Hazel Baker is a digital contractor and owner of London Guided Walks, a small business which delivers guided walks, private talks and treasure hunts to Londoners and visitors to the UK capital.
Hazel Baker is a results-focused senior digital strategist with extensive experience devising complex digital strategies including innovative campaigns and projects for various clients. She is experienced working with public, private and not-for-profit sector organisations.
Baker owns her own small business, London Guided Walks, which she has operated since 2015. The company delivers guided walks, private tours and treasure hunts around London which enable participants to discover new places in the capital city and look at London with a fresh perspective.
Education and early marketing career
After graduating Anglia Ruskin University with an MA in Arts Management, Hazel Baker soon found herself in her first role with an arts organisation in the shape of the Ambassador Theatre Group, where she worked as a marketing assistant. She balanced this role with a marketing executive job with Clearchannel, before she left her role with Ambassador Theatre Group in 2004. She would then go on to leave Clearchannel in 2005.
Digital Contractor years
After leaving Clearchannel, Baker then set about working as a self-employed digital contractor. Over the next 15 years she would go on to become an experienced digital consultant, collaborating with brands and bodies such as the Greater London Authority, Travelex, Estee Lauder, Cancer Research UK, Help the Aged, and Barnardo’s.
In 2006, Baker spent several months working with Fly! The London Air Show and Live Bookings Network on a contractor basis in a marketing manager role. From December 2006 to August 2007, her time was put to use with Help the Aged where she worked as an online marketing executive.
After her work with the Help the Aged charity ceased, Baker’s next contractor role came with Loot&Lootd.com, where she spent just over a year before moving on to assist Cancer Research UK, where she would spend two years heading up digital marketing.
Baker’s stint carrying out contractor work for Cancer Research UK was then followed by her collaboration with Travelex, starting in May 2010. Until October of the following year, Baker worked as a global digital marketing manager for Travelex retail, operating across e-commerce teams optimising activity and setting CRM and Social Media strategies including global brand reputation management. She was responsible for revenue growth in Europe, North America and Asia and the Pacific, developing web content and improving customer experience across different online channels.
When her work with Travelex was complete, Baker’s next role came with Adfonic Ltd, where she operated in an online marketing managerial role and oversaw a full rebranding of the business, which became known as Byyd.
Leaving Byyd in 2012, Baker’s next assignment was a senior digital manager role for the Greater London Authority. In this capacity, she was responsible for the daily operational management of digital activities, including editorial approval of all web content, including copy, imagery, video, audio with a specific focus on providing an overall online user experience delivered by the GLA via all digital channels.
With the GLA, Baker oversaw a digital team of nine people who were to be focused on the development and implementation of the GLA's digital strategy across the organisation, providing an integrated marketing strategy and service for london.gov.uk and associated micro-sites.
September 2013 brought Baker’s next role, where her contractor work took her into the capacity of assistant director of digital communications at children’s charity Barnardo’s. During her time with the organisation, Baker delivered its first fully integrated brand campaign and carved a defined role for digital within the organisation; supporting business functions, managing requirements, setting up new processes and sharing rewards. To ensure digital strategy could successfully be implemented, she also oversaw a restructure of the digital department within the charity, introducing new job descriptions and annual objectives.
Baker also launched the first Barnardo’s integrated ITV Text Santa campaign.
In the years spanning 2013 to 2014, Baker undertook a special studies diploma in Tour Guiding at the University of Westminster, which would ultimately prove useful in her next venture.
Building a business
From June 2014 to June 2015, Baker agreed to a one-year contract where she worked as the digital engagement manager for the Action on Hearing Loss charity. Once her contract with the organisation expired, she then set about putting her new education to the best possible use by launching the London Guided Walks business, which she continues to operate today.
Setting up the start-up has only provided more valuable experience for Baker, including setting her own business plan up from scratch, while using her marketing and digital skills to develop brand and the product, build a digital marketing strategy and pricing strategy, and ensuring GDPR compliance.
Using a lifestyle business model, Baker has established one of the most popular guided walks e-commerce sites and created an online community as part of her retention strategy. This involved optimising e-commerce funnels using Facebook adverts and lead magnets.
Continuing contractor work
The opening of her own business did not see Baker’s activities as a digital contractor cease. Her most recent assignment of note, which she carried out between 2017 and 2019, saw her in post as head of digital for Tower Hamlets Council.
In this role, Baker managed the local authority’s digital team and provided high-calibre and cost-saving end to end solutions for development, resource planning and engagement.
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