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ARMLife Interview with Willis Annison

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I’m from a small town in Suffolk, I went to university in Brighton and I studied media studies. It was quite related as I did have advertising modules, however, it was more about how it worked rather than paid media, etc. Once I finished university, I started looking for jobs and All Response Media came up. I came in for the grad day and managed to get an interview and got the job all within a few days! It was all before I even graduated so I actually had to take time off for my graduation ceremony.

You’ve been here just over a year and have already received a promotion, tell us a bit more about that
Yes, I started out as a media executive and was involved in all the digital channels that we work on, with display, social media and PPC being the main ones. My day to day would include reporting, setting up campaigns, making sure they go live when they’re meant to and ensuring all the relevant ad copy is written out. Just before a year was up, I was promoted to a digital analyst. It was a really nice surprise! Even when you think you’re doing well you can be unsure what others think so it was great to see that the hard work you put in is recognised.

What’s a typical day like for you now as a digital analyst?
As I’ve progressed, I’ve got more autonomy as I’m more involved in decision making and optimising the campaigns, looking at results and seeing different things where you can make improvement. I’ve now expanded into a lot more channels such as programmatic display, which I now do for all my clients, in-app advertising and digital audio. I also look over the work the media executives are doing and support them in their own growth.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Being able to help people learn and develop. I really enjoy giving back and supporting the media executives in areas they want to improve in or do more of what they want to do. It’s very rewarding to see them progress.

What do you see is changing or growing in the digital media industry?
I would say digital audio is growing. Podcasts are becoming even more popular, so it makes sense to get more involved in it. As mobile is growing the way it is, being able to do app campaigns is also becoming really important.

What’s your favourite thing about working at All Response Media?
Definitely, my team and the digital team as a whole. It’s your team that often makes it. We all get along well and spend time outside of work. They also push me to learn and to achieve what I need to. The training and development support you receive here is really great which I think is important in any company.

What’s your most memorable moment at All Response Media so far?
Being told I was going to Dubai to help work on one of clients and then actually being in Dubai! It was such a compliment for me to even be asked to go, seeing as how junior I am. It was positive to work so closely with our client and really get into all the different platform details to ensure they were happy!

If you could work in any other team/office which would it be and why?
It would be interesting to work in the Amsterdam office. As it’s offline media it would be something different for me and because it would be in Amsterdam – a different city working with more European clients. We do already work on EMEA clients, however, I’m sure it would be very different running a TV campaign for companies across Europe.

Advice to someone starting out in the media industry – wants to get into media digital, etc.
Be open to learn and be open to being challenged. You need to be in a space where you can challenge yourself and be open to doing everything, of course, don’t overstretch yourself but it’s important to open yourself up to learning. You also need to be honest with how much you can do and to ask for help. Don’t be afraid if there’s something you don’t know, the best way to learn is to ask lots of questions.

What’s your favourite thing to do in London in your spare time?
London has so much to offer – I love going out with my friends to the pub, the movies, trying different food places and exploring the museums. There are so many different areas to see. I also love going to Chinatown, it’s one of my favourite places in London. It’s really vibrant and has great food there!

If you could compare yourself to any animal which would it be and why?
I would say a panda because like a panda I love to just eat and sleep and not have to have any care in the world!