In this series, we talk with different Sussex Innovation team members about their interests, role, and the day-to-day support they can provide for members of our community. Today Busola chats with Jaime Haslip, Junior Consultant. 

Tell me a bit about you and your role.  

Having grown up watching just about every sci-fi movie worth noting, I am very fond of technology and its role in innovation.  Before joining the Sussex Innovation team six months ago, I completed my MSc in Marketing and Consumer Psychology at the University of Sussex. There, I explored my passion by focusing my dissertation on the application of developing technologies to marketing. Now, as a junior consultant for marketing  at Sussex Innovation, I enjoy spending my time applying innovation to marketing, and using marketing to help innovative companies grow.

What kind of issues can you help our members solve?  

I can advise in many areas of marketing from building brand equity to social media, content creation and the implementation of emerging technologies such as AI and XR in a marketing strategy. 

What project have you enjoyed working on the most to date?

I think it has to be a competitor analysis I conducted for a tenant of ours, Ecotype Genetics, comparing how several different companies in their industry promote their services. What made this project particularly interesting for me is that ecology (their field) had never really been on my radar.  It’s an important topic and I intend to learn lots more about it.   

What is the number one challenge you hear frequently from clients, and what can be done about it?

I see many companies struggle to know whether social media is worth it for them. This is often down to a couple of key issues. Firstly, some find themselves disillusioned if their posts are not leading to conversions. In these cases, it’s important to take a step back and consider whether this should be the goal with social media – as opposed to building brand awareness and positioning yourself as a thought leader.  Secondly, it is surprisingly easy to forget the ‘social’ in social media. Unlike traditional forms of media, social media is a two-way street and should be used accordingly. Too many smaller brands just shout into the void, when they could be connecting and conversing with those around them.   

Why do you do your job, what do you get out of it?

One of the things that drew me towards marketing is that no day is quite the same – each brings new challenges to face and opportunities to learn.   

Where will we find you on an ideal weekend? 

At the cinema – my favourites in the area have to be the Komedia in Brighton and the Depot in Lewes.   

What is a unique hobby or talent you have?

In my spare time I do a lot of photography.  I bring a 35mm film camera virtually everywhere I go and take pictures across a range of genres from portraiture to fashion, street photography and landscapes.  My work has been published in art magazines and displayed at galleries, including the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts here at Sussex. 

What is your favourite innovation or invention, and why?

The internet, by a long shot. For me personally, this is because some of my closest friends live around the world and I would have no other practical way of talking with them on a regular basis. 

Recommend a book you recently read.

I’m currently reading a book called ‘Several People Are Typing’.  It’s a bizarre Douglas Adams style sci-fi comedy with elements of cosmic horror about a guy who gets trapped in his company’s Slack server. 

Do you do much cooking and if so, do you have a favourite recipe? 

I absolutely love cooking – one of my favourite things to do is to try something new at a restaurant and then work out how to recreate it at home (in the spirit of innovation, I often add my own touch too). My current obsession is crispy tofu in pasta with a red sauce.