Find out what new Strategy & Planning Manager, Alex Bone, is addicted to on TV, his mastermind specialist subject, and all about life before Hitch.
So Alex, what did you do before Hitch?
I was Senior Account Manager at a big traditional advertising agency.
It was fully integrated with in house design, copy, strategy and artwork teams, so I did lots of client liaison, managing resources and strategic support.
I did a big council campaign to increase sign up and traffic to their website instead of telephoning. It produced great results, and even won a public service award, but it was building a strong relationship with that client that enabled us to get the strategy right and deliver benefits to all.
What do you mean by ‘strategy’?
Good question. I bought a book once called How to do Strategy well, but I haven’t read it yet! Strategy combines latest trends, knowledge of the environment we live in and how people live and function, with the commercial requirements of the business. We take these client requirements and wider public insight to come up with the best approach.
I suppose it’s about asking the right questions of the right people (customer and business side) until you have a thorough understanding of the problem before working out how to tackle it.
What gives you the greatest buzz in your job?
After the client has given you a brief, you go away and think about it and the team work together to come up with a plan. You present it back and there’s a moment when the client’s eyes light up and it connects. I love that – it’s a great feeling to go on that journey with the client.
What drew you to hitch?
I’ve known Gary for a number of years, having worked together at The Hub delivering health social marketing. I like him and the way he works. I wanted to be more involved in strategy and planning, and knew this would be a good team to work with.
Is social marketing your background then?
Well, it’s funny because my first ever job was running sexual health campaigns after being elected to the Students’ Union. At the time I didn’t know it was marketing, but I really enjoyed it.
What did you study?
Philosophy. The luxury of sitting there and thinking big thoughts, but not necessarily having to do anything about it. It should be compulsory for every student to study it. Everyone should have a basic understanding of ethics and values.
Describe your perfect day.
I grew up in Brighton, so it’d be time on the beach, maybe throw a few stones with my sons before an ice cream. Or play rugby and then back to the club for a few beers.
What’s on your tv?
After Mad Men, I managed to get my wife hooked on Suits which we’re really enjoying. Also, it’s amazing what you can learn from Blaze and the Monster Machines. My 3½ year old describes a lot of things as ‘aerodynamic’.
Mastermind specialist subject?
Aristotle, but I’d have to refresh my memory a bit.