Interview with Maddy Sim, Strategy Partner at Carat

Headline sponsors of Amplify 2022

This is the third year Carat have sponsored Amplify (thank you!). Why is it important for you to be a part of this event and champion marketing this way?

Well, I loved Amplify long before we sponsored it, so from a personal level I’m just glad it’s such a well-supported, attended and talked about event! There aren’t many marketing conference type events that blend the fun and the functional as well. It’s a much more entertaining session than most, but you still come out of it feeling better at your job. And that’s so important, given it’s on during the festival – it would be hard work going to something dry and informative when the buzz of the Fringe was happening right outside.

Carat is one of the world’s largest media planning agencies. What new ways have you seen brands connecting with consumers through media?

My watch out on this is always ‘new ways, same principles’ – basically, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. So we’re seeing people spend time with an ever-increasing number of platforms, but our role in how we speak to them and influence doesn’t change; we still need to understand people, understand brands, and understand old principles of how media works to effect change.

But that’s not really answering the question, is it?! I’ve loved the work Pringles are doing in the gaming space – you can now get a job within a videogame! Helps that it’s Carat work, of course 😉

How do you manage growth successfully and attract the right talent?

Setting off looking for the ‘right talent’ can be a tricky one – I’ve learnt that casting the net wider usually helps. It’s been great getting people into the agency from different backgrounds.

I think we’ve got a great blend of fresh faces and experience at the moment. And when managing growth you probably need both new ideas and wise heads. So hopefully we’re set up well for that.

What has been your career highlight to date?

I don’t really have one – plenty has gone well for me, but I can’t pinpoint one specific peak. Hopefully it’s still to come.

When I think back fondly, it’s usually to workshop type experiences; ones where you come out feeling energised, like everyone gave it their best. When covid first set in we had a session with VisitScotland where we obviously had to rethink everything we do; suddenly telling people to visit Scotland was the height of irresponsibility. And after that session I remember feeling very proud of the new ideas we had, and of how quickly everyone had snapped into thinking about a completely different problem. In crap times, it’s nice to see your team rise to the occasion.

On a personal level, where do you draw inspiration from?

Usually, stuff I see ‘in the wild’ – I’m the type with lots of notes on my phone from me to myself.

I get a lot out of following ‘people who know their stuff’ on Twitter too. I’m very much a Twitter lurker, I think the last time I posted anything was about 8 years ago, and was for work… But there are so many people who work in marketing who are keen to share their thoughts, and those thoughts tend to get me thinking. There are also so many trend spotters outside of marketing, so it’s a great place to get all sorts of different ideas. 

My best ideas usually don’t have a single source of origin – I love when you notice random connections or start to piece together a story from hundreds of different experiences. It’s actually my favourite part about our job!


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