ARMLife Interview with Catherine Booth
This month, Senior International Media Planner/Buyer, Catherine Booth, shares her experience in the media industry and her transition from Leeds to Amsterdam.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I’ve been at All Response for the past 3 years, having just relocated from Leeds to Amsterdam this January.
I’m originally from Leeds, but moved to Frankfurt after school, then to London for university, back to Leeds and now to Amsterdam! – so I’ve had the chance to live in some great cities. I studied Comparative Literature at university and I love music, film and reading. I spend most of my time outside of work cycling around Amsterdam and going to gigs.
How did you get into the media industry?
I while studying Literature at University I did a short internship in the marketing department of a Book Publisher. This was my first introduction to the world of marketing and led me to take on a part-time role as a Marketing Manager for an online retailer in my final year at university, where I primarily worked on Social Media but also had my first introduction to booking press.
After I graduated I was keen to explore media further and started my career at Media Exiles – a niche TV sales-house specialising in Ethnic TV stations. I really enjoyed my time there, but I was keen to get more involved in strategy and analysis, so was excited when an opportunity came up to take on a role as an offline Media Executive in the All Response Media Leeds office.
Since then as my career has progressed and I’ve been lucky enough to work on a wide range of clients with a focus on TV advertising, more recently having the opportunity to broaden my experience across European markets.
How did you come across All Response Media?
Working at a TV sales-house, I had contact with lots of different agencies, one of which was All Response Media. Through speaking to people here, I heard about RAPs and, as I had spent a lot of time booking campaigns but not seeing the results, and was keen to get into a more analysis-based role, that really piqued my interest. When I then decided I wanted to explore agency life, All Response Media was a natural choice.
What made you choose to move from the Leeds office to Amsterdam?
Leeds is an amazing city and my home-town, and I made some really close friend in the Leeds office, but when I heard about the opportunity to relocate to Amsterdam I had to take it. I had visited Amsterdam a couple of times before and absolutely love the city, it’s beautiful with loads of culture, and moving over meant I could live somewhere amazing and take on a new challenge!
How have you enjoyed the transition?
It’s been amazing. Moving to a brand new country is scary, but I was lucky to have visited the Amsterdam office before the move, and I knew I had made the right decision – we are a small and close-knit team who get along really well, which helps a lot. Learning about media in different markets has been fascinating – we work on a really broad range of countries that all work differently, from the Netherlands to Finland, to Switzerland – so there has been a lot to take in, but every day I learn something new which I love.
Do you need to be able to speak Dutch?
Luckily, we work in English, and people are so fluent here that it’s hard to get some practice – but I’m trying and hope to learn over the next year or so.
What’s a typical day like for you?
On a typical day, I might analyse trends in results between different countries for a client, investigate competitor activity for a new market, or negotiate prices for an upcoming campaign. One thing I love about All Response Media, and particularly working in a smaller team in the Amsterdam office is that there is plenty of variety.
What’s your favourite thing about your role as a Media Planner/Buyer?
Seeing a campaign through from planning stage to analysis and delivering good results is really satisfying, I have the opportunity to make a difference to a client’s business which I find really rewarding. I’m really data-driven so my favourite part of the job is probably when I can really dive into some analysis, particularly when you find something surprising.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
The people are really supportive and there is a great atmosphere, All Response Media is definitely an agency where people aren’t afraid to share opinions or to help each other out, which I really value. The social element is also great and I’ve made some really good friends here.
What’s your most memorable moment at All Response Media so far?
Probably the day that I found out I was making the move to Amsterdam, I found out on my birthday which was extra nice!
Do you have any hidden talents or facts that people here don’t know about you?
I’m pretty good at baking and cooking. I play the piano and I’m trying to play the bass guitar, so I record a bit of music with my fiancé.