Job Title: Direct Marketing Executive
Location: London, UK
Salary/Benefits: £26,000 base salary + annual travel loan to pay for my oyster card (roughly £1,400). The free travel is in place of a London weighted salary, so lower than what it really should be, but, I love not having to pay for the tube.
Employer Type: Non-profit
Employer Size: Roughly 100 employees
How Long in Current Position: 1 year and 4 months.
Highest Level of Education: Bachelors degree
Path to This Job: I graduated from my degree in English Lit with no idea what I wanted to do, and started applying for random jobs under pressure from my parents. I knew marketing was probably an obvious fit for my skillset but was just so uninspired by the idea of selling products. I landed a three month unpaid internship with one of the biggest charities in the UK, decided to give it a go, and had a great time! From there, I moved into a fundraising assistant role for a few months and now my marketing executive job. There are elements that I like, and elements that I don’t. I love writing so push to do as much of that as possible (rather than outsourcing), and just put up with the data and budgets side as part of the job. I wish there was room to be a little more creative, as charities are very conservative on budget and risk-taking, but I can’t really complain as it’s a great place to work and I haven’t sold my soul. Yet!
A typical day at work:
I usually get up around 6:30am and get to work at around 20 past 8 – my commute is 50 minutes. The charity sector is quite hot on work-life balance, so the latest I’ll ever work is half 6 – Usually it’s 5pm. I’ve actually tried to stay later several times when I’ve been busy, but they literally lock the doors and make you go home. We have the odd evening event that runs late, but we get TOIL [Ed note: time off in lieu] to make that time up.
8:20am: I take the first half hour when I get in to eat breakfast at my desk, checking and replying to urgent/easy emails, and catching up with my manager on project updates. I always start the day by writing a to-do list in order of priority.
9:00am: I’m definitely more focused in the mornings, so spend the first couple of hours writing copy for an upcoming marketing appeal – reviewing the interviews I did with case studies previously and working them into an engaging story. This is my favorite part of my job, as I get to tell the stories of some really inspiring people.
11:00am: Sit down for a meeting with our digital specialist to go through the build of some Facebook ads and a landing page. I provide the copy, images, and explain how I want it to look. They build.
11:30am: Have an hour-long meeting with the senior staff: Our CEO and directors. They have to sign off every direct mail campaign we do before it can go out. We work through my copy and the design agencies mock up, and I track changes. It sometimes turns into a bit of an argument so I have to negotiate and explain certain decisions very diplomatically. Our CEO is a micro-manager, but also doesn’t know how to do marketing. It’s interesting.
1:30-2:30pm: Lunch. I always bring lunch from home and eat in the office kitchen whilst chatting to coworkers. Then, I try to get outside for a walk for the last half hour, as I find my eyes get a bit tired from looking at screens all day if I don’t. If the weather is truly too miserable, I leave my phone at my desk and read my book instead.
2:30pm: Call the design agency and feedback the changes from this morning’s meeting verbally, then mark them up on a pdf and send via email. Update the schedule to account for artwork time.
3:00pm: Fill out various briefs for the upcoming mailing: Fulfillment brief for ‘thanking and banking’, data brief for ‘who are we mailing’, laser brief for the printers to personalize certain parts of the copy. Each one takes between 30 – 60 minutes.
4:30pm: Spend the last hour, when my brain is essentially switched off, doing some admin. This includes invoices, scheduling meetings and building costs/income reports.
5:30pm: Head home!
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