Young Guns: Mindshare strategy director Caitlin Lloyd

28 September 2017
Caitlin Lloyd

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.

Last week we spoke to Red Engine SCC senior social media manager Jade Waite. This week we meet Mindshare's strategy director Caitlin Lloyd.

How long have you been in the industry?
Just over six years.

Duration in current role/time at the company:
Four months but Mindshare is such a welcoming place I feel like I've been here forever.

What were you doing before this job and how did you get this gig?
I've worked in agencies for most of my career; most recently at iProspect and before that I spent three years at Arena Media in London becoming an expert on Domino's Pizza. I asked my old bosses, Aidan Mark and Kay Martin, for advice on applying for my current role and they both told me I would be mad not to go for it.

Define your job in one word:
Curiosity

What were your real and cliché expectations of working in the industry?
I had no expectations when I started out. I didn't even know the difference between a media and a creative agency until I decided to apply for a planning role at Arena. If I had known how amazing it can be to work with such smart, passionate people (colleagues and clients) at a place where every day is different I might have applied straight out of school. 

How does the reality match up?
See above! There can be moments when it feels like a slog but I would say 90% of the time I love my job and I feel really lucky that I'm able to make a living talking to and writing about people's lives.

How would you describe what the company does and what does your role involve?
Mindshare's vision is to be our client's lead business partner and my role is to come up with innovative solutions to problems whilst living our agency values: speed, teamwork and provocation. What that means day to day is understanding who we should be targeting, explaining what we want them to do and deciding how we're going to get there.

Best thing about the industry you work in:
The people. I have had so many fascinating conversations with people I would never have been exposed to had I not worked in media, from hostage negotiators to news editors to sports legends.

Any major hard learnings in the job so far?
It's not enough to have great ideas. If you can't convince other people to take the journey and see a concept through to implementation then no matter how amazing your plan is it won't see the light of day. My least favourite phrase is 'I could have thought of that'.

If you had to switch over to another department, which would it be and why?
I've just made the switch from client servicing to strategy and I am so glad I took the leap. The job has completely lived up to my expectations.

What's exciting you about the industry right now?
Everything. I think the opportunity is there for anyone and everyone to make work they're proud of. I get briefs landing on my desk for a diverse range of clients on an almost daily basis so there's always scope to create something amazing. My grandma always used to tell me 'only boring people get bored' and I finally agree with her.

What concerns you about the industry and its future?
I worry about how much we're relying on data to do the thinking for us. Whilst you absolutely can have a data-led creative strategy I think there's still so much room for gut feeling and looking beyond what's right in front of you. There has to be a balance between magic and maths. Some of the best campaigns out there wouldn't have been made in this climate of obsessive measurement and that's from someone who's spent half a decade as a 'digital performance specialist'. 

Who's your right hand person/who guides you day to day?
I get to work with lots of inspiring people every day. My boss Catherine Rushton (aka Crush) is an amazing mentor and my Dad has also given me a lot of encouragement when I've questioned what I'm doing professionally.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in 2020 and how do you plan on getting there?
I'll be turning 30 in 2020 so I'm sure there will be a lot of pressure to reach some self-imposed deadline. Realistically as long as I wake up wanting to go into work every day I'll be happy. Ideally, I would like to become a CSO one day but I'm conscious the agency of the future and its job titles may bear no resemblance to what we have in place today.

Where do you turn for inspiration?
I think you can find inspiration almost anywhere. Jon Steel's advice to be 'interested and interesting' is something I try and live by. I read a lot (fiction and non-fiction), I watch plenty of movies, I try and go to inspiring places like galleries and museums and I travel. But I also have great ideas when I'm not consciously thinking, often in the shower or walking.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I feel like my colleagues know a lot about me even in such a short space of time! 

Favourite advert is:
The John Lewis Christmas adverts always make me feel festive and the 2011 ad was a classic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIl69I5_Wjo 

What’s your personal motto?
I can be really hard on myself so I try to remember Caitlin Moran's advice 'The world will come at you with knives anyway. You do not need to beat them to it'.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing because:
My sister stole my original plan to be a police officer. 

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
A speech therapist...although I wouldn't turn down a gig as a travel writer or film critic 

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