Spotlight on Isoline: Maisie Gullifer and Rafaela Martins

What do you think of when you say “content marketing agency”? You might think of copywriters or designers, but today we wanted to put the spotlight on the unsung heroes of agencies. At Isoline Communications, they’re called Maisie Gullifer and Rafaela Martins and they make campaign magic happen.

While Maisie and Rafaela have different job titles, we think they have much more in common than not: they’re the heartbeat of the agency, making sure deadlines are met and creatively solving any obstacle that might get in the way of that goal. 

So we thought it’d be a great idea for them to interview each other in order to give you some insights into their roles.

Introduction

Maisie: Hi, I’m Maisie, I’m the Creative Services Manager at Isoline Communications. My role involves ensuring that all of the design resources for the team are booked, all of the client work is delivered on time, and just managing the overall resourcing of the team. 

Before this, I worked at a creative agency for B2C advertising, and then prior to that, most of my experience has been in delivering broadcast promos, so anything that’s going to be on the channel that month, that week. 

Rafaela: Hello everyone, I’m Rafaela, the campaign coordinator at Isoline. I focus on keeping everything in check behind the scenes, ensuring deadlines are met and no information slips through the gaps. Basically, it’s what Maisie does but for a specific client. 

My background is a little bit different in that I had no marketing experience before Isoline. I earned a degree in journalism and communication, and then worked in hospitality and retail. 

M: What made you want to move from hospitality to marketing, and did you find any of your skills transferable?

R: I stumbled on the hospitality scene while I was studying journalism and communication at university. I worked as front of house for a very famous British restaurant chain that serves Asian food. I discovered that I had a special talent for customer care, listening, staying cool under pressure, and teamwork. I quickly learned to treat the kitchen and the floor work as one, and that’s something I’ve transferred to Isoline. I’ve noticed that I treat my designers as I used to treat my chefs!

What differences did you notice Maisie, moving from B2C to B2B marketing?

M: When I first started, the big learning curve for me was getting used to high volume and the fact that things take a lot less time. So I think I initially came in thinking right okay I’m going to make sure that we stick to our timings and I realised that they were just completely different to what I was used to. 

So for example, when I worked for broadcasters before they’d have an annual plan because the airtime is their own to fill, they’d know which shows would be coming back every year and so forth.  Whereas in creative agencies, like Isoline and my previous agency, they pitch and win work so the work coming in isn’t as predictable.

I’ve had to learn to be more reactive with how I plan my work. It’s been a really useful learning experience.

Skills beyond work

M: Rafaela, are you as organised outside of work as I know you are inside of work?

R: That’s actually a very funny question because I’m pretty organised in my personal life too. Life has thrown some challenges my way so I’ve learned to always have a plan A, B, and Z just in case. 

But of course, not everyone follows my plan so if others want to be spontaneous, I adapt and follow my plan differently.

For you, Maisie, what’s an expected or even quirky skill you’ve developed in your work that has had an influence on your personal life? 

M: So I think my role has a lot to do with building relationships with people and making sure that I’m the main point of contact with the design team. So I speak to a lot of people every day and I think that comes in really handy outside of work as well. 

I think I’m naturally a fairly chatty person so if ever I’m in a situation outside of work, if I’m meeting people for the first time or if I’m somewhere where I don’t know that many people I’m quite good at just chatting away at anyone about anything really so that’s come in really handy on both sides. 

R: You always bring a topic. 

M: Yes, I try to.

Favourite aspects of working at a B2B content marketing agency

M: Rafaela what is the favourite thing about your job? 

R: Well there are obviously a lot of challenges, including the challenge of coming to marketing without having prior knowledge. Although I have a plan, I love my challenges. Every day, I believe there’s always something new, and that’s something really exciting that I love about this job. 

For you Maisie. A funny question. If you had to compare your role at the moment to a circus act, which one would it be and why? 

M: I think it’s going to have to be a cross between a juggler and maybe a tightrope walker. Because we have a lot of different clients and briefs that come in. So juggling all of the briefs, making sure that everyone’s happy with the work that we’re creating and delivering work on time is definitely a balancing act. I need to address everyone’s requests while making sure the design team’s workload stays manageable.

Career advice and personal growth

M: Rafaela, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into marketing? 

R: Obviously I can only speak from my personal experience so my first advice would be to jump in with both feet. Soak up all the knowledge, stay open minded, learn from everyone that you can possibly learn from. 

But I also have in mind two things to say: firstly, everyone has something to bring to the table and secondly, trust yourself. I used to doubt myself which is why I didn’t jump into marketing sooner. I kept thinking there is always someone better than me, and there is, but I also bring something to the table. So trust yourself, trust that you bring something to the table, and rock on.

M: It’s tricky to, like you said, take that leap of faith and trust yourself. I think everyone gets a lot of imposter syndrome.

R: All the time and it doesn’t disappear just because you’ve got your dream role. I was comfortable working in a restaurant, I had my position, I had my team, I knew the work inside out, I knew the clients, I grew some relationships that I didn’t want to detach myself from. But then I had to think about what my dream was, did I want to continue with this life? I still love hospitality, don’t get me wrong, but I also wanted to do something with the degree that I studied hard for. So that’s when I decided: it’s time.

The Olympics of creative services at Isoline

R: So Maisie, you told me you were part of the London 2022 Olympics. Tell me a little bit about it. 

M: So just to be clear, I wasn’t in the Olympics. It was very much a media role. I wasn’t down there lifting the weights myself! I did a TV production degree at University and the Olympic news channel was essentially touring some of the different universities across the UK that specialised in TV production. They were looking for students to support with the coverage and luckily my university was picked and, after an interview, so was I. 

My event was weightlifting, I was an electronic news gathering assistant and I was paired up with a journalist and a camera op and my job was to essentially log the interviews with the medallists. 

We recorded the winners and I had to record the stop and start times on an iPad to sync up the rough footage together. There were official editors that finessed everything down the line.

R: So you were streamlining already. Do you have any funny stories about it? 

M: My dad managed to find the channel that the weightlifting was on. It was a really obscure Sky channel I think at the time and they were filming the set up in between people lifting. He could see me in the press box and kept trying to ring me to turn around and wave!

R: So if you were to organise an Olympics of Creative Service at Isoline. What would be the main event and which department would get the gold medal in creativity? 

M: I definitely think the accounts team would be an amazing relay team because they’re constantly going between the clients and the design team and the copy team to relay information backwards and forwards and feedback. So they are a really, really strong team in that regard. So they would win all of those relay races if they were.

R: And the gold medal?

M: For creativity it has to be the design team, I’m really biased, but they’re just amazing. 

R: I can confirm that, I would give them gold as well. 

What’s next?

Thank you to Maisie and Rafaela for taking the time to share their experience transitioning to the world of tech B2B content marketing. As their discussion highlights, linear career paths are not always the norm, and it’s never too late to make a career transition if you have the appetite for it.

If you want to find out more about working at Isoline, don’t hesitate to reach out at hello@isolinecomms.com.

Want to explore more content in this format? Read this recent joint interview between our Senior Creative Services Manager Gia Mussini and Senior Designer Natalie Marshall on whether AI is a design friend or foe