Life as a Digital Director
Have you ever wondered what life as a Digital Director within an agency is really like here in the South West? What does one do? What does it take to become one and what to stay top of the game?
We caught up with Raymond O’Sullivan, Digital Director at Six to get the facts for you – if you are thinking of becoming one or adding one to your team – some first-hand insights for you right here:
ADLIB: In approx. 30 words and plain English, what do you do?
Ray O’Sullivan: My main focus is to bring digital confidence and clarity to both client offering and the individuals who work here. I work with our clients to address business challenges that inevitably include a digital or technical element and help deliver solutions with real world, commercial impact.
ADLIB: In a nutshell, what has been your career journey so far?
Ray O’Sullivan: Plymouth Uni, surfed the world for a year, office jobs in London and then an internship at The Extreme Sports Channel that turned into my first paid marketing role.
Then I moved to Bristol, working first for Six as an Account Executive, leaving after four years as a Senior Account Manager. Six provided a world-class grounding in Account Management and I learned the value of authentic, expert client relationships.
This enabled me to move on and specialise in digital and technology at e3. My first six months were spent in the trenches on a couple of very complex, technical projects. This experience has benefited me in every conversation I have had since, and given me the confidence to find the best direction and solution for any given challenge. My time at e3 ensured that I understood the strategic, user-centric and technical capability of “digital” and how it can impact a business commercially.
After e3, I wanted to arm myself with management, sales and agency specific commercial experience. I wanted to learn how an agency operated, evolved and grew. I gained this invaluable experience in a management role at Creation, and made some incredible friends, before returning to Six in March 2017.
ADLIB: What do you like most about your job?
Ray O’Sullivan: It’s not just digital. Although my remit is to present the digital opportunity and hero its agenda, I am a marketer at heart and love business strategy and general psychology around human behaviour.
Working with creative, digital and strategic talent in agencies affords me the best kind of collaboration, both internally and with clients. This is where the award-winning work stems. The potential for what the collective ‘we’ can achieve when we bang our heads together really excites and motivates me looking ahead to the next 10 years!
ADLIB: What are the 3 key things you consider when choosing an employer?
- Integrity is incredibly important to me when looking for a role. Six has a real, kind, authentic and warm culture that I am very proud to be part of.
- It is imperative that an organisation’s ambition and drive match my own. Knowing that we are on the same journey to success allows me to focus all my efforts in getting there.
- Minimal suits.
ADLIB: What 3 tips would you give someone to ensure that their skills and knowledge within “Digital” remain top notch?
Embrace the trenches
Don’t be afraid to work on very technical and highly complex projects. The best way to learn is to work side-by-side with talented experts in technical, XD and strategy roles – ask questions and if you don’t understand, keep asking!
Attend events and read up
Have an eye on trends and “the innovation curve”, but also remember what is required day-to-day and what impacts your client’s business. Some businesses require VR, AI and IOT but other, equally successful businesses are focused on simpler aspects of mobile, automation and data. You need to be confident in leading each conversation.
Events, collaboration and reading will also arm and inspire you to make the changes in your organisation, that prime you for growth and success.
Make friends and build a network
You are surrounded by experts. They will help you learn, and learn from you. You will rely on them when you progress, or move on and need to bring in expertise. Most of my friends from industry are truly great friends of mine, and they are all brilliant at what they do. My relationships ensure I develop too.
Thank you Ray for sharing!