Alison Booth is ClickThrough’s Head of International. Find out more about Alison's journey into marketing and how ClickThrough helped achieve her goals.
ALISON BOOTH: HOW CLICKTHROUGH HELPED ME COMBINE MY LOVE OF LANGUAGES AND BUSINESS
Alison Booth is ClickThrough’s Head of International. She joined us as a Paid Search Manager and, after identifying the opportunity for a specialist international function, now uses her linguistic skills and international business interest to deliver multi-national campaigns for our clients.
Time with ClickThrough: 9 years
Joined As: Paid Search Manager
Current Role: Head of International
Total Roles at ClickThrough: 4
A knack for languages (and business!)
I made a conscious decision to pursue languages and business very early on. After finishing my A levels in Business, German and French, I planned to get some practical experience of using my language skills, so took a year out before I went to uni, which I split equally between working in the accounts department at the French business Lyreco firstly and secondly in Luxembourg where I worked for Euro Camp as a Campsite Courier.
I was keen to learn Spanish, as I felt it would be valuable professionally once I finished uni, so I switched my linguistic study focus to German and Spanish. My Languages for Business degree was a 4-year course with a year abroad. So, my third year straddled studying at la Universidad de Cádiz and working in the translation department for MAN Turbomaschinen in Oberhausen, Germany.
My passion for marketing stems from my Business Studies 'A' level where I studied a marketing module. This was reawakened in Spain where my course included marketing, so I had the best of both worlds, improving my Spanish as well as studying marketing! My first role after graduating was a German-speaking customer service position – while it was great to use my language skills, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I was more interested in looking at how the business was set up, and how processes and strategy could be improved. At this point I realised that a marketing role would be the best way to combine my interest in business with my love of languages, so I found my first role in marketing, as a Marketing Assistant with the German engineering company Denios. I went agency side in February 2008, joining Netbooster as they were looking for marketers with German and Spanish skills. It was my first opportunity to use both my language and marketing skills for multiple brands rather than just one.
Building ClickThrough’s International Department
Moving to ClickThrough felt like a good fit, as it was clear the agency had a genuine family feel and that I’d be working with like-minded people. Also, I felt that absolutely everyone was a highly professional expert in their field and that we were endeavoring to be innovative for our clients and integrate between departments. It was a great opportunity to see how the other departments worked, to understand more about what everybody was doing and how everyone inputted into achieving the company vision.
I did want to go broader in digital; my expertise was Paid Search, but ClickThrough’s agency wide integration helped me achieve a broader, cross channel knowledge. It’s unique in an agency to be able to work across multiple functions in a delivery role and I really liked being able to carve that journey. I felt like I was being given a genuine opportunity to prove myself and build an international service that I (and our clients) could thrive through.
We have always had international clients, but I felt that this needed more of a focus, and I was fortunate enough to be able to take the opportunity to do that and grow our international presence. I had the full support of my colleagues, which gave me the confidence to pursue it and make it a success. I don't feel that other companies would necessarily give you that freedom and enable you to map your own future.
Becoming a Head of International Marketing
The Head of International role enables me to further my digital marketing knowledge and understand more about the opportunities export brings. Many people might not find it exciting, but I’m fascinated by how you can help brands to build a presence in new markets and learn more about the constantly changing international business environment to help them overcome their export challenges.
ClickThrough supported me extensively in taking on leadership of a new department and, coupled with training from suppliers like Google, I have been able to grow the services we offer on an international level. I have always known that if I have specific training requirements, I can always flag them to get the required support.
I feel it is beneficial to partner with your colleagues to understand more about what they do and organically pick up some of their knowledge and skills. For a role overlooking multiple disciplines, this was particularly important for me to do and I was able to shadow other teams in the business to expand my cross-channel knowledge and achieve this. This is something ClickThrough really excels at as everyone is keen to share their knowledge and support each other in learning new skills.
The future at ClickThrough
I think we've matured as an agency in terms of how we approach digital marketing and building brands. We've evolved what we offer at pitch level and what we can deliver through continuous skill expansion, and taking note of learnings from new colleagues, who bring fresh ideas and knowledge. This has assisted us in becoming one of The Drum’s top agencies, which we are proud of.
The future at ClickThrough looks bright; we’re really building on our focus on learning and development. We’ve always had a culture of learning and being able to make a case for attending training to further our skills. Since our Head of Talent Engagement, Ilona, has joined us, I feel that this has become more prominent within the business. Having an external viewpoint on training everyone can benefit from is brilliant as it puts the whole company in a learning mindset.
For me personally, and for the international team, I want to expand into as many countries as we can! I want to be a go-to marketing and growth agency for guiding you on your journey to export and grow your brand internationally. I’m looking forward to facing new challenges in a company that supports me and has faith in my visions for the future.
Want to find out more about how ClickThrough can help evolve your brand overseas? Get in touch!