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Welcome Julia Dettler-Bates

European Marketing Communications Manager
Fellowes Brands

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Julia Dettler-Bates
"We need full transparency, how people work, how the teams are set up. That's a crucial decision maker for us.’’

Julia Dettler-Bates is an international marketing expert with over 10 years of global marketing experience, and is currently European Marketing Communications Manager at Fellowes. In this episode, Julia discusses the Fellowes’ global rebrand, the amazing success of Work Colleague of the Future PR campaign, and why she needs full transparency from agencies.

Transcript:

Nathan Anibaba:

This is ClientSide from Fox Agency.

Nathan Anibaba:

(singing)

Nathan Anibaba:

Julia Dettler-Bates is European marketing communications manager at Fellowes. She is an international marketing expert with over 10 years of experience in SCM and traditional marketing communications. Having worked on both sides, agency and client side she has a great knowledge of paid, earned and owned media activities across several different industries and countries with a high interest in UX and UI. Julia was also part of the tremendously successful team working on the Work Colleague of the Future campaign, which reached 66 countries and generated just a ton of awareness and credibility showing the effects of an unhealthy workspace. Julia Dettler-Bates, welcome to ClientSide.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Thank you. Thank you. I’m really happy to be here.

Nathan Anibaba:

Excellent. You’ve got a fantastic and fascinating background. You’re originally from Germany and you came to the UK about 10 years ago to study. You did a degree in marketing and Spanish and then a masters in marketing after that. It looks like you always have the intention of building a career in marketing from the beginning.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, that’s correct. I’ve always been interested in marketing and especially in the combination marketing with languages. So I was always keen to get a position at some point where I’m going to be working with people from other countries so I can make use of all of my skills. So yeah, I’ve really enjoyed my degrees and the internships I had during that time and I’m happy where I am right now with my career.

Nathan Anibaba:

In 2011, you started working for an SEO agency. They were called Search Laboratory. You were their first international full time hire. And I think at the time they were a small agency, they were a startup. I think they’ve been going for roughly about five years at that point. And you helped grow the team from sort of 20 to 120 people during your time there. That must have been just a really exciting thing to be a part of. Tell us what it was like growing in a company, working in a company that was growing that fast.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, absolutely loved my work at Search Laboratory. I have to say it was my first job straight out of uni. And it was such a nice transition from university to go into a small agency where you made lots of friends. And it was just really an exciting time for the agency. We had a super strong team, very smart people that made sure that we secured really big interesting clients, which then allowed us to grow.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And I think also the time when I started was the time when SEO really started to change. So in that time you went kind of from link buying to link learning. It’s a different Google update, so your job would never really be the same. And I think when I started, they already had a few part time international people around. But when I started we kind of could really dedicate time to get this international clients on board. And that was super exciting, I have to say. And then personally in an agency that’s growing, there are so many opportunities and I’m really thankful for all of the opportunities they gave me. You had the chance if you were working hard to progress quite quickly and to get new responsibilities. And I think that’s the exciting part of being part of such a small agency.

Nathan Anibaba:

And we said at the top of the show that you’ve got both agency and client side experience, but obviously this was your first agency experience. What was your biggest takeaway from your time with the agency and how have you used that experience in your role subsequently?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I would say my biggest takeaway is really being agile. Especially when you are part of an agency. Everything’s still fast moving. And things keep on changing and you have to adapt to different clients to their requirements. So I think being agile is definitely the biggest takeaway. Another one which was also part of their values was really transparency. And I really salute certain authority to that. It’s being transparent with your clients. And that’s something that I’m still looking for now when I’m working with agency now in how is transparency is key. Don’t try and black your way through it. So you’re always honest, you tell them where you are with your results. And you work as a team on this.

Nathan Anibaba:

That’s fascinating. We’ll get into that in a bit more detail a little bit later on. But at some point you decided to move client side and you moved to Fellowes where you are now, it’s 103 year old family owned business. What factors led to that decision?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, there was a big change. So going from something so fast moving to a family [inaudible 00:05:14].

