What do you currently do?
I’m the CEO of the full service media and advertising agency, TTMV. What that means in practise is making sure we continue to offer clients and small businesses the best, commercially-focused creative solutions for their brand marketing. I head up teams of media planners and buyers and creative, digital, planning and strategy, production, direct response, NPD and brand development experts. I make sure they’re all working in harmony dependent on which discipline is needed, to make the clients’ budget work as hard as possible. A large part of my role is the development and growth of the agency as well. So I spend a lot of time looking at potential strategic partners and new routes to market. For example, we’ve just joined up with a new specialist design outfit.
What is your inspiration in business?
The thing that inspires me the most is change. I don’t like standing still. And I suppose that’s the driver behind a successful 30 year career in the media. Three years ago, I felt disenchanted. I was heading up a great media agency but it felt like clients needed a different type of marketing agency. So I started again – joining the media agency with an advertising agency to create TTMV.
Who do you admire?
Sir Martin Sorrell – probably the most famous advertising chief around today, founder of the WPP Group. He’s held down two mega jobs – FD at Saatchi & Saatchi at the height of their powers and then CEO of WPP – and is single-handedly responsible for the creation of one of the biggest media groups in the world, setting the UK right at the heart of the global communications industry today. He also recognised early on that clients – and especially small businesses – do better with a
joined up approach to their media and creative needs. His communications empire is comprised of brand-leading specialists from every discipline, giving clients a full service experience under one umbrella organisation.
Looking back would you have done things differently?
Like most of us, I try not to live with any regret. But if I had to change one thing, I probably would have moved the business out of London sooner. As digital marketing and virtual working is becoming stronger, the need to be based in London isn’t as crucial as it used to be. TTMV is Tunbridge Wells in Kent – more cost-effective, nicer space but still within easy reach of the capital.
What defines your way of doing business?
Two things. One is that need to make sure things are evolving and in progress – that driver for change, which is harder to focus on when things are going well. Bt I’m a firm believer that even if the status quo seems great as it is, you should always have your eye on future planning and next steps. And two – relationships. Good business relationships are absolutely key. Some of the key people I work with now, I’ve taken with me throughout various roles, for 20 years.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Listen. Listen to trusted contacts. Listen to your clients. Listen to your customers. Listen to the trends and the beat of the industry that you’re in. And then act, making sure you work hard to keep relationships strong.