Introducing Edwina Lawry, Quill’s new Content Strategy Director
We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Edwina Lawry at Quill, who joins us in the capacity of Content Strategy Director, bringing with her a wealth of expertise in content leadership and implementation.
Originally from Sydney, Edwina has over 12 years’ experience in print and digital content working for a huge range of brands, including Cisco, Lenovo and Bupa. In 2016 she moved from day-to-day strategic editorial to lead King Content’s team in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
As Content Strategy Director, Edwina will work to build upon Quill’s recent successes, guiding the holistic evolution of the Quill content strategy offering to help our clients achieve their customer acquisition and retention objectives.
We sat down with Edwina to ask her some questions on all things branding, content and digital-first ecommerce.
Tell us about your background.
“As with so many in the content marketing and online content space, it’s been a pretty winding road. I studied journalism at university and graduated just as the global financial crisis (and the corresponding media redundancies) hit, so I went into custom publishing – editing magazines about travel, sport and small business.
“Sensing the seismic shift the comms space was undergoing, I made the move to digital in 2011 and joined King Content, Australia’s first dedicated content marketing agency. I worked across editorial, client services and strategy in both Sydney and London, eventually taking over as General Manager of the London office.
“The distance from HQ and the rest of the Asia-Pacific offices meant we operated independently, servicing clients across Europe, the Middle East and the US. I loved being part of a small, fast-moving team – that start-up mentality where new ideas and different ways of working are encouraged.”
What drew you to Quill in particular?
“First and foremost it was the mindset – a willingness to challenge established ways of thinking, and a desire to continually innovate and disrupt. The Quill product itself reflects this revolutionary attitude; the technologies that Quill has developed allow us to produce content of a quality and on a scale never seen before. These products are constantly evolving, meeting the needs of our growing clients and 2000+ freelancer network in almost 45 different languages.
“I liked the idea of stepping into unfamiliar territory – the retail and ecommerce space is quite a change from B2B tech. Plus the team is brilliant. Quill has got a reputation in the industry for having a fantastic working culture with excellent career development opportunities. From what I’ve seen so far, I can confirm it’s absolutely true! Every voice is valued; it feels like anything is possible.”
What do you think are the most exciting trends currently shaping online content and ecommerce?
“The rapid uptake of devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home is opening up all sorts of opportunities in the conversational commerce space. It’s becoming more and more critical that etailers optimise their content for this new generation of search, which I think is going to look very different to what we’re used to.
“I’m also excited to see more and more retail websites moving away from a pure ecommerce play to establishing themselves as genuine publishing platforms and online communities, following the lead of brands like Glossier and Matches. Social commerce and social shopping have become huge trends in the etail space – for instance, Instagram and its new shoppable tags. It’s natural that online brands should start to leverage the selling power of editorial and user-generated content in new ways.”
You’ve worked with some huge brands and continue to do so here at Quill. What is your top piece of advice to big companies hoping to adapt to the digital-first ecommerce landscape?
“First and foremost: invest in your website. It’s your most important asset, especially for ecommerce- or online-only brands, which means you need to dedicate budget and resource sufficiently to ensure it’s up to scratch. Your site should be constantly evolving with consumer needs – from the UX to the content and even the back end. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, frustration and money in the long run if your CMS is efficient and easy-to-use.
“Another tip would be to un-silo your digital, ecommerce, marketing and creative teams as much as possible to pursue a genuine omnichannel approach. Now, more than ever, online businesses need to be thinking big. Give your team the space they need to create, collaborate and innovate.”