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Sarah Watson, Chief Strategy Officer and NY Chairman at BBH, answers your questions about Advertising and her career!
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🌗🌘🌑🐠🐠🐠 thanks for having me Fishers it’s been fun! Signing off 🐠🐠🐠🌓🌒🌑

likeuplifting

Hi Sarah,
Thanks so much for taking your time to answer our questions! What is the number one trait you look for in a junior strategist to join your team?

like

Hey Sarah. Why do you think there are there so few female CSOs?

like

Hi Sarah,
What are some of your favorite books?
Thank you!

like

Hi Sarah!

It’s Tatyana- used to be a finance analyst at BBH. I’ve been in the ad world for 5 years now and would love to break into strategy- do you suggest schooling? Or another way to tra… more

like

In what ways do you think agency experience prepares us for a job with companies like Google? E.g. how can planners/strategists best position themselves for positions in Google and Facebook?

like

Hi Sarah, where do you look for qual/cultural/human insights? Try my best to keep a close eye on what’s going on, but the agency I’m at (Pub owned) doesn’t have a lot of qual resources at hand. Cheers

like

See you guys in a little while! 🐠🧡

like

Hi Sarah,

Love to hear what makes a great strategy? What would you do if a certain strategy does work on the data side? What is your solution to this?

Thank you! Happy to have y… more

like

What do you do when what’s right for the agency is different than what’s right for the client from a marketing perspective?

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Hi Sarah! How do you manage or avoid competition with your husband?

like

Do you think data should drive creative (meaning creatives should use data to come up with campaigns) or data should support creative (meaning strategists should find data that supports the ideas)?

like

Hi Sarah, what advice would you give to a creative who has a passion for strategy and is considering making the switch? Should they go back to school? Find a mentor?

likehelpful

Why do you work in advertising? (Sorry not meant to be a flippant question — would genuinely love to hear you talk about why you’ve chosen to give so much of your life to this industry).

like

What's the line between content strategy and creative direction? How can I steer my strategists away from micromanaging art while still valuing what they're providing?

likehelpful

Sarah! GFBM alum here! What do you think of the strategy bifurcation? Half my coworkers have gone consulting and I have my heart working on the agency side

like

Have you ever been fired?

likeuplifting

Hi Sarah! What are your expectations for what a strategist with 1 year of experience should be capable of achieving?

likesmart

Hi Sarah, I’m a junior planner at a big agency, and it feels easy to get lost in the shuffle. Do you have any advice for how to go above and beyond as a junior, or how to better stand out?

likehelpful

Hi Sarah! Thanks for doing this. Best advice you’ve ever received?

likesmart

Any tips on ways to meet and greet folks that work at agencies you’re interested in? It’s always good to swap stories and get a feel for a place and their people before pursuing a potential gig. TIA

smart

Hi Sarah, Megha here!! Hope you are well.

Would love to hear any secret, magical pro tips you’ve used to stay on top of (and leading) your career while also being a mom to two little ones?

likehelpful

As a strategist, what is the best way to approach partnering with creatives?

likehelpful

From what I hear, you’re a kick ass strategist and human. Your husband is also a kick ass strategist and human. How do you avoid spending all of your time talking about strategy at home?

like

Hi Sarah! You once said something about using people around you as a source of strength & power. How do you do that effectively, esp. with people who are time-poor, unconcerned with juniors, etc.?

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Is it more important that the meat of a strategy be correct or that it's written pithy?

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Does BBH have any openings for junior strats??? 😊

like

What makes you stay at BBH ?

likesmart

Strategy is only as good as the insights it’s derived from. What process/model/strategy do you use to discover and leverage insights?

like

What kind of training courses or resources would you recommend for junior talent interested in growing their career in strategy to potentially get to your position? Do you have a fav course or book?

likehelpful

I read in an interview of yours that it took you some years to gain confidence & find your voice. How did you go from insecurity to leading w/ confidence?

like

Hi Sarah- for people wanting to get into strategy, where do you recommend they start? What should we invest our time in doing?

like

Hi Sarah,
Thank you for your time and insight. Do you use a set process or have you found one that works when you come up with a new idea and launch plan for a brand?

like

Hi Sarah!

Would love your input on Account attempting to transition into Strategy. Having a hard time getting more face time working on strategic projects. Move to gain experience? School … more

like

Hi Sarah! Loved hearing you speak at the Times Up Advertising event. I was really excited about the movement, but since then I haven’t heard a peep. Can you share an update about the future of TUA?

like

Is real planning a dying art?

Or is it just changing with the culture it now exists in?

like

What are the biggest structural challenges facing agencies within holding companies, and how is your team changing the individual agency mindset to be more collaborative (independent of Marcel)?

likesmart

I’m a senior-level digital strategist, but don’t have experience using more traditional planning tools. I want to stick with strategy; how can I broaden my role without taking steps back in my career?

likesmart

What’s your take on the direction of where US planning/work is headed based on what’s happening in marketing/society? Do you miss the (arguably) more nuanced UK approach to planning/creative work?

smartlike

Hi Sarah,
Can you offer some advice for managing junior strategists? I always try to give v specific feedback— but the junior I work with just doesn’t respect me. It’s an uphill battle everyday.

helpful
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