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

If I think about my colleagues at Search Laboratory, I think the average age was 26 maybe. People have been there around two, two and a half, three years. And then would maybe move on like they do in agencies. And then I went to a family business where mainly the people I work with have at least been there 10 years, if not 25, 30 years. They’ve had the whole career there.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think for me it was just kind of time to do something different. I found myself at Search Labs being in a position where I was quite removed from the actual client work at the end. So I would manage the team that would then work with the clients and I really missed it. And I wanted to see that impact that your work has. And I just wanted to also have a different work environment. I wanted to have a different change of people that I can learn from. And I felt that Fellowes could be exactly the right step. But yeah, it was a big change to go to a business like that.

Nathan Anibaba:

Fantastic. So describe where Fellowes is today as a company and what’s your role and responsibility there?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

So Fellowes has actually been through quite an exciting time, I feel since I started. We are 103 year old company and I feel like when we celebrated our 100 years, there was really time to make a few changes in the business as well. So we went through a rebrand. We really are looking into how we can be around for the next 100 years. The office products industry is changing.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

The way we are working is changing. So therefore the needs for the people in the workplaces are changing. And we are really keen to adapt our products and therefore create innovations that really help people be at their best at the workplace. And I’m part of that and that’s exciting. So when I first started, I was actually their digital marketing manager.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

So the first time they had someone dedicated within Europe to look after digital and shortly after I then had the opportunity to take on the whole marketing communication side of things. So I now have a team of graphic designers, of web specialists, continent and social media specialists, and together really we are building a core communication strategy and plan for Europe and we working together with all of the different product category marketing teams. So let that be our banker sparks or our ergonomic accessories or our shredders and nominators. And then we also working with the local marketing teams, which is the part that I’m really passionate about as well as working with people across Europe really and being in contact.

Nathan Anibaba:

Quite fascinating. So you mentioned that you’re working to make sure that Fellowes is around for the next 100 years. Talk about what some of the biggest, what sort of changes are in the modern workplace and how is Fellowes adapting to that?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, I think and definitely some of our core products. So if I’m thinking about our banker’s boxes and our shredders, papers and decline and all of the businesses not only from a security perspective. So these products are still in need at this time and we making constant exciting innovations to them. But at the same time, we can’t really bank on those being what keeps our business alive. So we really expanded over the last few years in our, how we call it our expansive category, so that is our health and wellbeing area. So our ergonomic accessories, furniture, to really adapt to the new workplaces. So if you think about it there’s a lot more open plan offices. There is people kind of working more remotely. So how do we adapt to their work environment and what products will people need in order to stay healthy at work?

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting you say that there are more and more sort of open plan working environments and we’re seeing that reflected in offices like we work and sort of the new sort of office buildings, Apple, Google who are famous for having these sort of open collaborative environments where employees can sort of bump into each other and sort of spark collaboration.

Nathan Anibaba:

And I guess the idea behind it was that it would increase productivity because there’s a free flow of ideas and exchange. However, a lot of research recently has actually said that it actually reduces productivity and actually the old traditional offices of having people in their siloed offices actually increases productivity because they’re not sort of being interrupted as much throughout the day. What are your thoughts on that?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think it’s a kind of mixed approach to this. So I would say in certain areas definitely it enhances the collaboration. If you sat on a fly, you kind of get up, you walk to your colleague, you talk about certain topics, you don’t write them an email or just pick up the phone and call them. And I think that’s important and not only from a social perspective and a better teamwork perspective, but also that you actually get up and get moving. Right. So I think that’s important.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And I think from kind of the noise level and disruption, I think it’s very important that your officers have areas where if you have to work very concentrated, you can kind of go there. So we, for example, at Fellowes we have meeting pods we call them.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

It’s like tiny little pods that are dotted around the office and you can go in there and there block out a lot of the noise. And you can kind of get some quiet time there as well if you have to work very concentrated. So I think it’s important you have both available. And I still believe open plan office are good for collaboration. I see it every day how we work as a team. And there’s already the aspect of us being quite a lot on the phone with our European partners if now I would have do the same internally, I think I would literally just be sitting at my desk all day.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about that shift from in-house, from agency to sort of in-house, because you’ve been responsible for sort of changing the way that marketing has done at Fellowes. And in many ways it’s an industry. You’re in an industry that’s not known for its technological innovation, it’s also a family owned business. So the pace of change is different. How have you managed to sort of bring people along that journey?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, I mean you’re completely right. It’s a very, very different pace to an agency. And I don’t mind it, I actually enjoy this because we really thinking about the next step. Once it’s a family business, whatever we do, it always has a family name on it.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

