This Monday The Digital Scot class of 2017 including myself (Simone, their lecturer) went to see DigitasLBi in Edinburgh. The agency site visit is semester 1’s highlight each year, as well as its endpoint – a very deserved treat after 11 weeks in the trenches of digital marketing.
This year marked a first in that everyone made their own way from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, travelling by train or bus – a great adventure! Some of the class had never been to Scotland’s capital, using the opportunity to travel down early (or indeed the night before) to experience Edinburgh and its Christmas magic in full, and indulging in some Christmas shopping.
DigitasLBi Edinburgh Office
We arrived at Timberbush just before three, and were first given an office tour by lead mentor Maria. It turns out that the agency’s meeting rooms are named after famous Trainspotting characters (there’s a Renton and a Begbie)!
Over three floors, we got a chance to see mentors Joe, Scott, Tami and Elina in action, and the warm Christmassy atmosphere (a result of a recent ‘best Christmas decoration’ competition, incidentally won by Tami) got us all excited for part 2, a guest lecture by one of the agency’s top experts on the Future of Digital Marketing.
The Future of Digital Marketing
We were led to the second building across the road, for the ‘educational’ part of the visit. Michael Thomson, Senior Strategist (and former mentor) gave us his trusted views on The Future of Digital Marketing. It’s the second time Michael’s peered into the future for us, and it was good to see that his predictions from the previous year had been pretty much spot on!
There were some great questions by the class and much food for thought, including the seemingly unstoppable shift to image-based communication, how and where brands should communicate with their customers in the age of consumption, and a discussion on whether or not businesses still need websites (yes, I’m happy to report).
Q&A with the Mentors
Following a hello and quick intro from Head of HR Media, Nicola McGouldrick, the afternoon was rounded off with a Q&A to a panel of four including our mentors and a senior content team member. We got some fascinating insight into their working life, including the intricacies of managing clients’ responses to proposals, and how to successfully liaise with in-house teams to get technical SEO implemented.
One learning was that tying any activity back to client’s business objectives is critical to getting it approved, as is adapting your language and style to the person you are aiming to influence. The biggest takeaway was that working in digital, especially in a fast-paced agency, is a way of life (you have to live and breathe it!).
Dinner at the King’s Wark
In Leith, one of best backdrops for winding down and socialising over good food is the King’s Wark, and we’ve used it every year since the start of the Mentorship scheme in 2014 to mingle and round off the evening. This year was no different. Elina, Joe and Maria joined us as we chatted over drinks and food, with topics covering everything from the benefits of an international workforce to clients to tips on what career path to take.
As most of the class had to make their way back up to Aberdeen, we wrapped up just after 7PM and while some went for a cheeky drink before heading back, the rest dispersed into the night, not without saying good-bye and wishing everyone a Happy Christmas.
Our Edinburgh day trip in pictures
Thank you all at DigitasLBi for organising it – you’ve given us a real taste for agency life!