1. Before we dive into your role at Sayers, what has your career journey looked like so far?
My dad is a marketer, so I grew up being asked ‘What do you think of that ad?’ from age five. It was inevitable that I would end up in the brand, marketing and advertising world.
Whilst I was at university, I did a couple of unpaid internships across creative and media agencies at M&C Saatchi, IKON and then TBWA Sydney where I was hired as a junior strategist whilst I was finishing my degree.
Although it was difficult to manage my time and I couldn’t go on those European holidays with my friends, starting my career before I finished university was the best thing I could have done for my career. Not only did I have a foot in the door early, but I could directly apply what I was learning at uni.
I spent three years at TBWA across both a junior and mid strategist role where I had exposure to incredibly smart and creative people and awesome accounts across FinTech, FMCG, alcohol, auto, lifestyle, pet-care, insurance and fresh produce industries.
I was super lucky during this time to have experience in a creative competition called Cannes Young Lions where my partner and I won the digital category in Australia and went onto be finalists globally – I would highly recommend taking a stab at competitions like this specifically for young people in the creative and marketing industry.
Earlier this year I moved over to Sayers as an Associate in the Brand Momentum team. As ‘brand’ increasingly becomes a tool for business, it made sense for me to move into more of a creative consult and advisory space rather than pure communications.
2. Transitioning into work, what the heck does an Associate (Brand Momentum) @ Sayers do?
What is Sayers?
Sayers is a progress-obsessed advisory and investment business established for the new economy.
I’ve totally drunk the kool-aid, but it’s hard not to as they are committed to leading business and society forward which really aligns with my approach to work.
It’s a business that was born out of frustration with the status quo, truly committed to designing a model where we don’t just do things better, but we do better things.
What is Brand Momentum at Sayers?
Our team basically builds, designs and accelerates brands to drive unmatched momentum. We do this for start-ups and scale-ups as well as established and iconic brands to diagnose and unlock areas of growth and momentum to achieve new market or current market advantage.
I think what’s really unique about our team is that, although it’s small relative to an agency workforce, we all have very diverse backgrounds and skill sets across consulting, client side, media, research and creative agency, plus we have an array of local and global partners we assemble based on the brief, problem or project.
The other really cool thing is that we tackle said briefs, problems or projects through three interconnected lenses – Commerciality, Humanity and Imagination. The way we see it is effective brand and marketing activity has commercial strategy at its heart.
Imagination is the connective tissue between strategy and execution. And the key to unlocking real opportunities for growth lies in understanding the truth in human belief and behaviour.
What does your role entail?
My role varies from project to project based on the client relationship and what they need.
Essentially my day-to-day could look like:
- Writing approach and scope documents for a potential project
- Reviewing media channels
- Brand and market diagnostic for a brand platform or positioning
- Undergoing stakeholder interviews
- Developing a go-to-market strategy; working with agency partners to optimise tactics and execution
What makes my current role different to my previous role is that there is more of a focus on commercial outcome rather than creative outcome – and the types of clients we are helping seem to be deeply connected to society and community.
For example, we recently built and then developed the brand and go-to-market strategy for a new platform which will decrease the rate of unemployment for people with disabilities.
3. What’s an example of a project that you’ve worked on and what was your role in bringing it to life?
I’ve only been at Sayers for just over a month, so I can’t say I’ve seen a project all the way through yet. But I can shed some light on a current project I’m working on, without disclosing the client…
Project: Delivering a brand, media, creative strategy & integrated advertising idea for a DTC consumer goods company
What is it?
Our team was reached out to be a DTC consumer goods company that has achieved cult status and experienced exceptional organic growth over the last few years.
While loyalty and retention for this brand is incredibly strong, research indicated low awareness, so it was time to step up and take on the next stage of growth.
What’s your role?
We are currently creating these deliverables with no agency involvement and only a team of four.
It’s a super interesting project that is really testing our breadth of skill and the teams ‘hubs and spokes’ ecosystem model whereby we can convene a group of relevant partners and experts for specific projects.
This way of working really saves time and money, reduces any silos while maintaining high creative integrity and expertise.
4. What do the entry level pathways into brand momentum look like?
On the overall marketing industry…
I would recommend starting to reach out to peers, seniors and leaders in the industry whilst you are still studying. Having an understanding of what these people do day-to-day will give you some insight into what direction you want to take in the marketing, communications and brand industry.
The most valuable thing you can do is take up short or longer term internships to figure out what makes you excited or what you’re good at – you can find these through uni lecturers, Hatch (or similar businesses) or LinkedIn.
On consulting specifically…
There are some really great graduate programs across the bigger consulting firms that are always looking for smart, passionate, commercially minded talent – I would recommend looking into these teams and programs.
I think creative or media agencies are a great place to start to gain a deep and broad understanding of:
- Different industries
- The concept and importance of brand AND
- Different approaches to creative and effective media application to achieve marketing and communications objectives
I absolutely recommend starting a career in an agency.
Or, you can reach out to me personally via LinkedIn – I would be more than happy to have a chat and help them figure out which path is best!
5. What’s one thing you recommend an aspiring marketer do right now?
I recommend watching the Gruen Transfer on the ABC.
It is such an incredible resource to hear experts in the industry discuss all things marketing, creative, media and brand – from the goods and bads of the latest campaigns, current brand activity and really interesting debate and dialogue around marketing.
Plus, you get to listen to the formidable Russel Howcroft who we are lucky enough to have on the Sayers Brand Momentum team.
I also recommend reaching out to as many people in the industry as you can. Every conversation is a step in the right direction in building your network and figuring out WTF it is that everyone does as a job!