What do you do within the agency?
I oversee all the content for Asda – both strategically and creatively. The team looks after Asda Magazine, Asdagoodliving.com, Instagram and Pinterest, and essentially my job is to make sure we post the right content at the right time to reach the right audience.
Tell us how you got to where you are now...
I’ve realised I’m a pretty rare species in publishing because I moved over from consumer to branded content in 2007 (when there were basically no consumer jobs) and never looked back! Having that balance of consumer appetite with client needs has been quite coveted, and I’ve now worked at a fair few of the content agencies in London, for brands as diverse as TfL, Post Office, Superdrug, Wella, Boots and now Asda! I’ve always tried to bring a journalist’s eye to branded content, making sure whatever I worked on was something the reader or viewer either wanted or needed to know.
What does a typical day look like?
Meetings, meetings and more meetings. But thankfully, never about the same thing! A big part of my day right now is discussing measurement – what's the right thing to measure, what isn’t worth measuring and how to not get lost in the numbers and stay focused on the creativity. At the end of the day, you can throw all the keywords and strategy at your content you like, but a great idea that people have an emotional reaction to will always win the day.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Balancing the needs of a diverse and complex business such as Asda with the limited amount of content we can put out in a week, is challenging. There is so much opportunity in working with a retailer, you could talk about anything. But streamlining to what you should talk about is always the number-one battle.
What is the most rewarding part?
My team is relatively young (compared to me!) and hungry. They are so brimming with inspiration that when one of their ideas gets executed and it flies on social, it’s incredibly rewarding to see! Recently, we’ve been producing comfort food video content that’s such a team effort. Asda really trusted us to go in a new, more social-first direction with this content, and it was a risk. But seeing the numbers come in tens of thousands of organic views is a real buzz!
What’s next for you and your team? I imagine there are some exciting plans in the pipeline…
Our biggest challenge for the rest of 2020 and beyond will be to keep hitting some of the big numbers we’re been getting during the pandemic as a destination for inspiring food content. We saw a huge leap in impressions in April as the nation fell back in love with cooking. And I really hope to be able to produce ever-more exciting content that rides some of these social trends. While also keeping focus on our monthly print magazine too.
What advice would you give someone trying to get into content creation?
Be as multi-skilled as possible. My least-favourite phrase is ‘I don’t do that’. So much of what content creators need to know is available to learn, for free, online. I taught myself everything I know about measurement and content strategy, for example, by Googling, listening, reading and asking people for help. I’d much rather hear ‘Where can I learn that?’ than ‘It’s not in my job description’. It will really get you far!
Finally, when you’re not at work, what would we find you doing?
Gardening, watching Gardener’s World or drinking a beer in my garden.