Our profile feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing, shedding light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry.
This week we’re turning our focus to Amaze One, and its director of planning & CRM communications, Sarah Hooper.
Job title and company:
Director – planning & CRM communications, Amaze One – a St Ives Group collaboration between Occam and Amaze
In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
We harness and capitalise on deep, rich insight which, in turn, translates into cracking data-driven ideas that deliver brilliant consumer experiences and profitable relationships for our clients; all with a little added sprinkling of magic and rigour.
What are the company’s unique selling points?
The desire and ability to think differently, and the agility and disruptive thinking to allow us to effectively navigate our clients’ business. We work with cross-discipline processes, tools, IP, and some great methodologies providing the most relevant offerings and solutions. Our practitioners use these to develop a unique understanding of customer behaviour across all touchpoints, supported by our academic foundations and an analytics-driven creative approach.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
Blimey! Where to start? October 2014 saw us preparing launch – distilling our offer and branding, finalising processes, sorting out IT, team names and organisational structures.
November 2014 was our first official financial reporting… I remember it all feeling very real at that point. In the run-up to Christmas we introduced Amaze One to St Ives Group clients, explaining our offerings and committing to services. Demonstrating the impact our approach could have with our clients was an intense experience but another proud moment.
In January 2015 we were announced to the big wide world and in February we won our first new client, a global fashion brand needing usable analysis and insight.
New recruits joined our practitioner functions: planning, insight, creative, production and customer targeting. April 2015 marked our first six months, August 2015 marked the start of our new financial year - both with a reassuring nod from finance, and a look towards a healthy future.
Fast forward and I still struggle with the notion that we effectively remain in start-up mode while we’ve achieved so much. Every month we are astounded by the accomplishments we make for our clients and our business. The quality and dedication from our teams is second to none and without the collective input we wouldn’t be where we are to date.
Duration in current role:
Eleven months (started October 2014).
Where are you based?
I’d like to say Bristol - well my desk is in Bristol, but my cereal is in Chilcompton, I have spare jumpers and paperwork in London, and a make-up bag in Manchester as I’m constantly travelling back and forth. I have teams in each of our four locations - Bristol, Chilcompton, Manchester and London - plus clients all over the UK. No one week is ever the same and it keeps me on my toes and glued to my mobile!
Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:
Morgan Stanley, Investment PE and VC consultancies, my own marketing consultancy company and my most recent role was with Barclaycard.
What are your main job responsibilities?
I’m currently responsible for creating, growing and developing an industry-leading planning and CRM communications practice at Amaze One. I also lead our project implementation and creative services, meaning that I’m constantly looking for ways to enhance our proposition for both the company and our clients. I’m also currently acting as a practitioner within multi-sector CRM.
Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:
I’m up around 4 to 4.30am, when I make a cuppa and consider the week ahead, sending myself numerous emails containing the subject lines “don’t forget”, “check voicemails” etc. Then I’m in the car heading to the office for 8am. Monday is our Amaze One meeting day. We’re entrepreneurial in spirit since we are a start-up, but we are so grown up in other ways.
9am is a practitioner meeting to discuss clients and teams, workflow, opportunities, and innovations and solutions. We then hold senior management team meetings. It’s new business at 11am: examining the pipeline, meetings and, most importantly, who needs to do what! Then I start one-to-ones, discussing work and opportunities, and generally getting excited about the latest piece of insight the data’s able to tell us.
After lunch, we meet our client services teams; sharing results, insight, approaches, revenue, resource and timings. Lastly, there are more one-to-ones and interviewing. Right now we’re still recruiting, it’s great when you discover real and raw talent.
After a final email check I leave around 7pm, enjoying a bit of car-karaoke on the journey home. Supper is at 9 combined with the latest DVD box set my partner Dave and I are into. Around 11 I’ll pack tomorrow’s bag, triple check meeting locations for the week ahead and then retire, shattered but fulfilled, with a good book.
What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?
BBC News, YouTube, and Bloglovin.
What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?
Keep the faith, passion, drive and commitment to what you believe in, and keep your boundless energy – "energy follows energy" as a previous boss of mine used to say. Surround yourself with great people but always work on your development and ability to self-improve. Finally, keep up a genuine interest in whichever area, sector, and field you want to be in… it’s what inspires and powers you through each day.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
Crikey, I have no idea. I always have two-, three- and five-year plans laid out but I just want to be doing a bloody good job, with integrity and also while loving what I do. I love working with my teams; seeing people mature and grow, spotting great talent and delivering amazing headlines for our clients and our business.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’m not just a boring workaholic, honest… I have a slight scanner personality and a Myers Briggs profile of ENFJ for anyone interested! My current projects outside work include growing my hair for a children’s wig charity, candle making, knitting a blanket for my goddaughter Georgie’s birth (she’s now one and a half years old), launching a book club, learning how to climb outdoors, and attempting to train for an iron man contest next year – hotly debated by my fiancé!