A day in the life of a Client Director

When asked to write a blog about my typical day as a Client Director at Octopus, the task was harder than you’d expect. Since joining the team in January, one of the things that’s now clear to me is that a ‘typical day’ at Octopus simply doesn’t exist.

Perhaps due to the variety of disciplines and specialists we have in the business or the general pace of life as an Octopede, I can honestly say that in 10 months, no two days have been the same. Any new day can bring a variety of different challenges across the clients I oversee, my company management responsibilities or the new briefs we are discussing with a multitude of different businesses.

This variety, and the opportunity to interact with people across multiple different marketing disciplines, was something that really attracted me to Octopus when I was interviewing. There is never a dull day and the opportunities to learn and grow as a professional are huge.

With this in mind, rather than try to capture just one ‘day in the life’, I’ve instead tried to give a sense of the huge variety that any new day can bring:

A ‘normal’ day

I’ve always been an early bird and, since starting to commute back into London after seven years away, I like to get started early. This means I can offset my commute slightly, avoiding the biggest crush, and ensuring I get home in time to see the kids before their bedtime – the thing that makes everything worthwhile.

After a brief jaunt to the station in leafy Haywards Heath on my bright yellow Brompton (I’m now never seen without it), I begin my daily commute into town. Depending on my general level of lucidity on the train this time can be hugely productive or entirely wasted, on different days I’ll swing between catching up on the news, watching training videos and dealing with emails, or intermittently snoring and drooling on the window. Train productivity can be directly correlated with the amount of time I’ve been up in the night with my baby boy.

After arriving at the office I kick the work day off with a coffee and a scan of any relevant news I haven’t already picked up on the train. With a flurry of annoying emails shared to my team about news items they will undoubtedly have already seen, I’ll have a quick scan of important emails and any that have come in overnight, particularly from clients based in the US. With a rounded view of what’s on the table for the day, I’ll re-prioritise my ever-evolving to do list (I use Todoist as I like how it gamifies work) and plot out what needs doing that day.  

Over the last few weeks, some of the items in my calendar/to do list have been:

  • Regularly catching-up with my teams to discuss progress on projects and where my input and support will be most valuable.
  • Meeting with other CDs across the business to manage, balance and plan future capacity and hiring needs across the agency
  • Flying to Frankfurt to help a client to develop new messaging for its growing digital proposition
  • Meeting with the rest of the management team to discuss current new business opportunities, share ideas and learnings, and plan for the future
  • Discussing opportunities to maintain innovation, through technology and other avenues, in a number of our core business offerings
  • Meeting with a client for a quarterly review and brainstorm on an exciting new brand to sales project we are launching for them
  • Checking in with client contacts to ensure they are happy with what we are delivering and nip any potential issues in the bud
  • Holding a brainstorm with key people from across our different business areas to come up with new creative ideas for a client proposal
  • Developing multiple new proposals for both existing and new clients across a variety of sectors

Intersected by lunch, where I’ll be tempted by any of the huge good and evil food options in the local vicinity (usually evil wins out), my carefully crafted to do list will inevitably have been disrupted by any number of unexpected discussions or curveballs from both within and outside the agency. Unexpected calls, finance queries, new opportunities, urgent requests and team management discussions, are just a few of the things that arise on a daily basis to shake up even the best laid plans.

That’s by no means a complaint though. Coping with these curveballs, whilst simultaneously working with great people to do awesome work, is one of the things that makes being a CD at Octopus Group a truly exciting, challenging and rewarding role.