So I think we’d be really, really conscious of the way we are approaching new topics. And I think it was quite exciting. There’s always people who are really open to change and then there’s people everywhere in the business that maybe are a bit worried about change. I wouldn’t even say they’re against it, they’re just worried and it’s about them on this journey. And really trying to help them and educate them about why this is important, why we have to do certain digital activities. Because our end users, the way that they are shopping is changing if we wanted or not it’s no longer just the catalog.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

They are looking for things online. They’re comparing products and we just have to make sure that at every kind of thinking point our Fellowes brand is there so that when they’re coming to the decision, because ultimately they can’t buy directly from us. They’re buying through our resellers. We have to make sure that when they come to our resellers, they have this already in mind. And yeah I think that’s kind of the journey I’m trying to take our team on and trying to educate them on this because yeah, it’s definitely proven that nowadays you don’t just open an advert in a magazine and you decide to buy this product to a long-term.

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure you do a lot of research.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Exactly.

Nathan Anibaba:

Definitely.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

So that’s what we’re trying to do.

Nathan Anibaba:

And it’s obviously a challenge because you’re trying to balance being respectful to the traditions and the history of the business while still driving innovation and moving with the times. I imagine that that’s not an easy thing to do. You say that your career has gone full circle from print to digital and digital back to print. Talk a little bit about that.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yes. Yeah, so my first experience is kind of at work before I had my full time job at Search Laboratory. So my internships or work on the side was always in event management agencies because that was one area that I was really interested in. And kind of then I came to the digital world. And although at first when you finish university, you have all of those big dreams of the massive brands you’re going to be working with. At first, I thought, “Oh, okay, well, let’s try out digital marketing. I don’t really know a lot about it.”

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And then once I got stuck into it, I realized how much there is to it. And I’m so thankful that I took on that opportunity because I think it’s crucial for every marketeer nowadays that you have that as a baseline and really understand how digital marketing works. And then when I came to Fellowes, of course, one element of my job is still the digital side of things, but I suddenly also again got introduced to print and working with the studio, getting things in catalogs and magazines. And there’s this odd feeling of excitement when I see a printed ad of us somewhere. And so yeah it’s a weird feeling, but I really like both of the things, almost digital seems normal now.

Nathan Anibaba:

Yeah it does.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Whereas when you get somewhere print it’s like wow.

Nathan Anibaba:

It’s so unusual.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I keep all of the articles it’s quite funny next to my window I’ve got like all of the magazines lined up because I’m quite proud of it.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting. No, but it’s true we don’t see that much print. We’re not exposed to physical print as much as we were. So it’s quite novel. And whenever we do see our work and our creativity in our hand, it’s tangible. It’s a different experience. Really interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about agencies. So you work with creative agencies and you have some work with some in house teams as well. Why is it important to you that you have both an in house team and external agencies as well?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I personally think that you can’t really do the job that much just if you only have an in house team. I think working with an agency, what they bring to it is a completely fresh perspective as well as they have a team that’s kind of on the poles of the trends that’s happening in the industry, in the digital industry in particular.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And I think that’s important to keep on learning as well. I think when you are in house one of the big dangers is that you kind of just get absorbed and you get swallowed up by your company [crosstalk 00:17:25].

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And I think it’s seeing outside of that that is important and that’s why I really like working with agencies. And yeah I just feel tapping into expertise from an agency is so much more helpful than trying to build everything in house. I want to understand what’s happening and I think it’s important that I know what the reports are saying, but at the same time we can then focus on the bigger strategy and making sure that things get carried out by an agency.

Nathan Anibaba:

Fellowes has a network of talented agencies. Talk a little bit about the skill sets of your agencies and why did you decide to have a network of specialists rather than one full service agency?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, I think every marketeer’s dream is to find that one agency that can tick all of the boxes.

