How Kathryn Jacob got ahead

What made you want to get into marketing? Like so many people I fell into it by accident, after writing about polysemous allegory in the Faerie Queen lost its appeal.

Kathryn%20JacobName: Kathryn Jacob

Company: Pearl & Dean

Job title: CEO

What made you want to get into marketing?
Like so many people I fell into it by accident, after writing about polysemous allegory in the “Faerie Queen” lost its appeal.

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?
Via the milk round at University.

What was good and bad about your first job?
Good: The training and insight.
Bad: The nickname ‘Lady Penelope’. I was working in Newcastle where they teased me affectionately about my southern accent all day long.

List your jobs to date:
Graduate trainee – Thompson Regional Newspapers
Sales executive – Financial Magazines
Sales executive/Group head – The Daily Telegraph
Ad manager/Head of agency sales – IPC (weeklies)
Sales director/Commercial director – Virgin Radio
Managing Director – SMG Access
CEO – Pearl & Dean

What were the best and worst, and why?
Best: A few of them for different reasons, but I now work for a brand that allows me to see films for free and do great work.
Worst: Places where things are done a specific way “because they’ve always been done that way.”

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Nigel Sharrocks, CEO, Aegis (he is standing behind me).

Who in the industry do you most admire?
Do you really need to ask?

What is your biggest achievement to date?
My family and the great people I’ve worked with.

On what do you base your success so far?
Pragmatism, purpose and relentless optimism.

What are your ambitions?
They are too numerous to mention.

Change one thing about your job:
Can I meet George Clooney to discuss films every fortnight please?

Change one thing about your industry:
Inertia/lazy thinking.

Change one thing about the world:
Don’t get me started.

What is your favourite brand?
John Lewis or Waitrose.

What is the next big brand in your view?
Personalisation.

List your “media diet”:
I am an avid consumer! I read at least one newspaper every day, see lots of posters, listen to radio at work (the lovely Virgin) and buy a magazine to read on the way home at least once a week. Plus I subscribe to The Week.

Sky has transformed my viewing, though I always watch Doctor Who, Match of the Day (time-shifted to Sundays to watch with my 7 year old), Have I Got News For You and if I started talking about the films I see we’d be here for weeks…

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