Me In Merkle is a series of interviews that showcase the incredible individuals who make Merkle a unique and diverse place to work. This week we chatted to Sam Turner, planning manager, at Merkle EMEA.
1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in South West London, near Wimbledon. I spent time in Bristol and the south of France while studying, now I’m living in London Bridge. As I grew up in a city I like being in the midst of the action so the city centre suits me.
2. What drew you to your current career?
I studied French so marketing wasn’t necessarily on my radar, but I’ve always found the powerful hold it can have on people really interesting, probably borne out of studying a bit of psychology at school.
3. Why Merkle?
When I started researching roles to apply to Merkle placed a lot of value on their culture. Their credentials spoke for themselves but this was what really piqued my interest, as I wanted to work in a place that valued a work-life balance and had a collaborative approach to work.
4. Tell us a bit more about your journey with us.
I originally joined the Paid Social department as a graduate back in 2018. I had an awesome couple of years there and was reluctant to move, but I had my eye on a broader, cross-channel role. One of the things that makes Merkle stand out is their approach to career progression. If you apply yourself, the door is open to move around internally and they place a lot of importance on hiring from within. A role opened up in the Strategy and Planning team and after a couple of interviews I was offered the position (it may have helped that there was an external hiring freeze at the time…)
5. What do you enjoy most about Strategy/Planning? And what do you think future developments will be?
I’ve found Strategy incredibly interesting and equally challenging since I moved into the role. It’s a broad mix of light-touch economics, psychology, media, tech and strategic thinking: staying up to date on macro trends in your client’s markets, understanding what’s driving consumer interest and behaviour, and trying to translate that through to a media strategy that will deliver tangible business results. Definitely not a walk in the park but never boring! The developments that interest me the most are the ones that seem the most futuristic. Recent conversations have focused on Facebook’s rebranding and the metaverse, it’s making me feel old already.
6. What would your advice be to somebody considering a career in your team?
If you’re organised, see the bigger picture and like to collaborate while working then you’ll be a good fit
7. What is your greatest accomplishment?
I didn’t work from bed even once during the pandemic
8. Why would somebody join our Merkle S&P team – what makes us stand out?
We’re working hard on our strategic proposition, with a goal of driving innovation in client strategy to ensure we stand out against the wider market – so it’s an exciting time to join. Aside from that, the team has a really nice balance and everyone is incredibly friendly so it’s a really supportive environment.
9. What inspires you about Merkle’s workplace culture?
It’s incredibly collaborative and everyone works to help one another. I’ve never felt a sense of competition or an ‘in it for myself’ mentality which is really refreshing. Despite the company’s success, no one has forgotten how to have fun with it
10. What was your dream job growing up?
Rugby player. Since messing up my shoulder and ‘retiring’ (from an exceedingly average standard of school rugby) the door is still open for punditry…
11. Are you involved in any of our DEI Pillars? If so, which one and can you tell us a bit about it?
Not currently, but I work on a 3rd party insights project which is tasked with keeping our insight tools up-to-date
12. How do you like your eggs?
Always fried, often poached, occasionally scrambled, rarely boiled
13. What are you currently watching on Netflix/Prime?
On a post-Squid Game spree of foreign language dystopia. Currently watching All of Us are Dead (would also recommend Alice in Borderland and Hellbound)
14. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Bit of TayTay
15. What is your dream holiday destination?
Japan is the best place I’ve been so far but would love to go to Vietnam
16. Best advice or mantra you live by?
Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth