The Oban Blog

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Spotlight: James Smith, Head of People and Culture

January 14, 2016 Company News

I’m James Smith and I’m responsible for managing Oban’s operations. This involves creating and maintaining best practice business processes throughout the agency. I also have overall responsibility for project management and resourcing, so that the business runs smoothly for our clients, partners and staff.

  • How and when did you start working in international digital marketing?

I started working in digital marketing three years ago – after making the move from a career in management consulting and telecoms. Shortly after moving to Brighton, I became interested in digital marketing. I’ve got many friends in the industry who suggested I give it a try. The move into digital was a real opportunity to gain some great new experience, whilst bringing my unique blend of talent, HR and operational expertise to Oban.

  • What do you enjoy about it?

The variety – no two days are the same and things are constantly evolving. Digital marketing has changed so much in 3 years that I feel like I’m always learning.

Oban is a unique place to work. I love the cultural elements of what we do. My team works closely with our ‘Experts Overseas’ around the world and getting to know more about cultures and how people view the world is a great bonus.

  • What are the biggest challenges you face?

Trying not to trip over Peggy (our Digital Dachshund) and NOT eating all of the great cakes that people bring in on a far too regular basis!! #obanbakeoff

  • What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in international digital marketing?

I’d be selling fabulous ice creams out of my vintage ice cream van – Lulu – and then blogging about it.

  • What countries have you visited? Which is your favourite and why?

Countries I’ve visited include Switzerland, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, France, Spain, Turkey, United States, Italy, (not to mention Wales, Ireland, & Scotland).

I think I felt most at home in the Netherlands. I worked there for 6 months and had the opportunity to live there. The Dutch team were amazing and are great people to work with.

  • Outside of work hours, you’ll find me….

Baking, blogging and making ice cream.

  • Top 3: Brand, site and item of technology

Brand: Disney – everyone has heard of Disney and they’ve been around a lot longer than Apple.

Site: LinkedIn – a great tool for making new connections and keeping in touch with people and the latest trends.

Item of Technology: iPad – a keyboard experience has changed my husband’s life!!