Tencil Talks: Lauren Bigland

Lauren Bigland is VP Brand Strategy and Communications at S4M, specializing in B2B marketing for the digital advertising industry. She’s been named as one of The Drum’s 50 Under 30 and B2B Marketer’s Women in Tech.

Throughout her career, she has worked at Teads, LoopMe, and more recently S4M as VP of Communications & Brand Strategy.

Today we caught up with her on all things digital.

Q. Talk us through your professional career to date?

LB: I graduated from University in 2012 and could not find a job. I tried a job in sales, cold calling to try and sell events space, and I hated it, was absolutely appalling and left after a month. I started looking at marketing roles and landed a 3-month unpaid internship at Teads. It was a bit of a baptism of fire, I learned a lot over the first year but really found my feet. I took on more responsibility, running their global events in Europe. I left Teads in 2015 to join LoopMe and head up my own team. It was my first role in setting the marketing strategy and reporting to the CEO. Building up the LoopMe brand and leading a fantastic team is definitely one of the greatest things I’ve achieved. I joined S4M in September to concentrate on their global brand strategy and communications. I now work across the US, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Singapore, and Canada and I love being part of such an international team.  

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

LB: In a start-up, you’re still pretty hands-on, but my role has changed from creating content, running the events, preparing the presentation decks, to having a more supervisory approach. I will focus on the planning and budget, initiate projects, and let others carry out the day-to-day activations. I spend a lot of time working with my wider team, reviewing work, and giving feedback. Working in a management position requires a different skill set to marketing communications, so learning how to improve my management is a big part of my job now.

Q. How did your time at the University of Kent prepare you for your current role?

LB: Teads and S4M are both French companies so being able to understand French has been a massive help! Other than that, it was mainly the soft skills that I’ve found useful. Learning to write well, communicate clearly, think critically and multi-task are all skills that are important for someone wanting to work in marketing communications.

Q. What advice would you offer to a young adult looking to enter the digital marketing industry?

LB: Digital marketing is a fun industry to be part of, it’s fast-paced and vibrant. My advice would be to do your research on the companies that win awards (Digiday, The Drum, Campaign, Mobile Marketing, MMA all run awards programs) and then keep an eye out on their jobs page and Linkedin. It’s unusual to actively advertise on job sites other than Linkedin, so try the company’s pages directly. Tailor your applications and just apply – you might be surprised! Also, it’s ok not to love your first job out of university or be amazing at it, you’ll find where you belong.

Q. Do you think enough is done to educate young adults about digital marketing?

LB: It’s been over 10 years since I did a business studies GCSE and back then digital marketing wasn’t mentioned once. But it’s a lot different today, the results of digital marketing are everywhere, so I’m sure young adults today are more aware of it than we were, even if they’re not being taught about it directly.

Q. If you could change one thing about digital marketing what would it be?

LB: I’d like more diversity in the industry.

Q. Finally, (Funny), what is your favourite restaurant and why?

LB: Aaaaah this is such a hard question for me! I spend most of my time thinking about food… I’ll slightly dodge it and say I’m really looking forward to visiting my local pub when it reopens – they have a lovely garden and I can’t wait to relax with a wine and some dinner in the sunshine!

Finally, we would like to thank Lauren for taking time out of her busy schedule during these strange and confusing times.

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

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