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Digital Strategist
Poke London

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Hi, my name is Andre and I work as a strategist for Poke.


A strategist at Poke is primarily responsible for creating strategic narratives around sort of creative output that the agency produces. So Poke is kind of digitally creatively led and my job is to ensure that we get the best of both worlds, in terms of what the client wants and sort of what the market wants and shaping that into something that males sense and delivers on people’s business goals.


I’m typically involved at the very beginning of a project, so making sure that everyone’s off on the right foot, that I set the right strategic direction, that people are very informed about what they’re supposed to be doing and they feel confident that they can go on and deliver.


I think it’s actually quite a broad mix of skills and things like market research, quantitative, qualitative business skills, knowledge of a business, how it operates, how it makes money. Interpersonal skills are incredibly important, so we can’t just rely on someone else like an account manager or client lead talking to people, we have to be out there and we have to be facing clients every single time and conversely, internally we have to be creative and inspired and make them feel like their work is really important in the big picture.


I was  at school in  Romania as a child and then I came here to university. I decided to come to England primarily because I knew that English, well on one hand English skills were a big asset to me, so I thought they would be completely lost if I went and studied in Romania. On the other hand, my family had always wanted to move abroad, so there had been that desire but it never materialised and my parents’ work reasons, I suppose, and the third one was I knew what I wanted to study, I knew that I wanted to do advertising and branding and being in the creative industries, but I didn’t have the chance to do that over there, so these three kind of big forces just all joined up into one.


I picked my degree based on what I wanted to study, so I just picked the six top universities I thought offered a good advertising brand management related degree and after I got accepted I think it was a case of what’s the nicest, most fun and interesting university town of all that, all of those I’d applied to and I picked Manchester. So I studied at Manchester Metropolitan University.


My first job was at an agency in Manchester, it was a digital agency actually, it was at J Walter Thompson. They’d only just started a new department and I was recruited by them whilst I was still at university, so towards the end of the final year, I was just doing exams and going to all sorts of talks and trying to see what the industry was like.


It was a bit of a turning point. I thought I’ll either stay in Manchester and carry on working there or I’ll try and make a move down into London and a lot of people at the time advised me that it’s probably better to have the first stepping stone in Manchester and try to build up a bit of experience up there, so I kind of followed that and started going to industry meetings, a lot of talks and got to know a bunch of people and I think that’s kind of how it happened.


My first big project was a pitch. It was a pitch we did with Publicis and the first kind of engagement since Poke was bought by Publicis. Unfortunately we didn’t win the pitch, it was fair and square, but now I’m doing all sorts of other exciting projects. So we’ve launched a property development in east London on the former Olympic Park and it’s been transformed into a co-working space and it’s going to be London’s home for making. I’m also doing work with RSPB, helping them shape the new RSPB website and how it actually engages with people who want to get involved with giving birds a home online.


Five years’ time I think I’d still like to be at Poke. I’d probably like to advance, so a goal would be why not become head of strategy at Poke. The structure is pretty flat, so I think, by that time I’ll probably have gathered enough experience of the place and the people and kind of will have won their hearts and minds, hopefully. I find it really welcoming, so that’s why I’m kind of thinking it’s a nice place to stay in for quite a long time, despite the industry standard of stay somewhere for six months to a year and then leave. So that’s made a huge difference.


End of Andrea N


Andrea grew up in Romania but decided to come to England for university. She chose an advertising brand management degree in Manchester and really enjoyed the experience. She enjoys her role as a strategist as she feels it mixes her creative, research and business focussed skills.

More information about Advertising accounts managers and creative directors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

47%  male 
53%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Advertising accounts managers and creative directors plan, design, organise and direct the advertising activities of an organisation.
Entry is generally via career progression from related occupations. There are no pre-set entry standards, but in practice most directors hold a degree. Off- and on-the-job training is provided.
  • Liaises with client to discuss product/service to be marketed, defines target group and assesses the suitability of various media;
  • Conceives advertising campaign to impart the desired product image in an effective and economical way;
  • Reviews and revises campaign in light of sales figures, surveys, etc.;
  • Stays abreast of changes in media, readership or viewing figures and advertising rates;
  • Arranges conferences, exhibitions, seminars, etc. to promote the image of a product, service or organisation.
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