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 Caroline Taylor, client director - digital delivery, at Merkle.
1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in a little village just outside of Salisbury, Wiltshire, surrounded by dairy farm fields. After a short time in St. Andrews, Scotland for my degree I moved down to London to start my career. I then made the classic mid-COVID move to the suburbs in 2020 and am now living in Sevenoaks, Kent.
2. What drew you to your current career?
When I was applying for jobs at the end of my degree I was split between advertising and publishing, two industries I felt aligned (in some small way) to my Art History degree. Initially I was looking at traditional ad agencies before my housemate at the time told me his Aunt and Uncle worked in digital and put me in touch to learn more about it. They talked about the shift in the industry towards digital and got me really excited about how my career could develop if I went down this avenue.
3. Why Merkle?
In truth, for me this question should be why Periscopix as this was the company I initially joined. In 2015, Periscopix was an exciting company that was growing from the bottom up with two hands-on founders that inspired us to push for the best. But now that we are Merkle the opportunity has expanded significantly; with greater resources we can access to help us achieve our goals. Regardless of the company name though, the main reason ‘why’ has to be the people as the core has always been the amazing people who are not just smart but a genuine community.
4. Tell us a bit more about your day-to-day.
You’ll probably hear this a lot, but every day is different! In the client-facing part of my role I can be in meetings running through weekly statuses or longer-term strategies, planning upcoming campaigns alongside our strategy & planning team, and ensuring that account teams are on track for upcoming deliverables. I also spend time on internal workstreams like our large accounts team where we look for ways to improve the management of our largest accounts across the agency.
5. What do you enjoy most about Digital Delivery? And what do you think future developments will be?
I most enjoy the wide-reaching span of the role. It gives great opportunity for learning new things and flexing your skillset to the landscape of the industry as it constantly evolves. This fits nicely with where I think the future lies, which is in platform diversification. With the introduction of TikTok, Twitch and increased podcast listening we are seeing our audiences spending their time in a greater variety of environments. We will need to plan for how to appear in these spaces in a contextually relevant way whilst still delivering a joined-up customer journey across them.
6. What would your advice be to somebody considering a career in Digital Delivery?
Be ready to embrace what you don’t know and be flexible. The role can take a different shape for each client depending on what is required to help them achieve their goals and so what is required of you may not always be what you expect. I personally find this exciting and appreciate the room to expand my capabilities.
7. What is your greatest accomplishment?
At this stage probably buying my first house last year with my partner. It feels like a real tangible milestone of our hard work and its really exciting to be able to start putting roots down and being part of a community.
8. Tell us a bit about your experience so far with Merkle.
I have been with Merkle for six and half years, which probably speaks to my positive experience with Merkle. Over that time and I have felt supported in my career ambitions but also in my personal life. Having started as a graduate straight out of university I feel there has been a consistent focus on training and development which does not slow as you move through and up the business. My experience is also that we take great pride in celebrating each other’s success and achievements and to be honest, have fun together!
9. What inspires you about Merkle’s workplace culture?
I think for me it’s the openness of our leadership to take feedback and make change. They are not only accessible on a day to day basis for a chat (work related or otherwise!) but they understand the importance of listening to their people on the ground and factoring this into their decision making. This openness is then reflected at every level of the business enabling us to continually progress the approach to our work.
10. What was your dream job growing up?
Fashion designer, just a shame I can’t draw!
11. Are you involved in any of our DEI Pillars? If so, which one and can you tell us a bit about it?
I’m not directly involved in any of our DEI pillars, but am hugely grateful for those that are and are pushing for our organisation to be better.
12. How do you like your eggs?
Scrambled with a dash of cream!
13. What are you currently watching on Netflix/Prime?
Just finished watching Bridgerton and currently re-watching Peep Show
14. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Has to be Gilmore Girls. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it and has definitely become my safe space.
15. What is your dream holiday destination?
I have always wanted to go to the Maldives as we normally do culturally focused holidays making sure we see as much as we can, and I’d like the opportunity to truly switch off. Going to be living this dream this year as we are including the Maldives as a part of our honeymoon in June!
16. Best advice or mantra you live by?
I always live by ‘we are where we are’, basically saying we shouldn’t get too hung up on how we ended up here, and if it was our fault or not, but that we should concentrate more on what we are going to do next. I find this important not just for work situations, but across all parts of life.