By @SimonCocking. Interview with Aleesha Tully Senior Strategist . Planning. Digital. Social. Content. Aleesha will be speaking at the upcoming Digital Transformation Conference, at the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin taking place on 8th June 2017 (see here more info and for tickets).

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

I’m Senior Strategist at TBWA\Dublin. What does a Senior Strategist do, you ask? Well, it varies from place to place. I’ve never met one brand planner or strategist who possesses the same range of skills. Everyone is different – that’s the nature of planning. I currently work at the convergence of brand planning and channel planning, mixing my digital background with traditional advertising skills. Essentially it’s my role to ensure that we’re going out with the right messaging, putting it in the right place, and pushing it out at the right time for our clients. I have to ensure we’re using the right format for the job – and as a result, I get to collaborate with some of the best thinkers, creatives, and technologists in the industry to make that happen. It’s an exciting place to be, at the heart of a world-class creative agency, which just happens to be based here in Dublin!

How were the last 12 months, what worked well for you, and what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?

I’ve had a great 12 months. A lot of my work in the last year has involved educating clients and colleagues about the concept that you can’t operate brand planning and media planning completely independently. There has to be a bridge.

Back in the day, channel planning was an essential part of traditional advertising agencies, but this fell by the wayside once agencies became more split because of increasingly diverse technologies and methodologies. The interagency environment of one client and multiple agencies can be particularly challenging in this regard. So I’m a big advocate of bringing channel planning (or a modern form of it!) back into the traditional planning process. To do this in the connected world, you need to have a person who not only understands the technologies available to us today in advertising, but who also understands basic human behaviour and how humans interact with those technologies. Not everyone can do that. I’ve really enjoyed developing this kind of thinking.

Industry-wise there’s been some good and some bad. It’s no secret that influencer marketing and partnerships are in quite a stagnant place. I’ve been encouraged to see the recent conversations about this and to hear from those who are questioning the value in a typical partnership. Whether it’s right for the brand, how is it being measured, effectiveness and so on. Also there’s growing realisation amongst the general public that social media has created an echo chamber of sorts and the implications that this has for advertising is a positive development. We need to take a broader view of how we communicate – microtargeting isn’t the be-all and end-all.

More positively, we’re seeing spend increase again this year across the industry and the increase in mobile spend shows that advertisers are responding to changing consumer behaviours. This is very heartening to see in an industry that can sometimes be stuck in the dark ages.

 What will you be talking about at this event?

There is a lot I could cover, but what struck me on the theme of Digital Transformation is that in terms of your advertising and marketing strategy, truly transforming it can be full of complications. If you’re trying to consider your target consumer journey and channels to execute your campaigns on digitally, this can be baffling. If you’re on your own with it, there is a deluge of information out there to trawl through. If you’re lucky enough to have assistance from your agencies, they’re likely to all throw varying opinions at you. I’m going to talk about how to deal with that kind of a situation.

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

Wow, there’s a question – it’s easy to be bombarded with daily updates and industry news in this field. I keep a feed of my favourites to check every morning before I get down to work. A brilliant website with daily industry updates is DigidayUK. Then I scan the usuals – TNW, Wired, FastCo, etc. Medium can be a great resource if you follow the right thinkers, too. Also, we have an internal TBWA resource called Backslash, which delivers a daily cultural video briefing from across our worldwide network – it’s great to have access to global resources as part of the network. I’ll be sharing some more information about the influencers I follow within my presentation on the day.

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

I share my thoughts on industry developments on Twitter @aleeshajulia (as well as some unrelated ramblings), and on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aleesha/, so do connect with me there if you want to keep in touch. To find out more about what we do at TBWA\Dublin, you can check out the website here: http://tbwa-dublin.com/.

When Should Irish Companies Go Global? Feargal Brady, Co Founder Blueface, speaking June 8th, Digital Transformation Conference


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