“Pietrasanta…where’s that?”

Is my Mum’s baffled response when I tell her about my new job.

“Digital Marketing….so, like, advertising?”

“Well, kind of. Not really. It’s more the mechanics behind how companies advertise online.”

“So, you’re some kind of engineer?”

Eventually we agree that I work somewhere in Italy, doing something with the internet. I hang up exasperated, but really I have about as little an idea of what I’m getting into as she does.

I joined Booster Box in March 2018. I had no digital marketing experience, but wanted an engaging career in a fun company, where I might find a career-niche. I had just endured an unhappy stint in London, and jumped at the chance to live in Italy.

Booster Box is here. Yup, there.

Admittedly, the office is in an unusual place. Pietrasanta is a coastal town in Tuscany, though most of us live in either Pisa or Lucca and carpool in together. It’s a tourist hotspot, famous for its beautiful beach and local marble (it is apparently where Michelangelo chose his stone for David). A highlight of my first few weeks was one afternoon when we all went to Viareggio, a nearby seaside town, to try our luck at an escape room (we failed miserably), followed by beer and gelato in the sun – it felt a million miles from grey, corporate London.

As the company is a start up, everyone is trusted with huge responsibility from the beginning. I was put in the UK team, managing the UK Google AdWords projects, and I was working on my first account within the first week.

This was a different staff drinks, but you get the picture.

My first couple of days were a baptism of fire. My fellow newbies and I were introduced to the many new tools we would need to grapple with: AdWords, Analytics, Python, Supermetrics, AdWords Editor, Javascript, etc. We were taught how to manage accounts and clients, began to decipher the language of acronyms, and learned how elements of our work could be automated.

By the end of my first week I felt like someone had just handed me an Ikea flatpack without the instructions. I could identify that this piece was a door and this piece was a shelf, but how they fitted together I had no idea. Nevertheless I got stuck in, and found that the more I did, the more the pieces started to slot into place.

As I became more comfortable with the day-to-day tasks of running accounts, I realised that this was only a tiny part of my new role. Our real objective at Booster Box is to break the rules. “Challenge best practices” became an instruction I heard more and more often, and I began to learn the Booster Box way of doing things. Our real job here is not running AdWords accounts – anyone can teach you to do that – but building tools to defy the limits and push the boundaries of digital marketing.

Our small cohort of Noosters

People might not associate digital marketing with creativity, but actually it’s a crucial element of what we do. You need to develop a deep understanding of the minds and behaviours of consumers and put yourself in their shoes, you need to be able to interpret data and use it in savvy ways, and you must always be thinking a step ahead of advertising platforms.

It’s been an exciting and exhausting month, but what has made it truly brilliant has been working with this wonderful team of people. Everyone cares deeply about the company, and I find inspiration and encouragement wherever I look. Each person has their individual passions and quirks: hats and hiking, coffee and bikes, hip hop and poetry, but everyone shares a certain spark. It’s hard to put my finger on what it is exactly, but it’s a magical mixture of intelligence, curiosity, bravery, kindness and rebellion. On with the adventure..