As an experienced influencer marketing and social media expert, specialised in devising creative campaigns for luxury brands, Rachel Clay has a unique viewpoint on this fast-paced industry. Having started her career in 2010, working in PR for the Richemont Group, where her role involved advising the 22 luxury brands within the world’s second-biggest luxury group on the importance of social media marketing, she went on to specialise in influencer marketing and has run campaigns for many leading global brands including Cartier, Omega, Michael Kors, Smashbox and The Rug Company.
“I was really lucky to be given the opportunity to specialise in influencer marketing several years ago, when the industry was still in its infancy, as it’s given me a level of experience and knowledge that means we avoid many of the pitfalls that are so commonly associated with the practice today,” she commented.
Clay joined Matter Of Form, a digital branding and innovation agency specialising in working with luxury brands, 18 months ago to establish and build out a dedicated influencer marketing and social media offering. As head of the division, her role is to ensure the growth of the department, manage client relationships and develop the strategic proposition.
6.30am: I attempt to wake up but more likely will hit snooze a couple of times before actually managing to. Then I have a terrible habit of scrolling through Instagram and LinkedIn whilst still in bed, so I’ll then get ready and leave for work around 8am. I’m really lucky that I can walk into the office – it’s a 45-minute walk but it’s a great way to start the day. Today, however, we’re hosting the next in our series of Retail Trends breakfasts at The Wolseley, Piccadilly, so I jump on the tube to Green Park and arrive early to help set up.
8:30am: Guests start arriving for breakfast so I chat with clients and contacts from Chanel, Alex Monroe, GAP, and others. As an e-commerce agency we have a partnership with Shopify so I talk with a couple of their representatives about the changing e-commerce landscape, and moves Instagram are increasingly making towards shopping. As an innovation agency, we try to always be ahead of trends and have been educating our clients since I joined that they have to consider that their Instagram profile is now their new website (i.e. commonly the first touchpoint between a consumer and a brand).
9.30am: As the breakfast started I made my excuses and jumped into an Uber to a new business meeting in Marylebone. A client of the wider agency, whom we aren’t currently providing any Social or Influencer services too is interested in understanding how we can use Instagram to source videographers & photographers for an internal content project they need help with – this is a new initiative we’re working on in partnership with our in-house production company so it’s a really timely meeting and we come up with a few suggestions the client is happy with.
11.30am: I’m back in the office and trying to catch-up on this morning’s emails before my second new business meeting of the day; with a designer furniture brand who saw our first campaign for The Rug Company, working with interior designers and fashion idols, and who are interested in understanding how we might be able to support them too.
1.30pm: The BBC arrive at our office to host a Lunch & Learn session around the UX design of their latest Alexa Skill – we’re really lucky that Matter Of Form really values the importance of education and provides a rich, varied and frequent schedule of Lunch & Learns, always from great partners. Topics range across the agency’s services, from UX to SEO, branding to content. which keep it super interesting and I especially love learning more around voice as I personally think this will be the next medium for marketers to crack, so it’s really interesting to think about where influencers might sit within that space and who they might be etc.
3pm: I catch up with our chief of staff as the division is growing so quickly we’re actively recruiting, so we discuss a new potential structure, possible changes to job roles, budgets etc.
4pm: I go for coffee with a talent manager who represents a great roster of unique influencer talent – illustrators, poets, and ballet dancers, etc. – all really interesting profiles for our client base so we discuss potential collaboration opportunities and he updates me on his latest signings.
5pm: We have a new campaign launching tonight for one of our beauty clients so I rush back to the office to make sure all is in order – thankfully it seems to be and the content from all of the influencers looks great!
6pm: I catch up on more emails – I’ve always had this thing about clearing my inbox every day so I try to make sure it’s empty before leaving the office. I also love a list so I write out everything I have to do the next day and then leave the office and walk home.
7pm: I arrive home (likely having stopped off at the supermarket to pick up something that’s not on my diet) and keep an eye on my phone for our latest campaign content to go live whilst eating dinner.