From Riots In Leeds To A Digital Startup In Bournemouth Riots And Rockets – An Introduction To Lee Hill : Insightful Ux

Lee Hill grew up in a part of Yorkshire made infamous for having the most burgled street in the country.

Today he has the sunny demeanour of a man doing business on the south coast, with the steel of that young boy, forged on the streets of Leeds.

When Lee says he “it was a bit tough”, there’s a palpable sense that here is someone who knows what tough really is.

Hyde Park, the district in Leeds in which he grew up, had a reputation for riots, joyriding and its links with the criminal underworld.

“At the weekend, a police car was stationed permanently at the end of the street due to the number of people on curfews,” he recalls.

The founder Insightful UX, a year-old Bournemouth start-up, Lee Hill is qualified and experienced in the world of marketing and business. His new venture is sharply focused on helping companies ensure they put the customer first, when designing and developing an online offer.

Characteristically, he’s quite tough on the marketing sector: “Marketing is still used as a by-word for sales and can have quite a ‘fluffy’ image. There’s a joke that marketing just comes along at the end and does the ‘colouring in’ by adding the branding and design”, said Lee (38).

“But pure marketing is about understanding the competition, what the customers want, and analysing all the relevant data”, he added.

He admits that working with the Insightful UX formula can be quite process-driven. “It’s about being clear about where you are as a company…how much profit it is aiming to make…and deciding how to get there. That’s why we call ourselves performance marketeers.”

Lee set up the company last year to be joined recently by his business partner and co-director Chris Newnham, who Lee had worked with at corporate insurance company Arthur J. Gallagher.

Both were students at Bournemouth University, which brought Lee down to the south, breaking him away from his Leeds upbringing.

It could have been very different. There was a period when Lee risked being drawn into a life of crime in Leeds. “I just knew that the kids I was hanging around with were on a path which could only end up in prison,” he said.

Lee and his parents were determined he wouldn’t join them. He’d discovered a taste – and some ability – for the business world, working in a Yorkshire wholesale operation, stacking shelves initially, before supervising. A humble start, but one which inspired him to take up a marketing and business course at Bournemouth and Poole college. The Hill’s moved South…

Lee quickly started to put his business theory into practice, getting a job initially at McDonald’s in Christchurch so that he could join their management development programme. “I loved the pace of the business and the experience of managing up to 60 people on one shift”, said Lee.

Many of his fellow students graduating in Marketing and Communications from Bournemouth University went on to work in London, or other big cities. Lee though loved it so much in Bournemouth he stayed on…getting married along the way to Angie, and now living in Poole along with son Ethan.

Lee worked for a successful digital marketing agency before taking on a new challenge at Castle Cover (now part of the giant Ageas insurance company).  Here, he was set tough targets to improve online sales. “I was tasked to double them in six months but in fact I tripled online sales”, said Lee.

He is now realising the early business ambitions he discovered in Leeds here in Bournemouth, with Insightful UX the latest chapter in his career.

Business partner Chris (32) explained: “We both wanted to run our own business, but equally there’s a fear of going alone, and we also wanted to share the excitement of the journey itself. We also knew we’d bring different skills to the table”

Lee added that what drives him now is the satisfaction of seeing companies that Insightful UX work with, go on to improve their performance.

Looking back at his career so far there’s a consistent desire to prove himself – whether it be in marketing, as a McDonald’s manager, or the founder of a new digital start-up company.

Unpack this and you may find some of the character traits which combined to lift him out of those dark days back in Leeds…and still drives him today

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