Nathan Anibaba:

Do it all, right.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Exactly. Because I mean, I’m not going to lie, having a network is obviously more work for me. Whereas if I would have one contact that would be ideal. But again, I just don’t think that that’s a realistic expectation. Normally when you’re meeting those fully integrated agencies, they have started somewhere. So either they’ve started on the offline, more PR side then moved into the digital world or vice versa.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And I prefer to pick that sweet spots out, if that makes sense. So I really want to make sure that if an agency has their roots and creative, I know they will be great and creative. So let’s use them for that. And then the same for digital. And I then try and organize that if there’s something integrated happening that we can tap into those agencies of our network as well. So I personally feel that that’s the better approach.

Nathan Anibaba:

In the pre interview you said that you love the process of choosing an agency. Love is a very strong word Julia, what is it about the process of choosing an agency that you love and what is your process?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think I genuinely love working with agencies because that’s been part of my working life. So I like getting new partners and seeing new ideas. I think it’s always super creative sessions. And it’s exciting to find a new partner that you know you will be able to trust for the next few years or months depending on what we kind of hire them for.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And in terms of the process, I think it really depends on what it is that we’re looking for. So let it be like one big campaign that we feeling is something that we need a partner for the short-term and then potentially depending on how that campaign pans out, we might take them on for longer. The process we go through is normally that I do a little bit of a pre search and shortlist a few agencies get in touch with them. We have very comprehensive briefs for agencies. Some might feel sometimes overwhelmed by them-

Nathan Anibaba:

I’m sure they love that.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, actually the feedback was really positive this time around. That was really helpful, but I want them to get as much information as possible than we normally do like some initial calls, really find out, okay, is this project right for you, did you want to participate? And then we invite them to come to our offices and to pitch to kind of a panel. Normally let’s say it’s for one of our product categories, there will be someone from the product category, it will be myself. It will be probably the designer that normally is part of that product category. And our marketing director and we let them present to us what they think they can bring to Fellowes. And I always feel it’s normally three days back to back meetings, but it’s so inspiring and it’s so exciting when you feel afterwards, yes, you found the right partner.

Nathan Anibaba:

Interesting. Do you know usually quite quickly that you found the right partner? Is it quite an intuitive sort of decision when you have those meetings initially or does it take some time to sort of affirm up your decision?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think it really depends on how well these pre conversations have gone and how well they really understand us. So sometimes we meet agencies where we see a lot of potential but they maybe haven’t really wrapped their head around how we work yet. So we try and maybe give them a bit of a further direction into this and this therefore it might be a bit of a longer process.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

If they managed to grasp who we as Fellowes, what is possible and what isn’t possible fairly quickly. Yeah, I think we normally try and make our minds up fairly soon. There’s a few key areas that we’re looking for. Of course, that’s great ideas. That’s how the agency is working, we’re very open-minded what type of agency it is. So is it a small agency that’s mainly focused on the UK and we then need to find a way on how we use them so that we can implement it across Europe.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

That could be an option or is it a big international company. What do their partners in the European countries look like? So we’re fairly open towards them. So you get such different approaches and at the end it’s the creative idea. It’s how they come across and how they’re working. We don’t have maybe the big budgets for some of those bigger agencies. For us they’re huge budgets and I really, I don’t want to see lots and lots of layers of account management, account directors and all of that in there because that means my money is basically gone before we started doing something. So full transparency, how people work, how the teams are set up. That’s a crucial decision maker for us.

Nathan Anibaba:

What would disqualify an agency from consideration?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think it would be if they have absolutely no understanding on how ideas would work internationally. For me that would be one big area where I say that wouldn’t work because even though you are UK focused, if you have that understanding of how these ideas need to be translated into the other and localized into the other markets, then that’s fine. You don’t have to have the full experience already. It’s doing the right research. It’s making sure you check in maybe with some of your connections that are international to identify how you could service that.

Nathan Anibaba:

So when it comes down to the last two or three agencies and it’s all very close in terms of creativity and capability and skillset and price, what does the final decision tend to come down to?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I would say probably what I mentioned earlier is the transparency. How is this working relationship going to be set up? What access are we going to have to the tools that they’re going to be using, how open are they going to be with everything? If we feel we are like partners on the same eyesight? I think that’s what we’re looking for ultimately. Although that might sound cheesy, but it’s we’re inviting them into the Fellowes family and that’s how we want to treat it. It’s honesty, transparency and making sure that they have our best interest in mind.

