Jane Asscher works at 23red, a creative agency specialising in behaviour change.
We caught up with her to find out what motivates her and what skills she needs in the role.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I am Founding Partner and CEO at behavioural change agency, 23red. It’s a busy and exciting role – I have responsibility for running the agency as well as being a trusted adviser to my clients.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
We have an open plan office which means I sit firmly in the thick of it. No matter our job title, I am a huge believer in having an open-door policy to encourage a learning culture.
We are an independent business but I am accountable to my fellow shareholders and directors – and of course, my clients and staff.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Listening and communicating (and reading people’s minds!). Building relationships with everyone is really important and that includes clients, staff, suppliers, partners and the wider business and local community. My job requires relentless optimism (balanced with an appreciation of risk!).
Tell us about a typical working day…
Every day is different which is one of the things I love about my job. Today for example, I met with Investors in People; we have Gold accreditation but you can never rest on your laurels! We discussed the progress we have made over the last year around how we lead, live the organisations values, empower our people and build capability. I then prepared for a meeting with a new business prospect about water efficiency followed by a meeting with our Head of Finance to review the year end accounts. I then prepared notes for this article!
What do you love about your job?
I love what we do; changing behaviour for the better improves and saves lives. I love the people I work with; they are part of my family.
Sometimes I feel swamped and frustrated by the fact that urgent short-term issues get in the way of focussing on the longer term strategic goals. Being a small, owner-manager business, that goes with the turf!
What kind of goals do you have? I have an ambition for the business; to use creativity to change behaviour for the better with more clients, more often and more effectively. And I have personal goals outside of the business. I would like to play more tennis, become a JP focusing on youth justice and study for a master’s in philosophy (but I need to free up some time first!)
What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Client and staff satisfaction (and of course revenue and profit).
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
My trusted black and red notebook. My handwriting is appalling (the product of two doctors) but going back over and decoding my notes helps me to organise and prioritise my thoughts and time.
How did you end up founding 23red, and where might you go from here?
Sean and I were CEO and Creative Director of a large group agency. We wanted to do it for ourselves, focus on creating future-proof brands and recognising and rewarding entrepreneurial talent.
Which campaigns/organisations have impressed you lately?
Am I allowed to say one of our campaigns? I am most proud of the NHSBT campaign for Blood Donation that we have delivered in partnership with Clear Channel. We have used technology, data and behavioural science to drive registrations and donations.
What advice would you give a marketer just starting out?
Be curious. You really need to be highly interested in what makes people tick. You don’t create marketing ideas in a vacuum. They are the product of talented individuals armed with great consumer insight and creative stimulus sparking off each other.