Account director

Matt Smith

Matt’s our Account Director, and one of three Matthews here in the studio. Well groomed, organised and deceptively charming, he brings a touch of class to our already pretty presentable client services team…

What’s your story? What brought you to AHOY and where were you before?

I was in recruitment for the creative industry for three years, two of those at my own company—before that I was in branding. While working in recruitment, I realised it wasn’t my passion. I wanted to get back into the world of marketing.

I knew Mark before I came here—he was a familiar face in the industry, so when we spoke about this opportunity, everything just came together: great company, branding, Manchester, just round the corner from my house…which is great!

I joined the business because I could see myself making a difference.

What does a typical day / week at AHOY look like for you?


I don’t know if there is such a thing as a typical day or week, but that’s a good thing. The recruitment industry is regimented, scheduled, almost military. It’s process-led, and I do like that—it appeals to the organisational side of me—and I’ve brought those skills with me. What’s refreshing is coming to an industry where you don’t know what to expect each week.


Building on that, what does good account direction look like to you?

It’s about building rapport in relationships, helping us to become a trusted agency, which will give us more creative freedom. We listen to businesses, and their problems and ideas, and advises openly rather than trying to put people in a box.

Describe yourself at work in three words

Focused, relaxed and pragmatic.

Describe yourself at home in three words

Focused, relaxed and pragmatic!

If someone’s wondering whether AHOY’s going to be the right agency for them, what would you say?

It depends what they want from their agency. A client will get the best out of us if they work collaboratively with us to understand the brief, then allow us creative freedom and trust in our design and strategic expertise. If they are passionate about their business and trust in our process, we will do great work for them.

What’s the best bit of your job?

I like taking that consultant role: being able to cast new eyes on a project, bringing an outside perspective, wrestling with a client’s business needs and offering solutions to their problems. Having the value of being a solution is a nice feeling, but being able to speak and think in quite a lot of depth in terms of business, branding and design never gets old: it’s such a rich, constantly evolving field. It’s incredibly interesting to keep having these conversations. Having run my own business for a while, having these conversations with loads of entrepreneurs, it’s fascinating to see their problems and their visions and try to shape those into something I can see would be a solution.