A Week in My Life: Anwar Sultan, CMO of The Dining Club Group & ELLO Media

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This week, Anwar Sultan, Chief Marketing Officer of The Dining Club Group and newly-formed B2B marketing agency, ELLO Media, takes us through a week in his working life.



A day of meetings, planning and reacting for the week

Morning coffee is a must – black, no sugar, before arriving at the office for 7:30am. I start my day early every morning as it’s when I’m most productive, although that could just be the coffee…

The working day kicks off with a catch up with my senior staff reviewing priorities for the week. Then it’s into a meeting with our analyst to look at our latest forecast for the month based on last week’s performance. 

Next is the weekly meeting with the full team. We do this religiously every Monday - it’s really important to bring everyone together to discuss the plan for the week ahead. Following a quick update from the channel and department owners on their areas, we confirm our goals and break off into our work to achieve them. 

Now for a one-to-one with my Head of Marketing where we focus on her development. It’s important to have these informal conversations outside of the tactical day-to-day, and I make sure we do this at least once a fortnight. This is followed up with a quick call with our head of HR to talk recruitment and talent! Attracting the very best talent to our business is so important and our highly diverse and talented team continues to go from strength to strength. 

After the day’s final meeting with the B2B sales team to look at opportunities and pipeline, it’s time to get ready for boxing! Investing in my personal well-being is very important to me, and boxing always fills me with energy and gets my week off to a good start.


Team building and more meetings 

Coffee, again. This time ahead of a team building and culture event with the entire marketing department and head of learning development. A happy and well-informed workforce is key to producing results, which is why I invest a lot of time in people and my team.

We took part in a number of group activities throughout the morning which focused on teamwork, communication and personality. We also identified departmental values, ensuring these were in line with the company values.

Now time for a quick break to catch up on some emails before a 12pm chat with the rest of the directors on the board, where we update each other on key topics and developments across the business. We do this weekly as a group, spending two hours looking at topics that lie outside of financial performance. 

After an interview to end the day, it was out with the entire business to a private screening of Captain Marvel, courtesy of ELLO Media’s newest client Vue Cinemas!


Strategy day

A trip along the M62 today and over to Huddersfield to spend the morning in our strategy room with the rest of the board of directors, where we outlined our strategic three-year growth plans. Then it was back to our Manchester headquarters for a team meeting on our customer segmentation strategy.

After a quick bite to eat, I ensured I had some time blocked out to plan for tomorrow’s board meeting. A second stage interview followed this that went very well!

After a Grenade protein bar, my third or fourth of the day (I eat far too many of these), I finished the day with a trip to the gym! 


Board Meeting and couple’s dinner

Early start again, and coffee… again. This morning, I’m reviewing yesterday’s notes ahead of a meeting with our non-executive board members – preparation is key. Next, a one-to-one with the founder and CEO to review my last 12 months as it was my one-year anniversary with the business! It was great to reflect on what’s been an amazing year. 

Leaving this on a high, it was board meeting time, where we went through performance and received updates from every director on their priorities and focuses. Our board meetings are very open and conversational so I always look forward to these and leave with a very clear picture of what I need to focus on and lots of exciting ideas. 

Then it was straight into a meeting with our Head of Analytics and Finance Director to review new reporting requirements. Data is at the heart of everything we do and we’re always looking to drive innovation here! We have an in-house team of business analysts using our proprietary data capture technology to gain detailed insight into customer behaviour, which in turn helps us identify trends to create the most effective and connected engagement experiences for both our own customers and our clients’.

After just about managing to digest all the numbers, it was time to smarten up for a director’s couples dinner. It’s always nice to meet with the rest of the directors outside of work and this time we invited our wives and partners. We went for some nice British tapas in Lindley! A great evening to end a busy but productive day.


A Day of insight, reflection and spending time with the team

Coffee, Grenade bar and gym in the morning to get the final workout in ahead of the weekend! 

Once everyone’s in the office on a Friday, my first job is always to visit all teams and ensure everyone has the Friday feeling, giving positive feedback to members who have delivered great results over the past week. I make sure I engage with everyone - it’s so important to have fun and engage all your staff.

The first official meeting of the day is with the senior marketing managers, giving them a debrief of the highlights from the board meeting and ensuring they’re well informed of everything that’s happening. This is followed by a quick catch-up on emails before our weekly tech prioritisation meeting to see what’s coming up and also to prioritise the backlog to improve our customer experience with our brand.

Some more rare desk time, I make the most of it by clearing out my inbox and logging what I’ve eaten into MyFitnessPal – I perform better in all aspects of my life when I’m eating and drinking well, and this is a great way of keeping on track with my diet.

Next was a welcome visit from our attribution partner, Cubed, for our monthly meeting where we review key insights and recommendations from their platform with both our data and marketing teams. 

Then it was into an intro with new starter Fiona, who joined our design team this week. I always make sure all new starters get a one-to-one induction with me in their first week so I can introduce myself and ensure they’re happy with how they’re settling in. The week was rounded off on a high with a great one-to-one with my Head of Digital. We discussed the great progress he’s made and also looked ahead to his future development. 

Home time, ready for the weekend.