So, Jimmy, tell us a little about yourself…
I’m Jimmy, I’m 26, I was born and bred just over the border in Essex, and I genuinely share my name with a certain “8 Out of 10 Cats” comedian. Of course, Mackman already has a link to “that comedian” as he presented us with our CIM Marketing Excellence award. Music is a big part of my life and when I’m not at Mackman, you might see me performing with my band Good Times at functions, events and weddings.
Otherwise, I usually have my head buried in a book – I enjoy books by Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Tolkien, Bill Bryson etc. You’re dealing with a hardcore nerd!
When did you start working at Mackman?
I actually started with Mackman at the beginning of 2014, as part of a six week internship. At the end of this I was lucky enough to be offered a part time position, which I jumped at. I have worked across different departments during my internship and part time roles, including working with the Client Leads on strategy, writing press releases for Communications and lately website design with the Studio.
In June 2015, I was happy to accept a full time position as Marketing Co-ordinator.
Why did you apply for Mackman?
Being part of a band means that we have to promote ourselves and while building websites and producing leaflets I realised I really enjoy marketing! Being a local guy, I had walked past the Mackman building plenty of times, read the services that they offered as a full service marketing agency and thought, “I want to do that”. I finally took the plunge and got in touch, and a few weeks later I had an interview to become an intern. The rest, as they say, is history!
What is a typical day like at Mackman for you?
Fortunately there is no such thing as a typical day at Mackman, which means you never get bored! One day I might be writing content, the next running my own website training sessions and the day after that writing Google Analytics reports for our client leads or helping to build client websites.
What are you enjoying the most?
I really enjoy working on website builds. There is something really satisfying about being given a customer requirement and then finding the right solution to meet that need. Whether that’s integrating a social media feed, adding specific functionality to pages or showcasing their beautiful images. I’ll never get bored of that.
On a personal level, working at Mackman has given me a lot more confidence. I’m not just attending client meetings now, I’m running them. If you’d have told me last year I would be doing that, I wouldn’t have believed you.
What would you say to someone thinking of getting into marketing?
Do it! If you find marketing interesting have perseverance and belief that you’ll break into it. Just keep trying and if an opportunity comes along, take it! It’s a shame when people think that internships are “beneath them”. I used to think like that, but as a result of my internship, I’ve now got a full time position in an industry I want to work in, and a job that I enjoy coming to. It was completely worth it in the long term.
Also I’ve had the opportunity to learn so many new skills and meet some lovely people. I’ve also found that people are generally really happy to help you, so take advantage and ask as many questions as you can. Within reason.
What would you tell yourself back in 2014, when you started?
I would say “One: Don’t be shy – live life like you’re a character in someone else’s dream. Two: Get more sleep, you look awful. and Three: Your car is going to break. It’s going to be heartbreaking and lead to hours looking around for another. Just save yourself some time and go and buy a car now. Dad will tell you which one – you won’t agree, but he’s right.”
On a serious note: I know it sounds silly, but I used to be slightly anxious about answering the phone to clients, in case I didn’t know the answer to their query. Since then I’ve realised it’s not that bad. I get to speak to different suppliers, clients and prospects and there’s always someone to ask if I don’t know the answer!
So what’s the ‘big plan’?
If it’s a case of “living the dream”, I have always thought that I would like to work in the marketing department of a humanoid robotics company, sort of like in Channel 4’s Humans or the book I, Robot. I’ve just got to wait for technology to catch up with my ambitions.
Recently, I was genuinely upset to learn that the Bristol Robotics Laboratory doesn’t offer public tours. So, if anyone from BRL is reading this: Please? I will be ever so quiet and won’t make a single reference to C-3PO, R2-D2, Wall-E, Number 5 or the robot from Lost In Space, I promise!
And finally, if they were able to make a biopic of your entire life, using current actors – who would play you?
That’s easy! Although for the early years I would need to use Michael J Fox as he was in the 80s. Jimmy in middle age would have to be David Duchovny, and the older, more mature Jimmy would be played by either Gary Oldman or John Hurt.
I’m not sure how they will explain the physical differences between each actor but that’s not my problem. Ron Howard can deal with that!