So, who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I’m Caroline Westgate, Client Director for Isobar UK, based in London. I’ve been with the business for just over 6 months, but it feels much longer - in a good way!
Tell us a bit about your background
Having studied Furniture and Product Design at university many years a go, I had great aspirations of being a Furniture Designer, and so moved to London to follow my dreams. As with many dreams, it didn’t quite work out that way, and I ended up working in Digital Advertising. For me, the sector ticked all the boxes. I found a passion for working in a fast-moving, ever-evolving industry that is influenced by our constantly changing culture.
Being in roles that required me to have an interest in creativity and innovation, whilst developing client relationships and delivering strategic consultancy was both exciting and rewarding, and I’ve never looked back. I have worked across multiple digital disciplines from publishing, mobile, SEO, and affiliate marketing, but have spent the latter part of my career at a full-service creative agency developing social and ATL advertising campaigns for some of the largest brands in the world.
What does your normal working day look like?
Every day is different because my role is extremely varied. One minute I’m reviewing and negotiating commercial contracts, and the next I’m having a brainstorm with our Head of Innovation on solutions for client briefs. One of the most important parts of my role is the continuous liaison and knowledge-sharing with our delivery, creative, and data teams to ensure we’re on track to deliver exciting, smart, and informed work, on time, and to brief.
Pre COVID-19, I would spend a lot of time in my client’s offices having face-to-face meetings or pitching new work, and so replicating that across video calls when we are unable to travel, is vital. I always aim to be an extension of our client’s teams. Knowing my client’s businesses and the sector inside out also allows me to spot, and advise on new opportunities that will help them hit their overall business objectives, whether that’s a new territory rollout or an NPD launch.
What skills and expertise do you need to be good at your job?
You need the ability to rally and inspire a team, especially when working across multiple offices and territories. Fostering an empowering working environment, creating an effective process and information flow between all teams to ensure everyone is working towards the same common goal is crucial to delivering best in class work.
Being knowledgeable and commercially savvy, and understanding the dynamics of your client business, the market, and industry developments, alongside deep understanding of our product and service offering, is a must-have to ensure you can spot and advise upon challenges, solutions, and opportunities in collaboration with your clients.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
I’ve been very fortunate in my career to work with some incredible brands (and people), and that’s never more the case than here at Isobar. Building a trusted relationship and rapport with your clients that evolves into a brand/agency partnership where you deliver exciting and brave work together is what really motivates me.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in their career?
Network with people in the industry as much as you can. Starting out is never easy but reach out to key people on LinkedIn, attend (virtual if needed) networking events, and look out for mentoring schemes. Some of my most exciting opportunities have come off the back of networking or being brave enough to just start a conversation.