A Week in My Life: Anu Ramani, MD of Isoline Comms
Anu Ramani, Managing Director of Isoline Communications, an agency based in South West London specialising in B2B marketing services, takes us through a week in her working life.
Monday morning – rested up after the weekend, the morning seems full of possibilities. And it is. Both kids come downstairs in good time for once, ready for school after a really fun weekend visiting friends in the country. In typical Monday fashion, train cards need topping up, and dinner money accounts are depleted (all the normal chaos associated with getting the family out the door at the beginning of each week).
We kick off with a weekly planning session, aligning our workloads and going through to-do lists from the previous week. Someone brings in choc-chip cookies that they baked at the weekend, which go great with coffee.
The main priority for the day is a planning call with a client for a year-round social marketing and lead generation campaign – looks promising, with cutting-edge lead generation and social selling elements built in.
Another priority is recruitment – Isoline is expanding fast and we’re looking for more senior account handlers and writers. Job ads, social posts and the like take up a part of the afternoon.
Finish the day with a quick dash to the gym and puzzling over University Challenge.
We’ve got a new dog at work today – a gorgeous golden spaniel named Wing, who makes it to everybody’s Instagram. We inhabit a really friendly coworking space – an eclectic mix of startups and growth-phase companies from all sectors.
Today is a day of deliverables. In the morning we’ve got a review scheduled for a white paper with trends and research based on inputs from top industry experts. Some of the team have been working on it since December and it’s looking good, we spend some time refining.
Then on to an ideation meeting to come up with a new campaign concept to drive conversions for a client in the run-up to Mobile World Congress. Happy with what we’ve got, it gets written up and goes off to client, I’m looking forward to their feedback. Campaign activity is kicking off across all accounts.
It is really busy this quarter, historically our busiest one of the year, and we’re hoping to achieve strong results for all of our clients that we can build on during the rest of the year.
Train delays and it’s the bus replacement service home. After watching this season’s terrifying opening episode of Luther with the creepy bus scene, I’m nervous about being the last person alone on the bus, but thankfully - it’s packed.
I manage to make it home on time to run the kids to and from their music lessons.
The morning starts with a work-in-progress call with a client team. Our WIP calls are the anchor of the campaign in many cases, keeping us on track, helping uncover projects that might have stalled and drive new ideas. The campaign lead has lost her voice so I depute for her on the call, so it’s a little different than usual. A smooth launch into the year and we use the opportunity to plan for lead generation at an upcoming industry event.
Emails from a client – a concept we presented has been approved straight off the bat. High fives all around. Someone finds the truly amazing ‘Like a Bosch’ video on the Internet of Things – if you haven’t watched it, do: it’s hilarious and extremely relatable, which is why it’s racked up more than 21 million views in seven days. I do think that the mobile industry has a real task ahead of it to educate the public about the potential and possibilities of 5G and machine-to-machine communications – in an accessible, relatable way.
In the afternoon we take a brief from a client on a completely new type of project in partnership with a major eCommerce vendor – lots of reading before and after the call, understanding the partnership in order to maximise its potential through content marketing. Getting up to speed with new technologies and business models is the best part of the job, for me. Leave work with head buzzing, it will take a few days before it all settles down.
The neighbours drop in for a chat. We’re signed up for the London to Brighton ride this year and our packs have arrived: we discuss training plans.
We’re getting a few e-mails from industry professionals who have seen our social media ads. Content marketing is still a growing field, especially when it comes to tech B2B, and is absorbing a lot of professionals from related fields such as PR, journalism and BTL advertising. I spend some time reviewing what we’ve got and replying to everyone. People are at their most vulnerable when they’re looking for jobs and it’s important to treat everyone with respect.
We step out to the local pub that’s been advertising vegan fish and chips to try it out, only to be told that Dexter the black lab isn’t allowed inside. That’s a blow – we were looking forward to it – but we decide to make it a walk and pick up a sandwich on the way back.
A website we developed for a client went live, it’s looking good, even if I say so myself. Then it’s on to a meeting with a potential client. Excited by the possibilities of this project, it plays to our areas of expertise and I’m confident we can add tremendous value and help them achieve their marketing goals.
Photoshop fun in the afternoon as one of the team adds a little bit of magic to the image that will accompany this week’s Isoline blog. Everyone is keen to chip in with ideas and after an increasingly-rowdy fifteen minutes, we are politely asked to let them get on with work!
My nephew arrives in London for the weekend from university and the evening is spent catching up, lots of noise and jollity.
Friday kicks off with breakfast with a potential candidate. Love her creativity and attitude.
Back at the office, I am soon neck-deep in campaign activity, calls, e-mails and the busy hum of agency life. It’s Friday – everyone’s looking forward to the weekend, but trying to finish deliverables so that they are with client to review at the beginning of next week. I finally manage to submit a major project that I’ve been working on for some time, I’m confident it has addressed the brief and am looking forward to their feedback.
We’ve decided to attend one of our client’s major industry events at the end of February, MWC in Barcelona, and we spend some time organising everyone’s travel so that campaign activity continues normally even when we are at the show.
With IoT around the corner there will be Instagram fodder a-plenty. Last year I took a photo of myself with a connected sheep in Shanghai, waiting to see if I can top that one. The thing I’m most looking forward to play with is the foldable smartphone, which I’m expecting to see at a few stands.
We’ve already got a few interesting meetings lined up at the event, which is nice! Otherwise it’s easy to get lost in the hurly-burly of one of the biggest events in the industry. I manage to catch up with my ex-boss for a few minutes in the afternoon to get his thoughts on recruitment and managing growth. He’s a great sounding board and always gives me advice and ideas that hit the mark.
This evening, I’m determined to make it to swimming, and I finally do! Success! Our smart TV isn’t smart enough to watch Black Mirror's Bandersnatch on, apparently. Oh well, you can’t have everything can you. We decide to go out and watch ‘Vice’ instead.