Having just been named one of Campaign’s “30 under 30”, Alison was of course high on our list of people to talk to this month. We sat down with her for a coffee and a chat to find out what inspires her and makes her so obviously good at what she does.
Hi Alison, congratulations on being on the “30 under 30” this year! We’d love to know a bit more about you and what you do at OMD UK. Could you tell us about your role and what it involves?
I’m an account director within the digital branding arm of the XMP (cross media planning) department. Despite being a bit of a mouthful to say, the overarching ambition is to simplify client responses by producing audience centric work, aimed at ensuring digital planning is joined up with wider channel thinking.
Whilst there’s no escaping the inevitable, it’s a bit of a myth that we’re always knee deep in excel, with the most interesting part of my job centring around better understanding consumer behaviour in order to create work that enable brands to deliver meaningful cut through.
What’s the best part of your job every day?
It probably sounds corny but the best part of my job is working with such a smart bunch of people.
Working on nine clients across the business has meant that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a number of different teams, giving me the opportunity to learn from a range of different people, and also keeps me on my toes as I’ve had to be able to adapt my work output depending on a client’s needs & ambitions.
Which person outside the media industry inspires you most?
Such a tricky question as I’m a tad fickle and probably change my mind every other day.
My current inspiration is a bit of a random one but at the moment I’m obsessed with James Dyson… read his autobiography recently (left over holiday book) and am now crushing on the fact that he was just pissed off with his vacuum one day and then turned his frustration into inventing the Dyson. Given that I coined the idea of the silent hair dryer years ago (Dyson stole the idea from me), I like to humour myself in thinking I could learn a lot from him in terms of becoming an inventor myself (not going to happen).
If you could go back in time, what’s the most important piece of advice you’d offer to your younger self?
If I could go back time I’d probably say to my younger self to have more confidence in pitching ballsy ideas. It’s not always going to be an idea that lands / is right for the client at that time, but being open to constructive criticism and feedback always leads to better work output in the long run.