I’m Tom Montague, Client Partner at Oban International. In a nutshell, my role is to act as a business and strategic partner for our clients – understanding their industry (including their competitors) and helping them to achieve their objectives. My job is also to support our teams internally, have an informed point of view about projects as they progress through the agency, and to stay on top of changes in the digital landscape.
My first international project was working on a brand which operated 21 designer outlets in 9 markets around the world. The role provided an insight into the complexities and challenges involved. I subsequently worked on a fashion brand based in India. It was fascinating to get a peek into the mindset of Indian consumers – in this instance, younger affluent men and women in metropolitan areas, interested in Western styles – and challenging in managing a complex set of stakeholders in the UK and India. I also lived in Sydney for two years, where I worked on integrated campaigns for a number of Australian finance brands, including an investment bank, a high street bank and a challenger finance brand.
It provides a twist, an additional layer of complexity and interest, a different way of looking at things. I enjoy the multinational environment at Oban – as well as being more fun, it’s well-documented that diverse working environments tend to be more commercially successful because they typically encompass more viewpoints and are less susceptible to group think.
Keeping on top of industry changes in an international context, and being able to distill them in a timely, relevant and relatable way to each of our clients to help them sustain a competitive advantage is a key challenge. Discussing the subjective nuances of a piece of content in a language I don’t understand can also be quite challenging – but luckily there’s a team of experts on hand to help with that.
Probably an architect. Or failing that, something involving restoring old buildings, renovating spaces, repurposing interiors. Or maybe even something in politics on some level one day.
I have visited quite a lot. When I was growing up, my father suffered from ill health and wanted to travel whilst he still had the chance. So as a family, we ended up doing a lot of travel together. But my favourite trip wasn’t somewhere particularly exotic: it was a road trip I took in California & Nevada with a friend. It was completely spontaneous, just visiting places as we drove. I loved San Francisco, and somewhat to my surprise, Las Vegas too.
Going for long walks on the South Downs. Doing up my Victorian flat and designing improbable improvements. Planning my next holiday. Collecting watches. Somewhat obsessively following the news.
Brand: Right now, I’d probably say Johnstones Paints. They’ll match any Farrow & Ball shade for a fraction of the cost.
Site: I like Knight Frank – I enjoy the escapism of looking at fantastical real estate I am unlikely to ever afford – short of a lottery win.
Technology: Probably FaceTune – very handy for touching up unflattering photos before sharing them where it counts, which is obviously Facebook and Instagram!