“So, what do you do?”
A question we’re all very familiar with, whether this is meeting a new colleague you’re going to be working with or trying to explain your role to your Grandma over a cup of tea.
Does anyone else really struggle to explain what their job is and what they do? Help because I do!
Especially working in the creative sector and typically not having a ‘traditional’ job, I think you’re faced with even more of a challenge. I’m Abbi Johnson; a Senior Account Executive in the retail client services team at Intermarketing Agency, an integrated creative marketing agency. Last year I was lucky enough to move to their Amsterdam based office – WIN. But what does that mean?
“Ohhhhh so like advertising? You create ads and stuff?” “Well, not me personally, well I guess so ermmmm… like, that’s part of it…”
“You’re not having those funny cakes are you in Amsterdam?” “No, Mum”
With so many fancy new job titles being bounced around, how can one person keep up with what these even mean anymore?! LinkedIn houses titles such as ‘Wizard of light bulb moments’, which magically translates to a Creative Director – nice! I even spotted a slightly more inconspicuous ‘Chief Robot Whisperer’ – WOW! This mysterious title is from the start-up company Savioke and their description of the job role – to create ‘wonder & excitement’ and it does exactly that! On reflection with job titles like this, I definitely have an easier job of explaining what I do than some.
So, what on Earth is an ‘Integrated creative marketing agency’?
In my best attempts to answer the “So, what do you do?” I thought it would be best to start at the beginning with ‘what is an integrated creative marketing agency’ and if I’m not a designer, copywriter or artworker how am I part of the creative process? Well, in true millennial style I turned to my most trusted resource – Google. The first definition that comes up on Google is:
‘Integrated marketing is a holistic approach to marketing that includes all general communication and promotional disciplines including branding, advertising, design, digital and communications. An integrated agency has distinct skill sets that can be combined to produce better and typically, more efficient results for their clients’.
OK – so if this is what Google states, my go to resource for just about anything – everyone else must think this too right? Let’s check…
Next, I thought I should start by testing some people outside of the marketing world bubble and asked my 16-year-old sister what she thought an integrated creative marketing agency was? This made a lot of sense to me as she’s slap bang in the middle of her GCSEs, preparing to choose her next set of options and defining her route within education, which will ultimately be the stepping stones to her career (dramatic times ahead). I was expecting something BIG. Her direct response over messenger;
“Integrated creative marketing agency??????”
I know what you’re thinking – yes, that is six question marks and yes, she is full of sass.
This was followed by; “But I don’t get it 🙁 it doesn’t make sense to me.”
Now this really got me thinking. If the next generation choosing their options aren’t even aware of such workplaces and on top of this there are never-ending roles being created, how can we even educate and prepare children and teenagers for what’s to come? MIND BLOWN.
I thought back to the wonderful year of 2010 and I honestly believe my answer would have been similar to my sister. At 16, at my school we were fully engrossed in achieving great GCSEs in the most academic subjects you could. There wasn’t room for a creative route (maybe that’s why I didn’t get on too well at school).
Jump a generation to my lovely Mum, same question “what do you think an integrated creative marketing agency is?” A very accurate response and which some might say could challenge Google;
“A team of staff with different skills working together to market company products within a set timeframe, budget and design requirements.”
This was certainly a BIG jump from the six question marks answer and all very true statements but, I didn’t quite feel fulfilled with ‘what an integrated creative marketing agency’ was. I was missing the action, excitement and chaos that comes hand in hand with working at an agency!
I turned to people within the agency and the next person I asked, as someone who lives and breathes agency and marketing life, was Nickii Gray. As the only female managing partner and therefore a role model for any aspiring female, and I think her response was pretty much an A*;
“An organisation set up to provide marketing services to client businesses that not only understand all of the marketing tools and channels, but that is able to integrate those channels under a campaign or brand umbrella in a joined-up way.”
So we have a range of very different responses from three different people, but I wanted to dig deeper to get my response “So, what do you do?” nailed. I wanted it to be universal so that no matter how much knowledge or experience you had, you could relate and understand a snippet of what I do.
So, what on Earth is ‘Intermarketing Agency’?
Delving more into the answer to So, what do you do?”, I think it’s important to understand what Intermarketing Agency does.
Well from my perspective and experience being at the agency it’s pretty simple. When I joined they had about 80 employees all sitting under one roof. Just under four years later they’ve surpassed the 200 employees mark, opened four international offices and recently won an integrated marketing agency of the year award. So, is global domination next?
The agency has an amalgamation of 30 years’ experience and are confident in executing any idea no matter how big or small. If you need to organise a photoshoot in Timbuktu next week with 82-synchronised dancing flamingos, I’m pretty confident we could make it happen.
Intermarketing Agency is a place that makes the impossible, possible. Full of thinkers, creators and doers. All of whom are driven by ambition, powered by creativity and guided by respect.
As a creative marketing agency the working of the creative studio is the heart of everything we do. Intermarketing Agency prides itself with the creative process, keeping everyone looped in and working like a well-oiled machine. I’ve learnt that communication is key, no matter how big or small the brief might be. Everyone is there to help and give guidance and you’re urged to speak to the creative directors, artwork directors and the studio managers. These are the people who keep us efficient and functional. At first their roles might sound a little bit intimidating, but I can assure you they’re not. They want to be involved as these are the people who day to day help us work smarter and better at what we do.
“So, what do you do?”
No working day is ever the same working at an integrated creative marketing agency, especially Intermarketing Agency. Maybe I struggle to explain exactly what I do because working in such a fast moving industry you have to adapt your role priorities reactively.
Being part of Intermarketing Agency doesn’t mean you have to develop a marketing campaign singlehandedly, use creative software or hold the job title ‘Wizard of light bulb moments’. You are part of something bigger; a team of creatives. Whether your skill is design, communication and time-management, video editing, writing line after line of code or bossing the brew round.
We all share one thing in common – we know a good idea when we see one. Not only do we see it, we run with it, develop it and most importantly deliver it.
The next time someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”
“Well, if you actually do want me to organise a photoshoot in Timbuktu next week with 82-synchronised dancing flamingos, I’m pretty confident I could make it happen.”