A big part of Rocketspark is our story and how we tell it. That story is part of everything we do. We use it to give our customers the best experience possible when they’re on our website, social media platforms or using our products.
One of the main drivers behind crafting that experience, and keeping it relevant, is the marketing team.
This team is made up of artistic designers, communication specialists, storytellers, analytical masterminds, partnership creators and product developers.
But they are more than just what they do. Read on to learn some of their favourite work stories and what they get up to outside of the office.
Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and Head of Product here at Rocketspark has many work stories, having been part of the team since its inception.
One of the walls in the office is the Rocketspark quotes board and Jeremy said it’s always good for a laugh.
“Chronicling years of hilarious comments by past and present team members. Debby de Gouviea-Rennie is frequently represented on the quotes board for making us laugh and I think she has a future in standup comedy.”
Outside of work, Jeremy loves fly fishing, getting outdoors with his family and skiing in the snow.
His favourite work story involves a past team member and a paddle.
“Years ago we went whitewater rafting as a team and I was sharing the front of the raft with my teammate, Matt. The guide informed us that heading into the only grade 4 waterfall of the trip, the people at the front of the raft were key for paddling in correctly. Just as we were about to go over the falls, Matt cried out "I dropped my paddle”, the paddle was never seen again.”
Fei Guo, Customer Marketing Manager, said she had the longest interview she had ever experienced when going for her role at Rocketspark.
“I was based in Auckland working for a marketing agency at that time. I remember the phone interview was like an hour and then I was invited to Cambridge for a personal interview soon after that where I met three out of the four founders for the first time.
“The interview started at 2pm and finished after 5pm, it included a practical test in the end. The conversation was very enjoyable so I didn't realise it was that late when it finished. The interviewers must have felt the same way I did, as I wouldn't have received the offer the next day otherwise!”
Fei said the team bought her cakes to celebrate her first anniversary.
“We now sometimes have meetings in the room I did my interview in at the BNZ centre and it reminds me of where the journey started. I've been with the team for almost four years now and thinking back on how it happened, it's just meant-to-be,” Fei said.
One thing Fei enjoys doing outside work is cooking/baking Asian style, but also fusion recipes.
“I'm wanting to start a youtube channel teaching people how to cook authentic Chinese/Asian food, like dumplings with my secret recipes and tips like where to get the ingredients,” she said.
Head of Partnerships, Jason Tiller, said he needed his own blog because he’s technically not part of the marketing team, but we talked him around as gaining partnerships is vital to Rocketspark and Jason works closely with the marketing team to do this.
One thing that has surprised Jason while he’s been working here was how the entire business pulled together for its customers over the Covid lockdown in New Zealand.
“Seeing everyone, junior to senior, pitching in to answer customer email queries and calls was amazing and the best part? We STILL have that mindset across the entire company. It’s truly what has set us apart.”
Outside of work he loves to garden.
“It’s something teenage me would soundly mock me for, but I just love it. It’s just so zen.”
Jasons’s favourite work story involves another Rocketspark team member, who didn't want to be named.
“We were at a Xero roadshow event and it was the evening drinks portion. During this time, small business owners were encouraged to grab a drink and a bite to eat whilst talking to Xero Partners like ourselves.
“My good friend, and colleague, and I were manning the booth we had. I asked them if they wanted a cider. They were hesitant, but I encouraged them by saying I was going to have a beer. They relented. With a cider in their hand, they were approached by a small business owner, an older gentleman, keen to learn more about Rocketspark.
“We had a little table with our demonstration on it, which my colleague had placed their cider on so they could show the software off. The gentleman ALSO placed his cider down.
“In a pause in the demo, my colleague was clearly parched from all that talking so they took a quick swig from their cider bottle. Fun fact, it wasn’t their bottle. The gentleman noticed this, exclaimed, “hey that’s my bottle!” and proceeded to basically snatch it from my colleague and put it in his coat pocket. I died laughing as this man basically scuttled backwards as quickly as he could,” Jason laughed.
Petra Riddell, Graphic Designer, works part time at Rocketspark while studying at her craft at Wintec.
She said one thing that really surprised her when she started was that the workplace dedicated a solid 20 minutes a few times a week to video gaming.
“I don't have any crazy work stories, but photobombing Jasons "Facebook Friday videos" has been pretty funny and one time we spent 10 minutes coming up with a rehearsed routine that contained cartwheels and sliding along on chairs.”
Outside of work Petra loves running, church, photography, all things creative and exploring nature.
“Last Saturday I got up at 12:30 am to go for a hike up the pinnacles with some friends just to watch the sunrise.”
Petra said her favourite time at work was when we were working to a strict deadline.
“We all have to come together quickly to problem solve, the teamwork involved is fun,” she said.
Tyron Noble, Rocketspark Graphic Designer, said he hadn’t been here long enough to have a good work story, but he’s been enjoying being part of a working team.
Outside of work Tyron is very rarely at home.
“I love to get outdoors on the weekends, at-least one of the days anyway. Whether it's fishing, hunting, tramping or riding my bike, it always feels like a bit of an adventure. I really enjoy the contrast between my job at Rocketspark and my personal hobbies as it helps me to get inspired as a designer and is also a refreshing change from the office,” he said.
Kyra Piccione, Rocketspark Storyteller, said her favourite moments at work were when customers read the stories she’d written about them and came back really happy with the result.
“I’ve had a few people in happy tears and even a few gifts from those who have been so grateful for what I’ve done. It’s totally unexpected and I think that’s what makes it really special,” she said.
Outside of work, Kyra is a hobbyist beekeeper, a long distance runner, a soon to be mum, and an outdoor adventurer.
“On top of that, I’m also a writer, although I do that for work too, I love to write poetry, songs and short stories for myself. I’ve even recorded a few songs over the years, it’s good fun.”
Liam Coley, Marketing Analyst, said his favourite Rocketspark story had to be the work Christmas party the first year he was part of the team.
“We went kayaking around the limestone cliffs out at Raglan. We were kayaking along and everything was relatively quiet, then suddenly there was this commotion behind us - we all turned around to see that Jason had somehow managed to fall out of his kayak! I still don't know how he managed it.”
Liam said outside of work a lot of his time is taken up by study as he is currently working towards a Bachelor of Management Studies at the University of Waikato, majoring in Strategic Management and Mathematics.
“When I do have time, I enjoy getting outdoors, so I do a fair bit of tramping and rock climbing. This also pairs quite well with photography, so I'll often take my camera on these trips as well. I also enjoy writing and playing music, so I spend a fair amount of time jamming on my guitar and writing songs,” Liam said.