THE MIRROR OF MEDIA

So You Want My Job? From global COO Simon Sikorski’s dreams of architecture to real Craft


Welcome to So You Need My Job? Every week we ask the folks working in a number of the trade’s coolest roles about how they bought the place they’re. Alongside the best way, we dig into their philosophies, inspirations, processes and experiences. Hopefully our interviewees can encourage you to pursue (or create) a job that’s simply as thrilling.

This week we discuss to Simon Sikorski, international chief working officer of Craft.

What did you need to be when you have been rising up? Does your job now resemble that in any method?

As a child, I had my coronary heart set on changing into an architect. I beloved the calculations, the drawings, the exact element that went into creating the plans. I suppose I finally was drawn to the thought of making properties that might make folks say ‘wow’.

Whereas I’d positively battle to draft architectural drawings right this moment, I nonetheless benefit from the mapping out of how Craft works. The place do our instruments intersect with our folks? How does an asset reply to and create helpful information? Now that I consider it, I’ve turn out to be an architect of manufacturing.

How did you get your job? Inform us the complete story.

Whereas I’ve all the time been in advertising and marketing, my journey has taken a number of twists and turns. I began my profession working for a small company in Toronto, the place I used to be fortunate to be thrown under consideration administration, media planning/shopping for, technique, PR and manufacturing administration components of the enterprise. I actually realized a lot in my first few years in promoting.

However I had the itch to journey, so I went to Vancouver and finally discovered myself within the UK working each client- and agency-side. At my first UK company DLKW, our workplaces ignored the alley behind the theater the place The Lion King was being carried out. You get an odd sense of inspiration by seeing costumed giraffes, zebras and lions taking a cigarette break exterior your window as you sort out new methods to unravel consumer briefs.

I finally landed at McCann London in 2006. I used to be [current McCann chairman/chief executive officer] Chris Macdonald’s first rent when he joined McCann and located myself in my first worldwide position, main the Intel and ExxonMobil accounts for McCann Worldgroup. One of the best work I by no means bought to make was a incredible function movie we had proposed in regards to the world inside an Intel processor. Nanopolis would have been an thrilling world if we had ever introduced it to life.

It was whereas in London that we noticed a brand new development rising – decoupling manufacturing from the artistic company. At the moment, McCann had phenomenal studios world wide, nevertheless it wasn’t related in a method that allowed us to supply really decoupled international manufacturing options. So we created Craft (which was initially known as WGEXP). In hindsight, the truth that we have been by no means mandated as an inner in-house studio made us work more durable to win the boldness of our company companions and, in the long run, has meant that now we have nice relationships with the artistic companies we work with.

In 2011, I got here to New York to arrange Craft extra formally. New instruments and applied sciences helped us sort out the ever-increasing variety of channels through which our purchasers have been lively. And we have been successful. With a consumer record that included (and nonetheless consists of) Microsoft, L’Oréal, Mastercard and Nestlé, we have been continuously breaking new floor and increasing our groups world wide.

However then my manufacturing remit modified. I used to be given the chance to go again house to Canada to guide McCann Worldgroup – McCann, Craft, Momentum, MRM, McCann Well being and Commonwealth are all nice companies in Canada and I used to be fortunate sufficient to hitch them at a time after they have been all establishing themselves as nice particular person companies. “Sensible individually, unbeatable collectively” as [current president McCann Worldgroup UK and Europe] Mark Lund says. In Canada, I labored with a number of the greatest expertise with whom I’ve ever had the privilege to associate. And as we managed by means of the impacts of Covid-19, it was nice to have them alongside for the journey. However I do snigger once I consider the optimism of our pondering that we’d be again within the workplace by Mom’s Day… 2020.

In January of this 12 months, I moved my household again to New York from Toronto – a world mid-pandemic transfer that was positively an journey to navigate. In my two-year absence from Craft, it has additional developed its information and content material choices, so I got here again to a extra splendidly formidable and fashionable manufacturing company than I had left beforehand. Clever content material and data-led manufacturing had turn out to be the norm for our 25 Craft studios.

Would I do something in another way? In all probability, however I’ve spent my whole profession taking a look at what may be, relatively than what may have been, so I’ll follow wanting ahead.

OK, so what do you truly do? How would you clarify your job to a taxi driver?

I suppose I’d inform a taxi driver that I run a community of manufacturing studios world wide that may just about create any sort of advertising and marketing asset that you can imagine – social media content material, TV advertisements, print advertisements, e-commerce imagery and content material, point-of-sale supplies, web sites… you get the thought.

What do I truly do – I be certain that all of our studios are arrange correctly to have the ability to reply to no matter our purchasers ask us to create. Not each studio must do all the pieces, however throughout our community and thru our curated partnerships, we have to clear up all of our purchasers’ manufacturing challenges with the utmost creativity and effectivity.

Do your mother and father perceive what you do?

I believe so, however I’m now going to inform them what I’d inform a taxi driver and see if it makes extra sense to them.

What do you love most about your job?

Working with artistic downside solvers. There’s no single answer to something we do. Every consumer is totally different, with totally different instruments, expectations, calls for and assets at their disposal. I really like that our groups can clear up the distinctive challenges of every model we work with by arising with the very best manufacturing methods for our purchasers.

How would somebody getting into the trade go about getting your job now? What can be their route?

I don’t assume there’s a method. I got here from a consumer administration background, which gave me a client-first perspective on what I do, however equally now we have folks that have joined us with media, information, artistic and naturally manufacturing backgrounds. I suppose I’d encourage whoever desires to get into manufacturing to construct up an appreciation of all of these areas. Manufacturing sits on the intersection of many disciplines as a result of, on the finish of the day, all of them want property. Understanding the position manufacturing performs of their ecosystem will make you a really highly effective ally.

What recommendation would you supply to others getting into the promoting trade, particularly at this bizarre time?

I have a look at these getting into into promoting now with nice envy. The historically linear pondering of promoting is not the fact… the trade has opened up the likelihood for creativity in so many instructions. Experiences, social engagement, leisure and hyper-personalization have modified the best way we predict. Assist purchasers drive demand by embracing the potential for artistic methods to have interaction shoppers in each facet of their life, and also you’ll have a really fruitful profession.

What would you say is the trait that most accurately fits you for your position?

Listening. I attempt to hear what my company companions want. I look to embrace our purchasers’ challenges. I get extra out of listening than all the time being the loudest voice within the room – though I can typically be fairly loud.

Who ought to those that need your job learn or hearken to?

Covid-19 has actually turned me on to listening to podcasts. I largely use podcasts as an escape from work and I’ve been studying a ton. One in every of my favorites is Enterprise Wars. I really like listening to how companies battle it out to fend off competitors. It’s an excellent reminder that we should always all recognize the broader challenges of our purchasers and assist them handle their enterprise in addition to advertising and marketing challenges.

Last week Beckie Underwood, head of studio at Azerion UK, was in the hotseat.



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