Charlotte Willis, account manager at Diva talks about adapting to a new job during COVID, the agency’s charity work and her drive to continue learning.
How did you break into games?
My obsession started very young – some of my earliest memories are of sitting in my Dad’s electrical repair shop and getting to play with any consoles or PCs that were waiting for pick up and then asking for a console as a joint Christmas present every year to share with my brother! I studied Journalism at university and found any way to include video games in my assignments and freelance work. Despite being determined to work in games, I ended up going in-house to do marketing for a charity before moving to Bristol where I applied for an account executive position at Diva with little agency experience and a lot of love for gaming – and I haven’t looked back since!
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
It’s hard to pick just one as we’ve done some amazing work with our clients since I started at Diva but I was incredibly lucky to work with War Child last year to organise and host an 11 hour Diva charity stream to raise money for their incredible work. We all had so much fun, had special guests and giveaways and, most importantly of all, we smashed our fundraising target and raised twice as much as we had set out to! This also opened the floodgates for us to continue streaming at Diva so we now aim to stream twice a week – catch me on a Wednesday! – and our channel has just been made an affiliate. Watch this space as there may be another charity stream coming up very soon.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
The first lockdown happened when I’d been at Diva for less than a year. So not only was I still learning the agency ropes and ensuring our clients were happy but I then had to do it from my desk at home. It was really difficult at times, as I’m sure it was for everyone, but my colleagues were so supportive and we all banded together throughout the pandemic and produced some awesome work remotely. We also managed to have a lot of fun with plenty of video call and chat mishaps. I was then promoted to account manager in early 2021 – during the third lockdown – so although it was a challenging time, it was definitely rewarding!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There are honestly so many things – working with really cool clients, being genuinely passionate about the work we’re putting out and having fun every day with the team. I love coming to work each day and knowing that our creative will be out in the wild for everyone to see (and then annoying my friends by pointing it out whenever I see it out and about!)
What’s your biggest ambition in games?
I definitely have the endless enthusiasm down, so now I want to just continue listening and learning to our amazing team so I can provide the very best level of service to our clients, especially when it comes to strategic marketing. Every campaign and game has a unique angle and audience and I want to help our clients use that to their advantage and ensure every bit of creative is working as hard as it can. I am also determined to be the winner of our office Smash Bros tournament, but I’ve got some tough competition.
What advice would you give to an aspiring account manager?
Always listen and be ready to keep learning. Know your clients inside out, work with them to get the most out of their campaigns. In turn this will help you to be less afraid about bringing new ideas to them, because the more you know about them, the more likely it is your ideas will be right for them. Listen to the creative team and be willing to gain knowledge across all disciplines e.g. motion, digital, print, strategy etc. Be willing to work with the entire team rather than just telling them what to do – our best work has come from being collaborative and open to ideas. Also, being genuinely passionate definitely goes a long way.