Nathan Anibaba:

So, if an agency wanting to sort of get on your radar and sort of get an opportunity with you, they understand your market, they know that they’ve got the skill sets and the talents internally to sort of make a difference to your business. What’s the best way of them reaching out to you?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

That’s an interesting question. I would say that pick up the phone would be my preferred option of contact in the first place.

Nathan Anibaba:

Okay. You’re going to get a lot of people calling you now.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah. But I get so many emails as well. And they’re not very personalized, really look into what we do. Show me at the first conversation that who we are. Don’t make it like one of your 100 calls and know that there will be others you will be calling. But I think I want to feel like they’ve genuinely made an effort of understanding where we are at. That’s really important for me.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting. So when it comes to working with agencies, what do clients need to know about their agency in order to get the best work from them?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I would say in terms of not knowing how they work. So what’s the team set up? Who’s kind of the main spokesperson, so to say for your company. And then how many layers are there until there’s a person actually working on your account? Right. I think that’s really important. Can you have conversations with those expert people? I think that’s something I personally really like, but that’s probably because I have the knowledge. Let’s say it’s digital and I have the knowledge in those areas. So I want to speak to the PPC person. I don’t only want to speak to the account manager, I want to know from them what they’re thinking, how they think they can improve it. So I think that that’s important. I think it’s important to understand how your budget is used and have full transparency of that. So agencies that work with us they know that we’re very specific with this and I always want to see a breakdown.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I want to see what’s your agency fee? Are you billing us hourly, daily, how are you doing it? And what is actually going to be spent on creating the activity? So that if let’s say we come to a scenario where I don’t know, we need to prolong the campaign, but we don’t have more budget, what can we cut out? And together come up with a solution. So for me it’s that area and it’s also insight into all of the accounts. So let’s say again from a digital perspective, any agency that works with us, we own the accounts, we own the Google account, we own the Facebook business accounts. So we can see what you guys are doing. Want to have an honest conversation about it.

Nathan Anibaba:

Makes a lot of sense. Now, as much as agencies would like to hold on to their clients forever. The reality is that clients replace agencies with increasing regularity. What are some of the most common reasons that clients tend to leave agencies and what can agencies do to avoid it?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I would say from my experience, why we maybe left agencies it was when teams kept on moving around a lot and you kind of start at square one every few months. I think that if you have a big turnaround in your team I think it’s the agency’s job to make sure that handovers are of high quality and that when they come to your account you hardly feel the transition, if that makes sense.

Nathan Anibaba:

I see.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

So I think that’s one of the big areas. And another area was we really preferred in the past working with kind of the smaller agencies because you get a lot more attention from them. And I feel like sometimes when these agencies have been bought up by bigger agencies is when suddenly their processes and the way they communicate and the type of contact you have with them changed. And that was another reason for us to move on from past agencies.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about performance reviews before we talk about your work colleague of future report, which I’m really interested to sort of get into. But we know that it’s important to conduct effective performance reviews. So both client and agency sort of provide feedback to know what’s working and we can both improve the relationship. How should we conduct effective performance reviews and what’s the best way that you’ve seen them done?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, I think we definitely have room for improvement for ours. I think we normally, depending really on which agency again let’s say it’s someone that we’re doing a quite big long-term campaign over a few years with. We normally try and at least get together face to face on a quarterly basis. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you have weekly calls, I think that’s fine.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And really be open about what has worked and what hasn’t worked. This is from both sides. We know that nothing’s also perfect on our side and we can always improve on how we working with agencies. And I think it’s very important that both sides can voice how things can be improved and that we learn from it. So I think from a long-term partnership, that’s one of the things that are really important for me to look at. It’s also how they would approach and be proactive in terms of suggesting new ideas and how we can keep on working together, that’s important to me in those meetings. So for them to be proactive and suggesting new ideas is really something that we like.

