Who are you?

Born and bred in a little village, on the border of Lancashire and Greater Manchester called Ramsbottom, I am a country girl at heart and love nothing more than going on strolls with my best friend Fraser (my dog). I have to say, I do have a slight obsession with dogs. Much to my boyfriends’ annoyance, I can’t walk past one without stating “awww look it’s a dog”.

In my school years, I did a lot of volunteering. During my time at high school, I was a brownie guide leader, it was then that I realised that working with kids isn’t my calling in life. I also volunteered at a local charity shop where I used to nosy in the donation bags looking and sorting out other people’s old belongings, it was very interesting, to say the least. I then put these good deeds on hold, so I could concentrate on college and getting the grades to get into the University that I really wanted to go to, Lancaster. After 2 years of hard work studying maths, business studies and art & design I got the grades and was off to Lancaster University to study Marketing. Going to University was the best decision of my life, I learnt so much and met so many amazing people that got me through my many breakdowns. I graduated this year with a first-class honours degree which I am very proud of.

Outside of education and work, I love to draw and paint. I’m currently painting a huge great white shark. I’m pretty sure the canvas is bigger than me (although that’s not hard since I am a 5-foot shorty) and I am also sure it wasn’t that big in the shop. I have been playing the piano since before my feet could reach the pedals and I love to play piano or guitar and sing when I’m feeling a little stressed. Fun fact: I won a talent show singing and playing the piano when I was about 16. I also love all things makeup and drag queens, I find their sass and fierce artistry skills insanely cool.   

What would you say your (marketing) education has taught you so far?

Although the knowledge that I gained in completing my degree is incredibly valuable, I would say that the most important lessons University taught me were about confidence, independence and teamwork. I was the shy kid at school who wouldn’t say boo to a goose, because I thought that people would think I was weird. University gave me the confidence to be myself, embrace my weirdness and share my voice. Now, although I am no wild extrovert, I love talking to people and sharing my ideas. 

Where does your expertise lie and what area of marketing are you most passionate about?

The realm of marketing is so broad that I often find it hard to explain what it is in one sentence. However, Google came up with a corker… “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” I am passionate about this whole marketing process; however, my heart truly lies in branding and strategy. 

Was there a particular project you worked on that helped your development or that you particularly enjoyed?

In my third year at Lancaster University, I had the opportunity to work with Lakeland on a Marketing Research Consultancy Project. A team and I were briefed by the marketing director of Lakeland to help the company deepen their understanding of their customers and present recommendations on how they could enhance their offering to add greater value for their customers. 

I was one of those annoying people asking you if you would be willing to complete a questionnaire in store. With a task like that, you just have to throw yourself at it and approach everyone and anyone that matches the target audience. We then analysed the data from this questionnaire, focus groups and other methods of research and presented it back to the Marketing Director. I found this project so interesting and it definitely taught me a lot and gave me so much more confidence in my communication skills.

What is your role? and in your opinion, what skills are essential to your role?

I am responsible for creating and managing our marketing & growth strategy. Asking the questions, how can we offer more value to our clients? And how do we position ourselves so that we attract the right clients for us? This role requires strong analysis and research skills as well as real enthusiasm.

Along with this internal facing responsibility, in the near future, my role will also include a client facing aspect. I am excited to be able to use my branding expertise in client branding projects by introducing a different mindset to the process.

Where or who would you say the majority of your inspiration comes from?

I would say that any successful woman who is killing the business game is an inspiration to me or anyone that is loving life, doing exactly what they want to do and what makes them happy. I am a big believer in the importance of passion and having a love for what you do, I think that this is definitely a big part of my definition of success. 

How would you describe your approach to marketing?

I love marketing when customers don’t realise they are consuming it. In this day and age, the consumer has become incredibly conscious of marketing, they are smarter than ever. Customers know that when an ad pops up on their desktop, it’s because the marketing department wants to increase awareness; and they know that when an ad for a pair of pink shoes from Topshop appears on their Facebook it’s because their movements on the web are constantly tracked, as they recently browsed those same shoes on the Topshop website only 4-hours ago. Therefore, Marketers need to be one step ahead. 

Experience marketing is an approach that I find incredibly fascinating and one of the ways in which the customer consumes marketing willingly and sometimes without knowingly doing so. Take Cadbury’s world for example, in a sense, customers pay to consume a 4-hour long advert which is set up to increase brand loyalty. Whilst many customers purposefully download software onto their desktop or other devices to block adverts, people are paying to consume places like Cadbury’s world because these “brand lands” & other forms of experiential marketing have been cleverly created so that they are portrayed as a fun, sociable experience. 

What did you want to be growing up?

I’ve wanted to be many things growing up, from an archaeologist, because I watched ‘time team’ once – to an international pop star, because why not. It wasn’t until I went to college and studied business studies, a decision that was based solely on the fact that I loved the programme ‘The Apprentice’, that I realised that Marketing was my jam. 

What are your ambitions for the future?

In the short term, I’d love to have an early night after watching an episode of Love Island Australia with a big bar of dairy milk and a cuppa. In the long term, this is how I see my dream life… I have a job that I love doing in marketing/business growth where I can make a difference, very much like my role at Single Malt, that pays enough for me to treat my 2 springer spaniels Zeus and Maximus to all the tennis balls and tasty treats they could ever wish for.

It is well known that the industry is heavily male-dominated. What are your thoughts on this? 

I find the fact that around 70% of students studying design are women, yet women only make up 11% of creative directors truly fascinating (and not in a good way). I know things have changed drastically in terms of equality for women but there is still a long way to go in my eyes.

What is your personal motto?

“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” – Roald Dahl

And just for fun… what’s your favourite:

late night snack: 

Oooh, that’s a tricky one, I love so many foods. I’m going to have to split it up into seasons. I’d say in summer my favourite late night snack would have to be Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough S’Wich Up, which if you haven’t tried you really need to, it is life changing. Autumn would perhaps be a raspberry glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut. My favourite late night snack in winter for sure would have to be a cheese board full of different cheeses from the Christmas markets with a glass of red wine on the side (some might say that’s too far for a late night snack, but in winter the more calories the better I say). And finally, spring, I think I would have to choose a slice of homemade lemon drizzle cake. NomNomNom.  

place to relax: 

I always feel super relaxed when I’m at the beach. I think given the opportunity I would choose to live in a beach hut on a warm sandy beach, listening to the waves crash on the shore. 

movie:

I’m not really a movie lover and I don’t know if I could choose a favourite. However, my boyfriend is currently giving me a moviecation which so far has included many a war film (I have cried at every one). So I’ll get back to you on this question.