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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