Getting Ahead: Philip Christer

I’d like to see the money in football spread evenly throughout the English football league. At the moment the rich clubs are getting richer and the poorer clubs are struggling to survive, to the detriment of grass roots football and the English national team. World peace and an end to all poverty would be great too.

Name: Philip Christer

Company: Zed Media

Job title: Board Client Director

What made you want to get into marketing?
I’d love to say I was inspired by a marketing lecturer or saw an esteemed business figure giving a life changing speech but to be honest like a lot of people when I left University I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do. I studied English at University so I wasn’t going to be an architect, and while I coached football unfortunately that was never going to be my career, marketing looked interesting and to a young lad from the north east pretty exciting, so I went for it!

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?
I had my degree, did the CIM qualifications and applied for every job I could possibly go for (and a few that I was nowhere near being qualified for), eventually got one.

What was good and bad about your first job?
I was thrown in at the deep end; I had to report into the MD even though it was my first job in marketing. I was expected to do everything from designing adverts and writing copy to buying the ad space and making the tea… it was a brilliant experience but bloody hard work. The worst thing was I had to do everything!

List your jobs to date:
Discribe – Marketing Executive – Marketing Project Manager
IDG Global Solutions – Business Development Manager – Client Services Director
Premiere Sports Marketing – Marketing Director
Zed Media – Account Director, Marketing Director and now Board Client Director

What were the best and worst, and why?
To be honest there were good things and bad things about them all, but the one I’ve enjoyed the most is my current job at Zed, a great company with great people, and a varied, challenging role.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Sir Bobby Robson

Who in the industry do you most admire?
There are too many to single out any one person.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
In three and a half years at Zed Media I have only had one person resign from the various teams I have managed. In an industry where the average length of time at an agency is eighteen months, I think that is a great achievement.

On what do you base your success so far?
Very simple, am I happy and enjoying what I do… and I can answer yes to both of those questions.

What are your ambitions?
To continue learning, developing and doing new things in my job… and to earn lots of money!

Change one thing about your job.
The commute into London, South West trains needs to get its act together!

Change one thing about your industry
I’d like to see Media less commoditized, and I’d like to see agencies getting together to stop this, let a decision be made on media planning, strategy, people and commercials together and not just the agency who will offer 75% reductions or 90 day payment terms… we will destroy the value of an important industry if we keep going down this route

Change one thing about the world:
I’d like to see the money in football spread evenly throughout the English football league. At the moment the rich clubs are getting richer and the poorer clubs are struggling to survive, to the detriment of grass roots football and the English national team. World peace and an end to all poverty would be great too.

What is your favourite brand?
BMW

What is the next big brand in your view? Newcastle United FC

List your “media diet”:
On my way to the train station I listen to Christian O’Connell on Virgin Radio. My train journey consists of Metro radio; nufc.com and Guardian football unlimited on the Blackberry (thank God for the mobile internet). Throughout the working day I digest various trade press and trade websites such as Marketing Week, Campaign, Media Week, NMA and Brand Republic. Throughout the day I look at a variation of sports and news websites including BBC, nufc.com, newsnow.co.uk, Guardian and channel4.com. 5pm is the most important read of the day – Guardian Fiver. On the Journey Home it’s either the London Lite or the London Paper depending on which of the lunatics that gives them out lurches at me first. The drive from the station either Virgin radio or XFM (can’t name the DJ as the time varies especially during pitches!). Once at home it’s usually whatever soap rubbish my wife watches until 9pm then Skysports news for my sports fix before bedtime.

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