Hello Alexander! Tell us a bit about yourself:
I was born and raised in the US, but have lived in the UK for the past seven years. It really feels like home now. Before joining Oystercatchers, I completed an MBA from the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Previously I led the business development function at various agencies.
What would you say is your personal tip for a client when in the agency search and select process?
Assumptions have gotten us all into trouble – we’ve all assumed that the bits in a muffin were chocolate only to be disappointed when we discover they’re raisins. So, I’d encourage clients to have the confidence to unpack their assumptions with agencies during the process. Not only do I believe this exercise will lead to better work, but critically it helps clients earn trust with their agency partners.
And the same for an agency in the process?
A lot goes into this process. I can tell you that coming into Oystercatchers with agency-side experience. The impulse is to be polished, and that’s certainly important. However, there’s an opportunity for agencies to demonstrate what they stand for by being vulnerable. That could be giving a junior team member the opportunity to share with a client what they’ll actually be doing day-to-day or it could be unpacking concerns. Just remember that providing more information doesn’t always equal more transparency and trust.
What’s one of your favourite campaigns and why? Perhaps something from your childhood or something from your career….
In the early 2000’s Capital One (which was founded and based in my home town) ran a series of campaigns featuring Vikings – yes, Vikings. The creative was bizarre, but I’ll always remember the ads because it was through these campaigns that I learned how marketing and creativity have the power to drive business objectives.
What are your interests outside of work?
I’m crazy about tennis, and I wish I had a forehand like Del Potro! Unfortunately what I do share with Del Potro is an injury which has kept me off the court.
How have you been coping with the last year of lockdowns - what's your top tip?
Less travel and commuting over the past year freed up a lot of time. And that’s actually put a spotlight on how we spend it. Moving into the rest of 2021, I’d encourage everyone to keep the good time habits that 2020 gave us. For me that’s taking the time to enjoy reading the newspaper. You’ll catch me reading The Washington Post and the Wallstreet Journal.
What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
I hope I never actually ‘grow up’, but when I was younger I wanted to be an architect. And to that end I actually went to architecture school at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). My love of architecture stemmed from a passion for people. But as I began my summer jobs interning for firms, I realised a career as an architect wouldn’t give me the connection to people that had driven me to the profession in the first place. Luckily it was from my thesis at architecture school that I was introduced to the world of marketing.
And all of us at Oystercatchers are very happy that Alexander's thesis provided him the opportunity to step into marketing - we're delighted to have him as part of the team! We hope you'll all join us in welcoming Alexander and if you'd like to drop him a line you can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org