IN­TER­NET

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - MA­TRIX IN­TER­NET THE FU­TURE

Busi­ness: Set up: Founder: Turnover: No of Employees: Lo­ca­tion:

CHANGE has never be­fore been so fast, and a good ex­am­ple of this is the life­cy­cle of the com­puter. From the first elec­tric mo­tor in 1740, to the first com­puter in 1936, we then saw the cre­ation of the world­wide web in 1989. Con­se­quently, and since then, the in­crease in speed and com­plex­ity of tech­no­log­i­cal change is ex­po­nen­tial. Watch out, the world will never again move this slowly. Ma­trix In­ter­net is sup­port­ing many Ir­ish and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions in cop­ing with this dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion. Founder Jeff Sheri­dan had spent time in Amer­ica around the turn of the cen­tury and ob­served the in­ter­net tak­ing off.

He re­turned to Dublin and re­trained as a web de­vel­oper. Ma­trix was formed to de­velop web­sites for com­pa­nies which be­lieved that the in­ter­net was here to stay. Sheri­dan’s Linkedin pro­file reads, “a head for busi­ness, a heart for clients” and it’s the care for clients which has pow­ered nearly 20 years of growth for the com­pany.

When Sheri­dan’s fu­ture wife Michelle came on board she de­vel­oped a size­able sales fun­nel from scratch. By 2009, the team had risen to six peo­ple, made up of de­vel­op­ers and de­sign­ers. With the ad­vent of new and al­ter­na­tive mar­ket­ing chan­nels, Ma­trix found that it was be­ing asked for more ser­vices in ad­di­tion to web devel­op­ment.

In 2014, the com­pany added to its web devel­op­ment ex­per­tise and ex­panded with spe­cial­ists in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, soft­ware and UX (user ex­pe­ri­ence). Mar­ket­ing is mar­ket­ing, it’s just that the chan­nels keep chang­ing. Great mar­keters and de­sign­ers have al­ways had huge em­pa­thy and emo­tional in­tel­li­gence, that won’t change.

“We em­braced UX (user ex­pe­ri­ence de­sign) very early to cre­ate bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ences for the cus­tomers of our clients,” said Sheri­dan.

“We now find our­selves in deeper con­ver­sa­tions with our cus­tomers. Go­car is an ex­am­ple where in ad­di­tion to our tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise we con­tin­u­ally strive to an­tic­i­pate pain points in the user ex­pe­ri­ence,” he added.

The team has since grown to 20, made up of dy­namic young tal­ent from 13 dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties — a good re­flec­tion of mod­ern Ire­land.

Hav­ing a multi­na­tional team is a bonus for Ir­ish clients such as New­bridge Sil­ver­ware, Avoca and But­lers Choco­lates which have big in­ter­na­tional am­bi­tions. It has also al­lowed Ma­trix to eas­ily take on global clients like My­taxi and their dif­fer­ent coun­try di­vi­sions. A num­ber of years ago, I was do­ing a se­ries of master classes for pub-lob­by­ing group the VFI. I in­vited Sheri­dan along as a con­trib­u­tor to do a ses­sion ad­vis­ing pub­li­cans on their so­cial me­dia strat­egy. The suc­cess of that was some­thing of a light-bulb mo­ment for Sheri­dan and he re­alised that by pre­sent­ing to 20 peo­ple at the same time, he only had to get his message and pitch across once. That saved a lot of shoe leather.

With some coach­ing to en­hance his skills in pub­lic speak­ing, he em­barked on a novel sales drive of speak­ing at events up and down the coun­try. In these events he en­cour­aged in­ter­ac­tive dis­cus­sions where he got to hear customer’s is­sues and con­cerns first hand.

As users have be­come very so­phis­ti­cated, Ma­trix’s em­pha­sis has now moved to sup­port­ing cus­tomers with other is­sues such as con­ver­sion of web visitors, se­cu­rity and per­son­al­i­sa­tion.

As an ac­cred­ited agency with Google, HubSpot, Pay­pal and Ama­zon, Ma­trix’s staff are al­ways look­ing for the next tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tions and trends. With the cur­rent tight labour mar­ket, Ma­trix has be­come an ex­ten­sion to the mar­ket­ing de­part­ments of its cus­tomers. Ma­trix is now a full dig­i­tal agency that pro­vides ag­ile and re­spon­sive sup­port ev­ery month to clients like An Post, Ir­ish Rail, Dublin City Coun­cil, IE Do­main Reg­istry and oth­ers. As the lines be­tween all chan­nels blur, clients such as Avoca want to be­come truly om­nichan­nel and mir­ror their in-store ex­pe­ri­ence at ev­ery dig­i­tal touch­point.

Ma­trix sees its role as a nav­i­ga­tor and sup­porter of cus­tomers on this path of change.

In the last 12 months, some key ad­di­tions have been made to an al­ready strong team. Ma­trix now has strong teams across the ar­eas of de­sign, web devel­op­ment, soft­ware and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing.

The com­pany sees ad­di­tional growth com­ing from out­side the coun­try where it al­ready sup­ports or­gan­i­sa­tions in UK, main­land Europe and Scan­di­navia.

This is all ser­viced from a purpose-built stu­dio in the cen­tre of Dublin.

Sheri­dan preaches to his team that “the op­er­a­tion is only a suc­cess if the pa­tient lived”.

In other words, ev­ery project is only a suc­cess if the so­lu­tion adds value to the client.

With that re­lent­less fo­cus on the customer, Ma­trix is poised for even more star­dom.

Jeff Sheri­dan’s Ma­trix In­ter­net sup­ports cus­tomers which want to of­fer an om­nichan­nel ex­pe­ri­ence. Pic­ture by Mark Con­dren

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