Sarah Cole – Account Management & Production

Technical background with excellent design knowledge and client management skills.

sarahcole

I am an experienced Account Manager and Senior Producer who excels at communicating ideas clearly. I am a natural networker and engage effortlessly in knowledge sharing whether it is in the form of a client-engaged pitch or informal brainstorming sessions.

Balancing technical understanding with clear communication is a passion of mine. My broad experience in production allows me full life cycle knowledge of projects. This places me in a unique position to work instinctively with everyone from on the ground teams, management and ultimately clients.

I believe that business is ultimately about rapport. This is best achieved when relationships are founded in transparency, accountability and technical understanding communicated clearly. In my experience working both client-side and agency; collaboration, whilst not always easy is the key to positive outcomes.

I have worked as a freelancer, within digital agencies and client side with well-loved brands. I feel I have a fresh perspective on relationship management that I would love to share.

Specialties: Account Management

Client engagement, Proposal writing, Pitching, Workshops, Presentations, Agile project methodology, Client education and management

Specialties: Production

Functional specification, UX architecture, Business analysis, Requirements Documentation, Technical leadership, Team leadership

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Experience

8 years agency + 2 years client side for good measure

My experience in the last 10 years has covered all aspects of the digital production cycle from my beginnings of cutting code, web design then evolving into production, account management and to my last incarnation as a business analyst for Movember.

I have had the good fortune to work as a freelancer, within small and large digital agencies and finally client side where I garnered the ultimate experience of working on the other side of the fence. This has allowed me great perspective in regards to client-supplier relationships, leading technical teams and client management.


Business Analyst ~ Movember

Melbourne
Working with development and design suppliers within an Agile project methodology to deliver the annual Movember campaign within the digital space. Covering desktop, app and mobile web implementations the projects required detailed UX architecture, depth of technical understanding of infrastructure, documentation & acceptance criteria definition.


Senior Account Manager / Producer ~ Deepend

Melbourne
As the senior Account Manager and Producer at Deepend Melbourne I had the great fortune of being an integral part of the growth of a burgeoning company. My responsibilities were wide ranging from new business to project delivery and technical team leadership. The experience from such an eclectic position has proven to be invaluable. Playing a crucial role in projects that spanned the arts, not for profit and luxury brand sectors I have had insight into the inner workings of great brands and been a strong contributor to their project deliverables.

Account manager / Producer

Melbourne : Freelance
With my background in design and development I began to freelance and consult to small to medium sized digital agencies within an account management and production capacity. Such diverse exposure gave me great insight to the full production life cycle. Writing functional specifications, presenting to clients and managing general production overheads I worked at the following agencies.Igloo digital
Marilyn and Sons
SAE creative
Guns 4 Hire
Square Circle Triangle
Evolution 7

Web Developer & Designer

Brisbane
Starting my career in digital I became a self taught web designer and front end coder. Working for design agencies in Brisbane I worked from humble beginning as a junior designer to a prolific front-end dev. My experience was gained from positions at the following design and development agencies.
Web Developer SAE Creative
2006 – 2007
Web Designer Brave Creative
2005 – 2006
Web Designer Rowland Creative
2004 – 2005

Skills

Account Management

The experience of working client side has given me a fresh perspective on understanding client needs as well as the technical understanding to clearly communicate objectives, present ideas, gather requirements and manage key stake holder expectations. I have a new found appreciation of common client frustrations such as scope delineation, creative direction and timeline management. This allows me a greater empathy and a means to mitigate problems with the solutions of looking at the situation from the other side, whilst maintaining focus on budgets and the integrity of the project.

Production

I love being a part of each element of the production cycle, from new business pitching to creative concept, implementation, development and launch. I have worked closely with tech leads, development teams and a diverse set of creatives from talented illustrators, street artists to the creative director of Mona. My production skill sets is as diverse with a solid background in UX, focus group testing, Optimizely multivariate tests, budgeting, project management, functional specification and design presentation.

Agile Project Methodology

My role at Movember required working within a dynamic agile framework, integrated with our supplier relationships and internal business analysis. The workflow included integration with Atlassian jira, writing test cases and acceptance criteria using Gherkin script for automated testing processes. Each project deliverable was encased in 2 weekly sprints with regular poker planning sessions, stand-ups and retrospectives. The project however was time-boxed with budget limitations however all other processes were based distinctly on agile theory.

