Company: Marketing Communication Consultants Association (MCCA)
Job title: Managing Director
What made you want to get into marketing?:
I believed that I had the ability to change people and their opinions – it has been a belief that spans both my work and parts of my personal life. I think that if I ever found out that I couldn’t then I would give up completely.
How did you get into the industry?:
I had a great grounding delivered in my National Union of Students’ training, at the age of 21 being trained to help others run £8m to £10m turnover organisations and deal with the media was fantastic.
Delivering services and campaigns to a very fickle and diverse student audience was a hard slog. Through NUS I met several people at Endsleigh, who convinced me that working for them rather than staying with NUS was a sound move – financially it was!
What was good and bad about your first job?:
The sheer size of the challenge in my NUS role was great but it does over-inflate your ego. Having a first “proper” job after this was a real comedown. From being a big cog to a small one was a transition and a half. And being told what to do by the Labour Party wasn’t fun at all.
List your jobs to date:
1. South East Regional Officer, NUS
2. Marketing Manager, London, Endsleigh Insurance
3. Graduate Recruitment Consultant, Major Players
4. Director of Education, Institute of Sales Promotion
5. Managing Director, MCCA
What were the best and worst, and why?:
The best genuinely is my current job, it has kept me going for nearly six years. It is frustrating at times but I do really get to influence, develop the agency sector and work with some great people.
The worst has to be Endsleigh. My ego was the size of a house, after NUS it was difficult to be starting near the bottom again. I also moved to London and going out every night was more important than any job! I loved my life, my holidays and work just got in the way – let’s just say it was a very bumpy ride.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?:
Without a doubt: Rosie Doggett. Her genuine passion for the industry and life is quite something. She has literally re-energised me to work for the better of what is a great industry. An hour or two with her and you just feel ready to take on the world.
Who in the industry do you most admire?:
I know that he is MCCA Chairman but those who know him will agree that Graham Kemp is an industry gentleman. What I admire is that in an industry with far too many egotistical and cynical senior players, Graham stands out as a genuine and untainted statesman. He is a sign to us all that you don’t have to be a complete bastard to be a great success.
What is your biggest achievement to date?:
This is a hard one to answer, perhaps the MCCA members should answer this one, also I’m only 34 so there is a lot more to come. Launching the industry’s first ever Pitch Protection scheme could be it. I know that the programme changes nothing legally – that’s my next step! – but it is about collectivism, getting agencies to stand together and say that what they do best cannot be stolen by anyone.
On what do you base your success so far?:
I genuinely give a damn about agencies and what they deliver to brand owners. Bad practice truly angers and drives me. There is true greatness in the UK agency sector and clients need to realise it, believe it and start paying more for it.
What are your ambitions?:
To lead the MCCA to being as big and as respected as our big sister, agency-only trade body The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA). When I visit its offices, see the number of staff and see the annual accounts I do feel very jealous. One day…
Change one thing about your job:
That far more clients used our Search & Selection service: selecting the best agencies, with the minimum of fuss, in agreed best practice guidelines and all for £5k. What more do they want?
Change one thing about your industry:
That the City really saw marketing communications as a true investment rather than a painful cost. This goes hand-in-hand with marketing directors reclaiming their rightful positions as members of the main board of directors.
Change one thing about the world:
That religion was used to fuel spirituality and kindness, not as a vehicle to promote hatred, division and intolerance.
What is your favourite brand?:
Virgin has always been a favourite. As a kid The Human League and Culture Club were my favourite bands, behind both was Virgin Records, so from the age of ten I have always been aware of Virgin, watched it grow, falter, enjoy success. I suppose it just feels like an old schoolmate you want to keep in touch with.
What is the next big brand in your view?:
Starflyer, the Japanese Airline – I love the tone, feel and aspirations of the brand. “Blaze through the world like a comet.” what, no comment on cheap tickets? Love it!
List your “media diet”:
Marketing Week, Marketing, Precision Marketing and Promotions & Incentives keep me in the know. Radio 1 is the best and keeps me feeling young! Tuesday is Heat day, just gotta have me some gossip, anyone who says it’s beneath them is lying. Finally, Wallpaper fills me with excitement about what is genius about creativity.