A week in the life of Guy Tonkin
Hello world! My name is Guy. I answer to That Guy, Some Guy, PolterGuyst or just plain old Guy. I’m the Paid Search Lead for Resolution UK. Resolution Media teams are embedded in Omnicom Media Group’s UK agencies and handle all things Search, Social and Analytics. As I sit in the central team, I get to work across all four UK agencies, with a team of over 200 digital specialists.
My role contains multitudes, which keeps me on my toes. In any given week I’ll get involved with media owner relations, tech partner contracts, search best practice, automation projects and client pitches.
I got into digital marketing when I started my own fast fashion company after leaving university in 2012. The business worked with local artists, commissioning their work and printing it on t-shirts, to sell online to the sorts of consumers who wanted to support the arts, but could not afford to shell out thousands of pounds on large scale artworks. After I ran that business into the ground, I fell into the warm embrace of Paid Search and haven’t looked back.
I set aside the first few hours on a Monday to go through emails, plan my week and check up on developing tech stories from the likes of Search Engine Land, The Drum and Campaign. In the afternoon I catch up with my line manager and we check up on how my projects are progressing.
Of late these projects have been largely operational, trying to answer questions like “What does a digital agency have to look like to still be relevant in five years’ time?” and “What’s the best approach to technology, build our own or work with partners?”
Most Tuesdays I catch up with our media owners, often Google, and track how our joint business plans are progressing. We’ll cover things like how launches for our recently won clients are going, any new betas and alphas they have coming up that our clients can test, how our accounts are tracking against product adoptions targets and what training sessions and updates they can run with our teams.
On Wednesdays I tend to meet with some of our technology partners and providers who help our teams do cool stuff like; sync up our campaigns with live TV signals, social trends, or help us understand how our client’s competitors are adapting their advertising and adapt the campaigns of our clients to take advantage of those changes.
We’ll discuss the latest updates to their platforms, case studies on the different use cases of their tech, and negotiate rates on behalf of our clients, so they can access the best technology for the lowest possible cost.
I try to spend as many of my Thursdays working as possible from our Agencies’ offices, looking at how to best optimise their team’s workflow, understanding new business opportunities and thought-showering ideas for new client strategies. Manning Gottlieb OMD and Hearts and Science are based in the same Southbank office as I am, so spending time with them is straightforward enough. However, our other agencies, PHD UK and OMD UK, are based just off Tottenham Court Road, so I spend plenty of lunchtimes walking between these two locations, taking in the sights and feeling the warm embrace of the London smog.
I’m one of those “slashers” that you’ve read about in all those Guardian think pieces. Don’t worry, I am not a murderer from an 80s horror film, but someone with a side-hustle that eats into their working week. So I’m a marketer / writer, and Fridays are when I get my writing done, working from the front room of my flat in Stoke Newington, writing mean stories about my father, his love for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and his near constant anxiety at the state of the street parking out front of his leafy suburban home.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is a gem from my grandmother – never build on clay. It has the twofold beauty of being a fantastically versatile metaphor, while also, as I near my 30s and inevitably contemplate planting my feet on the property ladder, being an increasingly solid piece of practical advice.
What advice would I give someone starting out in the industry today? A company must work for you as much as you must work for a company. An agency’s staff are by far their most valuable resource and they should be treated as such.
By Guy Tonkin, Best Practice Lead, Resolution UK