How John Bernard got ahead

I always had a desire to get into the world of advertising. I was driven by the prospect of being able to make amazing ads as well as the thought of the glamorous shoots!

Name: John Bernard

Company: LG Mobile

Job title: Head of marketing

What made you want to get into marketing?

I always had a desire to get into the world of advertising. I was driven by the prospect of being able to make amazing ads as well as the thought of the glamorous shoots!

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?

After university I went to work for the Granada Group on their Graduate Trainee programme. It was a good start with a lot of early responsibility; budgets to manage from the outset and if anything, too much work to do in the average week. I entered the mobile industry through a headhunt call whilst working at Pioneer. In 1995 I passed the CIM exams and in 2002 became a Chartered Marketeer. I also completed the Henley MBA in the same year.

What was good and bad about your first job?

Good ? running a radio station across the Granada Hospitality estate, including motorway service areas, Travelodge, BK and Little Chef.

Bad ? pulling together presentations on 35 mm slides. This was before the days of Powerpoint and involved lots of rummaging through drawers and cupboards to find photography and images seemingly lost in the sands of time…

List your jobs to date:

Granada, Marketing graduate trainee

Ford Motor Company, International events manager

Pioneer, Marketing communications manager

Siemens Mobile, Marketing manager

LG Mobile, Head of marketing

What were the best and worst, and why?

Ford was the best. This is probably due to the fact I spent the best part of 2 years travelling the world attending F1 events, Champions League football matches and all manner of sporting events in the name of “work”.

The worst was Pioneer. I spent my two years there focussing on cutting budgets which is the job of an accountant not a marketer.

Who in the industry do you most admire?

In the mobile phone industry it would be Chris Gent, ex CEO of Vodafone. He turned a start up into one of the biggest companies in the world with an eye for an opportunity coupled with aggressive takeovers.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Increasing Siemens Mobile market share from 4% to 18% in 2 years; launching LG Mobile as a brand and with marketing products like the LG Chocolate, increasing market share from 0.1% to almost 7% in what is already a crowded market.

On what do you base your success so far?

Using years of experience to know when to act, hard work, a good agency roster, an understanding of the industry and competitors and knowing when and where to allocate marketing budgets.

What are your ambitions?

Far too many to list, but I want to win the next pitch. And then the one after that. And then the one after that.

Change one thing about your job:

The purchase order/ invoice process. I would pay someone to do it for me.

Change one thing about the world:

Reduce global warming.

What is your favourite brand?

Apple. Doesn?t everyone say that?

What is the next big brand in your view?

Luton Town Football Club. It has all the ingredients to be as big as Real Madrid.

List your “media diet”:

I read a selection of papers that hit my desk every day as well as a tabloid and a broadsheet at weekends. I am online constantly and I watch around 5 or 6 hours of TV each week. Travelling in the car/tube for 10 hours each week means I can keep an eye out on outdoor movements.

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