Hi Rob! So let’s get started…When did you join IMS?
I joined in August 2021, so my one-year anniversary is actually coming up in a couple of days. Good time for an interview about my experience of IMS I guess! I work remotely from my home in Dublin and it’s great. I love the remote aspect of working in IMS – it just really suits me.
And what is your background? Where did you come from?
I came from working in a digital marketing agency in South Dublin. It was a small agency, where I got great experience managing clients and dealing with all areas of digital marketing. I spent just over three years there. Before that I had done a couple of internships and social media jobs after completing my college degree in Business and Management, and masters in Digital Marketing.
I guess my journey has been fairly typical. When I was studying I always knew I wanted to work in digital marketing. I searched around until I found the right agency for me, and then spent three years there learning and developing my skills. By the time I left, I was the most experienced member of the team, so I am really proud of all I achieved there in a relatively short time.
Why did you decide to leave?
Starting your journey in a smaller agency is a good idea in terms of throwing yourself head first into this industry. However after three years, I felt like it was time to move on. I had learned a huge amount about digital and there was an amazing workplace and team, but I felt like I wanted to experience a new environment, preferably in a bigger agency.
Being a part of a team of only a few people brings certain challenges. You spread yourself thin across a lot of areas – account management, digital, development, even design. I wanted to really specialise in certain areas of digital, and moving to a bigger agency has allowed me to do that.
I also wanted to learn from more people. I am a big believer in having a learning mindset – you can always learn new things. And that is especially true in digital marketing!
So what has the move been like?
I’m absolutely loving it. It is exactly what I was hoping it would be – getting to work in a bigger team with some of the most experienced and talented people in the country. We have internal teams for design, development and account management, so I get to fully focus on digital. But the skills I have built up in those other areas are invaluable – they’ve given me an appreciation of the work that the other departments do. I think that really helps to gel and to get the best work done.
One thing I especially like about IMS is the focus on the bigger picture. In a smaller agency it tends to be more transactional, with a limited scope due to client budgets and hours available etc. But here we are so focused on strategy…digital is intertwined with branding and positioning, which are informed by business objectives – often international growth. So the work I do here needs to be very carefully planned and executed, thinking about the why, with planned collaboration to make sure all of the agency’s work is focussed and strategic.
Aside from that, there are other perks of working in a bigger agency – pension schemes, bonusses, great systems and processes, more opportunities to upskill, and also move up within the agency. They all add to it.
Any challenges you didn’t expect?
Working with different teams is very new to me so that has been an adjustment. There are processes in place to help teams to collaborate, but it still takes a while to shift your mindset from somebody who is responsible for everything, to just having your own area to focus on.
The team is fantastic here though. I was a bit apprehensive about joining a remote team – how would I integrate remotely; would it be very robotic dealing with new colleagues via Teams? But it hasn’t at all. We actually do a great job of promoting agency culture with regular meet ups, coffee mornings, team meetings, that kind of thing. We all still feel part of a team and that’s really important.
And finally – Any tips for people moving from smaller agency to bigger agency?
Do it! As I said, it was definitely the right move for me to start in a smaller place where I got a taste of all facets of digital marketing and figure out what I was good at. However once you have the experience and confidence, moving on to a bigger team is the only way to be sure you keep learning and developing, so I’m delighted that I made the move.