Sophie Light-Wilkinson, SVP of marketing, Bitmovin
Talk us through an average day in your role.
I have a young son, so I begin my day with him. The time I have with him before starting work is golden; we have breakfast and read or play games together, and it’s my favourite part of the day.
The first thing I do when I sit down in my office is journal. I write down my top priorities and what I want to achieve that day. It’s almost a meditative process that clears my head and helps me focus. I find this a good way to context shift from mama to work. I oversee multiple projects, including digital transformation, lead generation, brand messaging, and website rebuilds, so a typical day involves checking in with each of those teams. I have 1-1s with Bitmovin’s leadership team during which we discuss company strategy and goals, how are we on track to achieving those goals and how do we overcome potential blockers. I also have various check-ins with the marketing team and usually need to respond to multiple slack messages! When I am not in meetings, I am super focused on working through my list of priorities. Juggling a lot at work and at home, I need to ensure I am making the time to work out during the day. This gives me time to myself to clear my head refocus and step away from the various screens we are looking at all-day.
I wrap up my working day by reviewing my list of priorities, where I had intended to focus my time, and reviewing achievements of the day and priorities for tomorrow. I also take time to think about the highlights of my day and where there is room for improvement. Then I spend time with my son, and relax with my husband for the rest of the evening.
How did you get started in the media industry?
I joined the media industry a year ago when I joined Bitmovin. At the time, I had just returned to work from maternity leave, and I was looking for a new challenge. I was put in contact with Stefan, Bitmovin’s CEO and co-founder. When we spoke, I loved his energy and how he talked about the company and its trajectory. I joined Bitmovin because I believed my experience could help the company during its next period of growth, and I could offer a new and different perspective on how to approach B2B marketing.
What training did you have before entering the industry?
I have a history degree but no formal marketing qualifications. I don’t place too much emphasis on marketing qualifications when hiring, even though they can be helpful because experience is usually my deciding factor.
Why do you enjoy working in the industry?
The pace of innovation in the media technology industry is hugely exciting, especially from a marketing perspective. Having monthly product announcements is a real luxury because it’s not that common in other industries.
We may not be saving lives, but we are doing something that matters and improves people’s day-to-day lives. Despite the massive growth in video streaming during the pandemic, consumers still don’t have content fatigue. There’s still an insatiable demand for video content, which has made Quality of Experience non-negotiable. It keeps media companies on their toes, always looking for ways to improve their service.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to explore a similar role to yours?
Don’t get too hung up on which industry you work in; instead, focus on the work you’ll be doing and the team. I started out doing B2C marketing because I thought it would be much more exciting and creative than B2B, but I discovered there’s a lot of red tape in B2C (for a good reason!), which makes it more challenging to do bold, creative ideas. B2B is quite refreshing because you have more freedom with campaigns.
I also think, especially for underrepresented groups in B2B tech, that it’s essential to believe in yourself and the benefits you can bring to a business. Don’t underestimate yourself! Last but not least, definitely try and find a mentor if you can. It doesn’t have to be someone in your company, but it’s great to have someone to learn from and bounce ideas off.