With extensive international experience, a multitude of languages and several certifications from leading educational institutions, Niall Watters of ChannelSight talks to us about how he is playing his part in making the world instantly shoppable.
In your own words what does ChanelSight do?
We are an ecommerce performance insights platform, helping brands to optimise all of their digital content to maximise sales and ROI. Our core “where to buy” technology is designed to make all brand digital assets instantly shoppable, creating a seamless path to purchase for consumers. The service also provides deep actionable insights into consumer behaviour, with the ChannelSight team on hand to offer strategic support and actionable learnings.
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
My role is to liaise and partner with global business leaders to advise them on how they can make their digital content instantly shoppable. By taking a deep dive into their current digital strategy and providing thought leadership on how they can use our solutions to further enhance their strategy, I help brands to ensure that they are connecting with and engaging consumers at every possible opportunity. Quite a number of prospective clients are unaware of the power of our solutions and the level of reporting and insight behind them, so a lot of my time is spent showcasing the opportunities for brands by using our software.
What are your biggest challenges?
Marketing directors, ecommerce directors and senior executives in general tend to be extremely busy, so finding quality time with them can be a challenge. This requires thinking of innovative ways to fit into their agenda, and ensure you are getting quality time with them. Once you get in front of these leaders, you need to ensure that you are making best use of that time and that you are adding significant value.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
One of the challenges facing the ecommerce industry going forward will be related to the slowdown in consumer spending over the past few years, largely due to growing economic uncertainty and political instability in a number of nations. From a macroeconomic perspective, there has been a somewhat levelling off of GDP growth in a couple of key economies such as the US, Europe and China – the latter representing over 57% share of the global ecommerce market. The inverted yield curve that the stock market experienced in August has historically preceded an economic downturn so all eyes will be on the global economy for the next few years, as that would present major challenges for the majority of industries.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
Success can be defined in many ways, and we’re living in a time when the perception of success is somewhat distorted. For me, success is when you set out to do something, no matter how big or small it is, and you achieve it. It’s true that you may not achieve everything you set out to do, but as long as there are key learnings along the journey then that counts as being successful too. Having a clear vision and setting out a path to achieve that vision is key.
I have always been really competitive from a young age. This competitive nature has meant that I have always challenged myself to learn new skills and improve on existing ones, and try to learn from any failings along the way. I strive to be 1% better every single day. The motivation and constant drive stems from knowing that I am yet to unlock my full potential, and I guess when you start to see progress in the right direction then that helps to fuel ambition too.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
The best business advice I was given came from my father, who helped to mastermind a family business to become the leading retailer of premium domestic appliance products in Ireland for over 30 years and that advice was, ‘Don’t say no until you understand what you are saying no to.’ What he meant is that if someone presents you with an opportunity, before you turn it down, make sure you understand the wider picture. It may be an opportunity to learn a new skill, it may be an opportunity to build a new connection, or whatever it may be – just make sure you know what you are saying no to.
I have also been very fortunate to work closely with Enda McNulty, CEO of McNulty Performance, delivering Leadership Development and High Performance Team programmes to global businesses. It was through this that I gained a deep insight into the key traits and characteristics required to become a high performing leader – it was interesting to see that the majority of those leaders who were high performers were also those who practiced a Growth Mindset. Having a growth mindset is key to achieving any type of success, both in your personal and professional life.
What’s next for your company?
It’s a very exciting time to be a part of the ChannelSight family, we have just entered Q4 of what has been a stellar year so far for the company. The year started off with $10million Series B funding, which has led to multiple ecommerce product launches and a huge recruitment drive across many areas of the business. We now have a number of offices globally, with hundreds of companies in over 65 countries using our technology. With this global coverage, coupled with our holistic and expert approach to marketing and ecommerce, we hope to add to this in 2020 and continue on our mission to make the world instantly shoppable.