Meet Our Team

Dan Collins, Head of Business Development

Commercial

Dan heads up global business development at FT Longitude, supporting clients in all corners of the globe across technology, professional services, financial services and industrial sectors.

With a passion for new technology and loves working with businesses that are doing things differently, Dan has spent the past 20 years in various senior business development and sales leadership roles, and was a key part of the B2B content team at Guardian Labs.

Dan has overseen senior level relationships with leading brands that include the likes of Google, Facebook, HP Enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Ericsson, Cisco & SAP.  His work at FT Longitude includes working closely with brands such as Workday and Oracle across their global thought leadership programmes.

 

What something do our clients have to deal with that you help to fix?

That’s quite an interesting question. The commercial team doesn’t “fix” stuff in the same way our project teams do, but what we do do is help clients understand what they are really looking for from their thought leadership programme: their real objectives; their internal pressures; and their capabilities as a team.

“Our role is to help find the way thought leadership can help to support those goals.”

Whether the client needs to reposition their brand, raise awareness or they’re looking to ignite and elevate those all-important commercial conversations with their clients, our role is to help find the way thought leadership can help to support those goals.

We then connect them with the right teams at FT Longitude, onboard them so they’re up to speed with how we operate, and then support the client and our delivery team in getting the most out of the relationship.

 

What is the one thing that would surprise people about your job?

When people start out in a commercial role they’re often worried about talking to people they don’t know about a product they’ve never heard of before, and therefore spend all their time thinking “How can I get them interested in it?”. Clearly I haven’t been a newbie for a couple of decades now, but I’ve found that whole worry to be very a different experience here at FT Longitude. The term ‘thought leadership’ is growing in popularity and recognition, so more people understand immediately what we’re talking about, which they might not have done 10 years ago.

But, despite all that, the reality of a commercial role is that you might have a great, engaging conversation with a client or a potential client who really ‘gets it’, yet you may never hear from them again. That’s the biggest thing I think would surprise people about my job: it’s not the product or the service that’s the challenge, it’s about being able to find the right time to talk to a client, and then putting the right inspiration or the right product in front of them that will capture their attention at that specific moment.

The contacts we speak to are very often high-powered, busy and stretched. We don’t blame them in the slightest, but getting a foot in the door is probably our biggest challenge as a client-facing team.

 

This year we celebrate our ten year anniversary and the company has grown a lot. What do you expect to see for the company for the next ten years?

Well, I hope we don’t get replaced by robots for a start! I imagine a lot of the repetitive tasks we do day-to-day will probably be automated, like in most other industries. But thought leadership is a ‘thing’ that is innately human – it’s about problem solving, expert writing, and relationship management. So I think I feel pretty safe from the robots for the time being!

But, seriously, I think the next couple of years will see a much more integrated relationship with the Financial Times, and with that as the model you’ll see the world of thought leadership really starting to establish itself more widely. Building on that relationship, I’d love to see FT Longitude continue to cement itself as a true thought leader, in the way our clients do. In my view, we’re already at the forefront of our industry, so if we can continue to lead the conversation, continue to evolve our solutions, keep on top of audience behaviour and keep hiring the best people, I definitely expect big growth for us. It’s a really exciting time!

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Meet the Team

Justin Raveenthiran, Account Director

Commercial

Justin has worked in the account management team at Longitude for the last two years, helping to manage some of our largest clients in the professional services sector. He helps these clients maintain already mature thought leadership strategies, but also develops exciting and creative new ideas to provide fresh insight-based marketing.

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Megan Wright, Senior Editor and Head of Audio

Editorial

Meg brings together a passion for storytelling and global experience in technology thought leadership to craft meaningful content that resonates. Through her skills in writing, editing, podcast and video production, Meg works to develop and execute strategic campaigns that drive the right results for her clients.

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Louise Reip, Chief Sub-Editor

Editorial

Louise has been the chief sub-editor at Longitude for five years. She upholds Longitude’s high editorial standards by ensuring the accuracy, consistency, fluency and client-readiness of all content and works across the full range of our output – from long-form research reports to infographics and opinion pieces.

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Dan Collins, Head of Business Development

Commercial

With a passion for technology and loves working with businesses that are doing things differently, Dan heads up Global Business Development at Longitude. He's spent the past 20 years in senior business development and sales leadership roles, and was a key part of the B2B content team at Guardian Labs before joining Longitude.

Read more

Shamila Khan, HR Manager

Human Resources

Shamila is primarily responsible for our talent and people management here at Longitude, but in reality her role goes much further than that. It primarily includes recruiting and on-boarding of new team members, supporting on IT, admin and finance, as well as consulting with the executive team on strategic planning and our relationship the FT.

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