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Meet BIMA: Natalie Gross, Co-president

12 Mar 2018

Posted by Rachel Johnson

After 12 months at the helm, our co-president explores the evolving roles of BIMA – and BIMA members.

What’s the point of BIMA?

BIMA is the only national body dedicated to supporting professionals working in a digital career. We work with our members to create agendas that are about driving innovation and change, and creating mass capability in the digital industry – for example, enhancing our AI knowledge and skills, championing diversity and promoting national reach.

Would you describe BIMA as lobbying group?

No! BIMA is not a lobbying body – it was never established to fulfil that function, and I’ve never felt that’s where its abilities are best placed. There are other associations, such as AA, which BIMA are affiliated with, who perform a lobbying function.

However, in our role driving the digital agenda, there are key topics that we focus on because they matter to our members. We believe through our community we can use the power of our collective voice to make a difference. Our commitment to developing skills and talent – with our annual Digital Day - is one example of the difference we make. The work our Diversity Council undertakes is another of equal importance.

BIMA is designed to make a difference - to you and, through your participation, to Britain’s digital industry as a whole.

How do you balance BIMA’s local and regional roles with being a national body?

As someone who lived in the North West for a long time, it was vital for me that I always had a national or international outlook on digital.

I believe it’s very important to contribute to your local community, but not to be defined by it. Being defined by it can be limiting, and looking beyond your immediate boundaries can truly increase the confidence with which you approach your business, and expand your horizon in where you look for work and really believe you can win it.

Being connected to a national community such as BIMA really does help you find a national and international perspective. It means your network is broader, conversations are richer and you see topics through a different lens. Ultimately, that wider perspective can open career possibilities nationally, and can make what you do locally so much stronger.

What makes BIMA membership relevant?

We have moved to an age where collaboration will increasingly become a huge competitive advantage. BIMA facilitates great collaboration.

For brands and agencies it means you can access and collaborate with specific disciplines eg tech, immersive, young talent, etc to which you may never otherwise have been connected. That can open so many opportunities.

But the real magic is that every specialism is connected to a greater whole. That network effect – the ability to combine the expertise of people who see the world very differently - is the real power behind our councils, and behind BIMA as a whole.

BIMA membership can be of huge individual benefit too: through the people you meet and the knowledge you gain; through the events you attend and the thought leadership you provide – or to which you’re exposed.

By being part of a community, we can create a voice that can speak with confidence about where the industry is going. And by bringing the UK’s regional digital communities together, we help our members feel a greater sense of belonging and enable them to contribute to the greater whole that is the digital economy.

Rachel Johnson
Posted by Rachel Johnson

Rachel has recently joined BIMA having worked for more than 20 years in the world of Marketing. Rachel has many impressive client, charity and agency-side results to her credit and stories to tell. As both a team player and independent advisor, Rachel loves to see the bigger picture and is a strong strategic thinker. She has led ambitious projects for start-ups, worked alongside growing businesses and has been fortunate to work with some of the UK’s most respected and renowned agencies. A self-motivated original thinker, Rachel is also an extremely able marketer. She brings out the best in people at all levels. Her wealth of transferable skills includes project management – often with direct budgetary control - results-driven commercial awareness, proven networking strengths, digital marketing expertise and broad IT literacy. However, her achievements do not end there! In her spare time, she makes full-use of her Cumbrian home-town environment, walking, biking and running, and spending time as an enthusiastic side-line rugby and football mum for her two boys – Louie and Harley.

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