Based in York, RockarTech is a software provider and ecommerce consultancy.
Rockar has worked with a range of including automotive clients and retailers including Hyundai, Ford of Britain, Mitsubishi and Jaguar Land Rover.
First joining the company in 2018 as a creative, Dan Smedley has risen through the ranks through senior marketing roles and was appointed as head of performance in 2022.
He shared what a recent week in his life looked like…
Monday morning’s are probably my calmest mornings owing to working from home and a little time spent planning my calendar on a Sunday evening! My day starts with family time, a nursery drop off followed by some time spent with my daughter. I like to start the week with my priorities right. We kick off the work week with a senior leadership stand up which we do daily, followed by a stand up with my data team.
I will typically use Monday as a planning and preparation day, so I spend some time analysing the retail performance of the brands we work with such as Jaguar Land Rover, BMW and GWM ORA, then preparing to support their ecommerce teams in our weekly optimisation sessions. In the afternoon I join the weekly management session followed by a Product steering session where we discuss our future technology roadmap and requirements coming from our clients. My day ends with a one to one with our COO/MD and a check in on my notes from the day.
Tuesdays are office days, and I look forward to spending time with the team in our lovely office in South Newbald out in the sticks. Starting with the daily standup, the marketing team will get together to discuss the week and generally catchup, followed by our first optimisation session with Rockar Retail – the retailing business closely affiliated with RockarTech. There we discuss operations, marketing and sales much like we do with our OEM clients.
Following that, a further client optimisation session will take place and I’ll take the half hour before lunch to digest outputs and coordinate with the wider business. I try to keep Tuesday afternoons free for admin and management tasks, as well as my own personal development and industry research. The rate at which we work with our clients and the pace of omnichannel and DTC demands staying on top of your game. We try to start office days a little earlier so we can head off home earlier.
Wednesdays are also office days, and tend to be the heaviest client interaction days too. Currently we’re working with a new vehicle manufacturer, so I’ll spend time with them in the morning to check in on progress of the platform and any data and marketing requirements. Then it’s straight into another client optimisation session through to lunch.
I’ll typically spend Wednesday afternoons out with clients and potential clients, or working on our own sales and marketing strategy. Every other Wednesday I’ll spend an hour in the late afternoon with my coach/counsellor – it’s easy to deprioritise yourself when everything is urgent but I’ve found this hour to be critical to me being able to stay focussed and check in on myself.
I find that more often than not I’m on the 5.20am train from Hull to London to get into our Canary Wharf office for 9am. I’d love to say I take those few hours to rest but it’s generally straight into work, or on the quieter days getting through whatever book I’m reading!
Once I’m out of Kings Cross and off the Elizabeth and into our office, it’s straight into the daily standup (a nightmare situation if I have to try and join that on the commute between stations!). I spend a lot of Thursdays with the account directors and other senior management to discuss client status and requirements as well as our sales funnel and commercial opportunities.
At lunch it’s generally straight to Pret and a little walk around our retail store, followed by our weekly Data team catch-up where we set priorities and discuss the data product roadmap. I love those sessions because, much like the marketing team, the data team are some of the most innovative and energetic people I’ve worked with. That’s usually my last meeting and I’ll try my best to get on a train which gets me home to put the kids to bed.
Back home for Fridays, I’ll start the day with our final senior leadership standup at 9am swiftly followed by our Rockar Retail catchup for half an hour. Those sessions are great to finalise any weekend campaigns and recap on what we’ve accomplished in the week. Additionally those sessions are absolutely vital to our R&D for both the technology platform and our own products and services.
We are just getting back into our business-wide Friday Floor Shout sessions which are just fantastic exposure for team members getting their wins out there and discussing how the week has been. We aren’t much of a hierarchical business, and that makes for a really fun and engaging session. We’ll spend some time early afternoon discussing the status of our clients, what’s been delivered on a technology level and recapping on client statuses.
I set a few hours aside on a Friday afternoon to prepare as much as possible for Monday and note down any observations from the week. My life is in Notion at the moment, so I’ll check in with my to do list to make sure it’s neat and tidy for next week, and review my ‘think tank’ board – little bits of inspiration and ideas I get through the week.
I find that ending my week on a positive really sets me up for the weekend and makes me feel good about the week ahead. All of that covers a standard week but, honesty, they’re few and far between! We’re in a period of growth at the moment so I do tend to get pulled around a lot much like the rest of the team but getting to chat with new people every week keeps me on top of my game and full of fresh ideas.