Auld Reekie or The Big Smoke?

Siobhan Waddell • 25th Sep 2015

During my time in London I worked at a digital marketing agency based in Farringdon, where I worked across a variety of projects for one multi-national client: Exxon Mobil. My key clients were based in Russia, Mexico and Canada and the agency itself was three times the size of The Lane. I was thrown into the world of juggling conference calls across different time-zones and getting marketing assets translated into Russian, Spanish and French!

I would have to concede that where multi-national clients are concerned there are so many more processes and procedures in place, meaning things in general take longer to get done. It’s definitely not a quick and easy process to produce content for a large website, have it translated into Russian and then checked by the client’s legal, technical, translation and many more departments, before receiving approval that it is okay to proceed to the next stage of the project. On the other hand, multi-national companies tend to have larger budgets with larger scale projects – it was an amazing experience being involved in these projects.

Life at The Lane is slightly different. I am currently working across a variety of clients from the food and drink industry to the property and legal sector with a little bit of Scottish tourism on the side. There’s something refreshing and personal about working with smaller scale clients. Even if marketing budgets are slightly tighter it seems to make our clients and the team at The Lane even more passionate about delivering great campaigns and inspiring marketing collateral. For me, at my level, it’s a brilliant experience having input to decision making at a level you wouldn’t get involved in with a bigger client.  Working with entrepreneurs is challenging but it’s also really exciting.  It’s all about getting it right first time and having a happy client see the results.

The key difference I appreciate working at The Lane compared to working in a larger agency with clients spread out across the globe is that, most clients are within an hour our two’s travel meaning that there’s time for more face-to-face meetings. There’s nothing quite like seeing a reaction to ideas you’re presenting in person, getting to know clients personally as well as understanding their business needs. When you’re restricted to having conference calls intuition can be lost and it’s more challenging to understand exactly what it is your client is hoping for, not to mention the awkward moments when you thought you were on ‘mute’!   

Working in London was an amazing experience, something everyone should do if they get the chance.  It’s an amazing city with a buzz like no other. However, after travelling across Asia earlier this year and now being back at The Lane, when I pedal along the leafy cycle path and take a detour through gorgeous Inverleith Park on my morning 20 minute ride to work, and reflect on the jam-packed, sweaty tube journey across London during rush hour, I feel very content with my decision to return to Edinburgh. 

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