In my most recent role at Image Foundry Studios, I managed responsibilities including Account Management, Production Managing & covering all inbound marketing, as well as the companies re-brand. I also advised on animations with my video production background & edited animations together where needed.
In my time at Image Foundry Studios, this was my primary role. Taking on clients from the initial brief after winning new business, straight through the final billing. I was the only face of the company as far as they were concerned, whether this was briefing on the look and feel of their animation or asking a cost for future work. I managed anywhere between 20 and 30 live projects each week, from roughly 10 – 12 clients. This included managing the companies first three ventures into Virtual Reality before my departure.
Being their dedicated account handler, it was vital to maintain a calm and collected approach, whilst having my foot the floor behind the scenes, turning around tasks as fast, efficiently and of course well executed as possible.
Operating in a small team, I also managed 2 key client accounts. This took up most of my time but meant I was able to really get to grips with what my client wanted and needed, whether this was how the will feel about additional costs incurred in production or their opinion on what kind of grass they want in their CGIs. It’s my job to know, and so I made sure I did.
- Briefing in projects & delegating to creatives in the UK, Delhi Studio or freelancers across Europe
- Working with Creatives to confidently estimate time needed for each project
- Quoting work inline with each client’s budgetary needs
- Working with Project Management Software to book in and then projects, including Zoho, Resource Guru & Teamwork Projects. (see production managing below)
- Monitoring hours used for each project per artist and production stage (a system I introduced to the team to reduce running over budget on larger projects)
- Raising deposit invoices using Xero
- Managing the feedback process through multiple stages of production (averaging 3 – 6 stages of production and post)
- Delivering projects within very tight timelines
- Raising balance invoices in full
- Providing a project summary on where we can improve
- Aligning project wins and up-selling against monthly KPIs
Whilst this took a backseat at the height of the companies client wins, I worked with my employer to ensure my skills were being utilised in the best places possible. I was hired initially with the intention of working alongside a web developer; transferring over to a new CMS on WordPress. Tasked with sorting through years of old and dated content and starting fresh with brand new copy and imagery on WordPress, I curated new content from top to bottom on the website and continued to keep this updated. With experience managing 2 previous WordPress sites, it made sense for me to continue with this.
I noticed the company had little to no online presence as I began updating the website. We gained our traffic through PPC; while we were ranking well, we could rank better. A quick look across Analytics also showed us how we needed to increase our chances of ranking organically. Through the use of SEO and updating regularly, we increased our organic acquisition channel up by 10%, overtaking PPC for the first time. We began tailoring our Ad Words more which resulted in less cost per month and more client accounts won by web as a result.
Increasing our online presence and brand recognition was a key goal of mine. Image Foundry Studios has been established for 15 years and worked in the local area for a long time; I used social media to hone in on this and re-market to existing and potential customers at certain points in their buyer journey.
This lead to our first ever inbound marketing campaign, concentrating on branding ourselves as thought leaders in the Virtual Reality world, especially for Architects and Large Volume House Builders; this saw our social media accounts flourish (LinkedIn increasing organic reach to 12k over 2 months )and current client get back in contact and want more of our services as a result.
Whilst working on marketing materials, it became apparent to me that we had no clear buyer personas in place to target our materials at. Working with my colleagues and clients, months of research and discussions later, we came to 5 key buyer personas which are used to this day to market towards in all marketing collateral.
This also started a lot of debate on the companies branding. Working with the Executive Director, we worked through a number of techniques to see if or branding worked in the current marketplace. We decided to move on and start fresh whilst maintaining the core family values of the established business.
- Update website regularly with new projects and case studies
- Use scheduling software (Hootsuite, Planoly, Buffer) to plan and push out social
- Monitor and update Adwords
- Write blog posts to increase SEO
- Manage other copywriters in producing blogs for the website
- Gathering content and managing the newsletter designer
- Sending out mass mails via Zoho Mail
- Ensuring marketing materials across the board were on brand
- Working with creatives and stylists to produce marketing materials across imagery, animation & virtual reality
Production Management & Scheduling
Working in a small team, we didn’t have a dedicated Production Manager in the UK. As the client wins increased, so did the number of live projects and so this became a job role within itself that myself and my colleague willingly took on for all of our clients.
Using project management software such as Teamwork Projects, Resource Guru & Zoho, I would ensure we had time available for work for each artist when booking work in. It became an increasing concern that our bookings outweighed our capacity. To help with managing lead time expectation and hitting budgets, I devised a workflow for account managers to confidently estimate work, manage budgeted hours and ensure we hit or completed under budget.
The Delhi studio employed roughly 28 3D Artists. It was vital that I communicated briefs in their entirety, whilst ensuring that budgeted hours were closely monitored by the Dehli Studio Manager. Hourly, I would communicate with the SM and Lead artists on project details and stay up to date. I also stayed in close contact with 2 – 3 freelancers we worked with across Europe throughout the day to ensure they knew exactly what they were doing remotely; being able to communicate well to creatives, especially to those who first language isn’t English was vital to this part of my role.