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Jessica
Guest speaker
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experienced

Advertising / Marketing / Branding at Bright Blue Day
Q&A

Q: What is your job and what does your typical day involve?

A: I am an Account Director. Essentially I am responsible for a selection of BBD clients and the management of relationships with those clients. And it is my role to support my team in the co-ordination (and sometimes motivation) of resources needed to deliver projects, develop strategic plans and often balance and meet the expectations of clients. The day starts early, and that’s because a large part of our role is to be ahead of our clients. They need to arrive at their office and set up their day feeling like we are in control, and are ready to assist them in delivering whatever they need to feel great about what we are doing. And that can be quite a challenge when you have clients across Europe who are already 2-3 hours ahead of you. The rest of the day is then a challenge of staying ahead and delivering against expectations. It’s about working with the wider team to ensure everybody has what they need to deliver awesome. I have come to realise that in our clients world that could be everything from an award winning campaign, to a great piece of content, the perfect status email or something as simple as a reassuring phone call. It’s not enough to just deliver – it’s about taking the client on the entire journey, delivering the best possible service every step of the way, and making sure they end up where they need to be (which isn’t always where they asked to be). Other than that, the days usually involve a lot of coffee, a little Justin Bieber and the chance to work with a great bunch of people who never stop to inspire or motivate you to be better!

Q: How did you decide that you wanted to be a part of your industry?

A: Honestly…I am not sure I did. I learnt in school that I loved media and marketing; I loved the consumer behaviour aspects of it, and the impact and influence it could have on people…and businesses. By the time I got to university, advertising and marketing was no longer about the big ad or the TV spot; the world was changing and marketing was, as always, right in the thick of it. So learning about digital became a natural progression for me. It was always the most challenging part of the course because it was constantly changing, as soon as you had learnt something there was a new technology, a new application; it kept you on your toes and I was always wanting to know more. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if the rest of your career could be like that'…and I am lucky enough that mine is. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new about the digital industry; whether it’s the unknown application of Facebook led gen cards for our promotion, or the potential of a new enterprise level CMS for an ambitious client or simply how you construct an award winning cinemagraph.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your industry?

A: The evolution of it, and the opportunity to be a part of that. It is an ever changing and challenging landscape. The industry never stays the same for very long and you have to work hard to get and stay ahead of it, or at least be in the know. Plus being agency side means a lot of our job is really about keeping people happy and engaged. And that can be clients or your wider team – you have to make sure that the work and your approach is constantly challenging and motivating everyone involved. And It’s never quite enough to deliver job done, it has to be job well done – that’s where the real reward is, for you and your client.

Q: Since starting your job, what's your greatest achievement?

A: The honest answer - not failing. No matter what has happened I have managed to keep going, to keep wanting to be part of this intense but epic world of digital marketing. Some days I am just pretty proud that I made it through. Then other days I am proud of the award winning campaigns we have delivered, the unfathomable problems we have solved and the client praise we have received from some of the largest and most influential companies in the world. Most of all though - I am probably most proud of my team. I had no experience and so many doubts about managing other people, but in the last few years it has been the most rewarding and inspiring part of my job. To watch them keep going and not give up, to watch them become instrumental to the delivery of great work and what this agency is becoming. They makes me more proud than anything I have personally achieved. And they sure make every day just that little bit easier.

Q: Where were you born, and what made you come to Bournemouth?

A: I was born in Nottingham but grew up in South Wales, in a town called Bridgend. I came to Bournemouth to go to Uni as it had the best marketing course, and it was as far away from home as I could get before hitting the sea. And I am so lucky to have ended up in a place that has become such a hub of digital and innovative marketing. I am constantly surprised and honoured to have the chance to work with such great digital minds outside of London.

Q: What do you remember about your first day at your job?

A: Not a lot….but then it was a very long time ago!! I remember being asked to write an essay on why I wanted to work in digital (I had no digital experience and they wanted to check my passion and knowledge). So I pretended I knew what I was doing, and just did it all with a lot of enthusiasm and a passion to never be wrong. I have pretty much being doing the same ever since, but learning as much as I can along the way!

Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be?

A: A paramedic. I wanted to help people and make a difference. I’d like to think I have ended up doing this, but in a different way…with less panic and blood. Well, most days!

Q: When was the last time you learnt something new?

A: The cheesy but real answer….every day. I hate not knowing things, so even if it is ‘why it is going to take 4 hours to render out the clients animation?’, or why an HTML5 banner can’t be added to the client site, I want to know; and I need to know because I am the one the client is going to ask.

Q: What was your first job?

A: I worked as a checkout girl in Wilkinson’s back in Wales. I lasted about 2 weeks before I got let go for not getting someone to sign a cheque – she did live up the road from me so I offered to get her to do it when I got home…apparently that was not how business worked. It was me and another girl who started at the same time, I still see her there on the till when I go back home.

Q: How are your company's Christmas parties?

A: They are great – they are always different, always surprising, and by the end of the year we are always ready to celebrate.

Q: What was the best advice somebody gave you?

A: Never tell yourself you have made it, and never let anyone else tell you, you haven’t! It really works for me because it is a constant reminder to always strive to be better, to never get too complacent. But to also be careful in who else you let mould your opinion of yourself - people who tell you you are almost there are much better for the esteem than people who tell you you didn't make it.

Q: What would you name the autobiography of your life?

A: ‘Don’t tell anyone’ It sounds silly and maybe its a welsh thing but I have always enjoyed the sense of being the underdog and the little guy – I like to surprise and delight, and sometimes certain expectations can normalise that and make it very hard to do. Plus I have spent most of my career waiting for someone to finally tap my on the shoulder and find me out. It’s not really a confidence thing; more just a surely I shouldn’t be involved in all these amazing opportunities, and working alongside all these great people. But as long as I can get away with it I will….so shhh, don’t tell anyone.

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Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams interview