A view from the bottom
A view from Yewande Sokan

A view from the bottom

I have a confession: I'm a bit nosey. Well, I prefer curious. I'm obsessed with facts, numbers, trends and people, so my role is perfect....

Working in strategy across a varied client list, my job is to mine all this fabulous "stuff" and work out the insights that allow clients to win consumers’ hearts and minds. I have to be super-organised and rein in my mental wandering by approaching work systematically.

This means lots of to-do lists.

But, despite having the obligatory BlackBerry, I avoid checking e-mails over the weekend. Work well and hard, then enjoy the sunshine, I say. The strategy department at Maxus is a tight-knit team – myself, my colleague Georgia Lindsay and our boss, Stuart Butler.

While there’s no such thing as a typical week, one thing at Maxus is thankfully constant: free breakfast. I always try to get in early to bag my favourite cereal. After battling the Central line craziness from East London and making the most of my corporate gym membership with a morning work-out, free cereal, toast and orange juice is a much-needed perk.

Fuelled with Jordans, I’m ready to delve into the influx of data, numbers and trend reports that have come in over the weekend. My major project right now is a big piece of audience research, identifying the moments when people are most receptive to the messages we deliver and in which media. We’ve already defined audiences via internal research, so my task has been to trawl through the data to prove or disprove various hypotheses. A pattern emerges and a story can be crafted for me to take to two major clients.

I’ll often meet with a media owner. While I’m not involved in buying media, my audience research and channel work means I’m thinking about media early in the process. Keeping up with technology is now bread and butter to everyone in media; the triumvirate of agency, client and tech partner produces the best work.

That’s what I saw at Cannes. At first, I wasn’t sure if the media brand take-over of Cannes’ stunning beaches was a dream or a nightmare. Georgia and I were there to participate in the Media Young Lions. Initially, it was intense, with about a 24-hour turnaround from being briefed to presenting to the judges. It was fantastic to win gold, and I think we did this by having a singular target audience and a sharp idea, and really questioning the brief.

Since then, life at Maxus is busy – much faster-paced than Cannes. Socially, there’s always lots going on and I love getting stuck in. Our charity and social committees have merged into one, and I’m treasurer. Today, we’re brainstorming ideas for our new office charity: Make-A-Wish Foundation.

It’s summer and we finally have some sun. On Friday, we can leave at 4pm if we get the work done. Another varied week and my to-do lists have served me well. I’ve even slotted in some lunchtime training on mobile payments.

Yewande Sokan is a senior strategist at Maxus

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