Wednesday 07 July 2021

Q&A with Emily Colman, Strategy Director, The Brand Agency

Emily Colman’s career has spanned roles across all facets of agency life, from account management, media planning, and for the last half of her career, strategy. She is the one of the facilitators for AdSchool’s Core Strategic Planning course taking place over eight weeks from July 22 in Perth. In the Q&A below, she outlines everything young up and comers looking to sharpen their skills in strategic planning need to know about the program.

What is your current role and how did you get into strategy as a career?

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work across a range of agency teams including account management, media planning, and for the last half of my career, strategy. 

I was always fascinated by strategy. From a distance, it’s one of those disciplines shrouded in a bit of mystery. 

But, as I got closer, working with some incredibly talented planners, it became clear it is a role that rewards curiosity, empathy, and critical thinking. 

When I was working in Canada, the opportunity came up to take on a strategic position and I jumped at the chance. From there, I was hooked. 

My current role is Strategy Director at The Brand Agency. Given my generalist skills, I work across all types of strategy, from brand strategy and comms planning, through to marketing strategy and business consultation.

What do you love about strategy?

Working in strategy, we get this amazingly intimate look into people, industries, and businesses of all kinds, and I love that. Then we get to take all that insight and knowledge and use it to solve problems.

Where do you find inspiration?

I think inspiration often comes from where you least expect it, two totally unrelated things that spark something special. And the only way to really set yourself up for that moment is to chase an array of knowledge and experience, especially outside of what you’re naturally drawn to. 

In my quest for that, I have set a life ethos of ‘radical participation’ (borrowed from the Burning Man principals). I try to consume everything I can — books, music, games, TV, comedy – the list goes on. 

I take every opportunity to travel, even within my own backyard. And most importantly, I’m genuinely curious about the people around me.

What work are you the proudest of in your career thus far?

I’m working on it as we speak, so you’ll have to stay tuned for some exciting work coming out of The Brand Agency in the coming months. 

You are the course facilitator for AdSchool’s Core Strategic Planning course in Perth, running from July 22. Who do you think would benefit the most from this course?

Having a good understanding of the fundamentals of strategy will be valuable for anyone who is establishing their career in marketing, whether that be agency, in-house, research or other. 

If you’re curious and want to chat about whether the Core Strategic Planning course is right for you, feel free to send me a message on LinkedIn.

Why did you agree to facilitate the AdSchool course?

Strategy is one heck of a rewarding career and I look forward to meeting a new wave of strategic thinkers who will make their mark on our industry.

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