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What it means to be a part of the Publicis Sapient Customer Experience and Innovation team

Craig Walmsley explains why Publicis Sapient is the perfect place to invent the future. Having joined Publicis Sapient London in 2017, Craig shares his journey and gives you a view of the projects he has worked on.

Craig Walmsley
Craig Walmsley

Imagining what’s Next

When I was looking for a new job back in 2017, I had a pretty good idea of the type of place I wanted to work.

I’d spent more than a decade in digital design – I was the first strategist that AKQA ever employed – so I wanted to work somewhere that respected creativity and design thinking and the intuitive insight that drives them both.

I’d then spent 5 years working in digital consulting – so I wanted to find a role where you could make a credible impact on what the business was doing and on the bottom line.

I’d spent the next few years working on a technology start-up – so I wanted to work for a company that had deep technical chops and could build out and operationalize whatever solution might be right.

So working at Publicis Sapient felt like the right fit from the get-go – not least because the company looks at the world through these three Lenses:

The Customer Lens – understanding customer needs and wider Forces at Work in the marketplace

The Business Lens – identifying strategic goals and commercial objectives

The Capability Lens – developing the technology, data, organization, people & processes to meet customer needs

"And because Publicis Sapient works with some of the largest companies in the UK and around the world, the canvas I could work on would be huge, and the opportunities to make change would be impactful."

So it has proved.

As someone who loves solving problems with design thinking, the Customer Experience & Innovation Team was the right place for me.

The CX&I team are the custodians of the Customer Lens.

We seek to understand the customer, the competitive environment, the changing marketplace dynamics and where our client fits into this changing landscape.

We are research-led - meaning that we spend as much time as we can getting under the skin of our client’s customers – whether that’s customer segmentation, focus groups, ethnography, online surveys, usability testing, competitive comparisons, mystery shopping, or listening in to customer service calls - we’ll do what it takes to understand customers, their lives, motivations, choices, behaviors and options.

We then try to frame this customer understanding in the context of a world of digital transformation; new technologies, new business models, new competitors, new propositions, new threats and the new opportunities.

We then get to imagine what our clients should do, and how they should transform, to meet these emerging customer needs in this ever-changing world.

We do it in partnership with some of the sharpest minds in technology, consulting and transformation you could find anywhere – to come up with highly credible solutions that meet customer needs in a commercially impactful way.

In my time here, I’ve worked on a huge range of industries advising the highest levels of their organizations on how they should transform their businesses to adapt to digital disruption – from banking to airlines; from pharmaceuticals to manufacturers; from logistics to commodities.

One recent client project in agriculture might give a sense of the scope and scale of the work.

We visited half a dozen farms in Wisconsin and Wales to talk to farmers and understand what really mattered to them. We ran farmer focus groups, and online ethnographic studies. We walked the floors of some of the most advanced bio-engineering facilities anywhere in the world. We spoke to emerging technology start-ups and established industry players to map the emerging marketplace dynamics. We spoke to dozens of stakeholders in the company - from the C-Suite to farm technicians to understand the key drivers of the business - and their day-to-day work - so we could understand what might help them better meet farmers’ needs.

We then identified the key vectors of disruption in their market, and outlined the key propositions and capabilities they could put in place to capitalise on this disruption.

These recommendations were approved by the C-Suite, unlocking significant new digital investment and activity - and we’re now scoping how best to support them in their digital transformation.

That’s just one example that speaks to the type of work we do, how we do it, and why it’s worthwhile. You get to work with brilliant colleagues on brilliant clients to invent a brilliant future, that you then get to help deliver.

When I was looking for that new job back in 2017, that was the type of place I wanted to work.

I found the right place.

Ready to find your NEXT?

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Craig Walmsley
Craig Walmsley
Senior Director, Customer Experience and Innovation
Craig has many talents. He is also an avid Writer and Historian specialising in the Philosopher John Locke. One of his proudest moments? He once spoke with Prince at 4am in the morning during a private concert in a Las Vegas nightclub.

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