Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly look at some of the young talent across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.
Today we speak to Blue 449 client manager Sophie Liu.
How long have you been in the industry?
Duration in current role/time at the company:
3 months in my current role, 1 year in total at Blue 449.
What were you doing before this job and how did you get this gig?
I started in the media industry as an M Grad at Mindshare, where I learned all about media buying in the investment team. Two years later I took up the opportunity to work in the client planning team at Blue 449 across some great travel clients.
Define your job in one word:
What were your real and cliche expectations of working in the industry?
Agencies are fun, full of creative people, free food and parties! They pump out groundbreaking brilliant ideas every day.
How does the reality match up?
It does in terms of culture – there’s definitely a lot of food to eat and cool events to attend. I also love the casual office vibe and being able to wear sneakers to work. But there’s also a lot of hard work and thinking behind every campaign. You need an insight before leading to a big idea. Then you have to convince the client to run with it.
How would you describe what the company does and what does your role involve?
Blue 449 is a full service media agency operating at the intersection of data and creativity. There are a number of disciplines within the agency including strategy, analytics, trading, programmatic, social, etc. As a client manager I am the first point of contact with the client, and I work with all the internal teams to plan and deliver the best campaign and outcomes for our clients.
Best thing about the industry you work in:
It’s a global industry - media agencies are present in so many markets around the world which we can learn from. Being able to attend the Spikes festival where there will be people from all over APAC is awesome.
Any major hard learnings in the job so far?
You are not expected to always have the answer to every problem but you should demonstrate that you are determined to find it.
If you had to switch over to another department, which would it be and why?
Analytics – I did 4 units math in school so I think I’d be pretty good at it. I am also a nerd and learning new excel formulas gets me really excited.
What's exciting you about the industry right now?
New tech and automation opportunites that should make our work more engaging/efficient.
What concerns you about the industry and its future?
Short term vision vs long term vision – yes you can attribute sales through performance channels but it’s important for brands to still strive for fame so people will know who you are even if they are not considering buying straight away.
Who's your right hand person/who guides you day to day?
Sophie Langton - my director. She is an amazing mentor who has a wealth of knowledge, is super kind and always happy to help.
And your almighty mentor that you hope to dethrone?
Sophie Langton again, we have almost the same name so perhaps no one will really notice when that day comes
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in 2020 and how do you plan on getting there?
2020 seems far away but it’s only a little over a year. Hopefully I’ll still be working with and learning from the same amazing people, but embracing all the changes that come at me.
Where do you turn for inspiration?
I subsribe to industry news to stay updated and find out about new campaigns as well as sources like Trendwatching. I also like to occassionally browse The Kickstarter site to see what cool inventions people in the world are coming up with. Talking to people outside the industry is always nice as they offer a different perspective.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
At Uni I studied 2 semesters of German in Japanese while I was on exchange at Osaka.
Favourite advert is:
The first Grain waves ad: Grains don't grow up to be chips son! I don’t know really know why but I just love grain waves.
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