Lindsay Turner is CEO of media agency Spark Foundry, part of Publicis. We caught up with her to ask about her typical day, and the demands on her time and skillset.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I’m the agency CEO. It is a very wide reaching role from working with clients, to setting agency strategy, to overseeing the money flow, to building an agency culture. It is 100 miles an hour and I get to work with some amazing people!
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
Spark Foundry is part of the broader Publicis Media family, we are one of five media agencies within Publicis Media. We are lucky that we are all under one roof in the iconic Television Centre in White City. I report to Sue Frogley, CEO of Publicis Media UK.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Put simply you need skills in three main areas; people, commercial and strategic skills. You will naturally have a bias towards the skills you are good at and the ones you enjoy but it is important to be able to cover all of these areas.
Tell us about a typical working day…
I leave my house at 7.30am which is when my working day begins. I use my commute to catch up on emails and prepare for meetings I may have that day.
I arrive in the office around 9am and head straight to get a coffee from Television Centre’s Café Marcel. Then the day really gets going. I spend most of my day in meetings which are always extremely varied. I love speaking with clients as well as media owners, strong and straight-talking relationships with both are vital for any agency’s success. I also get stuck into discussions on operational areas from structure or resource to a brainstorm on a new business pitch.
My day tends to finish about 6.30pm when I will get back on the train to Hertfordshire and finish up emails on route home. I flop onto the sofa about 8pm with a glass of wine.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
I really like the people that you get to work with. We have smart, fun and curious people working at Spark Foundry and that’s always a joy. I wouldn’t say anything outright ‘sucks’, there can be ‘challenges’ as the industry has never been tougher and more complex but my overriding feeling is that this is an exciting and interesting time to be a CEO in media.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
The biggest goal is always growth; helping our clients grow their business, ensuring that our agency grows and that our people grow and develop too. We regularly track client sentiment, alongside how happy our people are and of course, keep a close eye on revenue. If you don’t like data then this probably isn’t for you.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
My mobile phone first and foremost! Followed by some brilliant Publicis proprietary tools that allow us to have a market leading view on campaign effectiveness. I always want to understand how our campaigns are delivering business results for our clients.
How did you end up at Spark Foundry, and where might you go from here?
I started at the agency back in 2010 (before it became Spark Foundry), I was attracted by the independence of the business. I still am! Spark Foundry has the independent agency spirit but backed by the might and muscle of Publicis, giving us the best of both worlds. As to the future, as long as I’m spending time thinking about brilliant solutions for brands’ marketing challenges, then I’m happy.
Do you have any advice for anybody who wants to work in your field?
Be tenacious. Media is an amazing industry where you will have to work hard but you will also have a lot of fun.
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