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MARKETING DEBUTS, MEET THE TRAINERS – SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE CREATIVE COMMS INDUSTRY

By Jo Petroccia     

Ben Willmot – Head of Agile Practices at Karmarama.

Ben Willmot is Head of Agile Practices at Karmarama where he creates bespoke ways or working for his clients and teams. Ben has been working in the digital industry for over 16 years with a focus on web and app development across financial services, media & entertainment, health, military and aerospace brands.  His blog TBW specialises in coaching others on project management and how to be more productive and effective at home and work.

Ben, tell us a little about you and your role at Karmarama?

I’ve been in the digital industry for over 16 years and nearly all of this time I’ve been involved in Project Management in some capacity. I’ve also felt very fortunate to start out in this industry as it provides so many opportunities, plus there is always something new to try or learn about.

I lead a double life work wise, as outside of my day job at Karmarama, I blog about Productivity and Project Management on a Podcast for Project Managers.

The day job is at an amazing creative digital agency called Karmarama where I’m Head of Agile Practices. The main focus of my role is helping create the best possible working environments for our clients, teams and projects. I get to try new things and discover new approaches to team building and delivery frameworks all with a focus on delivering high value for the end user.

You’re clearly passionate about creative project management. What, in particular, do you love about it?

I love the variety of it all, I’m always meeting new people, learning new things, whether that’s a new way to approach how you plan a project or a tip from a new team member I haven’t heard of before. Project Management satisfies my passion for continuous learning and improvement for myself and those around me.

How has the role evolved during the pandemic?

A lot, but in a good way as it’s highlighted even more the importance of team empowerment and making the most of the time that we have.

Enabling team empowerment has always been a guiding principle for me, as micromanagement doesn’t work for the individual giving it or receiving it as it holds both sides back.

Working fully remote you have to provide the individuals with the tools and time they need to thrive and not be restricted by bureaucracy.

Making the most of the time we have is about how can we be as productive as possible, for example, keeping a close eye on the meetings the teams are having, do they need them, do I need to be in them? And how can we improve communications elsewhere, so we can all do more productive, enjoyable and valuable work.

What are the big opportunities in creative project management for young people breaking into marketing today?

How we run our projects is evolving all the time. The projects and the brands delivering them have to be adaptive and have their finger on the pulse about how the digital market is continually evolving.

Young people breaking into this industry today have an advantage as a digital lifestyle for them is the norm. They can bring fresh ideas to how we can engage and run our projects and ultimately the impacts it will have on the end user.

The most successful teams and companies I’ve worked for have had a real diverse mix of team members, whether that’s their backgrounds, race, gender or age. The highest functioning teams need different viewpoints, and having a younger demographic in the team is an advantage.

What themes and topics will your training modules cover in the Marketing Debuts training workshops?

Collaboration and transparency are two key principles for how I approach my training. The more we all learn about each other through a collaborative and engaging approach, the higher the likelihood the project will be a success.

Through the approaches I take you’ll understand why it’s so important to collectively agree on what will bring the project the most value, rather than just doing what you’ve done before. This isn’t just about what the project will deliver, but how will the individuals on the project improve and develop as the project progresses.

What made you want to get involved in Marketing Debuts?

Breaking into a new industry can be tough and I wish I had access to mentorship and guidance that’s more readily available today.

One of my favourite aspects of my role is coaching others and developing my team to be the best they can be.

Seeing others succeed is where I get the most satisfaction. If I can help those involved in the Marketing Debut Apprenticeships spot opportunities or help them in some way to get ahead in the job market this will be a success for me.