Where are you based?
What job do you do?
CIPHR – Director of marketing
How did you get into marketing/communications?
A degree in business studies seemed like a safe bet, keeping a lot of possible routes open. I studied business studies at Bournemouth University. The course included a sandwich year which I spent working in the online marketing team at the supermarket chain Safeway (acquired by Morrison’s in 2003). For my final year at university I chose to specialise in marketing. After graduating I’ve worked in various marketing roles both agency and client side. Since 2012 I have led the marketing function at two, SaaS HR software providers.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
Creating new products and pricing strategies that have changed the prospects for an organisation.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
They’ve created defensible, dominant positions in a niche industry, for example: By creating a product, pricing strategy and communications plan for an HR solutions provider that focused on appealing to a niche audience in the legal industry we were able to increase the number of law firms we won as a customer from one or two per year to 20+ firms per year. Their HR system is still leading this sector today as a result.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Sometimes the right thing to do isn’t the easiest to justify. You might, as a marketing professional, know if your gut that the product or brand just isn’t right. If you’re new in the role, it’s not always easy to convince the CEO, CTO or CFO to change these things. I’ve found raising these as areas you want to improve during the interview process is helpful. Failing that, building credibility through some easy, quick wins, can mean the C-suite have enough faith in you to back other, harder to prove activity.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Nearly everyone thinks of marketing as just promotional activity. It’s not. It is as much about the other P’s.
Read a lot, from lots of different sources.
Don’t get wrapped up in the latest shiny new trend, the principles of marketing are principles for a reason, they don’t change every year and getting them right is essential to effective marketing.
Speak with customers, prospects and your colleagues. Whether it’s ideas for new campaigns, products or pricing strategies, they almost always have the answers if you do enough digging.
Where can we find you online?
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