How John Dalziel got ahead

Name: John Dalziel

Company: RLA Group Ltd.

Job title: MD, RLA Scotland & Head of Group Business Development

Name: John Dalziel

Company: RLA Group Ltd.

Job title: MD, RLA Scotland & Head of Group Business Development

What made you want to get into marketing?

Lectures with a chap named Keith Crozier at Strathclyde University – he really made it seem fascinating. That, and the fact that I thought most other options sounded either incredibly dull or fairly unpleasant.

How did you get into the industry?

BA (Hons) in Marketing from Strathclyde, then 16 months as a graduate trainee at the former Rover Group.

What was good and bad about your first job?

The best thing was realising it was absolutely nothing like I thought it was going to be at university. However it was also the worst thing about it!

List your jobs to date

Rover Group – communications and product management
VW – running the retailer marketing program
M & C Saatchi – working on the £100m DSG account
A stint at TxT4
EdExcel – rebranding the company and installing a marketing function
Zip Television

What were the best and worst, and why?

I don’t think of any of my roles like that; all have had ups & downs but every single one of them has been an experience that has taught me things for the future.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My dad, because he won’t let go.

Who in the industry do you most admire?

I guess it has to be Maurice Saatchi, because he won’t let go either.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Crossing the great client/agency divide and living to tell the tale.

On what do you base your success so far?

My sparkling personality and wit…not really! Mostly luck, along with a fair dollop of unashamed obsequiousness towards some good people.

What are your ambitions?

To help make RLA Group bigger and even more successful than it is now. That, and to win the Lottery.

Change one thing about your job

Less domestic budget flying.

Change one thing about your industry

I wish we would enact change rather than pay lip-service and maintain vested interests – particularly with respect to focusing on our clients’ customers rather than our output.

Change one thing about the world:

The wearing of sportswear for anything other than sport should be illegal.

What is your favourite brand?

Goodness, I’ve got loads! Current favourites are Decléor skincare (shaving is hell), Maglite (everyone needs a torch, why not have the best?) and John Smedley (Winter is here).

What is the next big brand in your view?

I’m going to hedge my bets and guess that it might be something quite unexpected. Someone will tell me it’s not a brand but a product, but I think the Nintendo Wii will give Xbox and PS3 a fright.

List your “media diet”

Online – plus all the usual industry suspects, other stuff like, The Onion, MT Magazine, The Retail Bulletin, Iconoculture, a couple of blogs like and my mates’ personal spaces on MSN.

Offline – I love loyalty magazines, The Independent for its front covers, the occasional car/motorbike/boat magazines and travel magazines.

Broadcast – I’m addicted to 24-hour news channels, Channel 4,

five US (waiting for the novelty to wear off), 5Live and Classic FM.

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