Behind The Brand, Thought Leadership

Our Head of Marketing features in the media


Helen Spivey, senior marketing communications manager, March 12, 2020

Andy Cullwick is Head of Marketing at First4Lawyers

Yorkshire Post ‘A Day in The Life Of…’

I’ve spent six years at First4Lawyers in Huddersfield having made the move from the automotive world where I’d worked at Manheim Europe, one of the world’s largest automotive services company, as their head of marketing.

First4Lawyers is the UK’s largest independent legal marketing collective focused on ethical claims handling and ensuring access to justice for the vulnerable and injured. I joined the team in 2014 and the last six years have seen a raft of reforms and change throughout our industry which are looking to fundamentally change the way in which people who suffer from small claims injuries, such as whiplash, are able to claim for compensation. My role, as one of the senior management team, has been to look ahead and anticipate the changes and the impact that they may have on the business to ensure we move through them as seamlessly as possible.

Brummie born and bred, Yorkshire became my second home more than 20 years ago when I moved to the Calder Valley. Since then I’ve lived in Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, but I’m currently in the process of moving back to the Calder Valley.

A normal day starts for me at home about 6am. I’ve got a one-year old puppy who needs a lot of walking, so I’ll head out with him first thing. Walking across the countryside early in the day gives me time to make a mental list of my key priorities for the day ahead, based on my overall plan for the week. Then I head home, prepare lunch to take with me and drive into the office for 8am.

The first thing I tend to do when I get to the office is to review the day before. I’ll specifically look to see how many enquiries we had come through, take a stock check to see if everything is in line with expectations, and if not look at why and what needs to be addressed to sort that. Then I’ll set my tasks for the day, sending out any regular updates to the business and also to our panel law firms. There are also a number of regular morning meetings which I attend.

After that I like to check in with my team, see where they are at with various projects, answer any questions they have and listen to what they’re seeing come through the business. They are a very capable and talented group of people. One of the things we always say which sets our business apart is the passion and dedication that our staff deliver to their work. In an industry like ours, which is focused on helping those who are injured and vulnerable, you do need to be truly empathetic, and our people certainly embody this. Recently I spent the day, alongside the rest of the marketing team, immersed in calls with our claims team so that we could really experience what it’s like at the coalface. Experiences like this really drive home what the work we do every day is about.

The rest of my day is then dictated by our current top priorities. In recent years this has included an overhaul of our website to ensure we are offering the best consumer experience possible. Historically, the first contact consumers made with us was by telephone, but that has changed considerably over the last few years. We saw this change unfolding and placed several points of contact on our website so that people feel comfortable to reach out to us in the way that they want to, when they want to. We have seen a significant increase in people utilising our online chat facility, so it’s important we continue to monitor how things change and that we adapt accordingly.

As with so many industries, technology has been propelling us forward rapidly over the last few years, and that rate of change isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon. A key part of my role is to stay up to date with technological developments across the marketing industry in general. There are new innovations in areas that are key to us, such as paid for internet searches, and we need to be one step ahead to forecast and utilise these new tools, ahead of our competitors.

Another example of this is Artificial Intelligence which just keeps improving and delivering more and more. We look for ways to utilise this to deliver business efficiencies. Traditionally, finding new customers has involved investing huge amounts of money, but AI developments are allowing us to be a lot more focused in how we search and find the right customers.

At the end of the day I get to head home to be greeted very enthusiastically by my puppy. I usually end up chasing him round the house with his lead to get him out for a nice long walk, which gives me a chance to unwind and wash away the day before heading home to make a nice home cooked meal and crashing on the sofa watching Air Crash Investigation!

Huddersfield Examiner ‘A coffee with…’

What's your business motto?
You need to enjoy what you do, if you don’t, there’s no point being there.

How do you make contacts which are useful for business?
I think this often comes with time and experience. I spent five years working at the Chamber of Commerce, and a core part of my job there was networking. It enabled me to build a network for life. A lot of the people who I originally connected with have moved on, as I have, and from my point of view that has only strengthened them as connections as they now have even broader experience. I think you can always learn from other industries and I actively spend more time looking outside my sector to see what we can do better.

What makes your business different?
The people, and our size. The team are so passionate about what they do, and that really makes the difference in our sector. Our size also means we’re very agile, we’re smaller than some of our competitors which means we can respond to change quickly and stay ahead.

What do you always have with you?
My phone.

Do you dress-up or dress-down for business?
I dress for the occasion. Working as a marketing professional in the world of legal services calls for a chameleon like approach. Legal services tend to be suited and booted, so I’m mindful of that but I also spend a lot of time with marketing professionals and agencies who tend to be more smart-casual. Consequently, I pick the most suitable attire for the occasion.

Which person has inspired you most in your business life and in what way?
All my direct line managers have inspired me in one way or another, but I think I’d have to say my standout mentor was the Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce. She was incredibly knowledgeable. I learnt a lot from her and in turn she took time to help with my development. It was very difficult to leave there as it was such a nurturing environment to work in.

What's your proudest achievement in business?
First4Lawyers have won at the Personal Injury Awards a total of seven times, and five years in a row. This is a whole team effort and having the business recognised by its peers for the hard work we put in has been extremely rewarding for me.

What's your company's greatest asset?
Our people. They have the passion and ability to deliver our vision and values. Without them we couldn’t succeed. This is also reflected in the fact that almost 9,000 people rate us on Trustpilot and score us 4.9 out of 5. Our people work hard to put our clients first.

Do you use social media and if so with how much success?
As a business we use it very successfully. I think it provides a great window into seeing what people are up to, as well as providing you with a great platform.
Personally, I do use social media, but tend to use it more to learn rather than posting lots of comments.

If you hadn't gone down your chosen career path, what would you be doing?
At age 14 I wanted to join the RAF but wasn’t able to apply on medical grounds. Instead I took business studies at school, and as part of it I undertook a marketing project where I had to go into a business and do a presentation. I turned a Cadburys crème egg into Cadburys crème egg ice cream. At the end of the day someone took me to one side and told me I had a real future in marketing, and the passion has been there since. If I wanted to re-train I’d be a chef, I love cooking.

Give us one tip for a successful business
Don’t be afraid of failure. Businesses can often be conservative about investing in new ideas without guarantees for success, but you have to strike a balance. Sometimes you’ve got to just go for it, and if mistakes happen, just make sure you learn from them and improve from there.

At what time of the day are you most creative or inspired?
Creativity comes in bursts; you can’t force or schedule it. You need to know when to walk away and leave it alone. When you’re most relaxed is when it will come, capitalise on it then.

How do you relax away from work?
Taking my dog out for nice long walks, an afternoon spent relaxing in a country pub or coming home in the evening and making a nice home cooked dinner.

When do you take your coffee break?
I can’t say I ever have a full break, but my team knows I’ll never say no!

Who would you most like to have a coffee with?
Toto Wolff – team principal and CEO of Mercedes F1 team. He joined with a background in investment and finance and turned that team into a huge success. I think he’s got an interesting leadership style, and comes across as very down to earth and affable. I’d like to know what makes him tick, and how he’s taken an industry he didn’t know and become a winner in it.

What's your coffee break favourite?
Chocolate Hobnob.




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