Next Generation Marketing

Next Generation Marketing

I was invited to speak to a room full of smart young people (the next generation of marketers) about my career in marketing and what I love about the industry.

The event is part of a BootCamp series run by a charity called Leadership Through Sport & Business. The charity focuses on social mobility, and its goal is to prepare bright young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for meaningful roles with major firms.

“We make sure those at risk of under-employment find careers equal to their ambition and ability and can contribute from their first day on the job.”

You can find out more about LTSB and its programmes here.

ICE Futures hosted the event, and my colleagues at Professional Academy are running some of the training over the six weeks of the BootCamp series. You can see Martin Hutchins from Professional Academy and me with the cohort at the end of my session today.

So what did I rabbit on about for my 60 minutes?

Some of my career highlights (in my humble opinion) of my time in marketing include:

  • Starting at the World’s largest computer company called Compaq (in the 1990s, it was anyway) and getting a taste for big tech marketing
  • Working at Walkers Crisps on internal comms and eating a shed load of free crisps
  • Building an agency career that led me to work for some of the biggest brands in tech, energy, telecoms, logistics and several other sectors
  • Working on a lot of strategic marketing thinking and tactical execution that includes events, lead generation, market research, web builds, search marketing, public relations, social ads and much more.

I’ve been in marketing since 1998, and I would say you need these skill sets to enjoy working in the industry:

Courage – to make bold decisions and take some risks.

Creativity – thinking outside the norms, creating something new and fresh, and designing high-impact marketing.

Communication – as marketers, we are always selling. Whether it’s a new strategy, a fresh perspective on how to reach a target audience or to convince a boss/client to give us some budget, these all need excellent communication skills (written, presentation and listening).

Analytical skills – to spot trends and opportunities for growth in data or human behaviour.

Agility – the marketing world moves at quite a pace, and we need to evolve with it.

An interesting case was when I showed them a video clip created for a client about a decade ago. I asked the group to tell me honestly when they got bored; the first hand shot up after only 6 seconds. That’s how quickly we need to capture attention now. The world of video marketing has moved on at quite a pace. 

Hard-working – marketing can be fun, but it is often also challenging work, so it’s not a career choice for the work-shy.

It was a real privilege to address this group of young people – the next generation of marketing talent. I just hope they enjoyed my presentation as much as I revelled in delivering it.