Case study

Marketing director — Martin Calvert

The diversity of Martin's work as marketing director of a digital agency makes it an exciting and challenging career

What course did you study and where?

I studied Politics and Central & East European Studies at undergraduate level and completed a Masters degree in research methodologies, both at the University of Glasgow.

How did you get your job?

A friend mentioned me to the CEO of the company, who then approached me for a conversation. We hit it off and things moved quickly thereafter to develop the marketing director role.

What's a typical day like as a marketing director?

There's no typical day. I'm responsible for marketing Blueclaw as a top digital marketing agency, leading the wider team and their contributions to our growth. I also get involved in operations, client strategy and conversations with potential new customers.

I work on our own content marketing, PR, events, social media and wider customer acquisition strategy. A typical day may include writing an opinion piece for an industry magazine, planning a webinar, producing website content, discussing strategy with a potential client and launching an email marketing campaign.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy working in a really creative company, alongside expert colleagues. We're always looking for new ways to learn and improve, and I particularly like the diversity of my role. Working across a wide range of industries and marketing methodologies keeps me constantly thinking.

What are the challenges?

The diversity of work is as exciting as it is challenging - keeping up to date with new digital marketing approaches and even developing a few of our own takes constant attention and creativity.

In what way is your degree relevant?

Critical thinking, the ability to evaluate different strategies and to write for multiple audiences is key in my role as a communicator. There are lots of digital agencies out there and my degree really helps me to take a step back and develop new and effective ways to communicate what we do and how we solve client problems across a wide range of industries in an engaging way.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

My role hasn't changed too much - from day one it encompassed a lot of different things and I'm pleased that this has continued. In terms of career ambitions my main goal is to help our agency to continue to perform for our clients at the highest level.

Every day brings new opportunities to learn so I'm keen to keep that going. Working in digital is great as the industry never stands still - if your ambition is to continually learn and develop, it's a great choice.

How do I become a marketing director?

To get into a leadership position at a digital agency I recommend the following approaches:

  • Work on your ability to be objective, critical and strategic in your approach - being able to put yourselves in the shoes of agency clients is absolutely critical.
  • Show your value through what you do - to be trusted with large scale digital strategies you need to have a track record of accomplishment. If you're just starting out, work on your own digital presence, blogs, networking and strategic management of social. Think beyond your CV.
  • Network, listen and understand the industry and where the specific agency you want to work for sits within the wider ecosystem - what makes them different? Who are their key clients? Use this information to tailor your approach and start conversations with people who can influence your career development.

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