Alumni Interview: Edward Drax


Meet Edward Drax, graduate of General Assembly London’s 10-week Digital Marketing and 10-week Front-End Web Development programs. His career previously spanned advertising (at Saatchi & Saatchi), commercial property development, and a health and wellness business. Edward currently serves as Managing Director of Expense Magic, a mobile and web app that removes the pain of capturing, processing and storing receipts and expenses.

1. Why learn digital marketing when you also have a business to run?

While Expense Magic is part of Paperless Receipts, we are essentially a startup within the larger business. So I recognized early on that traditional marketing would be too expensive, too immeasurable, and too slow for us.

I’d been reading a lot about Push-Pull strategies and the importance of building a relationship with customers, and realized that digital marketing was the way forward. The ability to acquire your true target audience, converse with it, and track how you’re doing every step of the way – I wanted to understand in more depth how to do this.

2. You’ve had experience working with brands both small and big. How would you say digital marketing applies to more established players?

Mastering digital is just as important for big global businesses as it is for small nimble startups. For example, look at Burberry, and see how they are shaking up the fashion industry! For big businesses, it is no longer the case of “I have a product. These are the benefits. You will use it.” It is about establishing a community of followers, and letting people know that you’re here to listen and solve their problems. That is the role digital marketing plays, and if you’re not prepared to listen to your customers, someone else will.

3. What advice would you give to a friend who’s just getting started in digital marketing?

  • There is no shortcut – make the time to do some courses and read relevant blogs (I now religiously subscribe to KISSmetrics, Hubspot and QuickSprout).
  • Try experimenting with the marketing tools available, e.g. Google AdWords and Unbounce. It doesn’t matter if a test goes wrong; the learning is the key.
  • Learn to code, even if at a basic level. You’ll see the difference it makes when communicating with tech teams as you’re trying to grow.

4. So, what’s next for Expense Magic?

Growing our customer base by various marketing tactics, focusing on understanding our customers and communities and providing the very best service in our sector. Our customers hate managing their monthly receipts and expenses, but we thrive on it and wish to make the process entirely painless for them.

Engaging our user base and tracking performance throughout the funnel is key to our growth, and GA’s Digital Marketing course has given me the understanding and the tools to apply the tactics I’ve learned to the business.

We are also working on the release of our Android app, together with improving Expense Magic’s features and overall user experience. Some exciting stuff to come, so watch this space.

5. Finally, we simply have to ask – what is your guilty pleasure?

DVD box sets. I haven’t got the time or the patience to watch something at the same time each week! So watching 3 episodes in a row on the train, or half a series at the weekend – that’s pure escapism.