ARMLife Interview with Associate Director Chevy Wall
In this month’s ARMLife, we spoke with family man, people-person and ARM Associate Director, Chevy Wall. Chevy discusses how his people-centric philosophy has helped him throughout the years, both in his career and in his personal life.
Hafsah Javed : Tell us a bit about yourself?
Chevy Wall : I am originally from Southend-on-Sea in Essex but now live in a village near Chelmsford. I feel very lucky to have a wonderful wife called Katie and three beautiful children: Florence who is 2, Eva who is 5 and Charlie who is 7.
I studied Maths at the University of Hertfordshire as I was always good at and liked numbers. My first job, of which I stayed for over 7 years, was for Teletext. I moved around through several different roles, but spent most of my time working in the commercial team focusing on brand launches, database development, TV channel development and website customer journey optimisation.
I also went travelling with my now wife for 3 months throughout Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the US. It was a wonderful time, although that was a while ago now!
HJ: How did you first get into media?
CW: Before I had travelled, a friend that played football with me helped me get an interview that led to a 3-month long position on the data team at Mike Colling and Company (now MC&C). When I returned, I was invited to come back and continue full time. I was there for over 7 years, working in offline media and also as Head of Insight where I began combining my experience with clients and with data.
Following on from there, I spent a three years as a Media Director at Opticomm Media, but was looking for a new challenge and a company where I could really make an impact on the clients I worked with. This pursuit led me to ARM!
HJ: How did you join All Response Media?
CW: It is an odd story really. A recruiter reached out to me via LinkedIn on some roles she had available and invited me in for a chat. When I came in, she revealed she actually did not have any roles but assured me she would go and ask around to find something suitable. Though ARM was not looking specifically for new senior staff, I ended up coming into the office for a few thorough interviews with Managing Director CJ, Chief Strategy Officer Colin and Director Dylan Moss. In the end they offered me an Associate Director role.
HJ: What are your main responsibilities as associate director?
CW: My role has changed a lot in the 18 months I have been here and the focus has been on a ratio of company strategy, new business, client development, staff recruitment, media planning, team management and account management. This has been constantly in flux over my time here and long may it continue as the variation is very welcome. I’ve worked across many different clients, but now focus primarily on SunLife, Viking Cruises and Sixpad.
HJ: What word or phrase best describes you?
CW: A people-person, personally and professionally. I am sure the people at ARM wouldn’t be surprised by this as they know I’m a talker! Life is all about communication. Sometimes we get carried away with the impersonal parts of life, but it’s even more important to make an effort to get to know and understand people. It can get you even further than you realised.
HJ: How has that impacted where you are now?
CW: It has played a huge role in getting me to where I am now. The relationships I have built have moved me forward quickly. Everyone is in a similar position; we all have challenges and are trying to do the best job possible. The best results I have gotten are when I am adaptable, friendly and personable.
HJ: How do you carry this philosophy into your role at ARM?
CW: Those values play a big part in my management style as I dedicate time to build relationships, understand my team and encourage honest communication. I strive to create an open environment where people feel comfortable telling me that they are struggling versus keeping it in until it blows up. I also try and add an element of humour into things, we have long working days, but we should make sure there are some laughs and smiles.
Because I am a people-person, I definitely wanted to get involved with ARM’s new mentorship program, where employees have the opportunity to choose a senior mentor to learn from and gain career advice. I think I have a lot of knowledge and experience to impart to others. Also, if I can help people be better or think differently then that’s worth a lot to me.
HJ: The media industry is known for fast-paced and demanding environment. How do you balance that with your family life in Essex? Any advice for people who are in a similar situation?
CW: If I am being fully honest, it is tough at times, especially because my kids are all very young. I always want to be there and help out, but I also have a commitment to my role at ARM. This is where the peaks and troughs of work come in as I am able to be flexible and can make sure that I am at home for bedtime or in the morning on certain days, but still squeeze in all the work that is required for my role.
My best advice would be to be honest with your management and find a common ground that suits both your needs. It is also very important to find a job and company that matches your lifestyle at that moment. In the end, you need to know what is right for you and go with that.
HJ: What is your favourite part about working at ARM?
CW: I love that there is no typical day. Although week-to-week you know overall output, there will always be things that come and catch you out, in a nice way. That variability is good for wellbeing in general and keeps you attentive.
At ARM, you have the chance to work on exciting and new projects, across diverse media channels. Yes, at times it is a lot of hard work, but it is definitely rewarding. It also helps that the whole company is filled with a great bunch of people – that adds a lot to my working life.
HJ: If you could give one piece of advice what would it be?
CW: It is hard to pick one, so here are two!
The first is to use everyone around you. The best way to reduce a problem is to share it – sometimes just talking to someone can give you a solution without people saying anything – you sometimes just need to think about a problem differently.
The second is to not shy away from things: when you feel the need to move away from something that feels too hard then do the opposite – challenge yourself.
HJ: You have been working in and around media for 20 years. How has the industry changed and where is it headed?
CW: It is clear that media consumption has moved a lot more towards digital. However, it is common for advertisers to come in with a desire to be on a specific digital channel without having done the research and analysis to truly know if it will achieve the result they are looking for.
Hopefully the industry will continue to move towards a more holistic planning view, and consider the entire customer journey using all the data at your disposal. Understanding the true value of each media channel is imperative but many channels are still siloed.
TV specifically is constantly changing. As people continue to watch on various devices and the lines blur between linear and digital output, advertisers need to make sure ads fall at the right time and right place, for the right price. Hopefully, we are moving into a new realm of measurement, and this data will lead onto greater accuracy on audience buying and better results overall.
HJ: If there was a movie created about your life, who would play you and why?
CW: I’m not sure anyone would want to see that film but to answer the question I can’t see past Patrick Stewart for some reason (possibly his haircut?!).