Our ‘Profile: A Day in the Life of’ feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry.
In this edition we head to Cambridge, to speak with the Chairman and Founder of Omobono, Francesca Brosan.
Job title and company:
Chairman and Founder of Omobono.
In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
Digital marketing for global corporates.
What are the company’s unique selling points?
Our deep understanding of the role digital can play in driving growth and profitability for big global companies. It’s not just getting potential customers into the funnel; as often as not our work is about nurturing those leads, building existing customer relationships, driving business through partners, engaging employees or encouraging the best talent to join the company. It’s very varied.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
The company has grown massively in the last year – so the main highlight is the amazing talent we’ve been able to bring on board – from strategy to development, creative, video and account handling. The other highlight of course is the announcement that we are opening an office in Chicago. We have so many clients in the US that it makes sense to have a presence out there and as well as hiring in the US it will give people here an opportunity to work in the US if they are interested. We’ll be live there in the autumn. Oh, and on a personal basis, I got quoted in Forbes Magazine!
Duration in current role:
Since January 2001 when I set up the company with my two brilliant partners, Chris Butterworth and Ben Dansie. We were all at the same company before and realised that when the three of us worked together we produced better work and had more fun in the process. It seemed like a firm basis for starting a company together – and we weren’t wrong. 13 years later we still get on incredibly well and enjoy working together, only it happens much less often as we are all out and about such a lot.
Where are you based?
Cambridge. It’s an incredibly civilised place to work.
Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:
The previous agency we worked at is now defunct, but before that I was a Board Director at WCRS, the London ad agency. It was an incredible training ground. I worked on BMW for a number of years during which the brand and the advertising became globally famous – it was a blast.
What are your main job responsibilities?
My main job is to promote Omobono in the industry. This means I run our new business and marketing programmes and spend much of my time meeting people, writing research papers or articles and attending industry sessions. But I do continue to work with some clients where my experience is directly relevant.
My other main focus is on the major piece of research we do each year, ‘What Works Where in B2B digital marketing’. Its aim is to share best practice with other B2B marketers, as the industry is sadly under-served when it comes to research. We work in partnership with The Marketing Society, the leading association for senior marketers in the UK, and have also run the survey in the US, India and China which provides some really interesting points of comparison on how people are tackling digital marketing globally.
I’m also particularly involved in the Business Marketing Collective at the moment, which is a new association for clients and agencies, to raise standards in the B2B industry.
Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:
I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical working Monday! I might be in the office, out at a meeting in London, where I spend a lot of time, or on a plane flying to Chicago. But I guess on an office based day I normally I’d be in around 8am, and then spend the day catching up with various people. It could be our marketing manager Emma to discuss the progress of the What Works Where research project, or to review the discussion topic and speakers for one of the events we run with The Marketing Society. We are in the middle of transitioning to a new agency system for project management and CRM, which will allow us to integrate our marketing and new business activities more efficiently. So time recently has been taken up talking about data segmentation, tracking and analysis. The rest of a typical day might be on calls with clients on a particular project, or in meetings on our own plans and agency developments. Time in the office seems to be less and less frequent, so when I am there it’s always busy.
What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?
What lunch hour?!
What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?
Stay in the game. It’s hard, particularly if you are female and a parent, to balance your family and your job but good companies (like ours – as well as me, three of our most senior people are working mothers and work reduced hours) recognise that they need to flex in order to hang on to their best people.
Embrace change. The last few years have been incredibly challenging and technology is changing so fast it’s easy to think you can’t cope. Nobody knows all the answers, so don’t think you’re an idiot just because you don’t know everything. And don’t be afraid to experiment. The more you do, the more you discover.
Hire the best people. You can’t raise your game or explore new horizons if you don’t have the right support from underneath. Don’t be scared that they’ll threaten you, they are much more likely to stimulate you to achieve things you wouldn’t have been able to before.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
At Omobono undoubtedly. I’d love to be based in the US, but with children still going through the UK education system that’s unlikely in the next three years. But then, as I said, Cambridge is an incredibly civilised place to work from so it’s not all bad.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
For the past 3 years I’ve been running a series of pop-up restaurants to raise money for cancer charities as a result of a close friend losing her battle with the disease. The next one is in September for 100 people!