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A Week in My Life: Natalie Downie, Managing Director of Forward And Thinking


Forward And Thinking is a Yorkshire media buying and digital agency in Market Weighton.

Managing Director, Natalie Downie, takes us through her working week…



Monday starts bright and early, as it’s usually the most manic day of the week. To collect my thoughts, I take out our labrador Bruce for an early walk and then head to our office just before rush hour starts. 

After going through my emails, it’s time for Forward And Thinking’s Monday morning meeting. Sales, planning, digital and marketing share their successes from the previous week and giving an outlook of things ahead. 

Highlights from the teams include a recent campaign in which we produced a higher education video that has been used across multiple platforms from VOD to cinema which has achieved fantastic engagement. They also share the amazing CTR results from an international PPC campaign for another education client live in 14 countries.

We have so much expert knowledge in-house on all things advertising, outdoor and digital, so we have a brief knowledge share each week. Fiona, our media planner, highlights the new Churchill campaign using CGI. We discuss the need for companies to be innovative and create an emotional bond with their customers to enhance their brand.

Next up a sales meeting with the business development managers – giving us the opportunity to discuss campaigns, pitches, and performance. This is great to ensure we are setting clear goals for the week ahead. 

The afternoon is spent checking all the departments are ok and what the workloads are looking like. 

Our offices are in an open plan converted chapel and we have a real buzz as all our account managers are in who are out on the road during the week meeting clients. 


Forward And Thinking is part of a holding company, specialising in data and software businesses. I have a board meeting in the early morning sharing monthly updates, performance and strategy developments with the other MDs and our CEOs. 

I then work from home diving into strategy and planning: forecasting where we are now and where we want to be in the next quarter. We are growing at a rapid rate which is fantastic. 

I have a mid-afternoon train to London as I am attending an early conference tomorrow morning. On the train, I am catching up on emails, check-in with clients and speaking with my planners and digital team.  

I arrive in time to settle into the hotel and respond to any of my clients – as it’s the early evening already, I take my laptop to the hotel bar and order a well-deserved drink. I then go out for dinner and drinks with friends who also work in the advertising industry – lots to catch up on work and non-work related! 


I am attending a central London conference, meeting other advertising and marketing practitioners discussing trends in Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising and brand assets.

Forward And Thinking is a media buying and digital agency. We specialise in OOH and digital advertising. Sharing and hearing from other agencies and suppliers how media buying habits have changed over the last twelve months, helps us optimising our approach to get the best results for our clients. 

Afterwards, I am tottering my way through London in heels and suitcase in hand heading for Global’s offices, one of our key suppliers. We discuss products and have a tour of the studios. 


Client meeting first thing in the morning – an exciting new brief. We’re taking in all details that mean we can plan the best-integrated media plan from digital to TV campaigns. 

Then focus on my existing client accounts, checking in, working on any new campaigns with the teams. Meeting with my Digital Manager for an up and coming new client pitch – a great way to throw around ideas. 

In the afternoon, I have interviews scheduled for new roles across the departments. We are growing fast which is exciting for the company and the teams. I want to make sure new additions fit culturally as well as regarding their skill sets. 

The rest of the day is dedicated to project work – looking into all of our products, currently reviewing for 2020.


This year, I was named Hull and Humber’s Top 30 Under 30 – a huge honour and privilege. I discuss with my marketing manager how we can support the new candidates going forward.

Then it’s time for Quarter company afternoon – tools down as the teams have earned an afternoon off! We head to Leeds for food, drinks, and crazy golf. It’s so important that the teams all socialise outside of work, as it builds bonds and brings down barriers. 

We have such a close-knit agency family. Our clients comment on how lovely it is to work with such talented and friendly company up North– I couldn’t be prouder to be part of it! 

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