Introducing one of Liverpool Science Park’s newest tenants, Phil Birss, managing director of Elephant Digital.
1 – “Tell us how Elephant got started?”
My business partner, Rob Findlay, and I met 12 years ago, and have worked together ever since. We originally worked in the banking sector followed by a stint in recruitment before stumbling on marketing and web development in 2007.
Rob was launching a new business venture and needed a website, so we worked through the night (well a couple nights actually) to learn the basics of web development and WordPress and got him a website live. Please don’t ask for the URL, it was not our finest work!
Deciding that a career in marketing and web design was for us, I went on to work for some the North West’s leading digital and development agencies before turning client-side, working as a group marketing manager for a large engineering business in Wigan.
Rob took a similar path working in account and project management roles for some great local agencies before joining a Fast Track 100 company as a marketing manager.
As good friends we had long shared an ambition to start a business together, so with the pulse of post-recession Liverpool starting to beat louder we decided to make the big jump, and Elephant Digital was born!
2 – You have been trading for a year now, how are things going?
We recently celebrated our first birthday and are proud to say that the future looks bright, which is fantastic.
For us, year one was about building our reputation and doing the best possible work to get our name out in the local market. We love what we do, and we are looking forward to a successful second year in business.
3 – So, what services Elephant Digital offer?
In a nutshell, Elephant Digital offers branding, website development and communications to companies and organisations based in the North West.
We are at home developing digital strategies for clients who have a specific need to increase their sales, build their brand presence, launch into a new market or simply create a digital hub for their wider marketing plan.
4 – Your ‘security’ guard, Jed the Dog, looks like a bit of softie. How lethal is he in protecting the Elephant team?
Ha! We’re very lucky that Jed agreed to join us to be honest. We interviewed far and wide to find the right ‘person’ for this role, but in the end, a lifetime’s supply of Pedigree Chum won him over.
What else can I say? Jed is a ruthless, trained killer but he has heart of gold and a penchant for long walks and tummy rubs. It is great to have him on board!
5 – You recently moved in to the Science Park earlier this year. How are you finding it so far?
The Science Park is a perfect place for companies like ours, and we are really happy to be here. We have an office in the innovation hub, which is on the 3rd floor of IC2, with great views of the cathedral and the new hospital that is flying up.
The LSP team is great, always listening to our needs and sorting things out as quickly as they can. As a company, we are growing fast so having a degree of flexibility with the space available is a great bonus for us.
5 – Where is your favourite lunch spot in the city centre?
We try to share the love with local businesses in Liverpool and support as many local, bars, restaurants and cafes as we can. Tough life, I know!
If we had to single out a couple (apologies to those we have not mentioned!) it would be Frederiks on Hope Street who have a cracking menu, some great beers and a great little function room at the rear, where we host our monthly Social Media and LinkedIn masterclasses.
Our other favourite is Free State Kitchen on Maryland Street, which is owned by a good friend of ours and offers the absolute best burger in Liverpool! The double French onion burger is a must-try!
6 – What did you do on your last team social event?
We’ve been so busy with the move to the Science Park, as well as bringing on a number of great new clients that we really haven’t had the time to hit the town. It’s been all hands on deck since March 1st!
Having said that, we enjoy a wind-down on Friday afternoon. You can usually find us if you head down Hope Street and poke your head into Frederiks, or Free State Kitchen, or The Clove Hitch, or The Philharmonic Pub or… well, you get the idea.