What I Learned Working at Agencies

Today is my last day working at a digital agency.

Monday I move client-side, and I can’t wait! However, like the reflective introvert that I am, I wanted to note down what I’ve learned from working at agencies and what I’m taking with me.

A quick tally…eight years, five agencies, two countries and dozens of clients. Roles I’ve held: copywriter, account manager, producer. Industries I’ve worked across: politics, financial services, hospitality, beauty, fashion, travel. Specialisations I’ve developed: direct mail marketing, subscription-based marketing, website design and build, email marketing, social media marketing. Photo shoots I’ve assisted: three. Video shoots I’ve managed: one. Influencer activities I’ve organised: upwards of ten.

No wonder I’m knackered! Continue reading


Choosing to stand out from the crowd

It’s a funny thing about choice. I find myself frustrated and angry when I don’t have control over my days, or at least the general drift of my present moment. But give me a blank sheet of paper and ask me to create something from scratch, and I freeze. This isn’t unique to me.

I’ve read enough pop psychology and ‘pursuit of happiness’ books to know what I really need is a limited set of options and the freedom to choose among them. Continue reading

On finding fulfilling work

Content Strategy

Act first, reflect later.

Hardly the sound advice most of us have grown up with. But it’s one of my favourite tips that Roman Krznaric offers in his inspiring book How to Find Fulfilling Work. I’d certainly class myself as someone who over-analyses, who feels like I don’t quite know enough to take the next step, who wants to register for one more class or read one more book before I act. But I decided that this year would be different. Continue reading

Technological innovations give email marketing a new lease on life

Email marketing can sometimes feel like the odd man out when it comes to marketing efforts, but advances in technology are putting a new spin on this essential element of brand communications.

Alex Timlin from Emarsys and Kim Barlow & Martin Ruddy from Oracle joined a webinar this afternoon hosted by The Marketer to discuss innovation in email marketing, and I found the direction it’s moving in quite exciting. Continue reading

How to stay relevant: a 21st century agency playbook

The biggest challenge facing marketing professionals today is knowing how to push technology to its absolute limits to meet and exceed customer expectations.

So says the 21st Century CMO Playbook from futurist Mike Walsh, who shared a stage with 1000heads WOM Evangelist Molly at the Colombian Marketing Congress last year.

It’s well worth a read, regardless of where you are in your path to the C-Suite. But what does this mean for agencies in particular?

Continue reading at 1000heads

Once upon a time…

Today marketing consists of both art and science. The art to marketing is to create emotional connections with an audience and inspire action. The science to marketing comes in the form of hard numbers – ROI, KPIs, Excel charts and PowerPoint slides delivered to heads of companies with a taste for profits.

One of the joys of working with digital platforms is that so much of what we do can be measured. We can find stats on how many people interacted with our campaign – likes, shares and favourites; how people’s feelings about the brand changed as a result of what we did; how many customers followed the journey from social media through the online shop to actually purchase the product. The challenge has changed from ‘I don’t have enough data’ to ‘I have too much data!’ Now we need to learn which data points are relevant and which can be ignored. But that’s a topic for another day.

Today we turn our attention back to the art of marketing, but it’s not art separated from science, it is art supported by science. I recently attended Sitecorp’s Art of Digital Storytelling conference and came away inspired by the keynote speakers and eager to put into practice what I’d learned. Continue reading

A Few Thoughts on Social

Social media is more important than ever, and many brands are becoming adept at using these tools to reach their customers. I’ve done some reading and met some cool people recently that have got me thinking about what social is for.

Social (adj): relating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other; tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others. (Merriam Webster)

Social is about extending the conversation

– bringing people together

– building communities

– helping people connect

— not feel alone

— find resonance for their ideas

Social is best done in an integrated fashion, bridging online and offline, merging both worlds, seamlessly transitioning between the two

It’s about giving everyone a voice

It’s immediate

It’s about making the world bigger and smaller

Many social channels operate with a set of limitations, but limitations inspire creativity