketing team across the UK. I was born in Leeds, but I was raised in Newcastle and I don’t sound like I’m from either of those places – but I am, I promise! Outside of work, I’m a big musician. I did a music degree at university. And also sport is a massive, massive passion of mine. So anything from rugby, football to cricket, I’m all over it.

What did you do before Peppy?

All of my career has been in the startup space. I started at a company called Receipt Bank, a financial tech company in 2016, doing a junior campaigns role in the marketing team. I was there for three years, I was fortunate enough to climb the ranks there a bit, had a couple of promotions along the way until I was leading the global campaigns team. I then worked in a health technology company as their marketing operations manager. That was really my first foray into healthtech. I found that health quickly became something I really enjoyed and became passionate about trying to make a positive difference through my career. Ultimately, that’s why Peppy stood out to me. 

What attracted you to join Peppy?

Initially what attracted me to Peppy was the opportunity. I thought the role sounded great – I would have the chance to help build the demand generation and growth marketing function from the ground up. I also thought the product was really, really well placed in the market! When I was speaking to the founders during the interview process, it was clear to me that people wanted what we offered. It was like the product sold itself –  all we needed to do was to provide valuable information to the people we were trying to speak to. 

Looking back, how has that evolved? 

Peppy has genuinely exceeded my expectations when it comes to the speed we move. I’ve worked in high growth startups before and so it was something that excited me about joining Peppy, but I’ve never been in a company that has scaled as fast as Peppy.  The growth statistics that we’ve achieved in the last 12 months alone are ridiculously impressive and I feel really proud to have played a part in helping the company achieve that, while helping to bring healthcare support to more and more people.

What does a Demand Generation Lead do at Peppy?

My team fuels the sales team with engaged leads who want to find out more about Peppy and are ready to have a sales conversation with us. We go to market, we do a lot of paid advertising to get people thinking about the reasons they might be experiencing certain problems in their business and how that links to healthcare support – for example, menopause impacting the gender pay gap, menopause impacting attrition rates amongst female and male staff members. We also talk about the mental health challenges that people go through when they’re having fertility struggles, for example, and how that impacts engagement and productivity. 

The Demand Generation team works to help arm HR teams with information about these problems, how they’re impacting the business and importantly, how Peppy can help. If we do that well, people can see the value and are eager to speak to our sales team about onboarding Peppy.

What impact do you personally feel like you and the demand generation team have on Peppy’s success? 

Genuinely, we have a massive impact! When I joined the company, there was no real connection between what the marketing team were doing and what the sales team were doing. My initial task was basically to bring those two together to implement the processes that we now have when it comes to demand generation.

We use this to generate the growth engine that Peppy now uses and so it has contributed massively to our growth. It has positively impacted how the teams now work together and the development of what we have. We truly want to build a world class marketing and sales team. We’ve implemented these changes and we are continually improving what we do as new team members come on board and bring their own experience. 

At Peppy, we’ve got a mixture of people choosing to work remotely and those who take advantage of our hybrid-working option; what made you choose to work remotely?

It was a combination of lockdown and love of the city. I had moved to Hampstead about a month before Covid-19 hit. It was lovely and Hampstead Heath was right next door, but we had a tiny, but very expensive flat, and the plan was we’d spend a lot of time outdoors and commute into the office, which was fine. Then Covid-19 hit and we were stuck inside our very tiny little flat. 

We knew that we wanted to move to Edinburgh, get a dog, make lots of lifestyle changes that we knew we’d enjoy more and have a higher quality of life. As I was interviewing with Peppy I raised it with the team initially, that we’re thinking about doing this and they said “Absolutely not a problem, go ahead!”. So I got the job, started and moved to Edinburgh two weeks later.

All previous companies that I had worked for, you had to get permission to work from home even just for a day. I’ve never worked for a company that is as flexible as Peppy. Now I get the best of both worlds, I still go down to London to see the team, to get that face time, which I think is valuable and important. I also then get the ability to be fully remote in Edinburgh and have a dog, be able to get out into the countryside, be near to the coast and be a bit closer to family as well, which is always nice.

How do you and your team manage to stay connected and build lasting relationships while having some work remotely?

I think when you join a company like Peppy, which is remote-first, you understand that building relationships could be a challenge. I think during the onboarding process, you quickly realise that you have to put effort in and you have to turn up on Zoom calls to be able to build strong relationships with your colleagues. 

I feel like everyone understands that building rapport and a team culture is always going to be more difficult when not in person. Everyone gets this and that makes it easier because everyone is aligned. I catch up with my team regularly and we use Slack, as well as Zoom to communicate. 

We talk to each other all the time, even just about the smallest things related to individual tasks or with tasks that may need to be signed off – all of that happens through Slack. We try to respect each other’s time though, and not have Zoom calls all the time, just because you don’t have the ability to just to go over and tap someone on the shoulder, or overhear conversations in an office. 

Communication is fundamentally incredibly important for us. At Peppy, we encourage a really open communication policy where if you want something from someone, just send them a message and they’ll sort it out. I think everyone doing that ultimately helps build relationships. When everyone does come together, I think everyone is so used to being in a remote working environment, that when we have quarterly socials, or even just for a day together in the office, the team is always super excited to see each other, which is great and you feel so welcome. It’s a really nice culture to be a part of. 

Team socials are one of the most important aspects of modern working and I’ve been to three or four Peppy socials now. They’ve ranged from just going out for a couple of drinks after work, to an immersive virtual video game, which was so much fun! It’s something that I think the whole team understands is really important, lots of effort and attention gets put into organising them and that means everyone feels included too.

We launched our 5 core values at Peppy in January 2022, but I’d love to know which ONE of the FIVE resonates most with you? And why?

‘Pioneer at pace’ is the one that most closely aligns with what I do. Certainly, from my position and the team, where your role is to drive growth but there is also a lot of change as the business grows. It means we have to react quickly and change the message that we go out to market with, or add new campaigns to what we’re doing. 

You consistently have to think about new ways to do your role. As the business grows, and when new people join, they bring their expertise, they change processes. I did that when I joined and other people have done that when they joined as well. 

The biggest example of that is now launching a new territory in the US, which is going to be a drastically different challenge to what we’re doing in the UK – but it’s also massively exciting! We’re in the process of setting the precedents of that, setting those initial foundations again, doing what we did in the UK, all over again in the US – while also maintaining everything in the UK. We’re busy pioneering!

Which personality trait of yours has served you best for success at Peppy so far?

My calmness. It ties into what I said before, that to succeed here you have to be adaptable. You can’t be flustered, otherwise things will get dropped. I tend to be quite calm as a person and quite reserved generally.  I think that’s allowed me to see things from an objective perspective and take everything as it comes. 

If you could click your fingers and move to a different department within Peppy, which department would you move to? And why?

I’d move to Client Success. As we’ve grown, the focus has mainly been on the marketing and sales team to bring on new clients. Over the next 24 months, the Client Success team will be responsible for retaining our clients and encouraging as many people as possible to use the Peppy app which is a really exciting challenge.

Client Success also gets to directly see the impact that Peppy is having on our clients and their employees. 

Looking back at your first day at Peppy, if you could give yourself one piece of advice, knowing what you know now, what would it be?

Be comfortable with knowing you won’t understand anything for the first two months of joining the business.

Who within the Peppy team inspires you? And why?

There are a few people that inspire me at Peppy. One is Mridula because she’s in one of the most pressured positions in the entire company as Co-CEO and I think she just consistently comes across as so considerate, calm and self-confident, and always just seems like she knows what she’s doing and makes the right decisions. 

If you want to work alongside people like Will, check out our careers page.

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