Where are you based?
What job do you do?
Owner and Director of Peachy Digital, a digital marketing agency
How did you get into marketing/communications?
Completely by accident! After completing my A-Levels, I decided that going to uni to study accountancy really wasn’t what I wanted to do, so ended up in a few different admin jobs. I had my first daughter at the age of 20 and when she was three months old, I took a part-time admin job for a local insurance underwriter.
The company was bought by a huge international, and my role was being moved to a different office at the other end of the country. The Marketing Manager at the time asked me if I’d like to become her assistant as her workload was ever-increasing, and for the sake of being able to earn money (babies are expensive!), I said yes. As it turned out, marketing came naturally to me and I progressed rapidly.
I’ve since completed professional training with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and have been lucky to have a number of roles for some exciting companies and marketing agencies. I now have a company of my own, working with some amazing clients.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
Setting up by myself, for sure. It was a knee-jerk decision after finding myself redundant just after Christmas, but my employer at the time was incredibly supportive and worked hard to help me retain some of our clients, as well as giving me a huge amount of advice and a shoulder to cry on when it was needed.
With my existing network and professional reputation after working in marketing in this area for over ten years, combined with some outstanding friends and the support of a couple of great networking groups, I found myself at capacity quickly and it’s been thrilling.
Obviously in the meantime, Coronavirus has hit and that’s had an impact on growth, however things are still going well and I certainly don’t regret taking that leap.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
I helped to rebrand the whole of Jardine Lloyd Thompson UK to Thistle (it’s changed again since then, though) right at the beginning, working to create a consistent and recognisable brand. I’ve also launched exciting products in the food industry, such as Yorkshire Yogurt, Buttertubs and Blue 16 during my time at The Wensleydale Creamery.
While working for agencies, I’ve achieved significant PR results for clients that have had a direct impact on their sales, helping businesses to grow, and have worked on a huge number of websites to help clients achieve a high quality online presence which again, has grown their businesses.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Nothing worth having is ever easy, that’s for sure! I’ve been made redundant three times since becoming a marketeer and that’s always difficult to deal with, but I’m a firm believer in things happenng for a reason – those hard times have helped me get to where I am, which from the early days was where I wanted to be.
When I was studying, I was a single mum and working full time in a very demanding job. It was a lot of pressure but it was so worth it, because having that qualification has really opened doors for me in my career and also helped me develop seriously strong organisational and prioritisation skills!
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Take all the advice you can get, and stay focused. Some days you’ll find yourself writing endless reports and doing what feels like rubbish menial tasks, but as I was told at the time, you have to pay your dues. To get to work on those big exciting projects, you need to earn it, and that’s done by proving your mettle earlier down the line.
Speak to people who are where you want to be, and ask them how they got there. One thing I’ve learned is that in this industry, almost everyone is happy to help and offer support. I’ve actually had some of the most inspiring and useful conversations in my career with direct competitors. It’s not like it’s portrayed on TV, in programmes like Mad Men where people deliberately sabotage eachother – though I guess there will always be the odd bad egg.
Most of all – enjoy it. Every day is an opportunity to learn. If you had told me 11 years ago when I started out that I would be working in PR and SEO for example, I wouldn’t have believed you. At the time, social media was barely a thing for most companies and look at where we are now! Absorb all of the knowledge you can and keep up to date with trends because everything moves quickly.
Where can we find you online?
If you’d like to be featured in the next ‘They do comms’ article, share your story with us here.