Tencil Talks: James Field

James Field is an Account Director at Rezonence.

Rezonence invented FreeWall® with a mission to help publishers monetise their digital content in a sustainable manner whilst keeping premium content free for readers. FreeWall® does this by delivering a high impact format to advertisers that delivers exceptional brand recall; it achieves this by ensuring 100% viewability and guaranteed human engagement in premium brand safe environments.

Today we caught up with him on all things digital.

Q. Talk us through your professional career to date?

JF: After finishing uni, I had no idea what I wanted to do and ended working in an investment bank for a year, though I quickly figured out that that world was not for me… I still had no idea what I wanted to do though, so I began the process of trying to narrow it down by talking to as many people as I could.

One of those happened to be one of my future colleagues and one of the Founder’s at Rezonence, who convinced me to take a gamble and jump into the world of ad tech. It was a pretty big gamble at the time, as I was going from a stable finance job to being the 1st full time employee at a start-up, but I figured that as I was young I could take that risk.

So ultimately, like many others, I stumbled in to digital media, but I quickly figured out that Rezonence and Media Sales was my cup of tea and I’ve been at Rezonence ever since, which is now nearly 5 ½ years.

My role has always been agency facing, but the role has changed quite a bit during my time. At the start, we were launching our product, FreeWall, so no one had a clue who we were or what we were doing, which was especially tough in a saturated Ad Tech market. But through sheer grit and determination, people are now more familiar with who we are and what we do, which is testament to the hard work the team has put in over the years.

Q. How does your first professional role differ from your current role?

JF: Whilst the 2 industries couldn’t be further apart in terms of culture and work environments, there are actually quite a few similarities … and not just because Finance and Digital Media love an acronym.

My first role was working on a Structured Finance Trading Desk at a major Investment bank, helping to execute and book trades, which really isn’t too dissimilar to a programmatic trader in media.

That being said, that banking role was not sociable whatsoever, which is one of the main factors in me wanting to leave the finance industry and join Rezonence.

So I think the social aspect of my current role is a major difference. Now I’m constantly talking to and building relationships with clients, my previous role was entirely internally facing.

Q. What excites you about digital marketing?

JF: Working in an industry that’s on the cutting edge of technology and constantly advancing is really fascinating. There’s always new developments, laws and new technologies to learn about or work with, meaning you really have to stay on top of all the latest new and updates.

Luckily we have a great industry press and some fantastic journalists who are constantly asking the difficult questions and breaking down the new technologies and exactly what their impact may be.

Q. Name one thing you would like to see change in digital marketing and why?

JF: I think diversity on media plans is something that could definitely be improved upon. 2 or 3 major players hoover up a significant portion of budget but there are so many other quality environments and manners in which advertisers can reach consumers in a meaningful and effective way.

That being said, these alternative businesses have to do a better job of highlighting their worth and justify why they should be on those plans.

Q. What advice would you offer an outsider who knows little about digital marketing?

JF: Its certainly best to start with the basics and build your way up from there, this industry can get very complicated very quickly if you dive into some of the technologies straight away. Fundamentals are key and very transferable, so master those and then build on what you need to as you realise what areas interest you.

Taking your time and ask questions is also important, at first glance it can seem like a complex and uninviting industry but it’s actually extremely sociable and friendly.

So if you’re interested reach out to people and ask to pick their brains, I’m sure the majority would be happy to help and have a chat. At the end of the day this is very much a relationship driven industry, so making those connections early on is a great place to start.

Q. Do you think that there are enough materials out there to educate young adults about our industry?

JF: There probably is but as the industry is a bit of a “hidden gem”, the awareness and accessibility of these materials is fairly poor.

One thing that doesn’t help is that when people think of advertising they think of ‘Mad Men’ and the creative agency world, they don’t think of the media side of things or the technology that goes into placing ads online.

More could certainly be done to raise this awareness especially If the industry wants to attract top talent. Providing an easy to find, impartial and comprehensive resource for school and university leavers would be a great place to start.

Q. Our correspondents have heard rumours that you are a big fan of lunches – but what is your favourite restaurant and why?

JF: I’m a huge BBQ fan, so Smokestak probably takes the win for me! The meat there is incredible.

Finally, we would like to thank James for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us earlier today.

If you would like to hear more information on opportunities that exist within digital marketing, then feel free to reach out to Joel.Williams@tencil.co.uk

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