Stephanie Drakes, Managing Partner: Business & Relationships


Steph has 30 years’ experience in advertising and communications agency settings. She’s a visionary thinker and strong leader, driven in recent years by the need for and potential commercial impact of the Social Business model.

Career experience:

  • Early doors in Cadbury Schweppes Product Marketing
  • Full career development through the ranks of Omnicom Group Agencies (Marketing Solutions BMP, working in strategic account handling and planning)
  • A founding partner of The Marketing Partnership, focussing on marketing, design and promotional consultancy
  • Stepping back into Consultancy/part time agency roles whilst bringing up a family of four
  • Re-igniting career at 50 at 23red: Managing Partner Government Clients (COI) & Managing Director Regional Offices


  • Cutting teeth in FMCG: food and drink and toiletries sectors; growing into leadership role in major transitional and behavioural change campaigns in the telecommunications and Government sectors; and large-scale product and service development challenges in commercial banking and not for profit sectors.
  • Steph’s particularly passionate about insight-led brand and social value strategy development – sharp propositions and big creative expressions.

What the “Social Life” means for Steph

“I have always been a morning person. I often wake up with a clear vision about how to solve a client challenge. “Social Life” means that I can hit my desk at 6am to put pen to paper with a clear head unfettered with the interference of a tortuous commute or digital disturbance!

I then log in to our video portal to welcome the team to a new day and after a giggle about the state of the nation put our heads down to the tasks ahead. Fridays we try and have a beer o’clock – often discussing the week’s challenges or opportunities arising.

At lunch time I take time out to walk my dog, hug a tree or two (yes, it is scientifically proven to be good for you) and visit my husband in his Nursing Home. I look on this as a “field visit”. 20 years of flogging fast moving consumer goods taught me that you can sit at your desk as long as you like, but the data will not give you the full picture and you need to get out there and see and talk to the consumer. So with multiple clients in NHS and Social Care sector, these visits give me unique insight into the good, the bad and the ugly of the system which in turn helps me to inform clients from a people-centred perspective.

At 4.00pm you will often find me with a cup of Earl Grey scanning a broad spectrum of newspapers (yes, I still like print) and social networks – my team know to expect various scans of articles that are apposite to what they are doing and thinking about at this point answering the question ”What are the people saying about this?”

It’s warm, it’s productive and it works for everyone.”  

Contact Stephanie

Take a look at our other biographies:

Natalie Richards
Adrian Hosford
Rod Anthony