Where are you based?
Where do you work and what job do you do?
Principal and Founder of Market Accents, a thought leadership, strategic marketing, and communications firm
How did you get into marketing/communications?
I am a creative writer and content producer, and from a young age, wanted to write and communicate. I was lucky enough to be in a position where my working life has always been involved in marketing and communications; I started working in family-owned mid-sized businesses abroad and then moved to the UK to work with Corporates in travel and financial services before starting off on my own. In most of my roles, I developed the marketing department, introducing key concepts and fundamental marketing and communication disciplines. During my professional career, I studied marketing and communications, and have both a BA and a Master’s degree in these subjects.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
Being a writer and a communicator at heart, I love working in different media that bring words to life.
Throughout my professional career, I have been involved in and created some really interesting initiatives and activities, including writing scripts for – and acting in – a national TV-based thirteen episode political satire; writing the script for the voice over accompanying a national spectacular event; coordinating PR, marketing and communications for a client for two national concerts with audiences of over 25K each for Tina Turner and Joe Cocker, and being part of a small team that created a national festival covering international foods and a concert with an international star line-up! These were in my early days and all events took place abroad. Have caught the bug, I have never forgotten that thrill and you will still find me involved in large scale musical concerts and initiatives here, mostly for fundraising or on behalf of clients. I have also handled many international corporate clients and take pride in the work that was very visible and still very memorable.
How has marketing/communications helped the organizations you’ve worked for?
As one of my global corporate clients wrote …”I worked with Noreen on a number of projects and can honestly say that without Noreen we would not have achieved anywhere near the success that we did!”
I am passionate about my work and love working with clients to help them create a large visible footprint and find their own voice and space in saturated markets. I work with both b2b and b2c, but most of my background in the UK has been in the b2b space. Mostly I help clients develop and create marketing and communication frameworks and ensure they are targeting the right market segments. I sometimes work with them to deploy these programs, at other times their teams take over. That means that sometimes I create my own “exit” from the companies, but I can look back and follow their paths based on the strategies and programs I created and helped develop. What we also do now is create Thought Leadership that helps companies establish and retain their expert status in certain fields. This is usually based on research and white papers based on their expertise and USPs.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Marketing and communications have come a long way in these last decades – when I started working I wanted to be a journalist but these were jobs for the boys, and marketing was still only considered as very basic “advertising and promotion”. Having achieved a diploma in journalism with plenty of printed stories in journals and newspapers tucked under my belt, I went for a position in the newsroom of an English language newspaper – but was turned down due to the fact I was a woman and they did not employ women in newsrooms in that country! Undeterred, I continued my formal education and obtained both a BA and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Strategy and Communications. When you consider I was doing all this whilst working full time, this meant that at a one stage I was working and studying at the same time, sleeping for an average of three hours a night for around two years! That was madness but it was well worth it.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Marketing and communications are pivotal in any industry. Whatever you are doing, you want to engage with your audience, and increasingly you will do that using existing and new technology across platforms and channels. However, while technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, introducing new channels and media that simply did not exist years ago, the fundamentals of communication have not. You are still dealing with people and must understand how they think, act, behave in various situations and use your product or service. That is the key to any success you will have. We should all be marketers, and we should definitely all be communicators. AI may replace many of the basic processes, but at the moment cannot replicate that understanding and emotional intelligence. Understand the fundamentals and play with the tools and then channels – you will enjoy your chosen career path for many years to come!
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