Tell us about your background and your current role at The Mill
I began my career working at a marketing and events agency back in the time when digital was called ‘new media’. I then dabbled in production, a tech startup, and an online entertainment company before turning to a world agency strategist. Anna the planner, it was written in the stars. I was always interested in what was next so decided to get deep into experience strategy and social media realising that if I watched YouTube videos all day it was likely that other people were doing the same… As my experience grew I became more interested in what it took to build a brand, to grow in the minds of customers, to understand the marketplace and how to adapt. I worked to broaden my knowledge across experience, brand and business strategy at taking roles at Cheil, Naked and VCCP respectively. And then to The Mill. I saw an opportunity to combine my knowledge and experience in a new environment. An opportunity to work with clients as they faced different challenges as technology changed the ways and means brands were able to engage consumers. Still obsessed with what’s next my role is to help brands create strategies that respond to now and next. Combining emotional resonance with technological relevance.
What is the first thing you do when you receive a brief from a client?
Look for insight on their customers – what makes them tick, what they watch, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, what do they share, what do they not want to admit? In essence, what unlocks them?
When it comes to creating a strong creative strategy, what’s the best advice you can give?
Dive deep into the mind of the customer. And be open minded. Curiosity is key.
Tell us about what creative strategy tries to achieve
We’re trying to produce work that combines emotional and practical reasoning. Why I feel connected to it and how it connects to me.
Tell us about something that’s inspiring you right now
The entire world of reality. Inspired by the work we’re doing with gaming brands. I think the worlds of augmented and virtual reality offer up some interesting questions for brands and people alike. If we begin to layer a new reality on to that which we have today what does that change? How do we connect to brands in this environment? How do we connect to each other? Do we lose connections? Who has the right to dictate this new reality? Where does governance come from? There are a lot of questions and multiple different answers which I’m always a fan of as it offers up lots of opportunities for debate.
What’s the best strategic insight you’ve seen recently?
‘Get Brexit Done’. Am I allowed to talk politics?
Whether I am in support or not (I’m not) this demonstrates a core understanding of the human condition. We can’t bare not knowing. We like decisions. We need decisions. We feel uncomfortable when there are multiple options. It means we have to think and not know.
We want clarity. When we vote, when we choose, when we shop. And this is the key to good insight. It confirms our inner feeling. It reflects the world back on us as we understand it. It takes something that we don’t usually say out loud and it shouts about it.