After just two years in the profession, this 24-year old IDM Creative Data Academy graduate is definitely one to watch. Living proof that aptitude and attitude are a killer combination.
Tell us about your role
The majority of my responsibility is for one of Proximity’s biggest clients, BBC TV Licensing, and the role is extremely varied. I’m involved in the data strategy, through the creative and how we’re communicating, to testing, evaluating and analysis. There’s real end-to-end (and in most cases, 360°) involvement, with such a sense of achievement when you see something develop from an idea through to execution.
Describe the route to your current position
I got interested in marketing through an advertising module on my degree course. I was fascinated by consumer behaviour and wanted to know more about what influences their decisions, so when the opportunity arose to attend the 3-day IDM Creative Data Academy, suddenly the psychologist and the analyst in me collided and everything just clicked. The networking event at the end of the three days gave me the chance to meet some very influential people, and very soon I found myself fast-tracked into the data planning function at Proximity. I was delighted, and felt so privileged!
Proximity recommended that I enrol on the IDM Postgraduate Diploma in Direct and Digital Marketing almost immediately. Taking on such a high level qualification while working was tough, but it teaches you so much more than an academic syllabus: real, hands-on essentials like project planning, and practical knowledge and experience you can use at work the day after. And you really do. What’s more, people around you quickly notice how much more knowledgeable and experienced you are, and your credibility levels surge!
What do you love most about your job?
I love its variety and scope, and that it’s both analytical and client-facing, so I feel I get the best of everything. I’ve also relished the huge amounts of responsibility I’ve been given so early on.
What are its biggest challenges?
Making sure the client believes in the value of the data you’re bringing to the table. Since data touches all areas of the business, it’s important clients can trust it. Fortunately, most of our clients are on board with data, so it’s not a challenge I face routinely. But farther afield, I know it’s a challenge for many agencies.
What do you think will be your biggest challenges in the next three years?
Preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulation – and what that means for both agencies and clients. In the light of recent political events, it’s true to say that most aren’t exactly sure what it will mean, but it’s coming, so the industry needs to be prepared.
What important trends should we be aware of?
Continued rapid changes in technology. For data specialists the opportunities are staggering, so we constantly need to be monitoring change, staying agile, up to date, and adapting the way we work. But there’s a balance to be struck and it’s important not to overstep the mark in terms of privacy.
Who or what has been the biggest influencer on your career path so far?
There have been two. Firstly, Amanda Arthur, Proximity’s Head of Data and Analytics, who I first met at the IDM’s Data Academy networking event. She not only guided me into, but has encouraged my development in the best marketing discipline there is.
Secondly, the IDM. The opportunities it presented to me through the Data Academy were eye-opening and invaluable, and the postgraduate Diploma course gave me commercial awareness and the knowledge and skills to think and act strategically. I really wouldn’t be where I am today without the IDM.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The quest for gold! Knowing that there’s a tiny piece of insight out there that will make a difference – not only to a campaign, but to the client’s whole business.
What career advice would you give to someone just starting out in marketing?
Network, network, network! Putting yourself out there and making new contacts really does pay dividends. Secondly, always be eager, enthusiastic and above all curious. Thirdly, keep challenging yourself and the status quo. Just because something has worked before doesn’t mean it always will. So challenge it.
What’s next for Jack Hawkins?
I really do love what I do, so I’m staying in data planning right now. But honestly, I can’t wait to see what the next five years will bring!
If you feel inspired by Jacks’s piece and want to enhance your marketing capabilities, then check out our range of qualifications and specialist training courses, or contact one of our course advisors on +44 (0)20 8614 0277.