Nathan Anibaba:

Fantastic. Let’s talk about your Work Colleague of the Future campaign. The campaign showed how years of unhealthy workspaces affected employees. There was a team of researchers led by the behavioral futurist, William Higham who showed us how we could become, if we don’t do something to fix our sort of broken work environment. They made a figure called Emma. She doesn’t look good to be honest. I had a couple girlfriends that also looked the same to be honest.

Nathan Anibaba:

But the campaign got truly global coverage on social media, mainstream media publications like the Financial Times, Huffington Post, ITV, I think it was 66 countries in total that it got coverage in. Just phenomenal success. Why do you think the campaign was so successful?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think the idea itself on how are going to be changing in the future, that’s not a new idea. Right. And there have been campaigns like this before. I think the really big difference this time was actually Emma and having her as a life sized model there. And having worked with the futurist as well as the pan-European panel of experts across osteopathy, ergonomics. It was really important for us to understand what is going to happen to our bodies and how we can then exaggerate that in a figure such as Emma to help people educate how important it is that you change the way you’re working because these are real issues. Is it slightly exaggerated? Of course, it is, but it is all totally possible. And I think Emma was the main reason why it was so successful.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

She looks just so real when you meet her. It is quite scary. And it was super exciting to see her from we were part of this whole journey from her being like a drawing to being a Barbie sized doll to then being that full-sized model. And yeah, I think that is what gave it the big impact and why people were shocked and why they could relate to it. If you don’t have the right visuals and if you can’t really relate to it, I think it’s not going to resonate with you.

Nathan Anibaba:

In Britain, we spend eight years of our lives sitting down. That just seems like a really long time to be sitting. Is the solution to our sedentary lifestyles as easy as just having a standing desk?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

No, I wouldn’t say so. That’s one of the areas that can definitely help you. There’s so many other things that you can do and it’s not just having a standing desk, it’s about being in movement in general. So I would say the very first thing that really you should make sure you get is a workstation risk assessment no matter where you work. There’s a law across Europe. And when we’ve done the Work Colleague of the Future campaign, we also did a survey and the numbers were shocking of people who said they had their workstation risk assessment done but never saw any products to improve their workstation or they haven’t even had the workstation risk assessment. And I don’t think a lot of employees are aware of this. So I think one of the big first things and advice is make sure you get your workstation risk assessment.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Your needs will be different to the ones to the person next to you. And I think the sit/stand desk is a great way of staying in movement throughout the whole day. And this is what it’s about. It’s not about just standing suddenly instead of sitting because that will be harmful. It’s being on the movement. It’s making sure that every half an hour you try and stand up. It could be things like going for a walk around your office at lunchtime, have walking meetings, trying to exercise when you can. A lot of people are commuting long ways and they come home and they’re probably quite tired at night and don’t really want to be doing anything.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

But it kind of plays into your whole life where you have to make changes. But at work itself, it’s just making sure you have the right setup. You have the right chair, you have the right desk, you have the right monitor heights, you have a risk map, mouse map, anything you need to get you as comfortable as possible whilst you’re sitting.

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure. Makes a lot of sense. And I guess open plan offices play into that because you physically have to get up and walk across the room to go and speak to anyone else which was your point. Walking meetings as well, which was made popular by Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. They love to do walking meetings, but also because of the creativity apparently that it sparks when you walk, apparently you’re more creative. There are more endorphins that are released. So, yeah, I thought that was really interesting. What was surprising? What were some of the surprising takeaways from the report that surprised you that you weren’t necessarily expecting?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think in general when we did the research and we found out about how many people are actually suffering from injuries due to being at a desk all day, I thought that was quite shocking.

Nathan Anibaba:

Injuries?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah. Injuries such as having problems with their wrists, so with their hands, with their back, you will know so many people that just have back issues, neck issues just from being had to work all day. And then I think this is where it starts often you have a bit of a sore neck or a bit of back problem and that can escalate really quickly.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

And this is actually when it’s already a little bit too late. You’d want to avoid getting to that stage and the first place. I thought that was one of the areas. And then I think if I’m thinking about Emma in general and we were talking about the different ailments that she’s got. One of the ones that I personally was quite shocked about is also the skin tone as well as the skin issues and the nasal hairs and ear hairs that will be so much more in the future, which is all down to the lighting in offices, artificial lighting as well as the air pollution in offices. So again, I think that’s things that we are not even aware of. I mean, I’ve never really worried about the light in my office before.

