SARAH BAILLIE

Speaker Q&A with Sarah Baillie

Team Captain for the Agencies at the Client vs Agencies Creative Challenge 2022

Tell us a little about your day to day life as Account and Marketing Manager at StudioLR 

I have a hybrid role at StudioLR and, like wine and cheese, it’s a splendid combination. This dual role keeps my day very busy - but also extremely interesting and rewarding.  

As an Account Manager I manage the relationship and communication between our clients and our creative team. Each day I will check the status of each project and make sure that everything is progressing to schedule. I help to determine the clients’ needs and ensure the agency not only delivers, but provides a ‘gutsy’ and challenging response. Working with our Director Andy, I also assist with identifying potential clients and exciting new business opportunities. 

As a Marketing Manager I also assist Dave, our Head of Strategy. This includes conducting research and competitor analysis, running workshops, and interpreting consumer data.  

My main responsibility however, is serving the 4pm drinks on a Friday.  

What online brands do you think are doing a good job right now and what makes them stand out? 

I think the dating app ‘Thursday’ is a fantastic example showcasing how a brand can use online channels, to enhance the offline experience.  

An app that only operates one day a week, every Thursday the platform comes to life with people near you who also want to meet up in real life that same day.  

Their online marketing includes collaborations with lastminute.com, hilarious Tik Tok date reviews, and targeted social media notifications on a Thursday morning.  

In short, their online marketing encourages active participation – a far cry from Tinder matches, with dry conversations that don’t resolve in dates.  

Thursday is refreshing. While brands use online marketing to encourage further online behaviour, this brand uses online marketing to encourage offline behaviour. In a distorted world of social media, metaverse and augmented reality, we cannot forget the importance of human interaction – especially on a first date.   

StudiorLR work on some fantastic campaigns with great clients, have you had a favourite to work on so far? 

I have really enjoyed working with the Rokbak Team at Volvo Construction Group this year. Unlike a retail or alcohol client - their product is a 13ft hauler truck, with a 500 litre fuel tank and a maximum payload of 38 tonne.  

As a result, you learn a lot of new stuff! I’ve gained insight into a different type of client, customer and consumer. Having never worked with an automotive client before, I thoroughly enjoyed researching new vocabulary, challenges and opportunities within the automotive industry.  

Something my Suzuki Swift 05 reg did not inspire me to do.  

On a personal level, where do you draw inspiration from? 

As a society, I think we are programmed to look to google for answers. As marketers, we often rely on direct industry competitors.  

On a personal level, I draw inspiration from as many different industries as possible. Having started my career in nightclubs, I drew upon theatre, dance, drag culture and fashion to name a few- not what the club next door was doing. 

Skateboarders can inspire sneaker brands. Grime musicians can inspire Cuban rum brands. James Bond can inspire an Olympic Opening Ceremony.  

Don’t stay in your lane. That’s boring.  

With the score currently Clients - 4, Agencies - 3, do you have any strategies to lead your team to victory at the Creative Challenge? 

This year, the clients had first pick of the campaigns. While we didn’t get some of our favourite campaigns, I wanted to emphasise to my team that the audience can be influenced by the power of argument and justification. I stressed the importance of debate, reasoning and logic. Give the audience no other option but to vote for our campaign.  

Secondly, I encouraged my team to remember that this year, Amplify is in person! The Zoom shackles are off and we can DANCE. With a live audience we can use body language, eye contact, project our voices and gain a better connection with the crowd. We are no longer presenting to screens, we are presenting to an alert, observant and lively audience.  

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