A day in the life: advertising operations manager David Bickley

David Bickley is the Advertising Operations Manager for Tindle, responsible for the delivery of print and digital advertising campaigns for customers from our Newton Abbot office. 

Having joined the company as an apprentice, he talks about the appeal of providing trusted services to local readers and customers in a friendly environment. 

What are the main responsibilities in your role?

I oversee the management, optimisation, reporting and delivery of digital advertising campaigns across the Tindle website network. I am responsible for the production and ad ops side of the business. I help with regular training for colleagues in advertising and ad ops.

We look for new digital products to help clients with online marketing, particularly those which are automated for greater efficiency. We create adverts for the campaigns in print and digital which are booked by customers. Our team of six covers the Tindle portfolio.

What other roles have you had with the company?

I joined in April 2013 initially on a customer service apprenticeship in the administration and sales department. I had left school the previous year and did work experience with the company in what was planned as being a gap year. In 2014 my role became property editor and planning for the Mid Devon Advertiser, followed by becoming digital and print production operator a year later. In 2019 I became Advertising Operations Manager for the company. 

What was the appeal of joining the company?

I have always lived in Newton Abbot and had wanted to gain media experience. It was great to be able to work in the area where I had grown up, having read the paper before I joined. I had not thought it was possible to join such a company without having been to university. I was very proud to be offered a role and have been here ever since.

I am still in my twenties but I have been able to grow my career throughout this time. My apprenticeship was one day a week of formal learning and the rest was being trained on the job. I would recommend an apprenticeship to people who have an idea of what they want to do and want to have a go at it first. I originally intended on developing my interest in sports journalism, but working alongside the newsroom gave me the realisation that occasionally writing as a hobby was not something I would want to do intensively on a daily basis.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

There are always multiple things going on. We oversee advertising campaigns, which are the placement of adverts to an agreed budget or length of time. Some campaigns run for a week, while others run for months.

Each week we produce around 600 print ads and 200 digital campaigns, which is continuing to grow. The digital side of the business is setting new high levels each month.

If a campaign is not performing as well as expected we can step in to adjust it where possible. I speak to the sales teams and colleagues in our department throughout the day in order to design and plan adverts. It is a team effort so we are there to help explain products to sales colleagues looking to engage clients and we help new people as they come on board in the business.

How does your work fit into the wider business?

Everything I do is for the wider business. The production ad ops team is there for the entire business. It is great to see the company growing its digital influence and to be part of the team increasing the digital ad impact by helping support the growth of the business.

What do you enjoy about working for Tindle?

Over the years I have worked in three departments which has given me an overview of the business. I have the benefit of knowing how the sales teams works because I have been part of it. I know how editorial works and how the production team operates. I have enjoyed working with lots of people which has made the job enjoyable.

How do you use digital in your role?

Around 95 per cent of my time is spent on digital. I have learned a lot of software, which has allowed me to experiment with new ways of working. We have developed our use of the Adobe Suite and other products used for print in producing animated ads. We publish on to our jobs board New Job Today which has required new skills.

What are your interests outside of work?

I like to travel and have planned a lot of places to visit, ticking them off as I go. I like football and golf. I support Dagenham & Redbridge in the National League, going to around 15 games a season with a really good group of people.

What would you say to someone considering working for Tindle?

Tindle is keeping pace with how the media is changing. In all my term working here I have never experienced hostility as everyone gets on well. I have met all kinds of people as clients and readers. Unlike some competitors we are keeping our business local as much as possible. People want to see a local presence which is what you get from us and that is really important.

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