A week in the life of Alistair Mcintosh
The UK is the place to be for anyone wanting to be at the forefront of digital media and marketing. That’s why I moved here after having grown up in Hong Kong, studied in Australia and worked in Dubai.
I started my career in broadcast marketing but was drawn to the fast-paced world of digital marketing quite early on. I joined the programmatic team at OMG UK in January 2018 and knew immediately I ended up in good company. Literally.
Everyone in my team is fantastic and really passionate about their work and media. Programmatic trading is still such a new mean of buying ad space, my team and I are genuinely experts in the field. Many of us have been there since programmatic emerged, and we have made the effort to learn as much as we can, improving our offering and perfecting our skills as the technology and methods have leaped forward.
First day of the week is all about checking in on what’s happened over the weekend. I go through live and finished campaigns – there are generally about a dozen live at any given time. So, I start my week by evaluating their performance and troubleshooting as necessary.
Working in programmatic is fascinating, particularly when it comes to video. The industry and programmatic sector evolve all the time, which means we need to constantly learn new, challenge ourselves and keep on top of the changes. My role is far from being dull or repetitive!
Out of the four media agencies within the OMG UK group, my focus is on OMD UK and its clients. This is why I spend two days a week over at its office in North Crescent. It’s important to get facetime with people you work with, in addition meeting clients and planning teams and providing updates, brief responses and answering general, often technical questions about campaigns.
Part of my role is to constantly educate people within my wider team about programmatic, so that everyone working on a campaign understands the processes and upskilled to stay on top of any changes and practicalities as much as possible.
As a programmatic buyer, I work across the full client portfolio of an agency. My day to day includes managing clients’ budgets within given parameters, in addition to planning, executing and managing campaigns in Demand Side Platforms, plus making sure various bits and pieces of data and tech are fully functioning and delivering.
Mid-week is generally when I tend to do the heavy lifting and admin, and often I get the opportunity to properly focus on a task without interruptions, as it’s not quite as hectic as the beginning and end of the week.
This is the second day of the week I spend at OMD UK’s office at North Crescent. It is also a day of our monthly programmatic townhalls and social team events.
My team is quite outgoing, and we often do something fun together, whether it’s paintball or a lunch or anything in between.
Time to set everything ready for the weekend. We try to avoid setting campaigns live on a Friday, as we don’t want to risk anything unexpected happening during the weekend, which often means on Fridays we prep campaigns that will go live the following week and do a bit of admin – those timesheets won’t fill themselves!
What advice you’d give to someone starting their career?
People are often feeling out of their depth. Not everyone knows everything, and you don’t need to either. Be ok with that, it will save you a lot of anxiety. It will take some time to get a grip of your job, but as long as you’re willing to learn, you’ll be fine.
By Alistair Mcintosh, Manager, OMG UK Programmatic