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A grad’s eye view on the agency world

By Susie Clark

I am a Business Marketing student about to head back into my final year of university. Having just spent a placement year at a UK global recruitment company, I got in touch with Omobono seeking work experience on the agency side of life . It was an extremely valuable experience so I wanted to share a wrap up of my few weeks inside the good ship…

On my first morning I sat with Tom Lee, Business Development Manager of TalTrack, (a HR management tool intended to enable more regular feedback from managers to their team members – out with the annual appraisal!)

Having just spent my intern placement year working for a global recruitment giant, one criticism I had of my experience was the lack of feedback I received. As an intern, I felt the point of undertaking the placement program was to develop not just my professional and corporate skill set but to grow individually and push myself. These are both difficult to achieve without in depth feedback and regular performance evaluations.

For these reasons, I could immediately relate to TalTrack. The concept of a system or an app that allows workers to evaluate themselves against their manager’s reflections without a formal meeting would open up a whole new culture based upon transparency and self-improvement.

I then spent an afternoon reading up on a global agri-business that Omobono works with to really understand the problem they are currently facing, and what they are trying to achieve through a new sustainability offering.

The next morning, I sat down with the project team, lead by Tom Kenward, to discuss the proposal in preparation for a client meeting later that afternoon. The team meeting allowed not only myself but that the rest of the team to raise any queries we had about the forthcoming project.

My observation is that a move towards sustainability is in the forefront of the minds of a lot of big production/raw materials based companies. The client in question is seeking to not only make information more readily available to their customers and flag the sustainability of their produce but are also geared towards a commercial offering of the Tiered system. This means paying a higher premium for more transparent information on sustainable products, which in turn will lead to being perceived better in the eyes of consumers who take environmental efforts and sustainability more seriously than they have done in the past.

I spent an afternoon reading through the annual report of a key client of Omobono – a global consultancy, for work with a strategist on the account, Charlie Boon. I gained a better understanding of their performance in that year, key changes such as acquisitions, changes in personnel and the direction they are trying to take moving forward. I was asked to note a few trends that offered insight on this, particularly where the client plans to be heading as well as any awards or recognition they have achieved.

I then sat in a tense call with Account Directors Eugene Nouril and Tom Kenward on Friday morning as they discussed an ongoing proposal with a global energy supplier client of theirs. On the Monday of my second week, I headed to the Cambridge office for the day to meet the team there and work on a task for this account.

I had been sent 6 wireframes that had been created by UX Specialist Jen Hennings that explained what Omobono was proposing to do with the area of the client’s website in question. I then made a PowerPoint presentation with print screens of the wireframes and annotated the slides with links and content to show what each clickable part of the wireframe would take the user to, through hyperlinks. These slides were used by Omobono to present our proposal formally to the client and included in the quote, which was signed off as a new piece of work.

Continuing my hopping around the agency, I then worked with Project Manager Anna Fishlock on a task for a client in the financial market data space. I was sent a presentation on a proposal for their Campaign and Award ideas, after which Anna talked me through what the goal was, which ultimately came down to the increase of communications of any award wins or nominations they receive in the financial market data sector both internally and externally.

My task was to research competitors in this market and how they might announce any award wins. My research would contribute to the environmental analysis of how award wins are announced in the industry and offer insight on how the client could use this information in their own operations.

The penultimate piece of work I supported on was for Eugene, who has looked after me throughout the fortnight in terms of explaining who does what and when across the business. He is working on a potential proposal for a commercial property giant to offer them sales enablement services, similar to previous work done with a multinational software corporation.

I was tasked to read and understand the detailed presentation Omobono proposed previously on this subject, and then condense this information to a summary highlighting what Omobono can offer. I condensed the presentation to include relevant information for the prospective client including a few case study examples of what sales enablement services Omobono has provided in the past.

On Friday I sat with Senior Strategist, Trevor Lindroos, who gave me a more detailed insight into his responsibilities. He explained how he gets involved in understanding consumer markets, to take the clients’ problem/challenge from the account director, to work on the brief and design stage to offer something of meaning and substance that the client is trying to achieve.

I spent the morning conducting desk research for Trevor for a global consultancy. I researched competitors in their space and how marketing was used to reach C-suite audiences within the finance industry.

I researched 5 competitors and their use of marketing to reach senior level people in Finance. I structured my research into; website – focusing on interesting content promoting their services, digital display advertising, social media activity, video posts, and any out of home advertising such as at airports or on Billboards.

Another area of the agency which I have been exposed to is the creative world, thanks to Executive Creative Director Mark Ellerington and Senior Creative Ash Ogden. They both gave me a great overview of the process Omobono goes through when a client comes knocking with a project. The responsibilities of the design team often tie together all the other roles of the agency to offer a few potential paths they a client could explore, each with different visual aspects to address the message being communicated.

All in all, it has been a fantastic couple of weeks and I will return to University with a clear vision of marketing in action!

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