Mark McAulay ran a workshop for students

In semester one we were visited by Mark McAulay, Creative Director at Mearns & Gill. He was excited to tell us about his career in digital, as well as giving us some real world client scenarios to work through…. Before I fired him!!

Mark talked us through his various experiences in digital design, from a position of a web designer, through developer, running his own agency, to his current position as Creative Director of Mearns & Gill.

After lunch we worked in groups and Mark played the role of a ‘difficult’ client, scenarios that he had taken from his experiences, such as clients receiving bad advice from family friends and trying to implement it in a digital strategy, as well as clients with seemingly unchangeable design opinions that are not practical to the user experience.

The objective of the challenges was to analyse the problem that we had been set and using various tools and techniques try and offer a creative solution that would best meet the clients needs whilst improving the quality of the final outcome.

We also had the opportunity to ‘Fire’ the client, Mark explained that sometimes that we simply can’t help people and its better to cut ties than wasting time, money and resources when we aren’t the people that can help them.

The teams did well overall, with one team in particular standing out. The Digital Scot’s UX and Content team leader Gabriella, Multimedia Developer Edwin, Analytics Manager Lukas and Email Manager Neil, managed to resolve a problem with a client with strong opinions on design, who was not willing to take on the design teams advice. Our students suggested a resolution to the problem which was exactly the same as Mark had suggested when the problem occurred.

That being said my team didn’t have the best day. In a problem we were set, we, or should I say I, chose to ‘fire’ mark, when we couldn’t find a solution to a problem that involved a client insisting on listening to their nephew who they had employed in a SEO position over the advice of Mark.  The actual solution was that they worked with the client’s nephew and created a solution that everyone was happy with.

Everyone on the course found Marks visit to be very helpful to our Digital Marketing career. Mark is very engaging, informative and interesting and he gave us a fantastic insight into real world scenarios, instead of the academic studies that we do on a day-to-day basis.

You can check out Mark’s view of the day here on the Mearns & Gill blog.