Growing up in the west coast of Scotland, I often struggled with balancing my academic side with my desire to be more creative, something which definitely influenced my decision to study both accountancy and marketing at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
Following my graduation, and five years of part-time working in McDonald’s in my home town in Ayrshire, I made the move to London to work at Leo Burnett as a media planner on the restaurant chain’s account. At the time, the agency was full-service and I loved the opportunity it gave me to be really involved in seeing our decisions and planning make a real difference to the business. I stayed within the media department as it devolved into Starcom and then through the merger process with Motive.
In early 2001, I joined Capital Radio to work as a brand strategist on the flagship Capital FM Network and Pepsi Chart Show. For the next five years, and with a promotion to overseeing all commercial marketing activity in 2003, my role was to bridge the gap between the individual stations and the commercial team to ensure that our insights, positioning and trade marketing reflected that of the brand’s overall direction.
In 2005, I joined A&N Media, now dmg media, the consumer media arm of DMGT. I was tasked with taking an existing design team and merging it with an external digital agency owned by DMGT to form A&N Creative; an internal, not-for-profit creative marketing agency for the group’s brands. In this role, I took responsibility for group-wide communications, as well as establishing a process for the utilisation of c.£12m worth of advertising inventory among our group brands – both of which involved working closely with the group CEO. My highlight in this role was when A&N Creative won the pitch for Motors.co.uk ATL advertising account against VCCP – something that had been an early ambition of the entire team.
I joined Metro in 2011 to take up the position of Marketing Communications Director with a specific remit to build Metro’s insight and knowledge of its urbanite audience and apply this to the growth of the business beyond print. During my time at Metro, we built out a strategy to grow Metro’s mobile footprint and in less than a year had delivered a daily mobile audience of 1 million, while at the same time growing the print audience, launching new gaming brands and managing one of the biggest undertakings in the newsbrand’s history – covering the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games with a seven day, 24/7 offering. It was at this time that I also worked with Kathleen and Matt as a founding partner of the very first Advertising Week Europe.
In early 2014, I joined a new Swedish start-up company Znaptag as their Global Marketing Director. The founders had created some fantastic in-image advertising technology, and my role was to ensure that our positioning was well researched and clearly communicated to all of our partners – from agencies, to clients, to publishing partners.
I joined The Lighthouse Company in March 2015, taking on the role of Marketing & Innovation Director – overseeing research and marketing while identifying new ways of building our business. In particularly I constantly find myself drawing on the many years spent in the advertising, media and marketing industry to help aid our mapping and search process. My own personal knowledge of this market is constantly expanding thanks to the broader experience of the entire Lighthouse team. As the rate of change in our industry only continues to increase, it’s imperative that we continually educate ourselves on the latest market developments and evolving trends. Watch out for us at industry events and conferences soaking up as much knowledge as we can!
I’m also a bit of a social media addict, and you might find me sharing my thoughts on work, life and silly things on Twitter and Instagram – in between running London’s streets and camping in my VW Campervan.