Ellis Brant '14

Marketing Executive at giffgaff gameplan

Course studied:
BSc Business and Marketing Management

Ellis speaks about his time at giffgaff gameplan, how he got to where he his today and learning from great philosophers. Thank you to giffgaff gameplan for sharing his profile with us.

Ellis Brant

Explain your current role

I work as a marketing executive for the gameplan team, developing and implementing our marketing strategy across a variety of channels and platforms. Essentially, I work on what you as a consumer would see, ensuring that all communications that come from giffgaff gameplan are on brand and fit within our overarching story.

Give us a typical day in your role

Our days are quite varied, as there are a lot of moving parts in launching a new service like giffgaff gameplan. It's essential to be flexible and handle multiple projects at once. Recently we've been working towards launching our beta, so we're planning out comms journeys and conducting market research to better inform user experience decisions as we develop the platform.

How has your career developed to get you to where you are today?

It hasn't been a straightforward path. Immediately after graduation I was selected to attend the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) summer school programme, which helped get me my first job at a marketing agency in London. There I picked up great project management skills, working with a variety of clients across multiple accounts.
I then went on to work client side in fashion and banking, before becoming a full-time photographer for a while. The diverse range of industries I've worked in has helped me hit the ground running in my current role, allowing me to draw on a wealth of experience and recognise commonalities across industries.

What challenges have you overcome?

The biggest challenge I've had to overcome is understanding exactly which parts of marketing I enjoy the most and have the biggest impact in. While studying, you get a holistic view of marketing but the practicalities of a marketing role can be quite different. I'm now clear on where my skills are best utilised and where I can have the greatest positive impact.

The way you perceive the world and approach problems will always affect how successful you can be.

How was your experience at Oxford Brookes – how have these experiences helped you in your working life?

I had a great time at Brookes - especially going on exchange. Living abroad and having to quickly adapt to a different language and culture was at times a daunting but rewarding experience. While abroad, one of the most relevant skills I learned was how to effectively communicate complex ideas and bring these to life with a multilingual and multicultural team. As a marketer, excellent communication skills are essential and being able to distil an idea to its essence is something that happens almost daily.

Do you have any revision tips?

Try to distil everything into its simplest form. If you can get away with one word being the trigger for a whole sentence or concept, you'll be in a good place.

What are you career highlights to date?

Developing a fully automated and personalised email programme was a tough, but great experience. Also, redefining and rebranding a relatively corporate brand to focus on the human element was interesting - you quickly learn, no matter what the service, you're still speaking to people.

Where have you taken your advice and inspiration from?

I tend to read and learn from great philosophers. From Confucius to Camus, the way you perceive the world and approach problems will always affect how successful you can be.

Do you have any advice for others?

Always try to offer a solution. Even if it's not the one you end up going with, it's better to have thought about the problem, rather than to wait for someone else to solve it for you.

Read about Ellis's giffgaff gameplan colleague and fellow Brookes alumnus, Steve James '94