My job title is head of innovation at Isobar UK. However, the way my role is broken down is slightly different than your typical innovation role. My responsibilities fall into three key areas: traditional “innovation”, content creation, and sales support. As well as ensuring that we are consistently delivering for clients, a core part of my job is to help unlock future growth opportunities for their business.
This is done via Isobar’s innovation proposition – ‘NowLab’. It’s an exciting part of my role, as I work with our creative and technology specialists, and clients, to explore the use of emerging technologies – from voice interfaces to mixed reality and artificial intelligence – to create strategically sound prototypes. I’m also responsible for overseeing and implementing Isobar’s marketing content strategy.
This includes developing a thought leadership pipeline to generate engagement with our clients and wider business audience across multiple platforms – both owned, earned and paid.
Finally, I help bring our proposition to life by ensuring we are speaking at the right conferences and to the right decision makers. Part of this, is also ensuring that we are discussing the aspect of innovation that is most relevant to them and their growth agenda.
Isobar was actually a client of mine when I was an in-house content creator at Retail Week. It was in this capacity that I joined the agency, but I quickly moved into the innovation space. This allowed me to combine my experience in creating engaging propositions with the sales side of leveraging innovation to drive growth for clients.
This morning, my day began with a zoom meeting a counterpart from another dentsu agency to discuss an innovation project we’re looking to launch early next year. From there, I moved onto a client meeting with a large CPG brand to discuss an augmented reality prototype we’re developing for them, and feedback on how it’s taking shape so far.
After lunch, I’m presenting a webinar on the changes underway in emerging technological interfaces, and how that might impact the fashion and retail industry.
Then I’m meeting with the team to finalise an innovation workshop we’re running soon for one of our beauty clients and then I’ll be speaking to a prospective FMCG customer who’ve experienced a massive increase in online sales during the pandemic and are looking for a partner who can help them scale and improve their customer experience.
In moments snatched between dashing from pillar to post, I might have grabbed a few minutes to review and proof Isobar’s latest Headless Commerce report. This explores how brands can adopt a “headless” approach to commerce to speed up the time between inspiration and transaction. You’ll have to read it when it comes out to find out more…
To be successful in my role, you absolutely need to be a people-person first and foremost. You also need to be able to join the dots between disparate strands of thought, in order to get to the innovation solution – and then be able to articulate it! Lastly, you need to be a good project manager. At the end of the day, our innovation solutions are deliverable to clients against certain timelines and budgets. If we want their continued investment, we need to demonstrate how we can deliver against those factors to unlock growth for them.
Variety. The ability to connect the dots across the network to drive innovation, benefiting not just Isobar, but our sister agencies and their clients too. Seeing the real-world impact of our innovation proposition is always rewarding. After all, it’s only blue-sky thinking if it doesn’t have a tangible impact to the business.
It depends what you want to do, but for an innovation role, the more variety you can pack into your CV the better. You never know what you’ll have to turn your hand to next, so it pays to be prepared.