Nathan Anibaba:

Yeah. Wouldn’t even thought that that was a consideration.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Exactly. And I think in terms of air, yes, we are maybe a little bit at Fellowes more aware of that given that we have air purification units all around our office that we sell as well. But at the same time, that’s just an area that I think has so much potential. And that people aren’t really thinking about.

Nathan Anibaba:

What have you taken away from the success of the campaign that you’ll use that you’ll take forward in other campaigns?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think the biggest takeaway is, this was a viral campaign. It doesn’t automatically mean everything we do now is going to have impact

Nathan Anibaba:

Right. We need to be bigger. We need more steps, right.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I know. Just like kind of the-

Nathan Anibaba:

It’ll be a let down.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

… The outside of having such a successful campaign.

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

So that’s definitely one of the things that I’m teaching now. And I’m like yes, this has been amazing and let’s build on it. I think because she went so viral across the world, we just didn’t expect that to happen. And I think if we would have known the impact she could have had, we probably would have made sure that there’s activities happening also further down the sales funnel.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

So if you’re thinking, it’s all about raising the awareness. We should have probably worked a lot more with our resellers, making sure that when the awareness is there, people will probably be interested in getting some offers and really making sure that they know what to do next in order to not end up like Emma. And I feel like that would be one area and that we learned from and it’s one thing that I’m carrying over to other campaigns is really making sure whatever we create, even if it’s thought leadership, we need to make sure we have our reseller partners on board and we’re thinking the campaigns through from top to bottom of the funnel.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting. Julia, let’s get into our quick fire round. This is the round where I fire some short sharp questions at you and if you can fire some answers back at me, that will be fantastic. What are some of the biggest challenges or changes that you’ve seen in terms of what clients now expect from their agencies and what agencies expect from their client?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I would say what clients expect from their agencies is really hands on work and less account management. I would say is one of the big changes. So away from the big integrated agencies to more of a specialized agency is my thinking. And then vice versa, I would say that from experience the agencies we’ve been working with lately, they really were interested in learning more about the business. So they were really curious and are desperate to know what impact their campaign had. Although obviously we don’t sell direct, they want to understand this. And that’s a trend that I’ve been seeing over the last few years, which is something I really like.

Nathan Anibaba:

What are you most optimistic about when it comes to working with agencies and what are you least optimistic?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Woo. I’m most optimistic about bringing fresh ideas and new perspectives and challenging us. Least optimistic working with agencies is probably the rising agency fees.

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

[inaudible 00:41:51].

Nathan Anibaba:

Yeah. Good answer. Really interesting. At low times in your own career, when you hit those low points, how do you motivate yourself in those times?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I think it’s important that you have a great network at work, but also a great network at home and just making sure that you balance out busy periods with something nice at home, vice versa. And I really am into things like yoga, meditation, things like this to really get me back on track. But I think everyone needs to find their own thing.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really good answer. And my final question, Julia, I know that you’re from Germany originally and you’re living in the UK. If you could live anywhere in the world though, where would it be and why?

Julia Dettler-Bates:

That’s really interesting. My dream was, and I don’t know why I ended up in Leeds, but my dream was to live in Barcelona. I had internship there a long time ago and I think that’s just the most beautiful city I’ve ever been in.

Nathan Anibaba:

Great city, fantastic.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Culturally, architecture, that’s kind of all of my passions together and sunshine.

Nathan Anibaba:

And sunshine. Right. You can’t go right and a beach.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

I know.

Nathan Anibaba:

So happy days. Fantastic. Julia, thank you so much for doing this.

Julia Dettler-Bates:

Yeah, you’re very welcome. Thank you.

Nathan Anibaba:

If you’d like to share any comments on this episode or any episode of ClientSide, then find us online at fox.agency. If you’d like to appear on the show, please email milly@fox.agency. The people that make the show possible are Milly Bell, our booker/researcher, Paul Branford, our creative director. Ben Fox is the executive producer. I’m Nathan Anibaba. You’ve been listening to ClientSide from Fox Agency.

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