Workshops & Pitching

During my time at Deepend I was fortunate enough to present to potential clients creative concepts to brief. We were successful in winning work in the Arts, Legal, Not for profit and the Luxury brands sector. I really enjoyed the process of pitching and winning work, whilst at times nerve wracking it was very gratifying when hard work was successfully recognised (not always). Often upon success of a pitch we would hold workshops with our clients as an interactive requirements gathering exercise. Working with the key stakeholders of each project we would use the workshops to really get to the core of the key deliverables, priority areas, key performance indicators and their internal benchmarks for return on investment.

Technical & Proposal writing

I have extensive experience writing large documentation such as proposals or an overview of work. I believe in compelling, clear writing that gets to the point. My background in creative and feature writing means that I can compose documents that are readable and showcase the creative concept. My technical writing skills range from functionality specification to testable acceptance criteria and referenced UX prototyping.

Client communication & involvement

It has been my experience that the deeper the involvement of a client in a project, the less likelihood of conflict of outcomes. Within my account management experience it has been one of my core skills to involve clients with requirements gathering, inclusion in the creative process and communicating development delivery that has allowed for positive client involvement in a project. I believe the greater the transparency between project and client the better the end result.

Business Analysis

My experience as a business analyst at Movember really opened my eyes to a depth of detail and process. Working with a multinational organisation answering to key business stakeholders and representing the business in the digital platforms was integral to my KPIs. Understanding complex technical infrastructure and documenting business rules covering registration, membership, login, and donation workflows as well as tiered websites and translation implications. With the digital platform spanning 21 countries and 10 languages and the e-commerce requirement handling 145 million per annum the complexity of the rules required sound documentation, communication and consistent review, particularly in context of a rolling agile framework.

User experience

Working mainly with prototyping frameworks such as Axure and cloud based UXpin I have worked with wider business leaders and usability experts to create site wide information architecture. I enjoy working closely with creatives pushing the boundaries of what is possible where design meets usability and digital functionality. I am particularly interested in the move towards responsive design and development theory blending fluid design and device based breakpoints. Whilst working at Movember I had excellent exposure to Optimizely a multivariate testing tool which really opened my eyes to the potential of great user design to drive revenue, particularly in regards to design treatment of key funnels.

Education & Training

Certificate IV Training & Assessment

A qualification required for participation in any formal training institutions. The certification covered valuable subject material such as delivery of group based learning, creation & delivery of training packages, mentoring and facilitation of learning in the workplace.

Certificate IV Small business management

An amazing insight into the practicalities of running a small business from understanding tax implications, profit and loss statements, business planning, marketing strategies, staffing overheads, legal and risk management.

Advanced Google Analytics

Insightful course covering advanced analytics delving into custom implementations, event tracking, recently launched GA demographic reports, changes with Universal Analytics (Beta), Funnel visualisation and knowledge of GA limitations.

Technical and Feature writing

Foundational course in writing technical documents blended with the engagement of feature writing. Particularly relevant to composing concise yet interesting proposal documents that actually get read.

SEO post Panda and Penguin

Covering the rather revolutionary changes that Google has implement to search engine algorithms, SEO no longer as we know it. The direct correlation between the positive search impact of good usability and how traditional (white hat) SEO methods may now negatively impact search results.

Undergraduate Degree Politics and Economics

Undergraduate degree focusing on South East Asian political systems, international business and Australia’s economic position in the region. Including an exchange with Wǔhàn Dàxué University, mainland China.

Nice things…

AdamGarone

Sarah has great ability to build rapport and communication with stakeholders, excelling at making all groups feel heard but ultimately avoiding decisions by committee. She played a key role in determining the best way to weave in the creative elements of the Movember campaign with a detailed yet pragmatic approach. I highly recommend Sarah, Movember is sad to lose her but proud that she will take even greater knowledge into her next role because of her time here.
Adam Garone ~ Movember CEO and co-founder

Luc Houselander

Working with Sarah on Movember ’12 and ’13 campaigns I was always struck by her passion and knowledge for digital. She’s creative, not just in terms of design, but also in how she approaches problems. Easy going, fun and great to work with.
Luc Houselander ~ IE Media

Contact me!

rushcutters

Sarah Cole
Cnr Waratah St & Bayswater Rd
Rushcutters Bay

0423 961 559

post@sarahcole.com.au