Claiming last month’s Employee of the Month award, congratulations to Sarah Clarke.
It’s that exciting time when we get to shout about the amazing work of one member of our team and announce last month’s Employee of the Month. Stepping up to the top step of the podium is Head of Digital Paid Media, Sarah Clarke! Joining ClickThrough in 2020 as a Senior Digital Paid Media Specialist, Sarah has gone from strength to strength, rising to the position of Head of Digital Paid Media, and has made herself an integral member of the ClickThrough team. We caught up with Sarah to find out more about the winner for March!
“Sarah wows me on a daily basis, is always 100% prepared and has everything in order for her department. There's no challenge too big for Sarah, she always goes above and beyond. Her recent department growth strategy proves this because it's not only a plan for DPM but also highlights opportunities for cross-selling to support growth for other departments.”
“In her time at ClickThrough, Sarah has been a consistently wonderful colleague, which I think the whole business can agree with! This month, in particular, I have appreciated her kindness and support. Her friendly messages have had such a positive impact on my last few weeks and, despite having such a busy schedule, she always has time for my questions.”
“Constantly being at the top of her game. Sarah has taken numerous hours out of her time to help me develop and grow within the agency. She leads DPM so well and everyone really does appreciate Sarah. She sometimes does not get enough credit as her day-to-day standard is so high, so this nomination is just a nod to how helpful and great Sarah is.”
Can you tell us a little about your role here at ClickThrough?
My role at ClickThrough is looking after all the paid services across PPC, Display & Programmatic, Paid Social, and Amazon. Part of this is supporting the team and their development by making sure that they're happy and settled, with everything they need to succeed. From a client perspective, it’s about making sure that we're offering our clients the highest service possible, and seeing if there's anything more we can be doing from a strategy and innovation point of view. Then, from a product development perspective, ensuring that we're pushing the boundaries in terms of what we offer within paid advertising to test new campaigns, learn based on data and use this to inform our client strategies.
What is your favourite part of your role?
It’s hard to narrow down as there are several parts I love but I enjoy talking to clients about new campaigns and advertising options. Recently I have been in calls discussing display and programmatic, particularly on YouTube, which I have enjoyed because it's something new and fresh that we can test for a client. Being able to discuss these new approaches and experimenting with new methods of campaigns with clients is something I always find satisfying because it allows me to be creative and think outside the box, based on what the client wants to achieve.
What are you planning on spending your voucher on?
So, I decided to take it as an Amazon voucher and now I am wishing I had a cooler answer for you, but I used it to buy my cat’s birthday present. I got them a large cat scratching pole and they love it!
What would you say you have gained from working for ClickThrough?
This is a great question but tough as I feel I have developed in a lot of different ways and that I am a different person now than when I started. I think I’ve become stronger as a person since working here because, when I look back to when I first started, there are certain parts of the role which I found challenging, but now they are just part of my day-to-day life and I’m happy going into these situations. Another thing I feel I have developed is my self-awareness and understanding of others. I manage a team of 13 different people with 13 different personalities and what works for me or one person, may not work for someone else. I have to think about it differently for different people to get the best out of everyone and ensure we are as effective as a department as we can be.
Your department has recently taken advantage of the ClickThrough apprenticeship schemes, how have you found that development process within your team?
Yes, we had 3 apprentices in our team, 2 who have recently qualified and gone onto Executive roles and 1 who will be qualifying later this year. It’s always going to be a different experience bringing any new member of staff into the team with Covid, lockdowns, and working from home. That’s why it’s really important to ensure that apprentices have the opportunity to ask questions, the same way as if they were in the office. Building an open culture is an effective way to achieve this. It means that we have been able to develop our communication through having a lot more team sessions, with one stand-out thing being our working sessions. We book in a call as a team and everyone just continues their individual work as usual, whilst on a call. It’s a great way to create an environment for people to ask questions, whilst generating the general chat you may usually get in an office. It means for new people and apprentices, it’s a smaller forum and opportunity for them to ask questions if there is anything they are nervous about.
Those questions are so important for the development of the team and apprentices especially. I see one of my main responsibilities is developing the team so that my position is almost redundant. If I can effectively train the team to step up to the next level, it opens up opportunities for everyone. I enjoy seeing people progress and you see that even more in apprenticeships, which is why it’s such a rewarding part of the department.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
The first one would be ambitious because I have clear goals, I know where I want to get to, I know what I want to achieve, and that’s what I am always working towards. The second would be level-headed, where I think that, internally, I may be having an emotional reaction to a situation, but outwardly I am calm, collected, and don’t let it affect my decision making, which I think has developed from my experiences within the industry. I don’t think anything could be thrown at me that I haven’t dealt with before, so I’m comfortable with taking on anything the digital world, and managing such a big team, can throw at me! Finally, I would say supportive - I love training members of the team and helping them improve and I would be more than happy to spend my whole day, every day doing that!
You have recently been nominated for a Digital Paid Media Award for your work with Renault Retail Group and Google Performance Max, how does this feel?
It is a little mad and crazy, to be honest with you. I have never worked for an agency before that has been nominated for awards such as this so I had never even considered that my work would be nominated. When I created the Renault Retail Group case study, I just wanted to show the great work we were doing with our clients. For me, hitting results like this and getting the best performance possible is just my day-to-day job, so it does feel a little strange to be recognized but, of course, I am hugely proud to be nominated.
Do you have any inspiring words for anyone who is thinking of joining ClickThrough?
I think it’s a great opportunity to work at an agency like this. I've worked at big network agencies, and, whilst they have their benefits, what I love about ClickThrough is that everyone is open to change all the time. No matter if you are an apprentice, an exec, or a head of a department, if you have a good idea for the business, it will be put in place. We have had people join the company and within the first week have had an idea that has been implemented. For me, it just goes to show the company culture and the open-mindedness of the people here, so I would say definitely go for it and don’t worry about asking questions!
If you would like Sarah and our team to work with your brand on anything from PPC to Display, get in touch!