The Secret Marketer

Our ‘man on the inside’ provides a view from the top of the marketing tree

To quote Confucius: “If you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” I have to say that after a career spent entirely in marketing, I couldn’t agree more.

For sure, there are some frustrating moments as a marketing director, but I sometimes have to remind myself of how fortunate I have been to find a job that I have never really thought of as work. I wouldn’t swap marketing for anything. Well, certainly not now all my dreams of a debut in the Premiership have officially passed.

The only downside – or should that be upside – with this business is that it is difficult to switch off. I am sure that I am not the only marketer who spends their entire life thinking about marketing, marketing and then some more marketing. When the TV viewing nation bemoans yet another commercial break, I start tuning in for some proper entertainment, more excited by the ads than the programmes.

While most men despair of supermarket trips, I get a rather worrying sense of excitement at the opportunity for an unofficial store check. In fact, I have now been officially banned from accompanying my wife to the supermarket. Her latest strategy to curb my enjoyment is to deal exclusively with shopping delivery firm Ocado. I feel like I have been given an ASBO.

Supermarkets are only the tip of the iceberg. When out and about, I have a worrying habit of spontaneously interviewing complete strangers. This week, I noticed that my local bakery has stopped selling Innocent smoothies. I immediately imagined this was a protest at the firm’s tie-up with Coke, but apparently it’s simply to do with them going out of date too quickly.

Holidays are not much better. Just back from the sun, I downloaded the pictures from my camera to find stunning beach landscapes mixed up with random shots of “interesting” innovation ideas and a brilliant point-of-sale display that I hope will inspire my sales team.

My addiction has always been slightly troubling to my friends that work outside of marketing. After receiving the usual level of flak from them over beers on a weekend, I do take great pleasure in reminding them that they all have to go back to work on Monday morning – whereas I can stay in marketing.

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