An Insider’s Guide: Introduction to Media
With only one year of university left ahead of me, having loved student life in both Birmingham and a year abroad in Copenhagen studying Political Science and International Relations, the cliché fear struck – what on earth was I going to do after university?
I knew I wanted to be in a fast-paced, creative and diverse environment – and that is where Manning Gottlieb OMD (MG OMD) appeared to tick every box.
Being a total novice to the industry, prior to my work experience I researched advertising and marketing to find out what a media agency actually does. But I came in with a top-line understanding, so following the induction on my first day it’s safe to say I was blown away by the sheer size and variety of what a media agency such as MG OMD offers.
Thus, I have used the opportunity of writing a blog for the agency as an excuse to deep-dive into teams whose place here I found interesting. As part of this I had the opportunity to interview specialists in the Tech Innovation, Client Partners and Consumer Research and Insight teams as well as MG OMD’s very own diversity and inclusion initiative, OPEN.
But first, I wanted to see if those nearest and dearest to me had any idea what these teams might do, or whether it was just me who was confused…
Phew, so it seems we’re all in the same boat – have a vague idea on the basic remit of each team but no clue to the specifics. Bring on the professionals…
“When we get a brief from a client I try and look for a competitive advantage for them, be it in terms of ideas, technology or just doing something a bit different to what people expect.”
“A big part of the role is tech-driven because of the way media is now, but that isn’t to say you can’t be innovative in traditional media channels by just being a bit different.”
“I think a lot of people wouldn’t think that a lot of things we have done from this agency would come from a media agency – for example, phone cases for Starbucks, we make AFPs, posters snow – a lot that we do people may just think a creative agency would do but there is a blurring of lines to an extent.”
“I love to see the process through the whole company and seeing that final piece is unbelievably satisfying, and you forget about the late nights!”
“In simplest terms, I would describe our role as being the voice of the client in the agency.”
“We get to work with everyone! We devise a general, overarching campaign strategy which everything feeds into and then ensure that what everyone is doing is working towards this overall strategy – effectively making sure that everything beats to the sound of the same drum.”
“Of course, the end product is hugely rewarding, but so is cracking the strategy – it can be a long process so when you manage to crack an in-sync strategy for a campaign, that there is the most satisfying part for me.”
“Relationships are hugely important, both internally and with the client. It is very much a relationship-driven industry.”
“We work with the client teams but also directly with the clients to make sure it’s very clear what their objectives are, and this can be on different levels – for example as an overarching, annual level, or on a campaign by campaign basis.”
“We look at the single success metric aiming to be achieved, and help the client and teams understand what that is – ensuring that everyone is clear on it, so we work really closely with multiple other departments such as Annalect, market research and other specialists to put things in place.”
“People might not expect the number of different elements to my role – a lot of people may think it is merely building a measurement framework but there is so much more, such as finding the best solutions and working with a lot of different people.”
“The most rewarding part is definitely seeing everything come together – the action falls into place and the insights are used to inform everything else – it’s really nice.”
“We want diverse people and thinking, in order for everyone to be able to express their opinions without any feeling of conformity.”
“OPEN is driven by three key insights, one being if you can’t see it you can’t be it – people need to see themselves reflected within the media agency and we don’t have enough of this. The second is, people feeling the need to hide who they are – if you can’t be who you are, then you’re not going to be the best version of yourself. And the third, is bias – how we all have bias subconsciously and we need to recognise this.”
“OPEN is different to some other initiatives because we’re not just talking about doing things. It is vital that we really build integrity and honesty behind it so that we make a real difference.”
“If people can be themselves, they will be heard and have a bigger impact.”
Could a career in media be for you?
I hope this has showcased just some of the depth and breadth of opportunity and expertise found within a media agency. From what I’ve seen over these last two weeks, MG OMD is a cool, clever and creative place to work, where there is a constant warm, and friendly but dynamic atmosphere.
A part of me was expecting to feel overwhelmed walking in on day one, however it was immediately clear that there is a role here for pretty much everyone – whether you are creative, techy, analytical, or even just great at building relationships! There could definitely be a place here for you.
As an undergraduate preparing to enter the world of work, it has been an incredibly inspiring place to be and I’ve made it my aim to come back as soon as I can.
If you liked this article and would like to read more about apprentice and graduate life at MG OMD, check out some of our other blogs.