Each month we’ll share the profile of a digital professional so that you can find out how they work in the interactive industry and what motivates them. If you would like to be profiled, please contact us.

Name: Cat Matson
Role: CEO
Organisation: HEARIS www.hearis.com

How did you get into digital marketing?
Natural evolution really. My first business, a coaching practice for women, started with the establishment of a website and email capture form back in 2001. Before I had a newsletter I had 100+ subscribers. I kept using web-based technologies in all my businesses … then in 2008 I started tweeting … and that connected me in a lot of respects to the wider digital marketing community. Chairing the Networx panels, attending SxSW (South by South West), co-hosting the Social Media for Small Business Podcast – all came about because of my interest in digital and interactive. And now, hear I am running a digital start-up being asked how I got into digital marketing.

What does your current role involve day-to-day?
Business development in the first instance – identifying leads, contacting them (or figuring out how to contact them), presenting the core benefits of the platform then running demos of the platform.

Marketing in the second – generating PR through our PR agency (TwoCents), blogging, distributing social media content.

And then development – identifying the next features we need to develop, determining ‘what’ and ‘how’ those features should work, briefing the development team then reviewing what gets developed. We work in fortnightly development sprints – I must admit, I love those fortnightly development updates.

Finally … all the other bits that come with running a start-up. Resourcing the development team, resourcing marketing functions, reporting to the Directors, presenting to Investors, troubleshooting our website, managing staff, networking and staying abreast of what’s happening in the digital industry in general, in SoLoMo specifically.

What is the best thing about your current job?
Oh gees, where do I start?I get to talk social media all day, every day.
I talk to really smart, savvy Social Media and Brand Managers for large businesses.
I indulge in my Entrepreneurial, Start-Up, Digital and Social Media interests every. single. day.
For a start-up, I have the best Board ever … and I get to play with incredible minds in the industries I love the most.

What has been your biggest challenging with digital marketing in 2013?
Staying abreast of what Facebook and Google + are up to … and keeping HEARIS up-to-date with those changes. Learning which changes are important and ‘stayers’ and which ones are flashes in the pan.

What do you see is the biggest opportunity in the industry at the moment?
At the risk of sounding self-serving, localised social media is HUGE … with more and more people doing their searches on the phone (through a variety of different platforms, apps or browsers) local-social engagement is becoming increasingly important in informing those search results. With a platform like HEARIS (told you it would sound self-serving) it’s now quite easy to manage multiple local social media assets … and those brands that do it first will seriously reap the rewards.

How do you stay up to date with the digital marketing industry (please list any information sources, events or other)?
Interactive Minds – even though I don’t get along as much as I’d like, just receiving the invitations and checking out the speakers tells me what I need to keep an eye on

Chairing the panel discussions at Networx each month – seriously, each month I get to have a conversation with the leading minds in marketing (and a lot of the time, digital marketing).

Similarly, I co-host the Social Media for Small Business podcast – so again, each month I interview 2 social media experts

Whatever I’ve got in my Flipboard Feed (Social Media Examiner, Marketing Magazine, The Next Web … I’m not sure what else is in there)

My social feeds, in particular my ‘Professional Crushes’ & ‘Info Sources’ Circles on Google +, similar lists on Twitter and just the interesting stuff that somehow finds it’s way to me

Who or what do you use for inspiration?
Conversations with smart, thoughtful people
Reading biographies of different people – not necessarily in our industry.
Scanning Pinterest … not for anything in particular … just general smart, clever, geeky or sexy stuff

What is your favourite work related phone app?
After all my social media apps
And after gmail where I’m getting much smarter in how I use ‘tags’
Skitch for Evernote & Evernote in General
Oh, and Google Drive.

What has been your work highlight for 2013?
Being asked to head up HEARIS. Hands down.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
mmmm … really don’t know. Probably training & facilitation or speaking. Problem is, I’d be teaching, training and facilitating about digital marketing 😉