Who am I?
My name is Ellis Brant and I’m currently working as a Marketing Executive for giffgaff gameplan. I studied Business and Marketing Management at Oxford Brookes University, where I began my journey in marketing. It’s not always been easy, and I’ve certainly had to learn a lot of things and throw myself into plenty of different job roles along the way, but it’s all led me to where I am today.
Tell us about your current role
I currently work as a Marketing Executive for the giffgaff gameplan team. My day to day role involves developing and implementing our marketing strategy across a variety of channels and platforms. Essentially, I work on the things that our customers see, ensuring that all communications that come from giffgaff gameplan are on brand and fit within our overarching story.
What path have you followed to get into marketing?
Immediately after graduating I was selected to attend the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) summer school programme, which helped me get my first job at a marketing agency in London. I then went on to work client side in fashion and banking, before spending some time as a full-time photographer. The diverse range of industries I’ve worked in has helped me hit the ground running in my current role, allowing me to draw on a wealth of experience and recognise commonalities across industries.
What important skills have you learned?
I learned a lot about project management whilst in my first agency role in London, working with a variety of different clients and multiple accounts was definitely a great starting point for me. Marketing is such a diverse industry to work in, so having experience doing a few completely different roles has been really useful for my progression.
What challenges have you overcome?
The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome is understanding exactly which parts of marketing I enjoy the most and feel I can excel in. Whilst studying, you get a holistic view of marketing, but the practicalities of a marketing role can be quite different. I’m now clear on where my skills are best utilised and where I can have the greatest positive impact.
What does a working day look like?
Our days are quite varied as there are a lot of moving parts when launching a new service like giffgaff gameplan. It’s essential to be flexible and be able to handle multiple projects at once. Recently, we’ve been working towards launching our beta, so we’re planning out a comms journey and conducting market research to make better informed decisions on user experience, as we further develop the platform.
How do you think your university experience helped shape your working life?
I had a great time at university and especially enjoyed going on exchange. Living abroad and having to quickly adapt to a different language and culture was a daunting but rewarding experience. While abroad, one of the most relevant skills I learned was how to effectively communicate complex ideas and bring these to life with a multilingual and multicultural team. As a marketer, excellent communication skills are essential and being able to distil an idea to its essence is something that happens almost daily.
When it came to revision, I found that trying to distil everything into its simplest form worked well for me. If you can get away with one word being the trigger for a whole sentence or concept, you’ll be in a good place. This is another thing that has been helpful when picking up new roles.
What are your career highlights so far?
Developing a fully automated and personalised email programme was a difficult but incredibly rewarding experience. Also, redefining and rebranding a relatively corporate brand in order to focus on the human element was interesting. You quickly learn that, no matter what the service, you’re still speaking to people.
Where have you taken your advice and inspiration from?
I tend to read and learn from great philosophers. From Confucius to Camus, I believe the way you perceive the world and how you approach problems will always affect how successful you can be.
Do you have any advice for others starting out in a marketing role?
Always try to offer a solution. Even if it’s not the one you end up going with, it’s better to have thought about the problem rather than wait for someone else to solve it for you.
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