Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Spotlight on......... Jo Halstead

We are thrilled to present the next feature in our "Spotlight" series.  This time, it is Jo Halstead, Digital Marketing Manager within the Arcadia Group.

1.     Who are you, what is your current role?  

I'm currently a Digital Marketing Manager within the Arcadia Group responsible for our creative output and driving digital performance.  

I sit as a steering committee member for the Digital Advertising Women's Network (DAWN), within the brand team. We define the network’s strategy, our event topics and seek out inspirational speakers for the events program. In addition I'm leading the development of the DAWN website, which is due to go live in March 2016.  

2.     What’s the most exciting part of your role?   

The scale of interactions; it takes a huge amount of input to get a digital campaign live in the retail world.  I work with our board, internal buying, merchandising, design, logistics and technical development then engage with our external performance agencies and new technology partners to bring a campaign to life.  

3.   What  personal and professional strengths do you think have been crucial to your success?

Tenacity and my 'what can we do?' approach to adversity. Curiosity too, I moved from a media background to creative agency Poke early on in my career as I wanted to find out more about the creative process and how it shaped great products and campaigns.  

That move has given me such a breadth of unique, invaluable experience; the exposure of working in an innovative and creative environment with a team who were so focused on creating viable products and using intuitive design. It’s an experience that has informed my approach to what is important and what makes a meaningful product, user journey and campaign.

 4.     What is the most challenging thing you’ve done in your career to date?

 I was working with LOVEFiLM when the business was taking off. There was a huge buzz about them and a subsequent spike in subscribers. It was challenging as there were large expectation and pressure, however it was exhilarating to be involved with a business that was rapidly growing yet still nimble and brave enough to make quick, actionable decisions. 
5.      If you were mentoring your younger self knowing what you now know what advice would you give? 

Company culture and your relationship with your line manager is vital, if it isn’t right then address it or move. Fundamentals will not change and neither will what gets the best out of you. 

6.     Have you got any role models? Who are they and why are they your role models? 

As with most people in the tech sector I'm a huge admirer of Alex Depledge and the team at Hassle. They've solved a consumer problem in a simple and effective way, creating a great brand and company culture along the way. Isn't that what we all want to do?  

Alex is such a normal, frank, relatable leader and as such a unique female voice in the tech sector. I really admire her involvement with Tech North; there are amazingly innovative businesses outside of London and they need to be celebrated and developed.

On a personal level Mary Keane-Dawson as she is everything a leader and mentor should be; inspirational and honest. She’s marvellous company to be around too.

7.     What are your top 3 interests outside of work? 

 I'm a keen open water swimmer, currently training for the Dart 10K this summer. But when I'm not in a lido or pond training you'll find me wandering round a historic monument and queuing in London’s frantic bar and restaurant scene.    

8.     What kind of career would you have in an alternative universe?   

Radio is one of my passions so ironically in an analog world producing radio drama. 

9.     What are the major barriers facing women in tech today 

Exposure to the variety and scope of roles available in the tech industry, and how to progress within them.

It's why showcasing role models is so important. There are so many bright, ambitious women wanting to progress in tech but they want to see a path and role models to affirm that they too can become a CTO or CEO.  

10.  What’s the one piece of advice that has always stuck with you 

No one is responsible for your development but you.  

More about Jo

Joanna has worked within digital since 2007, starting her career in planning at pioneering digital agencies i-level and Poke.  She has developed and implemented strategic digital growth campaigns for businesses such as Arcadia, LOVEFiLM, Orange/EE and Skype.  

Nominated as one of The Drum’s 30 under 50 in 2014, Joanna is also a steering committee member for the Digital Advertising Women’s Network (@DAWNnetwork).  

Social Links

Twitter: @JoHalstead
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanna-halstead-3104374?trk=hp-identity-photo

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