A team is only ever as good as its people. At April Six we bring the best and brightest to produce impactful work for our clients. One of our leaders in this endeavor is Lisa Davis, Client Director.
We caught up with Lisa in between client engagements (she’s a busy lady), grabbed a brew and fired some questions at her. Enjoy our spotlight on April Six’s Client Director extraordinaire.
With the exception of Fiona, our CEO, you're the longest serving Sixer, having essentially started your career here. What was April Six like in those early days?
It was mad! The reality was that in those very early days it was really a case of burning the candle at both ends. Twenty years ago, we were just starting out. We had five ambitious clients and a small team. There was so much to do with such little resource! But we always made time for lunch. One thing that sticks in my memory is our Creative Director at the time; they would have lasagna and chips. The same thing. Every day. That’s a lot of carbs!
What are your most memorable projects from those early days?
We helped NEC launch 3G– and this was the roll out of the first ever 3G network – on the Isle of Man. I vividly remember my first ever mobile to mobile video call – it was like science fiction at the time.
It was the dot-com boom and it was fast paced and highly creative. I recall spending days making up wedding cake boxes as we sent out wedding cake to announce the ‘marriage’ or partnership of two of our clients!
How have things moved on?
Well, I guess we're in our twenties now as an agency. We're mature. We’ve got a lot of experience under our belt that we can bring to every client project. While we’re always learning – and every agency worth their salt should be – we do know so much about how B2B can and should work.
The biggest realization over the past few years has been how emotions play such a massive role in how buying decisions are made. For the longest time our industry messaged predominantly using logical arguments – and things just don’t work that way in reality! Because of that, we’ve completely changed our approach, and the results we bring our clients are greater as a result.
Our job as marketers is to tell the right story, and to an extent to do that in an entertaining way that reflects how people consume content. Today, digital is a primary channel for example, rather than the supplementary one it was ten years ago.
How does that impact our projects today?
Well, the whole industry has grown up massively, right? The KPI back then was, “has the DM been sent out?” Done. Tick. We’re much more connected and sophisticated today. We know what impact we’re having on our clients’ businesses. It's a lot more exciting that way. We can support people and show how they've achieved genuine business impact from marketing activity. Marketing has moved firmly from a cost-center to a revenue generator, when it’s done right.
Our ability to measure, and be accountable for what we're doing has changed the game completely – and for the better.
You've had quite a career trajectory; from starting as a graduate, you're now our Client Director. What does that entail at April Six?
What's exciting for me in this role is how I help shape and up-skill my team to reflect the kind of engagements our clients need today. As a service I have seen the discipline evolve quite significantly. We are really seeing a shift to being true partners for our clients, and that extends far beyond the delivery of a particular campaign. The real fun starts when we’re in market and we look at optimizing and maximizing the return from the activity, so you’ve got to have a real intertest in numbers and analysis.
The idea of trying to shape that, get the right people on board, and get them skilled up to be able to respond to clients in the right way… that’s really exciting.
What hasn’t changed is that a large part is about relationships. I’ve always loved the ‘building relationships’ part of client services. I like to think that’s why we’ve retained so many clients… I've personally had some clients for 20 years. And I still work with them most days.
So that's what you actually do, but what do your kids think you do?
Oh, they think I just make adverts. And eat lots of sweets and cake, as there is always a celebration of one kind or another going on when they visit.
Right. Let's play the one-word answers game. I'll give you a question. You have to answer with one word. Got it?
Would you rather bungee jump from a helicopter or base jump from the top of The Shard in London?
What’s the furthest distance you've ever run competitively?
(Laughs). Zero. Zero metres.
What is your most disgusting habit?
That’s really hard to answer! The naughtiest thing I do is… I finish the kids’ dinners. I eat their leftovers rather than throw them in the bin. So, in one word. Hmmmm. Leftovers?
Everyone knows tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable. But where do you stand on the watermelon debate? Is it a fruit or a berry?
It's a fruit.
Incorrect. Watermelon is a berry. Did you know that chili peppers are also technically berries?
I didn’t know that!
Final question, what's the best piece of advice you've ever had?
To fail fast. I think it was probably Fiona, April Six’s CEO, that gave me that advice. You’ve got to try things, and if they don’t work, let it go and move on.
Work with April Six.
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