Insiders' Guide - Mindshare Direct

- Number of people in your team?

Mindshare Direct is led by Lucy Stafford, managing director, who oversees a team of 17 media planners and buyers who all specialise in direct marketing. We are a team and hierarchy is not important to us.

- What does the team do?

Mindshare Direct does strategy, planning and buying for direct response and brand response campaigns across all media, both off and online. And yes, that includes all the traditional above-the-line media too - we do not separate them, as all media delivers a response.

- Who's the biggest character and why?

We have a number of characters, including our team PA, Ashley, who keeps us in order and leads the way when it comes to partying. We are also lucky to have our personal boy band (Steve, Grant, Dan and Luke), our very own Girls Aloud (Mandy, Pam, Caroline, Tee, Debs and Hiral) and our resident quizmaster (Kristian), who delivers an interesting fact to the team every morning. Antony, our resident "snooker loopy nuts are we" look-a-like, is always bouncing around, and Katie and Sophie are the queens of karaoke. Last but not least, Kev is our music and rugby aficionado and Emma and Lucy are our pitch champions.

- What's your office atmosphere like?

There is a big sense of being a team. We all sit open-plan and there are always plenty of sweets, although they don't last long if Antony has anything to do with it.

- What stands you apart from the rest of the industry?

We are a force to be reckoned with, growing from four to 18 staff in just 18 months, with our billings growing from £5m to almost £60m over that period.

- What does it take to get a job in your team?

A passion for all that is "direct" - enthusiasm, a good head for figures and the drive to deliver plans that exceed clients' expectations.

- How are staff encouraged to hit targets?

Motivation is an inbuilt discipline, as it is an integral part of working in direct marketing. However, beer and wine always help.

- Where do you all let your hair down?

Being based on the Strand in central London means we have plenty of options on our doorstep. However, it's generally a choice between the Mindshare bar (particularly on free bar night), The Chandos (the boys), Gordon's Wine Bar (the girls), The Marquis (all of us) and Motion (when we want to show off our latest dance moves). And on more messy nights, some team members have even been known to visit The Roadhouse.

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