A day in the life of a… Digital Strategist with Econsultancy
Econsultancy: Please describe your job, what do you do?
Remy Brooks: I’m a senior strategist at Friday, a specialist service design and engineering agency that helps organisations to articulate their digital strategy, and designs and builds digital products and services.
My role always starts with understanding our clients’ end-user needs and behaviours, as well as their business, brief, and the external competitive and technological environment they’re operating in.
Taking these inputs, I work with the team to articulate and visualise a strategic direction that addresses their core challenge from a customer point of view. Together we design and manage the products and services that bring the strategy to life, and look for opportunities to continue supporting our clients in their programmes of change.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
RB: Curiosity and communication.
Being excited and energised by fresh and often complex challenges is essential. I think clients work with us because we genuinely care about solving their problem and about their end users. They value the perspective we bring by being curious and asking the right questions.
Communication is key to creating stories that both senior client stakeholders and colleagues can buy into and rally behind. Articulating ideas is a bit of an art-form, and one I’m still perfecting! But it’s a skill that you can always work on, craft, and hone while developing your own style.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
RB: There’s no such thing really!
My day might consist of anything from interviewing a client’s customers, to running a workshop with senior stakeholders, trying to find insights and patterns in analytics data and writing user stories and Jira tickets.
One of the key parts of my role is to work with clients on defining their strategic direction. To do this, we use a proprietary process called Target Customer Experience, where we sketch pictures of an exciting and ambitious, yet plausible picture of the future experience from the customer perspective. I’ve been working on one with a global trade bank to visualise the future of customer support, and it really lets me stretch my creative muscles.
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to 'do strategy’?
RB: Be curious and spend time working at it. Question why things are the way they are, what might have led intelligent people to make those decisions, and what users actually want or need.
Practice your presentation and storytelling skills at every opportunity. Analyse your own style. Find what works for you and evolve it over time.
And being empathetic helps. Being able to put yourself in your clients or users shoes, understand their pain points, what they need, and what might delight them will help you develop strategies, products and propositions which solve real problems.