I used to think if I talk too much about myself people will think I am self obsessed, somewhat arrogant and egotistical. But what actually happened is I wouldn’t talk about myself at all and trust that my results and integrity would speaks for themselves. Well I was partly right and so very wrong all in one breath because by not claiming my achievements other people throughout my career were quite clearly happy to do so for me. You grow wise, you stay humble but you never let it happen again. I have always said your reputation goes before you and in business that is so so true.
I look back now in my mature awareness and think why the hell did I ever care what other people thought because blowing my own trumpet or not, I have had a very interesting, successful, varied career in marketing and the knowledge, experience and hurdles I have gained and overcome have definitely made me the marketer I am today.
You think when you get out of University that you are going to walk into (easily) a high paying enjoyable job in your field but nobody tells you the amount of effort, false hopes, rejections and applications you will have to undergo to get there. It is apparently all part of the process but nothing prepares you for it.
I started my career in health and wellness in the sales and marketing department but had a strong desire to either get into Presenting, PR or publishing. After many knock backs the presenting and PR was parked in a small little box in the back of my brain and the publishing was my last hope and still worth pursuing and so I did.
I worked for a small successful family run publishing house for a well known French magazine and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. My boss and his wife were approaching retirement age and decided to sell the business to a large publisher which meant redundancies for many or a relocation package for a few. I was one of those few and embraced the change with excitement and delight. It was an opportunity to work on a portfolio of titles, explore a new city and build and new life across the country. I learnt a lot there and a few years in with many changes to management I found myself in a redundancy situation I had not foreseen. But it is a given in marketing usually one of the first budgets to be cut when there are changes.
What I didn’t know then but know now is that it was a blessing in disguise because I then went onto work for a reputable forward thinking database management company that specialised in CRM and technology and spent a large chunk of my career there not touching any creative whatsoever but focusing on the data side of marketing and CRM and all the lovely trimmings that go with that.
It was here that I had my grounding into what I believe is truly valuable marketing grunt work often an area people are scared of, choose not to understand or leave it to agencies I was with at the time to have the headache over. To me it is the pillars of your business and where the clever stuff lives, but marketing purists would argue data was and is the boring end of the spectrum. You can’t make data sexy but you can make businesses very profitable and informed with it and that we did. I saw many changes during this time, businesses transition from print to email, loyalty schemes emerge, CRM become imperative, digital takeover, people move online, customers dictate the markets, people come and go. I worked on some of the biggest brands in FMCG winning awards and project managing high profile, demanding multi- million pound accounts.
After starting my family, I decided to go freelance and with huge confidence in my abilities contracted for the next 8 years. I found my career doing a full circle on various contracts for large corporate banks, charities, online shops to name a few, going back into the creative environment and working on brands that would strengthen my career even further. As part of my own personal journey, I decided to have private coaching in the social and digital arena, as taking time out for maternity leave had made me realise I needed to up my skill sets and know more about where things were heading. By doing this it has helped me put everything under one roof and cultivate the sort of marketing business I have dreamed of for many years.
You have to keep learning, you have to keep innovating you have to be open to change and you need to connect with the right people who know their salt. I have been incredibly lucky in my career to have had great mentors and been exposed to businesses central nervous systems so I am able to look at the marketing world with such objectivity. The world has changed in the last 20+ years, the way we are marketing has evolved and where we are going next is going to raise the heads of many but it is progress. I know I will look back in years to come at all of what I have achieved in a lifetime and reflect on the many profound changes and highs and lows but for now I’ll just ponder on how proud and grateful I am for the opportunities to grow. I am incredibly proud that I never once lost myself in the immense vortex of marketing bull shit, drug taking and sleeping my way to the top! I can blow my own trumpet now with glee for as long as it can be heard because I did it, I lived it and I own it.