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We Are Social's Tom Bayliss on Following Your Gut and Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Opinion and Insight 141 Add to collection
Daniel Marks launches Builders and Breakers interview series
We Are Social's Tom Bayliss on Following Your Gut and Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Welcome to the first in our new series of interviews entitled, 'Builders and Breakers.’ In this series our team interview industry leaders who are breaking down traditional barriers, changing the rules and building new pathways – innovating, implementing change and inspiring others to do the same.

We caught up with Tom Bayliss, chief client officer at We Are Social. As a leader in his field with a career working at a number of integrated digital and social agencies, Tom discusses what it is that motivates him, the challenges he has faced throughout his career and thoughts on his favourite campaigns and creative work!

So, let's get to it...


Q> Hi Tom, you’ve had a very successful career leading the way within client services - what is it that you love most about what you do and what motivates you on a daily basis?

Tom> I’m motivated by change – agency life is ever evolving, and I love the challenge this presents. Over the course of my career I’ve had to become a specialist not only in terms of discipline, but also across many client categories from Pizza to Sanitary Towels. I love the work and the endless possibilities this offers - from changing consumer behaviour to harnessing a community.

I’ve loved every agency I’ve worked at. Each one has had a strong culture and has allowed me to develop, grow and be recognised for my hard work and contribution.

“I firmly believe an agency is only as good as its people and I’ve been lucky to work with people who have provided inspiration, have not accepted the status quo and not taken themselves too seriously.”


Q> What’s the one piece of work you love that you wish you had done? Why?

Tom> I was really inspired by the 2012 Paralympics campaign by 4Creative. It defined the greatness of the athletes and reminded me that anything is possible.


Q> What are the challenges that you have faced in the industry and how do you seek to overcome them?

Tom> I think I’ve been fortunate – I’ve felt embraced by the industry and have been able to progress, win awards and produce work I’m proud of. I’ve always been allowed to be myself and have not faced any specific challenges. Diversity continues to be an issue within the industry and something I’m keen to champion given I’m from an ethnic background and a member of the LGBTQI+ community.


Q> Who has inspired you throughout your career – did you have a mentor and how did that impact you?

Tom> I’ve always stayed close to the strategy and planning teams and this is where I’ve had most inspiration over the years. If I was to name names, I would say David Yates at Elvis, Carl Ratcliff at DDB and Bogdana Butnar at Karmarama have all influenced and inspired me and made me love my job that little bit more by working with them.


Q> If you could work on any brand or campaign what would it be and why?

Tom> I’ve learned that in reality it’s not really about the brand, but the type of work. I’ve been dazzled in the past by some amazing brands and unfortunately this doesn’t always correspond with the opportunities to do the best work.


Q> When it comes to your career what’s the one piece of advice you would go back and give your younger self if you were able to do so?

Tom> Follow your gut!

A big thank you to Tom for taking part and sharing his experience and advice. We couldn't agree more about the importance of following your gut - sometimes it's hard to listen to what it is telling you through all of the noise that daily life throws our way. How often do you look back on something and know deep down that you knew you should have made a different choice? Learning to trust your instinct and understand what your experience is telling you is always the key to the best and most positive outcome and that certainly applies to our work and careers as well as daily life!

Look out for our next interview coming very soon. If you would like to nominate a member of the industry who inspires you to take part in this series, tweet us @TeamDanielMarks and we will be in touch!

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Genres: People

Daniel Marks, Wed, 11 Mar 2020 17:50:31 GMT