A Day in the Life of Joe Orton, Head of Platforms at SevenC3

November 6th, 2017

Joe has worked at SevenC3 since January 2015. He has a long background in social media, working on brands from Under Armour and Nandos to UBS and Grant Thornton. Starting as a community manager and content creator, his role evolved – mirroring the evolution of social – into Head of Platforms. While distribution is key, his background means this is approached with content at heart.

I’m awoken by my alarm clock at 7:15am, rolling out of bed once I’ve pressed the snooze button. Twice. My mornings at home are all about brevity; glass of water, brush my teeth, shower and out the door by 8:00. It’s a fairly quick bus journey to work, which I spend staring out the window whilst listening to a podcast. I keep it light, with something sport or comedy-related normally. Adam Buxton, The Football Ramble and the Elis James and John Robins Radio X podcast are particular favourites.

I’m at my desk with a coffee and breakfast for 8:50am each morning, which I shovel down as I read emails, check for any trending news and monitor the performance of any paid distribution running. Constant vigilance is key to ensuring effective optimisation. Yes, I am a laugh. As it’s a Monday I also circulate my weekly social newsletter – an internal wrap of the biggest three stories in the world of social media and distribution. It’s a quick and easy way of making sure everyone in the agency keeps abreast of opportunities and big news, especially anything that could pertain to clients.

My first meeting of the day kicks off and I’m sat down with the creative team to take a new brief from our Client Partner, Gareth Thomas, who recently joined us from iProspect. As a rule, we ensure that I am present for any new brief to guarantee that distribution is a consideration from the start. It guides the creative process, but it’s also key that the creative idea lends itself to the objectives and the distribution plan, and vice versa. We call this holistic approach Creative Distribution.

11am and I get some more desk time. Presently we are working on a big campaign for Vitality, with the aim of encouraging women to get back into team sports at a local club level. As someone who is keen on staying fit and active for the physical and mental perks, it’s something I feel strongly about. For this campaign we are working on a phase-by-phase basis, constantly adjusting budget division between audience segmentation and creative variants to deliver maximum results to the most engaged audience. Pulling together a phase report highlights the successes, informing how we adjust our plans to maximise results in the next phase. We’re digging deeper into metrics at present, focusing on high engagement rates to avoid wastage. I’m a big believer in airing thoughts with the team, so am quite often annoying those around me by bouncing ideas off them. I’m seated as part of the strategy team, so I always get some good insights and a fresh perspective.

After a lunchtime stroll to Leather Lane or Exmouth Market for some ultra hip, new-wave fusion food, it’s time to tackle ad set-up. This is all about plugging in creative, targeting, and budget; a job that requires focus to ensure accuracy, so the headphones go on at this point. The team like this part of the day as they get some peace and quiet for the foreseeable. It’s not the most glamorous part of the job, but it’s where everything is brought together and comes to life. Each of the platforms has its own foibles, and constantly evolves in terms of minutiae, so last-minute amends to align with a new feature or update are not unheard of.

Having spent the past hour or so in the matrix (aka ads platforms) I go for a caffeine hit and a stretch of the legs before jumping on a call. We’re always keen to work with new platforms and tools, and a webinar with ToneDen to see what their platform can offer us is on the cards. They focus on audience building, following the user journey with engagement and ultimately conversion. After the call I collate my notes and circulate them to the relevant people in the business, particularly to any account leads where I’ve spotted a particular opportunity. This is followed up with a call with the Performance team in the Berlin C3 office (our partner agency) to talk through a pitch that we’re working on in London, so I give them an overview of the platform, too.

4:30 and a pleasant way to end the day; brainstorm time. My top tip for a brainstorm, especially this late in the day, is Haribo. Something about having a communal bowl of sweets helps people relax a bit more in a meeting. Not to mention I really like Haribo. While I’m not one for any over the top brainstorming techniques that have the potential to embarrass some people (me), I have built up a handful of techniques over the years to inspire some freethinking. I’m particularly fond of the approach where you put yourself in someone else’s shoes to try to get a fresh perspective. Today my colleagues will be variously Batman (not Ben Affleck), Michelle Obama and Gandhi. If that doesn’t win a CMA, nothing will…

Joe Orton, Head of Platforms at SevenC3

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