In the beginning I taught myself HTML and CSS, building websites for friends and myself in various entertainment areas. I had originally professionally trained as a Buyer and worked in Purchasing, which to this day I still enjoy and like.
Then I discovered Marketing, jumped ship, and did my CIM Diploma in 9 months. I couldn’t put the books down, and with my naturally curious and creative personality this was where I belonged, in the front line facing the customers.
Fast forward 18 months to the millennium, the year Google launched AdWords. I was offered an interesting job as a Product Manager in the team, but I HAD to work in Digital. I took the biggest risk of my life and applied for a brand new B2B E-Commerce Manager position in a large organisation, when the ink on the budget sign off was still hesitantly wet. I remember saying to my boss the Director of Marketing “Please let me do this, and throw me out if I don’t make it work within 3 months”.
I got the job and gained valuable experience. I was creating strategic marketing e-Commerce plans, learning by doing, phoning key influencer customers, and driving all around the country to ask them face to face what they wanted. When I came back, I translated my graphic and video filled presentations into technical speak and asked the IT team to build it. I even tried to break up “us and them” territorial wars between my new Marketing team, IT and my former colleagues in Purchasing! Shopping carts were still evolving, Amazon had just opened its marketplace to sellers, but in B2B I could still make it up as I went along. I can’t think of a better and more exciting way to learn anything than to be given a blank sheet of a paper.
7 years on and I had done all I could do there creatively. Various web content, creative graphics, event management, Email marketing, website and digital marketing experiences later, I’m in a Digital state of mind again.
I’ve worked continually in Digital, Social Media, Video production and editing to support my performing arts careers, and have done occasional freelancing projects. I’ve been running Social Media channels, Google Analytics, AdWords, PPC campaigns, writing blogs and designing websites and content as part of my promotional activity in “real” life, and, just because I love it! .
I’ve made some non-marketing career related job choices in my life, done bits of Admin and worked in roles where I have been wasted and seemingly gone backwards in my career CV on paper, but I do other things and my choices are deliberate around my work/balance due to my circumstances and convenience at the time. It is possible to love and be pretty OK at non-business career things too, like my passion for music and acting, which is equally creative and uses my Marketing skills every day :).
When I care about what I “do”in a business setting I have I’ve always delivered spectacular results. Any gaps in my front line learning recently have been filled with fast-track refresher courses. I’m finding not much has changed apart from the tools, it’s still just “Marketing” to me.
I was always listening to customers and asking them what they wanted. Now it’s easier because they say it out loud and tell the world in seconds. If I can help with your website, social media or wider digital marketing please get in touch. I’m sure I will say “please let me do this and throw me out if I don’t make it work…” again!