A Day in the Life of... Marketing
What does a normal working day look like for you?
What’s a “normal day”? That’s why it’s so enjoyable, there are elements that are consistent but no two days are the same. Marketing projects come in waves, and depending on what you’re working on, you have to be nimble and agile to react to the the way things change. A big part of that is because the performance of the channels are so key to what we do in Marketing. A plan can change in minutes based on how a programme has done in audience ratings.
For example, you can come in to work on a morning and find out a show hasn’t performed well ratings-wise, but it’s received rave reviews - we react very quickly to that, and boost the programme with social media posts on channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Our impact is quick and reactive.
And on the other side, we also have year-long project plans, which are based on the priorities of the Commissioning team.
As Head of Marketing, what’s the most important part of your job?
Relationships. In marketing, you work with so many different people, you’ve got to work hard to build strong relationships with different departments. You also have to keep all the metaphorical plates in the air spinning. At the moment, my team and I are working across four different brands, and you have to balance the right amount of time and effort for each of them. You also need a desire to drive innovation and stay in touch with the way viewing habits and culture is changing.
Where does our Marketing team draw inspiration from in the everyday world?
Social media is incredibly valuable. Apps like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have become our marketing platforms, and we’ve invested a lot in it. We really see the value of what we do on social media, particularly one to two hours before a show’s airtime.
Then there’s audience viewing behaviours. We need to understand it in order to do what we do. With the arrival of Netflix and Amazon Prime, the way young audiences watch our programmes has changed, and we need to make sure that ultimately everything we do is about growing our viewing, especially our live audiences.
We market a lot to young audiences so we can learn from working with partners like Snapchat. What’s interesting is that marketing used to be about selling a product - nowadays, we create and sell a piece of content from beginning to end. It’s exciting, as we’re reframing what marketing is.
How does what you do plug into ITV’s overall strategy?
We help drive audience viewing. A big focus for our channels is driving linear viewing- we get more people to watch our shows more often, and more on live TV.
The other side of what we do is digital. Driving traffic to the ITV Hub and creating an awareness of the brand, making sure we’re relevant in an online world with various content types. Other examples include when we launched ITVBe and when we refreshed the ITV2 brand, it’s Marketing’s job to ensure our viewers know about it and have a clear idea of who the channel is for.
What’s your most memorable moment here?
I loved working on the ITV2 partnership with the MOBO Awards (Music of Black Origin) for the Paving the Way award at the end of last year. The initiative was all about inspiring the next generation of talented youngsters. We worked with a great group called Commercial Break, ITV Creative and celebrities like rapper Wiley and actor Sir Lenny Henry, who gave an amazing speech at the MOBOs.
There was also the time we put Peter Griffin on Page Three of a UK national newspaper - The Sun. Let’s just say it was a spin on what the daily newspaper would usually feature on that page...